US microchip giant Intel has given a vote of confidence to the Cyberport by pledging to invest US$50 million in the listing vehicle of the Pacific Century Group developing the HK$13 billion project. The investment represents the largest in Asia by Intel's Corporate Development Group, and reflects foreign investors' increasing confidence in the Government's initiative to turn Hong Kong into the region's leading technology centre. Intel will invest the money in Tricom Holdings - to be renamed Pacific Century CyberWorks - after the successful acquisition of a controlling stake in the company by Pacific Century Group, the property and financial services group controlled by Richard Li Tzar-kai. Intel will subscribe to 77.8 million new shares in Tricom at $5 per share. In addition, Intel and Pacific Century will inject their joint venture Pacific Convergence Corp (PCC) into Pacific Century CyberWorks. Taking into account Intel's 40 per cent stake in PCC, the chip-maker will end up with a 13 per cent stake in Pacific Century CyberWorks. On Thursday, China Strategic Holdings and Star Telecom International, which are key shareholders in Tricom, approved Pacific Century's $2.46 billion takeover of the company. In March last year, Intel and Pacific Century formed PCC to bring high-speed Internet services to Asia but the financial details of the joint venture have not been disclosed. 'Our goal with these agreements is to speed the deployment of broadband Internet-based services to Asia,' said Claude Leglise, vice-president and general manager of Intel's Home Products Group. According to an announcement yesterday by Intel and Pacific Century, the venture will uses Intel set-top boxes and servers to deliver Internet services generated by PCC. According to Alex Arena, managing director of Pacific Century CyberWorks, the injection of PCC into his company was a logical step. 'Both PCC and Pacific Century CyberWorks will benefit from the potential synergies of developing the broadband service business through one company,' he said. Mr Li has been examining ways of re-entering the digital technology and media business since he sold Star TV to Rupert Murdoch in 1993 for US$525 million. Success with the venture would greatly expand Pacific Century's fledging operations in the sector. Hutchison Telecom, controlled by the Li family, was 'looking into the possibility' of working with PCC to supply on-line services outside Asia, Peter Wong, Hutchison's technical director, said recently. High-speed Internet by satellite is seen as a better transmission method than phone lines. Wharf Cable and Hongkong Telecom IMS recently announced plans to offer broadband Internet in Hong Kong using television broadcasting cables. Pacific Century was controversially awarded the Cypberport project by the Government without a tendering process.