The land auction yesterday may have seen some healthy buying interest - but there were other things on many an attendee's mind. Like, for instance, moves mooted by the Government to stop selling property in the auction rooms and start moving to a tender process. Government auctioneer Paul Tam confirmed that such plans were under consideration, prompting some to worry about the future for the humble auctioneer in Hong Kong. One person wondered: 'What's the impact on the jobs of auctioneers, if the Government puts sites for sale through tenders?' Mr Tam seemed remarkably relaxed: 'There's no impact,' he told them. Turns out gavel-wielding is but one of many tasks our auctioneers have to perform in their high-powered Lands Department jobs. The release on Wednesday of the 1997 11-month profit results of Kwong Sang Hong International (KSHI), the one-time property arm of Peregrine Investments, made for some pretty interesting reading. Chinese Estates Holdings is now in the process of taking over Peregrine's 53 per cent stake in KSHI, but yesterday's release was still signed off by Philip Tose, the former Peregrine boss. It seems Mr Tose is remaining as the property company's chairman for the time being. Mr Tose guided readers through a full broadsheet newspaper page on the performance and prospects of KSHI. However, he neglected to mention the small matter of the liquidation of Peregrine, which was, after all, KSHI's parent. Another interesting point: KSHI announced it was not awarding a final dividend for the year, even though the property company unveiled a significant rise in bottom-line profit. We asked Peregrine liquidator David Hague whether the absence of a dividend payout by KSHI might disappoint creditors of Peregrine. Apparently not: 'If they don't distribute the profits, they are retained within the company and reflected in the shares' market price.' The investment industry turned out in force for the 1997 IFR Asia awards dinner at the Grand Hyatt on Wednesday night. While the grilled sea bass and champagne sherbets went down a treat, some of the actual award winners aroused more than the odd titter. Most notable was the frequency with which that name Peregrine popped up. Companies featuring Peregrine in one way or another won no less than three awards for their activities during 1997. Peregrine Equity Capital Markets won the award for best Hong Kong equity house, while the company's Indonesian offshoot, Peregrine Sewu Securities, picked up two: for best Indonesian equity house and Indonesian domestic bond house. Unfortunately, no one from either of the Peregrine winners appeared to accept their coveted prizes. Must have been otherwise engaged. We spoke to a representative of IFR Asia yesterday, who expressed some disappointment at the no-show. 'But we can live with it,' our source added. Utility giant CLP Holdings sprang a surprise on unsuspecting journalists at a spring luncheon in the new wing of the Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday. In the spirit of all the awards ceremonies that seem to be going on right now, the utility's management decided to hold a ceremony of their own for journalists. It seems the company has been doing more than generating power over the last year. Turns out representatives of the company also kept a record of every enquiry made by reporters during the period. A Post correspondent won the company's award for the most media enquiries over the year, while a member of the Chinese language press won the novel award for the latest late-night call to the company. That particular reporter apparently saw fit to make an enquiry at 2.30 am during a power shortage. He was yesterday given an alarm clock for his troubles. Giving out one of the prizes, CLP vice-chairman Dickson Leach boasted about the company's monitoring skills. 'We're thinking of renaming the company Big Brother Holdings,' he quipped to the gathering. Certain Asian countries looking to turn around the fortunes of their currencies might care to take a leaf out of the book of a South Korean dating agency. The agency, Sunwoo Event Co, is holding a 1998 'Blind Date Blood Drive'. Before you start to imagine this is some sort of vampire's dream, we hasten to add that the campaign has the best of intentions. It is all part of a bid to save on foreign exchange outgoings. South Korea imports blood plasma worth hundreds of millions of dollars of every year and has been looking to instead encourage locals to give blood. Lucky donors will win the right to participate in one of the agency's blind-date parties. Nice idea, guys: pity about the prize!