UBS and JPMorgan Chase are leading an exodus of finance companies from Mumbai’s Nariman Point financial district as they balk at paying double midtown- Manhattan rents for crumbling four-decade-old buildings.
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, moved to a new complex on the site of a drive-in cinema about nine miles north. JPMorgan, the second-biggest US lender, shifted to an adjacent suburb, while private-equity firm KKR & Co. went about three miles north of Nariman Point. Local lender Axis Bank and broker Motilal Oswal Financial Services are moving in the next year.
They are departing a district reclaimed from the Arabian Sea in 1940 that is marred by traffic jams and poor sanitation, and constrained by a 46-year-old law that limits building height. The city’s shortcomings and fragmentation may hinder Mumbai, with the fourth-most-expensive office space in the world, from establishing a financial center to rival Shanghai and Dubai.