Masters of the universe cast around for job opportunities The tribulations of the banking industry have been well documented and reports of unpaid leave, pay cuts, and job redundancies are nothing new. But we happened to catch the tail-end of a conversation yesterday that showed just how much life has changed for some masters of the universe. Meeting with a headhunter in a buzzing coffee shop, a banker - or soon to be former banker as the case might be - was asking about potential openings at some of the top-tier houses in town. First they went through the sell-side names. Goldman? Nope. Macquarie? Nothing doing. Credit Suisse? Forget it. Then they tackled the buy-side, with no more luck. Both subsided into grim silence. Then suddenly the headhunter's face lit up. 'I've got it! You'd be perfect,' he exclaimed. 'What about going into financial journalism?' At that point we left with our coffee, not wanting to intrude on the meeting. But if asked, we might have pointed out the industry is going through some difficulties of its own right now. The best a company can do The market has been inundated by profit warnings lately. The latest have involved companies ranging from restaurant operators to computer parts manufacturers and telecommunications providers to commodity conglomerates. But just as its name suggests, China Best Group Holding has managed to stay ahead of the pack. The producer of coke fuel derived from coal announced after the market close on Monday that it will likely record a profit for last year compared with a loss in 2007. In a better market environment, investors may not have batted an eye after such a statement, but as the company's name suggests, this may be the best that investors can do at the moment. And the stock surged 17.02 per cent yesterday to 5.5 HK cents. A chairman's honour The Hong Kong market has been taking notes from Victor Li Tzar-kuoi (below) for a long time and now students at Canada's University of Western Ontario may be inspired to follow his example as well. The chairman of Cheung Kong Infrastructure is being awarded an honorary degree by the university for his key role in the Cheung Kong Group. The dean of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business praised Mr Li's business acumen and philanthropic spirit. But she could have also highlighted his ability to keep CKI's share price afloat even after it was removed from the Hang Seng Index last year. Since the start of 2008 the stock has been the best performer in the Hang Seng Composite Index of 201 companies, rising 6.35 per cent. Change for the better Investors may feel that luck is on their side after the Hang Seng Index climbed 5.97 per cent last month for its best performance since April last year. But Hong Kong Resources Holding may not be willing to leave its fortune up to fate. The investment holdings company which trades in metals and has interests in electroplating has undergone a massive facelift over the past six months, hoping for a better future. The latest change will be instituted today when the company adopts a new corporate logo to reflect the company's registered name, which was officially changed in January. In December, the company had changed its principal business address, and before that, it underwent a restructuring that resulted in a shakeup of senior management. But after all of the changes, the company's stock is still trading at just a fraction of what it was before the restructuring. Down 82.9 per cent since trading resumed in early October, shareholders must be hoping that some of the changes will pay off soon. It pays to go electronic Companies are outbidding each other to persuade their shareholders to do their bit for the environment by choosing to receive corporate documents electronically. NWS Holdings, a subsidiary of New World Development, became the latest to do so by offering to donate HK$100 to charity for every shareholder who chooses to be sent corporate communications via the internet. This offer topped similar initiatives by CLP Holdings (HK$60) and Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HK$50). NWS has a few thousand shareholders, most of whom are institutional investors.