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Hong Kong still has the world’s priciest office rents

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Rents are rocketing up to USD255.5 psf per year.

Knight Frank’s Skyscraper Index reveals that in Q2 2015, Hong Kong, at US$255.50 per sq ft per year, retains the title of the most expensive place in the world to rent office space in a tower building.

According to a release from Knight Frank, meanwhile, London (10.7%) and San Francisco (8.2%) are seeing the fastest rental growth for high-rise offices in the six months to June 2015, reflecting a buoyant occupier market in gateway cities.

Despite the uncertainties in the stock markets and the devaluation of the RMB, Thomas Lam, Senior Director, Head of Valuation & Consultancy, Knight Frank expects Hong Kong to continue to enjoy moderate rental growth with sustained demand from Mainland Chinese companies.

In 2015, around 40-50% of new lettings in Central involve Chinese firms. Meanwhile, Central’s office buildings are aging, with more than 50% of the district’s Grade-A offices being over 25 years old. For some of them, the need for renovation is seen.

Together with the shortage of new Grade-A offices in Central, such renovation will lead to a long-term impact to the district’s Grade-A office supply. Overall vacancy rates in Hong Kong decrease to 1.7% in September, and Central’s vacancy rate was as low as 1.4%, close to the historic low of 2008.

Here’s more from Knight Frank:

Hong Kong will still have the lowest prime yields (2.9%) among 20 global cities in the world by the end of 2015 as office property prices surged in previous years.
Looking ahead, Thomas Lam expects rents in Central will increase no more than 5% in 2016 and rents will slightly drop 0-5% in Kowloon East with abundant new supply in the pipeline.

Despite the concentration of quality stock and attractive rents in Kowloon East, we believe CBD2 cannot replace Central in the short term because only some firms or operations prefer relocating to Kowloon East. In the long term, the emerging CBDs will serve as complements, rather than direct competitors, to Central.

As some significant projects like CBD2, redevelopment of Wan Chai government offices have already been put in place to provide new office space, Knight Frank research shows that, Hong Kong is likely to face a shortage of office space of around 2 million sq ft (equivalent to an office tower of a comparable size to Two IFC) by 2020.

Thomas Lam remains positive about the long-term outlook for premium and Grade-A office buildings in the city, due to sustained long-term demand boosted by the Mutual Fund Recognition Scheme.

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Typhoon Koppu could dump nearly a meter of rain on the northern Philippines

Typhoon Koppu slammed into the Philippines with formidable winds this weekend—reaching 240 kph (150 mph) before landfall—but weather experts say the rain, not the wind, is the main worry.

The storm (known locally as Typhoon Lando) has already dumped massive amounts of rain on Luzon, the nation’s main northern island and home to nearly half its population of 98 million people. The death toll has been minimal, but with the exceptional rains expected to rage on for several more days, the risk of flash floods and mudslides is growing by the hour and over 16,000 have been evacuated so far.

The heavy rains are widespread across the island, including in Cabanatuan, a city in central Luzon:

Oct. 19 in Cabanatuan city, northern Manila.Improvised transport in Cabanatuan city, on Oct. 19.


Crossing a bridge in Cabanatuan city on Oct. 19.Crossing a bridge in Cabanatuan city on Oct. 19.

A flooded street in Cabanatuan city on Oct. 19.A flooded street in Cabanatuan city on Oct. 19.

Thousands of villages have fled their homes, wary of a repeat of previous typhoons. In 2009 more 460 people died from severe flooding and mudslides in the city of Baguio and other parts of northwestern Luzon. That’s when Typhoon Parma (known locally at Typhoon Pepeng) dumped 1,854 milliliters (73 inches) on the area.

Baguio, a high-elevation city of about 320,000, is getting especially walloped. As of earlyMonday (Oct. 19) morning, it had received 208.3 millimeters (8.2 inches) of rainfall, with 610 millimeters more possible in the coming days, even as the storm is weakening.

Some 15 to 20 million people live in the area of northern Luzon north of Manila, many of them in cities with steep hillsides or flood-prone rivers, and in some cases both. Many roads have already been flooded, and millions of people have suffered power outages.

Floods in Manila, one of the world’s most densely populated cities, are also a worry. Parts of the capital look oddly naked without road-side billboards, many of which were taken down ahead of the typhoon’s arrival.

