NYSE will delist three big China telecoms, reversing decision once again


The New York Stock Exchange will delist three Chinese telecommunication giants after all, saying its second reversal in two days came after new guidance from the Treasury Department.

The NYSE announced on Thursday it will remove U.S.-traded shares of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom from the Big Board to comply with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump. The order sought to bar American companies and individuals from investing in firms that the administration alleged aid the Chinese military.

The exchange reversed that decision on Monday, causing much confusion. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the exchange that he disagreed with the reversal, a senior administration official told CNBC’s Eamon Javers.

The NYSE said the latest reversal was due to new guidance from Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control that said people in the U.S. could not engage in certain transactions with the three companies as of next Monday. Trading of the three securities will be suspended at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, the exchange said.

Shares of China Telecom were down 1.7% in early trading Wednesday, while China Mobile was down roughly 1% and China Unicom gained about 0.8%.

Chinese officials criticized the NYSE’s original decision, with a spokesperson for the China Securities Regulatory Commission saying Monday that the executive order, “entirely ignored the actual situations of relevant companies and the legitimate rights of the global investors, and severely damaged market rule and order.”

Trump issued the order in November as part of a series of moves against Chinese companies.

In August, the president kicked off a legal struggle for social media site TikTok with a similar order aimed at its parent company, China-based ByteDance, and Tencent. Multiple U.S. firms, including Oracle and Walmart, engaged in discussions to take partial stakes in the video-sharing app.

Trump signed a bill in December that would force the delisting of Chinese stocks that didn’t adhere to American auditing standards, and the administration directed the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to avoid investing in Chinese companies in May.

With reporting by CNBC’s Christine Wang.

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