Peregrine's three-year investment in the Hong Kong Sevens is secure, according to a senior official from the financial institution. 'The Hong Kong Sevens is absolutely in no danger. We are committed to it,' said Tom Grimmer, Peregrine's director of corporate communication, yesterday. Senior officials from the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) met with their counterparts at Peregrine on Tuesday to discuss the Hong Kong Sevens, in light of the current Asian currency crises. It is understood that Peregrine was one of several banks hit by the recent collapse of the region's equity markets, and speculative attacks on the Hong Kong dollar. But Grimmer yesterday reaffirmed Peregrine's long-term commitment to the Hong Kong Sevens. 'Peregrine sees the Hong Kong Sevens as one big marketing opportunity. Next year's event is going to be a blockbuster as far as we are concerned because we have organised a fund managers' conference, which will be held in the days preceding the Sevens. 'A key part of our decision to back the Hong Kong Sevens was this conference, which will be attended by over 500 senior fund managers from all around the world. They will attend to three days of business and then enjoy two-and-a-half days of rugby. Our sponsorship of the Sevens is absolutely in no danger.' Like most others, rugby officials were concerned about Peregrine's involvement with the Sevens. 'Naturally some concern was raised. We have had a meeting and the air has been cleared,' said a Hong Kong rugby official, who wished to remain unnamed. 'If they were to pull out, it would send all the wrong sorts of messages.' Peregrine have already paid the sponsorship money for the 1998 tournament. There was some speculation that, as a sign of confidence, Peregrine may cough up the entire three-year sponsorship deal in the near future. But Grimmer dispelled any such notion yesterday. 'That was not in the terms of agreement,' he said. Peregrine took over title sponsorship of the Hong Kong Sevens from Cathay Pacific and Hongkong Bank. The blue-chip companies ended a long-term association with the Sevens last year. The new deal between the HKRFU and Peregrine Investments Holdings will run until 2000, and is believed to be in the region of 10s of millions of Hong Kong dollars. 'All this talk about us going under is rubbish. All these rumours have died down . . . the strongest vote of confidence we have had is the fact that Swiss company Zurich Investments will pump in US$200 million. Who would put this amount of money into a company that is going under?' Grimmer said. But with all the financial uncertainty surrounding the SAR at the moment, the HKRFU had sought reassurance from Peregrine. Next year's Sevens, the 22nd tournament, will be staged from March 27 to 29, and will include the Chinese national side. It will be the first Sevens under SAR rule, the first backed by Peregrine, and the first where prize money (US$510,000) will be offered. All four Home Unions - England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales - declined invitations, citing international and domestic fixture congestion. Tickets, priced at HK$750 for adults and HK$250 for children, will go on sale on February 8.