Dongguan bank hits big time with IFC lease

Finance | 10 Mar 2021

Kevin Xu

A little-known local commercial bank in Guangdong's Dongguan has leased office space on the 25th floor of Two IFC that was given up by Japanese investment bank Nomura a year ago, according to the Land Registry.

Bank of Dongguan has rented eight suites on the 25th floor of the 88-story commercial hub in Central for three years from January 16 this year to 2024, with an option to renew for another three years. A spokeswoman of International Finance Centre declined to disclose the rent that Bank of Dongguan has agreed to pay each month.

The Dongguan-based lender reported revenue of 9.08 billion yuan (HK$10.83 billion) in 2019.

Meanwhile, Chinese private equity firm FountainVest Partners, led by former Temasek and Goldman Sachs dealmaker Frank Tang, has rented another six suites on the same floor for three years from February 22 to February 21, 2024.

This came as foreign companies are relinquishing space in the city's famously pricey office market to cut costs with work-from-home arrangements gaining traction, and concerns are growing that Hong Kong's appeal as a global financial hub is starting to fade due to Beijing's crackdown.

Bloomberg reported last month that Standard Chartered (2888) was relinquishing its lease on eight floors it occupies in the Standard Chartered Bank Building in Central and would rent out three levels in the Kwun Tong office that it owns.

The overall vacancy rate of grade A offices rose to 9.3 percent in January, JLL said. Decentralization remained an ongoing trend as corporate tenants looked to cut rental expenses amid the recession and relocate to more cost-effective locations, it said.

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