Public warning systems have been greatly improved since 2013, when Super Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people.

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China’s latest GDP figure is pretty weak, but that doesn’t make it any more believable

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China’s National Bureau of Statistics released the country’s third quarter GDP growth rate today, and at 6.9% it was the lowest quarterly growth the country has clocked in more than six years, or since the first quarter of 2009.

Slowing GDP growth is part of China’s transition to a “new normal” of domestic consumption-led growth, and a quarterly number under the annual growth target of 7% was expected by analysts, investors, and governments. What’s interesting about today’s announcement is the open skepticism with which the rest of the world is greeting even this weak figure, which, after all, still beat analysts’ estimates of 6.8%.While China’s government-supported Shanghai Composite Index traded up all morning on the news, after an initial bump most stock indices fellin Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. After lunch even the Shanghai Composite Index headed south.
Market analysts, journalists, and fund managers took to social media, news outlets, and issued reports questioning the figures.
As one analyst from London’s IG Group, a spread betting firm, writes:
The 6.9% Q3 GDP print really just makes one question the veracity of both the Q2 and Q3 numbers. It’s hard to be overly optimistic about the headline number, especially given the range of other data released today.

A policy researcher for NSBO, the Beijing research house, told Reuters:

The GDP beat is surprising, given that the monthly FAI and industrial production figures slowed considerably, and much faster than expected.

The data would suggest that retail sales is holding up the data and there are other areas that the government is factoring in consumption and services data that are not picked up in the monthly figures.

An economist from Capital Economics said figures were overstating growth by a “wide margin” and explained (via the Wall Street Journal):

The continued stability of the official GDP figures will further cement concerns over their credibility. Flaws with how the GDP deflator is calculated, along with political pressure to meet growth targets that have become increasingly at risk, have meant that official growth rates have not slowed nearly as quickly as most third party measures of growth in recent years.

Others were less circumspect, like this economics professor:

China has long been accused of massaging its official economic numbers, and particularly its GDP figures, in order to hit pre-announced growth targets. But the number of outside observers in the finance industry who are questioning the figures has been growing in recent quarters, as the country’s slowdown increases.

Along with GDP, China released data on “nominal GDP”—which adjusts GDP to strip out the effects of inflation— and industrial production. Here figures were downright bad, with nominal GDP growing 6.2%, and industrial production growing 5.7% in September, missing analysts estimates of 6%.

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Tunisia exports the highest number of ISIL fighters of any country in the world

Tunisia is where the Arab Spring began. And of all the countries enveloped in the revolutions that followed, it is the only one where hopes of a democratic future remain strong. Just last week, the Nobel committee awarded the Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet this year’s peace prize, commending the group for “decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”

But the forces of democracy in the country are being challenged by darker elements in their midst. Tunisia has been troubled by repeated terror attacks this year, and is now believed to contribute the highest number of fighters for Islamist terror group ISIL.

According to the latest data from the US House Homeland Security Committee, of the 25,000 fighters thought to be working for ISIL in Iraq and Syria, 5000 are Tunisian.

The government sees ideological militancy among its citizens as an issue of national concern. “The fight against terrorism is a national responsibility,” Habib Essid, the country’s prime minister said after a local beach resort was attacked by a gunman in June. “We are at war against terrorism which represents a serious danger to national unity during this delicate period that the nation is going through.”

This delicate period, while it has opened up the democratic space, has not eased the economic challenges the country is facing, which analysts say has created an opening for ISIL to exploit.

Four years after the revolution Tunisia’s economy is contracting. After 2.3% growth in 2014, the World Bank and IMF project GDP growth for this year at a measly 1%. Overall unemployment is at 15.2%. And for university graduates, unemployment is even worse at a staggering 34%, estimates the African Development Bank (AfDB).

All these factors have created deep disillusionment about post-revolutionary Tunisia. And ISIL recruiters have exploited this air of dissatisfaction to devastating effect, luring young people to their cause. They offer monthly salaries of up $2,000 and the promise of a life of meaning, fighting to correct injustice as epitomized by the Bashar Assad regime in Syria. Where jobs are scarce and those who can find them earn meager wages of $100 a month, what ISIL is offering has proved to be a compelling alternative.

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Labor groups say H&M is lying about its progress in improving factory safety in Bangladesh

After a garment factory collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh killed 1,133 people in 2013, H&M was among the first of many international clothing brands that agreed to signthe binding Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, to prevent such a tragedy happening again.

