• Thu
  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:53am
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 June, 2013, 4:45am

Rapid response when the rich get robbed

BIO

Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.
 

It can take a long time to get the attention of the police, as we have noticed with matters such as illegal car parking and the like. But when the rich get robbed - the force immediately swoops into action.

Witness its response to the offences committed by the so-called spider-man burglar. He apparently shinned up scaffolding outside two apartments at a Repulse Bay development and made off with watches and jewellery worth HK$3.6 million last week. The police said it would step up patrols by uniformed and plainclothes officers around the Repulse Bay Garden Development.

Not content with that, we are told the patrols will include camouflaged officers hiding on a nearby hillside. But just in case that doesn't do the job, helicopters with thermal imaging may also be deployed. Hard to imagine this sort of response for a spate of robberies in, say, Sham Shui Po.

 

Neither devoiced nor divorced

A curious statement from Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) appeared on the stock exchange's website yesterday concerning the company's chairwoman, the mainland's richest female, Cheung Yan.

The statement said the board had noticed recent press reports which said that Yan and her husband, Liu Ming-chung, who is an executive director and chief executive of Nine Dragons, had been devoiced. Closer inspection indicated that the press reports were not suggesting that the pair had been silenced but rather that they had been divorced. This, according to the statement, was also untrue.

 

The Taipan's hoarse

Congratulations are in order for Jardine taipan Ben Keswick. His horse Sky Lantern won the Coronation Stakes, the top race for three-year-olds fillies at Royal Ascot last week. It was 9-2 joint favourite and won by four lengths, ridden by Richard Hughes, British flat racing champion in 2012. Last month, Hughes won his first British classic race on Sky Lantern by winning the 1,000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket. Sky Lantern is proving to be a remarkable horse, winning five out of her nine starts, and coming second three times.

Nevertheless, the novelty of winning has not worn off, and Keswick was shouting so much that he lost his voice, leaving him a little … hoarse.

 

Give us a sign

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been causing a stir recently, attracting considerable local attention, and it goes right to the top of the bank. Or at least right to the top of the bank's building: for it is now adorned with a new sign.

For decades it has simply had a static sign which says Bank of America. The sign has been replaced with a new hi-tech LED sign which, for the past day or so, has been acting as a countdown clock to the start of the unveiling of the new sign, which occurs today, Tuesday.

We understand the clock has attracted considerable interest, particularly from Tsim Sha Tsui, with people ringing up to enquire what the countdown is all about. Could it be a revival of the rubber duck syndrome that transfixed so many people?

Anyhow, once the unveiling occurs, the new sign which is now a super-dynamic, all-singing all-dancing type that will be visible on all four sides of the building, will be doing the usual ticker-tape stuff that banks do, along with providing the countdown for the start of the evening electricity extravaganza - the light show.

 

Terrific traffic

The website China SignPost has been comparing levels of car ownership between the mainland and the United States.

Harris County in Texas, which includes Houston, has the densest car population in the US. Nevertheless, this is exceeded by Metro Beijing, which now has more than four million private passenger cars, 45 per cent more than Harris County. While no other mainland cities exceed Harris County, Tianjin and Chengdu have more cars than New York City's 1.8 million. Xiamen, surprisingly, is the mainland's highest car ownership metro area, with 30.5 cars for every 100 residents, while Guangzhou has a rate of 20 per 100 residents, close to Beijing. Suzhou is just under 23 cars per 100, against New York City's rate of 22 cars per 100 residents. Houston has an astonishing 65.8 cars per 100 residents. Shanghai has 10.7 cars per 100, aided by licence fees of as much as US$10,000 per car.

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