China Mobile poised for Shanghai mega listing after US ban

China is building out the largest 5G footprint of any nation and wants to be a leader in technologies. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (BLOOMBERG) - China Mobile, the country's largest wireless carrier by revenue, has received approval from regulators to list in Shanghai after being removed from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) due to an investment ban ordered by former President Donald Trump.

The state-run enterprise got the nod from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to issue A-shares, according to a filing late Monday (Dec 14) with Hong Kong's stock exchange.

The company plans to issue about 845.7 million shares, it said in a prospectus on the Shanghai bourse's website dated Tuesday that didn't say how much China Mobile hoped to raise.

Based on the last close of its Hong Kong-listed stock, the figure would be the equivalent of around US$5 billion, although China stocks usually trade at a hefty premium to their counterparts across the border.

That would be the most since Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp which raised US$7.6 billion last year. It would also be among the top 10 listings on record in China, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, ranking China Mobile with the nation's big banks and energy giant PetroChina .

China Mobile shares fluctuated in Hong Kong morning trading after an earlier advance of as much as 1.8 per cent. The NYSE suspended trading in China Mobile in January, along with the Asian nation's other major state-owned operators, China Telecom and China Unicom Hong Kong.

That development followed an order barring U.S. investments in Chinese companies that the Trump administration deemed a threat to national security. China Telecom listed in Shanghai in August after raising more than US$7 billion. China United Network Communications was already trading on the bourse.

China International Capital and Citic Securities are sponsors of China Mobile's A-share IPO. The main underwriters include Huatai United Securities, BOC International (China) and China Merchants Securities.

Proceeds from the listing in the Chinese financial hub will be used to fund 5G network expansion, cloud infrastructure, smart living projects and tech development that will cost the company 157 billion yuan in total, China Mobile said in its prospectus.

The world's No. 2 economy is building out the largest 5G footprint of any nation and wants to be a leader in technologies including 6G and metaverse, with its big three carriers at the forefront of that drive.

Also, China Mobile estimated that it would post net income of 114.3 billion yuan to 116.4 billion yuan for 2021, up 6 per cent to 8 per cent on-year, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing Tuesday.

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