NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Telefonica SA ( TEF - Get Report) said over the weekend it had sold a 4.56% stake in China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd ( CHU - Get Report) 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.

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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.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.