Real Estate Finance Editor

Real Estate Capital, the news website and monthly magazine covering real estate financing and capital structuring, is looking for a senior journalist to help develop and deliver its output of quality news and features.

This London-based role is primarily to lead the international news coverage on our website, recapitalnews.com, taking responsibility for its European output and liaising with our US-based journalist.

As well as sourcing and writing European property finance stories, the role also involves writing comment pieces and features for Real Estate Capital magazine.

The role reports to the editor.

The prime requirement is enjoying breaking news in a competitive online environment and an interest in business and finance journalism, including tackling sometimes complex topics.

Knowing your CMBS from your RMBS would be an advantage but is not essential. You should have an interest in developing and implementing strategies to drive traffic to websites and you also need the ability to edit other people’s copy.

Real Estate Capital is a leading source of information about raising and structuring finance for real estate. We aim to lead in breaking news for our audience of bankers, finance professionals, property companies, investors and regulators and to deliver analysis and insight to them about the people and the trends that affect their business.

We cover the European and US property finance markets and have ambitions to expand to Asia.

We are part of PEI Media (www.thisispei.com), a financial information group focused exclusively on alternative asset finance and investment. We specialise in covering the private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure industries globally and are increasingly active in other, newly emerging alternative investment fields and practices too.

PEI has a roster of journalists working from offices in London, New York and Hong Kong, and runs a highly successful international conference programme comprising nearly 60 events per annum.

How to apply

Interested? Then please submit your CV and a covering letter by clicking the apply online button below.

Money Matters: Avoid scams while buying and selling on Facebook

Connect with Ashley Claster onFacebook pageandTwitter!

Craigslist has usually been a popular choice for buying and selling stuff locally. Now Facebook pages have become the front runner for local sellers.

With Craigslist theres a little bit of anonymity. You never really know who youre dealing with specifically, said Greg Linder, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau of the South Plains. Whereas if youre buying something on a Facebook group, you can have a better opportunity to look at the profile of the person who youre dealing with and get a better feel if they are someone you want to do business with.

A few of Reporter Ashley Clasters favorite pages are Selling in Lubbock, Lubbock Buy Sell or Trade, and Lubbock Texas Online Garage Sale. She said she uses all three of these groups frequently and never had a problem. But that is not the case for everyone.

If you can, try to inspect the product before you buy. Never give out any money or anything like that prior to having the product in your hand, Linder said. Check the product if you can and make sure it works.

A lot of times you might buy a product, like a washing machine, get it to your house, plug it in, and it does not work.

Another common scam is sellers trying to pass off counterfeits or replicas as the real deal.

Purses, shoes and watches, things like that. Some goods are just more prone to counterfeiting than others, Linder said.

Admins for the Online Garage Sale page require users selling purses that value over twenty dollars to show pictures of the inside so we know the tag is authentic.

Another big scamming problem for these pages is buying stolen goods. If the deal seems TOO good, the seller most likely did not pay full price for the item in the first place.

If that person is seeming like theyre in a really big hurry to get something sold, or they are really to get the deal done and move on, that might be a little bit of a red flag, Linder said.

You can avoid buying a stolen phone by using an app called SWAPPA, or by meeting the seller at your cell carriers store so employees can check it out first.

Steer clear of using a check or something like that, just for the sake of keeping your bank account information secure, Linder said.

Always meet in a public place, and remember these forums are public. Anyone can post. If you are the victim of a scam, contact the pages administrator. A lot of times, the user can be tracked and banned from the site.

NZ commercial property lending less risky now: RBNZ

Other factors include irrational
exuberance- where investors over-pay for property due to
misplaced optimism about returns which can lead to long
periods when prices are higher than implied by the economic
fundamentals of rental returns, vacancy rates, and interest
rates.

At least two-thirds of commercial property stock in
New Zealand is held by investors, with the rest mainly by
owner-occupiers.

The sector accounts for about $30 billion
of mainly bank debt and 9 percent of total bank lending.
Because of its higher risk it plays an important part in the
capital required to cover that bank lending.

Tighter
lending standards were brought in by the banks after the GFC
and with the near collapse of property finance companies,
which also pushed commercial property prices down.

