Rents slashed to ease pressure on tech firms

Top News | Tereza Cai 12 Sep 2019

Both Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks and Cyberport announced a 50 percent discount on their tenants' rents for six months from October 1 in a bid to support small and medium enterprises.

These measures are in line with Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po's announcement last month to provide support for businesses, especially SMEs.

The rent concession by HKSTP will be offered to all its tenants in Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, covering incubatees, partner companies, retail, food and beverage operators and professional services companies.

"We hope that with the prompt implementation of the measures, it will ease their operating pressure, provide them with more financial flexibility and help our park companies stay focused on their research and development work," said Albert Wong Hak-keung, chief executive of HKSTP.

There are 700 technology companies in HKSTP and the rent for offices range from HK$23 to HK$25 per square feet a month, while the rent for the different-level library is between HK$24.50 and HK$30 per sq ft a month.

The support from Cyberport will be provided to all its commercial tenants and start-ups, including Smart-Space users on Cyberport's main campus and those in Tsuen Wan, as well as the retail tenants in the Arcade.

Cyberport chairman Lee George Lam said about 660 companies and start-ups are eligible for the rent concessions.

There are about 1,400 start-ups and technology companies in the innovative digital community.

Both rental concessions are capped at 10,000 sq ft of rental space under a single tenancy.

HSBC and Hang Seng Bank said last month that six-month interest rebates will be given to qualified SME clients.

Before that, Chan introduced measures worth HK$19 billion to ease economic headwinds.

Link REIT, which handles eight million sq ft of retail space in Hong Kong, said it is aware that the business of many retailers in districts with frequent protests has been significantly affected.

"Shopping centers in our portfolio have also experienced some disturbances," it said. "However, our tenants primarily serve local residents at housing estates, and their businesses have remained relatively stable."

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