Shampoo maker's red-hot IPO attracts 1 in 10 HK families How many bottles of shampoo can Bawang investors buy with the money they have put into subscribing to the red-hot public offering? Bawang has attracted HK$74.2 billion from more than 196,000 potential investors. Think about it; it means about one in 10 families in Hong Kong has subscribed to Bawang. That penetration rate is higher than the 7 per cent market share the company enjoys on the mainland. More than 76,000 investors paid HK$4,760 to apply for the minimum board lot of 2,000 shares, but only one in five people were lucky enough to get them. The stock is being tipped to rise more than 25 per cent on its debut today. Another interesting statistic is that 221 investors offered HK$83.3 million each to subscribe for a maximum of 35 million Bawang shares, but they fared even worse than the small-time punters, as they received no more than 310,000 shares, or less than one per cent of what they had applied for. Based on the current low interest rate, we figure these heavy punters will have to pay between HK$30,000 and HK$43,000 on their borrowings, but they will make that up easily if the shares go up more than three per cent. So back to our original question. The HK$74.2 billion would buy close to 5 billion bottles of shampoos, based on the average selling price of 15 yuan per bottle. On a personal note, Lai See has been using Bawang shampoo for a month - for the sake of journalism - and could not detect a significant difference from other shampoos in reducing hair loss or turning it shiny black. We are still adjusting to the smell of its herbal ingredient and will probably switch back to P&G products. Qinfa shares hard to come by China Qinfa Group, a company listing alongside Bawang today, also attracted a full book. The mainland's largest non-state-owned coal trading and logistics firm was oversubscribed nearly 100 times, with 27,721 investors signed up. However, the firm only awarded shares to fewer than 2,000 shareholders, or about 7 per cent of the total applicants. We figure the Mark Six might be a better choice. GBP20,000 for a 20p piece If you have been to Britain this year and brought back any coins, you had better find out where you put them, as you might be in possession of a 'mule' that is worth a fortune. An error by the Royal Mint when producing tens of thousands of 20 pence pieces earlier this year left them dateless, and now collectors are scrambling to get their hands on them. EBay has been inundated with coins for sale as people who have found them attempt to cash in. One was even reported to have gone for a staggering GBP20,000 (HK$254,000) yesterday, although that was unconfirmed. Experts had originally predicted the coins could be worth up to GBP50 each. There has been one confirmed sale of a dateless 20p coin fetching GBP7,100 on eBay after the bidding started at 99p. The 'mule' supposedly gets its name from being a coin with mismatched sides, in reference to the mule being a mismatch of a horse and a donkey. New KBE makes greens see red Green groups are demanding that Britain's Queen Elizabeth withdraw the award of a knighthood to Ming Pao newspaper owner Tiong Hiew King (below). According to British press reports, the Malaysian tycoon has long been accused by environmentalists of making his fortune from the illegal destruction of huge areas of tropical rainforest in Papua New Guinea and other countries. Mr Tiong, the head of the Rimbunan Hijau conglomerate, was recommended by the Papua New Guinea government for the honorary title Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queen's birthday honours list last month. To add insult to injury, one report said the 75-year-old Mr Tiong has been calling himself Sir Hiew King although, as the recipient of an honorary rather than a full knighthood, he is not entitled to use the title. AIA lends name to tower No 4 After two months of deliberating, AIG Tower will be renamed AIA Central next week, according to one of the tenants who received an official announcement from the landlord. It will be the fourth building in the city named after American International Assurance; the others are AIA Tower in North Point, AIA Building on Stubbs Road and AIA Plaza in Causeway Bay.