While
access to finance has improved in the past four years and
development activity has picked up again, those tight
lending standards remain. Banks are typically requiring loan
to value ratios of 60 percent for new loans and some
restrict borrowers taking out additional mezzanine finance,
which gives the lender rights to take equity in the
borrowing company if the loan isn’t repaid on time.

Those lending restrictions have led to the supply
pipeline being mainly funded by wealthy individuals and
listed property trusts, who accounted for 30 percent of
purchases in recent years.

Offshore investors also account
for a relatively large and growing share of purchases due to
comparatively high yields for the sector here compared to
other parts of the world while institutional investors have
reduced their holdings.

The Reserve Bank said that means
the balance sheets of commercial property investors are in
much better shape than before the GFC and debt to earnings
ratios, including for the listed property trusts, have
improved.

“This increase in equity buffers, along with
the exit of riskier deposit-taking finance companies from
the sector, has reduced the direct risks to the financial
system associated with development lending. Moreover, the
scale of the supply pipeline is forecast to remain well
below that seen before the late 1980s crisis and the GFC,
” the bank said.

(BusinessDesk)

#169; Scoop Media

1965 Shelby Mustang GT350: Buying and selling classic Shelbys evolved from …

Vernon Estes is only 24 but his knowledge of vintage cars – Shelby Mustangs and Shelby Cobras in particular – rivals that of a veteran twice his age.

How did Estes, of Leawood, get to be a young man living in a vintage-car world? “I always found older cars more interesting,” he said. “New car stuff gets boring.”

“When I was 10 years old my mom would drop me off at Barnes and Noble and I would read everything I could. I love the history.”

History led him to American racing classics. What was more American than the modified Mustangs and Cobras built by Carroll Shelby, the self-proclaimed chicken farmer who wore striped bib overalls when he started racing sports cars in the early 1950s?

“I was pulled in by the Shelby story,” he said, and the international success of the Ford-powered Cobras that won the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 and FIA World Sportscar Championship for GT cars with the Cobra Daytona coupe in 1965. Shelby was instrumental in the development of the Ford GT40 that beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

When he was 17, Estes arranged a six-week internship at the Shelby American, Inc., in Las Vegas after corresponding with the company president via an online forum. “It was like going to a car show every day,” he said. He helped the company compile a registry of its cars and occasionally did work in the prototype shop.

Estes graduated from the University of Texas with a Master’s degree in accounting. “When I was in grade school I collected Shelby-related literature and memorabilia,” he said. Success in buying and selling thousands of items online led him to creating a business selling classic cars, mostly Shelby Mustangs and Cobras. He has sold some rare and valuable models in addition to selling cars on consignment.

Estes recently bought a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350, number 45 of 562 built. Ford asked Shelby to build a high-performance Mustang that could compete with Corvettes in sports car racing. The ’65 GT350s had a 289-cubic-inch V-8, four-speed transmission, side exhausts, no back seat and came only in Wimbledon white. The iconic blue stripes and Cragar wheels found on Estes’ car were the only options.

“I find the ’65 and ’66 Shelbys intriguing because they are the perfect mix of sports car and muscle car,” he said. “The fastback is one of the prettiest cars because it is stylistically simple,” he said.

In 1966, Shelby Mustang production rose to 2,378, and the cars were more user-friendly. They had a back seat and were offered with an automatic transmission in a variety of colors. Hertz even bought 999 for rental cars and 800 of those were black with gold stripes.

“The 1965 is the holy grail because it was a race car for the street with no frills and no concessions made for creature comforts. It is the purest year. Sometimes something is just right the first time.”

The China Bank Switch Scam: Still Very Much Alive.

The China Bank Switch Scam: Still Very Much Alive.

By

China Law Blog
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Posted in Uncategorized

Long ago I formulated a self-imposed rule. Whenever I or one of my firms other China lawyers receive three emails on the same thing in a week, I write about it. Havent been so forced for a while, but it happened this week and the topic is that good old stand-by, the China Bank Switch Scam.

Two of the emails were from companies that had lost less than $50,000 and they were of the we will never do business with China school, so not all that much to be said about them. The third one though is far more substantial and I will be describing that one shortly.  

