HSBC Holdings is offering a five-year savings-related share option scheme to its 99,000 employees worldwide which involves an issue of new shares when the options are exercised. The deadline for taking up the share option scheme is September 22. The group has not yet fleshed out the amount of new shares likely to be issued, nor will investors know the possible dilution effect on existing shares. The option scheme involves a five-year savings plan in which a fixed amount will be deducted from the participant's salary each month. The money will be put into a savings account administered by Halifax Building Society, Britain's largest savings institution. After five years, the staff members will have the option of buying a specific number of HSBC shares at a special discounted price. The option price will be 15 per cent less than the market price of an ordinary HSBC share based on the time when the option is given. This price can only be altered by a subsequent rights or bonus issue. The amount of the monthly saving ranges from GBP10 to GBP150. Employees will also be able to buy a certain number of shares. There will be some risks in the scheme. It will be susceptible to interest rate and currency rates fluctuations as the savings are put in sterling accounts which upon reconversion, may involve a gain or loss.