NSE companies likely to declare losses for 2018

It is the dream of every shareholder to earn dividends at the end of every financial year. In fact, the whole essence of investing is to earn returns on investments. But sometimes, it becomes impossible for shareholders to receive dividends, especially so whenever companies run at a loss. After all, it is from earned profits that dividends are paid.

We are currently at the peak of the audit period, when companies disclose their financial statements for the previous year. And as the results continue to pour in, millions of shareholders are hopeful for the best. Unfortunately, some of these shareholders would not be getting any dividend this year. The reason is simple – the companies they have invested in might be declaring losses instead of profits.

Seeing as the typical Chief Executive Officer is the poster child of the company he or she leads, it is only apt that this article focuses on them and how their leadership styles, more or less, failed to produce the desired results for investors. Today is Tuesday, which means that it’s time for CEO profile. So, here are your CEOs of the week.

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Mrs Rose Okwechime, the CEO of Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc

Appointed in 1992, Mrs Okwechime has been the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc for nearly thirty years. And inasmuch as she must have done well for the company over these years, available figures suggest that the company might run at a loss when it finally announces its 2018 result.

According to the company’s unaudited financial report for the third quarter ended September 30th, it recorded a gross earning of N982.4 million, as against N1 billion worth of revenue that was generated during the comparable period in 2017. In the same vein, the company recorded a 294.17% loss after tax of N95.7 million. It had made a profit tax of N49.2 in Q3 2017.

Based on the foregoing, the chances that the company could avoid a 2018 loss depends entirely on if it had performed incredibly well during the last three months of the year.

Regardless, it is important to note that Mrs Okwechime is an experienced professional with many years of experience. For almost a decade, she worked at the Bank of England as a cost analyst, after which she went ahead to work in a number of other companies, including Deltic Energy Limited, and Africa International Bank. Mrs Okwechime currently sits on the board of United Bank for Africa as a Non-Executive Director.

She is an alumnus of the Ogun State University, where she graduated with an MBA degree in banking and Finance in 2000. She also studied Business Programmes at the International Institute for Management Development.

Mrs Abosede Ayeni, the Chief Executive Officer of Tantalizers Plc

Much like Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, Tantalisers Plc is expected to declare a loss for the year ended December 31st, 2018. And when this happens, Mrs Ayeni will be the woman many investors would be looking to for some explanations. After all, she is the person in charge.

Unaudited results so far released by the fast food company shows that though it recorded a total revenue of about N1.1 billion for Q3 2018, it ran at a loss of N213.5 million as against a profit after tax of N760 million during the same period in 2017. Based on these, the possibility of a full year loss abounds.

Mrs Abosede Ayeni is the founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Tantalizers Plc. She is an alumnus of the University of Ife, graduating in 1979 with a B.A in Language Arts. In 2006, she bagged a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Pan African University. Prior to starting Tantalizers in 1997, she worked in Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited, and Senkay Nigeria Limited.

Chief Suresh Murli Chellaram, the CEO of Chellaram Plc

All things being equal, Chellarams Plc will declare a loss after tax at the end of its 2018 financial year which will end in March this year. So far, the conglomerate’s third quarter 2018 financial report shows that though it generated some N3.3 billion worth of revenue, its profits are in the negative. As a result, it reported a loss after tax of N1.1 billion. The loss, most likely, might continue till the end of the financial year unless something drastic happens between now and March ending.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer is Mr Suresh Murli Chellaram. He studied at the University of California, graduating in 1976 with a degree in Business Administration.
His professional career spans decades as a top executive in the company. First, he headed Chellarams Group USA until 1984 and later joined Chellarams Nigeria Plc. He was appointed as the company’s Managing Director in 1989. He has since played a major role towards the transformation of the company.

Asides being successful in boardrooms, Mr Chellaram is also a philanthropist who is affiliated with quite a number of charities in Nigeria and elsewhere. He has also been involved in the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, the Young Presidents Organisation, etc.

The CEO of Austin Laz & Company Plc

According to its recently disclosed financial report for the period ended September 30th, only a total revenue of N297.1 million was recorded for Austin Las & Company Plc. The company also recorded a loss after tax of N25.3 million. This puts it in the list of companies Nairametrics expects to report overall loss for full-year 2018 – except, of course, something unexpected happens along the line.

