Who likes kicking back with a bottle of Remy Martin more than hip hop superstars? China does!
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that China is set to become the largest consumer of French cognac in the world. With the country’s rising middle class increasingly seeking new status symbols, pricey cognac is ranking high on wish lists:
“Among the Chinese, cognac is regarded as a status symbol and is often given as a gift between businessmen and poured at corporate events and family banquets alike.
Last week, Pernod Ricard said that its Martell cognac brand was growing strong, thanks to Chinese demand. Martell sales grew 28% over the last six months of 2011, compared with the year-earlier period, making it one of the company’s fastest-growing brands. Earlier this year, Remy Cointreau SA said its sales of Remy Martin cognac grew 37% over the nine months ending in December. Like Pernod, Remy said Chinese demand was the main factor for the leap in sales.
The Chinese obsession with cognac has led its fans to chase down the most expensive and rare forms of the drink. In September, a Hong Kong woman spent more than $150,000 on a bottle of 1858 Cognac Croizet, a world record, at an auction held in Shanghai.”
Could be yet another method in which this Eastern giant is keeping Europe’s economy alive–Reuters is reporting European stock exchanges on the rise, thanks in part to China.
“European stock index futures rose on Monday, boosted by China’s move to increase banks’ lending capacity to combat slowing growth in the world’s second biggest economy and by mounting hopes that debt-stricken Greece is about to get a second bailout package.
… European shares rallied on Friday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index hitting a level not seen since before the market’s early August nosedive, fuelled by renewed expectations of a bailout deal for Greece, seen as key to further ease tensions over the euro zone debt crisis.”
What do you think. Is China Europe’s knight in shining armour?
Read more about the French economy in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!