But first, let me describe what this scam is not and then I will describe what it is. First off, it is not the entirely fake bank that is set up to bilk depositors. That happened in Nanjing earlier this year. This is also not the scam where a fake manufacturer takes money from a Western company and then never delivers any product because it has no product to deliver. That scam happens all the time, but mostly to unsophisticated Westerners who have failed to do even the most basic due diligence on their supplier. No, this is the most common, most pernicious and most difficult to detect China scam of which I am aware, and it just unrelentingly keeps happening. We have been writing about this scam off and on (mostly on) since 2012 in a failed effort to help stop it:

  • China Scam Alert: The Different Company Bank Account. Again. (4-24-2012)
  • New Bank For Your China Payment? Make Damn Sure! (1-8-2013)
  • The China Bank Scam. It’s Every Week Now. (4-23-2014)
  • The China Bank Switch Scam Lives On. No Surprise. (7-14-2014)

This scam usually involves your regular Chinese supplier asking you to make your next payment to a new bank account, though it sometimes can involve your very first payment to a new Chinese supplier. Then even after you make the payment, your supplier insists that you still owe it the full amount (oftentimes with added fees) because it has yet to receive your payment. When you explain that you paid, your supplier points out that the bank account to which you sent the funds is not theirs and you still owe the money. What happened? Your Chinese supplier got hacked, either by someone outside or within the company and you indeed have yet to pay them.

Here is the latest, with all identifiers changed so as to disguise identity:

We had about $250,000 worth of widgets arrive in the USA in late December.

We paid the remaining balance of about $144,000 to the manufacturer a few weeks before arrival.

The container is still at port in the USA because the Chinese manufacturer is claiming that it never received the remaining $144,000 balance. They refuse to give us the B/L.

After months of trying to track down the wire, we learned that the manufacturers email was hacked and the wire information was changed and the money has been stolen by someone in Hong Kong. We had been communicating with two of their employees (first Steven and then Jasmine) for years and we visit them frequently as well. But at some point their were hacked and someone posing as one of their employees started to write us. They claim that the fake person gave us the wrong bank account information.

They refuse to release the goods if we do not pay them $135,000 more (they are giving us a small discount off the balance). We also will need to pay anther $15,000 in costs for the container being stuck. They are saying that if we do not pay this right away, they will have the container returned to China.

We need this product and every piece in that container is stamped with our company logo so we are concerned about that too.

We can take legal action against them, but we have worked well with them for years and I do not want to see this continuing to drag on.

I have offered to make a small payment to them, promised that we will continue buying from them, and have agreed to cover all of the storage fines. But they are insisting on $135,000 plus the $15,000.

On my end, how do I know that their employee didnt secretly steal the money? Or that they are just pocketing as a company? HSBC HongKong confirmed 100% that the money is received since January and as of now are refusing to return the money to our bank so we can redirect it. And why should I pay another $60,000 because their email was hacked?

What do you recommend?

In various responses, I wrote the following:

It will likely not make sense for you to take legal action in the United States against your Chinese manufacturer unless it has assets in the United States or in some country outside China that enforces US court judgments. It is the rare Chinese manufacturer that has assets outside of China and China will not enforce your US judgment. If you sue in China, you will almost certainly lose because the court is more likely to fault you for paying someone in Hong Kong without confirming with your Mainland China manufacturer than to fault your manufacturer for allowing itself to get hacked.

Your Chinese manufacturer is not going to cover you for your full loss as it too no doubt faults you for having paid someone other than them. In our experience, the best way to handle these situations is to try to strike as good a deal as you possibly can and then at that point decide whether to pay or not. I also strongly suggest trying to get covered for this by your insurance company. You claim employee negligence caused you damages and you ask for insurance coverage for your loss.

As for your logo, for us to know how we can help, if at all, we first need to know where you have registered it as a trademark. Have you registered it as a trademark in China? Have you registered it as a trademark in the United States? Where else do you sell your widgets? Have you registered it as a trademark in those other countries? I strongly suggest that we discuss your current trademark registrations both for this pending matter and to help prevent future problems.

