HK Telecom to lease out 14 floors at Quarry Bay

Hongkong Telecom soon will put another 14 floors - or about 224,000 square feet - of its 42-storey Telecom Tower in Quarry Bay on the leasing market.

An official in the company's property division said staff from its marketing, customer service and mobile telecoms operations would be moved to other Telecom offices on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

A number of agents said staff could be moved to the West Exchange or East Exchange buildings which have vacant space.

The Telecom property official said a total of about 1,600 staff are expected to be relocated.

Agents said each floor in Telecom Tower had a gross area of between 15,000 sq ft and 16,000 sq ft.

One agent said Hongkong Telecom could achieve rents 'in the high 30s' for its space in Telecom Tower.

One market source said Telecom's decision to lease out the 14 floors was purely to increase company revenues.

Last year the company leased 14 floors of its 24-storey West Exchange Tower in Sheung Wan for about $28 per sq ft a month.

It also leased seven floors of Telecom Tower for a figure reported to be between $35 and $40 per sq ft a month to IBM China.

The firm decided to move its entire operations from Exchange Square in Central where it was rumoured to be paying nearly double that rent.

According to analysts' estimates, the IBM deal alone would net Hongkong Telecom about $4 million a month in revenue.

The Hongkong Telecom official said the last time the firm leased space in Telecom Tower the demand for space had been overwhelming.