Lai See

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 July, 2009, 12:00am

Budding Ronaldos get a shot at big time

With Cristiano Ronaldo (below) about to earn an estimated HK$3.8 million a week kicking a football about for Real Madrid, perhaps it's time to start rethinking your kids' career choices.

How timely, then, that Allianz Global Investors has bucked the trend of most financial companies that have cut back on their sports sponsorship and come up with an international football camp for teenagers in Germany next month.

For the first time, the group, which has more than Euro1 trillion (HK$10.76 trillion) in assets under management through different arms such as Pimco, Oppenheimer Capital and RCM, is sponsoring 32 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16 from nine countries - including four from Hong Kong - to a five-day training camp from August 26.

It is being organised with the help of German football giants Bayern Munich.

Allianz is the club's official partner and has naming rights to the magnificent Allianz Arena that was built for the 2006 World Cup.

Budding stars are encouraged to fill in the competition form on the football camp's website if they want to take part.

We heard they are looking for at least one girl from each country.

Sweating the figures

Although Standard Chartered is coy about revealing how much it spends on sponsoring the ever-popular Hong Kong marathon, a good estimate can be drawn from the amount it is putting into the one it organises in Singapore.

It has been reported that the bank will spend S$10 million (HK$53 million) over the next four years. Last year the bank spent S$2.25 million on the marathon that attracted 10,000 runners, which was triple the S$700,000 for the inaugural race in 2002.

Locally, the bank has been sponsoring the marathon for 12 years, with the latest one attracting 51,000 runners.

Going on these figures a fair guess would be that the Hong Kong marathon costs at least double, possibly triple, the Lion City event.

Bull about to break loose

Recession? What recession? Singaporean brokerage UOB Kay Hian came over all bullish yesterday with a second-half strategy report entitled 'Getting Set - A Young Bull'.

'We believe China stocks are still in an early stage of a new multi-year bull market because of a steady consumption-driven economic expansion in the medium term, low interest rates, abundant domestic liquidity, and declining risk premium. Those who are long-term bullish should focus on consumers, financial and property stocks.'

Losers lock, stock and barrel

While Newcastle United is hoping to welcome a new owner soon, a little pub in Singapore has shown the red card to the supporters of the struggling football club.

Lock, Stock and Barrel on Seah Street, near the iconic Raffles Hotel, used to be the home of Leeds United and Southampton Football Club supporters. We all know what happened to those former English Premier League sides: Leeds was relegated in 2004, Southampton in 2005.

In the past few years, the pub had been host to Newcastle's Singapore supporters. However, the proud Geordie outfit lost its relegation battle and will be playing in the Championship in the new season.

But Championship football will not be easy - just ask Leeds or Southampton. The Yorkshire club dropped further into League One in 2007 while the south coast outfit will be playing in League One too in the new season starting next month. Ominous signs?

There must be something about Lock, Stock and Barrel but come August, the pub may be hosting a new supporters group. Will they be the fans of Birmingham City or Wigan Athletic, perhaps?