Kwong On Bank Recommendation: Sell Brokerage: ING Barings KWONG On Bank provides customers with corporate and retail banking, foreign exchange, treasury and other financial services. The company's first interim results for the year to June saw net profit grow only 3 per cent, well below the average of other small banks, and no interim dividend was declared. Operating expenses jumped 23 per cent, mainly due to upgrading the computer system and higher rent in relocating the headquarters building. The likelihood of higher expenses over the full year, and a tougher operating environment mean the bank is likely to post unexciting growth. Lam Soon Food Industries Recommendation: Hold Brokerage: New China Hong KongLAM Soon Food and its subsidiaries process, package and market flour, edible oils, vegetable fats and detergents. Lam Soon's net profit plunged 99 per cent in 1995, despite strong earnings at the group's Taiwan can-manufacturing arm, as the other three major divisions suffered from surging raw material costs. As costs remain high, the year is expected to be one of further consolidation, with shares remaining depressed. Long-term prospects are more promising. Growing affluence in China suggests great opportunities. QPL International Recommendation: Buy Brokerage: South China Brokerage QPL International is one of the world's largest manufacturers of leadframes and is also a major player in circuit board assembly. The group posted growth in earnings of 185 per cent to $578 million for the year ended April 1996, mainly due to streamlining its wafer business and the turnaround of Nancy operations. Earnings slowed in the second half due to over-capacity in the industry. This could overhang operations in the 1997 financial year. Expansion in China and the increasing applications for integrated circuits will help enlarge its client base and enhance profit margins.