COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Securities regulator joins the fray fleeing Central's pricey office market

The SFC will move to One Island East in 2020 to cut rental costs.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is the latest high-profile name in finance to ditch Central’s sky-high rents

The regulator will move in 2020 to One Island East in Quarry Bay in a move that is expected to cut rental costs in half, according to a SFC statement filed with lawmakers.

Also read: Co-working operators eye Kowloon for expansion

The business district's meteoric rents have already sped up the retreat of financial players like hedge funds whilst the likes of BNP Paribas SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have moved some staff to cheaper locations.

Prime office occupancy costs in Central, which include rent, local taxes and service charge, clock in at a whopping $2,405 (US$306.57) per sqft annually in Q1 2018, far beyond London’s West End at $1,843 (US$235.01) and Beijing’s Finance Street at $1,576 (US$200.91).

Also readHong Kong Island's pricey office rents push cash-short tenants to Kowloon

The securities regulator will move from the landmark Cheung Kong Center, which houses businesses including Goldman, Barclays Plc, Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg LP and billionaire Li Ka-shing’s empire. Its new home, a Swire Properties Ltd. building popular with financial firms, is eight subway stops east.

Here’s more from Bloomberg

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