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Chinese thirst for investment wine insatiable

Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s largest wine auctioneer, says buyers from Hong Kong, China Macau and Taiwan accounted for more than 48 per cent of global sales by value in the last year.

“Their appetite for the greatest wines remains strong,” the company says.

Acker Merrall has recently developed a new format, ‘Connoisseur’s Club’ live auction in Hong Kong, which is simulcast in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei. It has also unveiled a new mobile App allowing customers to bid while on the move, and runs monthly internet-only auctions in Hong Kong.

These innovations, squarely aimed at Asian collectors, helped Acker Merrall close the first half of the 2015 wine auction season with over US$40 million in revenue, setting 750 new world records, of which more than two-thirds were Burgundy.

“What being number one again in both the US and Hong Kong markets really means is that the World’s Top Collectors continue to choose Acker Merrall,” said chairman John Kapon.

“We work hard, and we play hard, too. We are wine lovers first and foremost, and we are very grateful to share our love with the most passionate collectors around the world, a world that continues to grow with each new day.”

In lots, or volume of wine rather than value, the US still accounts for 61 per cent of the company’s sales, and 41 per cent of the value.

“The internet auction business skews the data a bit when it comes to the number of lots, since that business is much more developed in America, and since we just started them here in Hong Kong,” said Kapon.

“But it does show that America is buying more A to Z, collecting more wines and getting stronger in general. It also shows how much potential remains in the Far East. China is still really in its development stages yet continues to spend the most money.

“With four new live auctions and monthly internet auctions added this year in Hong Kong, along with simulcasts in three new major (and thirsty) cities, Greater China remains an exciting and critically important market.”

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