Welcome to the Lee Shau-kee stock era
Exactly three weeks ago, Lai See went to an annual general meeting and came out with a 100-word item about how the Hang Seng Index would break 25,000 by year-end.
Yesterday, the blue-chip index closed at 24,898, up 1,977 points in the past three weeks, a run that started with a gain of 811 points the day after the bullish call.
Welcome to the Lee Shau-kee stock era! Forget about Li Ka-shing (who seldom gives stock tips except for his own companies) or Warren Buffett (who has been unloading PetroChina shares). The Henderson Land Development chairman is the one to look to for real money tips.
On Wednesday, Mr Lee (right) will make a public appearance at the Open University of Hong Kong, and we understand he will likely carry his bullish tone for the HSI even further - tipping it to reach at least 28,000, or even 30,000, by year-end. So be forewarned - don't go short selling the shorts on the market.
Mr Lee has made his name as Hong Kong's 'God of stocks' in the past two years. In the summer of 2005, he was asked about investing in hot mainland initial public offerings through his private fund Shau Kee Financial Enterprise. With his money on mega-issues such as China Life Insurance, China Shenhua Energy and Bank of China, his HK$50 billion fund quickly grew and now stands at HK$150 billion.
His track record makes him the most sought-after stock commentator in town. He always rises to the occasion, but never gives a bearish tone. That largely reflects his investment style of buying but not trading shares. Mr Lee bought China Life shares at HK$3.63. They closed yesterday at HK$38. He was reported to have sold half of his stake at around HK$6.50.
Mr Lee, affectionately known as 'Uncle Four', appears to have more interest in the equity market than in the property market. Last year he revealed that investing in shares yielded much better returns.
He is an example of how money can be made with a simple but sensible investment philosophy. As the city felt the impact of the US subprime crisis, he asserted that the mainland had the most attractive growth among other markets, and bought HK$2 billion worth of shares when the HSI fell below 20,000 on August 17.
Every morning, Mr Lee takes two hours for meditation and massage. He will then go to his IFC office for a simple lunch and stay there until after 7pm. Yet he gets on top of the equity market, and is willing to share investment tips with the people. Don't you just love Uncle Four?
Anson Chan's many hats
Before returning to the political arena, Anson Chan Fang On-sang found time to dress up in Compagnie Financiere Richemont, which owns brands such as Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, Chloe and Shanghai Tang.
On Thursday, she was appointed as a director of Richemont, along with former Hutchison Whampoa group managing director Simon Murray. Mrs Chan also sits on the board of Mr Murray's General Enterprise Management Service.
Among her other commitments, Mrs Chan became a member of the Asia-Pacific Advisory Board of Barclays Group in January last year. Last month, Barclays brought in China Development Bank as a strategic shareholder in its bid for ABN Amro.
Richemont said it hoped to draw on Mrs Chan's understanding of the mainland market.
We suppose the Zurich-based company will soon find out how the mainland will react to her pending election to the Legislative Council.
Next Wednesday, Irish singer Bob Geldof will speak at the annual investor conference of CLSA. The concert that is part of the event will feature Australian band INXS.
Rock lovers may recall that Sir Bob was once married to Paula Yates, who ditched him for the late INXS front man Michael Hutchence. What a nice coincidence.