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Australian Art Investment Firm Launches In Hong Kong

Tara Loader Wilkinson

28 September 2012

A Sydney-based firm offering art as an asset class has launched in Hong Kong, offering a tangible -and affordable - investment option for risk-averse investors.

Collins and Kent International, founded 13 years ago, opened the doors to its gallery on Hollywood Road in Central this month. It provides investors with access to the original art works of some of the world’s most sought after artists – the Masters.

Works by artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, Matisse, Warhol and modern ‘Masters’ like Damien Hirst are available for purchase or rent.

"With the world’s financial markets in a constant state of flux, these tangible investments provide a history of solid price growth and are a good option for those seeking safe, long-term securities," said the firm in a statement.

Prices for the prints are surprisingly affordable. HK$40,000 is the current retail price of the lithograph ‘Apples, glass and knife’; a signed, original work by Picasso. Created in 1947, Picasso produced just 50 impressions of this work and originally sold them for US$140 (HK$1,140). By May 2006, the auction price was US$1,796 (HK$13,934) and today the same piece is valued at US$5,000 (HK$40,000).

Over the last five years the officially recorded APR was a staggering 29.1 per cent - an enticing rise in today's rock-bottom interest rate environment.

“Many great artists produced these kinds of works on paper," Michael Donnan, CKI’s Art Director for Asia-Pacific, said. "We specialise in the works of deceased masters because their reputations have been established and the number of their works in existence is finite. Together this means that their value can only increase.”

As well as sourcing and selling art, CKI also offers a corporate rental service, which allows art owners to unlock the value of their investment almost immediately.

Based on the value of their artwork, CKI currently guarantees a six and a half per cent dividend for the first two years of the rental scheme.