The Hong Kong Monetary Authority's (HKMA) stock and futures market intervention received fresh criticism yesterday as more brokerages offered broadly negative assessments of the policy. Indosuez WI Carr Securities and Salomon Smith Barney told clients the billion-dollar blitz risked undermining market credibility. There were supportive comments from ABN Amro Asia, which welcomed the intervention move, adding that the authority could have acted more radically. Indosuez analyst Alan Wong said: 'In an effort to punish speculators . . . the Government trampled over its long-held, free-market non-interventionist policy . . . In our opinion, the greatest fear is that investors will no longer regard Hong Kong as a free market.' Government officials have argued that the extended peg defence - which has pushed the Hang Seng Index up almost 18 per cent - was consistent with Hong Kong's open-market philosophy. Mr Wong said: 'This unusual breach of policy could lead investors to abandon the market if they believe that it is stacked against them. This would have further negative implications for capital-raising activities because of artificial demand and pricing.' Salomon head of Asia-Pacific quantitative research Deep Kapur said: 'We will not debate the merits of this intervention.' His colleague, analyst Anil Daswani, was more forthright. 'In international circles, Hong Kong's reputation as one of the world's leading free markets has been shattered,' he said. 'We hope that foreign investors who sold their positions to the HKMA over the last week will return.' A rare voice of support came from ABN Amro's research team, which said that although risky, the government foray stood a good chance of success. '[The HKMA] is declaring an all-out war against currency speculators. We welcome the latest move,' it said. 'The well planned, well co-ordinated speculations on the currency and stock market are, in essence, economic sabotage.' Most international brokerages have said they view the intervention negatively.