Swire Group

Lai See

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, 12:00am

Top investment bankers get ready for rough and tumble

What can lure some of the city's top expatriates out of their corner offices and get them sweaty? It's got to be the mini winter version of the Rugby Sevens, which falls on Sunday this year.

For 24 years, the Savills Professions Sevens attracted representatives from Swire Pacific, Jardine Matheson, Johnson Stokes & Master, PricewaterhouseCoopers and half of the big boys from the investment banking community and pack them off to Stanley Fort for a one-day contest.

A highlight of the day will be a Director's Challenge in which rugby fans such as Goldman Sachs managing director Simon Moseley, HSBC head of corporate, investment banking and markets Rhydian Cox and Credit Suisse vice-chairman Joe Gallagher will tackle in the rugby field for charity.

Morgan Stanley was the winner in the past two years, with Swire winning the most titles - for seven years.

Coffee, tea or Singapore deal

What is common between checking in for a China Eastern Airlines flight and attending the company's shareholder meeting? You need a passport number in both cases.

According to the shareholder circular, those wishing to attend and vote on the upcoming extraordinary general meeting on January 8 will be required to fill in an attendance slip and offer a passport number or identity card number.

The meeting will decide if China Eastern shareholders agree to have Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings as its strategic shareholders. Perhaps SIA could consider 'sweetening' the deal with young stewardesses serving meal boxes at the shareholder meetings.

Temasek locks in profit

Who knows how to time the market these days? Singapore investment arm Temasek, which had an enviable track record of investing in mainland shares, cashed out some HK$4.4 billion worth of shares in Bank of China yesterday.

The selling price, however, was at a rather low HK$4.09, 21 per cent off its peak of HK$5.19 made on November 1, and almost 5 per cent down from the start of the year. Temasek locked in profit of HK$1.23 billion, while still owning a 15 per cent stake worth over HK$40 billion.

The disposal was perceived as reducing equity exposure in Temasek's portfolio amid the global subprime crisis.

Cheng Yu-tung's stock tip

What is the most common question for local tycoons these days? It has to be their outlook on the Hang Seng Index.

Yesterday New World Development chairman Cheng Yu-tung was asked his view of the stock market.

He told reporters to ask Lee Shau-kee, the 'God of stock' instead. Seeing a group of disappointed reporters, Mr Cheng then offered his own forecast. 'There may be still volatility in the short term but it is not a correction,' said Mr Cheng, who tipped that the index would float around 26,000 and 27,000 and reach 30,000 again in the first quarter.

He said investors could bottom-fish at this level but declined to say if he had already done so.

Outdoor classical delight

Who says classical music belongs only in a classic theatre for the enjoyment of a privileged few?

Swire Pacific will host the largest outdoor concert, 'Symphony under the Stars,' with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra this Friday at the Happy Valley Racecourse Recreation Grounds. Last year, Swire gave HK$36 million to the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Barking up the wrong tower

A question for green groups such as Friends of the Earth: Why gather at Cheung Kong Centre to protest against Canning Fok Kin-ning's decision to call off the ParknShop's donation campaign? Mr Fok's office is on the top floor of Hutchison House, although he spends half of his time in Europe.