Agency dives into Sevens ruck for a fast buck

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 March, 1994, 12:00am

GREAT news for the thousands of people who paid $350 for a Rugby Sevens ticket: you've made a 757 per cent profit in just six weeks.

Sports fans: stop reading here. You may start getting upset.

A fascinating advertisement placed by an unnamed party in yesterday's Classified Post was offering an ''executive suite'' for the Sevens weekend, with thirty tickets.

Callers who rang 846 5183 were told the seller was estate agent Jones Lang Wootton and that it wanted $150,000.

Box-holders buy their little den from stadium managers Wembley International and can then use it for all stadium events, from Cantopop to sports.

But interestingly, box-holders can't sell their patch directly if they don't want to use it on a particular day, but have to sell it back to Wembley, who take a 15 per cent cut if they resell.

Of course, JLW wasn't going to sneakily sell its box privately to avoid paying the commission, because it's an estate agency which relies on commission to stay in business.

One source claims that another executive box has traded for $280,000 for the Sevens weekend. Yet these boxes, when first sold last September, were priced at between $800,000 and $1.2 million for a full three years, depending on location.

It would be possible to make a profit by reselling a three-year box just for the three annual Rugby Sevens weekends. You could then watch all the other events in deluxe comfort for free.

You'd also be able to watch the mugs, who didn't have the necessary capital, queue and pay every time.

Scalped clean ONE ticket-holder was asking $3,000 for tickets yesterday, although we don't know whether any sales were made. Another was asking $1,500.

''I said I hoped they went to prison,'' said the person who wanted the tickets, who was under the delusion they'd only have to pay a very mild premium. Ho, ho, ho.

The number of tickets is up on last year, but the number of rugger-loving expatriate-run firms in Hong Kong has been rising fast, and a scrum is developing among those who didn't get their act together.

Given the explosion of interest in tickets for all sorts of sporting events for corporate hospitality, it's only a matter of time before Business Post starts printing a daily list of prices.

This would be appropriate. Big-spending finance companies are partly responsible for the booming demand, in the same way they're pushing up flat rentals.

Nabbed cab? ANYONE recognise that Toyota Crown taxi on the front cover of yesterday's Post? As Management Answers' James Middleton noticed, it was right hand drive. There was a strong chance that it was stolen in Hong Kong and converted into a taxi once it crossed the border.

IEA blackout A COLLEAGUE received a truly heart-warming letter of praise this week from the International Energy Agency, which ran a conference in Hong Kong late last year.

''We would like to offer sincere thanks for your valuable contribution to the IEA Second International Conference on the Clean and Efficient Use of Coal and Lignite,'' said the IEA.

The letter, which was correctly addressed and spelled her name correctly, listed some great things that had happened at a conference she had addressed and stated: ''Your contribution was major factor in bringing about these accomplishments.

''It is our understanding that your session was exceptional.'' She truly is charismatic. She made an exceptional contribution to a conference she didn't address. Or even attend.

Name to trust YESTERDAY'S announcement by the SFC that a company called Fidelity Limited had been prosecuted for unregistered dealing wasn't as exciting as it looked.

The folks over at Fidelity Investments, the giant fund management house, were very keen to say that they had nothing to do with the miscreants Fidelity Limited.

The folks over at Fidelity Investments are pretty protective about their name, and in the past have made noises about companies that seem to be trying to get a free ride.

For the record, the giant Fidelity group does not offer brokerage services in Hong Kong, even though it does offer them in the US and Britain.

A good name is worth protecting. One broker disputes the conventional reason for the change of name of World International (Holdings), Peter Woo's property and trading group, to Wheelock and Co.

Peter always says the name change was because the Wheelock name had loads of tradition.

The rival version maintains they didn't like being confused with recently listed World Houseware (Holdings), which makes plastic shower curtains.

No legman GIVEN Sir Hamish Macleod's giveaway on electric vehicles - and the piles of cash he was throwing at sewage works and things, it seemed fair to ask how he got from the Legco building after delivering his Budget speech to his next engagement.

This was a press conference in Beaconsfield House - a distance of less than 50 metres.

An official aide whispered that, errr, he'd driven in a limo.