Archive for ‘Affluence’

14/08/2014

Chinese Buyers Are Driving a Boom in Australian Real Estate – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Australian house prices are rising quickly and demand from China is increasingly driving the boom, according to a report by Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA.

The report, based on interviews with 50 industry participants in Australia, including major realtors, finds Chinese are now “driving the residential property market Down Under” adding that the “phenomenal investment” will continue for at least three more years.

CLSA says China is now the top source of foreign-capital investment in Australian real estate and anecdotal evidence indicates that foreign investment from China has continued to increase in 2014, having slowly accelerated over the last 5 years. The stock brokerage did not attempt to put a value on the investment.

CLSA said good education and a clean environment were driving demand from China.

“Australia offers both and we see no reason why its fundamental appeal will diminish,” it added.

There are currently only limited curbs on foreign buying of Australian property. Any newly built Australian property can be bought by foreigners . The purchase of existing properties needs the approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Government data this week showed house prices nationally grew by 10% in the year-to-June 30, with Sydney prices racing at 15% over the same period.

The issue of Chinese investment in Australian housing investment has prompted concern among Australians about the potential to be frozen out of the housing market, especially the highly desirable inner city markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

A government investigation into the issue of foreign investment in Australian property is underway and will report its recommendations in October.  One of the limitations of the debate over the issue is that there is not reliable data on how much money is coming into property from overseas.

Australia’s central bank has been watching the rise in house prices but has so far downplayed the role Chinese money has had on prices growth. If house prices continue to climb, the reserve Bank of Australia might have to raise interest rates at a time when the economy is weak and unemployment at more than decade highs.

via Chinese Buyers Are Driving a Boom in Australian Real Estate – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

13/08/2014

Chennai, home of Indian coffee, scoffs as Starbucks enters the market

When Starbucks opened its first coffeehouse in Chennai last month, its 50th in India, many people wondered why the chain had waited so long to come to the city. Was it because it was summoning up courage to enter the land of filter coffee?

The US chain, which has entered India in partnership with the Tata group, opened its first outlet in Mumbai in October 2012. But it took two years for Starbucks to come to Chennai, where it opened its first outlet in the Velachary area on July 10. It plans to open a second outlet soon, in the Alwarpet locality.

Chennai is famous for its ubiquitous filter coffee, a potent brew made in a cylindrical metal device with two compartments separated by a fine filter that allows water to percolate through a bed of coffee powder. The decoction that drips through into the bottom compartment is then mixed with milk and sugar to produce the famous Chennai filter coffee.

For now, youngsters are thronging the new Starbucks outlet, but filter coffee, brewed in most Chennai homes and available in low-cost eateries around the city, might yet prove to be formidable competition.

Starbucks’ representatives did not reply to specific queries about the chain’s prospects in Chennai. But because Starbucks is not a pioneer, it will not have to create a market for its style of coffeehouse: another chain has already done that.

Indeed, the first battle for coffee in Chennai took place a good 15 years ago, when the city got its first Western-style coffee house with Café Coffee Day‘s first outlet in Nungambakkam in 1999. Since then, the chain has grown to 74 cafés, becoming the largest in the city.

Starbucks, therefore, not only has another competitor in Café Coffee Day but also a fellow-traveller, albeit one that got an early start.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

08/08/2014

Bordeaux in Beijing? China Hopes to Build Must-See Destination For Wine Lovers – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Beijing may be better known for its pollution than its bucolic charms. But that isn’t stopping the government from trying to develop a rural region northwest of the city into a Napa Valley-style attraction.

Last month, the government hosted the 11th International Conference on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics in Beijing’s Yanqing county, a five-day affair involving wine tasting competitions and networking among grape breeders and geneticists from around the world.

In addition to hosting such a conference, the government also recently finished the construction of a so-called “International Grape Exhibition Garden,” which will consist of vineyards that they hope will attract an increasingly wine-loving public.

“We want to build our own Bordeaux in China,” said Pang Rongnian, the International Grape Exhibition Garden’s deputy director. He declined to comment on how much the government has invested in the garden’s creation.

The garden is home to 750,000 square meters of vineyards, along with a 2,500 square-meter greenhouse that will help nurture more than 1,000 kinds of grapes from more than 40 countries.

According to Vinexpo, which hosts regular wine and spirits exhibitions, China consumes more wine than any other country in the world. Last year,  China consumed more than 1.9 billion bottles of red wine in 2013, up 136% compared to 2008.

