Communication equipment exchange traded funds were in focus Friday as Nokia (NYSE: NOK), the mobile phone maker, said it is talking to “multiple parties” about bidding for its stake in the Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture.

The Financial Times on Thursday said U.S. private-equity groups Kohlnerg Kravis Roberts and TPG have backed away from bidding for a majority stake in Nokia Siemens Networks. They dropped out after failing to agree both on price and the level of control over the company that could be worth several billion dollars, the newspaper reported.

Nokia was expected to report a loss for this quarter and next as it cuts prices to try to prevent more customers defecting to rivals’ smartphones, a Reuters poll found.

Analysts also forecast a meager profit in the normally buoyant fourth quarter, as the once-undisputed leader in mobile phones loses the initiative to smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and devices based on Google’s Android software.

Nokia also reported that Chief Technology Officer Richard Green is taking time off “to attend to a personal matter,” but wouldn’t give more details.

Respected Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat quoted unnamed sources saying Green’s leave was due to his disagreement with Nokia’s decision to abandon its own next-generation smartphone software MeeGo in favor of Microsoft’s Windows software.

Exchange traded funds that count Nokia as a holding include First Trust Nasdaq Smartphone Index (NasdaqGM: FONE), Wireless HOLDRs (AMEX: WMH), Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF (NYSEArca: GXF) and SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology (NYSEArca: MTK).

Gregory A. Clay contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.