SOME excitement from a broker in Shanghai who told us that Oriental Pearl, a company with A shares on the Shanghai exchange, had disclosed an unusual ''intangible asset'' one of its published documents having one of the city's vice-mayors on its board. Perhaps by pure chance, the company's shares are about the only ones in Shanghai that are going up at the moment. The vice-mayor is marked down as an intangible asset but unfortunately we don't know if the entry has been given a cash value. This is a smart idea in China where connections really count. A proper balance sheet should include independent valuation of any relatives of Deng or old Long Marchers, revalued annually to take into account purges and failing health. A sliding scale would allow a value to be given even to tenuous - but still crucial - directors, such as the friend of a brother of a woman who went to school with the New Helmsman's manicurist. Advertising agencies in the UK thought of putting their staff on the balance sheet, but never had the nerve to finish the job. Of course, if you can have intangible assets it's also possible to have intangible liabilities. At least one Hong Kong company has people who would qualify as intangible liabilities: the offspring of the chairman. Rick 'n' roll ''YUMMY yummy yummy, I've got love in my tummy'' may soon be the new corporate anthem over at Hongkong Telecom. Rick Tang Yat-san is their new director of corporate affairs as of April 1, and he used to be bass player in a semi-professional bubble-gum pop band called The Menace - before his career went badly wrong and he ended up as a lawyer and mergers and acquisitions consultant. He went on to spend 14 years as regional counsel for Dow Chemical. Rick told us yesterday he also used to have a show decades ago on Commercial Radio called Rick's Folk Songs. Although The Menace performed cover versions of songs like the classic mentioned above, Rick also penned a few originals in the days when the Hong Kong Uni was into love and peace like everywhere else was. With the 1960s back in fashion, perhaps one could be retrieved from the Hong Kong Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and re-recorded to replace the Kenny G thing they use at the moment. Up market ACCORDING to a bloke at Canada's Crown Assets Distribution Centre, callers from Hong Kong have been among those trying to buy the ''flying Taj Mahal'' for a piffling C$56.5 million (about HK$322.5 million). This was the name given to the Airbus A-310 fitted out by ex-premier Brian Mulroney, but now considered ''much too extravagant for the prime minister of Canada'' by his successor Jean Chretien. It's got satellite communications equipment, a private state room and, of course, its own shower. If it is snapped up by a Hong Konger, they'll get a shock when they try to park it. As we said last week, the people at Kai Tak don't have the room for this sort of private toy. In-Flem-atory YESTERDAY'S biggest irrelevance came over the fax from Jardine Fleming, who slammed the door in the face of their most loyal customers on Wednesday by scrapping their regular savings plan. JF were under the impression customers would have forgotten all about it 24 hours later and be interested in its view of the Asia-Pacific markets. Wrong. Typical among yesterday's callers was Simon Roberts of Discovery Bay, who said JF had been ''kicking existing clients in the teeth'' and that its move was ''a complete insult''. Simon and his wife have been running a regular savings plan for two years. JF Unit Trust director Richard Mosley defended JF's recent actions, saying that investors have always been allowed to sell their units if they want to. Simon didn't seem to relish paying a further commission of more than five per cent on his investment, having already paid a similar hefty commission to JF. Now is the time for the unit trust industry in Hong Kong to show their cousins in the banking world how competition benefits the customer. Will any of them have the nerve to slash their commissions for a limited period and launch a raid on JF's customer base? Figured out ON the front page of the second section of today's Business Post we've got a story about Japanese companies fiddling about with their accounts. It's a good job nothing like that could happen here. Imagine the effect if pillars of the Hong Kong business community were able to start revaluing their properties at will. Or even depreciating buildings until 2047 that were built to last about three years - assuming there's no typhoons. Imagine the impact if major companies started messing around with their accounting periods to confuse analysts, or set up weird joint ventures with their management. It's a good job the authorities here don't allow that sort of thing. Air strike ONE noteworthy stock tip came yesterday from Rod Eddington at Cathay Pacific. Rod said: ''It's better putting your money into property than into airlines in Hong Kong.'' Sounds like Rod is fed up with arguing with pilots and cabin staff, and would rather play with lots of non-striking office blocks over at Swire Properties instead.