mainland headwear's deft doffing to diplomacy falls a bit flat for some It was a case of Hello Kitty, sayonara Sino-Japanese hostilities - almost. In a bold bid at cross-cultural reconciliation, Mainland Headwear Holdings handed out free Hello Kitty toys (arguably Japan's unofficial national mascot) to reporters at its results announcement yesterday. Even though the Chinese government is doing little to discourage violent anti-Japanese protests at the moment, Mainland Headwear was keen to promote its recent acquisition of a Hello Kitty products distributor. Alas, some Hong Kong reporters in attendance refused to deviate from the patriotic line and declined the toy. a day in the life of ... Announcing deals with multinational giants one day, riding out a share price collapse the next. It's all in the life of a Hong Kong small-cap. A day after his company unveiled a business partnership with Microsoft, Citic 21CN chairman Wang Jun yesterday watched investors sell down his shares. At one point they were off 31 per cent, before recovering to close 15 per cent down at $2.925. The catalyst was apparently Mr Wang's comments that Citic 21CN would co-operate with, rather than acquire, Shenzhen-listed Citic Guoan in an effort to tap China's cable-television market. Mr Wang, who joined Citic 21CN only three weeks ago, was granted a $10 million options package with a $3.175 strike price. He stands to lose big if the stock, which has enjoyed an 800 per cent run-up over the past year, has in fact peaked. blunders equal bonuses at dbs Blunders at DBS (Hong Kong), otherwise known as Deposit Boxes Scrapped, were no barrier to big bonuses last year. Infamous for a Hong Kong branch redevelopment project in which some customers' safety deposit boxes ended up on the scrap heap, executives nonetheless enjoyed a bumper year. Hong Kong operations chairman Frank Wong Kwong-shing received a remuneration package of between S$5.75 million ($27.19 million) and S$6 million last year, of which 78 per cent was attributable to performance bonuses. Mr Wong, who is also chief operating officer of DBS Group, topped group chief executive Jackson Tai, who made between S$5 million and S$5.25 million. The bonuses follow a fat year in which the Singapore-based banking group enjoyed a 100 per cent increase in profit to S$2 billion. bean drinking? Lai See has long been tea drinker, which could explain why we made such a bad cup of coffee yesterday. Our item on Chevalier iTech Holdings' buy-out of Pacific Coffee misidentified shareholders Roger King and Rob Naylor as the coffee chain's founders (it was established 12 years ago by Thomas Neir). We also goofed on the chain's number of Hong Kong outlets (39 not 38, with another five in Singapore) and its turnover trend (which has been rising not falling). Our apologies. Dressed for success Singapore-based budget airline Valuair is pinching pennies as oil prices soar. Plans for the airline's T-shirt-clad stewardesses to serve Starbucks coffee were shelved because of cost concerns. Asked about profitability in such challenging times, one airline executive told Lai See: 'When the passenger load is low, the T-shirts will get shorter.' Amen for dearer oil. gracious in defeat They came. They played. They flopped heroically. Lai See's great expectations for the South China Morning Post's football team in this weekend's Hong Kong Journalists' Association Cup may have represented a triumph of hope over experience, but then everyone has to dream a little. The gritty reality was a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of a well-oiled Oriental Daily News outfit that left even ever-garrulous SCMP captain Stephen McCarty admitting that 'the better side won'. Still, it was a remarkable run to the grand final at Happy Valley. Lai See was proud of the fighting spirit on display, in particular by business desk colleague Kelvin 'the baby-faced assassin' Wong, who managed to hack his man to the floor within 15 seconds of his second-half substitute appearance. Kudos also goes to Young Post stalwart Jonathan Powell for getting sent off for two 'rash' tackles in the game's dying minutes. In an apparent clarion call to Hong Kong's young minds, he was heard to remark 'death or glory' while leaving the field. Finally, dear reader, in this last instalment of our Journalists' Cup coverage we shall leave you to work out which of the motley crew pictured here is the fellow responsible for writing our weighty editorial leaders imploring adherence to the rule of law and civilised values.