Dior lanza una colección azulBlue exclusiva para China y el mercado de la moda se va a China

Vivienne Westwood, Dior, Burberry, LVMH, Gucci, Ferragamo, George Esquivel (zapatos), Levi’s, y en fin todas las empresas del consumo de lujo en Europa y Norteamérica ven el mercado chino  -de los ricos chinos o de los chinos ricos- como una gran oportunidad de recuperar ventas para sus alicaídos negocios.

Vivienne Westwood is to open 20 boutiques in China, and fellow British fashion house Burberry has confirmed that it will add 66 stores to its current 44 Chinese outlets by 2012. The American leather goods company Coach is to open 20 outlets in China this year and the Italian handbag and luxury clothing producer Ferragamo plans 10 stores.

«We estimate retail sales will grow 16-18% this year,» says Jessica Lo, of the China Market Research Group. A report published by McKinsey last autumn predicts that consumption will double in China’s 100 biggest cities between 2008 and 2015.

No hace falta decir que en Europa las ventas caen a modo. Dior lanza una línea exclusiva para el mercado chino, The Blue Collection.  Sólo en venta en su nueva tienda en Shanghai.

– ¡ Te complé el bolso Diol Blue y me pones los cuelnos, zol·la eulopea !

–» Guangzhou tiene un potencial fantástico.  Es extraordinario.  Uno ve tantas ciudades con potencial para el lujo». Sidney Toledano, Presidente de Dior, Paris..

Está bien, Dior les venderá unos cientos de bolsos Dior Blue en ese estilo que los de la moda llaman  cannage, y los de Guangzhou nos revenderán millones de bolsos imitación Diol Blue de sus fábricas infernales.

Pero no todo va bien allá en Oriente.  Una tremenda burbuja inmobiliaria y el lujo y consumismo insultante de la nueva clase depredadora de Nuevos Ricos chinos son un polvorín social que puede estallar en cualquier momento, sobre todo si la Gran Depresión II se agudiza, Europa y los EEUU dejan de tanto consumismo y la fábrica de pobres del mundo, China, se le gripa la maquinaria.

Este artículo, muy importante y que salió en NY Times y luego republicado en The Observer (un suplemento del NY Times que traen) y seguramente en otros diarios europeos no se le ha dado en Europa la atención que merece, pero a los americanos usureros les preocupa mucho lo que dice.

The Next Bubble?

China Frets As Real Estate Rapidly Inflates


THE SPACIOUS DUPLEX comes with crocodile-skin bedposts, hand-carved bronze doors inlaid with Swarovski crystals – and a $45 million price tag.

It is still on the market, but Charles Tong, the developer of Tomson Riviera, a luxury riverfront complex in the heart of the financial district here, says he is having no trouble finding takers for similarly priced units.

“We’re selling three to four apartments every month,” said Mr. Tong, seated in a white Versace easy chair. “Now, people here want something more luxurious; they’d like a new lifestyle.”

El Duplex viene con postes de la cama forrados en piel de cocodrilo, puertas de bronce adornadas con bisutería de Swarovski  — y cuesta  U$D 45 millones.  Tong, el inmobiliario de Tomson Riviera en el corazón financiero de Shahnghai aún no lo ha vendido pero dice que no hay problemas.  –«Vendo 3 ó 4 cada mes.  La gente ahora quiere algo más lujoso, quieren un nuevo estilo de vida.»

Everyone agrees China is in the middle of a spectacular real estate boom. The question is whether it is in the middle of a rapidly growing real estate bubble.

When other recent booms collapsed – in the United States, for instance – they depressed entire economies. In China’s case, a bursting bubble could affect much of the world. China is the fastest-growing large economy and, so far, a main engine pulling the world out of recession.

Beijing is clearly concerned. Authorities have recently moved to rein in the easy credit that has helped finance China’s hyperdevelopment, including making it more difficult for home buyers to take out a second mortgage.

China está en una gran expansión inmobiliaria, la cosa está en que si no será una burbuja.  Cuando las burbujas estallaron en EEUU (y en España y en Europa) economías enteras fueron destruidas. Las autoridades de Pekín están preocupadas y han puesto cierto coto en este hiperdesarrollo, es más difícil ahora tener una segunda hipoteca.

Last year, a record $560 billion of residential property was sold in China, an increase of 80 percent from the year before, according to government statistics that are widely considered reliable. And with prices soaring, developers are scrambling to build more mansions, villas and high-rise apartments with names like Rich Gate, Park Avenue and Palais de Fortune.

