China Unicom will buy back a stake held by SK Telecom (SKT), the South Korean telecom firm, for US$1.29 billion. The company is exiting its investment in China Unicom after Unicom’s move to boost its ties with Spain’s Telefonica, Reuters reported. Earlier in September, Telefonica struck a deal with the Chinese carrier under which each would buy US$1 billion worth of the other’s shares. China Unicom said in a statement that it would buy back a 3.8% stake from SKT at HK$11.11 (US$1.43) per share, equal to US$1.29 billion. "After the share repurchase, China Unicom will be pleased to maintain the sound cooperation partnership with SKT," China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing said. SKT bought US$1 billion worth of bonds in China Unicom in 2006 and later converted them into shares at HK$8.63 (US$1.11) per share.