Bloomberg News reports that the price for the 512,000 square-foot property in Kowloon is the largest ever office transaction in Hong Kong, the bank said in a statement Tuesday. The tower, scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, will be used to house staff currently spread out across offices in the city, said Weber Lo, the bank’s chief executive officer for Hong Kong and Macau.
Citigroup joins banks and insurers in buying buildings in the city as falling vacancies pose a challenge for companies looking for large office spaces, realtor CBRE Group, which advised the deal, said in a first-quarter review report.
Manulife Financial Corp. paid HK$4.5bn last year to Wheelock, which is controlled by the family of billionaire Peter Woo, for a similar-size tower and development in Kowloon East, the district earmarked by the Hong Kong government as an alternative financial hub in the city.
Central in Hong Kong’s main financial district is where banks including HSBC and Goldman Sachs have their regional headquarters.
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