BRITISH TELECOM is spending pounds 230m on a stake in a South Korean mobile- phone operator as part of its foray into Asia. BT is taking a 23.49 per cent stake in LG Telecom, making it the fast-growing company's second largest shareholder. The long-awaited deal, which was announced earlier this morning, is BT's first major investment since receiving a pounds 4bn cash injection in return for its 20 per cent stake in MCI earlier this month. Earlier this summer BT took a 33 per cent stake in Binariang, a Malaysian fixed and mobile operator. LG Telecom, which has been operating for less than a year, has built up a base of 1.5 million customers.