These 70 New Yorkers are on Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans list

Michael Bloomberg and the Koch brothers were included on the magazine’s list of the richest individuals in the nation.

Photo: Bloomberg News
David Koch, executive vice president and co-owner of Koch Industries, ranked number one among New Yorkers

Forbes magazine has released its Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, with 70 New Yorkers making the cut.

Businessman David Koch ranks first in the city, tied for fifth overall with his brother Charles Koch.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, eighth overall on the list, was second on the list of New Yorkers, followed by George Soros and Carl Icahn.

The magazine also weighed in on Donald Trump’s infamous claims about his finances, ranking the billionaire developer and media personality at 121 and estimating his personal fortune to be $4.5 billion.

Forbes Editor Randall Lane spoke about Mr. Trump’s fortune on NBC’s Morning Joe, discounting the value of Mr. Trump’s “personal brand” that the Republican presidential hopeful has said accounts for several billions in wealth.

“We think we’ve finally settled the issue,” Mr. Lane said. “He’s out there telling everybody he’s worth $10 billion. He’s not.”

One notable exclusion from New York’s wealthiest is William Erbey, whose mortgage financier, Ocwen Financial, was probed by New York state investigators for allegations including conflicts of interest.

Mr. Erbey, who stepped down as executive chairman, saw his personal fortune plummet after Ocwen’s stock fell 76%, according to Forbes.

Rank First name Last name Wealth (in billions)
5 David Koch 41.000
8 Michael Bloomberg 38.600
16 George Soros 24.500
22 Carl Icahn 20.500
32 James Simons 14.000
36 Ronald Perelman 12.500
38 Rupert Murdoch 11.600
38 Stephen Schwarzman 11.600
41 John Paulson 11.400
46 Samuel Newhouse 10.300
55 Leonard Lauder 8.400
71 Stephen Ross 6.700
74 Ralph Lauren 6.200
76 Richard LeFrak 6.100
93 Bruce Kovner 5.200
94 Leon Black 5.000
94 Daniel Ziff 5.000
94 Robert Ziff 5.000
108 Israel Englander 4.800
108 Henry Kravis 4.800
108 Ira Rennert 4.800
114 Charles Dolan 4.700
114 David Shaw 4.700
114 Leonard Stern 4.700
121 Donald Trump 4.500
124 Stanley Druckenmiller 4.400
124 Jerry Speyer 4.400
138 Jeremy Jacobs 4.000
145 Sheldon Solow 3.900
149 Alejandro Santo Domingo 3.800
149 Andres Santo Domingo 3.800
159 Julian Robertson 3.700
171 Daniel Och 3.500
182 John Catsimatidis 3.400
182 Ronald Lauder 3.400
182 Jeff Sutton 3.400
182 Joan Tisch 3.400
211 David Rockefeller 3.000
234 Kenneth Langone 2.800
234 David Siegel 2.800
246 Daniel Loeb 2.700
256 William Ackman 2.600
268 Barry Diller 2.500
268 Joshua Harris 2.500
268 Sean Parker 2.500
268 Mortimer Zuckerman 2.500
279 James Dinan 2.400
279 Marc Rowan 2.400
293 Noam Gottesman 2.300
307 Ron Baron 2.200
307 Chase Coleman 2.200
307 Michael Jaharis 2.200
307 Stewart Rahr 2.200
307 Vincent Viola 2.200
327 Paul Singer 2.100
342 Glenn Dubin 2.000
342 Thomas Lee 2.000
342 Howard Marks 2.000
342 David Walentas 2.000
358 John Farber 1.900
358 Hamilton James 1.900
358 Marc Lasry 1.900
358 Nelson Peltz 1.900
358 Julio Mario Santo Domingo 1.900
358 Thomas Secunda 1.900
375 Louis Bacon 1.800
375 David Einhorn 1.800
375 Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer 1.800
375 Leonard Schleifer 1.800
392 Jonathan Gray 1.700


Owner of Grand Central Sues Developer and City for $1.1 Billion Over Air Rights

By CHARLES V. BAGLI    SEPT. 28, 2015

Andrew S. Penson, who bought Grand Central Terminal in 2006, contends that he is being deprived of his property rights.

