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Top News This Week: Chinese cash towards French vineyards, while 2/3 residents voice out against home prices in China...
By Juwai, 28 December 2013
French vineyards luring more and more Chinese investors
Interest in French vineyards by wealthy Chinese continues to rise, as investors seek expansion and portfolio diversity.
While some disagree with the recent inflow of foreign investors and appeal for vineyards to remain under French control, others welcome the increase in cash funds with open arms, as it has enabled vineyards to upgrade winemaking facilities and rebuild infrastructure.
Chinese ownership of French vineyards in Bordeaux has leaped from two to 25 between 2009 and 2012.
Between 2009 and 2012, the number of estates in the famous wine-producing region of Bordeaux owned by Chinese investors jumped from two to 25. Today, an estimated 50 wineries in Bordeaux alone are owned by Chinese investors. According to Jane Anson, a Bordeaux-based wine correspondent, Chinese investors will soon surpass the Belgians as the largest group of foreign owners in Bordeaux – another five to 10 vineyards sold to Chinese would be sufficient to achieve the feat.
"Bordeaux is more open to foreign investments," said Thomas Jullien, Asia representative for the Bordeaux Wine Council, in mid-2012, adding that "new investors have spent money on updating the winemaking facilities, equipment and buildings".
Another trend lately is the reselling of vineyards by early Chinese investors, thus speeding up the cycle and calling out to other Chinese buyers to swoop into the winemaking region.
Two-thirds of residents unhappy with home prices, PBOC survey shows
A People's Bank of China's quarterly survey reveals that 2/3 of China residents are unhappy that home prices are "unacceptably high". Only 2.4% were happy with home price levels. Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics released data showing accelerated housing inflation in November.
Top-tier cities have implemented new regulations recently, like increased deposit requirements, in an effort to contain housing inflation.
In addition, authorities have made reforms to cut local governments' reliance on land sale proceeds. However, the PBOC's survey indicates that 32.5% of residents in China expect increased home prices in the next quarter, and only 13.2% plan to buy a home in the next quarter.