Visas granted to Chinese and Russians soar as high net worths shift focus to investments in UK

13 Jan 2015 | 09:55 am | 2 min. read

Visas to Chinese investors double in a year while visas to Russian investors up by 57% Part of broader trend of investment from China

The number of investor visas granted to Chinese and Russians has soared in the year to September 30th, as more High Net Worths shift their investment focus to the UK economy, says Pinsent Masons, the international law firm.

Pinsent Masons explains that the number of investor visas issued to wealthy Chinese nationals has doubled in a year, from 178 to 357*. Chinese nationals now account for 43% of all investor visas issued by the UK in the last 12 months, the biggest share of any country, up from a 10% share just five years ago.

The UK Government has also increased the number of investor visas granted to Russian nationals, up by 57% in the last year, from 117 in 2013 to 184 this year.

Pinsent Masons explains that the increased interest in investing shown by international High Net Worths in the UK is indicative of the shift away from investment in some emerging markets, such as China, after a prolonged period of rapid growth.

Pinsent Masons explains that both Chinese and Russian nationals have been looking to reduce exposure to their domestic economies as those economies face a slowdown in growth– those investors are now looking for security by investing in lower risk assets in the UK.

Recent volatility in the rouble has illustrated the risks of being over exposed to one emerging markets currency.

Pinsent Masons says that the increase in visas issued to Chinese High Net Worths (HNW) is part of a broader increase in investment in the UK from China. Recent research commissioned by Pinsent Masons estimates that Chinese annual investment flow in the UK is set to rise to £30 billion p.a. in 2025. Over half of this investment will be directed at infrastructure and real estate**.

Yuri Botiuk, Partner at Pinsent Masons, says that he does not expect the new rules introduced last month by the Home Office to have a substantial impact on the UK’s ability to attract HNW investment as most investors applying for Tier 1 (Investor) status will see the doubling in the required investment from £1 million to £2 million as relatively modest.

Yuri Botiuk explains: “Whilst the economic outlook in Russia and China has shifted in the last year, this rebalancing of assets out of emerging markets and into the more traditionally secure UK market is more about good portfolio management.”

“HNWs in Russia and China are concerned about diversifying their investments.”

Jill Turner, Senior Associate at Pinsent Masons, continues: “Investors in UK assets are attracted by the country’s long history of secure private property rights. Strong codes of corporate governance in the UK also offer greater investor and creditor protection.”

“A lot of Chinese HNWs have had almost all their wealth linked to the fortunes of the Chinese economy. That has served them very well but with Chinese economic growth slowing after a tremendous run some HMWs are rebalancing their portfolios away from China.”

Yuri Botiuk continues: “Despite the Ukraine crisis, there has been a slight increase in the number of investor visas granted to Russian nationals since last year" and notes that "the recent decline in the oil price is so recent that it is not yet reflected in the number of visas granted.”

Investor visas to Chinese nationals have doubled in the last year

 

The number of investor visas granted to Russian nationals has increased by 57% in just one year

*Year end September 30th 2014.

** China Invests West: Can Chinese investment be a game-changer for UK infrastructure? Pinsent Masons and Centre for Economics and Business Research

For further information please contact:

Yuri Botiuk, Partner, +44 (0)20 7054 2683 

Yuri[email protected]

Jill Turner, Senior Associate, +44 (0)1224 377 943

[email protected] 

Latest press releases

Show me all press releases

Pinsent Masons advises on purchase of Northern Ireland’s first major energy storage project

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised SUSI Partners on its purchase of a 50MW battery storage project from German renewables developer ABO Wind in Kells, Northern Ireland.

Pinsent Masons launches cyber security platform in response to surge of business cyber breaches

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has launched a cyber security platform and behavioural assessment service aimed at measuring and improving information security processes and employee behaviours, in the wake of a surge of business cyberattacks.

Pinsent Masons appoints technology transformation partner in London

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has recruited Ruby Khnom as TMT partner in London, where she will add significant strength to two of the firm’s key sectors- technology science & industry and financial services.

People who viewed this press release also viewed

Show me all press releases

Pinsent Masons bolsters Climate Change Mitigation and Sustainability team

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has named Michael Watson as its new Head of Climate Change Mitigation and Sustainability team, and appointed former OFGEM General Counsel, Euan McVicar, as Senior Climate Adviser.

Pinsent Masons wins Construction Law Firm of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has been named Construction Law Firm of the Year at the Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards. This is the eleventh time in twelve years that the firm has been awarded the Construction Law Firm of the Year accolade.

Pinsent Masons advises Mace Group Limited on Asia Pacific expansion with new partnership deal

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Mace Group Limited on its investment in the partnership with Tenman Group which include Tenman (HK) Limited, Tencore Limited and Tenman Project Management, Inc. (TPM)

For all media enquiries, including arranging an interview with one of our spokespeople, please contact the press office on

+44 (0)20 7418 8199 or 

Location contacts