Chinese privatization process hots up as stocks melt down

The award of a mandate to lead China Telecom''s mammoth IPO has co-incided with a dismal end-note to international equity issuance from the Mainland this year.

The award of $5 billion plus mandate to lead what is expected to be the largest ever IPO from the Mainland is reaching its climax, with a final decision expected to be made before Christmas. The three banks that have pushed hardest to float China's dominant fixed line operator - Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter - are all preparing to place their big guns in Hong Kong next week to make a final pitch to the Chinese delegation, who will be in the Territory for the ITU's International Telecommunications Union annual conference. 

Scheduled to be held from December 4 to 9, the conference...

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