Blair paid US$500,000 for 20 minute talk in Dongguan

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The real estate market in China may be a giant bubble waiting to burst, and the recent changes to the regulations on foreign investment into the sector will make it harder for foreigners to profit from the sky-high rates, but at least one person has found a way to turn a profit. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was paid more than US$500,000 for a 20-minute speech in Dongguan.

This what the Financial Times found:

Dongguan Guangda, a local property developer, this week paid Mr Blair a post-tax speaking fee of $330,000 and paid another $175,000 in tax on his behalf, according to the Guangdong provincial tax bureau.

Mr. Blair’s lucrative speech to a group of about 600 Communist party officials, businessmen and investment bankers confirms he has shot into the super league of after-dinner speakers.

The speech was part of a whirlwind speaking tour through China that began last Monday with a speech to the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce and continued with another on Wednesday to the BusinessWeek CEO conference in Beijing. He finished off his tour with a stop at the Diaoyutai State Guest House on Thursday morning where he was the guest of Ospraie, a large commodities hedge fund according to the Times.