...In the past two years, Chinese businessmen have been snapping up iconic properties in the world’s biggest cities, including the Lloyd’s of London building, as well as the General Motors building and One Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. A Shanghai-based developer, the Greenland Group, owns 70 percent of Brooklyn’s $5 billion Atlantic Yards project.
The real estate deals have prompted comparisons to the wave of purchases by Japanese investors in the 1980s. Back then, many players got burned when the American economy sputtered.
And like Japanese investors in the 1980s, Chinese buyers today have helped to push up the price tag for iconic buildings in the market, said Woody Heller, group head of the Savills Studley Capital Transactions Group. But, he added, “by definition there is a premium, people are willing to pay extra to get the pleasure of saying ‘I own that.’” Even in China, though, Anbang is hardly a household name.
The company was founded in 2004 as a privately-owned property and casualty insurer in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo, near Shanghai. Seed capital for the insurer came from two of China’s biggest state-owned companies, Sinopec, a national oil giant, and Shanghai Automotive, one of the biggest automakers...Chinese Return to the Waldorf, With $2 Billion
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