It was a significant moment: The fast-fashion retailer is one of the largest buyers of garments from the country, which gives it considerable leverage in Bangladesh—and also makes it a symbol of the Western fashion brands doing business there. Many other companies followed suit.

But despite touting its progress in accordance with the agreement, H&M is now defending itself against a damning report  by the Clean Clothes Campaign and other labor groups that advocate for workers’ rights. The report, based on public information released by the Accord organization, accused H&M of being “dramatically behind schedule” in making factory-safety improvements it had committed to. In reply, H&M issued a press release and statements to the media explaining the delays (among the problems: Not all of the technology needed for the upgrades is available yet in Bangladesh), and reiterated that it had made “good progress” in some regards.

But the groups behind the report have now issued a rebuttal claiming that H&M’s statements are misleading, and in some cases, just plain wrong.

One of the statements they point to (link in Swedish) is the assertion by H&M’s press chief on Oct. 2 that all of H&M’s supplier factories have emergency exits. They label this “an outright falsehood,” based on the standard for an emergency exit laid out by the Accord.

“By definition, any building that does not have enclosed stairwells, protected by fire-rated doors, does not have fire exits (or emergency exits, to use H&M’s terminology),” the analysis states. “As H&M admits, more than two years after it signed the Bangladesh Accord, ‘some’ (actually, most) of its supplier factories still lack proper fire doors, and therefore do not have fire exits.”

Members of the police inspect a garment factory after a devastating fire in Savar November 25, 2012. A fire swept through Tazreen Fashion factory in the Ashulia industrial belt of Dhaka, on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital killing more than 100 people, the fire brigade said on Sunday, in the country's worst ever factory blaze.The aftermath of the fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh.

H&M also said that it is only producing in factories that meet the Accord’s requirements for operation. Of the 5,000 or so garment factories in Bangladesh, it sources from fewer than 300. But the groups suggest that H&M’s phrasing is misleading.

“According to the Accord’s published reports, there is not a single H&M supplier factory in Bangladesh that meets the building safety standards of the Accord,” they state. “We presume that H&M, in making this claim, is referring instead to the fact that the factories it is using, though clearly unsafe, have not been ordered to shut down due to risk of imminent structural collapse.”

Other claims they call out include H&M’s assertion that it has completed 60% of the remediation work in factories where it holds the lead role in overseeing renovations, and that lockable doors in its factories aren’t ever locked, which the groups say H&M can’t possibly know.

H&M tells Quartz that the labor groups’ complaints are misleading. “We do not recognize ourselves in the picture given in the report, nor in the recent analysis that you refer to,” spokesperson Elin Hallerby said. “For example, basic safety equipment such as fire exits is a fundamental requirement for a supplier in order to be allowed to produce for H&M. Also, there have always been clear escape routes in our supply chain, although many of them will be improved in accordance with new standards.”

Even though the Accord has more than 200 signatories, the labor groups focused on H&M in their report because it was a leader in signing the Accord.

“H&M gained significant credibility as the first signer (rightly at the time) and have also communicated to consumers through their sustainability report that all significant repairs are complete,” a representative for Labour Behind the Label, one of the groups that collaborated on the report, has told Quartz previously.

The groups say H&M hasn’t followed through, and that after two and a half years to make the improvements it agreed to, there are no excuses for the lack of progress.

H&M maintains that its commitment to Bangladesh’s garment industry is long-term, and that its work in the country “is not only active but also genuine and honest.”

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Pictures: Investigators piece together the wreckage of MH17, and blame a Russian-made missile

The Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) has published conclusions from its investigation of the crash of MH17, the Malaysia Airlines flight that went down in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The report (PDF) confirms what was suspected already: that a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile hit the plane and caused it to explode in midair.

The surface-to-air missile system the NLR says was used in the attack. The surface-to-air missile system the NLR says was used in the attack.

The missile impacted the left side of the Boeing 777’s cockpit, instantly killing the three crew members inside. Investigators say that bow-tie-shaped pieces of shrapnel, consistent with what would have come from a Buk missile, were found inside those crew members’ bodies.

The right side of the MH17 cockpit, as reconstructed from found wreckage. The right side of the MH17 cockpit, as reconstructed from found wreckage.

