Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered Surrenders 8 Office Floors In Hong Kong

HONG KONG – Standard Chartered is surrendering 8 office floors it is currently leasing at the Standard Chartered Bank Building in the Central District, reported Bloomberg on Thursday morning (4 February, SGT).

This is according to marketing materials viewed by the news agency, which also revealed that the London-based financial firm plans to lease 3 office floors at its very own Kwun Tong office. The office premises at both properties are expected to become available for rent from March 2021 to April 2022.

The documents also show that the owner of the Standard Chartered Bank Building, Hang Lung Properties, is demanding a monthly rent of roughly HK$6 million (US$774,000) for the 8 office floors, which have a combined area of around 60,000 sq ft.

Standard Chartered has stated that it is carefully reviewing its office leases amidst pressure for banks to reduce operating expenses, even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Moreover, the financial firm has given over 90 percent of its 85,000-strong workforce around the globe the option to work flexibly in late 2020.

Other foreign business entities in the Chinese territory are also slashing their office footprint after working from home has become the norm due to the ongoing health crisis. In fact, data from Cushman & Wakefield, showed that multinational firms accounted for 75 percent of the relinquished office space in the Chinese territory.

For instance, BNP Paribas recently gave up an office level at Two International Finance Centre. Macquarie Group and Nomura Holdings also surrendered office space in Hong Kong’s Central District in 2020.

Based on statistics from property consultancy JLL, the vacancy rate for office premises within the Central District rose to its highest level since 2004 in December 2020.

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