Our way of helping Beijing make its US$200b decision China Investment Corp, the nation's newest and among the world's biggest sovereign funds, is seeking mega stars to join its international board of advisers and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan just may be on top of the list. To facilitate CIC's recruitment process, and indirectly speed up the US$200 billion spending spree, Lai See prepared a list of qualified international candidates for Beijing to consider. These candidates are predominantly mature (age-wise), rich and known to be friends of China. A) The Hank Greenberg-John Bond category If China doesn't get a Greenspan, it can always have a Greenberg. For 37 years, Hank Greenberg served at American insurance giant AIG until he stepped down as chairman in 2005. Also a life-long financier is former HSBC chairman John Bond, who retired in 2006 and shortly took up the chair of Vodafone Group. Both men kicked off their firm's China expansion. In fact both AIG and HSBC had their roots in 19th century China, setting up headquarters within a stone's throw of one another on the Bund in Shanghai. B) The George Soros-Jim Rogers-Warren Buffett category These three financiers have the recipe for investing successfully. At 78, George Soros, best known as the man who caused the Bank of England to go broke, can still share a trick or two about speculation. His former Quantum Fund partner Jim Rogers is a commodity specialist and re-invented himself as the 'Bull in China', like the name of his new book. But when it comes to consistency on investment performance, it is Warren Buffett, perenially the world's second-richest man. A value investor, he also made profit of six times his investment on his first China venture, PetroChina, long before anyone discovered the fun of investing in China shares. C) The Jacques Chirac or Tony Blair category His last name resembles 'China' and he is a friend indeed. In his 12 years as French president, Elysee Palace built its closest tie ever to Beijing in terms of strategic relations in trade and industry. But Mr Chirac will meet a strong challenge from former British prime minister Tony Blair, who recently rediscovered his love for China. Last year when he visited Dongguan to officiate a property kick-off for a reported half a million US dollars, he declared: 'China is a very special country, and has a special place in the heart of my family.' D) The Lee Kuan Yew or Thaksin Shinawatra category Singapore patriarch Lee Kuan Yew has single-handedly put Singapore on the world map, and his country fund Temasek Holdings has become the role model for sovereign funds. On the other hand, ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was credited as the man who led his country out of the Asian financial crisis and restored it to prosperity. Now in exile, Mr Thaksin was seen a number of times at the Mandarin Oriental in Central, and at some English Premier League matches with his team Manchester City. Our apologies to Steve Chen, YouTube co-founder; Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder; Joseph Yam Chi-kwong, Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief; tycoon Lee Shau-kee and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates who failed to make our list. From books to banks Shareholders of Sichuan Xinhua Winshare Chainstore may be surprised to find that their company has invested substantially in a city bank. Yesterday the newly listed bookstore said it had invested 240 million yuan for 2.46 per cent of Chengdu City Commercial Bank, which reported a 12.39 million net profit after tax in December 2006. Sichuan Xinhua said it would finance the purchase with its cash of 700 million yuan, but not from the net proceeds of its share sale last June. The company said the purchase did not represent a break from its principal business. By becoming a shareholder, 'it may benefit from good financial services'. After putting down a big deposit, one might expect more than 'good financial services'. Betting on gold Is gold better to hold or to be sold? Consider Hang Fung Gold Technology, which soared 26 per cent yesterday to a year-high after the firm said it was disposing of one tonne of its six-tonne reserve as gold hit more than US$850 per ounce. Hang Fung could cash out HK$200 million but it did not specify what it would sell: Will it be the golden toilet or the golden guanyin statue or the golden table and chair?