Lai See

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am


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Rusal's reductio ad absurdum fails to seduce investors

The reduction in the size of board lots of Rusal shares from 24,000 to 6,000 shares has not exactly got pulses racing. The reduction, which came into effect on Monday, means that a board lot on the basis of yesterday's closing price of HK$9.12 will cost HK$57,400 instead of HK$218,800.

But the change has made no difference to the daily trading volumes, which have been about 2.6 million shares - within the range of 1 million to 11 million range in which it has traded over the past month. Compare this with Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco), which has a market cap of HK$153 billion - not dissimilar to Rusal's HK$140 billion - but which has a volume in the range of 23 million to 143 million a day over the past month.

There seems to be a distinct lack of love for Rusal though it has had a decent run over the past six weeks from HK7.60 to HK$9.12, but is still 15.5 per cent below its January IPO price of HK$10.80.

Clear skies

An interesting report from stockbrokers CLSA argues that airlines get a bad rap from environmentalists that they probably don't deserve. The recent report makes the point that in the past 40 years airlines have reduced energy consumption on a per passenger kilometre basis by more than 70 per cent, which is probably better than almost any other fossil-fuel- consuming sector. Also airlines have reduced noise levels by more than 90 per cent.

As for the industry's carbon footprint, it is less than 2 per cent - less than road transport. Airline operators have committed to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020 and a 50 per cent absolute reduction in carbon by 2050. No other industry has committed so publicly to those kind of targets.

So for those concerned about their carbon footprint, it's still OK to fly.

Strange brew

More strangeness from the tea-party-backed Christine O'Donnell, who became the Republican senate nominee for Delaware after a shock primary victory recently. Associated Press reports that in a foreign policy debate during her unsuccessful 2006 primary attempt, she said China had a 'carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America'.

Her view was based on classified information which she suggested she had received through non-profit groups she worked with that frequently sent missionaries to China.

There is a warning here: if they are backed by the tea party, watch out for the fruitcakes.

Nice work

The personal worth of star hurdler Liu Xiang exceeds 200 million yuan (HK$231.6 million), while the wealth of basketball star Yao Ming is more than US$700 million, according to Xinhua.

Yao's higher net worth does not have anything to do with advertisements and endorsements, which sports stars normally use as a source of revenue.

The answer is simple: Yao is a savvy investor, according to Xinhua.

One example of his successful investment is a mainland hi-tech global positioning systems maker, Beijing Unistrong Science & Technology, which listed in April on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Yao was the fourth-biggest investor and had a five-year endorsement contract with this company. The IPO price was 37 yuan and it rocketed to 113.98 yuan before falling back to 52 yuan. Nice work if you can get it.

No kidding

First it was women who took themselves off to be primped and pampered in the loving and costly embrace of spas, then it was men. Now we hear of a spa in Phuket that does treatments for children.

Its sales pitch says: 'The healing souls at Phuket's Roseberry New Age Centre are all about loving kids from top to toe, inside and out. A visit to the centre will guarantee your child a blissful experience with one of their specially developed kid's spa treatments ... Kids are great, no stories or explanations, they just instinctively know what they need.'

Parents will, of course, be present for the treatment and may even decide to experience some pampering for themselves at the same time. So much for that old adage that 'children should be seen and not heard'.

Michael Wu

We have to apologise to Michael Wu Wai-chung following yesterday's reflections on his stint as independent non-executive director with First Mobile Group Holdings.

His shareholdings in the company were incorrectly stated as 200 million shares when in fact there were just over two million. We also said he had sold these shares ahead of the company's precipitous decline in earnings, which does not appear to have been the case.