CANADIA Tower has secured high-profile lender Bank of China as a tenant, improving the outlook for the property market.
The lease with China’s fourth largest bank by market value, and a new entrant to Cambodia’s financial sector, is regarded as a coup by the tower’s management.
“It is a big client and holds a lot of potential for us – it is my hope that it will attract other big companies to set up offices at Canadia,” Pen Phyrun, property officer at Mega Asset Management Co, the property unit of Canadia Tower manager Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation said yesterday.
“We made the bank confident of our security. If we did not have good security, they would not have come here.”
The bank has leased a total 745 square metres on the tower’s first and second floors, he said.
The Bank of China was granted in-principle approval to operate in Cambodia by the National Bank of Cambodia in June. NBC officials said at the time that banks have six months to open the first branch following the approval.
Chen Changing, the Bank of China branch representative in Cambodia, could not be reached for comment.
Phnom Penh’s tallest building doubled its office occupancy during July, jumping from 30 percent to 60 percent occupancy, after securing national and international commercial tenants.
Pen Phyrun said expectations are for occupancy to fill a further 20 percent this month.
“We still have 60 percent occupancy, but this month we have been contacted by a lot of clients from abroad, and we are still in negotiations. We expect [the tower] occupancy will increase 20 percent if we secure these contracts,” he said.
The Bank of China is the third foreign bank to receive NBC approval this year, following Vietnam’s Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) and Malaysia’s CIMB Group.
The Cambodian Stock Exchange, previously understood to be considering Canadia Tower as its headquarters, was still in negotiations and had not signed any contract, Pen Phyrun said.
Last week, it was announced that OCIC planned to help build a 555-metre tower on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island. If built today, the sky scraper would be the second-tallest in the world.