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17:30 ET CHINA UNICOM BEGINS TRADING ON NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE


NEW YORK (June 21) XINHUA - Shares of China Unicom Limited began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Wednesday, attracting investors' interest.

At 10:30 a.m. EST, one hour after trading started, over 15 million Unicom shares changes hands at 22 U.S. dollars and above per share.

China Unicom, the second largest telecommunication operator in China, has raised approximately 5 billion U.S. dollars in its initial public offering of 2,458 million primary shares, representing 20.2% of its enlarged share capital, the company said.

China Unicom's IPO is the largest in non-Japan Asia. Total proceeds are expected to exceed 6.3 billion dollars including the exercise of over-allotment option at 740 million dollars and the exercise of warrants at some 600 million dollars.

The IPO share was priced at 15.58 Hong Kong dollars, which is equivalent to 19.99 U.S. dollars per share of American Deposit Shares (ADS).

China Unicom's shares are traded on the NYSE in the form of ADS, with each ADS equivalent to 10 ordinary shares traded on the Stock exchange of Hong Kong, where trading will begin Thursday, it was announced.

A three-week marketing roadshow in Asia, Europe and the United States has found strong investor interest as total demand generated was 3 times the offering size, said Wang Jianzhou, President of China Unicom.

He said the money raised will be channeled to the expansion of China's cellular network, paging, long distance, data and internet businesses.

"Investors want to see growth potential in the companies they are going to put money and China has a huge telecommunication market," said Georges Ugeux, NYSE Group Executive Vice President.





Copyright XINHUA NEWS AGENCY


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