lo and behold, PROPERTY PLAYS PEAK perfectly as ipo planned Call it the Lo family curse but it seems that the property market peaks every time one of the clan plans a property spin-off. Nine years ago, Lo Ka-shui's Great Eagle failed to spin off Tin Shan Properties, although it resurfaced this year in the guise of the Champion Reit. Then, on Wednesday, sibling Vincent Lo Hong-sui (right) decided to shelve his US$1 billion Shui On Land listing because of the deteriorating market conditions. But was he too premature? Hopson Development shares rose 18 per cent yesterday while all other China property plays recorded positive gains. Even Shui On Construction was unchanged at $13.20 after the bad news. On the first day of Shui On Land initial public offering, four Shui On Construction directors exercised a total of 660,000 shares at $9.30, according to the exchange disclosure yesterday. But only one director - Vivien Lowe Hoh Wai-wan - sold 10,000 shares at $15.50 for a profit of $62,000. She still owns 340,000 Shui On Construction shares. sun still shining on Sun Hung Kai With Shui On Land and Henderson Land's Sunlight Reit out of the picture, all eyes are now on Sun Hung Kai Properties' Sun Millennium real estate investment trust spin off. Obviously, the market's appetite for China property has cooled substantially since the frenzy earlier this year. Our spies tell us that just a handful of investors turned up for Shui On Land's New York roadshow, the poorest reception for a Hong Kong offering since Sars. But Sun Hung Kai has already raised $8 billion for its first deal of the decade. However, you can always count the company's trips to the capital market to act as a barometer for property and stock markets. china spindrome Talking about spin-offs, we salute the transparency of blue chip Cosco Pacific. The China Cosco Holdings subsidiary releases not just monthly throughput figures but also communications figures. In an extract from the newly-released annual report, it says: 'The company maintains contact and communications with, among others, fund managers, analysts and the business media in a pragmatic and high-efficiency manner. 'During the period under review, the company successfully organised numerous management interviews, telephone conferences and visits by analysts and investors.' The company said that out of meetings with 198 individuals, 64 per cent were fund managers, 21 per cent analysts and 15 per cent media in the second half of last year. We'll be watching the investor relations department's throughput figure with interest next interim. lessons offer faustian bargain Consider this: Swire Pacific, a great supporter of the arts in Hong Kong, spent $12 million a year for three years to sponsor the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in one of the city's biggest sponsorship deals. But if HSBC private banking head Monica Wong just changed her hobby from Latin dance to music, she could keep the orchestra going single-handedly for many years to come. Reader Matthew Gregory, an executive producer of Faust International, an education institute for performing arts, wrote saying they could run a six-city Asia-Pacific tour of several hit musicals for more than two years on Ms Wong's dance budget and therefore they were very willing to offer her eight-years of performing arts lessons for significantly less. The HSBC's most famous dance student has also become quite a topic at the Zonta Club where members at a recent gathering could only marvel at how Latin dance can make a lady look 20 years younger. 'Only, we were a bit worried about putting our money in HSBC's private bank,' said one member.