Speculators among the thousands of people who queued up before the sale of the world's first 150-dollar banknote in Hong Kong yesterday were left disappointed after the second-hand market fell short of their expectations. Nearly 740,000 of the HK$150 banknotes, issued by Standard Chartered Bank to mark its 150th anniversary in the city, went on sale at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai and 30 selected bank branches. Priced at HK$280 apiece, the banknotes will be on sale until Sunday, while stock lasts. Many in the queues came hoping for a profit after the sale of commemorative Beijing Olympic banknotes in July last year proved a bonanza, with HK$3,000 sets of notes fetching as much as HK$15,000. But the HK$150 banknotes appeared to be more of a damp squib in the second-hand market. There was virtually no market for the single notes in Hong Kong and special editions yielded, at best, about 10 per cent. First in the queue for single notes was Leung Shing-chi, 60, who had been waiting at the head of the line since 8am on Wednesday. He bought 10 single notes, the maximum allowed, and said he had no plans to sell them. People queuing at the convention centre also included those who had subscribed to special-edition notes in advance. At the head of the redemption line was Li Kwong-ning, who arrived at 5am. The special-edition notes included 10,000 four-note uncut sheets, sold at HK$1,888, and 6,000 35-note uncut sheets, at HK$18,888. Thirty thousand banknotes with self-selected serial numbers sold for HK$888 each. One hundred notes with lucky serial numbers were sold by auction. The best price for a 35-note sheet, the main item dealers were looking for, was HK$22,000, offered by a dealer from Fujian province . He said he would resell it at 25,000 yuan (HK$28,424). Describing the reaction to the banknotes on the mainland as mild, he said he had received orders for 20 35-note sheets, compared with orders for 100 sets of commemorative Olympic banknotes last year. 'The Olympic Games are a world event; Standard Chartered is just a Hong Kong thing,' he said. Dealers looking for 35-note sheets vanished from the convention centre shortly after 11am. That left a 70-year-old retiree who had spent most of his savings on a 35-note sheet feeling distressed. 'I invested almost all my savings in the 35-in-1 banknote after hearing from the media that its price might reach as high as HK$100,000,' he said. The retiree waited 90 minutes, hoping for a buyer, before leaving for lunch and said he planned to try his luck at coin and stamp dealers' shops. Tony Chan, 23, a graduate, sold a four-note sheet for HK$2,150 - a profit of HK$262. 'At first I thought I could make HK$1,000 but then I realised that people were not particularly excited about the banknotes so I expected to gain HK$400 by selling it,' he said. 'I'm a bit disappointed by the price offered.'