Small shareholders in PCCW yesterday savoured their David and Goliath victory against the company buyout with a round of impromptu singing. After more than 10 of them made lengthy verbal submissions during the Court of Appeal's six-day hearing, the decision overturning the privatisation was greeted with cheers. Some investors gathered outside the courtroom, shaking hands with Winston Poon SC, for the Securities and Futures Commission, and Daniel Fung Wah-kin SC, who represented two minority shareholders. They then joined in singing Canto-pop singer Alan Tam Wing-lun's Friends outside the court to celebrate their success. Under the co-ordination of Starry Lee Wai-king, a lawmaker representing the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the investors had proved a boisterous thorn in the side of PCCW but were given little chance of victory. Leung Kwok-keung, the convenor of the Alliance for Minority Shareholders of PCCW, said: 'The ruling by the judges is a just reward for all the minority shareholders in Hong Kong.' Mr Leung said that if the vote-splitting alleged to have sealed the deal had been ruled legitimate by the court, the Hong Kong stock market would fall into chaos. Another member of the alliance said the SFC's victory showed Hong Kong's rule of law worked and that 'bigwigs' could not exploit minority shareholders. An elderly shareholder said: 'It's a relief that we won the appeal,' adding that he and other minority shareholders would offer a pig to thank the gods. However, the tussle between minority shareholders and the telecommunications giant is not yet over. Many investors are angry that the company is deferring consideration of a final dividend because of the court battle. 'The company cannot use the privatisation as an excuse to delay its decision on a final dividend, because these dividends help fund the living costs of some elderly shareholders,' said minority shareholder Tam Yuk-kuen, who had earlier made a verbal submission to the court. 'They may think if the deal goes through, they may pay 1 HK cent or 2 HK cents for all shareholders as a gift.' Another minority shareholder said she hoped that PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai would now properly manage the company and make it more profitable. Minority shareholders had earlier received different treatment from the judiciary. Court of First Instance judge Madam Justice Susan Kwan Shuk-hing, who approved the takeover on April 6, did not allow small shareholders to make extended verbal submissions and told them to go back to their seat if they spoke for too long. In contrast Mr Justice Anthony Rogers, with Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon and Mr Justice Aarif Barma, opened a special Saturday morning session to listen to small shareholders' submissions.