China Mobile spikes on 3G approval

Issuance of mobile network licenses cleared

HONG KONG -- China Mobile, the world's top wireless carrier, jumped more than 3% on Friday, helping extend gains in the broader market, after China approved the issuance of licenses for next generation (3G) mobile networks.

Shares of the Chinese wireless mobile service operator, which was the most heavily traded stock of the morning, rose HK$2.40 to HK$80.20.

Its rival China Unicom rose 5.2% to HK$9.78, while China Telecom, the newest entrant to China's wireless telecommunication industry, rallied 5.9%.

By 10:28 p.m. ET the Hang Seng Index .HSI was 2.5% higher at 14,749.70 after opening up 0.%.

The China Enterprises Index of top locally listed mainland Chinese firms .HSCE had risen 2.8% to 8,114.41.

China's state council on Wednesday approved the issuance of long-awaited licenses for 3G mobile networks, opening the door to some $41 billion in spending for equipment.

The council did not say when the licenses would be issued by the Ministry of Industry of Information, but the industry minister has said it would happen by early 2009.