'NO excitement and no surprise' was how the investment community perceived the Budget.
Sir Hamish's message to investors, who were concerned about the level of corporate tax and stamp duty on share transfers and real estate, was 'no change'.
South China Brokerage managing director Howard Gorges said: 'The stock market is left neutral and maintains its status quo.' However, Yamaichi research director Alex Tang said he expected the performance of property counters to improve after Sir Hamish said the Government had no intention of intervening in the real estate sector.
Elton Cheung of Tai Fook Securities said the Budget might 'imply that the Government agreed with the current price level or . . . the property market was likely at its bottom'.
'Sir Hamish's last Budget reminds me of an old Chinese proverb: 'No merits but no mistakes',' he said.
Mr Tang said: 'Psychologically, investors are prepared to buy flats and property counters, but we are also waiting for US economic data . . . in late March.'