Publications

- April 1, 2019: Vol. 11, Number 4

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Capital controls: Changing trends for institutional and high-net-worth investors have implications for Trump’s trade war and economic volatility

by Ben Briggs

The boom of Chinese investment in US commercial real estate, which lasted from 2014–2017, has been largely curtailed by China’s enactment of foreign exchange currency controls. But what are the actual effects of this policy, and what do the Chinese government’s underlying motivations tell us about when we can expect capital controls to end?

Anbang Insurance Group Co’s multibillion-dollar hotel buying spree seems to have stopped, Dalian Wanda Group Co is now a seller, Ping An Insurance Group Co’s US team is quiet, and Chinese institutions have recently become net sellers. The Wall Street Journal reports Chinese investors sold US$1.29 billion of US commercial real estate in second quarter 2018, while purchasing only US$126.2 million of property. This marked the first quarter these investors were net sellers since 2008, according to data from Real Capital Analytics.

Acquisition departments at firms such as Anbang and Wanda have largely disbanded or scal

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