Amazon To Expand Office Footprint In Singapore
SINGAPORE – E-commerce giant Amazon plans to increase its presence here by taking over some of Citigroup’s office premises at Asia Square Tower 1 within the city-state’s central business district (CBD), reported Bloomberg on Wednesday (30 September).
According to sources who requested anonymity as the plans are private, Amazon intends to occupy three levels there collectively measuring around 8,360 sqm (90,000 sq ft), and its employees are expected to start working there by early-2021. A lease at the aforementioned office tower usually spans over five years.
At present, Citigroup is the biggest occupant in Asia Square Tower 1 as it’s leasing nine floors. However, it’s downsizing to make more efficient use of its office space as its 10-year rental agreement there is set to expire soon.
Amazon, which has quickly ramped up its presence here in recent years, is currently leasing office space in One George Street and Capital Square.
The E-commerce giant’s office space expansion comes at a time when some of China’s biggest tech behemoths like TikTok developer ByteDance, Alibaba Group, and Tencent are establishing footholds in Singapore to venture into other ASEAN countries.
Neutral Singapore is emerging as an attractive location for setting up regional hubs for both Western and Chinese firms thanks to its advanced financial and legal system. It has also become more appealing as China’s communist government tightens its control over Hong Kong.
A representative for Citigroup has verified that it is indeed relinquishing space in Asia Square Tower 1. While the spokesperson refused to reveal which lessee will take over some of Citigroup’s office space, he said that some consumer banking employees and workers in other roles will transfer to Changi Business Park, where the firm is occupying larger premises on a long-term lease.
Citigroup is one of the major banks across the globe that have reduced their office space footprint due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Fifth Third Bancorp and Nomura are reducing office rental expenses by letting some employees work from home.
While the local authorities here have significantly relaxed workplace restrictions, flexible work arrangements like working from home has become the norm.