Manulife Hong Kong said it has rented 145,000 square feet of Grade A office space at the International Trade Tower in the International Trade Tower in Kowloon East for HK$4.06 million per month, the largest Grade A office leasing deal in the city since July 2019 in terms of net floor area.
Local media reports said the per-sq-foot rent reached HK$28.
The lease is part of Manulife's plan to accelerate agency expansion, said Damien Green, chief executive of Manulife Hong Kong and Macau.
The ITT will become Manulife's fourth Grade A office in Kowloon East. Manulife Hong Kong has been based in the Manulife Financial Centre since 2009. It acquired the Manulife Tower in 2013 and expanded its agency offices to The Quayside in 2020.
Manulife is expanding at a time when foreign companies are relinquishing space in the city's famously pricey office market to cut costs with work-from-home arrangements gaining traction, amid growing concerns that Hong Kong's appeal as a global financial hub is starting to fade due to Beijing's crackdown.
Meanwhile, the number of property transactions almost doubled to 9,067 in March from a year before, data from the Land Registry showed.
The total consideration of property sale and purchase agreements went up by 117.9 percent year-on-year to HK$78.02 billion.
In the primary market, Henderson Land Development (0012) named its first project in Kai Tak as The Henley, which accommodates 1,184 units in three phases, and expects the first phase to hit the market this month.