One of Hong Kong’s wealthiest men has placed a “marriage bounty” on his lesbian daughter’s head, offering nearly £40 million ($65 million) to the man who successfully woos her.

Property magnate Cecil Chao Sze-tsung announced the HK$500 million reward this week after reports that his 33-year-old daughter Gigi Chao, a University of Manchester graduate, had married her long-term female partner in France.

“I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted,” Mr Chao said, describing reports about his daughter’s marriage as “false”.

Mr Chao claimed he hoped to help the successful suitor kick-start a business.

He said the prize money was “an inducement to attract someone who has the talent but not the capital to start his own business.”

“Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work,” he added.

Ms Chao, however, married Sean Eav, her girlfriend of seven years, in France on April 4.

Mr Chao’s controversial move to recruit a husband for his lesbian daughter appeared to contradict a description Ms Chao gave of her father in a 2007 interview.

“My father took a hands-off approach in parenting. I see him as a friend more than a father,” she told HK Magazine.

“My parents never pressure me with high expectations.”

Mr Chao denied he would force his daughter to marry a man against her will.

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The audience at a Russian talk show got more than there money’s worth when a debate on the financial crisis ended up in a fist fight.

Two super-rich tycoons came to blows after a difference of opinion. Aleksandr Lebedev, the owner of two British newspapers, punched fellow billionaire Sergey Polonsky during the recording of a discussion on one of Russia’s main channels. He said he was defending himself, claiming he thought he was going to be attacked first.

Moments earlier, Polonsky had told Lebedev he wanted to ‘punch him in the face’. Lebedev angrily stood up as the other businessman attempted to calm him, moments later punching Polonsky twice and sending him sprawling from his chair.

The NTV channel which posted the programme’s preview on its website, is planning to broadcast the show Sunday night.

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