tasty returns for buffett in petrochina investment The investment doubled in value during its first year and had grown a mighty three times by the end of the second year. Warren Buffett's first foray into the Hong Kong stock market through a US$488 million investment in PetroChina has yielded some very tasty returns - by close of play yesterday the position was worth US$1.43 billion. PetroChina has emerged as one of the top 10 holdings of Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway and is the only non-United States listed firm making up more than 3 per cent of its portfolio. So attached has the Oracle of Omaha become to China's top oil firm that he dubs it a core asset. 'Some people may look at this table and view it as a list of stocks to be bought and sold based upon chart patterns, brokers' opinions, or estimates of near-term earnings,' he wrote to his ever attentive shareholders. 'Charlie and I ignore such distractions and instead view our holdings as fractional ownerships in business,' he wrote, referring to Berkshire vice-chairman Charlie Munger. Last year Mr Buffett cleaned up big gains on his short US dollar positions but has not seen a direct benefit from currency movements in his PetroChina holdings. If the yuan revalues this year, that could yet change. bank on it Die-hard Berkshire Hathaway shareholders attribute near god-like powers to its famous boss. In Hong Kong noted stock guru Tony Measor has applied similar devotion to HSBC, which he has been telling clients to buy since 1965. A little post-results blues seem not to have dented his enthusiasm for The Bank. 'Would you tell Buffett to sell his Washington Post?' chided Hong Kong's own oracle, comparing an early Berkshire Hathaway investment with his own darling stock. Recently Mr Measor placed all his HSBC investment in his wife's custody and claims not to have bought any more stock for the past two months. In his investor newsletter yesterday he wrote: 'For HSBC the more the price falls then the more room is there for a bigger recovery, and one should just keep buying it, especially if the Morgan Stanleys and Goldman Sachs of the world, who are short-term traders, connive in the selling.' So there you have it, buy the bank - still. exchange bosses woo new audience Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please put your hands together for stock exchange management legend Charles Lee Yeh-kwong and give a huge welcome for cash and derivatives markets vice-presidents Derek Tam and Calvin Tai. Taking their message to the streets, the top brass from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing will play live in the city of screaming bright lights on April 2. Would-be spectators for the HKEx investor conference can buy tickets from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, the Fringe Club and Tom Lee Music Stores. Now we know that the exchange chairman wears many hats including chairing the annual arts festival, now in full swing, but this looks like a cross-marketing exercise too far. fate no respecter of tung names Call it fate. Two weeks before Hong Kong's leadership crisis blew up, a restaurant in Lai See's Siu Sai Wan neighbourhood quietly closed down. Tung's Leader, a Shanghai-cuisine restaurant, opened with much patriotic fanfare back in 2001 and quickly became one of Lai See's favourite spots. Having weathered the dismal Sars period the project folded even as the good times returned and property agents made a comeback in the lonely environs of Sino Land's Island Resort. A spin-off from the original leadership-concept restaurant Tung's Kitchen in Central, the Siu Sai Wan venture proved an accurate political bellwether. Bonnie Tung, whose family ran both restaurants, sought to distance the restaurants from their more famous political namesake. 'Tung Chee-hwa, who did not do a good job, should step down,' she said. 'But at Tung's Leader, we did a good job but still can't escape closure.' Mr Tung may be able to blame five years of deflation and 150 years worth of pent-up political populism. Ms Tung, for her part, is just blaming landlord Sino Land, which was never able to deliver the flow of traffic through the remote residential complex to make the business work. money in the deal Tycoon Richard Li Tzar-kai's Pacific Century Insurance certainly knows how to cheer up its customers. PCI's new policyholders will be awarded two tickets for veteran comedian Michael Hui Koon-man's stand up show next month. The deal follows the sell-out success of last year's concerts by Hui's younger brother, Sam Hui Koon-kit. No doubt the Hui and Li families will both end up laughing all the way to the bank.