In Shift, Chinese Move More Money Overseas

Some Chinese are so eager to turn their yuan into other assets that when an online real estate brokerage organized a tour of foreclosure auctions in the United States, it received so many applications that it had to turn away nearly 400 people.

By By Keith Bradsher
The New York Times

 

Shoppers at the Chow Tai Fook jewelry store in Hong Kong. The jewelry retailers are reporting more mainland Chinese coming to buy expensive pieces.  Photo: Christie Johnston for The New York Times

In Shanghai, cash-rich Chinese companies are buying high-yield bonds issued by distressed American companies at a time when many Western investors are steering clear of bonds even from solid companies.

All over the world, Chinese companies are sending home fewer of the billions of dollars they earn from exports, parking them in overseas bank and brokerage accounts instead.

And in Hong Kong, wealthy mainlanders are turning up at jewelry stores in growing numbers seeking diamonds, big ones.

“They’re looking for five-carat diamond rings and six-carat diamond earrings — three carats for each ear,” said Yollanda Lam, the marketing manager for the King Fook jewelry store chain here.

Together, these trends represent a potentially tectonic shift. As Chinese citizens are starting to send more money out of the country, foreign investors are pulling money out too, and slowing the pace of new investment.

“There is a recognition for sure that China is slowing down, so why keep your money there?” said Henry Lee, a Hong Kong fund manager.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/
business/worldbusiness/03yuan.htm
l?_r=1&hp

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