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September 12, 2009

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Telco gets ready for domestic share sale

CHINA Mobile has begun to prepare for its domestic initial public offering and the telco is looking forward to getting the official regulatory approval in the near future, it said yesterday in Beijing.

The world's biggest mobile operator hopes regulators will allow its shares to be listed soon, said its chairman and CEO Wang Jianzhou during the World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian.

It was the first time that China Mobile had confirmed the domestic listing. Previously, the telco said it has the "plan" without providing any timetable and details.

China Mobile is one of the overseas-incorporated Chinese firms, most of which plan to list in the domestic market. They include CNOOC Ltd, China's biggest offshore oil explorer, and Lenovo Group Ltd, the country's biggest personal computer maker which confirmed last month of plans to do so.

China is the world's fastest-growing major economy and the Shanghai stock index has surged more than 60 percent so far this year.

Hong Kong-listed China Mobile gained 0.5 percent to close at HK$80 (US$10.25), compared with a 0.44 percent rise in the key Hang Seng Index yesterday.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said in July that an international board would be set up on the Shanghai bourse to allow overseas firms to trade in the domestic market for the first time.

HSBC Holdings Plc said it had hired advisers for a possible listing in Shanghai.

China Mobile is still talking with Apple Inc to also sell the iPhone domestically although China Unicom said it has a three-year deal with Apple to sell the iPhone in China.

"We are still talking, it (the agreement) is not exclusive," said Wang.



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