New York Stock Exchange starts delisting China telecoms firms

Move follows Trump order barring US investments in Chinese companies allegedly tied to China’s military.

Chinese mobile phone operator, China Mobile, is among the companies whose shares are being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange [File: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg]

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is starting the process of delisting securities of three Chinese telecommunications companies, China Telecom Corporation Limited, China Mobile Limited and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited, it said in a statement.

The move comes after US President Donald Trump in November unveiled an executive order barring United States investments in Chinese companies that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, which could affect some of China’s biggest companies.

The November executive order sought to give teeth to a 1999 law mandating that the Department of Defense compile a list of Chinese military companies. The Pentagon, which only complied with the mandate this year, has so far designated 35 companies, including oil company CNOOC Ltd and China’s top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

Each of the telecommunications companies named by the NYSE also has a listing in Hong Kong.

NYSE said that the issuers were no longer suitable for listing as the order bans any transactions in securities “designed to provide investment exposure to such securities, of any Communist Chinese military company, by any United States person”.

NYSE said that it would suspend trading on either January 7 or January 11. The issuers have a right to a review of the decision.

Ties between Washington and Beijing have grown increasingly antagonistic over the past year as the world’s top two economies sparred over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, the imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong and rising tensions in the South China Sea.

Source: Reuters