西西软件园 Mr Yao, 46, is based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and first made his fortune in real estate. But it was his Baoneng Group’s foray into insurance and subsequent raid on Vanke, a cross-city property rival, that fuelled the estimated ninefold increase in his net worth in the space of a year.
People are still looking at old masters for pleasure, if not as lucrative investments. Sotheby’s said 6,000 people visited its Dec. 5 to 9 viewing, compared with the 6,400 who saw its Impressionist and contemporary sales in June. At the lower end of the price scale, many historic paintings do find a market — Christie’s and Sotheby’s day sales of old master paintings on Dec. 9 and 10 had solid-enough selling rates of 67 and 65 percent apiece.