The uncertainty surrounding Hong Kong's future was amply demonstrated by two starkly differing views on business after the handover given yesterday by senior members of the local investment community. Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia chairman and chief executive Gary Coull said Hong Kong would prosper after the handover as a flood of Chinese companies lined up to raise money in the territory. Marc Faber & Associates director and renowned contrarian Marc Faber was highly pessimistic, saying Hong Kong's special circumstances would come to an end after it reverted to Chinese rule, and that the local property and stock markets would face a heavy setback. Speaking at a Foreign Correspondents Club seminar, Mr Coull said he was neither outrightly bullish or bearish about Hong Kong's future, but that from a pragmatic point of view it was difficult not to be positive. He said the huge demand for funding by Chinese companies in coming years would ensure Hong Kong's future as a financial centre was secure. 'There are about 350,000 companies in China incorporated to do business - and they all need money. 'Many will go to Shanghai or Shenzhen but the big players would go to Hong Kong.' Mr Coull said 10 per cent of these companies would seek to raise funds from a public listing over the next 10 years, meaning an average of about 10 would be listed every day. 'That is a rate that will overrun even the most bullish periods in the US or Europe,' he said. 'The amounts of money these companies need are running into the hundreds and hundreds of billions of US dollars.' Mr Coull said while many foreign enterprises in China were struggling, the stockbroking community based in Hong Kong was making real money on the mainland and would continue to do so. He said the growth of China business would easily offset any potential slackening in the amount of regional financial business done from the territory. 'The opportunities in Hong Kong are generally unlimited,' he said. Mr Faber said the change of sovereignty made Hong Kong highly vulnerable and that judging from previous examples in history it was unlikely to retain its privileged position. 'In 20 years, Hong Kong will be one city in China, no different from another 20. It will be one country, one system.' He said China's leadership was likely to support the alternative financial centres of Shanghai and Shenzhen over Hong Kong as they were home-grown, and in the case of Shanghai, it was in a superior geographical position in relation to Europe and the US. Mr Faber said the large disparity in property prices in Hong Kong and other parts of China would be diminished, resulting in heavy falls in property values in the territory. This could spill over into political and social unrest, he said. 'The outlook for Hong Kong's stock market and property market is not particularly favourable,' Mr Faber said. Mr Faber said the rally in the territory's stocks and properties was anomalous, and compared it to the misplaced euphoria leading to the South Sea bubble in the 18th century. 'The history books will find this quite incomprehensible.' he said.