The super-rich and bon viveurs who choose to invest in fine wines can value their cellars through the London International Vintners Exchange. Set up by former stockbrokers James Miles and Justin Gibbs, Liv-ex operates an electronic trading exchange. Its members, predominantly fine-wine merchants, buy and sell online and by phone, with up to 20,000 cases changing hands each year. The company charges a commission on each transaction, 90% of which are top-tier Bordeaux at an average value of £8,000 per transaction. The rising price of fine wines and a growing market share have helped to push up sales 59% a year from £2.6m in 2003 to £10.6m in 2006.
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