SWIRE Pacific is one of Hong Kong's largest conglomerates. Interests include property, aviation, beverages and marine services. Last year Merrill Lynch put a buy on the stock, saying Swire's major activities of property investment and aviation were entering an upturn. This proved poor advice. Concerns about failure to replenish its dwindling land-bank and perceived lack of exposure to China saw shares fall into a trough. Twelve months ago Swire traded at $64.25. Now it is at $69, having trailed the Hang Seng Index by 22.97 per cent.