London, Jan 17 (ANI): China's billionaires and millionaires are buying up not only fine wines, paintings and jewelleries, but also properties in Britain.
A recent London Property Review released by estate agent Knight Frank suggests almost half of all investors in London come from Asia, and, most specifically, mainland China and Hong Kong, the Daily Mail reported.
Frank says Chinese buyers are by far the most active group of overseas investors in the capital.In fact, this invasion of the so-called Peking Pound actually began two years ago.
One company, Global Refund, reported a 164 percent rise in sales to Chinese customers on Bond Street in the first seven months of 2009, and in 2010 they spent 3 million pounds on Bond Street in six months, more than double the previous period.
Retail analysts reckon the Chinese account for 30 percent of the top-end goods market in Britain, and during the pre-Christmas rush at Harrods, shop staff reported that more than half their clientele was from China.
One such example is Hong Kong real estate billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-Hung, 57, whose fortune is estimated to be 2.5 billion pounds,
He spent 33 million pounds on a six-floor mansion in Belgravia, and 25 million pounds for a Paul Gauguin canvas, 8 million pounds for a Picasso and 11 million pounds for an Andy Warhol of Chairman Mao.
Lau also owns a 10,000-bottle wine collection and the flawless blue diamond that he bought for 5.8 million pounds last year. (ANI)