WHEN it comes to fund management, Jardine Fleming dominates the territory. It says it is the biggest and it says it is the best.
Just for good measure, it generally says it's the brightest and the bravest as well.
With that in mind, we were fascinated to receive a summary of Jardine Fleming's investment companies' performance for the year to August.
We see the JF China Region fund on a discount of 20.8 per cent, followed closely by the JF Taiwan Investment Management Fund which is on a 18.6 per cent discount and the JF Philippine Fund on a discount of 14.4 per cent.
Not exactly worth boasting about.
It has undoubtedly been a tough-ish year and Jardine's defends its corner by saying such things as it has been a 'difficult period'.
But it's been even tougher for investors.
A new investor at the beginning of the year in JF's China Region fund would not only have lost 20.8 per cent of his investment, but would also have had to pay an initial charge and an annual management fee, adding six to seven per cent to the losses.
Factor in Hong Kong's 10 per cent inflation and it gets even worse. But it is not all bad news. While investors are losing money, JF is still raking it in.
We only have space for one example, so we'll use the JF Japan OTC Fund, which has announced results for the period January to June 1995.
The share price has plummeted 25.9 per cent in US dollar terms and 36.9 per cent in yen terms.
Despite this, JF has managed to charge a whacking US$674,058 in management fees for the same period. Not surprisingly, the directors decided not to pay an interim dividend.
JF argues it is number one. Could that be because that's who it looks after? Greek peek ATTENTION analysts. Get your butts down to the presentation for fabric manufacturer Gilbert Holdings, which is to list on the market next week.
We are told this is not to be the standard spiel on operations and profit margins.
To add a bit of pip, the company has arranged for scantily clad lady models to attend the meeting, wearing Greek style outfits and leaning against tall Doric columns.
A Freudian would have a field day, but it sounds more fun than the usual offering.
Prix plea THIS is a plea for help. The Hong Kong Classic Car Club may not be able to race at the Macau Grand Prix this year unless it finds a sponsor - fast.
The club has been racing its 20-odd classic vehicles in Macau since 1982 and the race is much looked forward to by both racing experts and less well-versed fans. After all the screeching of the single-seaters, the growls of the classics are a welcome respite.
The racing also tends to be tighter and the crashes far more expensive.
Cars in the field include MGs, Aston Martins, Morgans, Alfa Romeos, TVRs and a host of beauties from the history of motor racing. But the racing fee has increased from $60,000 10 years ago to a massive $850,000 today - and that's how much they need to keep the classic afloat.
So if you fancy being the company responsible for bringing a bit of classic racing pleasure into the Macau Grand Prix, call Lai See and we'll put you in touch with the powers that be.
Small omission SO, how does that illustrious organisation, the New China News Agency view the recent Legco elections? We are told 'only 920,000 people or 35.79 per cent of the registered electorate cast their ballots'.
It also reports that 'during the balloting, many cases of disorderliness and angry scenes turned up' and 'many qualified voters claimed that they were groundlessly deprived of the right to vote'.
We are also told 'local media doubted the fairness of the elections'.
The fact that the Democrats did rather well does not merit a mention.
Last words WELL, it was short and sweet but this is the last Lai See by this writer. Thanks to everyone that got into the spirit of the thing. It wouldn't have been half as much fun without you. I would like to offer these as my last words. Kill the spods.