NEWS of Chinese Estates Holdings' 7.2 per cent profit slide took its toll on the stock, which dived in heavy trading. It was the day's sixth biggest percentage loser, dropping 80 cents or 8.2 per cent to $8.95. It posted a turnover of $146.65 million - the day's third highest - generated by 15.95 million shares traded and representing the day's sixth heaviest volume. Last November, Evergo International Holdings - then the flagship of the Lau brothers' business empire - transferred all its assets to subsidiary Chinese Estates, and the latter assumed all Evergo's liabilities. At the same time, Evergo was de-listed and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese Estates, with Evergo shareholders becoming Chinese Estates shareholders. The move was said to have simplified the group's structure and have reduced conflicts as both Lau-controlled companies were engaged in property investment. That was after two vain attempts by the Lau brothers in the past four years to privatise Chinese Estates. The attempt made in February 1992 was a controversial and complex deal - triggering a noisy and bitter protest from the minority shareholders - which failed at the final hurdle when regulators jumped in. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) lodged an affidavit with the Supreme Court in Bermuda, where the company is domiciled, expressing concern about a crucial vote at a rowdy shareholders' meeting. Chinese Estates minority shareholders then alleged that Evergo's proposal seriously undervalued their shareholdings. Yesterday, China Foods (Holdings) also took a hard beating on the heels of Thursday's announcement of a proposed one-for-one rights issue. The company plummeted the sharpest of all counters, dropping 45 cents or 12.5 per cent to $3.15 as the day's biggest percentage loser, while 1.22 million shares worth $3.85 million changed hands. China Foods, formerly known as Seabase International Holdings, is 55 per cent owned by Top Glory, a locally listed subsidiary of mainland food importer and exporter China National Cereal Oils and Foodstuffs Import and Export Corp (Ceroil). Ceroil took control of the company from Seapower International Holdings last May. Seapower International still holds a minor stake. Hong Kong Daily News Holdings was exceptionally active yesterday, chalking up the seventh highest turnover of $129.68 million with 46.03 million shares traded - the day's second highest volume. The stock lay flat at $2.825. Second-and third-liners, stealing the show from blue chips in terms of activity, also fared better than blue chips in general. Yesterday, the Vickers Ballas Smaller Companies' Index subsided 0.43 per cent, with the All Ordinaries Index down 0.55 per cent. These compared with the 0.67 per cent fall in the Hang Seng Index. Trading house Li & Fung signed off with flying colours, up 42.5 cents or 9.09 per cent to $5.10 as the day's third best performer in percentage gain. But its turnover was a paltry $427,600, on a volume of 86,000 shares.