Macquarie Surrenders Office Space in Hong Kong’s IFC Building

(Bloomberg) -- Macquarie Group Ltd. is handing back a portion of its office space in Hong Kong’s One International Finance Centre, a move expected to become increasingly popular among finance firms in the city.

The Sydney-based investment bank will surrender 13 suites on the building’s 20th floor before the end of September, documents lodged with the Land Registry show. It will retain its other three entire floors and the rest of its space on the 20th floor, the documents show.

Macquarie Surrenders Office Space in Hong Kong’s IFC Building

The space Macquarie is surrendering doesn’t house any of the bank’s 500 staff, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The area, which spans more than 16,000 square feet (1,486 square meters) has been sublet to a co-working provider, which will lease directly from the landlord from October, one of the people said.

A Macquarie spokesperson declined to comment. The move was reported earlier by the Oriental Daily.

Finance firms around the world are considering trimming their office needs after seeing how their staff have functioned working from home during the coronavirus shutdowns. The issue is particularly acute in Hong Kong -- the world’s most expensive prime office market according to CBRE Inc. -- with the city also being rocked anew by protests over China’s imposition of national security laws.

“There is now a revisiting of portfolios globally to understand how we can use real estate more efficiently and how does work-from-home play into that mix,” said Dieter Kursietis, a consulting director at architecture firm Gensler. “A lot of organizations are looking at how they can consolidate and reduce real estate.”

In March, Nomura Holdings Inc. decided to reduce its space in the neighboring Two International Finance Centre when a new lease takes effect at the start of next year.

Macquarie leased the four floors in 2014 for a monthly rent of HK$9.4 million ($1.2 million), Land Registry records show. It signed a three-year extension in 2019, the terms of which weren’t disclosed.

International Finance Centre, or IFC, comprises two skyscrapers, an upscale shopping mall and a Four Seasons Hotel. It is co-owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd., and Hong Kong and China Gas Co.

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