Lai See

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2007, 12:00am

BEA directors with plenty to smile about after stock's 88pc surge

Bank of East Asia's directors must have been giddy to see the lender's shares flying. Except perhaps the five of the 17 board members who do not own the stock.

Its price jumped an auspicious 88 per cent last year.

They included three very wealthy men: PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai, Sun Hung Kai Properties vice-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Vitasoy chairman Winston Lo Yau-lai.

The rest are probably happily counting away anyway. After chairman David Li Kwok-po and his siblings, who together control 9.04 per cent of BEA, V-Tech chairman Allan Wong Chi-yun owns 10.48 million shares with a market value of HK$465 million and electronics tycoon William Mong Man-wai holds 6.13 million shares worth HK$272 million, based on yesterday's closing of HK$44.40.

The three executive directors are sitting on huge paper profits as well. David Li, who owns 30.06 million shares, also holds 3.85 million in unexercised options priced between HK$14.90 and HK$15.80 worth a cool HK$1.5 billion.

Outgoing deputy chief executive Chan Kay-cheung, who owns 908,200 shares and 1.9 million in unexercised shares, stands to pocket HK$124.6 million. Ditto for chief executive Joseph Pang Yuk-wing, who is sitting on HK$123.4 million.

Not a bad tally for a group of bankers, who have spent a combined 114 years at the institution.

too busy for board meetings

Meanwhile, young turks and the old guard can certainly find common ground and Richard Li and Lee Shau-kee are proving to be very busy fellows.

So perhaps they can be excused for missing half of Bank of East Asia's eight board meetings last year, according to the bank's annual report. Neither appeared at the annual general meeting last year.

SHKP vice-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong attended five sessions.

All three directors had a declining record from the previous year.

gulliver cashes in

The man believed to be HSBC's highest-paid employee sold more than HK$70 million worth of shares in London last week, right after the bank released its annual results.

Stuart Gulliver, 48, head of HSBC's corporate, investment banking and markets and group investment businesses, sold 519,087 shares at between #8.93 and #9.06 on March 5.

The sale was a result of Mr Gulliver - who joined the bank in 1980 - exercising his employee share plan to meet his tax liabilities, according to a document filed by HSBC. After the sale, he will still hold 754,371 shares.

lee bets on mainland property

'Buy low, sell high,' are the pearls of wisdom imparted by Lee Shau-kee.

The Warren Buffett of H shares told reporters yesterday he envisaged the Hang Seng Index trading between 18,000 and 22,000 this year.

Still, in case you were wondering, he hasn't sold a share in his core holding China Life Insurance, despite the stock dropping 25 per cent since it peaked at HK$28.85 last month. It closed yesterday at HK$21.85.

The always bullish tycoon is optimistic about mainland property. His flagship Henderson Land plans to spend HK$10 billion growing its mainland landbank by 70 million square feet this year.

jumbo takes a break

Jumbo Floating Restaurant, the Aberdeen tourist attraction, is about to take some shore leave and its longest break from duty in 30 years.

Casino kingpin Stanley Ho Hung-sun's brainchild was shipped to Guangzhou Huanggpu Shipyard for six weeks of maintenance work, and will be back by the end of next month.

Jumbo Kingdom, which started operation in October 1976, has received 30 million visitors since opening. In its heyday, it had three sidekicks - the last, Jumbo Palace, sailed to the Philippines four years ago.

During the maintenance period, Tai Pak Floating Restaurant will be returned from decommission for use.

Jumbo Kingdom is now operated by Melco International Development, run by Stanley's son Lawrence Ho Yau-lung, Expanding on the idea, the young Mr Ho plans to build an ocean-themed City of Dreams in partnership with Australian's Publishing & Broadcasting to be opened in Macau next year.