TYCOON James Ting of Semi-Tech no doubt had an enjoyable Christmas break, having just received 2.5 million share options worth an immediate $7.6 million from his company. Of course every executive needs a little incentive, but a look through the small print in the stock exchange's weekly computer printout on directors' share options shows that some executives feel inclined to be unbelievably generous with their shareholders' facilities. Yiu Kin-wai, as another example, was chairman during Hanwah Holdings' disastrous slide into the red, which was so severe that it led to a rescue by another group. Incidentally, he was censured by the exchange for allowing a false market to develop in Hanwah shares in May. Nevertheless, he remains a Hanwah director, and on December 21 he picked up 12 million share options worth $1.8 million. Also censured in May was Hanwah's Tony Yuen, who picked up 1.5 million options from the firm, worth a mere $225,000, on the same day. Peregrine awarded Francis Yuen two sets of options last month, with a basic value at the time of $16 million. The idea behind directors' options is this: they allow directors to buy shares at a set price sometime in the future. If the directors' good management leads the share price to rise, they cash in the options and pocket the money for a job well done. But companies in Hong Kong give options which are a long way ''in the money'', with the target price being much lower than the current share price, and which can be exercised immediately. Many of the options can be cashed for an instant profit, without the directors even having to get out of bed. Compare this with HSBC Holdings: Sir Willie Purves received 25,000 options with a target price of GBP7.284 (about HK$84.50) when the share price was around GBP7.50 last month, and they can't be exercised until October 1996, giving him an incentive to keep his eye on the shareholders' interests for another two years. As an example of the other type of ''incentive'', more than half of Francis Yuen's options had a target share price of $5.45, according to the stock exchange. Peregrine's share price when they were issued was $17. Some incentive. James Ting's options had a target price of $12.142. Semi-Tech's share price before the break was $15.20. And Yiu Kin-wai's options had a target price of 55 cents, against Hanwah's most recent close of 70 cents. Shouldn't be too difficult. Optional extra THE share options of electronics group QPL are particularly festive. Li Tung-lok, the chairman, was awarded nine million options on December 17 by his company, worth $3 million. This follows equal-sized grants on December 16, 13 and 6, and November 27 and 17. The total value: $18 million. They allow him to buy shares at 66.9 cents, and QPL's share price before the festive break was $1.01. Not particularly taxing. Even a management committee of the top Australian entrepreneurs of the 1980s would have difficulty pushing a share price down to this level - except with some real strokes of genius. Gun point TIN Fu Chai Recreational Club has been trying to interest Michael Harilela and others in starting a war. For just $550 a day, your staff can wander around three million square feet of open space around Tuen Mun with compressed airguns, after which - the theory goes - they will have moulded themselves into an efficient team with effective leaders. Actually, the exercises should be pretty short. Although the $550 gets you lunch, drinks and protective clothes, it only seems to get you one bullet. Coming soon, the war game devised along the same principles as Hong Kong executives' share option schemes: big prizes all round, but no enemy. Chain massacre OUR offer to help anyone break a chain letter still stands. If you hate chain letters, but don't want bad luck, then post them - not fax, repeat not fax - to Lai See and they will be sent fearlessly straight into the nearest bin. Analysis of several junked so far shows that the 37-link chain letter mailed by Sir Ian Maclaurin, the head of UK stores group Tesco, is currently Hong Kong's biggest chain plague. Three separate branches have crossed into Hong Kong, one of which has bounced several times around Cathay Pacific and Inchcape. Another was sent to India, Australia, New York, South Africa and Swaziland. The Swaziland branch went to Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia, and then one branch snaked through Switzerland, Belgium, France and finally here. One reluctant passer-on says: ''One solution might be to send the things back to four of the idiots who passed them on in the first place.'' Workahuilic HERBERT Hui, head of the listing division, called in at 7 pm last night with some statistics for our story on the year at the stock exchange. He sure is engrossed with his work. Not only was it a public holiday, earlier in the day his wife had given birth. How long can he keep up the pace, particularly with the bright lights of the media shining on him ? ''I've always said the listing division shouldn't be someone's kingdom,'' he said, mentioning the name of a previous top stock exchange official he didn't want to emulate. ''If there were talented people coming up, I would try to give them a chance.'' However, thoughts of moving have been put on hold by the departure of his deputy Kenneth Koo. ''I have to do the responsible thing,'' he said. Blasphemy! HANDWRITTEN sign at the Wellcome supermarket at Cloudview Road, seen by Martin Alexander: ''We apologise for Christmas. Inconvenience caused.''