Fund managers are becoming a bit like movie stars. Their physical attributes or fashion faux pas are being posted on the Internet - in written word at least - and the information is coming thick and fast. While such information is just one element of a financial-based Web site - obviously aimed at those in the business who have time to discuss their colleagues' legs, toes and bad office habits - there is an abundance of financial information coming out of Hong Kong and more on the way. In this increasingly competitive world of financial Web sites, the question begs - what are investment bankers and analysts looking for in a market-oriented Web site, if they are looking at all? Sources said they were primarily seeking real-time business news and analysis on companies and markets, with most reading such information every day. Brokers and analysts said United States-based Ragingbull.com received regular visits, as well as Hong Kong-based Quamnet.com, e-Finet.com and Web sites of leading media organisations, including SCMP.com and WSJ Interactive. The proliferation of such sites started with US-based TheStreet. com and CBSMarketwatch.com, valuable in Asia for overnight US market information. If it is industry gossip you want, you can find it at Hong Kong-based Icered.com, billed as catering to the 'movers and shakers of Asia - the premier Web community for working professionals and alumni'. Icered offers a three-way information service with chat rooms, a leisure page and educational information (aimed at graduates from high-brow US universities). At last count, there were 192 messages on a chat page on the sexiest people in Hong Kong. 'It's really vicious,' one dealer said. 'There's one chat section about who are the hottest girls and guys in fund management!' However, it is difficult to find industry sources who spend a lot of time on the site, with most citing a handful of news-based sites they bookmark for morning Web surfing. ABN Amro Internet analyst Jahanzeb Naseer said he searched many sites regularly, such as local independent financial investigator David Webb's Webb-site.com. Mr Naseer said he visited them to mostly read about new trends and, from the US-based sites, find out what happened on Wall Street overnight. 'It's good to have it (the information), but it is not something I could not live without,' he said, citing, however, Web site IDC. com - aimed at those in the Internet industry - as one he found invaluable. 'They conduct their own surveys on markets, such as the e-commerce market . . . I can use their data for my research reports.' He also regularly visits IandIAsia.com, which brings people in the industry into a forum format for discussions on issues of the moment. Jardine Fleming Securities head of research Stephen Li said he used the Web particularly for breaking news stories. The latest report on Beijing's bid for permanent normal trade relations is an example of a story for which Mr Li would use the Web to find the latest news. 'It's a good source of news,' Mr Li said of finance Web sites. One Hong Kong sales trader said he looked at Quamnet regularly and Stockhouse.com. 'They have a lot of stories on smaller companies,' he said. 'I don't look for anything like industry talk. I'm looking for news . . . the ones that generate their own content . . . something that just came out, something real-time. 'I'm also looking for pages that have translation of the Chinese press.' An SG Securities trader said he did not use Web sites often, but believed 'the punters' looked at the gossip pages more than the people in the industry. 'By the time it's on the Web site, it's too late anyway,' he said of company news and gossip. One CSFB sales trader said: 'I don't use them at all.' Hong Kong-based independent trader Bob Behull believes such Web sites are 'pretty useful'. He said he picked up snippets of information but did not often trade on the news. 'I look at e-Finet.com and that's got both English and Chinese,' he said. As a reader of Chinese, the options open were more varied, he said, adding there were more Chinese-language finance Web sites than English. In-depth stock coverage is something he would like to see more of. 'They don't really give solid reasons for recommendations . . . the reasons can be sketchy,' Mr Behull said. Mr Behull expects more day traders and those in the finance industry to access these Web sites as Internet use increases. 'I guess the people that are looking at the Web sites right now are the young professionals who are familiar with the Internet . . . but in a few years, that whole picture could change,' he said.