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Stanley Ho


Parsad
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For those interested in all sorts of businesses, I thought this expansive Bloomberg article on Macau and Stanley Ho would be interesting.  I don't gamble, but I certainly enjoy the economic aspects of the business, without coming to any specific allusion on whether it is moral or not.  I'm always fascinated by how different people approach the same business, and this story does a pretty good job of discussing Ho, as well as other casino magnates in the U.S. and Asia.  Cheers!

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=atoSngbDQRzI

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I remember reading a David Winters interview where he predicted that the Chinese, and Asia for that matter, would increase their standards, resulting in more business for Wynn Resorts. That's probably true in the long run, but I've been to Hong Kong many times and China once, and what struck me is how selective the people are in their luxuries.

 

There were quite a few Chinese people who were extremely rich, +$20MM, but who lived in upper-middle class homes, traveled coach or business, and basically scrimped. Then they would spend huge amounts on food, oriental medicine, etc... It just seemed like the Chinese and Hong Kong rich were, for now, very focused in their luxuries.

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There were quite a few Chinese people who were extremely rich, +$20MM, but who lived in upper-middle class homes, traveled coach or business, and basically scrimped. Then they would spend huge amounts on food, oriental medicine, etc... It just seemed like the Chinese and Hong Kong rich were, for now, very focused in their luxuries.

It's true people spend a lot more on food and things Westerners may find "strange", I think it's more to do with culture, food and Bai Jiu (hard liquor) are a huge part of culture, history, business and enjoyment, not like US dominated by "fast food"/fast nation culture, gourmet food is appreciated and enjoyed, especially in China, HK, and Taiwan.

 

My observation and experience with other luxury goods are different though. People spend a huge amount on housing and view property ownership more than on simple economic terms, everyone wants to have a place of their own, thus push property price to crazy levels. For example, in China it's common to see people buying a property which is 10X their household income.

 

For luxury goods like expensive cars, cool gadgets, watches, perfume, handbags, people just snap them. Do you know anyone in US who spend 2 weeks salary for a cell phone, or 1 month salary for a handbag? There are plenty of them in China. A year ago I read China has become the 2nd largest market for luxury goods worldwide, people seem to have so much money (sometime can't really explain how they got it) and very optimistic, so they spend a lot.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've lived in Taiwan for 15 years and can offer you some insight as to why Taiwan and China are such huge markets for luxury goods. Most  (not all) children live with their parents until they get married. If they don't get married or get married very late, they stay in the same house with their parents. I have two sister in-laws and a brother in-law all in their thirties who still live in the same house as their parents (this is common). None of them make very much money (at most $1200US) a month, however this is completely disposable (especially for the girls). They need to save almost nothing and have almost no expenses, so this means that they spend a huge amount of money on luxury accessories. They're quite happy to go and spend their entire months salary on a bag from Louis Vuitton, Prada or Gucci. Many asian women fall into this kind of situation and riding a bus here, it's crazy how many women in their twenties or thirties are walking around with handbags representing at least a months salary. Watches and high-end cellphones do well for the same reasons.

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I've lived in Taiwan for 15 years and can offer you some insight as to why Taiwan and China are such huge markets for luxury goods. Most  (not all) children live with their parents until they get married. If they don't get married or get married very late, they stay in the same house with their parents. I have two sister in-laws and a brother in-law all in their thirties who still live in the same house as their parents (this is common). None of them make very much money (at most $1200US) a month, however this is completely disposable (especially for the girls). They need to save almost nothing and have almost no expenses, so this means that they spend a huge amount of money on luxury accessories. They're quite happy to go and spend their entire months salary on a bag from Louis Vuitton, Prada or Gucci. Many asian women fall into this kind of situation and riding a bus here, it's crazy how many women in their twenties or thirties are walking around with handbags representing at least a months salary. Watches and high-end cellphones do well for the same reasons.

 

Sogo and Mitsukoshi whole heartily agree with you.

 

I live in Taiwan as well, (Taipei-Muzha area) meeting fellow value investors is always a blast. Send me an e-mail if you want to met up. claphands22@gmail.com  

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