NYSE flip-flops on delisting three Chinese telcos

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One day after announcing that it would no longer move to delist three of China’s telecoms giants, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has made another about-turn on its decision.

On Wednesday, the NYSE announced that it will move forward with delisting China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to comply with US law.

According to the NYSE, its decision is based on new specific guidance received on 5 January 2021, which was provided to it by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Consistent with this guidance, trading in the securities of the issuers [China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom] will be suspended at 4:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 11, 2021, as we have been advised that NSCC will clear trades executed through January 8, 2021.”

Last week, the NYSE announced plans to delist the three Chinese telecom firms, with trading to be suspended by 11 January.

The move was prompted by president Donald Trump’s executive order that was signed last November, which sought to bar US investment in firms the US government says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

However, in a brief statement on Tuesday, the exchange operator said it no longer intends to move forward with the delisting action of three telcos, which was announced on 31 December 2020.

Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that the Trump administration is “considering adding tech giants Alibaba and Tencent to a blacklist of firms allegedly owned or controlled by the Chinese military”.

According to Reuters sources, defence department officials, who oversee the designations, have not yet finalised plans to add the companies and are also discussing adding other Chinese firms.

If added, Alibaba and Tencent would be subject to an executive order signed by president Trump in November, which bans US investors from buying shares of the blacklisted firms starting in November 2021, said Reuters.

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