bankers' pecking order all comes down to share price growth Gone are the days when the HSBC taipan was automatically the most respected banker in town. Just compare the rough media and investor treatment afforded Stephen Green, who took over as HSBC chairman from Sir John Bond last year, with the kind notices reserved for his Standard Chartered counterpart Mervyn Davies. The reason, of course, is that Standard Chartered's shares outpaced HSBC's last year. We sought the views of Bank of China (Hong Kong) chief He Guangbei who knows a thing or two about living under the pressure of investor and media expectations. 'I think Mr Davies is very lucky to have worked in Hong Kong for a long time so he knows how to deal with the Hong Kong media,' said Mr He, pictured below flanked by Mr Green (left) and Mr Davies. The BOCHK supremo said Hong Kong was one of the freest places in the world when it came to publishing negative stories about business, although he didn't think the quality standards of the local media were as high as those in Britain. Mr Davies can only have been pleased by the good press Standard Chartered has received in London while some HSBC public relations types complain that the British media won't listen to their side of the story; they say Hong Kong reporters understand the bank's problems better. Mr He said he didn't have a favourite local paper. He complained about a general lack of international perspective and penetrating analysis in Hong Kong papers. Asked what paper he read first in the morning, he said: 'Whichever one my secretary puts on the desk first.' However, Lai See suspects it may be one of the United States papers - not because he studied for a time in Texas but because, as he himself said: 'The US papers report whatever they are given.' worldly ambitions given voice BOCHK's new year media reception yesterday was graced by the presence of the bank's own choir. And what an uplifting performance they gave. Singing a cappella - which means 'unplugged' if you were born after 1980 - they reeled off, in order: We Are the World, The World Is Getting Smaller, What a Wonderful World, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Top of the World and Heal the World. They must be expecting big bonuses and another bumper year. classical debut all round Music was also to be heard in Shanghai, where China Life made its domestic stock market debut. Inside the trading hall of the Shanghai Stock Exchange a violin and cello duo played classical music before and after the opening bell. The music matched the mood of investors who saw the price of their China Life A shares more than double. Something for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing chief Paul Chow Man-yiu, who was present at the ceremony, to consider, perhaps? ma (aka mahammed) dubai-bound With Middle Eastern petrodollars flooding into mainland financial stocks, it's not surprising that another Hong Kong delegation, led by Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma Si-hang, is preparing to visit Dubai this month. The former top private banker said he planned to use his real name when making his marketing pitch, unlike some Hong Kong businessmen who make a point of using an Arabic name on their business cards. 'Perhaps they can call me Mahammed,' he quipped. carl yung steps up another rung Seven appears to be the lucky number for Carl Yung Ming-jie, the elder son of tycoon Larry Yung Chi-kin. Yesterday, he was appointed Citic Pacific deputy managing director after seven years as a director. The 38-year-old became director in 2000, seven years after he joined Citic. If this pattern is anything to go by, watch for him to reach the summit in 2014, by which time his father will be 72.