China Tower Is Said to Start Gauging Demand for Hong Kong IPO

(Bloomberg) -- China Tower Corp., the state-owned wireless infrastructure operator, has started gauging investor demand for a proposed Hong Kong initial public offering that could be the city’s biggest since 2010, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The world’s largest telecom tower service started investor education Wednesday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. China Tower’s IPO could raise about $10 billion, although the size of the potential deal could change, one of the people said.

The company’s preparing a share sale amid a deteriorating Hong Kong equity market, as the benchmark Hang Seng Index trades down about 15 percent from its all-time high in January. Xiaomi Corp. priced a $4.7 billion Hong Kong IPO last week at the low end of a marketed range, valuing the smartphone maker at about half of its initial goal.

A $10 billion deal would be the city’s largest first-time share sale since AIA Group Ltd.’s 2010 offering of about $20.4 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. An external representative for China Tower said she couldn’t immediately comment.

China Tower was formed by combining tower assets of China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. and China Telecom Corp. in 2015 as part of a broader plan to reform the nation’s state-dominated wireless industry.

China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are joint sponsors for the planned deal.

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