Hutchison Whampoa

Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 12:00am

Duty calls

Predicting the future value of stocks is the bread and butter of any analyst. But handsets - especially Hutchison's pristine 3G ones - are another matter.

Lai See has enjoyed reading about the trials of intrepid analysts at Barings, CLSA and Daiwa who dutifully bought new 3G handsets when they first became available earlier this month. But with prices subsequently slashed by as much as 80 per cent, their new toys lost value faster than a roost of flu-ridden Guangdong chickens.

Perhaps Hutch's rapidly depreciating 3G handsets will become a kind of red badge of courage among analysts, allowing them to boast that they too made the wrong call on 3G.

Fags & figures

The following is excerpted from a letter yesterday to The Daily Telegraph from a certain David Tang in Hong Kong:

' Sir - ... Pontificating anti-smokers should be reminded that we enjoy relative world peace today thanks to servicemen who - in combat and in the trenches - relied for comfort on cigarettes, nearly a billion of which were dispensed in the two world wars.'

Could it be that the writer was smoking something other than cigarettes when he penned his argument?