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Friday, January 2, 1998 Published at 08:31 GMT


Hongkong Telecom buys competitor for $620m
image: [ Mobile phones are big business in Hong Kong ]
Mobile phones are big business in Hong Kong

Hongkong Telecom has said it is to buy mobile phone competitor Pacific Link Communications Ltd for $620m.

The wholly-owned subsidiary Hongkong Telecom CSL is to buy 100% of Pacific Link and cover the firm's debts in the 4.835bn Hong Kong dollar deal.

Pacific Link made a net profit of $310m dollars in 1996 and had net assets of $1.33bn.

Its Managing Director, Manuel Pangilinan, had previously warned his company might be considering bailing out of the Hong Kong market.

"The local mobile communications market is extremely competitive and consolidation is necessary," he said.

"In this light, we believe the interests of our shareholders, staff and customers are best served by consolidating our operations here with those of Hongkong Telecom."

The take-over is expected to be completed by the end of January.

Hongkong Telecom is the largest of the former British colony's mobile phone operators with around 800,000 customers.

It is controlled by the international telecommunications group Cable and Wireless.

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