Finance chief says using them to bridge fiscal gap is like living on a credit card Hong Kong's financial secretary is opposed to the idea of issuing bonds to ease the budget deficit, saying such a concept was like living on a credit card. But Henry Tang Ying-yen left open the possibility of issuing bonds to help finance infrastructure projects in the near future. Arriving in Cancun, Mexico, for the World Trade Organisation's fifth ministerial conference, Mr Tang expanded on his remarks regarding bonds during a recent interview with the Financial Times. 'In principle, I am against issuing bonds to eliminate the budget deficit. This is because it's like living on one's credit card,' he said. But he said the issue of convertible bonds or asset-backed bonds could help maximise benefits from the planned disposal of government assets, and help finance the $100 billion infrastructure construction programme during the next five years. Bonds would also enable people to have better returns than just leaving their money in the bank. 'Many people have deposits in banks. The amount may not be huge and the returns are usually small. If the government was to issue some medium-term bonds for five to seven years, there would be better and more stable returns for these depositors,' he said. To enable better use of government cash, Mr Tang said he would not rule out the possibility of issuing bonds to finance infrastructure projects in the near term. Kowloon and Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) chairman Michael Tien Puk-sun agreed that bonds would be one of the ways to solve the government's financial problems. He believed the KCRC would attract many investors. But he said the corporation had not yet reached the stage of a public listing. The best time would probably be in one or two years, he said.