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Top News This Week: Chinese tycoons are richest investors in UK, and Chinese continue pursuit of Canadian migration...
By Juwai, 20 December 2013
Chinese tycoons dethrone Duke of Westminster as Britain's richest property investors
In a shocking recent coup, China's bigwigs have snatched the top two spots in the '2013 Estates Gazette Rich List' – a list of the wealthiest property investors in the UK compiled by the 155-year-old magazine since 2002 – for the first time, dethroning the Duke of Westminster and his 10-year reign as numero uno.
With an estimated wealth of £10.4 billion, Wang Jianlin of the Dalian Wanda group, also the richest man in China, topped the list at No. 1.
Second was Henry Cheng Kar-shun, chairman of China's New World Development, who is worth £10.2 billion together with his family. The Duke, who is worth an estimated £8 billion, slipped to 4th place. Meanwhile, another Chinese tycoon making the list was Joseph Lau Luen-hung of Chinese Estates Holdings, who came in 7th with a wealth of £4.6 billion.
Amazingly, both Wang and Cheng were nowhere near the top 250 last year. Thanks to Wang's £700-million investment on One Nine Elms, as well as the Cheng family's £686-million takeover of the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration project and personal stakes in the The Knightsbridge luxury estate, the two Chinese big shots rocketed to the top of the list from nowhere.
Asian investments in the UK rose 60% over the last year, bringing the total wealth of its 250 richest investors to a hefty sum of £162.5 billion, the largest increase in the history of the Rich List.
The merged fortunes of the Chinese trio – Wang, Cheng and Lau – make up a whopping 38% of the entire fortune of the Rich List's top 10. However, the British aristocracy still owns most of the property in the UK.
Chinese millionaires pursue Canadian migration via Quebec
Fresh new data from Vancouver immigration lawyer, Richard Kurland, has revealed that in a bid to outmanoeuvre the Canadian government's freeze on its investor migrant scheme, thousands of China's ultra-rich have been relentlessly seeking to immigrate to Canada through Quebec.
However, many do not realise that they could potentially face delays of 8 years or more due to the current backlog of over tens of thousands of existing applications.
Investor migrants may apply for Canadian migration upon providing an interest-free loan of C$800,000 for a period of 5 years to the Canadian government.
In the past 3 years, Chinese interest in the Quebec scheme has risen dramatically – immigration consultant Mathieu Dumont says an approximate 4,800 visa applications have come from Chinese this year alone.
It was also disclosed that 90% of approved investor migrants to Quebec tend to move away from the French-speaking province upon receiving their Canadian permanent resident card. Nevertheless, with only 9,359 visas issued out of the 85,000 applications in the federal backlog from 2012, it seems that new applicants are in for a long wait if they join in at the back of the queue.
People and funds surge out of China
Real estate agents get more questions about immigration
Wealthy Chinese could invest RMB1.1 trillion in overseas real estate