Cheung Kong (Holdings) has lined up HSBC to provide 18-month fixed-rate mortgages to buyers of Victoria Towers in Tsim Sha Tsui. The interest rate for the loan period would be fixed at 3.83 per cent, about 1.08 percentage points above the present average floating-rate mortgage rate of 2.75 per cent. To qualify, a buyer would need to borrow at least HK$1 million and the mortgage would only be extended in lots of HK$1 million. The rest would be lent at 2.5 percentage points below the floating prime rate. Cheung Kong is the first developer with a fixed-rate loan packages. Its offer came just one day after HSBC said it would make available three-year fixed-rate loans at 1.5 to 1.75 percentage points above the floating mortgage rate. Cheung Kong has introduced various packages to attract purchasers to its development, which faces strong competition from rival project Sorrento at Kowloon Station, which is being developed by Wharf (Holdings). Earlier, Cheung Kong agreed to put on hold a controversial plan to link rebates on Victoria Towers to the performance of the stock market. Under the scheme, Cheung Kong would have offered a 6 per cent rebate on the price of flats if the Hang Seng Index rose in the first year after purchase. The rule would also have applied to the second year, giving a possible rebate of 12 per cent. If the stock market fell, the rebate would have been half the maximum rate, or 6 per cent over two years. The SFC worried the deal amounted to a bet on the direction of the stock market, which could be treated as an index-linked investment scheme - requiring SFC approval. Yesterday, Cheung Kong executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said the company was still seeking legal advice on the HSI-linked cash-rebate scheme. Mr Chiu said the HSBC fixed-rate scheme would target buyers who wanted to control their monthly expenditure on their properties. He said the developer would release an additional 20 units for internal sale in the coming weekend.