China Mobile: No timetable for A-share listing

By Dong Zhixin (
Updated: 2007-03-22 11:03

China Mobile, the country's largest wireless operator, has no timetable for A-share listing, the company said Wednesday when announcing a 23.3 percent jump in profits last year.

The mainland regulators believed it is feasible for the firm registered and listed in Hong Kong to float shares in the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange, according to company chairman Wang Jianzhou, Xinhua News Agency reported.

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However, his company has not set a timeframe for the listing, said Wang.

The regulators preferred such Red Chips companies as China Mobile to return to the mainland stock market by issuing A-shares directly, rather than through Chinese Depositary Receipt, China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Shang Fulin said earlier this month.

The share offering may adopt the form of selling the stocks of its parent company, China Mobile Communications Corporation, revealed Wang.

"But it is only our suggestion and is subject to the approval of the regulators," noted Wang.

Wang made the remarks as he announced his company's performance in the past year. China Mobile reported a net profit of 66.03 billion yuan (US$8.54 billion) last year, up from 53.55 billion yuan in 2005.

Revenue rose to 295.36 billion yuan (US$38.2 billion) from 243.04 billion yuan in 2005 as the company added millions of new customers in the country's heavily populated rural areas.

China Mobile's total number of subscribers rose by 21 percent to 301 million in 2006. It set a new monthly record in February by adding 4.91 million customers after signing up 4.86 million subscribers in January.

The company's share of the Chinese market in 2006 rose to 68 percent, compared to 66 percent the previous year.

China Mobile is the second-biggest listed firm by market capitalization on Hong Kong's bourse after banking giant HSBC Holding PLC.

The regulators are encouraging the Red Chips companies to return to the mainland stock market which surged more than 130 percent last year, to help absorb the excess liquidity.

The shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks exchanges are trading at a price-earning ratio of more than 30 on average, much higher than the 15 in developed markets, as investors rush to get hands on the limited number of quality shares.

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