Hong Kong auction pulls in $8 million

Interesting what a tax break can do.

Acker Merrall & Condit Co., the world's largest wine auctioneer, sold $8,200,000 US of wine in Asia's biggest wine sale in Hong Kong -- after the city abolished taxes on wine.

A dozen bottles of 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti brought in the highest lot price, 1.89 million Hong Kong dollars, or about $242,000 US, an auction record for a case of Romanée-Conti.

The buyer was a collector from Singaporean whose second bid of 1.56 million Hong Kong dollars or about $200,000 US won the lot. The final price includes a 21% buyer's premium that the auction firm will donate to helping victims of the May 12 earthquake in China's Sichuan province.

The Hong Kong government abolished duties on wine in February in a move designed to win a part of the market for trading, storing and shipping wine. Most Asian wine investors currently buy and store rare wines in London.

A lot of three magnums of Dom Perignon (1966, '73 and '76) sold for $93,000 US, an auction record for champagne.

According to Hong Kong's Trade Development Board, Asian wine consumption rose 60% percent to $7.4 billion from 2002 to 2007.

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