Sat, Jul 30, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Chunghwa Telecom wants to raise value of share sale

BLOOMBERG

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's biggest telephone company, applied to increase the size of the proposed sale of shares in the company to overseas investors to as much as US$3.61 billion from US$2.8 billion, according to a company filing yesterday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The move came as the state-controlled company's labor union intensified efforts to cancel the sale.

"There's no change to the total number of shares the government plans to dispose of," Teng Tien-lai (鄧添來), director of the Department of Posts and Telecommunications at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, said yesterday.

"The increase in the size just aimed to give more flexibility to the share sale," he said.

Chunghwa Telecom filed with the SEC on July 7 to sell as many as 1.29 billion shares in the form of US depositary receipts representing about 13 percent of the company's shares. On Thursday, the company raised the size of the offer to as many as 1.64 billion shares. The filing did not give a reason for the increase.

Separately, three union representatives on the company's board sent a letter to the SEC saying that the sale is illegal.

"I can't comment on behalf of the US regulators but regulators here in Taiwan already approved and endorsed the sale," Teng said.

"Unions in most parts of the world are always against the privatization of state-owned enterprises. Their reactions are all anticipated," Teng said.

The ministry is attempting to sell the stake even though restrictions have been placed on it by the legislature, the Chunghwa Telecom Workers Union said in a statement.

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