Property Investment Opportunities in Mongolia – Sheer Madness, or is it?

I attended recently a terribly smart cocktail party in a Belgravia Embassy. I hovered contentiously, as I usually do, near the bar and the exit of the kitchens.

As I reached discreetly for my 10th little foie gras toast in nearly so many seconds, I was addressed abruptly by a very distinguished but firm Lady in a large (and quite silly) hat.

She addressed me; chin up, with a chilly “now young man, what are you doing with yourself these days”.

Her question had the tone of a sarcastic demand full of contempt for a young man who wasted his life so well.

I recovered from the embarrassment of dropping the foie gras toast, and, only slightly put off, answered in my most polite voice that I was indeed selling flats in Mongolia.

My distinguished interlocutor visibly stiffened, in a sudden jerk, brought her handbag closer to her chest, and remained thus startled in a state fit for Madame Tussauds.

“It’s very exciting you know! Very interesting market out there.” Finally she declared, in utmost frustration in a barely controlled high pitched voice “MONGOLIA!! What on earth for!! Never heard such nonsense!!!” long pause… “I didn’t even know they had flats!”

With this declaration she did an abrupt about turn and went off muttering something to the likes of “silly little man, what gibberish, Mongolia…”

I was not in the least disturbed by this incident but instead found it rather amusing as this was not the first time I had a similar reaction, usually bewilderment.

Mongolia is not a country which people would associate with investments of any kind, neither did I until recently.

When I think of Mongolia the image of Genghis and his fierce warriors come to mind, I expect most people think alike.

I recently went there and was surprised, if slightly shocked, to find a country in a full economic expansion.

I had epic and romantic visions of proud horseman wondering around a city of tents; instead I was greeted by a large full scale soviet city complete with international restaurants, traffic lights and jams, bars and trendy nightclubs.

I enquired as to the reason for that incredible sight; here is what I learned:

In the past 18 months or so, Mongolia has enjoyed a kind of delayed post-Soviet boom, as years of gradual reform (and U.S. aid) finally begin to pay off. While other former satellites, including Ukraine and Belarus, never fully recovered from a post-Soviet economic depression, Mongolia has regained its Soviet-era income level ($500 per capita) and is not looking back.

The economy has grown at a rate of 10.6% for 2004 but is expected to stabilise around 8.5% for 2005. Mongolia cleared off its debt to Russia for assistance received during soviet times in 2003. Inflation is reducing every year and was only 5% in 2005 compared to the 53% seen in 1995 while its external debt is equally decreasing and has reached 1.1 billion USD. “Mongolia has made great progress towards its transition to a market based system since the early 1990′s” (IMF, letter of intent on Mongolia, 2003)

In 2004 large deposits of gold and other minerals such as copper, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, iron and ore were found; this is expected to create an incredible growth in the economy. A number of British and American Mining companies have moved in and will start extracting soon, this means a lot of foreign investment and a considerable expatriate community will develop from it.

Foreign investment is increasing every year and so are the numbers of tourists and expats. Political corruption is very low for the region and the government is stable and democratically elected.

Sadly the picture for the Mongolian economy is not all rosy, they export copper, apparel, livestock, animal products, cashmere, wool, hides, fluorspar, other nonferrous metals but everything else has to be imported. Unemployment is decreasing but is still at 6.7%. “This is a rough neighbourhood, with rough neighbours,” says a Western diplomat in Ulan Bator. “No former Soviet state has come so far, and no former communist country in Asia has shown as much commitment to reform as Mongolia.”

The Real Estate market is possibly the most interesting part of the economy. The numbers of apartments approved by the city has increased by about 20% every year for the past three and the rental yields are some of the highest in Asia at about 18%. It has been calculated that demand so far outstrips supply that it will not be equilibrated before 2015. There are an increasing amount of developers such as the American entrepreneur Mr Lee Cashell who make the most of this situation by developing large luxury residential projects in the heart of Ulaan Bataar as an investment opportunity for European Investors.

Mr Cashell has barely completed a very successful residential complex called the Park View Residence that he is already in Europe selling his new property to British investors and agents: the Regency Residence. This promises to be the most luxurious and attractive development in Mongolia.

What makes the Regency Residence so unique in Ulaanbaatar is that there are very few modern, new build apartment blocks. Especially ones built to a luxurious Western European standard. Other apartments in the city date back from the Soviet era and most could do with some serious renovation work. This makes new apartments like the ones at the Regency Residence extremely sought after, particularly as demand outstrips supply.

High interest cost, lack of investment capital and low equity financing is hampering the developer’s ability to build large scale luxury apartments and thus meet the large demand.

In the coming years it is expected that developer will be able to increase capacity and produce more apartments however the scarcity factor is expected to remain for years to come.

