The Hong Kong government is to sell its $5 billion worth of civil servants' housing loans to the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation this month as part of its plan to help balance the budget deficit. A document submitted to legislators revealed that the authorities would sell the 12,400 loans to the official mortgage company. The Financial Secretary, Antony Leung Kam-chung, announced in his budget the plan to sell a string of prime government assets over the next five years in a bid to raise $112 billion. Mr Leung expected the sell-off would raise $21 billion in the current financial year. Finance officials have pointed out that the assets at stake this year include $15 billion in government loans and several tunnels worth $6 billion. Other assets involved in the next few years are likely to be the remaining government loan portfolio of nearly $23 billion and stakes in the semi-privatised Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC), the wholly owned Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) and the Airport Authority. According to the document, the government would continue to keep its legal and statutory rights and continue administering the schemes. Terms and conditions of the loans would not be changed. Federation of Civil Service Unions president Leung Chau-ting said he was shocked by the proposals. The unionist said the government had not consulted the union on the changes. He said staff would be worried that the mortgage interest rate might surge as a result of the move. Civil servants who have yet to apply for housing loans would also be concerned they would lose out after the change, he said. 'We do not object to such a move because of the budget deficit. The question is how to enhance monitoring. 'We hope that the government will take good care of our interests and try to be as transparent as possible about how we will be affected,'' he said.