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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Australian brothel set to float
Eastenders strippogram
A 'buying opportunity' for white collared 'gents'?

Australia's largest brothel, Daily Planet, has invited traders to pour cash into the world's oldest profession.

If successful, a plan to raise 12m Australian dollars (4.22m; $6.66m) from the sale of a 48% stake in the brothel's property arm would make Daily Planet the world's first stock market listed brothel, the Melbourne based company said.

The money would be re-invested in, among other things, a brothel in Sydney, two major strip clubs and possibly in production companies which make porn.

In the longer-term, Daily Planet aims to expand internationally.

"Because the old saying that sex sells is so true, because the adult industry is so massively popular and profitable, we believe the opportunities are unlimited," said Daily Planet director Andrew Harris.

Intimate knowledge

It would not be the first time the world's stock brokers and traders pour cash into the world's oldest profession.


Most of the adult industry makes 60% profits, which means you can pay huge dividends

Andrew Harris
Director
Daily Planet
Disclosures during the ongoing trial between the rival stock brokers Icap and Cantor Fitzgerald suggest the adult industry would need little additional research.

The trial revealed that "80% of brokers visit lap-dancing clubs or strip bars on Thursday evenings", according to the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

While the Financial Times suggested the trial had been "peppered" with "tales of 'whoring parties', trips to lap-dancing clubs and bets on obscenity usage".

Corporate entertainment

The disclosures were "hardly a surprise to the trading community itself", the FT said.

Indeed, the white collared gents who tend to dominate the world of finance are well aware of the way the sex industry is an integral part of corporate entertainment across the globe.

In Australia, sex romps are even given out as Christmas bonuses by some of Australia's biggest retailers, the BBC found during the festive season.

And although the purse strings have recently been tightened for many other corporate entertainment activities, they appear to remain fairly lose for those frequenting red light districts.

From bar stool to office chair

For many brokers and traders, the all-expenses paid late nights are among the highlights of the job.

But others have told BBC News Online of how they regard their weekly visits to strip joints as nothing more than effective business tools which they cynically use to bond with their trading partners.

Such traders' Champagne fuelled focus changes dramatically when they return to their screens at seven o'clock the following morning.

During the day, they are loath to part with any cash unless they can get a decent return on their investment.

Daily Planet appears convinced it can deliver.

Cash cow?

The company claims it should be able to offer investors an effective rate of return of 8.42%.

If the company is right, buying the shares could provide a safe haven investment which would offer terrific returns at a time when most of the world's stock markets have been tripping over.

"Most public companies can only return dividends of maybe 7% or 8%, like we're doing in the initial stages," Mr Harris said.

"But most of the adult industry makes 60% profits, which means you can pay huge dividends."

See also:

06 Jun 02 | England
02 Mar 02 | England
14 Jan 02 | Europe
06 Jan 02 | Europe
24 Dec 01 | Europe
20 Dec 01 | Europe
21 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


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