Japan-based telecommunications and Internet services company Hikari Tsushin is close to clinching a deal to acquire a 10 per cent stake in New World CyberBase (NWC) for $320 million, according to sources. Share trading in NWC, the Internet arm of the New World Group, were suspended yesterday pending an announcement of the sale of 160 million NWC shares. NWC's spokesman declined to comment on who the purchaser was but said the deal was being finalised and an announcement was expected by Monday. Paul Y-ITC Construction Holdings yesterday said it was in negotiations to dispose of 60 million NWC shares, and, upon completion of the deal, its stake in NWC would decrease from 15 per cent to 11.3 per cent. Sources said Paul Y-ITC's shares would be sold at $2 each. Separately, New World Telephone, the majority shareholder in NWC, is to sell 100 million NWC shares at $2 but will subscribe to the same, according to a source close to the investment bank arranging the deal. New World Telephone is an 88 per cent-held subsidiary of New World Development. In the past few months, Hikari Tsushin has bought a 10 per cent stake in Internet operation Outblaze, a 15 per cent stake in Celestial Asia Securities Holdings' CASH on-line and an 18 per cent stake in entertainment Web site Stareastnet.com. NWC's share price has risen more than eightfold this year. It closed at $2.025 on Thursday.