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HSBC’s prime property in Parry’s Corner up for sale
A prime standalone commercial property in Parry’ Corner, Chennai, is up for sale. This building is owned by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). With consolidation and digitalisation gaining momentum in the sphere of banking, the latest move to sell off the property measuring 15,441 sq ft in a once marquee address, is reflective of the changing landscape of business.
Multiple sources confirmed to DT Next that the property belongs to HSBC. The multinational investment bank and financial services holding company has already shifted its business operations that handle volumes of global data to RK Salai. CBRE has been mandated for finalising the HSBC transaction.
‘Retaining a non-core asset by HSBC does not seem viable and hence this attempt’ is the reason cited by a person in the know. Apparently, this commercial building of the bank does not have car parking facility and so, another vacant property alongside it is also coming up for grabs. On the back of the realty slump and the global pandemic, land deal negotiations are fetching throwaway prices for buyers scouting for such propositions.
The move also points to the Parry’s Corner area losing its sheen. The commercial nerve centre, housing many big industry names, is turning into a relic of the past. “In 2017, the Madras Stock Exchange sold off its premise to an NRI for about Rs 20 crore,” recalls CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIEBEA. “This was the main trading centre surrounded by all types of market. Banks too found this an ideal hub for finance but the historical evolution has transformed the commercial hotspot,” he laments and goes on to say that Mount Road and Anna Nagar are the new commercial business districts.
The latest move of HSBC has not come as a surprise on account of the emerging business scenario.
A finance veteran, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says “public sector banks in the country are going through consolidation. The merger of Punjab National Bank, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce has led to the formation of the second largest nationalised bank of the country. Likewise, the merger of Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank is another case in point.
Pruning operations, shutting shop or preferring the asset-light model of business in view of virtual banking gaining traction have led to several players rejigging their plans, he said.
Incidentally, among the popular brands that have moved from Parry’s Corner area to establish city-centric corporate offices are Indian Bank, Standard Chartered Bank (erstwhile Grindlays) and Ashok Leyland.
In 2002, the city-based Murugappa Group sold its TIAM House, a seven-storey structure located in Parrys, to Jesus Calls as part of its consolidation exercise.