Business Diary: Hong Kong lament for lost lunch

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The Independent Online

Pity the poor stockbrokers of Hong Kong. At 50 hours, the territory has one of the longest average working weeks in the world.

But its brokers are a significant exception to the rule: the local stock exchange manages to open for only four hours a day and shuts in the middle of the day for a two-hour lunch break. It's more than eight hours in London, Frankfurt and Paris, and even New York manages six-and-a-half and there are plans to extend opening in Hong Kong to better compete. Which means the poor lambs are positively fuming at the prospect of a half-hour extra in the morning and only an hour for lunch. They'll just have to skip the dim sum.

Five alive in the 'Star' and 'Express'

One of our moles calls up to point out the feature-length plug for a Channel 5 show in Thursday's Daily Star. Which made us think: Just how many mentions did 5 get before and after its takeover by Richard Desmond, who just happens to own the Star along with the Daily Express. Here's your answer. Searching Lexis Nexis we found that since the deal was done in the middle of July, the titles have found space for 1,073 mentions in total. That compares to the year before the deal when there were just 92.

Googling a new property business

Google's plans for world domination are continuing apace. Reports are circulating in New York that the web search giant is looking to snap up number 111, 8th Avenue. That is the building it currently rents and which would cost approximately $2bn (£1.25bn) to buy. Google currently takes up only a fifth of the space. So either it's thinking about getting into the landlording business or its about to quintuple the size of its workforce in the Big Apple.

Will sponsorship score for Lewin?

It's a "tailor-made opening partnership", at least that's what TM Lewin was saying in its PR puff yesterday. The City favourite has been going great guns and is hoping to add a little sporting glamour to its brand by becoming the "official formalwear supplier" to the England cricket team ahead of this year's Ashes tour to Australia. They'll presumably be crossing their fingers in the company's boardroom for a rather better result than when England last played down under. They got whitewashed 5-0.