酒訊專訪 Liv-ex創辦人James Miles

酒訊專訪 Liv-ex創辦人James Miles
葡萄酒投資 多元化服務興起

近年國內品飲葡萄酒的人口愈來愈多,一些有實力且具跨國視野的投資客,也開始投入國外已經相當盛行的葡萄酒投資。《WSD 酒訊雜誌》特地越洋專訪「倫敦國際葡萄酒交易所Liv-ex」的創辦人James MilesLiv-ex的葡萄酒指數,被認為是「最具公信力的葡萄酒銷售指標」,James Miles將分享創辦Liv-ex 的經過和葡萄酒指數服務的核心價值

Liv-ex London International Vintners Exchange(倫敦國際葡萄酒交易所)的縮寫,由前股票經紀人James Miles Justin Gibbs 1999 年創辦。Liv-ex 為葡萄酒的專業買家和賣家提供全球性的交易市場,一改過去不透明的市場機制,引入了高效、透明的新標準。交易所的服務包括Liv-ex 線上交易平台、引領市場的資料服務,以及專業的物流解決方案。

 


紅酒指數:景氣風向球

Liv-ex 創立之初,業務專注在紅白酒的交易上,成立3 年後開始發展指數服務。指數服務依據全球頂級的葡萄酒價格編撰而成,高級葡萄酒指數雖然沒有嚴謹的學術基礎,但卻是個「有意義、可供參考」的指標。隨著新富階級興起,購買及投資高級葡萄酒的富豪也日益增加,在金融風暴下,這些富豪階級受到的衝擊相對較小,景氣回升時則是最大受益者,故Liv-ex 指數可作為全球景氣的參考依據。部分財經專家認為,紅酒指數也可以視為一種股市領先指標;在景氣非常難預測之下,Liv-ex 的紅酒指數上揚,代表富豪階級開始出手投資,股市可能隨後跟進。

 

葡萄酒的投資項目
一般來說,與葡萄酒相關的投資標的,較常見的方式有「現酒、期酒、葡萄酒基金」這三種項目。

‧ 現(貨)酒投資:現(貨)酒是最常見的葡萄酒投資方式,最低交易單位是酒莊原始木箱一箱,正常情況下每箱有12 瓶,每瓶750ml。除非特別稀有年份或酒款,否則很少以單瓶交易。

‧ 期酒投資:指在酒莊還未裝瓶的葡萄酒,是最具潛力的投資方式。酒莊通常在當年採收結束後,尚未裝瓶之前開始發售期酒。

‧ 葡萄酒基金:由專業人士進行葡萄酒投資,架構期酒和現酒的投資組合。如果專業知識不夠,又想參與葡萄酒投資,葡萄酒基金是個可以考慮的選擇。

 

 

以下是《WSD 酒訊雜誌》和Liv-ex 創辦人JamesMiles 的訪談紀要:

葡萄酒與投資

WSD:你從英國畢業之後,回到香港當股票分析師,是因為主修經濟嗎?重回香港的原因是什麼?

James Miles其實我大學時是主修歷史(但是我的經濟學分拿到A)。回到香港工作,是因為我在香港出生,也一直把它當作故鄉;另一方面,我1991 年大學畢業時,英國的經濟正在衰退,整個大環境找工作並不容易。相比之下,當時的中國經濟改革開放,亞洲正強勢成長,而香港的經濟不斷看漲,在金融業有很多工作機會,顯而易見當時選擇在香港起步是理所當然的。

I actually studied history at university (although I did do an A level in economics). I returned to Hong Kong, because I was born there and regarded it as my home. Also when I left university in 1991, there was a recession in the UK and the environment for finding jobs was not good. By contrast, with China opening up and Asia growing strongly at that time, the Hong Kong economy was buoyant and there were lots of jobs in finance, so it seemed like an obvious choice to start my career in Hong Kong.

WSD:在你創立一間以葡萄酒交易為業務的公司前,是什麼機緣接觸到葡萄酒?可以分享你與葡萄酒的歷史嗎?

James Miles我的家族(但不包含我父親)好幾個世代都在投資葡萄酒,但我父親非常熱愛法國葡萄酒,尤其是波爾多紅酒,所以我幾乎可以說是在充滿老馬德拉酒、波爾多紅酒、波特酒的環境下長大。而我自己是在90 年代初期的香港,因為一位好友的介紹,喝到非常好的波爾多紅酒;他在90 年代初期買了很多波爾多二級酒莊的紅酒,那時它們相對來說還很便宜。他曾與我分享過的葡萄酒中,有一瓶我印象最深刻── Leoville Las Cases 1982 年的李維拉斯卡堡──超棒的紅酒,我覺得現在他一定非常想揍自己,當年竟然與我分享那瓶酒。

My father was enthusiastic about French wine, particularly Bordeaux, so I grew up with it. My family (although not my father) have been involved in the wine trade for generations, so I grew up around old Madeira, Bordeaux and Port. It was in Hong Kong, however, in the early nineties that I was first introduced to really fine Bordeaux by a close friend of mine. He bought a lot of second growths in the early nineties when they were still (relatively) cheap. The most memorable of which was Leoville Las Cases 1982 – a brilliant wine – he must be kicking himself now to have shared it with me!

WSD:你曾在一篇訪談中提到,在1995 年從購入5 箱Lafite 開始介入葡萄酒投資,當年的契機是什麼?

