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August 22, 2017

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Unicom surges after securing US$12b funding

SHANGHAI-LISTED China Unicom surged by the 10 percent daily cap yesterday after releasing an agreement to attract 78 billion yuan (US$11.5 billion) from investors, including Internet giants, industry leaders and special funds.

The new strategic investors, including Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and, will take a 35.2 percent stake in China Unicom while the state-owned China Unicom Group will hold 36.7 percent.

The deal sent Shanghai-listed China Unicom to close at 8.22 yuan yesterday. Meanwhile, its Hong Kong-listed shares jumped 3.52 percent yesterday.

Electronics retailing titan Suning, software giant Yonyou Network and network service provider Wangsu Science & Technology have also invested in China Unicom, the country's second-biggest mobile carrier.

The deal marks the largest capital raising in the Asia-Pacific region since 2010. It will also be the biggest deal in recent years under China’s mixed-ownership reforms, which seek to integrate and merge state-owned assets with private capital, industry insiders said.

“The spotlight of the deal is not only the capital, but new opportunities, new business operation and new structure of China Unicom,” said Guosen Securities in a report.

Private investment is expected to contribute more to invigorate China’s economy, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner, said.

The deal, which has been approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, comes after China Unicom said in a statement last Wednesday it would raise 78 billion yuan from investors. But it then deleted the statement for “unconfirmed issues.”



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