Lai See

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 12:00am

Free lunch an asset

More fund managers than expected showed up at the Hong Kong government's song-and-dance show for its securitised bond issue yesterday. To accommodate them, arrangers needed to annex a small room next to the main venue already booked. But at least one fund manager was more interested in the free lunch than the bond.

'The structure of the bond is not too complicated,' he said. 'But you know, you seldom get a free lunch from the government.' He apparently spoke for others. Despite their concerns about the reliability of future toll revenues from the six securitised assets, the Q&A session was not an enthusiastic one.

Developing class

The problem with new money is - they whisper - 'no class'. In a city too young to have old money, PCCW Infrastructure has come up with a solution. It is offering residents of its Bel-Air on the Peak development 'over 100 unique art pieces acquired from leading auction houses, international galleries and private collections from all over the world for selection by residents to adorn their homes'. And that is just for starters. PCCW is also throwing in 'unique musical and literary experiences', including violin lessons for the kids by 'world-renowned violinist' Takako Nishizaki.

The new bottom line

We guess it's a sign of the times, but we couldn't help being intrigued by a title in the business section of the bookshop at Brisbane's international airport last week - Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Admirers of Enron-style accounting, you have been warned.