Speculators hang on for roller-coaster ride

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 January, 2000, 12:00am

Many speculators said they were happy with their investments despite the plunge in the Hang Seng Index.

Dozens of people in front of share price display screens at a Quarry Bay bank swore and shouted every time the prices of major blue chips fell, and cheered when the prices of red chips rose.

Veteran speculator Roman Hong, 41, who works for a bank but took a day off yesterday, said the fall in prices was good. 'This is normal and healthy. It is a natural flow of the tide and is nothing special,' he said.

'Years of experience tell me that I should make a big intake now, while the prices are low. I am taking a medium to long term strategy. What people discard, I take on.' Salesman Frankie Cheung, 37, agreed. Mr Cheung, who also took a day off work, said he rushed to buy shares in the morning after seeing prices drop. 'I made a fortune this afternoon, as the shares I bought shot up, unlike others who have been less fortunate. I bought 20,000 blue chips and 10,000 technology shares, and in general I earned quite a lot,' he said.

'I will buy even more this afternoon when share prices are low, and hopefully when prices rise again I can make more money.' Mrs Chan, a housewife who spent the morning at the bank with her mother and brother, said she had been less fortunate. She said the shares she bought weeks ago had risen in value but fallen back and although she had not lost money, she could not sell the shares.

'I have over 80,000 shares in my pocket and cannot sell them. The other 100,000 shares I bought yesterday are not doing very well today either,' she said.

She said she was optimistic prices would rise.

But a 64-year-old retired man, Mr Cheung, clearly depressed, said he was 'losing money like a dog'.