• Tue
  • Jul 29, 2014
  • Updated: 10:58pm
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 July, 2013, 3:30am

Peter Chan proves 'where there's a will there's a way'

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.
 

RCG Holdings shot up 2 1.33 per cent to 45.5 HK cents in the first half hour of trading. It then fell back to 38 HK cents up 1.3 per cent on the day. Why, you may wonder, should this be of any interest?

The chairman of this company is no less than Peter Chan Chun-chuen, who on Thursday was found guilty of forging a will that was purported to be that of billionaire businesswoman Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum. What was the market telling us? That Chan's conviction was good for the company?

This may be so in that with Chan's retreat from the scene, so to speak, the company may be worth more as a potential shell company to facilitate a back-door listing for a mainland company, than whatever Chan was doing with it. But you get the feeling that the firm's feng shui is all messed up despite Chan's dabbling in this arcane art.

 

KLM goes Dutch

The airline KLM has told its Hong Kong cabin crew that their services are no longer needed and they are to lose their jobs. The airline which has 12 flights a week to Hong Kong employs 38 Hong Kong cabin crew to fly on the Hong Kong-Amsterdam route specifically to handle language and cultural problems for Hong Kong Chinese passengers.

However, the airline says in an e-mail to its staff that recent surveys show that, "Asian Cabin Crew on our Hong Kong flights no longer add sufficient value to the experience and needs of our local customers".

This is because "most local customers do not encounter any language or cultural barriers on their international flight." By this we assume they mean that it's not because Hong Kong people all speak Dutch, but because they have English as a lingua franca.

The airline says that as the contracts come to an end they will not be renewed. But the e-mail says - somewhat mysteriously - that "at the moment we are working on several options as to how to deal with the new situation". A KLM spokesman declined to elaborate on these options.

 

Strange tales from Bali

We continue to be bombarded with tales from angry and or frustrated HSBC clients struggling to withdraw cash from ATMs even in Asia.

This as we all know is because the single payment network used by HSBC - China UnionPay - has yet to operate at its full potential, to put it politely.

One reader has written to explain how he dealt with the problem of his non-performing Hang Seng Bank ATM card while on holiday in Bali. Step 1: Get son, 21, to use his non-HSBC ATM card for his British student account to draw money. This apparently works in almost every ATM in Bali. Step 2: Use Hang Seng Bank internet banking to top up son's bank account in Britain with funds from Hong Kong.

This arrives in his account next day and is better than transferring from a British bank account as that takes five days. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until back in HK. This process he observes, while expensive is better than visiting every ATM in Bali to find one that likes your card.

He adds that the ATMs in 7-elevens sometimes like Hang Seng ATM cards. He also disagrees with Jim Walker whose experiences with an HSBC ATM card we discussed yesterday.

"SocGen's ATMs did not like my UnionPay ATM card."

 

Fishy experience

To Dot Cod Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar in the basement of Prince's Building to sample its latest culinary delights from new chef Arron Rhodes.

He has worked with Michelin Star, Rosettes and San Pellegrino world-ranked restaurants in a number of countries. He reached the semi-finals of the prestigious Craft Guild of chef's National Chef of the Year Competition in 2010.

So he's no slouch in the kitchen. In the past year Dot Cod has moved into finer dining while retaining many of the old favourites. Rhodes is continuing in this vein with the likes of this dish: ocean trout, coffee syrup, spiced potato puree, ginger and garlic, cabbage and braised silver skin onions. Or what about the grilled Hawaiian Tuna with Arbequina olive, homemade potato chips, basil gel, and confit tomatoes.

This we can verify is excellent, but for those that don't fancy it, they can have the fish pie which the restaurant has served since it opened in 2000.

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