Barclays 'given up Marina office space'

20140505-st-barclays-given-up-marina-office-space-pic BARCLAYS, the second-largest British bank by assets, has given up two storeys of prime office space in the new downtown financial district in Singapore, which has been leased to LinkedIn, said people familiar with the matter.

Barclays returned about 60,000 sq ft at Tower 2 of Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) to the landlord, one of the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private. Barclays declined to comment.

The bank has been shuffling its real estate space in Singapore, where it is moving employees from suburban offices to Marina Bay to cut costs.

Monthly rents at the property in the central business district are now $11 to $12 per square foot, compared with $10 to $11 per square foot when Barclays moved into the building in 2011, said Mr Donald Han, managing director of Chesterton Singapore, a real estate consultancy.

Barclays will terminate its lease on about 15,500 sq ft of office space at a building in the eastern suburb of Tampines, and relocate employees to MBFC by July, according to people familiar with the matter.

It follows a similar move by the bank earlier this year when it exited Changi Business Park, another suburban office.

Barclays occupies about 290,000 sq ft at MBFC. The bank has another 96,000 sq ft at One Raffles Quay, according to Barclays.

MBFC was developed by Keppel Land, Hongkong Land Holdings and Cheung Kong Holdings, controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing.

LinkedIn - the professional networking website which has more than 300 million members and is based in Mountain View, California - opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore in 2011.

The company's Singapore office is in the AXA Tower, in an older part of the central business district.

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Source: Straits Times, 5 May 2014