China Mobile Ltd (中國移動), the world’s biggest phone carrier by market value, fell in Hong Kong trading after the Sunday Times said Vodafone Group Plc is preparing to sell its stake in the company.
Following the report shares in China Mobile dropped 1.2 percent to close at HK$80.65, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.7 percent.
Vodafone chief executive officer Vittorio Colao approved a plan to sell its stake in China Mobile for more than £4 billion (US$6.2 billion), the London-based Sunday Times newspaper reported yesterday, citing investors it didn’t identify.
Newbury, England-based Vodafone may look for a strategic partner or could sell its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to the report.
“Regarding Vodafone’s stake in China Mobile, the lock-up period has expired, so Vodafone has the right to decide whether or not to sell the shares,” Rainie Lei (雷雨), a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for China Mobile, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Vodafone spokesman Bobby Leach declined to comment on the report yesterday.
Vodafone held about 3.2 percent of China Mobile’s outstanding shares as of April 30, according to the Chinese company’s annual report.