Again, I want to stress that we are seeing smart, worldly, sophisticated companies of all sizes get caught up in this scam. How can you prevent it from happening to you? Do the following (h/t to Renaud Anjoran for these):

  1. Get to know your suppliers who speak English (if you don’t speak Chinese) and get your supplier’s landline phone numbers as that cannot be hacked. Call if you have any concerns.
  2. Get your supplier’s bank account information in advance and ask them to refer to “bank account information document” on their invoices, rather than listing out full bank details every time.
  3. Ask your suppliers to fax you their invoice and make sure the sending fax number belongs to your supplier’s company.
  4. Do a first small wire to confirm the account.
  5. Have a special procedure for confirming the company name. Note also “that paying a Chinese company in mainland China is safer for you” than paying them overseas in Hong Kong, Taiwan or elsewhere.
  6. Have a special procedure for confirming bank account changes. “Follow the same procedure as point 5, but also call several people in the company. They will understand your attitude if you tell them you are worried about the “different bank account scam” — they are also a victim when it happens to their customers.

Be careful out there.

Returns on property in South Africa declined in 2014

According to IPD South Africa Annual Property Index report, the South African investment property sector delivered an ungeared total return of 12.9% in 2014 down from 15.9% in 2013 reflecting the fragile state of the economy.

The figures released yesterday by MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), showed income return was steady at 8.7%, however, capital growth slowed to 4.0% from 6.8% the year before, reflecting a more cautious approach among valuers.

Sponsored by Nedbank Property Finance, the latest IPD South Africa Property Index is based on asset level data collected from a sample of 1,726 properties covering R264bn capital value at the end of December 2014. This represents around two thirds of professionally managed investment property in South Africa.

Stan Garrun, Executive Director, MSCI, comments, The Index reveals modest performance in 2014, with industrial property the best performer. Overall, the results for property are unspectacular, but fundamentals, particularly rental growth and occupancies, were stronger, and costs were lower in 2014 than they have been for some time.

He adds: The headline figures are broadly in line with expectations, given that the commercial property sector is still in recovery mode, with the prospect of absorbing excess market supply in a low-growth environment. While headwinds in the form of constrained electricity supply and rising interest rates remain, most analysts expect economic growth to improve in 2015 on the back of a more supportive global economic environment.

Direct property performed in line with its reputation as a hybrid asset class, delivering a total return between the MSCI SA Equities Index and bond returns on a 3-year view, at a lower volatility than both the other asset classes.

Property values were buoyed by a combination of a stronger long bond yield and aggressive asset and property management. The focus on active management resulted in an impressive net income growth of 8.1%. This was driven by a lower vacancy rate, a basic rental growth of 6.4% as well as declining operating costs when expressed as a percentage of gross rentals.

Capital value growth has declined in all sectors though still positive at 4% on aggregate. This slower growth reverses the bullish view of the year before, perhaps reflecting a fully priced market especially at the top end.

At a sector level, industrial property was the top performing sector during the year with a total return of 14.1%, outperforming retail at 13.3%.

The office sector continued to underperform, in a difficult market, but still managed a respectable 12.1% total return courtesy of a 9.5% income return. The vacancy rate of all three sectors improved during the year, but excess supply in specific segments continue to weigh on base rental growth.

At a property segment level, the top performer for 2014 was small regional centres at 16.2%, driven by improved occupancy and a stronger yield. Non-CBD offices and light manufacturing property counted among the worst performing segments for the year.

Robin Lockhart-Ross, Managing Executive of Nedbank Property Finance said: As major financiers in the South African commercial property industry, we are encouraged by the overall performance delivered by the investment property sector during 2014 as measured by the IPD index. These results must be seen in the context of the challenging economic backdrop and low growth environment, which has impacted adversely on the annual capital growth shown across all segments, although net income performance has held up well.

The returns generated by the sector are an affirmation of the attractiveness of commercial property as an investment asset class, as well as an indication of the professional nature with which the South African property industry is managed, yielding positive and sustainable returns for investors.

South African Property delivered a total return of 12.9 percent in 2014

Income return was steady at 8.7%, however, capital growth slowed to 4.0% from 6.8% the year before, reflecting a more cautious approach among valuers.

