Swire Group

Lai See

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 April, 2006, 12:00am


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Sometimes opportunity carries a seriously high price tag

What's the opportunity cost for China Mobile's former chairman Wang Xiaochu when he moved to China Telecom?

Huge, obviously. Yesterday, China Telecom's annual report revealed that Mr Wang received only 398,000 yuan last year - among the lowest compared with the total remuneration of his 10 fellow executive directors, who all made less than a million yuan.

This compares poorly with their counterparts at China Mobile, where all directors earned more than three million yuan each last year, with chairman Wang Jianzhou making $6.53 million - thanks to the sharp share price gains that propelled stock-based payments.

We're sure Wang Xiaochu will try his best to cover his opportunity cost, probably by dialling up profits for China Telecom every year.

tale of the pay at swire

Swire Pacific's new chairman, Christopher Pratt, made 32 per cent more last year before he took up his current post - $1.9 million more at $7.79 million, to be precise.

In contrast, former Swire chairman David Turnbull made $10.47 million. The highest paid Swire executive was Keith Kerr, who made $11.91 million, up almost 4 per cent from 2004.

Davy Ho Cho-ying was the only director who made less in 2005 than in the previous year. Mr Ho, who was responsible for Swire's Taiwan, shipping and travel businesses, took home $5.51 million, down 27 per cent.

Take your pick: peak or plateau

Whose advice will you listen to? Two months ago, casino king Stanley Ho Hung-sun said interest rates had peaked, but Joseph Yam Chi-kwong said they hadn't. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority czar appeared to have won round one. Yesterday, Mr Yam offered additional comments on rate movements this year.

'When you reach a peak, you can only climb down; unlike a plateau where you can ... take a breather ... survey the surroundings and then decide whether to stay on it, find a way down or go for higher ground,' he wrote in his column.

'Of course, there is a possibility, hopefully remote, that the climate may deteriorate when on the plateau that you wish to climb down quickly and take shelter. For the time being, it looks like the ground will soon level off, but it does not look like a peak to me.'

You may lose your shirt, Mr Ho.

AIG hitches a ride on Manchester U

There's a new cheer among Manchester United fans: Goodbye, Vodafone! Hello, AIG!

After the Chelsea team secured Samsung sponsorship for its players' strip, US tycoon Malcolm Glazer's club yesterday secured a four-year, #56.5 million ($770.61 million) sponsorship from AIG - its first sports sponsorship - starting from the next football season.

This looks like a perfect match. ManU has 70 million fans all over the world, with 40 million in Asia - including 20 million on the mainland. AIG has less than 55 million customers, but its insurance arm, AIA, is top in Asia.

What next? Will they rename AIG Tower in Central to ManU Centre?

In search of fairy-tale beauties

Guess who's gone missing at Hong Kong Disneyland? Apart from hordes of tourists, the Magic Kingdom seems to be on the hunt for two flesh-and-blood ladies.

In its search for fairy-tale faces to bring to life Snow White and Cinderella, Hong Kong Disney executives will be flying to Orlando, New York, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

According to Disney's local website, only people aged over 18 years need apply. They must also speak English and stand between five feet and two inches and five feet and seven inches.

Disney has not been successful in its bid to hire Asian faces for these famous characters, mainly because they are not meant for Asians - much in the same way that legendary Chinese female-warrior Mulan could never be played by a Caucasian.




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