Hongkong Telecom shares dropped sharply yesterday as investors struggled to swallow the news the utility might lose its international call monopoly. Telecom fell 40 cents to a year low of $13.20. The stock was the most active in the market by turnover, with $480.94 million worth of shares traded. One dealer said: 'The Government may compensate Telecom, but the loss of its monopoly on international calls make its prospects dimmer.' The monopoly is due to last until 2006, but Telecom has said it is willing to trade this off for one-time payouts. Earlier in the week Telecom was slugged by news Chinese shareholder Citic Pacific had cut its stake in the utility by two per cent to raise cash. British-listed Cable and Wireless, which owns 57.5 per cent of Hongkong Telecom, also came under pressure, falling 14 pence to 420p in London on Wednesday and falling another three pence yesterday.