With Shanghai-listed stocks now trading at 25 times earnings and China’s biggest property-price jump in two years are pushing some mainlanders to park money in other assets, said collector and My Humble Art Space Chief Executive Michael Wang.
‘‘In China, there’s now a lot of money with few places to go,’’ Wang said in a telephone interview. ‘‘Rare antiques and art are now appreciated for their aesthetics and investment value.’’
The 2008-2009 global financial crisis marked the rise of mainland Chinese collectors as dominant buyers at Hong Kong’s $500 million-a-year art-auction market as they wrested the priciest items in almost every major category from their U.S. rivals.
Last year, mainland Chinese accounted for 40% of sales by value, Sotheby’s biggest client group.
Mainlanders, including Liu, are also fighting for the best gems at auction, according to Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s International.
Sydney Morning Herald
reported China was one of the few regions to register increased art sales during the financial crisis. Auction houses and dealers in mainland China and Hong Kong sold over $4 billion euros of art in 2009, 12% more than in 2008, said a report published on March 1 by the Netherlands-based European Fine Art Foundation. China’s share of world art-market sales grew to 14% in 2009, said the report.