Pacific Concord seeks dominance after slump

Adela Ma

DESPITE a 40.8 per cent fall in operating profit on continuing businesses, Pacific Concord aspires to be industry leader in telecommunications in China.

Its plan to spin off its telecommunications unit through a flotation, mooted for some time now, is still at the preparatory stage.

Concord Telecom was originally a joint-venture between Pacific Concord (60 per cent), parent United States Concord (30 per cent) and Cheung Kong (10 per cent). Cheung Kong withdrew its stake after the March flotation deadline was not met.

'The flotation was a condition Cheung Kong had set for its participation in the unit,' Pacific Concord chairman Wong Sai-chung said.

'Their withdrawal indicated different perceptions of the China market. It's all about technology for which a market trend is hard to predict. But we're fully committed to it.' With US Concord taking on the additional 10 per cent stake, it was likely that the unit would be listed in the US, analysts said.

'There were even talks earlier that it was going to be listed in Japan,' one analyst said.


Mr Wong said there was sincere effort to float the unit and apart from ruling out mainland stock markets, he said 'it can be anywhere in the world'. 'I won't bother listing in China because the markets there are not mature. Hong Kong is possible but the [price-equity] ratio of about eight is too low for us,' he said.

Mr Wong said the company's pagers had captured the China market, overtaking Motorola.

'Motorola has got neither licence nor network in China,' he said.

In August, a new pager, G3D, is to be launched with a system that allows the pager owner to be mobile in different cities.


The G3 pagers that displayed Chinese messages were being sold at the rate of 200 pieces a day boding well for the future, he said.