After reportedly relenting to government pressure over a sale of his 22 percent stake in PCCW, chairman Richard Li now faces an investigation into whether the sale of his stake to Hong Kong banker Francis Leung violated competition or cross-competition laws. While the probe will focus squarely on Leung's financial backing, the hurdle is just the latest one for Li, who originally had a $7 billion deal lined up with Australia's Macquarie Bank and the Asian arm of U.S.-based Texas Pacific Group. The Chinese government reportedly pressured Li to keep the telecom's assets within the country's corporate community. Hong Kong's telecom regulator will investigate the sale to "safeguard competition in the telecommunications market," after PCCW 20 percent stakeholder China Network Communications Group opposed the sale to Leung.
For more on the PCCW stake sale:
- see this The Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)