DANNY Ledoux, the chap who became Hong Kong's Mr Pest Control thanks to his slogan ''Killing is our business'', is back with a new business, which doesn't involve killing anything. He gave us a sneak preview yesterday of his machine which turns lead into gold. And not just lead. He can turn most metal objects into gold with his electrical machine covered in dials and a supply of mysterious-looking purple jelly. This time he's setting himself up as Gold Finger Limited. Honest, that's the company name. His gadget deposits a shiny layer of real gold which is thick enough not to rub off and is ideal for that certain type of person who likes the gold look. Danny is going to set up a shop with an eye on things like car radiator grills, bath taps - anything really, as well as big stuff like the handrails for karaoke lounges. He draws the line at Hong Kong coins, though. As a demonstration, he's turned a bathtub into gold, which he's offering for a mere $150,000, and as a sales aid wants to turn an entire De Lorean car into gold and pay some woman to drive around in gold boots. He's done a gold briefcase, he says. ''It was developed for the space shuttle,'' he explains. Pity NASA only used it for dull stuff like electronic circuits. A completely gold-coloured space shuttle, perhaps sponsored by Donald Trump and Cecil Chao, would have looked rather cute. Good from far STAFF at the Excelsior Hotel were sent on one of those much-feared ''alignment programmes'', where everyone spends three days doing vision statements, team building etc, according to its latest newsletter. The newsletter said it ''gave our managers the opportunity to analyse The Excelsior as it is now''. Amazing but true: they were all shipped off to the Gold Coast Hotel to analyse the Excelsior Hotel. Eh? Soft option AFTER the big row about cash rebates, also known as kickbacks, what about those who take non-cash rebates? This is the so-called ''soft dollar'' business, where a fund manager gets gigantic freebies in return for trading shares to certain brokerages. Their overheads covered, they can keep more of their income as profit. It's like air miles, except that unlike some air miles schemes it is not a misleading fiddle. We've got a copy of The Thamesway Soft Commission Handbook which shows some of the things fund managers can buy with ''soft dollars''. Among them are ''voice processing systems'', which is a euphemism for the dreaded phone mail, ''pointerhead software'', and a service which condenses Saturday and Sunday's newspapers into a few sheets so you can ignore the papers over the weekend and get up to speed on Monday morning - as well as mainstream expensive stuff like Bloomberg screens worth US$1,000 a month. There's also something called Shark Information, which disappointingly turns out to be a financial data system - more snores than Jaws. Opponents of this business always allege that the money often pays for some very strange things. But we looked in the index for ''wine, sex and song'' and it wasn't there. Wong number LARRY Feign, the man who creates The World of Lily Wong, is keen to make his fortune. Following the example of the chap who didn't think $4.8 million was enough for the car registration HK1997, he noticed this week that he's about to draw Lily Wong cartoon number 1,997, which will appear on August 27. So he's joining the greed parade, and trying to auction the artwork off complete with its serial number 1997. Gigantic bids should be sent to the Lai See fax number above. Taking our property tycoons as our role model, Lai See will take a two per cent commission plus a five per cent back-hander plus an agents fee of three per cent, plus a handling fee of three per cent, plus a bribe fee of three per cent plus we're going to lie to Larry about how big the bids are and pocket the difference.