INCHROY Credit Corporation has sent a very special Christmas card to a large clump of customers. OVERDUE PAYMENT NOTICE (FINAL REMINDER) is the cheery statement in capital letters the firm has chosen to go on this seasonal message. 'We would like to inform you that your account still remains overdue. Kindly arrange for payment to be made immediately. Unless the total past due amount is paid immediately, we have no alternative but to proceed with repossession without further notice,' it continues. The problem is, Inchroy's computer has rather let them down. The date of sending on the bills is clearly December 12. The due date is December 29. The reader who alerted us to this unusual way of celebrating the festive season was unable to get an apology out of Inchroy when he called to find out what was going on. Indeed, he was hard pressed to find an assistant able to stop giggling about the 'hilarious misunderstanding' long enough to explain. Damage done APRIL is the cruellest month, according to TS Eliot's poem 'The Wasteland'. But in the wacky world of warrants, it is December which does the worst damage to portfolios. About 26 warrants are set to expire this month, mostly on December 31, and the vast majority of them are deep underwater and set to expire worthless, barring a miracle end of year rally prepared to take Shougang Technology's share price from $0.34 to $2.42 before the bell of Big Ben strikes the warrant out. Twenty of the warrants are currently trading at a price of one cent. Soul space FAUSTIAN offers like this one don't come along everyday, so we suggest that the figure suggested should act as the benchmark for all future soul-selling deals in Hong Kong. It just goes to show, souls aren't nearly as highly valued in Hong Kong as in Europe. There, where the devil is known as Mephistopheles rather than 'Terry', the going rate for a soul is a lifetime of fun, achieving all your goals, getting any man or woman you want, enormous wealth and the respect of everyone with the only downside being eternal damnation. We wonder what the regional financial newspaper gets. If the paper is Asia Times, then we suggest the answer might be 'a reader'. Take the plunge HELLO Houston control, China Apollo has landed. It was one small step for a man but a giant plummet for the shares. China Apollo, the superstitious people's soft drink maker which sells, among other things, a 'virility improver' not only failed to please potential subscribing investors, it failed to please the market when it did arrive. After selling only 20 million of the 35 million shares dealt on its first day of trading yesterday, it plummeted more than 30 per cent and closed 22 per cent down. One problem might be the striking resemblance the Apollo symbol bears to Allied Group's logo. Food for thought DELIFRANCE has been circulating a questionnaire among its customers to find out more about them and what they think of Delifrance. It isn't exactly politically correct, as reader Martin Lane of Campenon Bernard noted. In the section on race, one can tick boxes labelled 'Chinese', 'Euro/US', 'Resident', 'Eurasian Other' and 'Tourist'. 'Maybe Chris Patten should raise the issue of passports for all 'tourists',' Mr Lane said. We also note that Delifrance has a neolithic attitude to sexual roles. Under status, customers are invited to describe themselves as 'student', 'employee' or 'housewife'. We suppose they did also manage to include 'businessman/businesswoman' as a choice, so one mark out of two.