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S&P Dow Jones Says It’ll Cancel Deletion of China Telco ADRs

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/6/2021 Jeanny Yu

(Bloomberg) -- S&P Dow Jones Indices said it will no longer delete the U.S.-listed shares of three Chinese telecom firms from its benchmarks, a move that was set to take effect on Thursday.

The index provider will keep the American depository receipts of China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. after the New York Stock Exchange on Monday said it was canceling plans to delist the shares, according to an emailed statement. S&P Dow Jones said it had no comment on the possibility that NYSE will reverse course yet again.

The trio of companies lost more than $30 billion in market value in the final weeks of 2020 after U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s cutting off U.S. investment in companies tied to China’s military. The firms have their primary listings in Hong Kong.

chart, histogram: Shares of Chinese telecom companies have been whipsawed in recent days © Bloomberg Shares of Chinese telecom companies have been whipsawed in recent days

Shares of the telecom firms saw a quick selloff on Monday in Hong Kong then jumped the next day. All three rose at least 0.9% in Wednesday trading.

Some of the whiplash was due to the perceived lack of clarity over what companies would be involved in the executive order, confusion that sent index providers scrambling to comply. On Tuesday, FTSE Russell pulled another three Chinese firms from its indexes after taking out eight previously. MSCI Inc. also earlier announced it was deleting a number of stocks from its gauges.

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Representatives for FTSE and MSCI could not be reached for comment on whether they were also planning to include the three telecom ADRs in their gauges. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, also compiles stock and bond indexes.

Volatility may continue for the firms after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin criticized NYSE’s decision to grant the companies a reprieve, prompting it to consider going ahead with delisting the Chinese telecoms.

(Updates with chart and background throughout.)

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