PCCW, the city's largest telecommunications firm, will shy away from making an aggressive overseas push despite winning a full licence in Saudi Arabia, according to group managing director Alex Arena. PCCW and Saudi conglomerate Mawarid won a licence to provide full telecommunications services including fixed line, broadband and wireless broadband in the Middle East country. 'Our approach is to keep it minimal,' Mr Arena said. 'PCCW will export our skills in overseas markets like Saudi Arabia, and some others are in discussions. It takes a long time to make the overseas investments substantial.' The consortium was working on the budget for the business plan, and would seek an initial public offering in the stock market to meet the licence requirement, he said. 'It is long way from Hong Kong,' Mr Arena said, referring to the desert kingdom. 'We still internally focus on Hong Kong.' He said PCCW, as a foreign company, would limit its exposure in Saudi Arabia as it would face some cultural differences. But the company would look at other markets, and had set up a team in the international project division with more than 10 staff members. PCCW's earlier overseas expansion included a nationwide wireless broadband licence in Britain, which is operating at a loss. He said the company would not sell the British business as it was still at an initial stage, and it was looking for new technological developments such as WiMax. On the mainland, Mr Arena said the company's expansion was hindered by possible industry restructuring. 'Our business in China has no doubt slowed down because of the restructuring.' Even so, PCCW had a team of 3,000 on the mainland to explore opportunities, and 'ultimately, it would be a substantial business in China', he said. In Hong Kong, the firm needed to protect the HK$7 billion earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, Mr Arena said. Now TV and the mobile business were the two growth engines for PCCW, he added. However, investors were surprised that Now TV missed its break-even target last year because of spending on the 24-hour News Channel. 'It's a correct decision for the company to set up the news channel. We saw the opportunity there to take better control of the programmes and generate advertising revenue. 'It's a long-term decision.'