Saturday, 27 December 2008

A Festive Message from The Tai-Pan

2008 has been quite a year for the Tai-Pan and the Noble House, with extreme highs and lows, massive and unpredictable changes, and unsolicited holidays to Turkestan. In light of this, I am looking forward to calmer seas to steer the Flying Cloud and the rest of the fleet through, but with the economic forecast set to gales (storm-force later, veering south to south-westerly), the barometer falling in line with the stock market and piratical activity on the increase - both on the seas and in certain peoples business habits, we will need all the joss we can get to win through. But mark my words, as Tai-Pan of the Noble House I have no doubt that we will not only win through, but come out above and beyond all our competitors from the current financial typhoon.

Wishing you all much joss in the New Year.

The Tai-Pan


Extracts from The Far Eastern Economic Review's interview with The Tai-Pan

What has the Tai-Pan been up to recently, and what are the Tai-Pan's plans for 2009?

There have been some rumours and reports that the Noble House has been distracted from the market recently, and has not been punching at its weight. Let me quash these immediately; they are but the vicious propaganda of certain rival tycoons and would-be tai-pans. I have personally been engaged in many international projects that will see the Noble House through the current fiscal crisis and also reap benefits for us, the most important trading house in Hong Kong, long beyond this time. These should start to come into fruition in 2009.


What do you make of the story that Quillian Gornt was behind the attack on the Noble House's stables that left the cream of your horses lame?

I am sure that Commissioner Tang and his police are leading a full and thorough investigation into this unwarranted and heinous attack. Whomever the culprit may be, I am sure that the full weight of the law will be thrown at them for this barbaric deed. I was shocked to hear about Gornt's best jockey being embroiled in that seedy affair in Bangkok, and am sure that the fifteen years handed down by the judge was a fair and just sentence, and should serve as a warning to other jockeys who try to feed barbiturates to their steeds.


Sunday, 30 November 2008

Failed attempt on the Tai-Pan's wealth and life

You may have noticed that I have been unable to bring you any news recently; well, it's hard to write to my audience when you've been snatched from the steps of your Gulf Stream by a gang of armed thugs (who might as well have been wearing 'I love Gornt' badges and T-Shirts), manacled, sent to Xinjiang by freight train and had a run-in with the local Party officials who tried to extort a substantial portion of your investments from you using a variety of uncommonly unpleasant ancient Chinese techniques. Fortunately there was a local militant uprising, and I was unwittingly sprung from jail, and helped escape across Central Asia by camel train.

That's the last time I go property hunting in Italy.

In my absence, I see that Gornt has had free reign and run wild over Hong Kong with his evil schemes. I also notice he's remained awfully quiet about my disappearance...

However, as Tai-Pan of the Noble House, I knew I would survive this ordeal, and have already rectified the damage done my stocks and holdings by Gornt in my absence. As I am not an evil man by nature, I've decided to show my gratitude to Gornt by making a gift of a holiday to him. Well maybe not to him exactly. Checked your stable recently Gornt?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Busy Week

As Tai-Pan of the Noble House, it is only seemly and fitting that I have an appropriate abode in which to dwell. This week I have been viewing and selecting from among the finest properties in the Netherlands. Sadly, nothing is available at the same altitude as the Tai-Pan's residence in Hong Kong.

A small property with a central location

A bit gothic for my taste

Quite modern...

And then I found this. It reminded me of home, and that terrible incident in Aberdeen Harbour. So I bought it as a business interest.

No repeats please

But where will the Tai-Pan's residence be in the Netherlands?

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Right Move

It seems that again I have taken an enormous risk that has paid off, and placed the Noble House clear out of danger, while other HK businesses are heading e scylla in charybdis. By repositioning many of the Noble House's most critical interests outside of HK, I have avoided the impending doom that John CW Tsang is denying the existence of.

Comprador Philip Chen would have agreed

In fact, things are looking so good here that I am actively seeking land to develop new European headquarters for the Noble House here in the Netherlands (which is probably now more laissez-faire in terms of economy than HK).

A design competition to design the new HQ buildings will be opened for budding young architects here in the Netherlands

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

New Frontiers

Always a follower, never an innovator (except in areas of deception and underhand dealings), Rothwell-Gornt's head Quillian Gornt has finally come into the internet age, and sat at the e-business table. Just as I thought he might, he has been so distracted with trying to manage this new venture, that he failed to notice that the building plot in front of his house was sold. To me. I can now reveal the new plans for Struan Heights. Enjoy the view, Gornt.

Monday, 13 October 2008

An additional thought

I think it's about time I traded in my reliable old Merc, as it's probably causing HK's air pollution all by itself as my head butler takes it out for its weekly stretch.

Demand for the former property of the Tai-Pan is usually high, so I'll start the bidding at HK$1.5M in bonds, bullion or property (HK island only).

New Deal

Another deal investing further in Dutch heating oil went ahead today with a small Anglo-Dutch joint venture called Shell. The company was so pleased to be doing business with the Noble House that the CEO personally came out to sign the deal. It seems that in these tough times for all but the Noble House, even oilers are affected. I believe that with the Noble House's investment they should be able to pay their staff this year.

The oil company's CEO, very happy after today's meeting

The Tai-Pan of the Noble House, musing on a deal in warmer climes

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Weathering the Credit Crunch

As Tai-Pan of the Noble House, I am well versed in risk and am used to staking incomprehensible sums on the market and the horses at Happy Valley. The present economic climate hasn't affected our assets, as my seemingly left-field investment in Dutch heating oil, garlic farms and whale farming was actually a cunningly instigated tactical move. These happen to be the only three sectors that are growing in the face of financial collapse. The Noble House has again outflanked Rothwell-Gornt and our other rivals to remain the dominant trading power. But this is not the end of the opportunities for the Noble House in the Dutch Market, and to this end I will be establishing a permanent branch of the company here.

Gornt - out-manoeuvred again

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Asian Food Dutch Style

As you would expect for Tai-Pan of the Noble House, born and raised in Hong Kong, Asian food is something I am very particular about (unlike that uncultured Gornt). Being used to only the finest from the best restaurants and chefs in HK, you would think it very surprising if I found the Asian food here in the Netherlands up to scratch. And you'd be right. This Japanese establishment, ironically run by compatriots rather than the real McYamamoto, is a good example of how to use garlic as the main ingredient of every dish. By main, I mean at least 60%. For this reason, the Noble House will be buying into Dutch garlic farms.

Lay Ho Tai-Pan, err, I mean irasshaimasu!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

You call this weather?

In Hong Kong we have real storms; they bring down buildings, cause landslides and bury our friends and colleagues under tonnes of rubble and water. Here, 'bad weather' is a persistent drizzle and a bit of a breeze. Still, it's got HK beaten on the low temperature front, and to this end, the Noble House is buying into Dutch heating oil.


Real rain

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Business as usual

Being Tai Pan of the Noble House does mean that occasionally one has no choice but to leave Hong Kong. At present I'm in the Netherlands, but my physical distance from the heart of the Noble House will not affect business, and our closest rivals (such as HKOB Holdings) are too busy reeling from the effect of their over-investment in US mortgage-backed securities to try and ruin our stock. However, I do have the matter of a missing half-coin weighing on my mind.