What can we say about Hong Kong Airlines' efforts at an initial public offering? It would be tempting to say "late again". Its application to the Hong Kong stock exchange lapsed on Monday as it hadn't filed the requisite documents. It was hoping to raise US$500 million, which you would have thought would be handy given its difficulties in making payments over the years. In 2012 the Airport Authority Hong Kong barred it from using the aerobridges at the airport as it was significantly behind in its payments to the authority. The cabin crew in addition to their normal duties had to clean the aircraft cabin to save money on hiring cleaners. Possibly they should be grateful they didn't have to push the aircraft back as well. Its apparent difficulties over cash were always a mystery since its parents Hainan Airlines, apparently has deep pockets. It also had a reputation for poor service, such as putting the wrong departure time on tickets, forcing disgruntled passengers to go to the small claims court, and arbitrarily cancelling flights. These were described to Lai See as "teething" problems by the airline, though at the time they seemed more like "death throes". That said. we see that at last year's Skytrax World Airline Awards, it won the award for the World's Most Improved Airline. Hey, maybe everything's changed? But letting an IPO slot lapse doesn't seem smart unless it thinks it can raise more money from the sale of its shares later. The company hasn't offered an explanation. Nirvana deferred We see that Nirvana Asia - the largest integrated death-care services provider in Asia, as it likes to describe itself, has made an acquisition since its IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange in December. Nirvana Asia is essentially a funeral company though goes to great length to couch its business announcements in vibrant business school rhetoric, presumably to increase the business's appeal to investors that may be a bit leery of its "core business". So its HK$32 million acquisition of the tomb designers and construction business is announced under the heading, "Acquired tomb design and construction business vertical integration to strengthen capabilities and pursue diversification in death care services sector." Elsewhere, the directors believe this "downstream acquisition" will enable the group to enhance its capabilities "while pursuing diversified developments along the industry value chain." For all the rhetoric, its stock performance has been underwhelming, falling 20 per cent within a few days of its IPO from HK$3 to HK$2.41, and then further to HK$1.71 over the next two weeks, a decline of 43 per cent. However since the end of January it has been on a death-defying run from HK$1.86 up to its recent high of HK$2.47. It closed yesterday at HK2.41. Not the nirvana investors were hoping for. Women on board There was good news and bad news from the latest Community Business' annual Women on Boards Report. The representation of women on the boards of Hong Kong's leading firms in the Hang Seng Index rose to 11.1 per cent, up from 9.6 per cent last year, the biggest increase since the report was launched in 2009. That was the good news. The bad, as the report concedes, "the positive changes are driven by a handful of companies and nearly three quarter of companies have seen no improvement." Fern Ngai, CEO of Community Business said: "These disappointingly slow moving numbers clearly shows that there continues to be cultural and structural barriers facing women."