Aedas cuts jobs, pay as China infrastructure investment slows

June 30, 2015 13:27
Aedas chairman Keith Griffiths (inset) has confirmed pay cuts of 3 percent to 20 percent for its Hong Kong staff. Photos: Bloomberg, Reuters

Global architectural and design company Aedas is laying off about 100 people in July amid slowing infrastructure investment in China.

Also, 40 percent of its employees will take a 3 percent to 20 percent pay cut, according to Apple Daily which cites Aedes chairman Keith Griffiths.

Aedas is one of the world's five largest architectural firms best known in Hong Kong for designing the West Kowloon terminus of the high-speed railway.

Griffiths said China's slowing urbanization forced the company to cut costs, with the Hong Kong business now having lost 26 people, about 4 percent of its local workforce.

The cost cutting was a difficult decision, Griffiths said in an e-mail to employees in which he urged shared sacrifice among those who are left.

Architects have been told their pay will be cut 5 percent while executive directors will have up to 20 percent of their salaries slashed.

Many Hong Kong architects who left for the mainland in search of greener pastures have returned because of deteriorating infrastructure investment sentiment across the border, according to industry sources.

Aedas employs 627 people in Hong Kong, 275 of whom will take an average of 3 percent pay cut.

Vincent Ng, chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, said Aedas’ situation does not reflect conditions in the wider industry.

Ng said a Hong Kong government plan to ramp up residential property supply will create steady demand for architects and design firms .

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