China Telecom: wrong number

Asia''s largest IPO of 2002 is delayed after institutions use their pricing leverage to push for a discount to book value.

China Telecom's 16.8 billion share offering failed to price on schedule yesterday Thursday after the order book closed just under 75% subscribed and roughly half the demand was generated by lower quality retail orders out of Hong Kong, the US and Japan.

Having gone into the previous weekend with the deal 50% covered, the three leads were unable to generate enough momentum during the final critical 48 hour period when institutions normally come off the fence and many have been left to wonder whether they should have faced up to market reality an awful lot sooner.

In some respects, the three - CICC, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley - were unlucky. China's jumbo privatizations...

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