Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Comprador's Code

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

During Rothwell-Gornt's 2010 Advisory Council Meeting, held at the Pussy Cat Club (Wanchai branch), ex-Comprador Tiberius Pong tactfully raised an unwelcome issue:

"If it is true that flies do not visit an egg which has no crack," he started, "then are we to assume the recent reports regarding Taipan Ho are perchance accurate?"

In fairness to Pong, he had by this stage imbibed a not inconsiderable volume of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, the PCC's vin de table. The 1982 vintage is a delight, but in rather short supply.

I digress. My response was simple: "It was noted in Taipan Ho's statements to international press that there was absolutely no foundation in any suggestion that he is associated with organized crime or triads," I recalled from memory.

Emboldened by his drink, the red-faced ex-Comprador pushed on: "Yes Taipan, but as they say, the longer the explanation, the bigger the lie," he mumbled. His head dropped neatly into the lap of a delectable young hostess.

The Comprador's Code - a component of Hong Kong Rules - is the issue at stake. "At no stage should one conglomerate gossip about the legality of another's business," it states. And as Tai-pan of one of the more colourful hongs, it is a value I treasure.

Indeed, the roots of most hongs are intertwined with activities commonly perceived as reprehensible - this is true even of the glossy (yet loathsome) Noble House. But a larger issue is at stake - the odd weapons shipment here, the occasional oversight of a UN trade embargo there - which upstanding Hong Kong citizen cares about such trivialities anyway?

It is a great shame ex-Comprador Pong has uncharacteristically not reported to work this week. I would have enjoyed sharing these thoughts with him.

Best of joss,

Quillan Gornt
CEO and Taipan
Rothwell-Gornt Holdings