To gauge London’s place in the global economy, you could examine World Bank statistics, canvass investors and analyze trade volumes. Or you could visit Mahiki, a Polynesian-themed nightclub in upmarket Mayfair where a bottle of Cristal Champagne goes for $719 — and Russian customers are being supplanted by revelers from countries including China andNigeria.
“We’re seeing a lot less Russian surnames on the booking sheet,” said Michael Evans, the creative director of the club, where the likes of Rihanna and Prince Harry have been spotted after dark. “It’s very easy to see what’s going on in the world from the markets we attract.”
With violence continuing in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin pushing to reduce reliance on the West, wealthy Russians are buying fewer high-end goods from furs to Ferraris, and doing less business with the city’s law firms and investment banks. That leaves London, uniquely connected to faraway, fast-growing economies, looking for new patrons, with China and sub-Saharan African countries pitched as possible successors. Read more..