Five Chinese firms to exit US stock market

Sinopec among state-owned enterprises delisting from Wall Street amid dispute over auditing

Traders monitor share prices from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug 8. (Reuters Photo)

SHANGHAI: Five major Chinese companies including two of the country’s largest oil producers will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, the firms said in filings on Friday.

Sinopec and PetroChina — two of the world’s biggest energy firms — will apply for “voluntary delisting” of their American depositary shares, the companies said in separate statements.

The Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chalco, as well as China Life Insurance and a Shanghai-based Sinopec subsidiary, announced similar moves on Friday.

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

The five companies are on a list of firms published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that faced delisting from Wall Street if they did not comply with new audit requirements.

All five companies said in separate statements that they expected to stop trading on the NYSE by early September.

The new auditing requirements came into effect late last year, at a time when Chinese authorities were expressing reservations about China-based companies listing in the United States.

The Chinese companies on Friday all pointed to the costs of maintaining the US listings as well as the burden of complying with reporting obligations as factors behind their decisions.

China’s securities regulator said on Friday thatd the moves were made by the companies “out of their own business considerations”.

The delistings “will not affect the companies’ continued use of domestic and foreign capital markets for financing and development”, the regulator said in a statement.

The companies said their US-traded share volume was small compared with that on the other major markets where they are listed.

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.

(An earlier version of this story said that four Chinese firms planned to delist but the Sinopoec subsidiary brings the total to five)

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