The latest IPD South Africa Property Index, sponsored by Nedbank Property Finance, is based on asset level data collected from a sample of 1,726 properties covering R264bn capital value at the end of December 2014. This represents around two thirds of professionally managed investment property in South Africa.

Stan Garrun, Executive Director, MSCI, comments, “The latest IPD South Africa Annual Property Index reveals modest performance in 2014, with industrial property the best performer. Overall, the results for property are unspectacular, but fundamentals, particularly rental growth and occupancies, were stronger, and costs were lower in 2014 than they have been for some time.”

He adds: “The headline figures are broadly in line with expectations, given that the commercial property sector is still in recovery mode, with the prospect of absorbing excess market supply in a low-growth environment. While headwinds in the form of constrained electricity supply and rising interest rates remain, most analysts expect economic growth to improve in 2015 on the back of a more supportive global economic environment.”

Direct property performed in line with its reputation as a hybrid asset class, delivering a total return between the MSCI SA Equities Index and bond returns on a 3-year view, at a lower volatility than both the other asset classes. 

Property values were buoyed by a combination of a stronger long bond yield and aggressive asset and property management. The focus on active management resulted in an impressive net income growth of 8.1%. This was driven by a lower vacancy rate, a basic rental growth of 6.4% as well as declining operating costs when expressed as a percentage of gross rentals.

Capital value growth has declined in all sectors though still positive at 4% on aggregate. This slower growth reverses the bullish view of the year before, perhaps reflecting a fully priced market especially at the top end.

At a sector level, industrial property was the top performing sector during the year with a total return of 14.1%, outperforming retail at 13.3%. The office sector continued to underperform, in a difficult market, but still managed a respectable 12.1% total return courtesy of a 9.5% income return. The vacancy rate of all three sectors improved during the year, but excess supply in specific segments continue to weigh on base rental growth.

At a property segment level, the top performer for 2014 was small regional centres at 16.2%, driven by improved occupancy and a stronger yield. Non-CBD offices and light manufacturing property counted among the worst performing segments for the year.

Robin Lockhart-Ross, Managing Executive of Nedbank Property Finance said: “As major financiers in the South African commercial property industry, we are encouraged by the overall performance delivered by the investment property sector during 2014 as measured by the IPD index. These results must be seen in the context of the challenging economic backdrop and low growth environment, which has impacted adversely on the annual capital growth shown across all segments, although net income performance has held up well.

“The returns generated by the sector are an affirmation of the attractiveness of commercial property as an investment asset class, as well as an indication of the professional nature with which the South African property industry is managed, yielding positive and sustainable returns for investors.”

Champaign County Realty – Tips on Buying & Selling Your Home

As spring approaches many people are considering buying and selling their homes. The Unique Champaign Urbana real estate market is thriving and people may be interested to know how. Champaign County Realtyoffers a fresh approach to Real Estate. Utilizing social media, network marketing, and drawing upon our diverse experience we are capable of making your real estate process simple and profitable.

Champaign Urbana offers a very stable real estate market as compared to national trends.

Buying a home is a simple process and people should not find themselves intimated by it.

Selling Your Car: What Not to Do

Buying and selling your ride can be a complicated process. You may have even seen our pieces on tech companies trying to simplify and streamline such an antiquated and stressful institution. We know some quick, simple solutions for making the buying part a little more pain-free including buying cars from your phone in a safe and guaranteed quality structure like Beepi, or even getting test drives delivered to your door from an innovative startup like Shift. But, what about the other half of the process: selling? We’ve got some tips and tricks for selling the right way.

THE OPTIONS

There are countless choices these days to leave your wheels behind to make room for some new ones. But, how can you get the best bang for your buck?

CRAIGSLIST

We’re sure you know about Craigslist: the popular every-man’s website offering anything from dates to Dodges in the context of a peer-to-peer platform. But selling your car on the site can be complicated–our editor once listed her 1998 Camry for sale only to have her phone explode with interested buyers in a matter of minutes. (Turns out, she probably could’ve asked for more money.) Selling on Craigslist also comes with a couple caveats. First of all, check with your state’s laws regarding car sales to make sure your offer is in the clear. That may or may not include a clear title, a damage disclosure statement, a bill of sale, and more.

