Hong Kong

Hong Kong's infallible stock market index

They call it Adam Cheng.

The Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the numerous high-flying hedge fund managers and investors in the West may have been caught by the current sub-prime market meltdown, but Hong Kongers had known a big fall in equity prices was coming weeks before it happened.

A weighty issue

Hong Kong women are popping thousands of slimming pills a day, despite the danger to their health.

In 2004 the Hong Kong Association of Obesity made an interesting discovery: it found that the men in Hong Kong had been getting fatter since the early 1990s, while the women had been getting slimmer. Three years later it finally discovered why. It seems that Hong Kong women are addicted to popping pills to lose weight and some have carried it to a dangerous extent.

Blood money (Part 1 of 2)

With his investment in 3G technology bleeding red ink, Li Ka-shing makes sure he pays his lieutenants well to keep it afloat.

Is it better to work for a boss who is doing well or one in trouble? When it comes to Li Ka-shing, it is definitely the latter. 

Sticking together

The prosperous Harilela clan of nearly 100 lives under one roof in Hong Kong.

Many rich families aspire to be unique. The Harilela clan, which runs the richest Indian business concern in Hong Kong, doesn’t even need to try—they are unique in the sense that there is only one family in the entire world with that surname.

The Harilelas hail from the Indian (now Pakistani) province of Sindh. A century ago, they were called the Mirchandanis—a surname that ended with the three letters "ani", like so many of their compatriots.

Dearly departed (Part 1 of 2)

Before the global economy started to melt down, July 2 had already signalled the last day of normalcy for the 5,000 or so employees of the listed Polaris Securities, Taiwan's second-largest brokerage by market value.

That morning, many who worked in the Taipei headquarters greeted their chairman, Wayne Pai Wen-cheng, when the 55-year-old self-made multimillionaire came into the office. A half dozen or so key staff held the regular weekly meeting with Pai, who appeared "very subdued and depressed", according to one of them in a later interview. By evening, Pai would kill himself by jumping off the high bridge of a remote island resort.

Dearly departed (Part 2 of 2)

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The man whose laughter preceded him wherever he went could hardly squeeze out a smile as he went to his office. In the staff meeting, Pai "went through the motions" of listening to reports. He then stood up, took out three sealed envelopes, gave them to a trusted lieutenant, and left. Frantic efforts to contact him failed – Pai had switched off his mobile phone, something he had never done outside of a plane.

The other women

Angela Leong and Mona Fong share similar pasts and futures.

One is the second wife of a former movie king, Run Run Shaw. The other is the fourth wife of a former casino king, Stanley Ho. The husbands, at 100 and 86 respectively, are long past their prime. The time has come for the wives to show their stuff.

Chinese cliffhanger

Beijing may have pressured Chow Yun-Fat to return to the John Woo film, Red Cliff, raising questions of whom he will replace.

There is an old saying in China: "When it comes to money, friendship goes out the window". Tell that to director John Woo and his very good friend, Chow Yun-Fat.

Woo is director of a new Chinese movie called Red Cliff, which tells the story of the most famous battle in Chinese history which took place in the second century BCE during the period called The Three Kingdoms. On the first day of the shooting Chow walked off the set without giving any reason.

Singapore and Hong Kong

In the long running pissing match between Singapore and Hong Kong, the latter seems to have won the latest round. Well, sort of.

Father and son jailbirds

On May 9, after Hong Kong jewellery tycoon Tse Sui-luen was sentenced to 39-months’ jail time for offering illegal kickbacks to travel agents and misuse of company funds, he walked out of the courtroom without a single look or word to his erstwhile favourite son Tommy.