UB is one of the only cities in the world where half of its residents are not living in apartments as many citizens remain in the traditional dwellings in the hillside surrounding the city

Gloucestershire – Destination for Investment in UK

Gloucestershire is a county situated in South West England. Gloucestershire is geographically divided into the Costwolds, Severn Vale and the Royal Forest of Dean. Gloucestershire County is known for its transportation links and scenic beauty and includes the city of Gloucestershire, Regency Cheltenham and the riverside Tewkesbury. Gloucestershire is considered a paradise for private enterprises, as 78 out of every 100 people employed in Gloucestershire work in a private sector wherein pharmaceuticals, food and technology, financial services, engineering, manufacturing and avionics feature strongly.

Economic Profile of Gloucestershire:

Most of businesses in Gloucestershire have small-scale employers, with approximately 72% of businesses in Gloucestershire employing only 1-4 people as of 2006.

Even though there are relatively fewer large firms (0.5%) employing over 200 people, they still manage to employ a considerable proportion (23%) of the county’s employees. Major industrial sectors are identified by their potential economic performance. The key sectors in Gloucestershire are as follows:

• Advanced Engineering
• Finance and Business Services
• Construction
• Care
• Distribution
• Environmental Technology
• Leisure and Tourism
• The Public Sector
• Manufacturing
• Food Supply
• Creative Industries
• ICT

The top 5 reasons for investing in the UK are as follows:

1. It has a strong and proven balanced economy and is a proven inward investment location.
2. It boasts of an abundant, experienced and skilled labor force.
3. It has a well-developed transportation network providing links for doing business not only in the UK but beyond.
4. It has an amazing quality of life.
5. It offers major development locations providing superb regeneration opportunities.

Key Sectors in Gloucestershire:

1. Creative Media:
The University of Gloucestershire has announced its plans to invest £40m within the Blackfriars area of Gloucester for developing a new campus for its art, media and communications facility.

Many other Gloucestershire institutions such as the Arts & Media Department of Gloucestershire College and the Media Academy at Cirencester College also provide attractive opportunities to nurture and develop talent and offer valuable training courses.

The following industries in Creative Media are well-represented in Gloucestershire:

• Design & Marketing
• Crafts (especially in the Stroud area)
• Film & Video
• Software & Computer Services.
• Art & Antique Markets (especially in the Cotswolds)
• Advertising
• Publishing

2. Environmental Technology:

For an investor looking to invest in environmental technology, Gloucestershire offers a magnificent investment opportunity. The county is an exciting place when it comes to doing business associated with nuclear, biomass, renewables and recycling. It also hosts prominent employers such as British Energy and BNFL Magnox.

The Best Free Android Finance Apps

Obviously many people will be skeptical as to how good free apps actually are, with many consumers actually purposefully not downloading free apps due to fears that they will crash or being infected with various ways of stealing your money. However these fears are totally unfounded and without evidence so do not let this put you off. Now to the apps:

PayPal

If you have been on the internet at some point then you will have undoubtedly heard of PayPal. The service facilitates payments between people via a simple email address, avoiding the complexities usually associated with bank transfers and the like. The PayPal Android app allows users to manage their PayPal account just as they would through the official website. The app is totally secure and allows you to make purchases or deposits also amongst other activities on the move, a very useful addition to the marketplace.

Quote Pro

Quote Pro is also an incredibly useful app, used by many on a daily basis it has fast become one of the most downloaded in its range. Not only can you obtain extremely detailed and accurate information about the range of stocks you have an interest in, but you can also keep an eye on your portfolio of stocks and shares.

Tip Calculator by TradeFields

Tip Calculator is perhaps one of the most imaginative apps I have personally seen on the app marketplace. It is incredibly useful for an aspect you will have probably have struggled with every time you’ve been out for a meal, the tip. Not only will the app inform you of the total tip you should be leaving behind, but will also divide the total tip amount between the number of people at the dinner, saving much embarrassment, delays and napkin calculations!

Currency Converter

How many times have you been in a foreign country or at the airport and have been wondering how much you will actually get in return for your dollars? Numerous times in all probability. The currency converter provided by Pocketools will enable you to be provided with an accurate, up to date and independent currency exchange valuation allowing you to shop around to find the best exchange rate. Not only does this app provide you with the current exchange rate, it will also give you data on the currency of your choice over the last 5 year period through the use of many easy to read graphs.

Mileage

This is without doubt one of the best apps I have personally seen. With the rising prices of gas which look set to continue for the foreseeable future it is a great way of ensuring that you are driving as economically as possible and therefore saving as much gas as possible. I haven’t an idea about how it works but it does, the interface is also extremely slick, simple to navigate through and to understand.