Signs of exuberance are everywhere. An investor in Shanghai recently bought 54 apartments in a single day; a villa sold for $30 million last year; and in December a consortium of developers paid more than $3.5 billion for a huge tract of land in Guangzhou, one of the highest prices paid for any property, anywhere. In the city of Tianjin, in north China, developers have created a $3 billion “floating city,” a series of islands built on a natural reservoir, featuring villas, shopping malls, a water amusement park and what they say will be the world’s largest indoor ski resort.

“This is wild,” said Andy Xie, a former Morgan Stanley economist who is now an independent analyst. “By all the traditional measures, like rental yield, this is a bubble.”

La exuberancia es descarada.  Un inversor en Shanghai compró 54 apartamentos en un día;  un chalet se vendió por U$D 30 millones; en Guangzhou un consorcio pagó más de u$D 3.500:000.000 por unos terrenos, el mayor precio jamás pagado en el mundo.  En Tianjin las inmobiliarias construyeron una «ciudad flotante», una serie de islas en un lago con chalets, hipermercados, un parque acuático y la pista de esquí cubierta más grande del mundo.

— «Esto es una locura», dice Andy Xie, analista de inversiones.  «Si consideramos los rendimientos de alquileres, esto es una burbuja.»

Speculators are snapping up properties on the expectation that prices will continue to rise, as prices have nearly every year for more than a decade. And powerful developers are working with local governments to transform old cities into urban dreamscapes.

But Shanghai, China’s wealthiest and most dazzling city, is the epicenter of the boom. Prices here have risen more than 150 percent since 2003, pushing the price of a typical 100-square-meter apartment up to $200,000, according to real estate experts. (Shanghai residents typically earn less than $5,000 a year.)

A buying frenzy has gripped the city, leading to billion-dollar land auctions and long waiting lists.

“The speed you buy a house here is faster than you buy vegetables,” said Andy Xiang, an advertising executive who recently put down a large cash down payment to get the right to pay $1.3 million for an apartment in the city’s exclusive Xintiandi area.

Tomson Riviera, Shanghai

Few residences, though, are as upscale as Tomson Riviera, which consists of four golden-hued towers overlooking the Huangpu River, with a central garden mapped out in the shape of a dragon. The apartment complex’s entrance has original artworks by Salvador Dali and well-known Chinese artists. The apartments, a few of which have been decorated by Armani and Fendi, as well as Versace, lease for $7,000 to $17,000 a month – to high-level executives from companies like General Motors.

Those who buy an apartment here tend to be extremely wealthy, like Liu Yiqian, an eccentric Shanghai entrepreneur who Forbes magazine says is worth about $540 million.

Mr. Liu, 47, got his start driving a taxicab in Shanghai but eventually made a fortune investing in the stock market. In an interview in early March, he acknowledged owning hundreds of apartments in Shanghai (he said he could not remember exactly how many), including an apartment in Tomson Riviera, which he bought in 2008 for about $11.5 million.

Levanta la Capital Financiera del Mundo

“I invest in properties,” Mr. Liu said, noting that he also collects art, antiques and jade. “I think in Shanghai in five to seven years the real estate prices will be even higher.”

Whether the country is in the middle of a bubble has become the subject of a debate. Some economists, like Nicholas R. Lardy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, say the housing boom is being propelled by a huge urbanization push that is creating premiumpriced houses.

Other analysts say prices are being propped up by greedy developers and government policies that are making housing increasingly unaffordable for the masses migrating to big cities.

Despite the fear of a bubble here, Mr. Tong said his prices were just right, particularly because of so much hidden wealth in China. The publicly listed company is controlled by his family.

“I have a friend,” he said. “She makes maternity clothes. Her company has 20 percent of the world’s market share, and they’re not even a listed company.”

For the price of a Tomson apartment in Shanghai, a buyer could easily purchase a home in Los Angeles built by Frank Lloyd Wright and now for sale ($10.5 million), or a 22-room residence in New Canaan, Connecticut ($24 million).

But a sales agent at Tomson Riviera says this is the future financial capital of the world, not the dying one

“Look at this bronze door,” said Wang Yaodong. “That costs $50,000! Look at these Gaggenau appliances. They were made in Germany.” The glasses were imported from Belgium, the Jacuzzi from Italy. And don’t worry about losing your key, he said, “This lock can read the palm of your hand.”

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Por Armando

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