A price war is set to break out from tomorrow, with brokers free to negotiate commission fees with their clients. However, not all of Hong Kong's 480 brokerage houses plan to join in, with some saying they prefer to compete on service. After a decade-long debate, the stock exchange, under pressure from the government, decided to abolish the 0.25 per cent minimum brokerage commission from April 1. Wilfred Wong Wai-sum, chairman of the Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association, said while a few brokerage houses had announced they would cut their commission rates, he did not believe there would be an immediate large-scale price war. 'It appears most brokerage houses want to wait and see what happens before they decide if they will jump into battle.' Friedmann Pacific Securities and Bright Smart Securities International (HK) have placed advertisements announcing aggressive plans to reduce their commission. Friedmann Pacific Securities will cut the price for institutional clients to 0.05 per cent from tomorrow, while large retail clients will pay 0.1 per cent. 'We hope the low price will help encourage more institutional and retail investors to trade through our company, to enlarge our market share,' the brokerage said. Bright Smart Securities will cut its price to 0.1 per cent while KGI Asia and Christfund Securities will reduce prices on a case-by-case basis. KGI Asia director Ben Kwong Man-bun said it would cut its commission according to clients' trading volume. Some clients would be offered a rate as low as 0.15 per cent. 'We are adopting a scale system where the more the clients trade, the lower the commission rate they can get,' Mr Kwong said. Christfund Securities chairman Christopher Cheung Wah-fung said it would cut prices for individual clients. 'We will cut the price if clients request it,' Mr Cheung said.