China continues to be a centre for market excitement this week as Anbang Insurance confirms that its chairman is no longer available, on the same day that reports surfaced of Wu Xiaohui’s detention. Also in the news, Chongqing champion CC Land hopes to hit the big time by opening a London office, while SHK’s Thomas Kwok heads back to jail after his appeal fell short. Read on for all these stories and more.
Anbang Insurance Group, one of China’s most aggressive buyers of overseas assets, said late on Tuesday that its chairman was no longer able to fulfill his duties, just over a week after denying reports he had been barred from leaving the country.
The brief statement, citing only unspecified personal reasons for moving Wu Xiaohui aside, came hours after Chinese magazine Caijing reported the chairman had been taken away for investigation. The article, citing unnamed sources, was taken down shortly after it was posted online. Read more>>
Hong Kong-listed CC Land, the group behind the £1.15bn acquisition of the Cheesegrater, EC3, is planning to open a London office with a new head of investment as it hunts for more trophy assets. CC Land deputy chairman and executive director Dickie Wong is in London this week to celebrate the completion of the deal and look at office space for a core team of five or six people.
In his first interview since the completion of Cheesegrater acquisition, Wong said: “We still believe London will be the number-one financial centre in the whole of Europe in many years to come. We are not too concerned about short-term volatility. Read more>>
Tycoon Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong was back in jail on Wednesday after losing his final appeal against his conviction for bribing the former No 2 in the Hong Kong government.
The decision in the Court of Final Appeal brought to an end one of highest-profile corruption cases in the city’s history. Read more>>
The Hainan government has imposed restrictions on home purchases in the province as droves of northern Chinese flock to buy homes in the island to escape the toxic smog in the winter.
Home prices in Haikou, the provincial capital of Hainan, have jumped over 50 per cent for many developments in the metropolitan area since the end of last year, increasing to over 18,000 yuan (US$2,648) per square metre from 11,000 yuan per sq m. Read more>>
Foreign investors are buying up thousands of homes suitable for first-time buyers in London, using them as buy-to-let investments and often holding them in offshore tax havens, research for the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has revealed.
Led by investors from Hong Kong and Singapore, foreign buyers snapped up 3,600 of London’s 28,000 newly built homes between 2014 and 2016, about 13 per cent, according to the most comprehensive survey yet of international investment in London housing. About half of those were priced for first-time buyers between £200,000 (US$255,000) and £500,000. Read more>>
Residential property developers in Beijing now believe that an unofficial price ceiling seems to have been set by city officials on new projects – at 80,000 yuan (US$11,774) per square metre.
The capital’s latest project, China Seal, just outside the southern second ring road, will be released for sale on Thursday after being granted a presale permit, at 79,458.99 yuan per square metre. Read more>>