Executive package exceeds $283m at PCCW

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 12:00am

Embattled Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) awarded one of its top executives - believed to be deputy chairman Francis Yuen Tin-fan - a remuneration package worth up to HK$283.5 million last year, according to its annual report.

The figure - made up of salary, allowances and share options - was revealed in the report, which became available online yesterday.

Although the recipient of the top figure is not named, the method of awarding the money suggests it is Mr Yuen.

The award forms part of a package of salaries, allowances, pension contributions, benefits and bonuses worth HK$768 million paid to directors of the company last year. CyberWorks announced a loss of HK$6.9 billion last month.

A CyberWorks spokesman said the HK$283.5 million figure was only 'theoretical' because although the executive was awarded the amount, he did not dispose of all his shares.

'These packages were not equivalent to take-home pay,' said the spokesman.

The annual report also stated that about HK$597 million of the total emoluments were share options granted to directors, irrespective of 'whether the resulting shares were sold or retained by the directors'.

Although Mr Yuen's total remuneration package is believed to have been worth HK$283 million, he pocketed only HK$104 million when trading his options.

Last August, Mr Yuen sold eight million shares from his 21.33 million share options at an average of HK$15.325, against his exercise price of HK$2.356.

CyberWorks shares have since fallen more than 82 per cent and Mr Yuen still holds 13.73 million shares.

Mr Yuen, along with other senior executives, orchestrated the US$38 billion takeover of Cable & Wireless HKT giving CyberWorks a more secure cash-generating asset.

However, it is not without its cost. The takeover put CyberWorks US$500 million in debt and left it with US$1.8 billion in negative equity arising from the US$22 billion one-time goodwill write-off for HKT.

On paper, Mr Yuen surpassed Hutchison Whampoa managing director Canning Fok Kin-ning as the highest paid executive in Hong Kong last year. It was revealed last week that Hutchison paid HK$120 million last year to a top executive, believed to be Mr Fok.

Mr Fok, who signed deals worth HK$125 billion and made HK$34.12 billion for Hutchison last year, received 40.1 per cent less than his earnings in the record profit year of 1999.

Two other CyberWorks directors surpassed Mr Fok's figure for last year. The second highest-paid director made about HK$261 million last year while the third highest-paid made about HK$140 million.

One non-director executive was paid more than HK$44.5 million and another was paid HK$29.5 million.

Chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai is thought not to be among the five highest-paid executives.