China Mobile shows market agility

An unparalleled year for China''s privatization programme will be capped by yesterday''s record stock offering from its largest cellular company and the dual listing of its largest IP backbone, which began pre-marketing on Monday.

Fund managers eager to capture the upside generated by the country's economic re-structuring and privatization programme have ploughed $19.22 billion into the PRC's two largest telecommunications and oil companies since the beginning the year. All four offerings have shared a common thread linking the strategic investors anchoring every deal with the large index players who have similarly regarded each one as a must-buy.

China Mobile's ambitions to partially fund the acquisition of seven networks with a $6.6 billion share placement and $600 million convertible has upped the ante a few notches further, however. With similarly large offerings by European and US wireless companies falling prey to volatile markets and deteriorating...

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