Fat cats don't look any thinner to me Who said the fat cats were growing thinner after the global financial crisis, Ah Pak wants to know? Take a look at this: Remuneration package: More than HK$3 million a year. Responsibility: To head a team to look for real estate investment opportunities in Korea or Singapore. Rivals beware. Ah Pak thinks he might make a bid for the job, which is being headhunted by LaSalle Investment Management and calls for a director based in Hong Kong as the fund gears up its efforts to expand now that the crisis seems to be well and truly over. What are the major qualifications required of a winning candidate? 'One who knows the market in Asia Pacific very well and brings in deals on day one will be preferable,' Ah Pak was told. Hangzhou land sales going through the roof Tightening or loosening the property belt? In Hangzhou, first-time homebuyers, inclusive of those without qualifying residency in the city, still enjoy a cash handout from the government of 1.3 per cent of a flat's purchase price if they buy a unit of under 140 square metres. The stimulative policy measure was announced on January 10, the same day as the central government warned of enforcing austerity measures to check rising property prices. Units of this size in Hangzhou generally sell for around 2 million yuan which means a buyer will receive a subsidy of 26,000 yuan from the government on a deal. With such a generous sweetener, no doubt it will lure home buying interest from other cities. Lee Wee Liat, a senior property analyst at Nomura International (Hong Kong), told Ah Pak what he saw during a visit to the city last week, including a visit to a new project just released for sale by China Vanke in which 100 units ranging from 60 sq metres to above 90 sq metres were sold within days at an average price of 12,000 yuan to 13,000 yuan per sq metre. So why is the city government of Hangzhou out of step with Beijing on property sales? Take a look at its sources of income, says Ah Pak, and note that 120 billion yuan alone comes from land sales. Tobacco chiefs move into smoking market With China's property market 'smoking', it should be no surprise that the flourishing 'State Tobacco Monopoly Administration' has entered the fray, notes Ah Pak. Last week, it was announced that the Beijing-based bureaucrats in overall charge of the very lucrative cigarette business in China had branched out to form a property joint venture with two of the provincial tobacco monopoly administrations under their wing in Yunnan and Zhejiang. China is the biggest market for the tobacco industry in the world with 350 million smokers. But smoking is a 'dying industry' in more ways than one, and it is sensible to diversify into healthy business. HK land auctions moving out of town The venue for Hong Kong's government land auctions is becoming more remote with the news that an upcoming sale of a site in Tseung Kwan O will be hosted in Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Ah Pak wondered if the Lands Department chose it because of cheaper rents or less participants in attending the land sale. The seating capacity in Tsuen Wan Town Hall is 1,424, about 30 per cent less than its previous venue at the 2,019-seat Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. The Lands Department said it was the Leisure and Cultural Services Department who make the bookings for land auctions.