(Recasts, adds quotes, details)
HONG KONG/SINGAPORE Oct 5 China's Huawei
Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No.2
telecommunications equipment maker, has been in touch with
investment banks about a possible initial public offering but
has not made any decisions about proceeding with a listing,
sources said on Friday.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Huawei had
reached out to investment banks for advice on an IPO, which is
seen as a way of making itself more transparent and helping it
win big contracts in markets like the United States, although it
had not chosen any banks and nothing had been decided.
"We haven't ruled out the possibility of a listing. We've
always been in touch with banks, but I don't think anything has
been decided," a source close to the company told Reuters,
declining to be identified because he is not authorised to speak
to the media.
Huawei has been looking at the listing issue for years, but
there has been little progress due to the complicated company
share structure and some doubts about whether a listing would
actually help dispel suspicion that U.S. lawmakers have towards
the company, sources told Reuters.
One banking source, who declined to be identified as he was
not authorised to speak to the media, said Huawei had been open
to the idea of going public every now and then, but he was
unaware of anything happening at the moment.
Huawei, also the world's sixth-biggest handsets maker, said
in an emailed statement that it declined to comment about market
Huawei and domestic rival ZTE Corp
have been successful in selling handsets in the United States,
but they have hit roadblocks trying to sell their flagship
telecommunications equipment products due to opposition from
U.S. lawmakers over security concerns.
Security concerns have also stymied Huawei's access to big
contracts in Australia and elsewhere. The Australian government
last year cited cyber-security concerns when it barred Huawei
from bidding for contracts to build the country's national
The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the
matter, said Huawei began reaching out to banks for IPO advice
after being forced to drop a small acquisition early last year
due to opposition from the Obama administration. Huawei is
leaning towards a listing in the United States, but is also
considering Hong Kong or London, the newspaper said.
Sources who spoke to Reuters, however, noted that ZTE still
faces problems in cracking the U.S. telecommunications equipment
market and questions from U.S. lawmakers over its transparency
despite being a listed company.
(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee and Elzio Barreto in HONG KONG, and
Michael Urquhart in SINGAPORE; Editing by Chris Gallagher)