Respected investment bank Merrill Lynch has advised its clients to sell shares in companies leasing Honk Kong office space and invest their money in Singapore instead.

The finance house says that pollution in the city is driving away top talent and many workers are relocating to Singapore.

According to the bank, Hong Kong’s pollution is here to stay until Beijing puts air quality before short term profit and that is making it an unattractive prospect for the highly skilled, mobile workforce.

The financial services sector looks like it will be affected the most, according to the bank’s analysts, who predict a 7% fall in office rents during the course of 2007.

Sam Bond

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