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Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan’s largest telecommunications company, on Thursday raised $959m in a share offering on behalf of its major shareholders.

The company sold 564.3m shares in a US offering, and sold another 120m shares to domestic investors.

The overseas offering was priced at $16.99 per American Depositary Receipt, each representing 10 common shares. The shares sold in the domestic auction were priced at T$51 each. The two offerings reduced the government’s stake to 36 percent from 42 per cent. Taiwan Mobile, another major shareholder, sold down its remaining holdings in Chunghwa.

Further share sales by Chunghwa are unlikely in the near future as the government has come close to the limit set by the annual budget on share sales in the telecom company. In Taiwan, privatisation sales need legislative approval in the annual budget.

Chunghwa shares rose after trading started on Friday in Taiwan, up 2.4 per cent by late morning.

Chunghwa downsized the share sale after delays in the launching of offerings. Earlier this year, the company said it planned to sell up to 750m shares held by the government and Taiwan Mobile. But in July, the government forced Chunghwa to halt procedures for choosing financial advisers for the deal and made it pick underwriters through an open tender. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS were selected.

The delay prevented the company from selling the shares prior to going ex-dividend - a timing that bankers say would have allowed it to fetch a higher price. Taiwan Mobile, meanwhile, did not wait for the ADR offering, but started selling part of its stake in the open market.

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