Close Brothers, an investment bank, predicted that British banks will face substantial write-downs as part of fallout from a slump in commercial-property values of as much as 60% by the end of next year compared with a peak in 2007. The write-downs could again hinder capital ratios of financial institutions, which may lead to more taxpayer-funded rescues. "The fall is higher than most observers estimate," Close Brothers said. "No available debt finance and a limited number of investors with equity capital for acquisitions means that anything sold will only realize distressed valuations."
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