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China Unicom and China Telecom shares jump amid merger rumor

SHARES of China Unicom surged by the 10 percent daily cap in the afternoon trading session in the Shanghai stock market, amid rumors that it will merge with China Telecom.

If China's No. 2 and No. 3 telecommunications carriers merged, they would challenge the market leader China Mobile in mobile communications sector. In fixed-line and broadband business, the merged company would dominate the market.

Shanghai-listed China Unicom jumped 10 percent to 4.99 yuan (80 US cents) by 2pm today. Hong Kong-listed China Telecom surged almost 4 percent to HK$5.02 (80 US cents).

Both carriers denied the rumors, according to reports.

But China is widely expected to issue 4G licenses based on FDD-LTE nationwide in the first half of this year. The new licenses will help China Unicom and China Telecom expand business in the country, where FDD-LTE networks are only available in major cities.

China Mobile has built 4G base stations covering the whole country based on TD-LTE 4G technology, a China-developed 4G standard.


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