According to a Dutch Safety Board brochure about the investigation (PDF), a digital simulation of the impact showed that after the warhead detonated on the upper left side of the cockpit, the pressure wave that followed the explosion destroyed the front section of the aircraft, at which point the plane broke in half as “the cockpit and the floor of the business class tore away from the fuselage almost instantly and crashed.” Over the next 60 to 90 seconds, the rest of the plane continued flying for about 8 kilometers, breaking apart as air currents tore off the wingtips and tail.

From page 13 of the Dutch Safety Board brochure on the MH17 crash.From page 13 of the Dutch Safety Board brochure on the MH17 crash.

Investigators briefed the relatives of the 298 people who died in the crash, many of them Dutch citizens, ahead of releasing their report. The relatives were told that their loved ones were likely knocked unconscious or killed on impact. As The Guardian notes, the NLR report does not include any findings of liability or blame; the Dutch criminal prosecutor’s office is currently preparing a report, due in 2016, for that purpose. It is widely believed that the missile was fired by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine, but Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which commissioned the NLR report, discussed the findings at a press conference in The Hague today. DSB chairman Tjibbe Joustra said that the airspace where MH17 was brought down should have been closed, but officials had failed to recognize the risks posed by the armed conflict on the ground there. “Nobody gave a thought to a possible threat to civil aviation,” Joustra said (video).

On stage behind Joustra, there was a 20-meter-long partial reconstruction of the aircraft. Guardian journalist Luke Harding said it was “haunting”:

The inside of #MH17 cockpit eerie: two empty pilots’ chairs, mangled and tilting left and right; a crumpled metal base with shrapnel holes

— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) October 13, 2015

The glass from the cockpit looks like an ice-sheet, patterned with dark holes; more damage on left side than right. Haunting

— Luke Harding (@lukeharding1968) October 13, 2015

The reconstructed cockpit, as presented by the Dutch Safety Board today.The reconstructed cockpit, as presented by the Dutch Safety Board today.

Hours earlier, in Moscow, Almaz-Antey, the maker of Buk missiles, held its own press conference about the crash. The defense contractor conducted its own simulation of the event, in what the Kyiv Post called a “sloppy, pre-emptive measure” against the Dutch report. Almaz-Antey sought to prove that the missile must have been fired from ground controlled by the Ukrainian army, not by pro-Russian separatists. Almaz-Antey also argued that the plane was hit by a Buk model that is no longer used by Russia but that the Ukrainian army may be using. The presentation, during which Almaz-Antey representatives referred to a grade-school geometry textbook to explain their theory, was not very convincing.

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68 Chinese Lawyers Make Urgent Statement on Disappearance of Bao Zhuoxuan and Two Others in Myanmar

Beginning on July 9, 2015, human rights lawyers in China came under cruel assault. Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩), the 16-year-old son of disappeared rights lawyer Wang Yu (王宇) and activist Bao Longjun (包龙军) has been subjected to extralegal and inhumane treatement.

On July 9, Bao Zhuoxuan was intercepted and prevented from leaving China at the Beijing Airport, while witnessing his father being arrested. After that, he was put under surveillance at his grandmother’s home in Tianjin. Then he was sent to Inner Mongolia by the police, where he was made to study at a school the police designated, and monitored by local police while he did so. With his freedom limited and passport and other identification seized, he was unable to go to Australia for his study abroad program. Nor could he return to Beijing and live in his own home. He was even warned by police not to hire defense counsel for his parents.

Bao Zhuoxuan is not suspect of any crime, nor is he a criminal. The illegal measures taken by the Chinese police against this minor have violated the most basic human principles. Article II of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Chinese government is a signatory and ratifying party, says: “States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.” The police of China have followed, surveilled, and restricted the freedom of Bao Zhuoxuan. This not only violates international law, as well as China’s own provisions in the “Law on the Protection of Minors,” but also involves in the crime of abuse of power.

On October 6, Bao Zhuoxuan, along with Xing Qinxian (幸清贤) and Tang Zhishun (唐志顺), friends of Bao’s parents, disappeared in Myanmar, in a region along the border with China. Numerous signs indicate that China’s police have an unshirkable responsibility for the disappearance of Bao and his companions.