The company’s CEO is Dr Austin Lazarus Ashinmonye, who has been occupying the position since 1982. Available information says that he is an accomplished engineer who designed/invented the first ice block making machine in Nigeria.

Source: Emmanuel Abara Benson

The richest people in 19 countries around the world

As the march of globalisation continues, the number of very rich people all over the world is increasing.

While the US still dominates the top 50 richest list — created by Forbes — “outlier” billionaires in nations like Spain, Mexico, and France are competing in the money stakes.

Many of the billionaires on this list are self-made, while others inherited their fortunes but had the business acumen to greatly increase it.

Almost every industry makes an appearance here, be it fashion, energy, supermarkets, investing, or chocolate spread. Keep scrolling to see the richest people in 19 different countries around the world.

Denmark — Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, $13.1 billion (£9.85 billion). We start with the former President and CEO of the company behind everyone’s favourite childhood toy: Lego. As a boy, Kristiansen worked with his grandfather, Ole Kirk Christiansen, to test the tiny bricks — and the rest is history.

Austria — Dietrich Mateschitz, $13.2 billion (£9.9 billion). The cocreator of the Red Bull energy drink, Mateschitz has used his vast fortune to create his own Formula One racing team, and he even owns a hangar where he keeps his collection of planes.

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Russia — Leonid Mikhelson, $14.4 billion (£10.8 billion). Mikhelson is the CEO and chairman of gas company Novatek. He began life as a foreman at a construction company before working his way up to become Russia’s richest citizen.

UK — Hinduja family, $14.5 billion (£10.9 billion). The people behind the Hinduja Group, a global conglomerate headquartered in London, are Britain’s richest citizens. With annual company revenues of over $20 billion, perhaps that is not surprising.

Japan — Tadashi Yanai, $14.6 billion (£11 billion). Yanai owns Fast Retailing, which means he also owns the Uniqlo clothing brand, which is ubiquitous on high streets around the world. He recently said, “I might look successful but I’ve made many mistakes. People take their failures too seriously.”

Nigeria — Aliko Dangote, $15.4 billion (£11.6 billion). Africa’s richest person is in commodities, and, as the owner of the Dangote Group, he has interests all over the continent. Wealth is clearly in his blood — his family was also mega-wealthy.

Saudi Arabia — Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, $17.3 billion (£13 billion). The founder, CEO, and majority shareholder of the Kingdom Holding Company, Bin Talal Alsaud also has major interests in Citigroup and 20th Century Fox.

India — Mukesh Ambani, $19.3 billion (£14.5 billion). An oil- and gasman, Ambani has a 48% stake in Reliance Industries, India’s second-most-valuable company. He lives in a private (and controversial) 27-story building that towers above the slums of Mumbai​.

Sweden — Stefan Persson, $20.8 billion (£15.6 billion). Persson, left, took over from his father as chairman of fashion brand H&M in 1982, and the company has gone from strength to strength since.

Italy — Maria Franca Fissolo, $22.1 billion (£16.6 billion). It’s hard to believe a chocolate spread could be worth so much money, but it has made Maria Franca Fissolo — the widow of Nutella creator Michele Ferrero — Italy’s richest person.

Canada — David Thomson, $23.8 billion (£17.9 billion). Thomson inherited the chairman position of the Thomson Corporation after the death of his father in 2006, and a merger with Reuters means he now heads one of the biggest information and media companies in the world.

Germany — Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr., $25.9 billion (£19.5 billion). It may seem like the Aldi supermarket chain has come out of nowhere, but it has actually existed since Karl and Theo Albrecht founded it in 1946. It has left his children, who still run the chain, vastly rich.

Hong Kong — Li Ka-shing, $27.1 billion (£20.4 billion). Asia’s second-richest person, Ka-shing owns CK Hutchison Holdings, which specialises in shipping, developments, and health and beauty retail. Despite his wealth, Ka-shing maintains a humble lifestyle and is a great philanthropist.

