Over in its Market Notes section, Skate’s has taken a look at the intriguing machinations of Poly Culture Group, the third-largest auction house in the world, which is owned by the Chinese government and which got a new executive at the beginning of the year, Xu Niansha. It seems that, while the art market in China has chilled recently, Poly has committed some $500 million to buying Chinese art.
From the report:
In addition to direct buying on its balance sheet, Poly Culture Group runs an elaborate art investment operation managing 17 third-party-owned art investment trusts with a total of RMB 1.39 billion ($227 million) in assets, as well as its own Poly Art Investment program, which the firm pledged to increase from RMB 200 to RMB 300 million in 2015 (that is by 50% to about $49 million).
Thus, all in all, Poly Culture Group has the equivalent of $0.5 billion already committed to art buying6 (exclusively Chinese art) and sits on a further $250 million in cash and cash equivalents to do more if needed.
Skate’s is the art business intelligence unit of ARTnews S.A.