China Mobile, the largest mobile operator in the world by subscribers, said it is considering floating its US and Hong Kong-listed units on mainland stock exchanges, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
A move to spin off the two subsidiaries and return to the mainland for a listing would make use of a new Chinese Depository Receipt (CDR) trial programme, which is available to overseas-listed Chinese companies with a market cap of least CNY200 billion ($31.4 billion), the newspaper said.
Shang Bing, China Mobile chairman and executive director, said at the company’s AGM the operator could consider the CDR plan after regulators issue guidelines on the mechanism, noting “we do not rule out the possibility of our subsidiaries going back to the A-share market for an IPO”, SCMP reported.
The executive said the move would enable 900 million domestic China Mobile users to “share the fruits” of the company’s growth while also backing future development, the newspaper stated.
In an effort to lower the barriers for such moves, the government introduced the trial programme earlier in the year, which is based on the American Depository Share model.
News of the CDR plan comes only days after state-run China Tower filed an application for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, seeking a valuation of up to $40 billion.
China Mobile holds a 38 per cent stake in the tower company, while China Unicom and China Telecom each posess about a 28 per cent interest.