Guangzhou shops and businesses are cashing in on the handover with souvenir coins, telephone cards, watches, rail tickets, glasses and flags. The big-ticket items are up for grabs on Sunday with an auction of gold and silver passes for the Beijing-Kowloon railway at the city's International Science Centre. Bids in the thousands of yuan are expected for the limited-edition Beijing Railway Bureau tickets. Meanwhile, the city subway company is issuing 70,000 souvenir cards from mid-July through the Construction Bank. The 200-yuan (HK$186) set depicts the opening of the subway on Saturday and Hong Kong's return. A subway official said the company expected strong demand from collectors. The Guangdong Post and Telecommunications Bureau on the weekend will start selling 30,000, 300-yuan sets of 'Return of Hong Kong' souvenir cards, complete with compact discs of patriotic music. In Chiyi Road, a shop selling handover souvenirs reported brisk trade in handover-related coins, pens, ashtrays, penholders and other items since last month. 'Most of the buyers are work units and companies, not individuals,' a shop assistant said.' A watch with a bauhinia flag costs 50 yuan, while a set of three glasses with scenes of Hong Kong goes for 35 yuan. A plate with the words 'Celebrate the return of Hong Kong' costs 80 yuan. Like other cities, Guangzhou is plastered with banners celebrating the territory's return and is staging performances of dance, music and singing to mark the occasion. Stringent controls have restricted travel to Hong Kong since the start of June, so the closest most Guangdong citizens will get to the handover is the television image. Yet 3,000 from the province, who are on official six-day tour groups departing until Sunday, will be able to witness the event live. The Guangdong tourists account for 70 per cent of the mainland visitors allowed into Hong Kong to watch history being made. The tours are suspended from Monday to Wednesday. Official tours were the only way for ordinary mainlanders to go to Hong Kong for the handover, the Guangzhou Daily said yesterday.