For this reason, we the undersigned lawyers now make the following demands:

  1. That the Chinese government, as a signatory to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, guarantee the personal safety of Bao Zhuoxuan and others, assist the Myanmar government in expeditiously tracking their whereabouts, and notifying their relatives or guardians;
  2. The Chinese police, as one of the parties responsible for the disappearance of Bao Zhuoxuan and his companions, should ensure that the individuals inside the police force responsible for the incident be subject to the appropriate legal sanctions;
  3. Chinese police should immediately cease the harassment of Bao Zhuoxuan and the family members of other lawyers disappeared during the ongoing crackdown on lawyers that began on July 9. They should also cease illegally obstructing Chinese human rights lawyers and activists, and their family members, from leaving the country, and guarantee the right of Chinese citizens to exit and enter their homeland;
  4. The United Nations, governments around the world, and human rights organizations should express strong concern over the disappearance of Bao Zhuoxuan and others. They should fulfill their international obligations and protect the personal freedom and safety of Bao Zhuoxuan and his companions in Myanmar, and after they’ve left the Chinese border, so as to prevent unlawful infringements against them.


Yu Wensheng (Beijing) 余文生(北京)

Zhong Jinhua (Shanghai) 钟锦化(上海)

Teng Biao (Beijing) 滕彪    (北京)

Tang Jitian (Beijing) 唐吉田 (北京)

Zhang Tingyuan (Chongqing) 张庭源  (重庆)

Lin Qilei (Beijing) 蔺其磊 (北京)

Ma Lianshun (Henan) 马连顺 (河南)

Jiang Yuanmin (Guangdong) 蒋援民  (广东)

Chang Boyang (Henan) 常伯阳 (河南)

Feng Tingqiang (Shandong) 冯延强 (山东)

Ge Wenxiu (Guangdong) 葛文秀 (广东)

Ge Yongxi (Guangdong) 葛永喜 (广东)

Li Weida (Hebei ) 李威达 (河北)

Lan Zhixue (Beijing) 兰志学 (北京)

Tan Chenshou (Guangxi) 覃臣寿 (广西)

Ren Quanniu (Henan) 任全牛 (河南)

Wen Donghai (Hunan) 文东海 (湖南)

Wu Kuiming (Guangdong) 吴魁明 (广东)

Chen Jinxue (Guangdong) 陈进学(广东)

Tan Yongpei (Guangxi) 覃永沛 (广西)

Lü Zhoubin (Zhejiang) 吕洲宾 (浙江)

Li Jinxing (Shandong) 李金星 (山东)

Huang Hanzhong (Beijing) 黄汉中 (北京)

Li Fangping  (Beijing) 李方平 (北京)

Tan Weijin  (Guangxi) 覃玮进  (广西)

Zhang Lei (Beijing) 张磊 (北京)

Huang Zhiqiang  (Zhejiang) 黄志强  (浙江)

Deng Linhua (Hunan) 邓林华 (湖南)

Wang Xing (Beijing) 王兴 (北京)

Wang Qiushi  (Heilongjiang) 王秋实  (黑龙江)

Xu Hongwei (Shandong) 徐红卫 (山东)

Liang Xiaojun (Beijing) 梁小军  (北京)

Ran Tong  (Sichuan) 冉彤  (四川)

Fu Ailing  (Guangdong) 付爱玲  (广东)

He Weimin  (Guangdong) 何伟民  (广东)

Gao Chengcai (Henan) 高承才  (河南)

Wang Qingpeng (Hebei) 王清鹏  (河北)

Yu Quan (Sichuan) 于全  (四川)

Liu Shuqing (Shandong) 刘书庆 (山东)

Chen Nanshi (Hunan) 陈南石  (湖南)

Lü Fangzhi (Hunan) 吕方芝  (湖南)

Xiong Dongmei (Shandong) 熊冬梅  (山东)

Tian Yuan (Hunan) 田园(湖南)

Qu Yuan (Sichuan) 瞿远(四川)

Jiang Tianyong (Beijing) 江天勇  (北京)

Wu Liangshu (Guangxi) 吴良述  (广西)

Me Minfu (Hebei) 么民富(河北)

Liang Lanxin (Hebei) 梁澜馨  (河北)

Li Dawei (Gansu) 李大伟  (甘肃)

Liu Shihui  (Guangdong) 刘士辉  (广东)

Sun Qiang (Hunan) 孙强  (湖南)

Chen Zhizong (Beijing) 陈智勇  (北京)