Brazil/Switzerland — Jorge Paulo Lemann, $27.8 billion (£21 billion). Lemann was born in Rio de Janeiro but spends much of his time in Switzerland, and is the richest man in both nations. He is a brilliant investor and founded the Banco Garantia, which Forbes called “the Brazilian Goldman Sachs.”

China — Wang Jianlin, $28.7 billion (£21.6 billion). Jianlin is the chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest real-estate developer. But he’s also dabbled in movies, buying the AMC movie-theater operator as well as a big stake in Italian football team AC Milan.

France — Liliane Bettencourt, $36.1 billion (£27 billion). The richest woman in the world, Bettencourt inherited the L’Oreal empire in 1957. Despite the socialite status of her past, she generally shuns interviews now, although she is still active in charity with the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation.

Mexico — Carlos Slim, $60.8 billion (£45.7 billion). Slim was the richest man in the world between 2010 and 2013, but he will have to settle for richest man in Mexico this year. He is the chairman of Telmex, the country’s largest mobile-phone operator, and has stakes in 40% of the listings of Mexico’s stock exchange.

Spain — Amancio Ortega, $67 billion (£50 billion). Fashion retail is big business, especially if you own the company behind Zara. Ortega, who lives in Galicia, is intensely private, and for a long time few photos of him existed. It was only when his company went public in 2001 that he made more appearances, but interviews with the man are still impossible.

US — Bill Gates, $75 billion (£56 billion). America’s richest person, and the world’s richest person. The Microsoft cofounder stepped down as the company’s CEO in 2000 but has stayed on as its chairman, though since 2006 that role has been part-time. Most of his time is now devoted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which looks into how it can give away his fortune.

Source: Businessinsider

Foreign Investment in Russian Real Estate Highest Since 2012, Report Says

Investment in Russia’s commercial real estate reportedly hit six-year highs last year in a sign of the once-booming market’s recovery from geopolitical tensions.

Foreign investment in Russian real estate took off in the 2000’s to reach 62 percent of all investment in the market between 2004 and 2008. Investment sentiment suffered after 2014 with Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, the ruble’s volatility and plunging oil prices.

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Foreign investment in commercial real estate totaled 59.5 billion rubles ($899 million) in 2018, the RBC news website reported, citing figures from the Knight Frank consulting company.

According to the figures, foreign investment in real estate last year came second only to the 70 billion rubles invested in 2012.

Foreign transactions made up almost a quarter of all real estate investments (248.1 billion rubles) in Russia last year, the highest share since 2014, when it accounted for 39 percent, according to the reported data.

Knight Frank’s figures differ from other market analysts due to varying methodologies. According to RBC, consultancies Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and CBRE estimate that only $2.8 billion was invested in commercial real estate, while Colliers International places the figure at $2.4 billion.

“Were there no sanctions, there would be many more foreign investors in the market at current prices and trends,” says Sayan Tsyrenov, PwC’s head of mergers and acquisitions advisory.

“Despite the upside, many others are still afraid to come to Russia as they fear increased sanctions pressure,” RBC quotes Tsyrenov as saying.

Source: themoscowtimes.com

‘Brexit discount’ on London property fails to tempt US buyers

Potential US buyers of luxury London homes are leaving multi-million pound discounts on the table as Brexit-related uncertainty stalks the capital’s high-end property market. Research by estate agent Savills found those buying so-called “prime” central London properties costing £5m or more can expect to pay 36 per cent less than in June 2014 when falls in sterling, property price fluctuations and stamp duty rises are taken into consideration.

Buying a £5m London home in June 2014 would have cost a US dollar buyer $9.1m, including stamp duty, Savills found. Purchasing the same property at the end of 2018 would have cost $5.8m, taking falling house prices in central London, stamp duty and currency changes into account — a difference of $3.3m (£2.5m) in just four years. Yet while a small number of US buyers have taken advantage of the discounts, property market experts said the strong influx of foreign buyers that historically follows sharp declines in sterling had yet to materialise.

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Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills, said there had been no repeat of the bouncebacks seen in 2009 and the early 1990s. “In previous downturns it’s exactly this sort of currency-based advantage on top of a significant price adjustment that brought people back into the market. Previously it’s resulted in some pretty rapid recoveries. That hasn’t happened to anything like the same degree this time round.”

