Linus Cheung Wing-lam, chief executive of Hongkong Telecom, saw his pay package rise more than 40 per cent last year to $9 million-plus but said it was mostly because of the value of his company house on the Peak. 'I'm just a reasonably paid executive and not an excessively paid executive,' Mr Cheung said yesterday. In March the company lost 556 staff through the territory's largest voluntary redundancy scheme. Profits rose over the same period by 14 per cent. The company paid its directors $27.4 million in the year to March 31, a 26 per cent increase. Mr Cheung said more than a quarter of the value of the package was taken up by the value of his house at 24 Middle Gap Road, extensively remodelled since he and his family moved in. He said he would rather live in his previous apartment but was forced to live in the house, recently bought outright for $58 million, and that the directors' remuneration figures across Hong Kong were inflated by the implied company accommodation rent. 'I'm sure that my colleagues in other companies would be much happier if that was cash in their pocket.' Mr Cheung's package was better than $8 million paid to Sir William Purves, chairman of HSBC Holdings, but rather below the exceptional $198.8 million in cash paid to Larry Yung Chi-kin of CITIC Pacific to buy out his share options in May last year.