UBS marks completion of new building in West Kowloon that will house the Swiss bank’s Hong Kong staff

UBS marks completion of new building in West Kowloon that will house the Swiss bank’s Hong Kong staff

UBS marks completion of new building in West Kowloon that will house the Swiss bank’s Hong Kong staff

UBS and Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) have held a ceremony marking the completion of a new building that will eventually house all the Swiss bank’s staff in Hong Kong.
The 14-storey office tower in West Kowloon will bring the bank’s staff, who are currently spread around the city, under one roof and will also be used to host VIP client meetings. UBS expects to move into the new building by 2026.

It marks an “exciting new chapter” as the company aims to concentrate all its business units in one central operation, said Sergio Ermotti, the group CEO of UBS, at the topping out ceremony on Wednesday. Topping out refers to the placement of the final structural beam at the end of construction.

“Hong Kong is a strategic market for UBS in Asia,” said Ermotti. “For six decades we have demonstrated our commitment to the growth of the city and to our clients.”

Currently the firm has five offices spread across the city, including 10 floors covering 300,000 square feet in Hong Kong’s tallest skyscraper, the 108-storey International Commerce Center (ICC) in Kowloon. That space was previously occupied by Credit Suisse, before the two banks merged.

Sergio Ermotti (left), group CEO of UBS, and Raymond Kwok, SHKP chairman and managing director, attended the topping out ceremony of the Swiss bank’s new office building in West Kowloon. Photo: Yik Yeung-man
UBS will be the first anchor tenant of the mega project under development on top of the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus, occupying all 14 floors of tower T2B, which is the closest building to the waterfront. The tower, one of a pair being developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties, will be decked out with a rooftop garden and a private lift for clients.

The name of the building will be decided closer to completion, and as the anchor tenant UBS will have naming and signage rights for the tower.

“The excellent location of UBS’ new office underscores our confidence in Hong Kong as an international financial center,” said Amy Lo, chairman of UBS global wealth management Asia and chief executive of UBS Hong Kong.

The building, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, will be connected to the West Kowloon waterfront and is within walking distance of the city’s Airport Express line. It is part of a landmark project by SHKP which will span 2.6 million square feet of premium office space and some 600,000 square feet of retail space.

The new Hong Kong office will support the bank’s long-term expansion plans and enhance the well-being and productivity of its colleagues, Lo said.

She hopes the building will serve as a springboard for UBS’ growing business in mainland China, in particular the Greater Bay Area, given its easy access to the high-speed railway. It is approximately 14 mins by train from West Kowloon station to Shenzhen and 46 minutes to Guangzhou.

It will provide over 100,000 square feet of open space, including an observation deck.

Wednesday’s ceremony also saw the exchange of a green lease agreement, which the companies said will ensure the building meets the highest standards of sustainable infrastructure.

The project has already attained some of the highest ratings across major sustainable building certification programmes, including LEED and BEAM plus.

“The structure is set to be one of the most sustainable structures in the world and its completion will surely elevate the status of West Kowloon as a thriving business and cultural hub,” said Raymond Kwok, the chairman and managing director of Sun Hung Kai Properties, during the ceremony.

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