Shimao meeting takes an extraordinary turn
Who says extraordinary general meetings are dry affairs?
Consider Shimao Property Holdings chairman Hui Wing-mau, who faced a disgruntled Indonesian homebuyer seeking compensation for his waterlogged assets.
Before Shimao's EGM at the Ritz-Carlton, Indonesian businessman Sia Ka Mou showed reporters photos of his two flats in Shanghai Shimao Riviera Garden. He also shared his e-mail exchanges with Shimao's management relating to his homes' water-leakage problem.
Except for the water, the investment would have been perfect.
Mr Sia bought the flats three years ago for around 3.45 million yuan each, or about 15,000 yuan per square metre, and the market price is now more than seven million yuan, or 30,000 yuan per square metre.
On top of that, his Shimao shareholding is worth more than HK$200,000.
Reporters followed up his case with Mr Hui, who said Mr Sia's problem was fixed, although he was not happy with the repairs.
Mr Hui said Shimao proposed that a third-party surveyor should look at the problem, but Mr Sia wanted compensation first. 'Shimao provides the highest quality property in China, but that doesn't mean we are 100 per cent perfect,' he said.
He added that if Mr Sia wanted to sell his two flats at 30,000 yuan per metre, he could easily get his friends to buy both properties. What an extraordinary meeting, indeed!
Mum's the word
Across the harbour, things were tense at the Marco Polo Prince Hotel, where more than 20 reporters lined up for the latest from troubled EganaGoldpfeil (Holdings) which held its annual general meeting yesterday. Managers at the Tsim Sha Tsui hotel threatened to call police to clear reporters, saying it was a private function and the media were not invited.
But reporters were unwilling to leave for fear of missing a story.
Finally, EganaGoldpfeil settled reporters in another room, and promised them a photo opportunity.
EganaGoldpfeil kept its promise. Chairman Peter Lee Ka-yue showed up, but he did not take any questions, saying everything the reporters needed to know was in the company announcement.
Unshaved for a good cause
How would you remember the past month - ugly markets but beautiful weather?
For many Dragonair pilots, last month was 'Movember', when they grew and maintained a 'Mo' for the month to raise money for men's prostate cancer research.
They borrowed the idea from Australia.
One notable exception was chief pilot Geoff Marinko, who already had a 'Mo' of his own when he moved to Dragonair from Cathay Pacific.
He contributed to the cause by razing his face fungus for the month.
We're looking forward to see who wins 'Movember', and takes the awards for best, worst and 'most ginga' facial growths.
Bosses a credit to ICBC
Some of the world's top bankers will remember last month as just plain ugly. Even at global giants like Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, the bosses had to take the blame for subprime woes, and pack their bags, although generous golden handshakes may soften the blow for the two men.
It's a different story for Yang Kaisheng, president of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank by market capitalisation, who seems pretty laid back about the whole subprime thing. 'Recently, some foreign bankers visited our bank,' he said.
'They said probably chairman Jiang Jianqing and I were the only two bank heads in the world who can get a good night's sleep recently.'
ICBC originally aimed to beat Citigroup's profits in four years, but they may do it a lot sooner.
Never on Sunday for HSBC
Even bankers - and bank customers - need to chill out. That may explain why HSBC has reverted to a 5?-day schedule after experimenting with seven-day banking for 14 months.
From next year, HSBC will close its branch doors at 1pm on Saturday, 3? hours earlier and they will not open on Sunday.
HSBC said it would adjust the schedule for greater customer convenience. Did they not realise that Hong Kong people prefer to go to country parks or restaurants on weekends rather than queue up for financial advice?