NYSE says starting process to delist 3 China telco companies

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. flag is seen on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following Election Day in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The New York Stock Exchange is starting the process of delisting securities of three Chinese telecom companies, China Telecom Corporation Limited , China Mobile Limited 0941.HK and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited , it said in a statement here on Thursday.

The move comes after President Donald Trump in November unveiled an executive order barring U.S. investments in Chinese companies that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, which could impact some of China’s biggest companies here.

The November executive order sought to give teeth to a 1999 law that mandated that the Department of Defense compile a list of Chinese military companies. The Pentagon, which only complied with the mandate this year, has so far designated 35 companies, including oil company CNOOC Ltd and China’s top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

Each of the telecoms companies named by the NYSE also has a listing in Hong Kong.

NYSE said that the issuers were no longer suitable for listing as the order prohibits any transactions in securities “designed to provide investment exposure to such securities, of any Communist Chinese military company, by any United States person.”

NYSE said that it would suspend trading on either Jan. 7 or Jan. 11. The issuers have a right to a review of the decision.

Ties between Washington and Beijing have grown increasingly antagonistic over the past year as the world’s top two economies sparred over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong and rising tensions in the South China Sea.

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