Telecom & Wireless

Netcom Scaling Back Offering

It is being reported that China Netcom, which is seeking a dual listing in Hong Kong and New York next month, will cut the size of its offer by at least 30% in a move to avoid China Telecom's poor performance in Hong Kong two years ago.

China Netcom is apparently trying to offer its shares at a "generous but appropriate" price to get the deal "done nicely". The operator will tap US$1 billion from the market at most, significantly less than its earlier fund-raising target of US$1.5 billion. In addition, it will offer fewer shares to the public, selling about 16% of the company's enlarged share capital to instead of 25%, as originally planned.

In October 2002, China Telecom was forced to shelve its first attempt to list after it failed to attract enough orders to fill the book. The fixed-line company then re-launched its share offering two weeks later after slashing its size by 60%.

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