The public listing of cellular telephone operator SmarTone - 40 per cent owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) - has been formally announced at a time of unprecedented competition in the mobile telephone sector. The stock exchange listing committee is understood to have cleared the application with underwriting bankers mandated for the initial public offering. After months of speculation, SHKP chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung confirmed SmarTone had applied for a listing on the exchange. He played down fears the offering would suffer from poor investor sentiment due to the impending competition offered by the new personal communications services (PCS) networks. SmarTone has 250,000 subscribers and is considered vulnerable to new competition since it failed to secure a PCS licence. The company's territory-wide coverage and reasonable prices meant it could resist the competitive threat of PCS networks, Mr Kwok said.