Sinopec among four Chinese state-owned companies to delist from NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) logo is displayed above the trading floor in New York, U.S. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Several Chinese stateowned companies, including China Life Insurance and oil giant Sinopec, announced plans on Friday to delist from the U.S. stock market.

The companies, which also include Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco) and PetroChina, said in separate statements that they would apply for delistings of their American Depository Shares from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The four will keep their listings in Hong Kong and mainland Chinese markets.

“These companies have strictly complied with the rules and regulatory requirements of the U.S. capital market since their listing in the U.S. and made the delisting choice for their own business considerations,” the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement.

China and the United States have been in talks to resolve a long-running audit dispute that could result in Chinese companies being kicked off American exchanges if they cannot comply with U.S. audit rules.

The companies‘ decision comes amid heightened China and U.S. tensions following U.S House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week.

The four companies were added to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (HFCAA) list in May after they were identified as not meeting U.S regulators’ auditing standards.

There was no direct mention of the auditing disputes in the companies‘ separate statements on Friday.

“China is sending a message that its patience is wearing thin in the audit talks,” said Kai Zhan, senior counsel at Chinese law firm Yuanda, who specialises in areas including U.S. capital markets and U.S. sanction compliance.

Washington has long demanded complete access to the books of U.S.-listed Chinese companies, but Beijing bars foreign inspection of audit documents from local accounting firms, citing national security concerns.

The four companies on Friday said their U.S. traded share volume was small compared with those on their other major listing venues.

A statement from PetroChina said there was a “considerable administrative burden” performing disclosure obligations necessary to maintain its ADS listing on the NYSE because of differences in the rules of multiple listing venues.

China Life and Chalco said they would file for delisting on Aug. 22, with delisting taking effect 10 days later. Sinopec and PetroChina said their applications would be made on Aug. 29.

Chinese state giants China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom were delisted from the United States in 2021 after a Trump-era decision to restrict investment in Chinese technology firms. That ruling has been left unchanged by the Biden administration amid continuing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Reuters

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