(ECNS) -- The possible merger of China's two top wireless carriers, China Unicom and China Telecom, has buoyed their respective stock prices.
Media reported that the Chinese government is exploring a merger between the two telecommunications operators to speed up development of 5G mobile services.
Affected by the speculation, China Unicom rose nearly eight percent in intraday trading, closing at 9.58 Hong Kong dollars, up 5.856 percent. China Telecom closed at 3.89 Hong Kong dollars, up 4.011 percent.
Yet both companies said they were not aware of merger plans and had not received any notification from authorities.
Insiders said speculation of a possible tie-up also appeared between 2015 and 2016 and led to a surge in China Unicom's stock prices. The latest speculation happened as China accelerates development of its ultrafast 5G mobile network. China Unicom and China Telecom, as well as China Mobile, are all conducting trial tests in selected cities.
Last month, Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Unicom, said the carrier had not received formal notice from supervisory regulators. China Telecom chairman Yang Jie also said the speculation had been going on for years and wasn't true.