THE first public demonstration of the computerised auto-matching system (AMS) on the exchange floor was one of the rare occasions on which anyone is allowed into the hallowed area other than floor traders in their red vests. You can't see it from the public viewing gallery, but there's a huge clock on the wall. It's sponsored by Rolex, as if to say: ''This is what you're aiming at, folks!'' There's also a beautiful piece of calligraphy - by former Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office chief Ji Pengfei, we understand. Yet the trading floor - that giant room you see on TV every time American stock-tipper Barton Biggs blows his nose - will be obsolete when AMS comes in. It's owned by the Hong Kong Government, not the exchange. Its fate will depend on the attitude of small brokers, probably. The big ones will be quite happy to scrap the trading floor, but the minnows may be unhappy, so it's not going to be emptied overnight. In London, everyone thought the trading floor would be retained after the computers were brought in, but it disappeared almost immediately. No one wanted it any more. Despite hopes that it would be turned into a swimming pool, it ended up as offices. The trading floor here is about 50 metres by 50 metres, in the basement of Exchange Square, and has a very high ceiling. It already has lots of seats, and a public address system. The obvious use would be as a karaoke lounge. Perhaps an appropriate name would be Ronnie's Karaoke Bar, after the creator of the unified exchange. Deep thought WENT to one of those ''deep throat'' style briefings at the US Consulate yesterday. Pretty exciting stuff - at least in anticipation. The US official, who we had to swear not to name, was talking about US-China relations. ''We need to have a negotiating session on US-Japan textile trade,'' the official said. ''Errr, you mean China,'' said someone in the audience. ''Yes,'' said the official. ''When I say Japan I mean China.'' What a disappointment. Eye on Yan THE campaign started yesterday about the price paid by Tomei for control of Yanion International Holdings seems, on the surface at least, that rarest of events: a shareholder revolt. But it is a strange one. Yesterday, someone describing himself as Chan Tai-man placed adverts complaining about the deal in four papers. Ho ho. Chan Tai-man is the Chinese equivalent of John Smith, a combination of names so common that parents no longer burden their children with it. The cost of placing the ads, with the professional typesetting costs in two languages, may have come to $150,000. Suppose the campaign has a 50 per cent chance of getting the offer price lifted 10 per cent, putting it at a premium to net asset value. You'd have to own three million shares before you have a chance of recouping your expenses. The key is that Yanion is a pretty small outfit, and three million shares is nearly five per cent of the public float. It takes more favourable arithmetic to fire the blood of a dispassionate, independent investor with no axe to grind. Filial impiety SANDRA Wagg checked into her new job on the Indonesian sales desk at Kleinwort Benson on Monday, after more than five years with Schroders. She's defected from the family firm. Her great, great uncle - she seemed a bit hazy on the family tree - founded a brokerage in the 1800s. This merged with Schroders in 1962. In London, the company is still known as J. Henry Schroder Wagg. Party pop STAR TV must still be very confident that it can patch up its differences with Wharf Cable and get its programmes singing down Wharf's wires. It has issued invitations to a big staff party at its Clearwater Bay studios on Sunday night to celebrate its programmes being transmitted by Wharf. It has 48 hours to get an agreement. Naked figures TOP Form International Holdings' annual report, released yesterday, is doubly revealing. First, the firm continues its tradition of filling several colour pages with pictures of women wearing ''intimate apparel'', which is what it calls its product, and making entendres about ''balanced spread of assets''. Second, having decided that the year had been a tough one, the directors cut their pay from $2.1 million to zero. Yes, zero. Bonkers PETER K.H. Chan of Westpac, the Aussie bank, was addressing the Australian Chamber of Commerce yesterday. ''The Australian economy can best be compared to sex. When it is good, you have a good time. When it is bad - well - at least you have had an experience.'' On economic theory, he said: ''Economists know how to make love in 52 ways but don't know any women. I am a practitioner.'' Oh dear. This is the bank that the folks in the Hongkong Bank building were rumoured to be buying. If they do, there is something of a culture clash looming. On the same theme, the Australian Institute of Management's November magazine has lots of uplifting articles, such as ''Developing leaders for the year 2000 and beyond'' - classic management stuff. But what does a big advert for ''the alcolizer'', described as ''the only self-testing breathalyser to be approved to the Australian standard'', say about the readers?