Bank of china beckons as rumour mill churns for former stanchart chief One report has it that the resignation of Standard Chartered chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun was triggered by his opposition to the bank's decision to lay off 200 staff last week. If true, perhaps our populist hero should have resigned a fortnight ago. Mr Wong is believed to have pulled down about $12 million a year (consisting of a $7.8 million annual salary, bonuses and share options). That's equivalent to, say, 600 front-line retail positions paying $20,000 a month. The rumour mill, by the way, has already marked Mr Wong - like Antony 'Lexus' Leung before him - as a front-runner for a key position at the Bank of China group. TVB toasts return of chan George Chan Ching-cheong is returning to Television Broadcasts after a 20-year absence. He joins just two weeks after Hong Kong's dominant broadcaster laid off 28 news department staff. Mr Chan, a founding member of Richard Li Tzar-kai's Pacific Century Group, was appointed assistant managing director of TVB last Thursday. Although his job description remains something of a mystery, Mr Chan is believed to be fifth in the pecking order behind Sir Run Run Shaw, his wife Mona Fong Yat-wah, deputy executive chairman Norman Leung Nai-pang and director Louis Page. Mr Chan last made headlines in 2001 when he resigned his directorship at PCCW, where he was responsible for development of its Network of the World (NOW). Uncharitably known to its detractors as Nothing on the Web or No One Watching during Mr Chan's time, NOW has made an impressive comeback over the past year. Like other PCCW directors, Mr Chan's company options made him a rich man. We wish him as much luck at TVB. Miramar loss We deal with late company announcements all the time here. Belated company condolences are rarer. Miramar Hotel and Investment yesterday noted the passing of its director and honorary chairman, Ho Tim, more than a week after his death on November 6. 'We handled this announcement very carefully,' Miramar explained when asked about the delay. 'The final copy was viewed by every director before we released it.' Mr Ho is the second Miramar director to have died in recent months. Stephen Ho Tze-tung passed away in late July, at the age of 68. Proceed with caution Have investment bankers finally found a way to plug all those leaks in the good ship Air China? Fund managers attending an Air China presentation yesterday were handed a detailed description of the company's plans for how to spend its listing proceeds. At the end of the meeting, however, sponsor China International Capital Corp demanded they hand back the materials. Not to worry dear reader - our intrepid market reporter deal-chasers have already reported that information. Caddy count It's official. The Pearl River Delta's labour shortages have reached crisis levels, having spread from the factory floor to the fairways. One of Lai See's colleagues was surprised to encounter mandatory caddy-sharing at Zhuhai's Oriental Golf Club, with one caddy only per twosome. Market watchers should note the caddy's lot has a history of being a good economic indicator. Months before Thailand's crash triggered the 1997 Asian financial crisis, then Thai prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's comments on a caddy glut were seen as emblematic of bubble excess. 'Where on earth can you get three caddies when you are golfing - one to hold an umbrella for you, one to carry your bag and another to massage your back,' he enthused. Taken in this light, China's caddy shortage could perhaps signal a hard landing. There is also evidence that managers in the region are anticipating upwards wage pressure. Although the caddies at Oriental have to work twice as hard, the generations-old etiquette of tipping is strictly forbidden.