TROUBLEs WITH BUBBLES Last month, HSBC's David Eldon reignited a debate about whether or not a property bubble was in the making when he said: 'I get a little concerned when I hear property prices are moving up very rapidly. 'I don't mind speculators in the market but if they play far too much and if they are going to ride property prices [up] too quickly, I don't think it's a good thing for Hong Kong.' At the bank's results briefing yesterday, however, Mr Eldon sought to distance himself from that debate. 'I have expressed before a concern about speculators in the market,' he said. 'I think some people suggested there was a property bubble. I have never said there was a property bubble. 'My concerns were aimed at the level of speculation in the market, which I believe to be unhealthy if it moves property prices up too fast.' It seems to us that Mr Eldon is splitting hairs here. Could it be that some of his bank's biggest customers (and Hong Kong's biggest property developers) didn't appreciate him bursting their bubble? EXECUTIVE ACCESS At Hang Seng Bank's results announcement yesterday, chief executive Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen was forced to call an end to the meeting about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Reporters - some of whom had rushed from Hang Seng parent HSBC's briefing - seemed to have run out of questions. But even after repeating his call for 'any more questions' three times in vain, Mr Cheng still wasn't giving up. 'All right then,' he said. 'I'll be sitting here just in case you have any questions. Please feel free to come up.'