While serious financial fears abound, some Hongkongers may see an upside to the global financial crisis. With the US dollar - and, in turn, the Hong Kong dollar - appreciating, expatriates and others in the city may generate a profit or savings from the depreciating currencies of other countries. One example is that purchasing or paying off a home overseas appears to have got cheaper for some. One expat said he expected to reduce his costs significantly when he soon closed on an Australian home with a mortgage obtained in Hong Kong. 'The Australian dollar's drop against the US dollar means ... the purchase price for me has dropped dramatically,' said the British-born businessman, who wished to remain anonymous. 'And at the same time, US interest rates are coming down. So my interest rate is already low and will get lower.' Three months ago, the businessman said, he would have needed US$390,000 to buy a home in Australia. Now - if the Australian dollar remains at Thursday's rate - he needs only US$276,000. Hongkongers may also see some benefit if they are thinking about travelling or shopping abroad. 'The rise of the dollar against regional currencies is good news for individuals in Hong Kong with disposable income who were thinking, for example, of going on holiday in Korea,' said David Mann, a senior foreign-exchange strategist with Standard Chartered Bank. 'It has suddenly become quite a bit cheaper. In that way you can argue similarly for, say, Hong Kong-based people who were thinking of buying goods from, or taking holidays in, Southeast Asia, as well.' Mr Mann warned against people moving their money into devaluing currencies and betting on growth. Those currencies could go lower. People buying imported meats may see some price adjustments in Hong Kong, too. But other factors, such as high demand, as well as high grain and fuel costs, might erase those savings, one executive said. 'There will be a slight adjustment but, in terms of sourcing, it's more the supply and demand that dictate ... than the currency exchange,' said Angelica Lofgren, a director with Tenderloin Fine Food, a local home-delivery retailer. James Hepple, operations and marketing controller with Watson's Wine Cellar, said it was unlikely customers would see prices of Australian or New Zealand wines dip because of the currency drop - 'unless [currency values] stay down long-term'. In contrast, Annie Sin, marketing communication manager with supermarket chain Wellcome, said consumers should see some savings because of currency depreciation abroad. She could not say how much customers would save or when they would see the changes, but said: 'Our principle is that we will adjust the price accordingly.' Ms Sin also said Wellcome employed a 'shift-buy' strategy. 'We will shift to the countries and import products from the countries with depreciating currency values so that we can offer the best value to our customers,' she said.