Li says he's in 'good shape' as billionaires vow to give it away Those who gathered at the feet of Li Ka-shing for Hutchison's interim press conference asked 'superman', as some like to call to him, if he intends to give away half his wealth when he passed on to the everlasting property market in the sky, along the lines of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. The 82-year-old sharply replied: 'I am still in good shape and I don't need to think too much about that at the moment.' There was some disappointment that he also declined to comment as he usually does on the stock and property market. Perhaps he is not in such good shape as he thinks. The continued haemorrhaging of his 3G operations is enough to make anyone ill. Shipper's mystery shopping We are a little puzzled as to why Pacific Basin Shipping is being so coy about some of its recent acquisitions. The company which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange has in the past taken a certain amount of pride in its investor relations and in keeping the market informed as to what it is up to. However, the company bought nine ships between January and June this year but has yet to divulge any details as to their identity and the price paid for them. Since the lack of transparency appears out of character it has begun to attract some attention in the market with observers wondering what's going on. That sinking feeling A few weeks ago Wah Kwong Shipping Holdings chairman George Chao Sze-kwong wrote an opinion article in this newspaper lamenting the lack of government support for the maritime industry. We are saddened to have to report of further developments which further support his view. This year has been declared the year of the seafarer by the International Maritime Organisation and the three seafaring unions have organised a seminar in September to mark the occasion on the subject of 'The past and present of the Hong Kong shipping industry.' They have invited a number of speakers including Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng (pictured). Her response, however, appears to have been less than enthusiastic and so far confined to inquiring who else was speaking. The organisers were not impressed. A lack of security The wheel of fortune has turned for the Nepalis in Macau. After dominating casino security for decades in addition to working in other service industries, large employers in Macau have started firing Nepali migrant workers along with other foreign workers following the government decision to give priority to its citizens in employment. Around 150 Nepali migrant workers have been fired in recent days from various big casinos, hotels and security companies, the Kantipur daily reported. The government has been leaning hard on companies to hire local and fire foreign. Imported labour was originally used as an expendable cushion during the financial downturn to preserve the local employment rate. As a result the number of foreign workers in Macau has fallen 31 per cent from its peak in September 2008 to 72,000 at present - still a massive chunk of the city's labour force. But now the unemployment rate in Macau stands at a miniscule 2.8 per cent. Major would-be developers are struggling to move forward with multibillion-dollar casino projects because they cannot find enough local construction workers - the government requires them to employ one local builder for every imported one. Time to re-open the gates? The sandwich bites back Something for all the banks that are piling into wealth management. Asians are being squeezed by the sandwich effect, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. That is, with people living longer and women having children later, adults in between are being squeezed by the demands of having to bring up and educate children as well as looking after elderly parents. The good news for the elderly is that 78 per cent of those in the sandwich agree that it is their responsibility to look after their parents. In other findings, more than a third of Asia's sandwich generation say they have to work harder to cover their various expenses; about half have reduced their savings and investments; nearly two-thirds are more cautious with their investments than they were previously, and more than a third say they are struggling to cope - Hongkongers came top of the list with 53 per cent saying they felt under pressure. Lucky we've got a caring chief executive.