AMATEUR punters in Bombay may well have found the kind of alternative which Hong Kong needs for those who feel they don't get a fair deal from money-grubbing stockbrokers. Lai See has learnt of a club of middle-class Indian investors who every Sunday gather at a hotel in India's financial capital. Housewives and doctors are among the members of the club, reflecting a cross section of Bombay's middle-class residents who gather to buy and sell stocks. ''Most of the time we are cheated by the brokers because they buy and sell our stocks at prices convenient to them,'' said Fayaz Ismail, a businessman and a new member of the club, voicing the anguish of scores of small investors. Investors say most brokers deliberately give them an unfair deal because the current absence of transparency on the Bombay market works to the brokers' advantage. Huddled in groups, the club members scribble transactions on notepads in between discussions on sports, films and politics, a far cry from the frenetic activity on the trading floor of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The Stockers Club, launched two years ago by a few disgruntled investors, also offers an informal meeting place that the markets with their high costs cannot duplicate. Analysts say the informality and trust in share deals that club members hold dear is what is missing in India's 22 stock exchanges and that this is what attracts people to the group. For three hours on a Sunday, about 100 members of the club buy and sell shares, immediately cementing their deals with payment in cash or by cheque. The club has no brokers and there is no speculation. ''Investors know who has bought their shares and can get back to them if there are any payment problems,'' said Ajay Karwar, a chartered accountant and a club founder. Asha Shroff, a housewife, said she faced no problems in her transactions. ''I know to whom I am selling my shares. And there are no problems of payment or bouncing of cheques.'' The Securities and Exchange Board of India, the market regulator, says it is not worried about the club's activities. Its executive director C B Bhave said: ''There's nothing illegal about them. The approval of the market regulator is not required for a club which is only carrying out spot transactions.'' Despite widespread suspicion that the group would never get off the ground, the Stockers Club is now entering its third year and has more than 500 members. The brokers of Hong Kong cannot say that they haven't been warned. Lucky numbers AFTER more than three months of thinking, the folks over at the Office of the Telecommunications Authority have yet to make up their minds on auctioning off auspicious telephone numbers. At the moment the official position is that all telephone numbers are equal, and subscribers are supposed to put up with the number they're given. To prove this, the fantastically auspicious 888 8888 isn't connected to Governor Chris Patten or the Hongkong Telecom boardroom as one might expect, but to some unnamed manager in Hongkong Telecom's customer service department. Big ideas A MEMBER of staff at Asia Equity, a brokerage best described as ''small but perfectly formed'', was somewhat startled to receive a letter addressed to him at Nomura Research Institute c/o Asia Equity. ''I was rather amused by this,'' he told Lai See. ''We haven't taken Nomura over . . . yet.'' Out of bondage ANOTHER victory was chalked up by American bond-holders fighting to keep their high-yielding bonds from slipping away. A group of bond investors recently won a 20-month legal battle with Morgan Stanley and May Department Stores. At issue in the US$28 million out-of-court settlement was a controversial strategy that May used, under Morgan's guidance, to pry $156 million of high-coupon bonds from investors in 1992. The settlement represents returns that investors lost when they tendered their bonds after receiving what they said were ''improper and coercive'' terms from Morgan and May. The accord also represents the most significant victory for bond-holders since investors forced Marriott Corp to change some unpopular terms of its restructuring plan two years ago. ''Bond-holders will have better protection,'' said James Ho, who manages about $2 billion for funds at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. ''That's what we were fighting for.''