Asian investors continue to acquire large volumes of property in London
Despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations, Asian investors are still focused on buying up a large volume of London’s property market, according to research by real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield.
With past demand being predominately from the Middle East, the demand for residential and commercial property in London is at a five-year high, and has led to half of the current agreed sales in the first half of the year by Asian investors, totalling £8.8 billion. With a fall in the sterling amidst growing uncertainties, the desire for London property remains steady, with firms highlighting a significant increase in interest from China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Reese Ye, Head of China Desk at Kingsley Hamilton Estates explains: “We have seen an increasing number of Chinese investors coming to the UK. The low currency rate not only means that the UK’s housing price is more preferable in the eye of overseas buyers, it also encourages more parents to choose the UK as the education destination for their children. In fact, 70 percent of our Chinese clients purchasing property in the UK have children either studying or working here. We estimate that the purchasing power of Chinese buyers in the UK will continue to be strong.”
Real estate search engine Juwai.com has also supported this growing interest, where enquiries surrounding the London property market has rocketed by over 50 percent.
James Beckham, Head of London Capital Markets, Cushman & Wakefield, commented: “The recent high-profile visit to Hong Kong by the Chinese President to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover is a timely reminder of the region's impact.
Asia Pac investors from across the entire region dominated the London market in the first half of this year and are set to continue with strong ongoing interest in assets right across the risk spectrum.”
Asian businesses are further seeking to grow their businesses in the capital. Hong Kong company CC Land Holdings’ made headline news through its purchase of the Cheesegrater for over £1 billion, the largest deal the city had seen since 2014. This is alongside the companies purchase of One Kingdom Street for £300 million.
The acquisition has therefore led to further acquisitions, such as China Resources Ltd acquisition of 20 Gresham Street for £315 million and Ho Bee Land’s acquisition of 67 Lombard Street for over £120 million.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”