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After NYSE telecoms cut, Chinese oil majors may face US delisting

January 04, 2021 | 12:32

Chinese oil majors may face the posibilities of being delisted from the United State after the New York Stock Exchange said last week that it would remove the Asian nation’s three biggest telecom companies.

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According to Bloomberg, China’s largest offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd., could be most at risk as it’s on the Pentagon's list of companies it says are owned or controlled by Chinese military, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Henik Fung. PetroChina Co. Ltd.

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CNOOC could be most at risk as it's on the Pentagon's list of companies it says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. (PHOTO: REUTERS)

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, may also be under threat as the energy sector is crucial to China’s military, he said.

“More Chinese companies could get delisted in the US and the oil majors could come as the next wave,” said Steven Leung, executive director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. At the same time, the impact of removing the telecom firms is probably minimal as they were thinly-traded in the US and they haven’t raised much funds there, he said.

The NYSE said it would delist the telecom operators to comply with a US executive order imposing restrictions on companies identified as affiliated with the Chinese military.

China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom and China Unicom Hong Kong would all be suspended from trading between January 7 and January 11, and proceedings to delist them have started, the exchange said.

In separate statements Monday, each company said it “regrets” the NYSE’s actions, and said the decision might affect the prices and trading volume of the companies’ shares. All three companies said they hadn’t received any notification from the NYSE about the delisting.

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PetroChina and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, may also be under threat as the energy sector is crucial to China’s military (Photo: Business Standard)

China's Ministry of Commerce responded on Saturday, saying that the country would take necessary action to protect the rights of Chinese companies and it hoped that the two countries could work together to create a fair and predictable environment for businesses and investors.

US President Donald Trump signed an order in November barring American investments in Chinese firms owned or controlled by the military in a bid to pressure Beijing over what it views as abusive business practices. The order prohibited US investors from buying and selling shares in a list of Chinese companies designated by the Pentagon as having military ties, told the Business Times.

China's foreign ministry later accused the US of "viciously slandering" its military-civilian integration policies and vowed to protect the country's companies. Chinese officials have also threatened to respond to previous Trump administration actions with their own blacklist of US companies.

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Chau Polly

Bloomberg