A Sars bond has been touted by Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwon as a means of keeping our reserve levels steady amid this public health crisis. The Informer talked to the market to get some views. Should the government be borrowing money from the public with such a bond issue? Tim Lui Tim-leung, chairman of taxation committee of Hong Kong Society of Accountants: 'Many overseas credit rating agencies and investors have good ratings in Hong Kong because the local government is one of the seldom examples in the world of not having any public debts. Should the government issue bonds - for whatever purpose - it would damage such an excellent reputation. 'It will also lead the government to pay interest and fees to arrange the bond issue. Unless the Sars situation further deteriorates and forces the government to spend more than its expected HK$11.8 billion relief plan, it is not worth issuing a Sars bond.' Louis Tse Ming-kwong, director of VC CEF Brokerage: 'Sars is not a good excuse to issue government bonds. It is the worst outbreak in Hong Kong and more than 200 people have died of it. Should Sars be over in a few months and the bonds would be there for a few years, it seems Sars bonds are not so timely. 'It will also set an example for the government to issue bonds for natural disasters - it may be forced to issue flood bonds or earthquake bonds in future. 'I don't think Sars is a good investment. The money to be raised is pure expenditure and has little economic value. Henry Wu King-cheong, legislator for the financial sector: 'The government would be better not issuing Sars bonds. In case the bond issue does not attract much investor interest, it would further hit the reputation of the Hong Kong government. 'Sars seems under control now and the HK$11.8 billion government relief plan may have been enough. It is not worth further issuing bonds for such a purpose. It is better to use some of the more than HK$300 billion reserve to finance the expenditure for Sars.' Stewart Aldcroft, managing director of Investec Asset Management: 'Investors would like to buy the Sars bonds. The global stock markets are full of uncertainty and investors like to invest into quality bond products. The Hong Kong government has a high reserve and credit rating and it will be a good bond issuer. 'Sars is only an excuse for the government to issue bonds. Fund managers will only care whether it is fully guaranteed by the government and will not care whether it is used for Sars. A five-year bond will probably be the best option to take.' 'It should require the Central government to allow mainland investors to purchase them.' Claudio Chan Siu Siu-ping, head of risk treasury of Citibank Hong Kong office: 'The bonds may help promote the local debt market, but the government may need to offer high interest rates and tax benefits for them. 'If it uses an Exchange Fund bill and notes as a benchmark, a five-year government Sars bond may carry an interest rate of about 3 per cent a year. This may not be too attractive to investors. Banks may buy it for their liquidity and reserve purpose while pension funds may buy them for long-term investments.' Sin Chung-kai, legislator for the Democratic Party: 'The Democrats would not oppose a Sars bond because we always support the government to develop the local bond markets. Our survey has shown local investors want to invest in public bonds. It would be a good move for the government to issue bonds to meet with such demand.' Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, chairman of Christfund Securities: 'I don't think the government should issue Sars bonds. The issue may increase its cash on hand but have little impact on encouraging people to spend or to do businesses. The bond issue would not help an economic recovery and thus has little to do to with solving current deflation problems. Also, the current interest rate is so low that investors would not secure a very high return from their bond investment.'