Deutsche moves to West Kowloon

The German bank joins Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley at the ICC building in Hong Kong's West Kowloon district.
Hong KongÆs Central district is slowly losing its bankers. The latest defector is Deutsche Bank, which will be joining Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse at the International Commerce Centre (ICC) across the harbour in West Kowloon.

Deutsche Bank announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement to lease up to 18 floors in the ICC and will move its entire bank û all divisions, management and support functions û to the building in 2010. This will help it allow for an anticipated staff expansion from its current 1,500 to up to 4,000, and enable it to put everyone into one building.

It plans to start moving staff into the ICC in the third quarter of 2010, occupying an initial 12 floors. Deutsche BankÆs overall space commitment and expansion options total 62,000 square metres in the new ICC A-Grade commercial development, which is billed as one of the most environmentally advanced in Hong Kong.

ôWe are experiencing rapid growth in the region and in Hong Kong in particular,ö says Colin Grassie, Deutsche's CEO for Asia-Pacific. ôOur decision to move to ICC in 2010 secures world-class facilities that can accommodate our continued expansion and leading edge technology requirements.ö

Last year, Deutsche Bank earned around 15% of its global revenue from the region, including Japan and Australia, up from 12% in 2006. It plans to build on this growth, in part through its expansion in China. This year, it increased its stake in one of China's fund managers, Harvest Fund Management Co, to 30% from 19.5%. It also paid $546 million in March to increase its stake in Beijing-based Hua Xia Bank to 13.7% from 9.9%. Finally, last week it opened its new Beijing office tower, which houses 500 staff.

So, it makes sense that in Hong Kong Deutsche Bank is moving into one of the fanciest, hottest new buildings: the ICC, which Sun Hung Kai Properties is developing. The 118-storey tower will boast around 35 restaurants, cafes and bars and the shopping mall planned for the building will be around 25% bigger than the mall in IFC Two. A gym is planned for the tower, an ice rink, and a 12-screen cinema. Out-of-towners may end up booking into the trendy W Hotel, or the Ritz-Carlton which will be at the top of the ICC, thus making it the worldÆs highest hotel.

In December, Credit Suisse announced that it will move its entire Hong Kong operations across the harbour to the ICC by 2011. And Morgan Stanley said in August that it will lease 10 floors in the same building.
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