Fortis Insurance (Asia) was not involved in any purchase and distribution of PCCW shares to its agents, says the company's chief executive after the High Court approved PCCW's privatisation plan yesterday. The European insurer, formerly known as Pacific Century Insurance, made its first public remarks since the vote-rigging allegation surfaced. 'Due to our decision not to speak until now, there have been several reported misunderstandings and inaccuracies regarding FICA (Fortis Asia),' said Stuart Fraser, the company's chief executive. 'At no time did FICA have any involvement with the purchase and distribution of PCCW shares to our agents or any other parties ... we only found out about the distribution of PCCW shares to our agents when we read it in the media.' Mr Fraser stressed that its agents were self-employed and the company did not manage their daily activities. The company would carry out an internal investigation to review the conduct of its agents and take appropriate action if they were found to have failed to meet professional standards, he added. Mr Fraser took no questions from reporters. The High Court was told last Wednesday that Lam Hau-wah, a regional head of Fortis Asia, had bought more than HK$1 million worth of PCCW shares in December and in January on the market and distributed them to staff as bonuses. The Securities and Futures Commission alleged that shares were given to Fortis Insurance agents in return for their support for the buyout plan. Separately, Mr Fraser denied speculation that Fortis Asia would sell its Hong Kong unit. 'This is a rumour: FICA is not for sale, and we have not had discussions about a sale.'