Analysts have expressed disbelief that Pacific Century CyberWorks would bid for a majority stake in Israel's Bezeq Israel Telecom, citing hidden risk concerns. Their comments followed confirmation by Hong Kong's largest telecommunications company that it had expressed interest in taking a role in the privatisation process of Israel's telecoms sector, with five other parties. A CyberWorks spokesman said yesterday: 'This is an expression of interest only at this stage. [CyberWorks] will be investigating the extent of synergy with our existing assets before determining whether to proceed further.' However, analysts doubted there was any synergy between CyberWorks and the Israeli operation. Wallace Cheung, of DBS Securities, said: 'I don't see why they would want to be involved in the deal. It's not likely at all.' Mr Cheung said CyberWorks, with billions of dollars in debt on its balance sheet, had constraints when it came to large deals. Analysts estimated that the privatisation of Bezeq could fetch between US$1.5 billion and US$2 billion for the Israel Government. Although there were prospects in Israel's telecoms market, analysts in Hong Kong were worried about the risk attached to investing in the Middle East. Dale Tsang, sales director at SBI E2-Capital Securities, said: 'It could be a hidden bomb. Let's say if it were a bargain, we would still have to worry about CyberWorks day by day.' By Wednesday, six parties had expressed interest in the government-held 50.01 per cent stake in Bezeq, Israel's fixed-line monopoly network. Bezeq also owns mobile operator Pelephone and digital satellite-TV provider YES. The other bidders, as reported in Israeli media, were British private equity investment firm Apex, and four local parties. The privatisation process could be completed as early as November. Hutchison Whampoa, which owns Israel mobile operation Partners Communications, is not among the interested parties. A Hutchison spokesman declined to comment but sources close to Hutchison and CyberWorks suggested that they are not keen on this Israeli telecoms asset.