Xi Xiangdong (Shandong) 袭祥栋  (山东)

Zhang Chongshi (Hunan) 张重实(湖南)

Zheng Enchong (Shanghai) 郑恩宠  (上海)

Zhang Jiankang (Shanxi) 张鉴康  (陕西)

Li Yuhan (Beijing) 李昱函  (北京)

Yang Hong (Zhejiang)杨红 (浙江)

Wang Guofang (Guangdong) 王国芳  (广东)

Zhao Xianfeng (Shanxi) 赵险峰 (陕西)

Liu Changzhong (Hunan) 刘长中 (湖南)

Wang Fengming (Hebei) 王凤明 (河北)

Fan Guogang (Jiangsu) 范国刚  (江苏)

Chen Jiahong  (Guangxi) 陈家鸿   (广西)

Shu Xiangxin (Shandong) 舒向新  (山东)

Liu Zhengqing  (Guangdong) 刘正清  (广东)

Liu Wei (Henan) 刘伟  (河南)

Tong Zhaoping (Beijing) 童朝平  (北京)

The declaration was made by the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group, a voluntary and open platform composed of over 280 Chinese human rights lawyers. We welcome more colleagues to join us to sign this statement. Please send your name and location where you practice to

Since its establishment on September 13, 2013, the group has organized joint petitions, aided lawyers in joining rights cases or incidents, and made a variety of similar efforts to protect human rights and promote the development of the rule of law in China. Any Chinese lawyer who share the same human rights principles and are willing to defend citizens’ basic rights are welcome to join the group.

Contact persons (in the order of Pinyin):

Chang Boyang 常伯阳 18837183338

Liu Shihui 刘士辉 18516638964

Tang Jitian 唐吉田 13161302848

Wang Cheng 王成   13616501896

Yu Wensheng 余文生 13910033651

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Some reasons why your investment proposal won’t get read!

Check your investment proposal for the following errors or shortcomings:

1. Can’t open the file: the file is password protected or in a file format that is not universal (PDF) or that uses old versions or formats.

Use universally accepted formats that everyone can open, like PDF’s.

You have no idea how many such investment proposals I have seen in my career, do you really think that your would-be investor will send you an email asking for the password or the right program?

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find a form to make comments, initiate discussions or share your experiences about these tips.

2. No ‘teaser’. No brief presentation. “What do you need money for?”

It’s called the ‘elevator-pitch when you have only 30 seconds. In the movie world it’s the synopsis. In investment jargon we call it ‘the teaser’. A short text that will inform me what you are all about. “What do you need? Tell me succinctly and purposefully exactly what you are looking for and why”. Make it brief.

3. Poor writing and/or spelling in your cover letter/email.

The cover letter with your business plan/investment proposal needs to open the door for you. Otherwise that door will get slammed into your face.

If you can’t write a simple introduction to your business proposals and explain in a few words what you are offering or what you are asking for, forget it! If you can’t do this yourself, ask someone else to do it for you.

4. Typing or Spelling errors on the front page or in the title.

You have no idea how many business plans we have seen over the years with enormous mistakes in titles, subtitles, and even huge mistakes, right on the cover page.

How about having someone evaluate what you have? Seek out family, friends, other business people, or a professional.

5. Failure to specify the amount of business funding required.

Too many business plans do not mention this key piece of information.

I remember wasting my time with excellent business plans, going through them over and over trying to figure out how much money they needed. Finally, I would give up, too much time wasted.

6. No index page in the business plan.

Having the option of a quick overview with a table of contents to assess what’s in your ‘paperwork’ is a requirement that will help the reader decide if they want to go through the task of reading it all.

This is the suit-and-tie approach: the guy who walks into your office knows already that he will get the deal. He has clearly organized the points that he will make in his investment proposal.

7. Outdated contact details in business proposals or business plans, or none at all.

Basic company information with a list of key company management and their contact details is a first requirement. Please do update changes. If someone tries to contact you and gets a disconnected line or a non-existing email address, you’re out.

8. Poor quality images or logos.

The use of images, photos and logos needs to be accurate, timely, well placed, and have a professional look. If you don’t have the right one and it looks bad, don’t use it.

Do your pictures look like they came from your $20.00 printer?

