Transcript of remarks by FS at media session (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending the 11th Asian Financial Forum this morning (January 15):
Reporter: Does that mean that within this year, the loan-to-valuation ratio will be changed?
Financial Secretary: No I was not saying that. I was cautioning. Well, first and foremost, we understand the concern of the people, particularly those who are interested to buy their own homes, they are able to service the mortgage repayment, but may not be able to put down such a substantial down payment. We understand their concern and we are looking at it very closely. But as I said, this year, interest rate is going to rise, given the situation in the US. And the supply of residential units in the coming years will continue to rise. This year, it's estimated to be over 19 000 units. Next year will be over 20 000 units. The year after next will be even higher. And having risen for such a long time, the current property price is really very very high. At this stage, if we were to relax mortgage percentage, to allow those who are with marginal financial ability to enter into the property market, if there were a downward adjustment in the market, these people would be the most hard hit. In that case, the impact on them would be very very significant. That's why we have been taking a very cautious attitude. I hope you do understand our various considerations.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, January 15, 2018
Issued at HKT 12:17