Business & Economy

Beijing authorizes China Mobile’s largest IPO in Shanghai since 2010

Shanghai, China, Dec 14 (EFE).- The Chinese securities market regulator gave the green light for the country’s largest state telephone operator to carry out what would be the largest Initial Public Offering in Shanghai in more than a decade after its exclusion from Wall Street.

China Mobile said in a statement sent Tuesday to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it is already listed, that it plans to sell 845.7 million shares, 3.97 percent of the total, in Shanghai, although the figure could rise to 972.5 million ( 4.53 percent of the shareholding) through an over-allotment option.

China Mobile has not yet made official what price those shares will have – saying it will decide before the end of the week – or when it will debut in Shanghai, although the regulator gave authorization for it to be produced over the next 12 months.

The telephone company, the largest in the world by number of subscribers, had said in August that it intended to obtain some 56,000 million yuan ($ 8,795 million) with the operation.

Most of the proceeds will go to the development of 5G networks, although there will also be items for cloud resource infrastructure or smart homes.

If it reaches the expected amount, China Mobile would surpass the second-largest state operator, China Telecom, which was also excluded from Wall Street and went public in August in Shanghai, obtaining about 47.1 billion yuan.

It would be above the 53.2 billion yuan achieved in July 2020 by China’s main chip manufacturer, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.

This would place it as the largest IPO in Shanghai since that of the state Agricultural Bank of China in 2010, which brought in about 68.8 billion yuan.

China Mobile, and China’s two other major operators, China Telecom and China Unicom, were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after the United States’s previous administration prohibited investment in companies controlled or associated to the country’s army.

The three companies were excluded after the main international stock indices.

In late January, one day after former US President Donald Trump left office, the three state operators asked the New York trading floor to cancel their exclusion.

This was so their securities, traded through “depository receipts,” or traded negotiable certificates on a local exchange representing foreign company shares, could be re-traded there.

But stock exchange authorities rejected their appeals in May and upheld the exclusion and sitting US President Joe Biden has kept all three Chinese companies on the blacklist. EFE


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