When he bought Grand Central Terminal nine years ago, Andrew S. Penson figured that the unused development rights, or air rights, over the country’s busiest train station were worth a fortune.

The soft-spoken real estate investor, however, failed to come to terms with a developer next door who needed them, or to sell even one square foot of more than a million square feet of those rights.

On Monday, Mr. Penson filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit in United States District Court in Manhattan that argued that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, the City Council and the developer, SL Green Realty Corporation, had deprived him of his property rights when the city gave SL Green permission to build a 1,501-foot tall office tower, without having to buy any air rights from him.

The lawsuit involves complex questions of zoning, constitutional law, politics and potential conflicts of interest, but it boils down to what always matters most in New York real estate: millions and millions of dollars.

It is the latest chapter in a dispute that has festered for years, with supporters of Mr. Penson describing SL Green as politically connected, while critics of Mr. Penson dismiss him as a speculator.

The city designated Grand Central as a landmark in 1967, partly to block a proposed office tower that would have risen overhead.

The designation, the city argued in United States Supreme Court, was not an unconstitutional taking of land because the unused development rights over the terminal could be sold to nearby developers.

But Mr. Penson’s lawyers argued in the suit that by granting SL Green the rights to build a tower “for free” that is twice as big as had been permitted by zoning, the de Blasio administration and City Council had rendered Grand Central’s air rights “worthless.”

“Taking the property of a private citizen for the benefit of another private citizen without any public purpose,” the lawsuit contended, is a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Therefore, “plaintiffs are entitled to be paid ‘just compensation’ by the city for the value” of the air rights, the lawsuit stated.

But SL Green and city officials pointed out that the developer had to commit to approximately $220 million in improvements to the crowded subway platforms and stairwells below Grand Central in exchange for the right to build the oversized tower. Construction of the tower, known as 1 Vanderbilt, has yet to start.

Jonathan Rose, a spokesman for SL Green, said the project would not be “sidetracked by frivolous litigation.”

One Vanderbilt has received broad support within the city, Mr. Rose said, “because of the project’s unprecedented commitment to improving the commutes for millions of New Yorkers and bringing state of the art office space to East Midtown.”

City officials declined to comment on the suit because they had not seen it. But Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the mayor, said the rezoning and project were “critical” to the city’s future. An investment group led by Mr. Penson bought Grand Central for about $80 million in 2006. The terminal itself had little value, the lawsuit on Monday contended, because the building was under a long-term lease to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for a relatively modest rent that declines over time.


Mr. Penson was betting, however, that the 1.2 million square feet of air rights connected to the terminal, which he bought for less than $60 a square foot, could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in a real estate boom.

The lawsuit contended that the air rights were worth $880 per square foot, a not-unheard-of sum for luxury residential projects, but one that most commercial developers believed was prohibitive for an office building.

In 2012, the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a political independent, proposed rezoning the area around Grand Central for taller office towers.

Under the proposal, which was unsuccessful, developers could buy additional development rights from the city or from district property owners, like Mr. Penson.

Mr. Penson’s secret negotiations with SL Green to sell his air rights collapsed after the developer concluded his price was too high.

This year, Mr. de Blasio and the City Council approved a plan to rezone a smaller section of the district known as Vanderbilt corridor. SL Green was allowed to build a 65-story office tower on the block bound by Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues, between 42nd and 43rd Streets, in exchange for the transit work beneath Grand Central.

Most of Manhattan’s top all-cash buyers have Chinese last names

Chinese names cash buyers

A full three-quarters of the top Manhattan cash buyers in the first half of the year had Asian surnames, according to the national market-watcher RealtyTrac.

The names Chen, Liu and Wong were the most common on the ranking of the top 20 cash buyers in Manhattan during the first six months of the year, RealtyTrac’s data show.

Chinese-names-list“Of the top 20 cash buyers in New York City, only five were non-Asian buyers, while the remaining 15 buyers were either overseas Asian buyers or Asian-heritage local buyers,” the company said in its September housing report.

The most common surname in China is “Li,” accounting for almost 7 percent of the population, according to Bloomberg.  “Chen” is No. 4 on the list.

Foreign direct investment in U.S. real estate rose to $104 billion in a 12-month period ending March 2015, a 10.4 percent rise over the prior year, according to an analysis published by the National Association of Realtors.

