Perhaps if they added angels frolicking in the meadows? September 9, 2009 is an auspicious date for Chinese people, signifying longevity and luck. So it does seem ironic that Sino Life should choose this day to debut on the Growth Enterprise Market, as its business deals in anything but longevity and luck. Unlike China Life Insurance, which sells life insurance policies, Sino Life provides post-life insurance policies - that is, funeral services in Taiwan and Sichuan. The company, which sells coffins, burial clothes and cremation services, will become the only listed firm of its kind in Hong Kong. Three years ago, another GEM-listed company, Galileo Capital Group, bought a funeral service company for HK$6.4 million, then changed its name to Sun International before selling the business last October for HK$3.1 million. The unique nature of the listing has caused a bit of a problem with the stock exchange. We understand that the original cover for Sino Life's prospectus, which depicted a pastoral scene of fields and woodland, was rejected by the listing committee on the grounds that it did not represent the company's business or assets. Setting aside arguments over allusions to farming and forestry, it does make you wonder what the listing committee expects Sino Life to put on the cover. Sponsor Sun Hung Kai Finance did not return our calls yesterday. Giving the media a wide berth You can watch, but you can't ask. For the first time, telecoms firm PCCW cancelled its post-results press conference yesterday, although it did allow a live broadcast of its analysts' meeting on the company's website. Chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai (below) is excused because his habit of being on business trips on such days means it would be big news if he actually showed up, but why are all his guys trying to hide from the media? PCCW's core telecoms revenue was down 3 per cent - so were most of its rivals' - but its overall profit fell only 0.3 per cent, thanks to the big contribution of Pacific Century Premium Developments, which sold its first telecoms exchange redevelopment project in Sheung Wan earlier this year. We can only put the shyness of the company's brass down to them being tired of being grilled about the failed privatisation bid. Gorilla on the balance sheet King Fook Holdings has had a stake in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing for nine years, but things look like they are about to change. The small jewellery house and brokerage is asking shareholders for approval to dispose of its 1.31 million HKEx shares, which would be worth HK$190 million based on yesterday's closing of HK$145. Obviously the shares, now at zero book cost, have become too big to be ignored by King Fook, as they account for more than 50 per cent of the jeweller's market value. King Fook is up 100 per cent year to date, outperforming HKEx's 97 per cent. The 19-hour nano The average wage-earning Hongkonger needs to put in two days' work to earn enough to buy an Apple iPod nano, which costs about HK$1,170. That's twice as long as the average New Yorker but more than three times quicker than a Beijing employee, according to the latest price and earnings report by UBS. It found that employees in New York and Zurich needed to put in only nine hours of work to earn enough for an iPod, or about 20 times faster than workers in Mumbai, who need to put in 177 hours for the mini music player. Hong Kong ranked 25th among the cities in the report, at 19 hours, compared with Taipei's 23.5 hours, Shanghai's 56.5 hours and Beijing's 73 hours. Markets in for 8-day holiday The recent volatility of the mainland stock market must have jittery investors praying for a decent break. And that's what they are going to get in a few weeks, with an eight-day Golden Week holiday when the markets will be closed from October 1 to October 8, the longest we can recall. This year's holiday, which marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic, comprises the normal three-day national day holidays, the weekend and the Mid-Autumn Festival. The markets will reopen on Friday, October 9, but we wonder how many brokers will develop a case of 'long-weekenditis' and take the day off to stretch the holiday to 11 days.