shareholders wouldn't guess, but pccw chiefs haven't lost their touch Money can be made the easy way or the hard way. By yesterday PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai had chalked up a paper profit of $8 million after taking a $27 million stake in property investor Capital Strategic Investment - a listed firm controlled by his fellow PCCW director Mico Chung Chor-yee. The purchase was the first disclosable investment made by Mr Li since the crazy days of PCCW and the takeover of Cable & Wireless HKT. He joins PCCW financier Francis Yuen Tin-fan and shell-company magician Charles Chan Kwok-keung as a group of investors who have pumped $108 million into the tiny firm. Mr Chung transferred to PCCW after its 1999 back-door play involving telecommunications equipment supplier Tricom. It was less than a year ago that he took over Capital Strategic and has since seen its value triple. With Mr Chung seemingly readying to depart PCCW and Mr Yuen focusing on Pacific Century Insurance, Mr Li appears to be putting a new broom through the board in preparation for the arrival of the boys up north. Such wealth creation may be spurring flying champagne corks among PCCW's deal-savvy directors. It is perhaps just a shame that its ordinary shareholders have not had much to celebrate. putting on the ritz for the mandarin Lai See got his job offer to work for this fine newspaper at the Mandarin Oriental coffee shop, but if you want to work for the Mandarin, you had better try Dragon-I club next Sunday. The Mandarin Oriental has picked the trendy Wyndham Street bar for its boutique hotel to open in the newly emerging Landmark centre. Recruiters are looking to fill slots ranging from front desk supervisors to door men, but your regular hoi polloi should perhaps think again. 'It is very important that we recruit staff who are as stylish and innovative as our new property,' general manager Susanne Hatje said. It looks to be a case of bidding farewell to tall, imposing Sikhs at the front door and saying hello to all-in-black Hugo Boss-clad bell boys. Lolitta In good company A routine Securities & Futures Commission press release said it had suspended Lolitta Tong Lee Mei-wah from PRUDENCE Securities. As with the novel and movie Lolita, which told of a middle-aged man falling in love with a 14-year-old girl, the Hong Kong broker failed to obtain written authorisations for conducting trade. investors not shy about tung's future Tung Chee-hwa may be reluctant to talk about his 'promotion', but investors don't seem shy about the soon to be ex-chief executive's prospects His family controlled Orient Overseas International Limited has enjoyed a spectacular ride of late, hitting an all-time high yesterday of $39.30 before slipping back to a close of $37.50. Since reports of Mr Tung's resignation surfaced last week OOIL has leapt 15 per cent, making it a star performer among the Lai See-branded Tsang/Tung chips. The word in the shipping industry is a little less generous, with the suggestion that younger brother Tung Chee-chen, who has masterminded a turnaround of the firm, is unlikely to let his accident-prone sibling near the ship tiller. when few mainlanders had cars ... In the showroom of Shanghai Auto that covers three floors, the most poignant model is a black 1960s Shanghai sedan. In an era when few Chinese had cars, Chairman Mao and his foreign guests rode in Red Flags while most other cadres took a Shanghai. Shanghai Auto delivered the baby in September 1958, the first passenger car produced in the city, and called it Phoenix. In 1964, it changed the name to Shanghai and over the next 27 years produced 70,000 of them. The last one came off the production line on the morning of November 25, 1991, before the plant was dynamited and the site became a joint-venture factory with Volkswagen. Some people criticised the decision to give up such a well-known make but the company said the model was too old. The dilemma for the firm now is that it produces more than 600,000 passenger cars a year but does not have its own brand. So why not bring the Shanghai back to life? 'It is expensive and time-consuming to develop your own car,' said the official showing us around. 'Perhaps the Europeans and Americans would baulk at buying a car with a Chinese name,' said one journalist. 'A foreign name would be better.' But who could have imagined in the 1960s that Toyota and Nissan Datsun would become household names around the world?