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The Associated Press March 1, 2010, 2:54PM ET

AsiaInfo shares rise on Goldman Sachs upgrade

Shares of AsiaInfo Holdings Inc. rose Monday after Goldman Sachs upgraded the Chinese telecommunications and information technology company, citing a strong growth outlook.

In a research note, Goldman said it expects AsiaInfo to benefit from healthy industry growth and an improving competitive environment. Furthermore, the company's merger with Linkage Technologies International Holdings Ltd. will boost earnings and help it continue to gain market share in 2010 and 2011, Goldman said. The merger, announced in December, is expected to close this quarter.

The combined company will "dominate the China telecom IT service market," Goldman said, raising its rating to "Buy" from "Neutral."

AsiaInfo, which is based in Beijing, provides telecommunications software and information technology products and services. Its shares added $2.52, or 10.3 percent, to $26.94 in afternoon trading. The stock has ranged from $11.03 to $32.45 over the past year.

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