WHEN Asia was hit by the economic earthquake of July 1997, it was obvious that the pieces could not be put together again in the same order as before. So it has proved. Indonesia remains in turmoil, but has seen change that could never have taken place without the shock to the Suharto regime. Malaysia is restructuring its banking system following a rethink on emerging market economies. Singapore has pushed through financial reforms. Thailand is reluctantly and slowly undergoing reforms. In Hong Kong - which had much less need of reform than its neighbours - the big change has been the ending of property as the engine of growth. Given the bubble that was the property market before the crunch, it was inevitable that Hong Kong was going to have to find a new way forward, even without the fall-out from Asia's problems. When the critics were writing off Hong Kong and predicting the end of 150 years of its amazing development, supporters were retorting that its strength had always been an ability to reinvent itself, and so it would again. How, and with what, was the question. What would take the place of cheap toys, property booms and cross-border trade, and short-termism? If buzzwords are a guide, it has to be technology. Given the action among US Internet and technology stocks, which makes the last day of the season at Happy Valley look like a mahjong party, Hong Kong would not be able to resist the high dive into hi-tech. All strata of Hong Kong's traditional management are busy learning the language that was once the province of their IT departments. The momentum has hardly started, but it is likely to be driven more by startups in Hollywood Road garrets, and rethinks within established bricks-and-mortar companies, than by immigrants to Cyber-Port. For investors, the question is how to ride the wave. The recent launch of the Investec Guinness Flight Wired Index (see last week's Sunday Money) provides a model. The key point about the Wired Index is that the 40 constituent stocks have been picked for the benefits to their bottom line that technology will bring, not just because they are themselves hi-tech innovators, although some are. These, says the team which built the index for Wired Magazine, represent the new economy, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average largely reflects sunset industries. This may elicit scepticism from those who say the United States' traditional industries have been prematurely written off before. But while the Dow Jones has been pounding away at what many regarded as an unsustainable rate, the Wired Index over the past year has pounded even harder, gaining around 70 per cent while the Dow lagged behind at a mere 30 per cent. If Hong Kong is about to have its own technological rebirth, what is required is a similar grouping of stocks which will represent the new millennium, and hopefully a fund which will allow all investors to share the benefits. Picking the stocks at this early stage in the process is tricky. It is hoped that far-sighted fund managers are now trawling the stock lists for suitable candidates. If Sunday Money readers think they could offer some help, why not submit names of Hong Kong's wired companies to 'Focus on Funds'? E-mail or fax, and the list judged to be the most imaginative wins a bottle of champagne. Ray Heath is pleased to receive general queries about investing in funds, but cannot offer investment advice or recommendations.