Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 November, 2003, 12:00am

fizz whizz

Lai See, like Swire Properties managing director Keith Kerr, loves a good metaphor. The firm is cranking up its latest project at a time when landlords are practically paying people to lease their space.

At yesterday's topping-out ceremony for Pacific Palace 3, Mr Kerr dug deep: 'Generally speaking, all our offices are of grade-A quality. Island East is, we call it champagne at beer prices ... Here [Pacific Place] is champagne at champagne prices. But at the moment champagne is cheap because rents are down.'

Very nice. It's just a shame that his main competitor is leasing office space at Australian sparkling chardonnay prices.

lip slip slap soon

Battery-maker BYD's chairman Wang Chuanfu followed his PR handlers' advice at yesterday's CEO Forum, refusing to answer questions on the progress of intellectual property infringement law suits filed by competitors and BYD's foray into the car business.

He was whisked away from the Grand Hyatt by attentive flaks with not so much as a snippet for pursuing journalists.

Unfortunately, BYD's president, Li Ke, was less than tight lipped at an investor conference in Chengdu on the same day. She was quoted by a news agency making a specific profit forecast for the firm's full year results - that its first half 27 per cent growth in net profit will be maintained.

Selective briefings are a big no-no under listing rules and will result in the exchange asking BYD to make a clarification announcement.