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Monday 17 September, 2001


Plans to terminate ecAgent PLC
17 September 2001

17th September, 2001

          plc ('EPA') announces

                      plans to terminate project ecAgent

The directors of EPA today announce the company's plans to terminate its
investment project, Limited ('ecAgent').

In August 2000, EPA invested HK$13,530,000 (GBP1,170,000) into ecAgent, taking
up a 33% interest in this project. ecAgent planned to provide virtual office
services to insurance sales agents based in Hong Kong and then, at a later
time, to similar agents in Mainland China and Taiwan.

Business development for the project initially proceeded as planned aiming at
a launch date in mid-2001 for the Hong Kong market. By June 2001, a
significant amount of systems development work had been completed. However, a
combination of several external and internal factors related to the project
triggered a review on ecAgent's future strategy. These factors included:-

  * the emergence of a similar service provider in Mainland China from the
    beginning of 2001;

  * a rapid decrease in the number of insurance agents in Hong Kong mainly
    due to the introduction of qualifying examinations;

  * the departure of the project's CEO and the subsequent failure to recruit
    an affordable replacement with equivalent qualifications.

Following the review, the shareholders of ecAgent concluded that the original
business model would require significant modifications and this cast serious
doubts on the project's long term prospects. After exploring various options,
all shareholders of ecAgent agreed to terminate the project.

EPA will acquire total ownership of ecAgent and its residual cash of
approximately HK$12 million. A maximum loss of HK$1.5 million (GBP136,000) is
expected to be realized by EPA as a result of terminating the project. The
cash retrieved from ecAgent will be used by EPA for working capital and future
investment requirements.

For further information, please contact:

Phill Brown, Corporate Relations Director, plc

Tel: 01274 623 478

Benjamin Ng, Chief Executive Officer, plc

Tel: 852 2116 5900

Garry Levin, Director, Altium Capital Limited

Tel: 020 7484 4040

Shane Dolan, Director, Biddicks

Tel: 020 7448 1000


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