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Art collectors seek liquidity as market plummets

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Collectors and investors flood auction houses during what is usually the off-season

Inquiries about art loans reportedly increased after global equities plunged. The unfortunate event led many to view their collections as assets and investment to cash-in.
 

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MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Bloomberg Business reports many collectors and investors are calling in regards to the borrowing terms and other liquidation entities they could use to suffice financial transactions following the global equities plummet.

Elizabeth von Habsburg, managing director of Winston Art Group, says, "Ten years ago no one in the art market paid close attention to these corrections in the stock market. Now clients respond immediately."

Winston Art Group, an independent art appraisal and advisory firm, is one of many firms reportedly receiving an increased number of inquiries regarding art liquidations.

Art collectors and investors seem to be looking for liquidity of their valuables in the event of an even more unsatisfactory global market performance.


Von Hasburg notes, "Collectors are finally realizing they can make their art work as an asset that they can get liquidity out of."

Although art boutiques reported the increase in inquiries, several banks noted that they have not received the same volume of related calls.

John Arena, senior credit executive for Bank of America's Private Wealth management Business said, "When liquidity leaves the marketplace people will consider art loans as an option to replace volatile margin securities loans."

Art dealer Asher Edelman of Art Assured Ltd. reports, "There are many margin calls."  He claimed some calls were to discuss loans against their collections while others wanted to determine whether it was wiser to sell their pieces.

Late August became a busy period although major auctions are not usually held until November. Auction houses became more engaged with global equities as prices of art works soared.

Meanwhile, due to the galleries' holiday, it is still hard to determine the immediate impact of the stock market sell-off in reference to their prices and sales.

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