Big acquisition or a peaking market? only SHKP has the answer Why would a blue-chip stock that has been trading for 10 years suddenly ask for a trading suspension? Perhaps it's because the market has peaked? The city's largest landlord, Sun Hung Kai Properties, yesterday tapped the market with a $10 billion placement, its first equity-raising exercise in the past decade. In January 1996, SHKP raised $4.2 billion by selling shares at $62.10 each. Why a cash-rich company would suddenly need additional funding is anybody's guess. We could only surmise that the majority shareholders, the Kwok brothers, who together own 45 per cent of SHKP, would rather have their flagship stuffed with cash as the share price nears its net asset value. 'We think the placement together with the upcoming reit issuance and recent cut-price clearance of inventory tells an important message: SHKP is building a war chest of up to US$2 billion,' wrote Morgan Stanley property analyst Kenny Tse, who thinks that a big acquisition in either Hong Kong or China is likely in the near term. Still, SHKP's share placement triggered concerns that other property tycoons may follow suit, taking advantage of the market's extreme liquidity that some fund managers described as 'anything sells'. Top property developers such as Cheung Kong (Holdings), Henderson Land Development, Sino Land and Hang Lung Properties yesterday took their largest tumble this year of between 3 per cent and 6 per cent. Indeed, as the saying goes, 'sell in May and go away'. Already, we have seen listed companies raising more than $30 billion - $13.8 billion by CNOOC and $4.6 billion by Chalco - in the secondary market in the past two weeks. ho's companies make better returns If you think that the Macau casinos are still booming, and their executives' payouts are ballooning, think again. Let's look at the fortunes of casino king Stanley Ho Hung-sun's family. Last year, he made $75,000 - including director's fees of $65,000 from Shun Tak Holdings and $10,000 from Melco International Development. The good news is he didn't get a cut from 2004. One of his daughters, Pansy Ho Chiu-king, took an almost 10 per cent cut last year of almost $10 million. Her sisters, Daisy Ho Chiu-fung and Maisy Ho Chiu-ha, were slightly luckier, while brother Lawrence Ho Yau-lung, who heads Melco, took home an unchanged $2.35 million. Altogether, the Ho family took home more than $20 million, but produced impressive investment returns of 46 per cent for Shun Tak and 100 per cent for Melco. lo and behold From the high Ho's, we shift to the Lo's. Regal Hotels International Holdings chairman Lo Yuk-sui took home $9.65 million, up 62 per cent from 2004. His younger daughter, Poman Lo Po-man, doubled her take to $1.9 million, while his elder son, Jimmy Lo Chun-to, took $480,000 - up 177 per cent. Lo Yuk-sui made $5.95 million from Regal's parent Century City International, while Jimmy Lo made $950,000 million. Unsurprisingly, the increase in executive pay was more than Regal's profit growth - up 43 per cent to $528.4 million. From any angle, the Lo's are anything but.