MAINLAND Chinese companies are showing renewed investment interest in the Hong Kong office property market, analysts say. They said an increasing number of mainland companies were shopping around for suitable properties, but were cautious about striking deals. One Chinese-backed company recently acquired office space in Wellington Place in Central for $545 million. Another mainland firm paid $365 million for a development site at 88-91 Connaught Road West. The most prominent transaction was the CITIC Pacific-led consortium's $3.35 billion purchase of the Tamar Basin site near Admiralty. Each of the buyers intend to turn the properties into their headquarters in the territory. Wong Kim-bon, associate partner of Knight Frank & Kan, said office prices had adjusted to more attractive levels. 'Mainland companies now coming to Hong Kong are those with substantial financial strength,' he said. Chinese enterprises were particularly keen on establishing their headquarters within the core Central district. Pang Shiu-kee, director of S K Pang Surveyors & Co, said that more Chinese companies were expected to come to Hong Kong and buy properties in the approach to 1997. The mainland firms were expected to have stronger financial backgrounds, unlike firms which relied on bank credit in previous years, he said. He expected mainland capital to provide the foundation for the property market since other foreign companies tended to rent rather than buy properties. 'Mainland firms are mainly owner-occupiers or long-term investors, and traditionally they like to buy a piece of land to develop properties for own use,' said Terrance Chow, director of C Y Leung & Co.