In About-turn, NYSE Reverses its Decision Again to Delist Chinese Telecom Firms

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) said it would move forward with its plans to delist three Chinese major telecommunication companies after all.

The stock exchange on Wednesday announced in a press release that it will drop the shares of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom on January 11, “following new specific guidance received on January 5, 2021, that the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control provided.”

Trading of the three securities will be suspended at 4 a.m. Eastern Time (0900 GMT) on Monday, Jan. 11, the exchange added.

The NYSE had originally announced on Dec.31 it would delist the three telecom companies following an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in November to block investment in 31 firms Washington says are owned or controlled by China’s military.

On Tuesday, it reversed the decision after consulting with relevant regulatory authorities in connection with the Office of Foreign Assets Control and said it will keep the firms listed. Wednesday’s decision – its latest reversal on the matter – is a return to the original plan. 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told NYSE President Stacey Cunningham he disagreed with the decision to relist the companies, according to Reuters. The about-face highlights the confusion surrounding which firms were included in Trump’s executive order.

Following the announcement of the delistings, China’s securities regulator on Sunday argued the move is “politically motivated” and “severely undermines normal market rules and order.”

“The politically-motivated administrative order of the US government seriously breached market rules and order,” the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in an initial response posted on its website.

SEE ALSO: NYSE Backtracks on its Decision to Delist Major Chinese Telecom Firms

The delisting “completely disregards the actual situation of the relevant companies and the legitimate rights and interests of global investors and severely undermines normal market rules and order,” the regulator added.

“Even if delisted, the direct impact on the companies’ operation and development is rather limited,” the post read.

NYSE-listed shares of China Mobile fell 5.5% on Wednesday, while China Telecom slowly recovered losses throughout trading, ending the day up by 3.7% after being down as much as 7% earlier. China Unicom closed the day flat.

Trump on Wednesday signed a new executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese mobile apps, including Alipay and WeChat Pay.

The order, which also includes Tencent QQ, QQ Wallet, CamScanner, SHAREit, VMate and WPS Office, will take effect in 45 days. It refers to the apps as security threats.