Directors' pay at Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) fell 83 per cent last year from the previous year's record high, due to the collapse of the company's share price. Richard Li Tzar-kai's telecom and Internet firm's annual report, released last night, showed it awarded its 17 executive directors $126 million, compared with $768 million in 2000. The latter figure - an all-time high for a Hong Kong firm - was swollen by stock options, in a year in which PCCW shares hit a high of $28.50 and the board exercised 500 million options. By contrast, no directors exercised options last year, when the share price ranged from $1.61 to $5.05. However, PCCW's payout was still relatively handsome compared to other firms. HSBC, the largest listed company in Hong Kong, last year paid its 25 directors $99.2 million, or 0.23 per cent of its $42 billion profits. PCCW paid 6.66 per cent of its $1.89 billion in profits last year to directors. The top PCCW payment was between $25.5 million and $26 million, according to the report. The director was not named, but analysts said it was likely to have been former deputy chief executive Norman Yuen Kee-tong, who resigned on February 28 last year after 15 years with Cable & Wireless HKT before its takeover by PCCW. A lump-sum was awarded to a director as compensation after the termination of a long-term contract, PCCW said. In 2000, the top-paid executive, believed to have been deputy chairman Francis Yuen Tin-fan, made more than $283 million, mainly from options. PCCW's top five executives last year made between $10 million and $26 million, with a total remuneration package of at least $80 million. The record payout to directors in 2000 came in spite of PCCW suffering a record $129 billion loss, mostly due to a huge goodwill charge. Goodwill is the difference between the amount paid for an asset - in this case, HKT - and its actual value, which was dragged down by the subsequent collapse of the merged company's share price. HKT's top individual pay figure in 1999 was $4 million. Swire Pacific and Hongkong Electric both recently announced directors' remuneration. Swire's top-paid executive, believed to be James Hughes-Hallett, made more than $18 million while Hongkong Electric's top pay figure was $12 million.