The NYSE is reportedly considering going forward with its original plans to delist three major Chinese companies after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin allegedly reached out to a top official.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported the notion of reversing back to the NYSE's initial intention became clear after Mnuchin reached out to NYSE President Stacey Cunningham on Tuesday and relayed that he disagreed with allowing the companies to keep trading under the exchange.
Also involved in the discussion were White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow.
At the center of the conflict are Chinese companies China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd.
The latest developments stem from a November 2020 executive order from Trump that aimed to ban individuals from buying and selling with Chinese companies accused of having ties to the Chinese military. The order is expected to take effect on January 11, days before Trump is due to leave the Oval Office.
The NYSE had first announced it would be delisting the companies on December 31, before subsequently changing course late Monday, explaining in a statement that "further consultation with relevant authorities in connection with Office of Foreign Assets Control" prompted the decision.
According to Fox Business, the exchange had planned to suspend trading for the three companies sometime between January 7 and January 11.
Sources told Bloomberg that the previously changed plans came about after questions emerged over whether or not the three telecommunication companies "were actually banned."
China previously weighed in on the development when reports first emerged and called the NYSE's move politically-rooted, with the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission stressing that the three companies have "always adhered to market rules and regulatory requirements."
Unidentified officials also informed the outlet that the exchange intends to move ahead with its plans once it receives "confirmation" from the US government.