RealtyTrac’s ranking came from sales deed data, so it’s safe to assume that these are not the buyers purchasing properties through anonymous LLCs.

Earlier this year the New York Times published an investigative series scrutinizing LLC buyers at the Related Companies’ and AREA Property Partners’ Time Warner Center.

The newspaper found that over 80 percent of condo buys at the Time Warner Center were made by shell corporations. Shell companies own 77 percent of the condos at Gary Barnett’s One57 on Billionaires’ Row.

The practice of secret purchases has been criticized for enabling shady corporations and allegedly corrupt government to easily launder money through valuable real estate.

In response, the city instituted new rules in July requiring shell companies buying property to release the names of their members.

According to RealtyTrac’s data, the Chinese represent 16 percent of foreign buyers nationwide.

(Source: RealtyTrac)

– See more at:

Developer to erect super-pricey condo tower on controversial mosque site near Ground Zero

Sharif El-Gamal, who had planned to build a Islamic Center there, will build a 667-foot condominium, where units will sell for more than $3,000 per square foot.


It’s been four years since Manhattan developer Sharif El-Gamal shelved plans for a 15-story Islamic cultural center, near Ground Zero, that drew international debate. He’s looking to attract a different kind of attention for his current project on the site.

Mr. El-Gamal’s Soho Properties has proposed a 667-foot condominium tower at lower Manhattan’s 45 Park Place. The glass skyscraper, which has yet to break ground, will include at least 15 full-floor units of 3,200 to 3,700 square feet, and average prices higher than $3,000 a square foot, according to plans released to Bloomberg by the developer.

Prices at that level would be at least 13% more than the second-quarter average for new-development listings in the borough, according to Halstead Property Development Marketing. The ultra-luxury focus of the building highlights the newfound allure of lower Manhattan as an upscale destination, yet it comes amid growing concern about an oversupply of apartments for multimillionaire buyers.

“The tower is going to be a market-maker,” Mr. El-Gamal told us. “We’ve perfected a building that’s really going to share in a unique moment.”

Mr. El-Gamal’s original plans for an Islamic center and mosque at the lot—two blocks north of where the former World Trade Center towers stood—ignited a political controversy in 2010. Protesters called it the “Ground Zero mosque” and said its placement near the site of the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history would be an insult to those who were killed there.

Then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the project, citing religious freedom and the rights of private-property owners to develop their land as they see fit. (The former mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.)Downtown Renaissance

The community center plan was shelved in 2011 amid a struggle for financing and Mr. El-Gamal’s choice to seek more community input, he said. Now he’s seeking to take advantage of Manhattan’s luxury-condo boom and a downtown renaissance that has sent home prices up 28 percent since 2012.

The median price of apartments that sold in the area south of Chambers Street this year was $1.15 million, a 6.4 percent increase from all of 2014, according to StreetEasy, a property- data website. In 2012, the lower Manhattan median was $895,530. The area has gained 3,000 residents since that year, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York, a business-improvement group.

For Mr. El-Gamal, it’s been a long road toward building the tower, which is scheduled for completion in 2017. He bought the lot in 2009 for $4.85 million, according to public records. The project has $350 million in preconstruction financing from Madison Realty Capital, and construction loans probably will be in place by the fourth quarter, he said.

The developer anticipates breaking ground before the end of the year, with sales starting in early 2016. The plans and pricing are under review by the state attorney general’s office and aren’t officially approved yet.

“Every day that we’ve been waiting, the market has been getting stronger and showing incredible signs of resilience,” Mr. El-Gamal said. “The appreciation and absorption this market is showing is unprecedented.”

Supply surge

About 5,500 units are being planned or are under construction in the area south of Chambers Street, according to the Downtown Alliance. Elsewhere in Manhattan, developers, including Toll Brothers and HFZ Capital Group’s Ziel Feldman, are shifting toward less-pricey condos because the surge in new units has been priced at levels that only the ultra-wealthy can afford.

“There’s growing concern about the volume of new units coming on line that are targeting a fairly narrow bandwidth,” said Jonathan Miller, president of New York appraiser Miller Samuel. “There are already a number of projects with big units online now, so it might be a little late to the party, especially with the recent trend of unit size reductions to lower the actual asking price.”

