Sat, Aug 05, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa Telecom share sale on hold

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The planned NT$48 billion (US$1.46 billion) overseas share sale by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) will have to be postponed until after Aug. 17, the company's scheduled ex-rights and ex-dividends date, a Ministry of Finance official said yesterday.

National Treasury Agency Director-General Liu Teng-cheng's (劉燈城) comment came after the ministry received a report by Chunghwa detailing why it held a restrictive bidding, rather than an open bidding, to select underwriters for its proposed sale of American depositary receipts (ADRs).

Liu said the ministry has asked the Public Construction Commission to review the report.

Chunghwa Telecom announced last week that it had selected several investment banks, including Morgan Stanley and USB, to be the underwriters for the ADR sale.

But the ministry expressed concern over Chunghwa's bidding procedure for underwriters and told the firm that it must comply with rules on share sales of state-controlled companies.

"No matter what, it's definite that Chunghwa Telecom cannot make its overseas share sale by the due date," he said, adding that if its procedures are determined to have been flawed, it will have to open new bidding.

Chunghwa originally planned to sell a maximum of 750 million shares in the form of ADRs and auction off around 50 million shares at home by next Thursday.

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