Is China about to back foreign satellite TV?

China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s son, Wen Yunsong, has taken the helm at APY Satellite Holdings, the Hong Kong-based satellite operator. As a result the company’s stock price has rocketed by almost 50 per cent this past week. Investors – and China-watchers generally – are betting on the move representing a change of heart by China’s administration.

Wen Yunsong is already a major stake-holder in private equity house New Horizon Capital (which he co-founded), and is chairman of China Satellite Communications, one of the top half-dozen telecoms operators.

On Friday (February 24) APT’s stock price rose another 4.2 per cent in Hong Kong trading. APT’s recent results have been far from spectacular and its latest numbers reflected a modest 5 per cent growth in 1H/2011 trading. It has tough competition from other local and international satellite players, not least AsiaSat and Intelsat. APT will launch another satellite this coming autumn to help boost coverage and revenues.

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