Mr. El-Gamal sees a rosier picture of a neighborhood in which a penthouse in the Woolworth tower is listed for $110 million, luxury retailers are opening stores, and such media and technology companies as Conde Nast and Time are relocating. His project will still have a lower price per square foot, on average, than the towers being constructed on midtown’s 57th Street, a corridor that’s been dubbed Billionaire’s Row, he said.

Unobstructed views

The planned 70-story skyscraper, with varying tiers of balconies slightly offset from its core, was designed by Michel Abboud, founder of New York architectural firm SOMA, who likened its silhouette to a “mini condensed New York skyline.” Ismael Leyva Architects is translating Mr. Abboud’s exterior design concepts into floor layouts and detailed construction plans.

Unobstructed views to the north begin at close to 300 feet, above which all the apartments will be full-floor units with private elevators, Mr. Abboud said. Those homes will have 12-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, offering panoramic views of Midtown, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty. Two duplex penthouses will sit on the uppermost floors of the skyscraper.

“The surrounding buildings have these slope-y crowns and spires,” Mr. Abboud said. “We wanted the silhouette of our building to stand out against that background and reflect that it was a residential building.”Pool, Concierge

Amenities aim to evoke a five-star hotel, with a 50-foot swimming pool in the basement, concierge service, and a high- ceilinged private lounge, Mr. Abboud said.

Adjacent to the tower, Soho Properties will build a public plaza connected to a three-story Islamic museum and prayer space to be designed by architect Jean Nouvel, Mr. El-Gamal said.

He estimates that by the time the condo tower opens, the offices at the World Trade Center buildings will be filled with tenants, and retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue will have opened lower Manhattan locations.

“The center of gravity is shifting toward downtown, and we are literally in the heart of this new downtown,” Mr. El-Gamal said. “Once all the scaffolding is down, and once all the office space is leased, this will be the most significant residential neighborhood in New York City.”

Why are so many investors betting on rental housing?

Blackstone, Starwood and others cashing in on declining homeownership

September 22, 2015 04:00PM
By Konrad Putzier

Rental towers in Long Island City

Middle-income rental buildings are all the rage these days among some of the country’s biggest real estate investors. Take the Blackstone Group, which recently dished out $700 million for the Caiola family’s Manhattan portfolio, or the Related Cos. stealth acquisitions of multifamily properties in Brooklyn and the Bronx. On Monday, Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust merged with Colony Homes in another giant bet on the rental market. Why are these investors so gaga over rentals?

Observers point to two trends making rental housing a good investment – one national, and one New York-specific.

Since at least 2004, low- and middle-income households across the United States have been shifting away from homeownership, according to Trulia’s chief economist Selma Hepp. The 2008 housing crisis may have accelerated the trend, but its roots are structural: Stagnating real incomes that, coupled with the ballooning cost of healthcare and education and stricter mortgage lending standards, keep homeownership out of reach for a growing share of the population.

(Credit: U.S. Census Bureau)

“Being able to save for a down payment seems to be a big issue for [the millennial] generation.” Hepp said. “That, combined with lack of access to credit, is impacting homeownership.”

These factors push demand for rentals up, but supply of new rental product remains low following the recession. As a result, median rents have been climbing, at a quicker pace than both family incomes and inflation. For millions of “everyday Americans,” this means a painful dent in living standards. For firms like Blackstone and Starwood, it’s a chance to make a lot of money (see chart below).

(Credit: U.S. Census Bureau)

New York City, which has always been a renters’ town, is facing the same forces. “Rents rising is tied to tight credit,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel. ‘There’s a dearth of first-time buyers, and many are bumped into the rental market.”  Brooklyn’s median rent topped $3,000 in August – a new record, according to the latest Douglas Elliman report.

But the Big Apple is experiencing another trend that thrills owners of rentals: the ballooning cost of land. “I think developers are having a tough time penciling out the numbers on rentals,” said Jason Silverstein, co-founder of investment firm Silvershore Properties. It’s a common complaint that Manhattan’s high land prices make rental projects unfeasible here, pushing developers to go the luxury-condo route and making existing rental stock even more valuable.  This, at least, appears to be why firms like Blackstone are, in Miller’s words, “playing out the logical follow to the luxury condo boom.”

