PCCW shares may face short-term pressure as investors are cautious over its privatisation plan that could fail, according to analysts. PCCW, the largest telecommunications operator in Hong Kong, fell 1.47 per cent to HK$4.02 yesterday after an announcement that a procedural hearing on a buyout plan by its key shareholders would be put off by a week to February 24, while another key court meeting originally set for February 24 would take place later. At the meeting originally planned for February 24, the court will decide whether to clear the privatisation. The revised timetable will be announced after the High Court fixes the date for the key court meeting. PCCW's closing price yesterday was 10.67 per cent lower than the offer price of HK$4.50 proposed by chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai (above) and China Unicom Group to take the company private. US investment bank Morgan Stanley recommended that investors take profit because of limited upside. 'We continue to advise investors to take profit on PCCW, as we find the risk reward unfavourable at current levels. While the upside is capped at 10 per cent, we see greater downside risk arising from potential investigation of allegations regarding illegal share transfers to insurance agents,' said a report from the bank. Morgan Stanley rated the stock underweight with a price target of HK$4.50. 'Investors are nervous as the market environment is unstable and they don't want to keep any stocks with negative catalysts in the near term,' said Ricky Tam Siu-hing, a director at Champlus Asset Management. 'The delay reflects rising uncertainty on the offer that could eventually fail due to the probe by the regulators.' PCCW minority shareholders have alleged vote-rigging at the shareholders' meeting on the privatisation bid last week, although Mr Li won support for the privatisation. The Securities and Futures Commission is investigating the allegation. It has confiscated all records of the vote. Pacific Century Regional Developments, the parent of PCCW, said on Thursday that neither the firm nor its directors had any knowledge of or involvement in improper activities.