NYSE Scraps Plan to Delist Shares of Chinese Telecom Giants

The New York Stock Exchange said it will no longer delist China’s three biggest state-owned telecommunications companies, backtracking on a plan that had threatened to escalate tensions between the world’s largest economies.

NYSE’s U-turn came just four days after the exchange said it would remove shares of China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. to comply with a U.S. executive order. NYSE cited “consultation with relevant regulatory authorities” in a brief statement late Monday announcing the reversal.

Shares of China Mobile, China Telecom and Unicom rallied on the latest development, rising more than 6% in Hong Kong trading. Calls and emails to the companies weren’t immediately returned Tuesday.

On New Year’s Eve, NYSE said it would delist the companies to comply with a November order by U.S. President Donald Trump barring American investments in Chinese firms owned or controlled by the military. It was the first time an American exchange had announced plans to remove a Chinese company as a direct result of rising geopolitical tensions between the two superpowers.

The move to delist the shares had heightened concerns about tit-for-tat sanctions on Chinese and American companies. The former have turned to the U.S. stock market for capital and international prestige for more than two decades, raising at least $144 billion from some of the world’s largest investors. Wall Street banks are particularly keen to see a ratcheting down of tensions after gaining unprecedented scope to operate in China last year.

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