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Hard bankers go for the soft touch

The guest list at the second anniversary party for Hong Kong boutique spa Sense of Touch is a Rolodex of the city's female business elite. As markets rise in the region, so it seems do the stress levels of female bankers, lawyers and other professionals. So they are beating a path to this little shop in SoHo for massages, facials and other pampering.

Neil Orvay, co-owner of the spa with his wife Anna, himself an ex-banker, gets his stress relief from the ring of the till as business takes off. "Eighty per cent of our business is repeat clientele," he says. "That's very important for us. We're targeting the 25- to 45-year-old professional woman that wants five-star treatments without paying five-star prices. We're filling a niche."

Now the markets are back and business is booming he is looking to expand. "This spa is a microcosm of the Hong Kong economy: when people are feeling good, they spend money on themselves and we've benefited from the upturn in the markets."

Orvay might appear financially focused about his spa, but the business is not without its own perks. "Some of our clients are very good looking," he says with a glint in his eye, "because they spend a lot of time getting fixed up at our salon."

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