Proceeds from the forthcoming IPO of China’s second largest fixed line operator China Netcom are expected to fall well below initial expectations of USD1.5 billion, following rumours that the Chinese telecoms market is losing its popularity with the investment community. Netcom has set the price range of its shares at USD20.24 – USD23.12, meaning the sale will net just over USD1 billion if the shares sell at the mid-point of the range. The telco is hoping to counteract the anticipated investor apathy by promising to pay as much as 40% of its future profit in dividends. The shares are expected to start trading in New York on 16 November and in Hong Kong the following day. China Netcom is majority-owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the Ministry of Railways and the Shanghai Municipal Government.