Shark imagery all about scooping up business Thank goodness the government has finally kicked up a few notches on the Kai Tak cruise terminal development. It's been reported that the arduous selection process has more or less been completed and the winning design is a shark-like concept by renowned British architect Lord Foster. The design houses the terminal in a structure resembling a shark carcass with its mouth open. The contentious model has understandably sparked widely different reactions. Some hail it as impressive and visionary, while some critics call it a leftover seafood dinner. Ouch! Kai Tak cruise terminal, located at the site of the former Kai Tak Airport that was closed in 1998, is expected to be completed in 2013. It's hoped that the development will help Hong Kong become a regional cruise hub. Never mind what the man on the street thinks. A senior government official has ingeniously rationalised the choice. 'It looks like a shark or whale opening its mouth. These creatures have specialised feeding mechanisms and they swim at the sea surface with their mouths wide open to suck in huge amounts of plankton. Symbolically speaking, this is a good omen implying that the project has the ability to attract lots of capital and business.' Let us play devil's advocate here. Sharks have become endangered in recent years with their populations fast depleting. If we apply the same symbolic logic; wouldn't it be right to infer that the cruise business is dying out? Hmm, sounds ominous. Top gear on green cars The government's green vehicle drive is apparently picking up speed and we can expect to see more environmentally friendly vehicles on the road this year. Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah has been behind the campaign for a number of years. Last year, the government waived the first-time registration tax as an incentive. Recently, it has been making some behind-the-scenes strategic manoeuvring to encourage the importation of more of these vehicles. To show it means business, the government has ordered 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs at HK$490,000 each from the Japanese carmaker. Three have already been delivered and are being used by the Environment Bureau, the Chief Executive Office, and staff at government headquarters. The remaining seven will arrive in the coming months. We hear the demand for i-MiEVs has skyrocketed in Hong Kong, especially after it went on sale in Japan last week. A government insider admits that the price of the vehicle may be a bit high, but he is confident that it will come down drastically as the technology becomes more affordable and competition intensifies. The four-seater bubble-shaped i-MiEV takes six hours to get fully charged, at a cost of about HK$12, to cover a distance of between 100 kilometres (with air-conditioning) and 160 kilometres (without air-conditioning). For the same distance, a petrol-driven car will cost at least eight times more. 'This electric car is super convenient to power up; just plug into any 220V power source overnight. It is as easy as charging up a mobile phone,' she says. We hear many local celebrities have placed advance orders with the carmaker, which is planning to allocate about 100 i-MiEVs to the Hong Kong market soon. Macau is also encouraging green vehicles by preparing a tax-reduction scheme for purchases of environmentally friendly vehicles. The plan is expected to be implemented later this year. Love and other futures Stocks aren't the only game in town. For those willing to learn the intricate workings of futures trading, there is plenty of money to be made there but it is also considered one of the riskiest investments. Negotiating in the futures market can be as exciting and fraught with risk as playing the battlefield of love, we are told by an expert. There are overnight profits and losses that are greater than those gained or lost in other financial investments. Just like investing in a relationship, you can lose your shirt overnight. Colour of money Who says political turmoil is bad for the economy? We hear from a Thai businessman that the ongoing 'red-shirt' anti-government protests in Bangkok are actually helping business, not hurting it. Shops located in central Bangkok where hundreds of thousands of protesters are gathering are doing brisk business. Some shops are raking in more than 20,000 baht (HK$4,829) a day, about half of a normal month's income. Our business acquaintance says shops that sell red-coloured T-shirts, red headbands, sunglasses and sun caps are - surprise, surprise - the most popular.