Home-grown investment holding firm JR Asia & Partners Fund Management has engaged UOB Kay Hian (UOBKH) to help it access local capital markets to grow its premium wine business in Asia.
This is the first venture in JR Asia's investment portfolio and it hopes to start by dominating the lucrative Chinese wine market within the next two years.
The UOBKH appointment will help it boost its premium wine inventory, support its aggressive expansion in the region and allow it to invest more in promotion and marketing, it said last Friday.
JR Asia chairman Andrew Lim said: "In China, wine has grown over the past six years in social status and as an investment asset."
Based on the firm's research, wine import volumes there saw a compound annual growth rate of about 20 per cent from 2009 to last year.
"Demand for premium wines and similar labels is insatiable and impossible to meet. This is the space that JR Asia wants to dominate, over and above distributing premium wines that match the tastes and social index of various consumer groups," said Mr Lim.
Demand for premium wines and similar labels is insatiable and impossible to meet. This is the space that JR Asia wants to dominate, over and above distributing premium wines that match the tastes and social index of various consumer groups.
JR ASIA CHAIRMAN ANDREW LIM, on growing demand in China
JR Asia has formed a partnership with one of China's most established wine merchants, Laidesitong Wine (LDST), to distribute premium limited-edition and collector vintage wines there and in other Asian countries.
LDST holds exclusive distribution rights from some of France's oldest vineyards, such as Rothschild Lafite, Thienpont, Pont Des Arts and Francois Janoueix.
Meanwhile, JR Asia is looking to secure its own exclusive distributor rights to expand its premium wine presence in China and South-east Asia, Mr Lim said.