Average house prices in prime central London are now down by 19.4 per cent from their peak in mid-2014, Savills said, having finished 4.1 per cent down in 2018 alone. Sterling has fallen 25 per cent against the US dollar since the end of June 2014. Mr Cook said he still expected a bounceback among foreign buyers, but it had been delayed by negative Brexit sentiment, and its timing would depend further on whether Britain made an orderly departure from the EU. Another factor is the harsher tax environment for foreign property buyers, not only via increased stamp duty at the top end but also rule changes on capital gains tax and inheritance tax for overseas purchasers.

Roarie Scarisbrick, a buying agent at Property Vision, said transaction volumes had dropped off much more dramatically than prices in central London, with sales volumes at the top end having fallen by 40 to 50 per cent since 2014. “As you go up the value chain, the effect has been massive.” He said he had seen much interest from US buyers in the past year. “They are very much in the market. But it’s not a stampede — it’s a few very wealthy individuals who have spotted the discounts and it works for them.”

The FT this week reported that the US hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin had bought a Georgian house near Buckingham Palace for £95m — down from an original asking price of £145m, according to people familiar with the purchase. Mr Scarisbrick said the market at the top end was being sustained by those who had an underlying or pressing need to buy in the capital for work or family reasons. “The speculative investor is out of the London market altogether.” Other dollar-based buyers, such as those from the Middle East, were also eyeing the currency advantage with great interest, he said, but remained “very nervous”.

“We’ve got such strong headwinds in the UK — a political crisis with unknown consequences combined with high prices and transaction costs. They’re all concerned that it could get a whole lot worse and turn on them.” Though euro-based buyers are also seeing substantial discounts on 2014 prices, they are similarly wary of committing to a purchase in a febrile political climate. “European buyers are largely sitting on their hands because they’re much closer to the action. They may feel they have greater exposure to a major fallout,” Mr Scarisbrick said.

Source: .ft.com

Tesla’s entry into Nigeria’s power sector unsettles DisCos

Since the story broke that American electric car maker Tesla is planning entry into Nigeria’s power sector, electricity distribution companies (DisCos) have been in a panic mood over what they perceive as threat to their revenue.

“I understand the story has sent panic into the market since it broke,” Chuks Nwani, an energy lawyer, said by phone on Saturday. “The DisCos are taking the threat really seriously.”
Last week, DisCos held meetings on how the industry will respond to the perceived threat from Tesla. The mood at these conversations has been sombre and serious, according to two people who were present in the meetings.

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A key concern is that since DisCos do not have exclusivity over franchise areas, Tesla and any other competitors can easily lure away their choice customers, especially as they seek to focus on industrial customers who pay higher electricity bills.

Babatunde Fashola, minister of Power, Works and Housing, and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have maintained that DisCos do not have exclusivity over their franchise areas, a situation that creates room for competition in the sector.

This is why projects like the Sura Market Independent Power Project and the Ariaria Market IPP have proceeded despite lawsuits by the DisCos. The Enugu DisCo took Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution Network Limited (AIEDN) to court in June last year, saying it encroached and trespassed on its distribution licensed coverage area by illegally constructing distribution lines without a licence and without the DisCo’s authorisation.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the sector regulator, responded by issuing AIEDN a licence the next day.

Also, last year, in Lagos, Eko DisCo bared its fangs against a private company, PIPP LVI Distribution Limited, directing it to remove all the lines it laid on its network and cease soliciting further business from its customers. The directive didn’t stop the company’s work.
Under the Rural Electrification Agency’s Energising Economies programme, markets including Ariaria in Abia State, Sura and Iponri in Lagos and Sabon Gari in Kano have been taken away from the DisCos and handed to private investors who can provide 24-hour power supply at a tariff that is cost-reflective.

Curiously, the same regulator has also prevented the DisCos from pricing electricity sold to the public at market prices.
DisCos are also worried that Tesla’s superior product offering and focus on industrial customers could wipe off a significant chunk of their revenue. The company is said to be mulling providing batteries with a capacity of between 1Kilowatt hour to 1MW, capable of powering an industrial complex or an industrial estate, or between 10,000 to 100,000 homes.
When contacted, Tesla’s Nigerian office referred this paper to the corporation’s US press office. Robert Pierce, an energy communications representative at Tesla, said the company does not have a comment at this time “but we’ll update you if that changes”.