Daniel Parker, a broker at Hodges Ward Elliott, said the “smart institutional money” is wagering on housing for middle-income earners “because it offers attractive yields no longer available in the high-end condo or rental markets.”

Blackstone, a company that has been able to consistent generate double-digit returns since the crisis, exemplifies this strategy. In July, it bought 25 apartment buildings from the Caiola family in partnership with Fairstead Capital. The buildings are clustered in Chelsea and the Upper East Side – two areas that have seen a lot of luxury condo construction. Nationwide, Blackstone owns about 50,000 single-family homes, which it bought following the financial crisis and turned into rentals.

“In terms of our business, we are 97 percent occupied. We are seeing 4-plus percent rental growth, “ Blackstone’s head of real estate Jonathan Gray told CNBC in July. “We think it’s a real business.”

Tall Expectations

LLNYC asks workers building Midtown’s new luxury towers what they think of them

by Isabel Schwab, The Real Deal


432 Park Avenue when it topped out last year and a view of it's 75-foot indoor swimming pool

promotional video for 432 Park Avenue from 2014 has a sped up time-lapse video of the construction progress. From a hole in the ground, the building grows, higher and higher as if by magic. And befitting a fantasy tower, when finished, it will have the highest roof in New York City at 1,396 feet and will be the tallest residential tower in the world. That is, until 217 West 57th Street (aka the Central Park Tower), right down the block, finishes construction in 2018 at 1,522 feet.

Magic, of course, is not how 432 Park — or any of the mega-expensive, supertall towers on the stretch of Midtown from Park to Eighth Avenue around 57th Street — are being built. Hordes of construction workers have been toiling diligently for long hours in the summer heat to erect them on time and on budget. But what do they really think about them? I went to find out.

“It’s a sign of progress, I guess,” said a worker at 220 Central Park South. “I don’t give a rat’s ass.”

Another worker on 432 Park was a bit more appreciative, saying about his building, “Construction-wise, it’s amazing. There are great features, the design is not standard,” and, no surprise, “the view is everything — there’s nothing you can’t see.”

The average salary for a construction worker in New York City is $54,120, according to U.S. News and World Report, a tiny fraction of the cost of homes they are building. The penthouse at 432 Park Avenue sold for $95 million in 2013 and the penthouse at One57 just down the block sold for $100.5 million back in January.

Many of the workers I spoke to, though, are just happy for the steady income, and didn’t seem particularly concerned about the glaring inequality. “The rich are building whatever they damn well please. I just put them up,” said one worker on 220 Central Park South. Another expressed a similar sentiment: “I’m glad they’re building stuff and I have a job.”

Some of the workers had no idea how much the apartments cost or who is moving into them. “My daughter told me what this was,” said a worker at a project at 217 West 57th. When I told a worker at 220 Central Park South that the penthouse was asking between $150-$175 million (there were rumors in June that a combined apartment in the building might sell for $250 million), his mouth formed a perfect “O.” He was silent for a few seconds, and then shook his head, muttering, “The rich want everyone out of here. That’s what they’re doing.”

“It’s New York,” said another at 432 Park Avenue, shrugging his shoulders. “I don’t have time to tell you everything I feel about this.”

Many of the workers do not live in Manhattan, but in the boroughs or suburbs — and said they had no interest in living in these apartments. “I like my backyard,” said one worker on 432 Park Avenue. “I guess it’s a nice building, if that’s what you like.”


Studio         $699,000
1 bed           $1,349,000
2 beds         $3,395,000
3 beds         $7,999,000
> 3 beds      $19,725,000


Studio         $2,925
1 bed           $4,000
2 beds         $6,500
3 beds         $7,800
>3 beds      $27,000


The Chinese are about to flood the US real estate market

The chaos of the past few weeks is pushing wealthy Chinese to make a tough decision

August 30, 2015 03:00PM
By Business Insider 

After yet another drop in the Shanghai stock market and Hang Seng index on August 6, Daniel Chang heard his cell phone ping. The real-estate agent was on a business trip in Shanghai, and he was mid-bite during a dinner when he saw his phone light up from a message on his app, WeChat.

