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Datang seeks 3-G boost

DATANG Telecom Technology Co Ltd aims to raise 1.2 billion yuan (US$153.8 million) through a private placement, which will be used to develop 3G-related products and pay back a bank loan, the Shanghai-listed firm said today.

The state-owned Datang Telecom plans to issue 140 million shares in the deal, which still needs approval from the stock regulator. The China Academy of Telecommunications Technology, Datang Telecom's parent firm, is one of the investors in the deal, Datang Telecom said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

"China now has 3G and it's a historical chance for us to develop and upgrade the portfolio," the Beijing-based firm said in the statement.

Datang Telecom will pour the money into the research of 3G data cards, 3G reading terminals and intelligent bank cards with the EMV standard, a next-generation bank card standard authorized by Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

Meanwhile, Datang Telecom will use the money to pay the bank loans. By the end of 2008, Datang Telecom's debt was 2.2 billion yuan. Datang Telecom's financial fee was 137 million yuan compared with net profit of 45.6 million yuan.

Datang Telecom jumped 5.01 percent to close at 5.28 yuan today compared with the 0.28 percent growth of the local stock market.

In January, China issued 3G licenses to three carriers and the next-generation mobile communications networks will provide users high-speed services on handsets, such as video calls and film downloads.

By 2011, the direct investment on 3G, from carriers, equipment makers, handset vendors and other firms like Datang Telecom, is expected to be 280 billion yuan, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Industry.


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