When selling your car on Craigslist, be prepared to negotiate.

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In addition to having clear legality, pricing on Craigslist is key. This site is based around competitive pricing, which means your sale should be centered around how much your want for your car. Money blog, Debt Roundup advises,

You should look around the site to see if anyone is selling your year and model.  How do those compare to yours?  What are their features and how about the condition?

Sites like Kelley Blue Book and even eBay Motors can help you get a good grasp on how much you should be asking for to keep your post competitive. In addition, keep in mind that all your potential buyers can see is your description and photos on the site, so represent your ride well online. Think like a writer with your subject line, and don’t skimp on a good detailing job and wash just before sale. Then, with Craigslist, folks will inevitably try and haggle with you, so be prepared for negotiations. And be certain to pick a safe, public space to facilitate the hand-off–if in doubt, bring a friend along with you for support.

SELLING APPS

We mentioned that ease of buying offered by new peer-to-peer apps like Beepi and Shift. These companies also offer a simplified selling process. Once you submit your car, they take care of the entire transaction, from inspection to photos to pricing. Now, of course, the easy process is a tradeoff for a fraction of the money you would have gotten in its entirety with a site like Craigslist, for example. But in exchange, you get guaranteed pricing with no negotiations, and a post on a site that will be trusted by potential buyers. In the end, it’s up to you to decide if the price cut is worth the post.

DEALERSHIPS

The old-school method is, of course, trading or selling your car at a dealership. These institutions are notorious for pricing schemes that will pull more money from your wallet than necessary. However, the nice thing about dealerships is that they’re often willing to buy your old auto regardless of condition or mileage. Some are even equipped with a policy that lets you trade in any car you’re up for selling.

Again, because of the haggling factor here, its good to know beforehand what your car is worth, in addition to each and every deficiency present in your vehicle, so you can be realistic when it comes to pricing. How do you pick the dealership? AutoTrader.com suggests that you base this decision on the quality and original manufacturer of your ride: You’ll want to find the dealership that’s the most interested in selling it because they’re likely to give you the most money for it.

Auto selling can be tricky business–but hopefully with some simple knowledge of your car’s worth, you’ll have money for your old car and a new set of wheels in no time. The simplest way to find the true value of your soon-to-be-dearly-departed is to go straight to Kelly Blue Book’s What’s My Car Worth calculator.

Have you had recent luck selling your car with any of these options, or maybe one we didn’t think of? Any particularly bad experiences selling?

Bad Credit Check Auto Lender Shares "Is Your Credit Score Affecting Insurance …

PR Web

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) March 11, 2015

In this newly released article, Complete Auto Loans explains why credit score can affect insurance rates. Most people dont think credit score influences insurance rates, but they do. From late payments to how many credit cards show up, credit reports are used to determine whats called by insurers, an insurance score.

https://completeautoloans.com/application-form/ – Get approved for a car loan in as little as 60 seconds.

In this article, Complete Auto Loans shares, Insurers use what they call an insurance score as a risk predictor. When determining needed coverage and the rates to use, insurers dont look at your regular credit scores, such as the familiar FICO score. Instead, they look at parts of your credit report — how many accounts are past due and possible bankruptcies — to compile whats called a credit-based insurance score, To learn more about how to lower rates with credit history read the whole article here.

As an extra service, Complete Auto Loans also provides a complimentary online credit score tool which has helped drivers save thousands of dollars. Upon completing the easy online car loan application, applicants are given the opportunity to save thousands of dollars on their loan. For more information, visit Complete Auto Loans website.

About Complete Auto Loans:
Complete Auto Loans is a Seattle-based company that is dedicated to helping their customers acquire national car financing. They design and develop customized no credit financing, bad and good credit loans. Voted the best for Quality Customer Service and Best National Service by thousands of people, their finance experts focus on providing their customers with the following: information and tools available for different loan offers, how to choose the best loan that fits their budget, as well as related eligibility guidelines.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/credit-score-insurance/bad-credit-auto-check/prweb12575774.htm