Hong Kong's Li sells stake in PCCW for $1.2b

Richard Li, whose father is Hong Kong's most prominent business tycoon, has sold a 23% stake in leading local fixed-line operator PCCW, aborting his failed attempt to transform a traditional phone company into a regional Internet powerhouse, an Associated Press report said.

The report said Li also dashed hopes of a possible sale of PCCW's assets to Australia's Macquarie Bank or US investment firm Texas Pacific Group and its Asia-focused unit, Newbridge, amid opposition by a Chinese shareholder.

Li said he would sell his 23% stake in PCCW to financier Francis Leung, who said he had signed an agreement to acquire the 22.7% stake in PCCW held by Singapore-listed Pacific Century Regional Developments (PCRD) at HK$6 ($0.77) a share for a total of HK$9.16 billion ($1.2 billion), according to the report.

Pacific Century Regional Developments is 75% held by Pacific Century Group Holdings, which is wholly owned by Li.

Li, who will keep a privately held 3% stake, said he planned to step down as the company's chairman when PCRD receives its first 30% down payment, which he said he expected to be no later than November 30.

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The deal marks the official end to one of Hong Kong\'s most closely watched business stories.\n

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India launches broadcast, data transmission satellite

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India\'s space agency has launched its latest satellite, which will be used for broadcasting television shows and transmitting data, local media, quoted by Associated Press report said.\n

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The nearly 2,200-kilogram (4,800-pound) satellite, named INSAT-4C, was launched aboard an Indian made rocket, the \nPress Trust of India reported.

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The report quoted unnamed officials at the Indian Space Research Organization as saying all preparations were complete for the launch from Sriharikota island, about 1,800 kilometers (1,200 miles) southeast of New Delhi.\n

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The satellite is designed to work for 10 years and boost broadcasting service and transmission of digital data, the report said. \nIndia, which began its space program 43 years ago, has 12 satellites currently in orbit, the report said.

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The deal marks the official end to one of Hong Kong's most closely watched business stories.

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