9. The look and feel of your investment proposal is outdated or simply unprofessional.

Business proposals that look like they come straight from a typewriter (in this day and age of high quality computer and print work), will be put aside. The ‘look and feel’ needs to be flawless. Keep the formatting consistent: avoid different fonts throughout the document, bad alignments and margins that change, and are not logical.

If you can’t do it by yourself, yes again, find someone who can. You can’t be an expert in every detail of your business. Business funding is a different world.

10. Timeline in your business plan: the presentation is obviously old and outdated.

Investment proposals or business plans reflect a point in time of a business that supposedly is alive and growing and full of ‘opportunity’. Your documents need to be up-to-date. Don’t use outdated presentations, check them before you send them to your interested parties. Old stuff won’t be read.

When your documents are outdated and are obviously older than six months, no one will look at them anymore.

11. The first paragraphs are unclear and just about incomprehensible, or they are not to the point.

From the first words you have to catch the reader’s attention with accurate and engaging information. If you don’t do that, the ‘buck’ will stop right there.

12. Some investment proposals are obviously written by a non-native English speaking person or organization. Failing to use proper English is unacceptable.

This is the same issue as the formats. If you are going to present to ‘the world’, let’s say to a database of thousands of investors, you have to use proper English. If it is not correct you will not be taken seriously. Find a good translator or someone who speaks correct English, let them help you.

It makes a wonderful impression to present a business plan coming from a non-English speaking country in flawless English. You just scored big.

13. The numbers don’t add up.

You would be surprised to find how many numbers don’t add up in business plans: like numbering of pages or references to pages, but also business projections, don’t make sense.

If you can’t add up or be accurate, would you expect to get big money from an investor who can?

14. Excessive length of the business plan.

Investors have no time reading documents of more than thirty pages.

Too much is too much. More details can be added during the due diligence phase.

15. Excessive appendices.

Again, the due diligence process will focus on such information and is not part of a business plan. Information overload will not do the job.

Attaching proof of revenue or contracts signed or pending will.

16. Absence of key content in your business plan.

These include lack of financial projections, market analyses and challenges such as risks, weaknesses, threats, competition.

Sketch a realistic picture. The investor is not stupid and does not believe in fairy tales.

If you need Loan, project funding, Bank Guarantee, SBLC, DLC or Letters of Credit please contact us immediately. 






Skype: loanandinvestments

Brokers are paid good commission on each successful transaction so if you want to work for our company as a broker, agent or mandate please contact us for more information. 

Apple Still Avoiding US Tax

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US multinationals in the Fortune 500 doubled the assets they hold in foreign subsidiaries between 2008 and 2014, taking advantage of loopholes in US and foreign laws to keep $2.1 trillion out of sight of tax authorities, a new analysis shows.
Here are the top 30 companies that disclose assets booked offshore, according to the Center for Tax Justice’s analysis of SEC filings. Apple leads the pack with $70 billion more held offshore in 2014 than in 2013, when a Senate investigation found the company pushed the limits of US and Irish law to keep its earnings taxed at 2% or less.
These companies tend to share common traits—technology and pharmaceutical companies can easily move intellectual property abroad, taking advantage of lax enforcement of transfer-pricing rules to move even US earnings overseas. Large industrial and energy firms often leverage capital-investment accounting rules to funnel more money abroad, and financial services companies routinely book their deals through low-tax jurisdictions.
At least 72% percent of the Fortune 500 operate subsidiaries in tax-haven jurisdictions—one in four of which are in the Cayman Islands—costing the government between $26 billion and $90 billion a year. The 57 Fortune 500 companies that disclose estimates of what their tax liability would be if they did not book their profits offshore would owe $184.4 billion in outstanding federal taxes.
Avoiding a tax bill of that size require a web of shell companies. PepsiCo, for example, operates 132 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens—one of their structures was a finalist last year in our inaugural tax-avoidance power ranking. Nike, which holds $8.3 billion offshore, has 52 subsidiaries, including some named after its shoe lines.
While the Obama administration has proposed closing loopholes that allow companies to shift profits and hide assets from the IRS, corporate lobbyists have thus far been able to keep them from becoming law.
Email us today for your Loan, project finance, Bank Guarantee, SBLC etc.
Skype: loanandinvestments
Brokers are paid good commission on each successful transaction so if you want to work for our company as a broker or mandate please contact us for more details.



