HONG KONG's luckiest number plate proved to be a licence to print money yesterday when business tycoon Albert Yeung Sau-shing (inset) paid a staggering $13 million for the coveted No 9. But the record-breaking bid was only accepted after a war of words during the licence plate auction at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The plate was formerly owned by Sir Tang Siu-kin, a close friend of Emperor Group chairman Mr Yeung, who died in 1986. Bids began at $7 million, with film star Jackie Chan joining in at $10 million. Mr Yeung pushed the price to $13 million - with the auctioneer's gavel slamming down on the third call. But as people rushed to shake hands with Mr Yeung, another bidder jumped to his feet to offer a higher price. ''Can you wait? My mobile phone hasn't rung yet,'' Wong Ka-lung said. ''My boss can offer a higher price - up to $15 million. I'm waiting for instructions.'' The proceedings halted for a few moments until a Transport Department official announced the re-opening of bids. But Mr Wong, who claimed to represent a leasehold company, stormed out. ''I'm not in a mood to bid again. I can't contact my boss and I'm very upset,'' he said. But Mr Yeung was delighted. ''Sir Tang Siu-kin was a good friend . . . I bid in remembrance of him,'' he said. ''Nine'' sounds like the word for ''dog'' and is considered lucky because 1994 is the Year Of The Dog. The previous world record, of $9.5 million was paid last year for the Number 2 plate, which was auctioned off by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod.