Rumours are circulating that Asia Week magazine is going to be sold off by its parent company Time Warner. The prospective buyer is the Ming Pao newspaper group which, according to a director at the company, has been having negotiations with Time Warner. But the latter denied the rumour. A bargain has yet to be struck, although the director said he not been directly involved with the discussions. Time Warner is giving nothing away and is claiming it is all hot air on the part of industry gossip mongers. ''Time Warner has not sold Asia Week magazine nor is it planning to do so. ''It is categorically untrue,'' said Robin Johnson, President of Time Inc Magazines Asia. THE motivation for some of the big brokerages downgrading their Hong Kong weighting has attracted cynical comment. A US-based brokerage with a strong presence in South America and a blue-blood British broker have been the latest houses to back-track on their enthusiasm for the Hong Kong market. They have been advising clients to redistribute their portfolios to different markets. A good call on the market which has displayed tremendous growth and is now looking a bit shaky? What, after all, are analysts for and strategists all about if they can't run against the herd with a contrary prediction? Not according to some. Brokers at rival houses say a degree of ''talking your own book'' is going on. This is industry parlance for pushing clients off into markets where you are well established and can earn lots of market share. One group lowered Hong Kong in its portfolio and pumped up asset allocation to South American stocks, where it has one of the biggest brokerage networks. Similarly, last week a British house recommended a neutral weighting in Hong Kong stocks and is believed to be promoting European plays. WHEN Herbert Hui, the head of the listing department at the stock exchange, fired off his salvo at the quality of merchant banking being provided on some of the initial public offerings (IPO) made last year, he declined to name names. However, others have, and apparently ING Bank, an adviser on a number of IPOs during 1993, is one of the banks that incurred the displeasure of the stock exchange. While sources at the listing department did not want to get into the details, we hear it was indicated that a dim view would be taken of its future participation in IPOs on the Hong Kong Exchange. WHAT news of the Allied Group, the target of one of the biggest Commercial Crimes Bureau raids seen in the territory. Word has it that new developments are expected in the near future. Apart from reports that Acting secretary for Financial Services Tam wing-pong is facing legal action from Allied over his comments at a press conference last year, insiders say other announcements could be on the way. Meanwhile, police are still sifting through the files following the raid on Tomson Pacific and six other companies in mid-December. Sources say no announcement is likely soon. But with the amount of paperwork seized this is hardly suprising.