Hong Kong investors who had weathered the 1997 Asian financial crisis appeared relatively calm yesterday in the face of the Hang Seng Index's dive.
The index's third-biggest daily loss this year left investors downcast at two trading centres in Central, but they looked composed in cutting their losses or even took the opportunity to buy on the dip. Few of them were found to be holding margins or warrants.
Mr Lee, who declined to give his full name, said he lost more than HK$100,000 yesterday but not his confidence in the market's resilience.
'My stocks have all suffered paper losses,' said the 70-year-old man trading at Phillip Securities in Connaught Road. 'But it's not too worrying. I believe the market will rebound next week.'
The investor, with 20 years of trading experience, said he did not buy any warrants. 'They are too risky.'
Mr Tam, trading at Prudential Brokerage's World-Wide House office, shrugged off yesterday's falls after 'taking roller-coaster rides in the past'.
'It certainly hurts, but my losses are not too heavy,' said Mr Tam, who has traded stocks since 1971. 'A good mentality is important. Some people may want to jump into the sea over losses that mean nothing to others.'
Investors were joking that a man who fell into the sea near Central yesterday had been saddened by the market slump.
Another investor, Mr Tsui, lost more than HK$50,000 yesterday but said he was far from panicking. 'They are paper losses and I feel upset about them,' said the 81-year-old who was also trading at Prudential. 'But I have a lot of blue chips and no margins.'
He said he could afford to hold the stocks until they rebound.