ANALYSTS have suggested CITIC Pacific's 212 per cent leap in net profit to $1.04 billion for last year was disappointing. In fact the results were only 4.8 per cent off the average forecast quoted in this month's Estimate Directory, which is inside the usual margin for error. CITIC Pacific's figures came in below expectations, say analysts, because of margin contraction at Dah Chong Hong and a shift in exchange rates that hit the value of earnings associated with Japan. It has to be said that CITIC Pacific has been a reasonably good corporate citizen when it comes to the treatment of its minority investors. When the group undertook the largest placement in the history of the exchange to pay for its Hongkong Telecom stake it actually enhanced earnings per share. It can only be hoped this kind of behaviour will be standard for the nine Chinese enterprises expected to list on the exchange in the second half of the year. However, it seems unlikely that they will pick up such a sense of responsibility from the merchant bankers, accountants and lawyers who are meant to be advising them. In their apparent craze for a slice of the action in these listings, they are comparable with dogs chasing a bitch on heat. These professionals appear to be going to any length to win business, and will presumably agree to as many compromises or bendings of the rules as they can get away with without incurring the displeasure of the Hongkong stock exchange. Initial enthusiasm may turn to deep resentment among local investors if the listings herald the reappearance of the type of activities that prompted the appointment of inspectors by the Financial Secretary last year. Let's hope this will not happen.