Shedding some light on the executive power game
The most powerful executive is not always the highest paid.
Consider the case of power producer CLP Group chief executive Andrew Brandler, who was the highest paid director for seven years. He got a 10.8 per cent pay rise last year for a package of HK$15.4 million.
But then he was topped by Richard McIndoe, the managing director of CLP Australia, whose overall remuneration increased 36 per cent to HK$15.9 million in the same period. Mr McIndoe received a HK$5.1 million secondment benefit that included housing and children allowances.
Hong Kong managing director Betty Yuen So Siu-mai saw her compensation rise to HK$10.9 million, up 5.8 per cent, slightly more than the utility's tariff increase late last year. She edged past chief financial officer Peter Tse Pak-wing, who made HK$10.3 million last year, up 5.1 per cent, to be the third-highest paid.
One interesting observation: CLP was transparent enough to provide, down to the dollar, the remunerations for non-executive directors. As such, it was easy to spot that chairman Michael Kadoorie received a director's fee of HK$454,243, up 31.8 per cent.
Not smart enough to share
China Railway Construction Corp, which debuts on the Hong Kong stock market today, attracted a record HK$534.85 billion worth of orders from 800,946 retail investors, which translates into one in four adults in the city applying to own shares of the infrastructure contractor.
But the CRCC allotment tally showed that 3,392 applicants were rejected because of the cheque bouncing (1,818), multiple applications or suspected multiple applications (1,222), or invalid applications (352).
Among the 800,000-plus applicants, 36 per cent, or 292,132, applied for a minimum of 500 shares and one-tenth of them were awarded shares at HK$10.70. The total number of shares this group applied for was less than the number of shares two apparently well-heeled individuals tried to get - the maximum of 85.3 million shares each was allowed.
Big friends, big bucks
What is the price of a tycoon's friendship?
Being friends with Li Ka-shing, Lee Shau-kee and Cheng Yu-tung costs around HK$100 million each.
The trio were the cornerstone investors for Larry Yung Chi-kin's Citic Pacific spin-off, Dah Chong Hong Holdings, which distributes Volkswagen and Bentley vehicles.
Dah Chong Hong yesterday reported a spectacular 59 per cent increase in profit to HK$515 million, exceeding its own forecast by HK$100 million. However, the share price has plunged more than 50 per cent since its debut in October.
As a result, the three tycoons have a paper loss of HK$100 million on Dah Chong Hong.
Who says initial public offerings are a sure-win game for tycoons?
Good luck, either way
To those punters who feel luck will be upon them in today's HK$45 million Mark Six jackpot, here is a lucky combination of numbers to try: 3-7-9-12-16-23.
These are the stock codes of companies whose board tycoon Lee Shau-kee sits on as a director. The list runs as: Henderson Land (0012), Henderson Investment (0097), Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) and Bank of East Asia (0023).
If you believe in Asia's Midas of Stocks, try also these other numbers: 7-8-20-26-28-38. They are the stock codes for China Life Insurance (2628), Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (0388) and Country Garden (2007) - companies that are in Mr Lee's investment portfolio.
Wall St sheriff shamed
Spare a thought for Eliot Spitzer, the New York governor who less than a year ago swept into Albany, the state's capital, on a ticket of ethical practices and fair play on Wall Street.
In less than 81 hours since he was linked to hiring a prostitute, at least 81 T-shirts poking fun at him have become available for sale online. (http://www.zazzle.com/pd/find/qs-spitzer?sp=7&pg=6)
Most of these T-shirts use as their theme his code name with the escort service - 'Client No9.' Shoppers can take their pick of T-shirts printed with 'Eli9t' or 'Re-elect client No9 for my governor'. One version features him as attorney general, a post he held before becoming governor, with the slogan, 'Give him the hook(er).'
Lai See can't help but wonder why it is taking so long for someone to market creative T-shirts featuring some of the people in this city's colourful recent news.