Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) economics professor Francis Lui warned on Friday that property prices could drop by around 90 per cent should Hong Kong become independent.

Speaking at the Hong Kong Development Forum, Lui said that such a drop would be disastrous, and would deplete the government’s reserve of HK$1.3 trillion within seven months, Stand News reported.

“Hong Kong’s big businesses will divest; [property] prices will inevitably slump and – optimistically – drop by 90 per cent.”

Francis Lui
Francis Lui. Photo: Stand News.

Lui also quoted “professional friends”, calling the majority of people advocating for independence in Hong Kong “rubbish youths” and accusing them of having personality disorders.

Prediction welcomed

However, Lui’s comments about the city’s independence supporters were ignored as his claims about property prices drew both laughter and support.

Independence advocates created posters urging viewers to embrace Lui’s prediction and buy property in Hong Kong. Prices are normally among the highest in the world.

Lui was also dubbed the “father of Hong Kong independence” following his claims.

Lui, who is also the director of the Center for Economic Development at HKUST, has previously made comments about the economic impact of political protests or movements in Hong Kong.

In October, 2013, Lui predicted that the pro-democracy Occupy Central plan would cost the city roughly HK$1.6 billion.

Isaac Cheung

Isaac Cheung

Isaac Cheung is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. During the Occupy Central protests, Isaac worked as an editor and reporter at LIVE: Verified Updates, a bilingual news page founded and maintained by HKU journalism students. He has also worked at Coconuts Hong Kong as a reporter.