Will September live up to its worst performing month tag? The fall, as its name suggests, is not the most bullish time for the stock market. In fact, September, which sees the start of the transition from summer to winter, is the worst-performing month for Asia-Pacific as far as equities are concerned, according to Morgan Stanley. The United States brokerage fed all the Asian (ex-Japan) stock indices for the past 36 years into a computer and came up with an average monthly price return for September of a negative 1.7 per cent. The worst-performing September was 1974, which fell 24.4 per cent, followed by last September and in 1981, which both fell 17.1 per cent. Despite the September curse, the Hang Seng Index actually rose 0.75 per cent on the opening day of the month yesterday, thanks to a rebound in the Shanghai stock market after a miserable August, which saw the mainland stock market tumble 22 per cent, putting an end to a seven-month rally. Well, what goes up must go down, or vice versa. Anti-hair fall shampoo Still on the fall theme, a reader who warmed to our item about Chinglish yesterday, directed us to the advertising blurb of best-selling mainland shampoo company Bawang International (Group) Holding, which created quite a buzz when it made its debut on the Hong Kong stock market earlier in the summer. Promoting its secret herbal formula, the company claims Bawang is an 'anti-hair fall' shampoo. We're at a loss for words. Wu returns as chief executive He quit as independent non-executive director just six weeks ago, but now he's coming back as chief executive. Tradelink Electronic Commerce yesterday announced the appointment of Michael Wu Wai-chung, who will take up his new role next year, although he will join the company as chief executive-designate next month. The former Securities and Futures Commission director and the vice-chairman of the Shanghai Stock Exchange will earn HK$4.5 million annually from his three-year contract. Separately, the online trade-related logistics provider also appointed former Secretary for Trade and Industry Brian Chau Tak-hay (above) independent non-executive director. Since leaving government in 2002, Chau has also become an independent non-executive director of China Life Insurance and Stanley Ho Hung-sun's SJM Holdings. 'Friendly' big thumbs down The results of a shareholders' poll for the re-election of directors at the annual meeting of Sino Union Petroleum & Chemical International caught our attention yesterday. In a rare outcome, independent non-executive director Kenneth Chow Charn-ki looked to have been given the thumbs down in a big way with 99.41 per cent of the votes going against him, while his fellow board members all got at least 88 per cent support from the shareholders. What did the lawyer, who is a Hong Kong committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, do to upset them? We called Chow's office, Edmund W H Chow & Co, where his secretary said her boss had resigned from Sino Union. When we mentioned that the company had put out an announcement to the stock exchange listing the voting figures, we were transferred to a legal colleague of Chow's who issued a statement on his behalf. 'Sino Union had another arrangement for me. 'Everything was done in a friendly manner. You can ask the firm for details.' Our call to Sino Union was not returned so what actually happened remains a mystery to outsiders. What we do know is that Chow, an independent non-executive director for four years, said he had no disagreement with the board. 'Fudge this' boldly printed After weeks of profit and loss figures coming at us from all angles, here's a story to brighten up the results season. NZ Farming Systems Uruguay has been referred to New Zealand's securities regulator after the phrase 'fudge this' was included in its financial results statement. The company filed the accounts last month with the comment included and later refiled them with an explanation that it was a 'typographical error' and its statements were accurate. However, the New Zealand stock exchange still feels it is worthy of referral to the watchdog.