Answer: This is not a regular banking service. The market of providing financial instruments is constantly on the move and we try to obtain best possible terms at any time. So you must be aware that an indication provided today might not be valid and available tomorrow.

Answer: An SBLC is a Stand By Letter of Credit. A BG is a Bank Guarantee instrument. It has nothing to do with the classical documentary Letter of Credit, which is used for international trading of commodities. An SBLC is the USA format of the well known Bank Guarantee (BG). The SWIFT message type (MT) is SWIFT MT799 for a pre-advice message and SWIFT MT760 for the actual guarantee instrument transmission.

Answer: SBLC’s (and BG’s) can be used to enhance your ability to apply for a line of credit with your bank; in other words, it can be used as collateral when your bank is asking for additional comfort when you ask them to fund your project.

Answer: The SBLC/BG is generally issued for 1 year and 1 day (With the option of Rolls and Extension), but can easily be extended up to 5 years, sometimes longer. Once issued the SBLC is transferred to your bank via the SWIFT protocol MT760.

Answer: To successfully apply for an SBLC you need to be aware of four vital points: You need to have a good project, You need to have a bank funding your project based on the supporting collateral, You need to have the money to pay for the leasing of the Bank Guarantee or SBLC, You need to have a realistic exit strategy to repay the loan and return the SBLC at the end of the term, or renew the instrument, year after year.

Answer: YES, you have to provide an RWA that is bank endorsed indicating that the SWIFT and bank fees are blocked in your account. If your bank is not aware of your transaction, and you cannot come up with a bank endorsed RWA, then you will have to pay a USD/EUR 5,000.00 processing fee, after application and following invoice. This fee will be credited towards a commission payment that will be due after you followed through with the transaction and your relevant obligations.

Answer: The SWIFT and bank arrangement fees will have to be placed directly with the provider and paid into an account as nominated by the provider after executed contracts and before the SWIFT MT799/760 is sent to your receiving bank. This is fully refundable and credited towards your annual leasing fees.

Answer: Once you have signed the contract with the provider, and the provider accepted you as a potential client and countersigned the contract, you will receive the provider’s corporate refund undertaking and the invoice for the SWIFT and bank arrangement fees are due to be paid. This fee is refundable and will be credited towards the annual leasing fees. As soon as your payment reaches the provider’s designated account, he will block his cash funds or assets for your transaction and applies for delivery of the SWIFT MT799 and MT760 to your bank. The provider will block his cash or assets for your transaction, once you have paid for the arrangements. You will pay for the actual leasing fees only after receipt and verification of the SWIFT MT760 through your own bank within 7 banking days.

Answer: Depending upon the size of your transaction, these SWIFT and bank arrangement fees apply:
USD/EURO 10M TO 49M USD/EURO 50,000.00
USD/EURO 50M TO 99M USD/EURO 70,000.00
USD/EURO 100M TO 199M USD/EURO 100,000.00
USD/EURO 200M TO 499M USD/EURO 200,000.00

Answer: SWIFT and bank arrangement fees have to be placed directly with the provider into his nominated account. The fees are refundable once the client followed through with payment of the yearly leasing fees

Answer: The Processing Fee – which is only relevant, if your bank does not confirm that you have the SWIFT and bank arrangement fees ready
The SWIFT and bank arrangement fees – which are relevant in any transaction of less than USD 250 million. These fees will have to be placed with the provider and paid into an account nominated by the provider after contract, refund undertaking and invoice, but before the SWIFT MT799/760 is sent to your receiving bank.
The annual leasing fees and broker commission – This is 6% (leasing fee) and 2% (broker commission) which will have to be paid within 21 banking days of receipt of the financial instrument at your receiving bank and verification by your bank.

Answer: YES, it is covered in the contract and there is a Corporate Refund Undertaking which spells out the refund in the event the instrument is not issued in line with the contract. Also, there is a 1% penalty payment in the event of default on the contract terms, also if the default is on the side of the provider.

Answer: Instruments can still be leased at USD/EUR 5,000,000 but in that case the provider will have to combine several transactions, which could possibly result in a slightly longer processing period.

Answer: Because these are costs that occur and have to be paid to conduct the transaction of the client. Why should the provider have to advance these fee payments for the client who is the ultimate beneficiary of the service? Would the client’s own bank send a (any) SWIFT message for the client, if the client’s account is not in funds for them to deduct the transmission fees right away?