On Oct. 29, as Hurricane Sandy approached the Northeast, restaurants near Manhattan’s Chinatown and Little Italy were nearly empty. The streets were unusually quiet. Only a few supermarkets, fish markets, gift shops, restaurants and bakeries were open. Many of the people on the streets were local residents or foreign tourists, mostly from Europe, who were staying in nearby hotels. Most employees who were working there were Chinatown residents. A few carpooled, took Chinatown vans or got rides from their boss.
Out of the total amount of real estate investments put in by Asian investors last year, nearly a third or US$70 billion were from the ultra-wealthy.
According to a report from Singapore-based consultancy firm Wealth-X, 250 billion out of US$1.9 trillion of the ultra-wealthy Asians' net worth were from real estate.
"There are so many ultra-high net worth individuals globally, 187,000 in total, 43,000 in Asia alone," said Mykolas Rambus, the CEO of Wealth-X.
"We are talking about over US$25 trillion of wealth they have in excess. For example the average ultra-high net worth (individual) has in China, US$41 million in liquid assets in cash and cash equivalent, ready to invest."
According to the report, most of these Asian ultra-wealthy individuals are from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Other market watchers say most of them are not real estate speculators.
"These ultra-high net worth individuals don't make decisions on a whim," said Colin Tan, research head of Chesterton Suntec.
"They may have considered their decisions to invest in a property or the real estate market over a period of time. They are likely to follow a long-term approach and accumulate properties."
Singapore remains a safe haven for ultra-high net worth investors, particularly those from China looking to diversify their investments beyond China.
Despite recent cooling measures in Singapore, the number of real estate transactions in the second quarter increased by 37 per cent from the previous quarter.
Market watchers say foreign investors are most adverse to capital gains tax, where a certain amount of profit must be paid to the authorities.
There is something inherently mysterious and romantic about Asia…the mysterious Far East. And when it comes to weddings, the rich diversity of Asian cultures, traditions and religions makes for a wide variety of colorful and fascinating wedding customs.
In the land of the rising sun
First, let me define what I mean by “Asian women”. You may be thinking in terms of either Chinese, Japanese, or perhaps Indian or Korean women, and forget about the Southeast Asian countries (of which there are 12 including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia) and Northern Asian countries, like Pakistan. But it’s crucial to take all these various nations into account. It’s key to keep in mind that Asian women encompass a melting pot of ethnicities, each with their own cultural constructs.
Chris and Lindsay’s wedding will be anything but traditional. Lindsay is English, German and Irish and Chris is Malaysian and Chinese. Both are Christian, but they decided against a church wedding. The couple will be getting married in Altun Ha, Belize, a Mayan ruin with great symbolism. Love is in the air!
ASIANCE: Where did you meet?
Our bride Ashley was born and raised in Hawaii and moved to California to attend college. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Finance and has lived in California ever since.
Bucky, her groom, was also born and raised in Hawaii. Two years after they started dating, Bucky made the move to California, where the couple still resides today with their dog Lucy and cat Lola. Bucky currently works at a BMW dealership, but has recently completed his certification for HVAC.
ASIANCE: Where did you meet?
Katy and Jon were married on a beautiful Friday afternoon. They are very active in their church, and had a large number of guests come to celebrate with them. They attended a Chinese church together (where they were married), and Katy was really excited about incorporating Chinese traditions into the wedding such as the tea ceremony. The unity candle ceremony during the ceremony is popular among Caucasian weddings. The beautiful rustic property for their reception created a beautiful atmosphere for their intimate reception.
Kimya and Brian were so incredibly happy and…well, why don’t you see for yourself!
Extravagant, luxurious and truly incredible are three words that can be used to describe Brian Kurilla and Kimya Gharib’s wedding at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C., which brought together more than 400 family and friends last May. The exotic and rich colors, combined with flawless décor and stunning accents provided by Philippa Tarrant set the backdrop for a perfect evening.
Guests Gaurav and Karima’s wedding have never quite experienced anything like. As honored guests of the couple, that happen to have cameras, photographers Robert and Laura JUST returned from New Delhi, India where they spent a whirlwind week shooting this wedding and doing a little sightseeing as well. India took their breath away. There was such a surreal contrast between the royal opulence of this wedding vs. the extreme poverty and trash that litters the rest of the country…..but to be able to experience both sides of India is what made the trip so fantastic.