Maybe no coincidence that Or, in French, means gold Former Hang Seng Bank chief executive Raymond Or Ching-fai became a man with the Midas touch yesterday as G-Resources Group shot up about 40 per cent the day after he was appointed a non-executive vice-chairman. The company, which bought an Indonesian gold mine two months ago, was the most active stock of the day, with 3.27 billion shares - almost 25 per cent of the company's issued shares - changing hands. The gold rush added HK$2.3 billion to G-Resources' market value as the counter ended the day up 39.76 per cent at 58 HK cents. Despite his obvious effect on the stock price, the 27-year banking veteran left market observers scratching their heads as to why he would join such a company. G-Resources was formerly known as Smart Rich Energy Finance (Holdings), owned by Wong Kam-fu, who started his paging business in the 80s. Two months ago, the firm received a HK$4.55 billion capital injection, 50 per cent of which was from institutional investors such as Franklin Resources and BlackRock, to acquire the Indonesian gold mine from Australia's OZ Minerals. However, at the end of last month, a group of investors sold down G-Resources shares, which sent the stock plummeting 65 per cent to about 54 HK cents. After that, the group appointed chief executive Owen Hegarty as its chairman, replacing Lew Mon Hung, who remains an executive director. Mr Or was brought in as an independent non-executive director with annual pay of HK$700,000. The 60-year-old, who stepped down from Hang Seng Bank in May, was formerly a director of blue-chip firms such as Hutchison Whampoa and Cathay Pacific Airways and is still a non-executive director of Esprit Holdings. He is understood to have been brought into G-Resources by tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, who subscribed to the earlier mega-placement via his private Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and his infrastructure arm NWS Holdings. Neither Mr Cheng nor any of his companies shows up in records as a director or substantial shareholder of G-Resources. An NWS spokesman confirmed its stake in the company, stressing it was a passive investment. Whatever, Mr Or's appointment has turned into a golden opportunity. They had to check it twice It seems that the number crunchers at Dah Sing Bank and Wing Hang Bank were so busy adding up the huge amounts of compensation they would have to pay to Lehman Brothers minibond holders that they missed Wednesday's 11pm deadline for announcing the figures. Their statements eventually appeared on the Hong Kong stock exchange's website first thing yesterday morning, with Dah Sing Bank disclosing that it had to make a HK$444 million provision (what an unlucky number), or about 4.4 per cent (there it is again) of its book value, while Wing Hang Bank's total was HK$357 million, or about 3.3 per cent of its book value. Morgan Stanley estimated the provisions accounted for between 16 per cent and 18 per cent of the banks' profit before tax this year. Five other banks - Bank of China (Hong Kong), Bank of East Asia, Chong Hing Bank, Fubon Bank (Hong Kong) and Public Financial Holdings - made their disclosures on time on Wednesday. Last night, Bank of Communications said it had set aside HK$175 million in provisions. Three subsidiaries of mainland banking giants - ICBC (Asia), China Merchants Bank-owned Wing Lung Bank and China Citic Bank Corp-owned Citic Ka Wah Bank - have yet to disclose the amounts they will be paying out in compensation to minibond holders. The sums involved are unlikely to have a big effect on the banks' bottom lines and so did not warrant an immediate stock exchange announcement. Tencent catches up with Yahoo Getting too big is proving a problem for Tencent Holdings, the best-performing blue-chip company so far this year. That could explain why the mainland's No 1 instant message service provider decided to halve its minimum board size to 100 shares from next month, in a move that the company says could improve liquidity and trading. At present, the minimum 200 shares would cost investors HK$20,600, based on yesterday's closing of HK$103, more than the minimum lot of half the blue-chip companies, including Cosco Pacific and Citic Pacific. Tencent has a market capitalisation of HK$186 billion, about the same size as Yahoo!