AIA packs them in as IPO roadshow draws crowds Going by the crowd at its roadshow yesterday, AIA Group already has the makings of a mega IPO. So many people turned up that the organisers had to put some of them in an extra room with a television transmitting the meeting. AIA's US$15 billion IPO could well be the second-largest listing in Hong Kong this year, after Agricultural Bank of China, which raised US$22 billion from a Shanghai and Hong Kong dual listing. Incidentally, AIA used the same venue where Agricultural Bank held its roadshow a few months ago. The bank's roadshow, too, was similarly packed, spilling into an extra room. Crushed and squeezed After being jailed for three years and fined nearly Euro5 billion (HK$53.44 billion) for defrauding his former employer Societe Generale, French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel said he was being made a scapegoat. In his first comments following the judgment that convicted him of breach of trust and forgery at one of Europe's biggest banks, he told a French radio station he was 'crushed' by the sentence. Obviously, SocGen has never heard the expression: you can't get blood out of a stone. It's hard to imagine Kerviel coughing up the Euro5 billion, unless he makes some good criminal contacts and gets to share in a crime of Great Train Robbery proportions. Or he could just get a job as a banker again and repay the bank with his bonuses. Banking casino Talking about the huge bonuses that financiers still enjoy despite the global economic crisis, US investment guru Warren Buffett was recently quoted in the media as saying, 'one of the problems we still have is, we have unbalanced incentives for managers of huge financial institutions'. In future, chief executives of banks that need government assistance should 'go broke' and 'their wives should go broke too', said the 80-year-old billionaire, whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, is an investor in US banks like Goldman Sachs. 'Wall Street does a lot of good things and then it has this casino. It's like a church that's running raffles on the weekend.' Just on the weekend? Liverpool owners see red A mystery Asian bidder is involved in the latest tussle to acquire Liverpool Football Club, which has split the board and owners. In a statement yesterday, Liverpool said its board had agreed to sell the club to New England Sports Ventures, a US sports group that owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team. 'The sale is conditional on Premier League approval, resolution of the dispute concerning board membership and other matters,' the club said. The deal appears to be facing a protracted legal dispute, after Liverpool's owners - Tom Hicks and George Gillett - tried to sack chairman Martin Broughton and some of his colleagues, according to various reports. The owners rejected the sale, which values the club at ?00 million (HK$3.69 billion), saying it 'dramatically undervalues' one of the world's most famous football clubs. Broughton and his colleagues are reportedly consulting lawyers on whether they can resist the owners' attempt to sack them and force through the sale. There was another interested bidder, described in various reports as being 'from Asia'. We wonder whether this mysterious Asian bidder is from the mainland. Kenny Huang Jianhua was interested in buying Liverpool, but he and his Hong Kong-based investment company, QSL Sports, withdrew their bid in August. Tycoons flying high Chinese tycoons are flying high all right. Xinhua recently ran a list of people from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland who own private jets. One of them is Taiwan tycoon Terry Gou Tai-ming, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, the parent company of Foxconn International. Gou recently acquired a Gulfstream G550 jet, in addition to four Gulfstream G4 jets that he already owned. Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia, a Taiwanese actress now living in Hong Kong, owns a Bombardier Challenger jet. Zhao Benshan, a popular mainland comedian, spent nearly 200 million yuan (HK$231 million) to buy a private jet. Hong Kong movie star Andy Lau Tak-wah also owns a private jet. Helicopters are also a popular mode of transport among the well-heeled in the Pearl River Delta. In a village on the outskirts of Guangzhou is a helicopter base with choppers mostly owned by businessmen from Guangzhou, Dongguan and Foshan and Hongkongers, Xinhua reported.