Chunghwa ADR stumbles on the starting blocks

In a pattern familiar to many Asian privatizations, a government''s inability to countenance discount pricing has resulted in the collapse of a key divestment.
The abrupt withdrawal of a debut ADR for Chunghwa Telecom has surprised few given the large gulf between what international investors were willing to pay for the stock and what the Taiwanese government had been expecting to receive for it. Since early autumn, when the first stage of the privatization was launched at NT$104 $3.24 per share, the company's share price, and with it the government's ambitions, have suffered a long and painfully sharp fall to current trading levels around the NT$77 mark Tuesday's close.

For a government that had clearly found it hard to come to terms with such a harsh adjustment over such...

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