BNP Paribas To Relocate From Central To Quarry Bay
HONG KONG – Sources revealed that BNP Paribas SA intends to transfer almost all of its employees in the Chinese territory from Two International Finance Centre in Central to Taikoo Place at Quarry Bay in the east side of Hong Kong island, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday afternoon (8 March, SGT).
The insiders revealed that the relocation is slated to occur as early as 2024. It comes after the French lender wants to slash costs, but some bankers may remain at Two International Finance Centre, where the bank currently occupies four levels. At Taikoo Place, the asset management division of BNP Paribas is already leasing office space in Lincoln House.
“The Hong Kong financial industry has entered a new phase of workspace transformation, and we have reassessed our operations post pandemic and taken the opportunity to shift to a more dynamic smart workspace which allows greater collaboration and mobility,” said a representative for BNP Paribas in response to a question from Bloomberg.
The looming relocation by the French lender comes as multinational banks are looking to reduce expenses by laying off employees globally amidst persistent inflation & a slowdown in deal-making activity. In fact, Citigroup is poised to join Wall Street rivals Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase in plans to retrench a sizeable number of employees.
Meanwhile, prime and upscale office properties in Hong Kong have been negatively impacted by the city’s high office vacancy levels. Last December, Jefferies Financial Group moved out of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Center to Two International Finance Centre, which also houses the regional offices of blue-chip financial firms, such as UBS Group.
The International Finance Centre spans 4.5 million sq ft. Apart from having over 200 stores and lots of office space, it also contains a Four Seasons hotel. The mixed-use commercial property was jointly built by developers Henderson Land Development and Sun Hung Kai Properties, as well as utility firm Hong Kong & China Gas.