Monday PEREGRINE Investments said it had raised about US$500 million (HK$3.86 billion) in the largest placement by an Asian-based fund. It will be targeted at non-listed equity positions in infrastructure projects across Asia. The futures row continued at the start of the week, as more market players spoke out against the introduction of derivatives. The concerns were that the margins were too narrow. Tuesday LEADERS of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum (APEC) agreed in Jakarta to push for a free trade zone by the year 2020. But Financial Secretary Sir Hamish Macleod, who represented Hong Kong, said he was unhappy about two opt-out clauses that could allow dissenting members to leave the push towards free trade. Ming Pao Enterprise Corp elected Oei Hong Leong, head of China Strategic Holdings, as chairman of the publishing group, replacing Yu Pun-hoi, who resigned. Wednesday DESPITE higher interest rates in the United States, bankers said they believed more increases were in the pipeline to stem inflation. Data showed China's investments in fixed assets grew 22.5 per cent last month. Peregrine Fixed Investment denied reports that the Hopewell US dollar bond issue had been hit by problems. Thursday LEGCO deferred approving the introduction of futures trading after deciding to set up a subcommittee to examine the affect of the new products. Figures showed inflation in China hit 27.7 per cent last month, prompting economists to speculate that price rises had peaked. Friday HONG KONG banks fell into line with the US interest rate increase, and lifted lending rates, including home loans, 75 basis points. The consortiums bidding to develop the airport railway stations of Tai Kok Tsui and Tung Chung were announced. Four groups, involving most of the territory's biggest enterprises, put in bids.