branching out They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but it doesn't return either - especially if you're from Hong Kong's leading Li family. Hutchison Whampoa chairman Li Ka-shing was asked yesterday about news that his younger son, PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai, might sell some or all of his company to China Netcom. If young Richard did sell out, did Li the Elder think he would return to Hutchison Whampoa? 'Richard has my genes,' said Mr Li. 'He is not the kind of person who would go back to his dad.' you wanna bet Aussies are renowned for having a bet on just about everything, from ponies to puppies. They'll even take a punt on an impromptu race between cockroaches running up walls. Or so Lai See is told. But one antipodean colleague backed away from the latest promotion from SmarTone, which is offering a free GX32 camera phone to the first customer who can guess the weekly close of the Hang Seng Index. 'Even a cockroach race is less volatile than the HSI these days,' she says. numbers, numbers China International Capital Corp director Levin Zhu Yunlai gave a fulsome speech to an assembly of chief executives and regulators at a finance conference in Beijing on Tuesday. But he was less chatty when asked about a more touchy subject - his firm's fees. Reports are circulating that CICC earned far more than its competitors in bonuses and add-on fees from some recent deals. 'I don't have figures in my head so I can't answer you,' said Mr Zhu, who also happens to be the son of China's famously ill-tempered former premier Zhu Rongji.