Credit Cards -- used to be easy to get a card. Now, it depends on the Bank. Citibank / Amex are more used to dealing with expat. HSBC is pretty bad unless you have a decent balance with them. Bank of East Asia seems to be a bit more aggressive over the last few months. Try applying to the bank your payroll is with. If you *really* need a card, go to the bank where you opened your account and talk to the manager, they have discretionary powers for loans and credit cards.
Mortgages -- Should be possible -- HSBC, Standard Chartered and a few other banks allow you to apply online (mind you .. try not to do this if you're not too serious and don't have the property identified as it will trigger credit checks which over a long run can be harmful). Another good bet is to tell your real estate agent (incase you're buying the secondary market) to reffer you to a friendly bank.
The short answer is -- yes, they're giving credit to non-permanent residents but the credit checks are a bit more stingent than what they used to be a few years ago.