It was a Chinese client concerned over a $6 million property she was about to buy in New York City. She was visiting New York at the time.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” she told him over voicemail. “I might have to back out.”

She wanted some time to reconsider, she said, and maybe recoup her losses on the Chinese stock. She was considering dropping the $600,000 she had already put down on the cooperative — she had already lost as much on the stock market.

Then, over the course of a week, the Shanghai Composite had a brief and unsteady rise, while the yuan devalued by 3.2%. Chang’s client surveyed the apartment one more time.

She closed the deal.


Chang’s client is one of the group of wealthy Chinese caught in between a rock and a hard place: Leave their assets in China to potentially weather additional market volatility and yuan devaluations — or put it in real estate that is now more expensive than just a few weeks earlier.

“Lots of my clients have been hit heavily by the equity market,” Chang, who was once a vice president at HSBC’s private bank, told Business Insider through a series of interviews. “But that only makes them more determined to diversify out of China.”

The chaos of the past few weeks is likely to lead to an acceleration in the rate of real-estate purchases by wealthy Chinese buyers in the US and elsewhere.

“[Chinese] Investors who were looking at investing overseas may bring forward their purchases,” James MacDonald, head of Savills Research in China, wrote in an email to Business Insider. “While some of those that may not have been considering the purchase of property in the U.S. may now look at doing so.”


The Chinese see US real estate as a relatively moderate risk, high-return investment, Svenja Gudell, the chief economist at real-estate-research site Zillow, told Business Insider. Especially if buyers anticipate further RMB devaluation and market volatility.

Wealthy Chinese are already the largest group of foreign real-estate buyers in the US, with 16% of the single homes and condominiums purchased by foreign buyers snapped up by Chinese last year, according to the US National Homebuyers Association. They were trailed by Canadians, who bought 14% of homes.

These houses are typically more expensive properties, worth an average $831,800. Domestic buyers average $345,800 on a new single-family home, according to the US Census Bureau.

Brokers in the US can see the shifting sentiment among their Chinese real-estate clients.

Emma Hao, a broker for Douglas Elliman who specializes in Chinese clients, told Business Insider she’s already felt an increase in urgency among her buyers to purchase property in the US before the yuan devalues further.

“Because they are insecure about the economy and the politics, with the RMB devaluation, the stock market got mashed, and the real estate in China is a big bubble — there is nowhere to go.”

Chinese homebuyers also like the US real-estate market as a base for children who have been educated abroad, and as way to diversify holdings.

Andrew Wu, a real-estate agent at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s who caters to Chinese luxury-real-estate buyers in Long Island, told Business Insider: “They’re looking for a safe haven, and the real-estate market has always been looked upon as a safe haven for Chinese buyers.”

The US is also seen as more politically and socially stable, according to Hao. Chinese President Xi Jingping started focusing on an anti-graft campaign back in November.

Many of China’s rich have ties to the political figures, and many will look for somewhere to stay away from government scrutiny, Hao said.

“Because of the crackdown, many people got thrown into prison, and the political people are always connected to the rich people — they do business. They need their help,” she said. “People worry about their own position.”

More and more Chinese buyers will also be eyeing residential property as an investment, according to Gudell, the chief economist at Zillow.

She said she expects to see a different kind of Chinese buyer seeking property in the US: A reduction in buyers looking for homes, but an increase in those looking for investment properties.

“Where they are buying will also be different. The investor will buy in higher-tier neighborhoods, such as New York or Los Angeles,” she said.

Chinese individuals are also being actively encouraged to buy abroad by the government.

Thus far, Chinese individuals have been allowed to convert $50,000 into other currencies annually — though there are ways to skirt the regulation.

That is about to change, with the Chinese government readying the launch of the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor program.

The QDII2 is an overseas-investment scheme that would allow Chinese citizens to invest overseas directly. Those with at least $160,000 in financial assets qualify.

The program is likely to launch this year and will bolster overseas real-estate purchases on the part of the Chinese.

“With QDII2 in mind, within five years we might look back and think of the current levels of Chinese cross-border investment as quaint,” Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of, a website that helps Chinese to buy properties abroad, said to The Wall Street Journal in July