SWIRE Pacific has operations in aviation, property, industries, trading, marine services and insurance. It also has interests in Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering, ICI paint, Coca-Cola and Carlsberg. Swire recorded a spectacular 40.8 per cent surge in first-half earnings, but the response from investors was mixed. The market became wary of the stock due to expectations of lower second-half earnings, and worries about delays in the completion of two of the group's major projects, Island Place at North Point and the Floridian in Quarry Bay. There were also concerns about the continuing decline in office rents. Standard Securities argues that these concerns are overdone. It states that, more importantly, their impact has already been factored into profit forecasts. Swire's earnings per share growth of 20.7 per cent in financial year 1995 and 14.6 per cent in financial year 1996 is still above the sector's average. Meanwhile, price-earnings ratios are below those of the sector. Furthermore, as a property-intensive hong, the net asset value is of particular importance in judging its worth, and in this respect Swire leads all, with a discount to appraised net asset value of more than 18 per cent. Standard Chartered recommends a buy.