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Private investment from China is a big power for overseas investment
2012-01-04
Brief:According to Johnson Chng of Bain, rich Chinese have doubled the proportion of their portfolios invested abroad from 10% in 2009 to 20% this year.
A recent survey by Bain & Company, a consultancy, and China Merchants Bank estimated that the investible wealth of Chinese individuals was 62 trillion yuan ($9.6 trillion US dollars) and that the number of people with investible assets worth more than 10m yuan would come close to 600,000 last year. They are increasingly ready to put some of their money abroad. According to Johnson Chng of Bain, rich Chinese have doubled the proportion of their portfolios invested abroad from 10% in 2009 to 20% this year.
 
Most of that goes to Hong Kong and Singapore, but some of it finds its way to Europe. Approval has become easier to get in China. Property, the asset of choice for Chinese investors, is again the focus and London is again the prime target in Europe because of education.
 
The mainland Chinese are the fastest-growing group among foreign buyers of the dearest new property in central London, says James Thomas of Jones Lang LaSalle, a property consultancy. Roadshows to promote developments in London that would previously have stopped at Hong Kong and Singapore are now taking in the mainland, with Chinese banks and Western law firms joining in to offer prospective buyers tips on financing and tax.
 
Some are after commercial investments. Siqi Zhang, who runs the London arm of Celestial Globe, a small property consultancy aimed at mainland buyers, reports lots of interest in restaurants, hotels and bars that can throw off cash as part of an investment portfolio.

Economist
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