StanChart invests S$206m in new Changi Business Park office building

Standard Chartered Bank is investing S$206m in a new office building in Changi Business Park in Singapore.

The new building will house the bank’s back-end operations and a global learning centre, and will be completed in 2010.

This makes Standard Chartered the latest financial institution to relocate part of its operations to Changi.

DBS, Citibank and Credit Suisse have made similar announcements.

The planned office building is the latest of Standard Chartered’s broader billion-dollar plan to consolidate its operations in Singapore, from the current six locations to just three, to keep up with its longer-term growth strategy.

Mr Lim Cheng Teck, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, said: “For us, as a bank, we need to look for opportunities in the market, capitalise on them.

“We have to make sure that we have the capacity to leverage on the opportunity. And this investment on the premises is to make sure we can support further growth.”

While other global banking giants have been hit by the US sub-prime crisis, Standard Chartered said it has so far been relatively insulated because its focus is outside the US.

Mr Lim said: “We are a bank that is focused in Asia, Middle East and Africa. Growth in Asia is still strong, growth in the Middle East is still strong and Africa is also showing strong growth.

“So it’s really part of our growth strategy that we are investing more in Singapore, serving not just the Singapore market but using Singapore as a hub to serve the rest of Asia.”

In April last year, Standard Chartered announced that it was taking half a million square feet of space at the upcoming Marina Bay Financial Centre.

But for the Changi building, it will take up 225,000 square feet and house up to 2,000 staff involved in non-frontline operations such as IT and trade operations.

Upon completion, the bank will have an option to add extensions to the building in two more phases, up to a total floor area of 700,000 square feet.

The building will be leased to Standard Chartered for 15 years, with a review every five years. – CNA/ir

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 12 Feb 2008

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