Final scene played in MKI disaster movie

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 September, 1995, 12:00am

ECSTATIC MKI Corp shareholders yesterday voted to accept an offer which in effect pays them $37.71 million in net asset value for their shares.

For some people, the investment in MKI shares has proven disastrous.

The company had upwards of 9,000 public shareholders and obviously most of them had small parcels of stock. If all the shares were split evenly among them, they could get $4,190 each, supposing the share price reflected NAV.

Most of them, including a bunch of Dutch punters, probably bought into the shares during the strange weeks in Spring 1994 when 'His Excellency' Khalid Hossain was chairman of the firm, although there were doubts about his financial interest.

MKI's share price doubled in weeks from 30 cents to peak at 61 cents a share when, in June, the Securities and Futures Commission suspended trading.

Since then a probe has discovered massive financial irregularity at the firm, the SFC has applied to have it wound up - an unprecedented move for the shares regulator - the warrants have expired and the former directors have been removed but not barred from ever holding a position of director in Hong Kong again. Arthur Lai Cheuk-kwan, the financier for who the words 'colourful and controversial' were invented, owns 18 per cent of MKI shares, according to details in the various bid documents.

That means that Arthur will get $6.8 million in NAV for what is left of his company. By comparison, Christopher Coulcher, who came in to rescue the firm, will get less than $1 million as his reward on top of his salary.

But then Mr Coulcher does not have the need for cash that Arthur might have, faced as he is with paying Standard Chartered's legal bills from the tussle he had with his former employers.

On the cards 'STAFF of my department have been discussing how we can be more environmentally friendly during the Christmas season,' the Director of Marine Ian Dale said yesterday.

'They have made a number of suggestions ranging from not sending any form of greeting to our local customers to producing in-house designed Christmas card using recycled paper.

'We believe we should maintain the tradition of giving local Christmas greetings to our clients during the festive season but not through sending thousands of cards.' Instead, they are going to advertise in newspapers.

'Individual officers can, of course, also include words of greeting in business memo and letters during the festive season,' the department said.

'Not only is paper saved. Just imagine the secretaries' time that is saved using electronic typewriters or computers to prepare the cards for sending,' Mr Dale said. So much for the personal touch when it comes to cards. Why don't they just buy a rubber stamp.

Fruity figures AT last someone has taken action on the terrible problem of trade-fair statistics.

For too long now, trade fair organisers have been fudging the figures and distorting graphs by using stretched scales.

Now, thanks to the farsightedness of German trade-fair organisers some order will be brought to the unruly, hooligan element which spoils a generally highly professional trade fair statistics industry. The German fair organisers association have formed the Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics. Not before time, because it has to be said that international pressure for increased regulatory supervision was growing to a clamour.

The society has produced a full report on hall space, exhibitor figures and visitor numbers, sealed by a real public accountant.

At last we can now confirm details of a number of stories that have simply been held in the 'too difficult' file for months.

Fruit Logistica, the fair for fruit and vegetable marketeers, managed to attract 2,723 visitors, for example, with 25 per cent of them from outside Germany - which proves the lie that FruLog, as fans call it, attracts only a local audience.

Touch of class WHILE at Daya Bay for tea with a chum, we were interested to observe that the spoons in the staff canteen bore the inscription 'Air UK'. The spoons were not merely stamped with the names but had the kind of attention to detail that spells 'business class'.

How they got there we can only speculate. Perhaps executives at the plant have worked out the only way to permanently lose something is to give it to an airline baggage handler and they swapped the plant's waste for the spoons.

On having their attention drawn to the spoons, staff at the plant claimed never to have noticed.

Hopefully, the lack of attention in the canteen is not present on the job.

'Here Steve, didn't the little needle in that dial used to point at the green bit?'