The future of Hong Kong iMail, the SAR's only other English-language daily, was in doubt last night after 100 staff were laid off by its owner, Sing Tao Holdings. Editor Andrew Lynch has left along with nearly all the paper's editorial staff, many of whom received hand-delivered dismissal letters yesterday morning. There are thought to have been a small number of redundancies at iMail's sister paper, the Chinese-language Sing Tao Daily. Sing Tao confirmed yesterday that about 100 of iMail's 140 employees had lost their jobs. It also announced last night that it would relaunch the paper as a quality business and sports title under new leadership. It said the paper would appear tomorrow. Troubleshooter Timothy Jim - who was also brought in to rescue the Eastern Express, an English-language newspaper that closed in 1996 - has been appointed chief editor. Mr Lynch, who insisted he had not been sacked, said: 'I have agreed with management that I would say I have stepped down. I am sorry to leave iMail.' Employees have been told they have until 8pm tonight to pick up their outstanding wages and remove belongings. The tabloid was launched in May last year out of the ashes of the Hong Kong Standard when it closed after 50 years of publishing. Lo Wing-hung, Sing Tao's chief executive, said the paper would now concentrate more on business in the mainland. 'We believe this market is currently under-served and yet fast expanding. By focusing our resources on this area, we will be able to more effectively react to the new market sentiment and sustain long-term growth for the group.' Photo-journalist Samantha Sin, who has been with the newspaper group for almost four years, said: 'There was no talk about lay-offs beforehand. 'It really came as a shock when we were called up to pick up a DHL letter at reception. I'm sad to have to part with my colleagues after working together as a team for so long.' Dante Peralta, a senior photographer hired from the Philippines seven years ago, was worried his termination might affect his application for permanent residency. 'I just sent my application to the Immigration Department this morning. I will see if I can find a job again here.'