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China Unicom Shares Disappoint
China Unicom's domestic A shares debuted yesterday on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, putting heavy pressure on China's sluggish stock market.

The shares closed at 2.87 yuan (35 US cents), up 24.78 per cent on the IPO (initial public offering) price of 2.30 yuan (28 US cents) after touching a high of 3.15 yuan (38 US cents).

The result was below most investors' expectations for China Unicom, the country's second largest mobile carrier. Most analysts previously forecast that the shares would be traded around 3.50 yuan (42 US cents), said Wang Mingde, stock analyst at Guodu Securities.

Because it is China's first domestically listed telecom carrier, Wang said many investors hoped to earn profit from this rapidly growing telecom company.

China Unicom's domestic listing is the second biggest in China's securities history. The company issued 5 billion shares in the IPO and raised 11.5 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion).

According to Wang Jianzhou, president of China Unicom, money raised from the domestic stock market will be used to upgrade and expand the services of the company's CDMA (code division multiple access) network.

CDMA is a newly constructed mobile network and Unicom hopes this network will sharpen its competitive edge in its competition with rival China Mobile.

Subscribers to CDMA surpassed 3 million at the end of September, with the average daily rate of increase of new customers reaching 30,000, the president said.

The company set the target for CDMA at 7 million this year.

China Mobile, the country's dominant mobile carrier and Unicom's only competitor, yesterday announced it had received government approval to sell 8 billion yuan (US$966 million) of bonds in the nation's biggest corporate debt sale.

China Mobile's subsidiary Guangdong Mobile Communication Co will sell 3 billion yuan (US$361 million) of five-year and 5 billion yuan (US$602 million) of 15-year bonds, the company said.

(China Daily October 10, 2002)

Disappointing Unicom Debut Drops Market
Unicom's Domestic IPO Draws Nigh
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