Also last year, auction house Christie’s set up the world’s first estate agency for wealthy Chinese to buy vineyards.

via Bordeaux in Beijing? China Hopes to Build Must-See Destination For Wine Lovers – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

04/08/2014

For a country obsessed with fair skin, why are so many Indians buying self-tanners?

Market research firm Euromonitor has just released a study on the grooming habits of the world. It has one rather surprising finding – Indians are slathering on massive dollops of tanning lotions. Indians are apparently second only to Chinese in consuming what the researcher calls self-tanning products.

It doesn’t add up.

Indians are the highest consumers of whitening creams, the same survey shows, and that is unsurprising. The country’s problematic preference for fair skin is well known. Fairness cream ads featuring big Bollywood stars are ubiquitous. In 2010, AC Nielsen estimated the size of the market for skin whitening products at $432 million.

But there is not a single well-known brand of skin-tanning lotions in the country.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

30/07/2014

China’s 1 Percent vs. America’s 1 Percent – Businessweek

A new study by Peking University’s Social Science Research Center pulls back the curtain a bit on China’s überwealthy. The richestpercent of Chinese households control more than a third of the country’s wealth, according to the July 26 study.

Most of that is tied up in real estate. In 2012, the study says, real estate accounted for 70 percent of all household wealth in China. (The bottom quarter of households, tellingly, control just 1 percent of China’s wealth.) The outsize reliance on real estate as an investment vehicle for both individuals and enterprises is troubling, given widespread concerns about a property bubble. In June, apartment prices fell in 55 of China’s 70 largest cities, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. In the southeastern city of Hangzhou, property prices dipped 1.7 percent that month.

But how do China’s rich stack up against America’s? The U.S. Internal Revenue Service analyzes income, not household net wealth, and in 2012, America’s richest 1 percent took home 19.3 percent of household income. But incomes rose almost 20 percent for the top 1 percent, whereas they inched up just 1 percent for the bottom 99 percent.

via China’s 1 Percent vs. America’s 1 Percent – Businessweek.

12/06/2014

China Minting Millionaires in Global Wealth Surge – Businessweek

Where do the world’s rich live? As has long been true, the U.S. has more millionaires (in U.S. dollars) than any other country, with 7.1 million. But China last year came in second with 2.4 million millionaire households, beating Japan with half as many. The number of millionaire families around the world reached 16.3 million last year, up from 13.7 million the year before.

Visitors crowd around a luxury yacht on display during the 19th China International Boat Show in Shanghai on April 10

All told, the total value of global private wealth grew far faster than global economic output, up 14.6 percent, to $152 trillion, compared with an 8.6 percent increase in 2012. Much of the new money originated in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), up by 30.5 percent, to $37 trillion. That put Asia in the No. 3 spot for riches, behind North America and Europe, according to the 14th annual survey on private wealth by Boston Consulting Group.

Driven by rapid GDP growth in China and India, Asia is expected to surpass North America and Europe as the leading source of global wealth in 2018. That year, the global pot of gold will total a bit less than $200 trillion, with the proportion from Asia projected to reach $61 trillion, slightly more than North America, with $59.1 trillion. “The Asia-Pacific region and its new wealth will account for about half of the total growth,” the report predicts.

via China Minting Millionaires in Global Wealth Surge – Businessweek.

06/06/2014

In China, Cruise Lines Hope to Woo Millions of First-Time Guests – Businessweek

Cruise lines are betting that the growing number of middle class consumers in China are keen to sample chocolate buffets and stroll the Lido deck. And that’s leading to an influx of ships being sent to sail year-round from mainland China.

The Carnival Sun Princess

China is expected to be the world’s second-largest cruise market (after the U.S.) by 2017, with growth rates far higher than in North America and Europe, the two regions where the industry has historically collected most of its profits. Carnival (CCL), the industry’s largest player, with 10 brands and more than 100 ships, plans to base four ships in mainland China next year, while also boosting its year-round fleet in Australia. The Asian Cruise Association estimated in a 2013 report that area demand will nearly triple to 3.8 million annual cruisers in 2020, with 1.6 million from China.

“The reality is that the [Asian] market’s huge, and it’s going to be very significant over the next 10 to 20 years,” Carnival Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald says. “We have never been more committed to China as a market of great strategic importance for our company.”

via In China, Cruise Lines Hope to Woo Millions of First-Time Guests – Businessweek.

Enhanced by Zemanta
24/05/2014

China’s 430 Million Families Shrink and Age – Businessweek

China’s families keep shrinking in size, says a new report by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, released earlier this month.

