Bloomberg News

China’s Rich Top Asia in Collectibles Ownership, Barclays Says

June 12, 2012

Rich individuals in China, which two years ago became the world’s second-largest art market, hold more of their wealth in collectible assets than their peers anywhere in Asia.

China’s wealthy hold 17 percent of their total net worth in jewelery, fine art, wine, antique furniture, classic cars and precious metals, according to a Ledbury Research global survey of more than 2,000 people published by Barclays Plc (BARC) today. That compares with 16 percent in Singapore, 14 percent in Hong Kong and an average of 9.6 percent globally.

Wealth accumulation in Asian emerging markets such as China is outpacing that in Western Europe and the U.S. China’s private wealth is expected to grow by 15 percent a year through 2016, faster than the global forecast of about 4 percent to 5 percent, the Boston Consulting Group said on May 31.

China overtook the U.K. to become the world’s second- largest art market after the U.S., according to research by the British Art Market Federation in March 2011. Auction and gallery sales in China totaled the equivalent of almost 6 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in 2010, giving the country 23 percent of the global market, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Tong in Hong Kong at stong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net


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