James Miles:那時候我在香港當股票分析師,我一位 朋友非常喜愛葡萄酒,而且他在英國葡萄酒交易市場中認 識很多人,有個機會可以用很好的價錢買10 箱1990 年 的Lafite,因為他無法負擔一次買進10 箱,所以我答應 和他合購。我們以一箱720 英磅購入,幾年後又以一箱 1,800 英磅賣出。 接著,我便用這些獲利,再度投資少量、而且是我自己 打算喝的葡萄酒如:Lynch Bages 林奇巴居堡紅酒,Haut Bailly 歐貝力酒堡紅酒,Leoville Barton 李維巴頓堡紅酒 和Pontet Canet 龐德卡內堡紅酒,現在我還留著其中幾 瓶,它們的價值可是遠遠高於當初購入的價錢呢!

When I was working in Hong Kong as an analyst a friend of mine, who was very passionate about wine and had lots of contacts in the UK wine trade, was offered an opportunity to buy 10 cases of Lafite 1990 at a good price. He couldn’t afford all of them himself, so I agreed to buy some. We paid about £720 per case and sold them a few years later for £1800. I reinvested some of these gains in lesser wines like Lynch Bages, Haut Bailly, Leoville Barton and Pontet Canet, which I intended to drink. I still have some of these, but they are now worth quite a lot more than I paid!

Liv-ex 的創辦契機

WSD:身為一位前股票經紀人,有許多可以投資的事 物,是什麼讓你決定創辦一間葡萄酒交易所?

James Miles:在香港當股票分析師,讓我有機會見到 許多成功的企業家,像是黎智英、潘迪生,我經常夢想自 己有天也能當老闆。網路的快速發展提供我許多機會,而 先前投資紅酒獲利的經驗,也開啟我以線上交易葡萄酒的 想法。 我發現紅酒市場和股票市場有很多相似之處,兩者投資 標的物和投資人都非常分散。如果沒有適當地組織紅酒市 場,就無法提高資訊交換及交易的透明度和效能。當許多 類似的問題已經在股市獲得解決,網路的便捷似乎可以解 決紅酒交易中所會面臨的問題。

As an analyst I got to meet many successful entrepreneurs in Hong Kong like Jimmy Lai and Dickson Poon and always dreamt of being my own boss one day. The Internet seemed to offer up many opportunities and my experience trading the Lafite gave me the idea to set up an online exchange for wine. I found that the wine market has many similarities with stocks and shares. Both markets are very fragmented by products and players. If not properly organised, this fragmentation, makes sharing information and trading opaque and inefficient. While many of these problems had been solved in the stock market, the Internet seemed to offer the opportunity to solve these problems for wine too.

WSD:Liv-ex 成立三年多後,怎麼會想發展 指數服務?

James Miles:為了業務發展建構交易平台, 所產生的附加價值就是我們整理出一個很大的投 資人資料庫。剛開始發展指數時只是覺得有趣, 但不久紅酒指數就攫取了葡萄酒和金融媒體的想像力,於 是我們發現,投資人對於紅酒交易市場上的數據、價值和 一些交易投資相關的資訊、策略有很大的需求。於是我們 推出各式各樣的資訊數據出售給客戶,目前這是我們很大 一部分收入來源。

As a by-product to building the trading platform we collected a huge amount of data from our customers. To begin with we created the indices for fun, but they quickly caught the imagination of the wine and financial press and we realized that there was considerable pent up demand for better price information and other insight about the wine market. As such we created various data packages of information and started selling them to our customers. This is now an important source of income for the business.

Liv-ex 的未來展望

WSD:Liv-ex 和一般股票、期貨指數的基本差異?

James Miles:最主要的差異在流動性,金融市場相較 葡萄酒市場更大,流通性也更高。與金融投資不同的是, Liv-ex 的投資項目無法立即交易,投資葡萄酒必須購買最 基本的數量(一箱)

The main difference is around liquidity. Financial markets are much larger and more liquid. Unlike many financial indices, it is not possible to trade the Liv-ex index at the moment. To invest in wine, you still need to buy the underlying commodity (ie cases of wine).

WSD:近幾年來指數的服務有越來越多分類項目,你 從哪些方面去決策和考量設立一個新的指數服務?

James Miles:我們最早的指數是針對波爾多紅酒市場 所設立的,但近幾年的發展趨勢,我們發現其他產區在葡 萄酒交易市場的成長,像是:布根地、香檳區、義大利和 加州的酒,於是我們推出其他指數服務以滿足市場交易的 需求。

Our early indices were focused on the Bordeaux market, but one of the trends in recent years is that we have seen growing demand on Liv-ex for wine from other regions such as Burgundy, Champagne, Italy and California. We developed these new indices to provide better insight into these markets.

WSD:目前Liv-ex 的最大收入來源有哪些?

James Miles:目前,交易、數據和業務結算服務,是 我們收入的三大主要來源,Liv-ex 成功的多樣化經營,使 我們在2011 年紅酒市場泡沫化風暴中穩住陣腳。

Today trading, data and settlement services are the three major sources of revenue for Liv-ex. The success of business diversification has steadied the company through the turbulence after the wine market bubble burst in 2011.

WSD:你期許Liv-ex 未來還能加入哪些服務?

James Miles:未來交易、數據和業務結算仍會是公司 獲利的主軸,但期許Liv-ex 更精進各方面服務,以吸引更 多業務的需求。

We expect trading, data and settlement to remain our core businesses in coming years, but we do expect that by improving our products in these areas that we will continue to attract more demand for our services.