Retired Chinese women practice Tai Chi at a park in Haikou city, south China Hainan province on March 25

It’s well known that the One-Child Policy played a key role in radically reducing the size of China’s households, which have shrunk from an average of 5.3 members in the 1950s to just 3.02 in 2012. (The numbers were 3.96 and 3.10 in 1990 and 2010, respectively.)

But that longtime policy restriction has not been the main driver in recent years, according to the China Family Development Report 2014. Instead, internal migration and changing social norms have been bigger contributors to the phenomenon in recent years. (That also means last year’s loosening of the family planning regulation isn’t going to reverse the smaller household phenomenon.)

By 2010, China had 160 million households made up of either one or two people. That’s 40 percent of the total number of households, a proportion that rose from 25 percent of the total in 2000. Over the same decade, the number of single person households doubled, and those of two people went up by 68 percent, according to the commission.

So what’s driving the surge in little families? In the cities it has a lot to do with young people waiting longer to get married. “A growing number of well-educated people now decide to marry at a later age because of their careers,” the China Daily reported, citing the survey. “Changing attitudes toward marriage also prompted many to stay single.”

As China’s population rapidly ages, more and more families are elderly. China now has 88 million families made up of people over 65, about one-fifth of the total, the report says. That reverses the longtime Chinese custom of older parents living with their children. With some 300 million rural migrant workers living far from their hometowns, the problem is particularly acute in the countryside—that is contributing to a growing problem of poverty among the elderly.

via China’s 430 Million Families Shrink and Age – Businessweek.

Enhanced by Zemanta
23/05/2014

In China, Cruise Lines Hope to Woo Millions of First-Time Guests – Businessweek

Cruise lines are betting that the growing number of middle class consumers in China are keen to sample chocolate buffets and stroll the Lido deck. And that’s leading to an influx of ships being sent to sail year-round from mainland China.

Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship (Photo credit: sebastien.barre)

China is expected to be the world’s second-largest cruise market (after the U.S.) by 2017, with growth rates far higher than in North America and Europe, the two regions where the industry has historically collected most of its profits. Carnival (CCL), the industry’s largest player, with 10 brands and more than 100 ships, plans to base four ships in mainland China next year, while also boosting its year-round fleet in Australia. The Asian Cruise Association estimated in a 2013 report that area demand will nearly triple to 3.8 million annual cruisers in 2020, with 1.6 million from China.

“The reality is that the [Asian] market’s huge, and it’s going to be very significant over the next 10 to 20 years,” Carnival Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald says. “We have never been more committed to China as a market of great strategic importance for our company.”

The industry’s second-largest cruise company, Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), surprised many in the industry last month by announcing plans to move a brand new ship, Quantum of the Seas, to Shanghai in May after its inaugural six-month run in New York. Traditionally, the industry has deployed only older ships to Asia—a practice that’s likely to wane, given Chinese consumers’ demand for equal access to the newest and best amenities from companies vying to break into the market.

via In China, Cruise Lines Hope to Woo Millions of First-Time Guests – Businessweek.

Enhanced by Zemanta
06/05/2014

Weak Economy Means There’s More Room at India’s Hotels – India Real Time – WSJ

The subcontinent’s fanciest hoteliers are plumping their pillows for fewer guests as the economy takes a toll on travel.

Corporations are chopping their travel budgets. Foreign tourism isn’t what it used to be. And there was an oversupply of hotel rooms in India to begin with.

For reasons like these, hotels particularly at the higher end of the business will be facing “muted revenue growth, stagnated profitability and elevated credit risk” in the fiscal year that started April 1, a rating agency said.

Premium hotels, a category that includes five-star and four-star properties, are feeling most of the pain, according to a report from India Ratings & Research, a Fitch Ratings Inc. firm. They get about two-thirds of their business from corporate and foreign travelers.

“The demand slowdown has put pressure on occupancy and average room rate across major cities,” the report said, limiting hotels’ ability to pass along rising costs due to inflation.

India currently has around 100,000 hotel rooms in what is called the “organized” sector (which excludes myriad smaller and often cheaper properties), as well as an additional 85,000 to 90,000 rooms being built. Weak demand has led many hotel companies to delay new projects and even shelve 40% to 50% of new-hotel construction proposals due to the slumping business, rising financing costs and increase in construction costs, Chandan Sharma and Salil Garg, analysts at Indian Ratings, said in the report.

via Weak Economy Means There’s More Room at India’s Hotels – India Real Time – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 503 other followers