Finance

Finance, whilst the name of the app may not excite you or conjure up ideas that this app is going to change the world it certainly fills a gap in the market which needed a simple app. It’s similar to Google search in many aspects, it provides a very basic user interface, but one that is incredibly effective and performs its job excellently. If you already use Google Finance or are considering starting to use it then this app is vital, it synchronizes everything meaning it’s like being on your main PC.

Financisto

Financisto is another great money manager. The ability to create long and short term budgets for holidays, short breaks or just a simple shopping trip is a real plus point for this app and one which has seen it rocket in terms of popularity. In addition to this the app has the capability to check your recurring payments amongst many other essential financial activities; this has left many users of the marketplace wondering why there is no charge.

What Stands Behind Capital One Credit Cards and Savings Products?

In the times since the global financial crisis, it has increasingly become a concern as to what the backing of the financial institution that issues your credit card or holds your saving account is. There are a number of laws which regulate the financial system and try to ensure that customers can rely on banks to honour their obligations which can be a particular concern in relation to savings products. Title 12 of the United States Code in part 325 specifies a number of ‘capital adequacy requirements’ in relation to all banks. The aim of these requirements is to force banks to adequately provision of a crisis and ensure that they will remain solvent even if there is a large crisis. Banks must report periodically on their arrangements to show regulators that they are meeting the capital adequacy requirements.

Capital One at the moment is, when measured by asset pool, the 8th largest bank in the United States with balance sheet assets of approximately USD$286bn in 2012. Amongst other distinctions, the company is also one of the largest customers of the United States postal service. Its head office is in Fairfax County Virginia and the current chairman, CEO and President of the company is Richard Fairbank. It is one of the fastest growing banks in American history having been founded in 1988 by the current CEO. Like many banks in the American financial system, Capital One was the recipient of a bail out during the sub prime mortgage crisis of 2007 when it received $3.56bn from the United States Government in exchange for 3,555,199 shares in the company. By the end of 2009, the company had managed to buy the government out of the business.

As well as being involved in credit cards, Capital One has an Auto Finance Division which is a substantial part of the company. An entity known as Capital One 360 is also now in existence having formerly been known as ING Direct on the idea that a bank could perform retail services entirely on the basis of an online model. This division of the company has no branches and only maintains a physical presence in the form of call centres and online processing maintenance facilities. The online bank model seems to achieved some success given that the lower overheads from rent and staff result in lower costs to consumers and therefore a better outcome.

One of the notable characteristic of Capital One is that it appears to have retained an ability to ride out the periodic financial storms which emerge in the world of consumer credit. It has grown consistently throughout good and bad times in consumer finance and continues to grow based on the analysis of its most recent financial data. This history of growth and the ability to ride out financial storms appears to bode well for the credit and savings products of Capital One.

Where to Find Car Loan Low Interest Finance

You may be surprised to learn how much you will be able to save when you take out car loan low interest finance. If you have been working hard to negotiate the best sale price on your new car, you certainly won’t want to negate the savings you make by paying dearly for finance. There are many companies around who can offer you a good deal on an auto loan and, when looking for car finance, you should aim to pay the lowest rate you can.

When looking for car loan low interest finance you should ensure that you consider all options available to you. A lot of people feel more comfortable sticking with their own financial institutions or the larger bank lenders as they seem to think they will be able to provide the best loans at the best rates. This is not always the case. These days there are a large number of non-bank lenders who provide car loan low interest finance.

Probably the best place to start looking for car loan low interest finance is on the internet. The majority of non-bank loan providers operate solely online as it is an easy way to set up their business without having to outlay a lot of capital. These companies also have minimal running costs, so they can afford to offer car loan low interest finance and still make a reasonable profit.

It is important, when searching for car loan low interest finance, that you realize that interest rates can vary considerably between lenders these days. Ensure that you take the time to shop around and get as many quotes as possible, as you may never know when you will come across the perfect auto loan at the lowest price around. It is only by approaching as many lenders as you can that you will have any success in finding car loan low interest finance.

Looking for car loan low interest rate financing is quick and easy when you do it online. Not only can you compare lenders at a time that is convenient for you, but you will only need to enter your details once in order to receive multiple quotes. The other great thing about getting car loan low interest finance online is that the application process is incredibly straight forward. Once you have found a great rate from a reliable lender, you will be able to apply for your loan online by completing a standard application form. Your application will be submitted to your lender immediately and so the processing of your application is a lot faster.

One thing that you will need to be cautious about when getting car loan low interest finance online is that you will need to ensure that the lender you go with is legitimate and reputable. Sometimes a company that offers ridiculously low rates may not be the most trustworthy, so always take the time to find out more about a lender before signing on the dotted line. You can check out the business ratings of various lenders online through the Better Business Bureau or through auto finance review sites.