NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Telefonica SA ( TEF) said over the weekend it had sold a 4.56% stake in China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd ( CHU) for 1.13 billion euros, or $1.41 billion, according to published media reports. The buyer is China Unicom's parent, China United Network Communications Group, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Spanish telecom company said it would retain a 5.01% stake in China Unicom, and that it had agreed to hold this stake for one year after selling the 4.56% stake, AFP reported. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll The sale is expected to be completed at the end of July, AFP added. Telefonica said the deal reflected its "decision to manage pro-actively its asset portfolio and will allow Telefonica to increase its financial flexibility," according to AFP. Shares of Telefonica ended Friday up 45 cents, or 3.8%, at $12.26.