SPIN-OFF frenzy is taking the local stock market by storm as tycoons learn that flogging off those cupboards full of nasty China property and no-hope infrastructure deals can actually benefit their share price. Better yet, the punters are so dim that unless they actually receive a piece of paper from the stock exchange detailing numbers of shares sold and prices, they don't realise the major shareholder is selling down. If the current bull market continues then there is a whole string of more or less likely deals which could follow. The serious contenders include the Hutchison ports portfolio (which has been reorganised already for listing and a convertible bond already issued) or else some deal involving China property, or a possible sell-down by Jardines of its Hong Kong property. Swire may conceivably sell Swire Bottlers (an analysts' meeting has just been scheduled by the company), and Citic seems to have an insatiable appetite for cash. On the other hand, we are also hoping to see Dairy Farm spin off the Nestle joint venture, Hongkong Land to divest its China property portfolio, Sun Hung Kai to let the Sun Sun Chan Fund go independent, Oriental Daily News could always float the Eastern Express and even combine with Lane Crawford's similarly named and equally successful offshoot. And perhaps Hong Kong Ferry could float the pierhead. We're going to take a leaf out of the tycoons' book too, by bundling all the unsuccessful column items we've written together, repackaging them, selling them and then claiming they have nothing to do with us. Glowing tribute SPEAKING of Daya Bay, did the Xinhua-types really say that everything was okay in local waters because there was no 'visible' effects on the ocean environment. What do they want? Lumps of plutonium floating through Victoria Harbour? Fluorescent prawns? Twinkle twinkle IT was delightful to get more of an insight into the thinking of astrological stockmarket guru Rebecca Nolan (Sunday Morning Post) but Lai See was rather mystified at Ms Nolan's assertion that 1996 was going to be full of volatility out of which her followers could profit. The last time we heard from Hong Kong's answer to Mystic Meg was shortly before Christmas when she was warning about The Great Financial Panic of 1996, an event which she promised would be little short of cataclysmic. Maybe we blinked and missed it. Obvious omen GRAHAM Muirhead, of HSBC Investment Management, has suddenly come over all bearish on the outlook for the Hong Kong stock market. Recent rises in the Hang Seng Index have come despite what Mr Muirhead called a slowdown in earnings growth. Given that the big result everyone awaits with bated breath is that of his parent company, HSBC Holdings which announces profits on February 26, one could be forgiven for wondering whether he knows something we don't. Eco-pests DOLPHIN Watchers have managed to turn a most highly unpolitically correct activity into a 'right on' thing to do by bunging some profits towards dolphin related charities. But we reckon the whole thing stinks. The dolphin-watch boats chase the few remaining pink dolphins from bay to bay hassling them and making their few remaining years a misery. Truly environmentally friendly types won't be going off dolphin watching by motor boat but will instead be on the Lai See Dolphin-Watcher Watching tour. The tour will start by lying in wait at Queen's Pier and other sites where dolphin watchers are known to congregate after spying on the innocent sea beasts. Then we follow them round Central shopping malls making loud comments about them to each other and taking pictures. Our commentary will be enough to put off anyone around from ever spying on innocent wildlife in an intrusive way again. 'Look at that one! It's picking its nose,' we will shout as our quarry tries to lose us by dodging into the Versace boutique in Landmark. 'Uggh! It's going to buy a Melissa Etheridge CD,' we will cry in HMV. Some of the best dolphin watcher watching comes in the evening as these playful creatures try to pick up companions of the opposite sex in Lan Kwai Fong bars. Think how much more successful they will be if Lai See is there with a crowd of heavy drinking punters to laugh at their bumbling chat-up lines and oh-so-casual attempts to initiate conversations with people way out of their league. By the time we've trailed them back to their hotel rooms and tried to photograph them getting ready for bed, we suspect these so-called eco-tourists will have a far higher empathy with the fast-disappearing pink dolphin population of the Pearl River delta than they did during their two-hour rubber-necking session.