The times they are a-changing A decade ago you would have bet your shirt on casino mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun's gaming flagship Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Holdings (SJM). But how times have changed. The company has been losing market share since the end of its monopoly in 2002 and a protracted legal battle with Mr Ho's sister Winnie saw SJM miss out on last year's stock market boom for the launch of its initial public offer. Now the gaming company is headed for a July 10 listing in Hong Kong - the third time of asking and at about half the original price. But Lai See's spies were unable to find many people interested in taking a piece of the action when SJM's Hong Kong roadshow kicked off at the Grand Hyatt yesterday. First to be spotted was Wharf (Holdings) chairman Peter Woo Kwong-ching, sporting a pair of dark glasses. He strongly denied any interest in subscribing to SJM, insisting he had only popped in to use the washroom. Also seen was The Children's Investment Fund director John Ho Chi-on, who sits on the board of The Link Reit. But he refused to answer any questions from reporters. The only exception was David Lan Hong-tsung, former home affairs secretary, who now sits on the boards of two Li Ka-shing companies as an independent non-executive director. He confirmed his interest in buying SJM shares, although he didn't say how many. Stanley Ho himself made a brief appearance at the hotel just before jetting off to Portugal with his fourth wife, Angela Leong. Maybe they will be trying to persuade a few former Macau residents to invest in SJM for old time's sake. Unabashedly unrepentant The Apple Daily celebrated its 13th anniversary last week by saying sorry. But being the Apple Daily it wasn't really an apology, more a declaration that the pen is mightier than the sword. Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's publication ran a full page ad with pictures of Hong Kong's great and good, each being stabbed by a ballpoint pen. They included Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, his predecessor Tung Chee-hwa, former secretary of justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie, tycoon Li Ka-shing and the paper's latest 'target', Chief Executive Office director Norman Chan Tak-lam, who has been at the centre of the political appointees controversy. A line under the pictures read: 'Sorry! In the past 13 years we have showed no fear of the powers that be. We have had the guts to say what we say. We don't plan to change, and we won't change.' Emerging investments When it comes to investments, the chances of getting it right are about 50-50. So it came as little surprise to see that HSBC Global Asset Management has just launched two emerging market funds with exposure in Brazil and Russia, a change from its recent approach of promoting BRIC investments that also included India and China. The Indian and Chinese markets have been performing poorly with year-to-date drops of 35 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively. Russia is also down, but only 4 per cent, while Brazil offers the only bright spot with a 5 per cent gain, thanks to the booming commodity markets. So, having gone from BRIC to BR, how long before we're down to a B? Not so sporting IPO used to stand for instant profit offer, but now it's an immediately plunging one. Consider the case of Pou Sheng International (Holdings), a spin-off of sportswear maker Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings), whose shares have fallen 25 per cent in less than three weeks. Sponsor Merrill Lynch yesterday disclosed that it bought 8.21 million Pou Sheng shares at between HK$2.48 and HK$2.56 each, a week after the company first sold shares for HK$3.05. It seems that the United States investment bank could not fully offload Pou Sheng, which raised HK$2.5 billion in a barely oversubscribed issue. Merrill Lynch now owns 6.11 per cent of Pou Sheng, with a short position of 3.48 per cent.