China Network Communications Group (CNC Group) has chosen Citigroup and Goldman Sachs to help it raise as much as US$2 billion through Hong Kong and New York listings. The Wall Street titans will join China International Capital Corp (CICC), a mainland investment bank in which Morgan Stanley has a stake, in the efforts to list the nation's No2 fixed-line player. The scramble to land mainland listing mandates is expected to heat up this year as major state-owned enterprises rush to float their shares. The anticipated offerings include share issues by China Power International and China Construction Bank. Air China, which hopes to raise US$500 million, is about to grant a formal mandate to sponsors for its Hong Kong and New York dual listing. Merrill Lynch and CICC have been tipped as the likely winners. In all, mainland companies are expected to raise more than US$10 billion from share sales this year. CNC, the only unlisted major mainland telecommunications operator, is accelerating its listing plan to catch the market while it is still hot. Sources said the deal could be launched as early as July. Faced with growing competition, the firm urgently needs funds for expansion, including the rollout of a next-generation mobile network. It is widely expected the Ministry of Information Industry will issue third-generation mobile licences to the mainland's four telecoms carriers by the end of this year or early next year. Bankers from CICC, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were told they had won the listing mandate late on Tuesday and were whisked off to Beijing for the first initial public offering working meeting with CNC officials today. 'They will talk about a preliminary target date [for the listing plan], allocation of responsibilities, initial tasks,' a banker said.