Biz / Tech

China Mobile closes steady in domestic market debut

Zhu Shenshen
All three major Chinese mobile carriers are now listed locally after being delisted in the US amid political tensions.
Zhu Shenshen

China Mobile closed slightly higher on Wednesday on its debut on the Shanghai market after being delisted in the United States.

It closed at 57.88 yuan, a rise of 0.52 percent, compared with a 1.02 percent decrease in the Shanghai index. It hit an intra-day high of 63.58 yuan. An average online subscription investor with 1,000 shares would have made 6,000 yuan (US$945).

The world's biggest mobile carrier, with almost 1 billion subscriptions, raised about 56 billion yuan in its Shanghai IPO – the biggest IPO in a decade on the domestic market.

China Mobile's domestic listing now means all three major Chinese carriers are listed locally after being delisted in the US in May under an executive order by former US president Donald Trump amid political tensions.

China Mobile, trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong, is now valued about 1.23 trillion yuan, ranking the fifth largest firm, behind wine maker Kweichow Maotai Co, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, new energy firm Contemporary Amperex Technology and the China Merchants Bank.

China Mobile's IPO of 56 billion yuan compares with China Telecom's 53.7 billion yuan and SMIC's 53.2 billion yuan. It comes in behind the Agricultural Bank of China's IPO of 68.5 billion yuan in 2010.

China Mobile will use the proceeds for network construction, especially 5G. By the end of 2021, its 5G had covered the entire nation. In the first nine months, it posted revenue of 648.6 billion yuan, up 12.9 percent from a year earlier.

By September, China Mobile had 956 million users compared with China Telecom's 370 million and China Unicom's 316 million. China Mobile has about 251 million 5G users, half the total 5G user base in China.

The IPO will help the company develop and invest in sectors like 5G, cloud technology, and the Internet of Things.

In August, China Telecom surged almost 35 percent on its first trading day on the Shanghai stock market.

Mobile carriers have stable business income and cash flow, which makes them attractive to investors, Soochow Securities Co said in a research note.

China Mobile has more competitive advantages than China Telecom and domestic investors are more familiar with the carrier, which analysts say may push up its share price.

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