Souring business sentiment and expectations of further lay-offs as Hong Kong's financial sector continues to reel from the impact of the global credit crisis could see office rents in Central decline by up to 60% over the next two years, analysts warn.

Their grim revisions to earlier relatively optimistic forecasts that the city's commercial property market might be spared the worst of the crisis follow news that the mainland's economic growth is decelerating faster than expected and mounting job losses in the local financial sector are likely to continue.

South China Morning Post