Hong Kong: Cashing In

In Hong Kong, the name Li Ka-shing has become synonymous with "goldmine." So last week when one of the billionaire businessman's subsidiary companies, tom.com, launched an IPO, thousands of eager investors raced each other to the bank to apply. One branch drew a crowd of 50,000. Hundreds of police officers kept order and blocked off roads. At 23 cents a share, the offering will raise nearly $113 million for the information and entertainment portal. Not a bad turnout considering many had no idea what they were buying into. "What's the Internet?" a local reporter heard one housewife asking. When tom.com shares begin trading this week analysts expect the stock value to soar tenfold.

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