DISGRACED former stock exchange chairman Ronald Li Fook-shiu was yesterday freed from Stanley Prison and promptly turned his back on the business world which made him one of Hongkong's richest men. A composed and smiling Mr Li said within metres of the prison gates that he was retiring and wanted simply to rest after 973 days in jail. Gaunt, pale and tired after his term, 63-year-old Mr Li said he was looking forward to ''golf, films and travel''. ''I don't want to do any business anymore . . . I'm just not interested in business,'' he said. ''I'm too late for retirement as it is. I just want to rest and I've got no plans beyond that.'' When asked whether he had changed under a prison regime - which saw him earn $9 a day working in the jail library while his personal investments grew by more than $4 million each day - Mr Li said simply: ''I don't want to look back.'' Dressed soberly in a grey suit and red paisley tie, he smiled and joked with the crush of more than 60 reporters who besieged his car as it crossed the barrier gate shortly before 7 am - trapping one reporter's foot under the front wheel. In a far cry from the heady days before the stock market crash when his feisty, dictatorial stance as chairman earned him the nickname ''Headmaster'', he stepped calmly from the car to give photographers a better shot. The gold BMW driven by eldest son Alfred Li Kwok-lun had originally been turned back from the gates at about 6.45 am for a permit check and search. Alfred, a lawyer, was acquitted on charges related to ones which brought down his father in October 1990 - two counts of accepting rewards for supporting the listing of two companies on the stockmarket. The pair drove straight to the Hongkong Country Club in Aberdeen for the elder Mr Li's first taste of his new-found freedom - congee, ham and eggs and coffee with his sons, grandchildren and a few friends. Li embraced his wife Irene with a quiet ''How are you?'' before expressing surprise at the sight of Ng Bing-kin, an old friend from Li's days in primary school, by which time he was already buying and selling shares. ''It's great to see him. You always stand by your old friends,'' Mr Ng said. Before ushering reporters from the room set for their private breakfast, Mr Li said he had made no plans for celebrations or emigration to Canada. When questioned on rumours of health problems, Mr Li said: ''I'm as well as any man in his mid-60s.'' Earlier, his son said his father was scheduled to receive dental and medical checkups as soon as possible, while Mr Li's lawyer, Anthony Poon, confirmed he had been plagued by heart problems. However, Mr Li's brother, Li Fuk-hing, another guest at the Country Club breakfast, said he thought Ronald looked well considering prison life. ''It's good to see him looking so good,'' he said. ''I only hope he gets what he wants - the chance to rest and take things slowly. ''He doesn't want to rush anything.'' Ronald Li spent most of the day at the Country Club, extending the breakfast into brunch, as he sat chatting with his family into the afternoon.