ZTE share price plummets 40 per cent as $1.4bn US payout takes its toll

Josh Mines
ZTE had just returned to the market after trading had been suspended since April (Source: Getty)

Shares in Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE dropped like a stone in Hong Kong Wednesday trading as its agreement to pay a total of $1.4bn in penalties to the US took its toll.

ZTE shares plummeted as much as 41 per cent in Hong Kong trading, and fell 10 per cent in the Chinese market in Shenzhen.

It follows China's second largest telecoms equipment maker confirming that it would pay a lump sum of $1bn to the US government as part of its settlement, followed by $400m in escrow.

Read more: Leave me hanging on the telephone: ZTE fined $1.2bn for sanctions breaches

The company had just resumed trading following a suspension since April, when a ban was enforced on US firms buying technology from ZTE, in reaction to the company's violation of economic sanctions against Iran.

The downward spiral in ZTE's share price pulled down the Hang Seng Index of large Hong Kong stocks down 0.56 per cent, while the Shenzhen composite went down 0.4 per cent.

Last month, US President Donald Trump pledged to save ZTE, tweeting that he was working with the Chinese government to find a way to get the firm back into business.

Read more: Donald Trump pledges to help rescue Chinese telecoms giant ZTE

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