The hearts of many England soccer supporters would have been warmed by attempts by investment banking heavyweight Goldman Sachs to use business analysis to chart achievements on the field. Based on a dubious symmetrical premise that makes tea-leaf reading look credible, the folks at Goldman have concluded that Glenn Hoddle's band of barflies have a big shot at carrying off soccer's World Cup, which starts tonight. Their analysis is simple. England won the Cup in 1966. Since then the winners have been Brazil in 1970, then Germany in 1974, Argentina in 1978 and Italy in 1982. In 1986, Argentina won again followed by Germany and finally Brazil. If the pattern is to be continued this year, then England it is at the Stade de France on July 12. Still need convincing? There's always economic omens, according to Goldman. The British economy has outperformed continental Europe since 1993 and the pound has been buoyant. With Cool Britannia's upward mobility since the ascendancy of Tony Blair's regime, who could argue with such 'logic'? Sure must be flat out in the Goldman Sachs bunker. South Korea's President Kim Dae-jung held a breakfast meeting at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday to explain why things can only get better in the 'Land of the Setting Won'. You could be excused for assuming his speech could be paraphrased: 'Well, they can't get much worse'. Instead, President Kim cited a wide range of cultural, corporate and economic reforms that were already beginning to reshape his troubled homeland. Curiously, he chose the success in Korea of Titanic as evidence that 'bias against foreign capital and products has virtually disappeared'. Hmmm. The ice-breaking blockbuster seems to be getting credit for as many momentous world events as the ubiquitous weather phenomenon, El Nino. Ever wondered how one becomes deputy to Li Ka-shing? Your correspondent certainly has, and George Magnus, deputy chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings), gave an inkling of what it takes yesterday. A spy spotted Mr Magnus shopping in Prince's Building at the height of the rain. We are assured he was carrying not one, not two, but three huge golf umbrellas. The message to aspiring deputies is clear: Mr Li likes his staff to be very well prepared. Whimsy Entertainment controlling shareholder Kun Kiu-chung showed yesterday he had a rare talent for staff relations at a press lunch held by the company. Mr Kun, Whimsy director Wong Kin-yu and another representative were asked if Whimsy's sales had fallen in the past few months. Ms Wong answered immediately that sales were good: 'They grew by 5 to 10 per cent.' This did not appear to amuse Mr Kun, who stated: 'You shouldn't say this because the figures have not been audited yet.' Continuing the lecture, he added he was the company's representative for the day and should have been doing most of the talking. He then asked the unfortunate Ms Wong whether she had any 'manners'. Strangely, this seemed to take the wind out of Ms Wong's sails. Barely a whisper was heard out of her for the rest of the proceedings. Plenty of readers have rung in since Monday to assure us charity groups won't be the only ones to own souvenir Rugby Sevens shirts with the logo of the former Peregrine investment bank. An excited Kay Bayliss of the New Zealand-Hong Kong Business Association tells us she is wearing a Peregrine Sevens shirt and a male friend is sporting Peregrine Sevens shorts. No mean feat, seeing all of the merchandise sold at the Sevens sported the logo of the ultimate event sponsor, Credit Suisse First Boston. She assures us the Credit Suisse logo came off surprisingly easily - despite ample glue and stitching - and a pristine Peregrine logo was waiting coyly underneath. Guess that's one way to dig up a Peregrine souvenir. Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa is showing the knack of impeccable timing with his tour of Australia at the end of the week. We're sure it's no coincidence his visit has been organised for the same week the Australian dollar plumbs 12-year lows. Mr Tung and his entourage can spend freely, buying up aussie trinkets safe in the knowledge that he's getting value for his dollar. Perhaps he could even try dabbling in a bit of currency speculation on the side. One thing: let's just hope the peg holds during his sojourn down under - or Mr Tung's exchange rate advantage might become unhinged.