英国《金融时报》刘励和(Justine Lau)香港、王明(Mure Dickie)北京报道
中国第二大移动运营商中国联通(China Unicom)、固话集团中国电信(China Telecom)和中国网通(China Netcom)在香港复牌首日股价均大幅下挫。在人们期待已久的行业重组方案揭晓前，这三家公司的股票于5月23日停牌。
大和研究所(Daiwa Institute of Research)驻香港的分析师Marvin Lo表示：“重组方案出台前，这些股票的股价飞涨了许多。现在，投资者急于获利回吐。”
中国移动(China Mobile)自收购未上市的规模较小的固话运营商中国铁通(China Tietong)、由此启动重组以来，股价也大幅下跌。按订户数量计算，中国移动是世界上最大的移动运营商。
The three Chinese telecoms operators most affected by a state-ordered sectoral shake-up saw their combined market capitalisation fall HK$117bn (US$15bn), or 13 per cent, yesterday as investors took profits and fretted over future competition.
Shares in China Unicom, the country’s number two wireless operator, and in fixed-line groups China Telecom and China Netcmo all slumped in their first day of trade in Hong Kong since being suspended on May 23 ahead of the unveiling of the long-awaited industry restructuring.
The declines came as analysts forecast the end of the recent rally which has been fuelled by speculation about the reorganisation, which Beijing hopes will create three powerful operators each able to compete in both wireless and fixed-line services.
“The stocks surged a lot before the announcement and investors are keen to take profit now,” said Marvin Lo, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research in Hong Kong.
Shares in China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless operator by subscribers, have also slumped since it kicked off the restructuring with the acquisition of minor unlisted fixed-line rival China Tietong.
Mobile fell 2.6 per cent to HK$115 in Hong Kong yesterday.
The fortunes of China’s publicly-listed but state-controlled telecommunication companies have long been dependent on the various decisions of the nation’s notoriously opaque industry regulators.
In recent years, investors have often traded heavily on speculation about industry restructuring and the prospects for the introduction of “third-generation” wireless services.
While the restructuring was broadly in line with market expectations, yesterday’s declines suggest an amount of growing concern about the implications of the government’s desire to cultivate more potent competition for China Mobile, the domestic market’s runaway leader.
Under the restructuring Telecom has agreed to pay a hefty Rmb110bn ($15.8bn) to buy a wireless business from Unicom.
Unicom, which retains another wireless network based on different technology, is acquiring Netcom in an all-share deal that values Netcom at approximately HK$186bn.
Beijing has promised to introduce “asymmetric regulation” that will help Telecom and the new Unicom to compete with Mobile, which has 70 per cent of current mobile subscribers.