BT plans pounds 300m Korean stake

BRITISH TELECOM is planning spend $500m (pounds 300m) on a 20 per cent stake in the South Korean cellular phone company, LG Telecom. Clearance from the South Korean Information and Communications Ministry is needed before BT can go ahead, and insiders expect a deal to be finalised as early as October.

BT faces several competing bids for the stake in the mobile phone group. LG Telecom, set up in 1996, is a consortium led by the industrial conglomerate, LG Electronics. Until now BT's biggest investment in Asia has been in Japan.