Saturday, 20 October, 2018

ZTE Shares Are Trading Again After Its Sanctions Deal With Trump

White House opposes new ban on ZTE Senators Move To Reverse Trump's Deal Lifting Sanctions On China's ZTE
Ellis Copeland | 13 June, 2018, 19:40

The company admitted in 2017 exporting telecoms equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of US regulations.

The US government said it imposed the ban in April because ZTE violated a 2017 agreement in which the Chinese company admitted to evading sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

But after the USA government determined the company lied about its clean-up efforts, the Commerce Department imposed the death sentence, banning US businesses from selling parts to ZTE, effectively kneecapping the company. However, the corporation would have to pay $1 billion in penalties, adding another $400 million in escrow in order to cover possible future fines.

Senators in support of the original deal also think that it is unrealistic for US officials to police ZTE's future actions, as the Chinese company could still conduct improper business even under a watchful eye.

Shares resumed trading following a two-month suspension after Washington accused state-owned ZTE in April of reneging on a settlement of charges it violated export rules by selling US technology to Iran and North Korea. The idea of ZTE being used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China angered lawmakers, who view the company as a national security issue.

According to a Reuters estimate based on company filings and a source with knowledge of the matter, that could result in about 40 senior executives being replaced including its 14-person board, based on its current management structure. Cotton said the president won't veto the bill "because the bill pertains many other critical priorities".

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Under orders from Mr. Trump, the Commerce Department last week weakened penalties on ZTE, reducing a near-death sentence to a $1 billion fine and continued oversight.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index was down 0.6 per cent by the midday break.

ZTE also said in filings on Tuesday that it would work to resume operations as soon as possible after the ban gets lifted, and would republish its first-quarter financial results after assessing the impact of the ban and the settlement agreement.

USA lawmakers have attacked the agreement and planned legislation to roll it back, citing intelligence warnings that ZTE poses a national security threat.

However, this year the Commerce Department reimposed the sanctions when it emerged that the telecoms company - China's second-largest - had not, in fact, disciplined the management.

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