Hong Kong will be a big financial loser when a half-century ban on direct transport links between Taiwan and the mainland is lifted, according to a press report on the findings of a study. However, it said both Taiwan and China would benefit financially from the proposed lifting of the ban. A study by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's China policy decision-making body, said: 'There would be positive economic impacts on both Taiwan and the mainland from the direct transport links,' the United Evening News reported yesterday in Taipei. It said the study, due to be released by the end of the month, showed shipping costs for goods transported across the Taiwan Strait could be reduced by up to 42 per cent after direct links are introduced. The links could see Taiwan's gross domestic product rise by 0.36 per cent while the mainland's GDP was calculated to increase by 1.14 per cent. However, Hong Kong would lose out on some shipping business, and its GDP was likely to drop by about 0.04 per cent, the study said. The council issued a statement denying that it had made the study. 'Following the cabinet's instruction, the MAC is working with relevant government agencies to conduct an assessment regarding the possible technical problems to stem from direct transport links and the impacts on the economy,' it said.