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Hong Kong Billionaire Lau Sets Two Records in 24 Hours

  • Tycoon buys $48 million diamond for seven-year-old daughter
  • His company sold Hong Kong's priciest tower for $1.6 billion
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Pure coincidence or impeccable timing? Either way, Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau has just pulled off a twofer for the history books.

On Wednesday night he paid 48.6 million Swiss francs ($48.4 million) at Sotheby’s in Geneva for a 12.03-carat blue diamond, the most ever spent on a gem at auction. Then, less than 24 hours later, his company Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd. sold an office tower in Hong Kong for HK$12.5 billion ($1.6 billion), more than twice the previous record for a commercial sale.