The stock exchange was on the defensive yesterday, hitting back at criticisms over its response to PCCW's disclosure of its interest in British telecommunications giant Cable & Wireless (C&W). Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) put out an announcement stressing that there was 'no substance' to allegations that it had delayed posting PCCW's second announcement on its Web site. On Thursday, PCCW denied in an announcement that it had made a takeover offer for C&W. Just hours later, it admitted in a statement to London regulators that it had made a preliminary approach for the British company. HKEx's e-Business & Information Services Unit (eBIS) did not delay the posting of the second announcement, the exchange insisted and said it 'acted in accordance with established and well publicised procedures'. It said it had posted the announcement on Friday before the market had opened as it had received the information after midnight on Thursday.