HONG KONG, March 4 Hutchison Telecommunications
2332.HK said it was to spin off its Hong Kong telephone
business in a separate listing and distribute the unit's new
shares to investors as an interim dividend.
Hutchison Telecoms, an emerging market telecoms arm of
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd 0013.HK, has submitted an application
for the listing of shares in Hutchison Telecommunications Hong
Kong Holdings Ltd, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
The unit operates mobile telecommunications businesses in
Hong Kong and Macau, along with a fixed-line telecommunications
business in Hong Kong.
The dividend proposal was subject to the approval on the
spinoff and the listing of the shares in Hong Kong by way of
introduction, in which no new capital will be raised, it added.
Hutchison Telecoms also operates mobile telecommunications
businesses in Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It has
a 51 percent stake in Israel-listed Partner Communications Co
The company has no definite plans for spinning off other
assets now, said Chief Executive Officer Dennis Lui.
"But there is a possibility of spinoff in Indonesia
depending on certain conditions such as customers level," he
Hutchison Whampoa, a port-to-telecoms conglomerate
controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, owns 60.4 percent of Hutchison
Telecoms, making it the controlling shareholder of the unit
after the spinoff.
Hutchison Telecoms said the spin-off would create value for
its shareholders, as its stock had been traded at a large
discount to the value of its underlying business and a separate
listing would allow its Hong Kong telephone arm to be valued on
a stand-alone basis.
Lui said the firm has "no plan to sell our Hong Kong assets
or any assets in other emerging countries except Thailand," but
added that he has no timetable for that.
Hutchison Telecoms reported on Tuesday that net profit for
2008 fell 97 percent, in line with market expectations, to HK$1.9
billion ($244 million) from HK$66.9 billion the previous year,
when its profits were inflated by asset sales.
Its stock ended up 0.95 percent on Wednesday and has risen
nearly 16 percent in the past week on news that the company was
considering spinning off the Hong Kong unit. It outperformed the
blue chip Hang Seng Index .HSI, which lost 5 percent in the
(Reporting by Nerilyn Tenorio and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by