Hongkong Land

HK Land unfazed by tenants' moves to ICC

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, 12:00am


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Hongkong Land Holdings says it sees little threat from Kowloon's International Commerce Centre despite more tenants moving from the company's properties in Central to the new landmark building.

Facing rent rises and space restrictions, some of the city's biggest financial players are finding Kowloon a more cost effective location to their traditional home in Central.

Morgan Stanley announced in August it would move from Kongkong Land's Exchange Square to the 118-storey skyscraper, doubling its office space to 300,000 square feet.

Credit Suisse and JP Morgan, which have offices at Exchange Square and Chater House, also are reportedly in talks about moving to ICC.

But Raymond Chow Ming-jo, Hongkong Land's executive director for commercial property, said the space being vacated by Morgan Stanley had already been marked by other financial institutions.

'It is not a really bad thing [to see tenants moving out] since demand is so strong and it can be easily be taken up by other tenants looking to expand,' Mr Chow said.

He said tenants were not moving from Central because of rising rents - prices are now more than HK$100 per square feet, higher than the 1994 peak - but because they lack room.

'Companies renting offices of 10,000 square feet were regarded as big tenants a decade ago,' he said. 'Now the real big tenants are renting 100,000 sqft.'

Mr Chow was upbeat on the overall market, with no new office supply in Central until the redevelopment of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. More firms were also setting up in Hong Kong while existing firms are expanding.