Hongkong Telecom will not lose out on investment opportunities in China under the deal agreed between its British parent Cable & Wireless (C&W) and China Telecom, deputy chief executive Alistair Grieve says. 'Hongkong Telecom will not be sidelined, quite the reverse,' he said. Analysts had suggested that Friday's sale of Hongkong Telecom shares to China Telecom, and an accompanying agreement which spoke of special access for C&W to China's markets, apparently left Hongkong Telecom out of the equation. 'China Telecom is offering C&W the unique opportunity to be the major telecommunications investor in China Telecom (Hong Kong) which will allow C&W to penetrate the high growth telecommunications market,' the statement accompanying the deal read. Hongkong Telecom has an estimated HK$11 billion in cash waiting for investment opportunities. Despite having a department dedicated to building relationships with China, Hongkong Telecom has yet to sign a major deal with the mainland in the service area. Mr Grieve played down the fact that - save the sale of 5.5 per cent of Hongkong Telecom shares to China Telecom - Hongkong Telecom was hardly mentioned as part of the deal. 'We foresee any future investment activity between C&W and China Telecom will involve Hongkong Telecom,' he said. He offered no details of future possible investments. 'A lot more detail has to be filled in,' he said. Many delegates at the Asia Telecom 97 conference who are involved in business in China were unsure if C&W had achieved a breakthrough in the market or not. US company Motorola has the biggest presence in China of any foreign telecoms company. Executive vice-president for Asia and the Americas, Rick Younts, said he knew little about the deal but he did not see the telecoms sector opening up soon. 'There does seem to be some relaxation though,' he said, referring to recent revenue-sharing deals. He agreed with suggestions that the sector was likely to be liberalised further, led by the mobile market. This seems to back up speculation that if telecoms assets on the mainland are to be injected into China Telecom (Hong Kong) they are most likely to be cellular networks. In another sign of liberalisation of China's telecoms market, IBM said it hoped to negotiate a deal soon to put a gateway into the country that could feed into its global network. China Telecom would provide the local lines. In this way companies wanting a link to swap data between their offices inside and outside China could use the company's worldwide network of lines.