Updated at 5.39pm: Hong Kong still over $280 billion held in its fiscal reserves, Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen revealed on Wednesday. He said in his second budget speech that Hong Kong's fiscal reserves were expected to remain stable or rise. 'We expect that by 31 March this year, our fiscal reserves will stand at $287.3 billion, equivalent to 14 months of government expenditure,'' he added. 'Over the next five years, the fiscal reserves will be maintained in a range between $270 billion and $340 billion, equivalent to between 13 and 17 months of government expenditure.' Mr Tang said government was also successfully reducing its own spending. 'Last year, I said that I would reduce operating expenditure to $200 billion by 2008-09. This is now forecast to reduce to $201.2 billion for 2004-05. 'We expect to achieve balance in the consolidated account in 2007-08 - one year ahead of target,'' he added.