But a source close to Tesla said DisCos have been making enquiries from the company about its plan after the story was published. The company’s Nigerian office has been fielding calls from DisCos, many of the calls borne out of both curiosity and paranoia. This has forced Tesla to reassure them that it was not necessarily coming to deepen their woes but to offer benefits to underserved customers.
Many Nigerians are, however, excited about the prospect of Tesla’s entry into the country’s broken electricity sector.

Many see it as a breath of fresh air as can be deduced from engagements with the story on social media networks. Many also expressed fears about the business environment capable of forcing the company out of Nigeria even as it did Richard Branson.
Analysts say a positive for the power sector is that Tesla’s entry may just provide the right push needed to compel the DisCos to do actual work on improving their distribution systems and get better at collecting electricity bills.

Between October and December last year, Nigeria’s 11 electricity distribution companies collected from consumers only 65 percent of the value of electricity sold but remitted back to other operators only 33 percent of what they collected, according to the third quarter report released by NERC.

In monetary terms, total billing to electricity consumers by the 11 DisCos was N172.9 billion, but only a total collection of N106.7 billion, representing 65.5 percent of billing, was recorded.

Real estate slowdown shakes Asia’s economic foundations

The economic downturn in China and the darkening global outlook have reversed the momentum in Asia’s property markets, giving home-buyers painful whiplash and raising fears of spillover effects on consumer spending.

Eason Shao is one condo buyer caught by the sudden shift. For about six months last year, he repeatedly signed up for “housing lotteries” in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, determined to purchase an apartment where he could start a family. Developers had introduced the lotteries in big cities in late 2017, as the number of buyers had far exceeded the available units during a three-year property frenzy.

Shao, who works for an internet finance company, would get up at 6 a.m. and join long lines of hopefuls outside a local bank. The prospective buyers would transfer tens of thousands of dollars each to the developers just to be included in the draw. For the most popular developments, Shao said, the odds of being chosen were as low as 1%.

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Then, only a few months later, the rush died down. Shao heard that people were buying more attractive homes in better locations without going through a lottery at all. “Of course I’m a bit disappointed,” he said. “But I made the best decision I could manage back then.”

Shao’s experience is just a snapshot of the Chinese real estate roller coaster ride, as the trade dispute with the U.S. and the broader economic slowdown hit homebuyers’ confidence in the world’s No. 2 economy. Since last year, China’s largest developers have slashed prices by up to 30% to speed up sales, and analysts and economists expect a further 10% price drop this year.

The cooling market is worrisome for China’s policymakers. For years, the sector has played a pivotal role in creating jobs, driving investment and generating cash for local governments. Roughly 25% of the country’s gross domestic product comes from property-related industries.

In Hong Kong, one of the world’s most expensive housing markets, owners are grudgingly adjusting to a cruel reality in which homes are increasingly being sold at a loss. Prices peaked last July and declines are accelerating. In November, prices of existing homes fell 3.5%, the territory’s largest single-month fall since the global financial crisis in 2008.

Analysts are predicting a correction as deep as 15%, as Hong Kong faces a triple whammy of the trade war, the slowdown on the mainland and higher real interest rates.

“Hong Kong’s almost 10-year housing market bull run looks like it is coming to an end,” said Joseph Tsang, executive director at Jones Lang LaSalle in the city.

A huge influx of mainland capital was one reason Hong Kong’s residential prices more than tripled after 2009. The authorities imposed a series of restrictions on non-local buyers and prolific investors to try to stem the surge. They largely failed, but now the U.S.-China friction and other external turmoil are doing the job for them.

In Japan, housing prices in some Tokyo suburbs are falling sharply as buyers become pickier. In early January, the price of a condo in the Eravio Todoroki development just 30 minutes from the central Tokyo Station business district was cut by 13%, to 59.8 million yen ($550,000).

“It takes more than 10 minutes to walk from the station to the building, which is a little long for customers who prioritize convenience,” said a manager with developer Dynacel.

“We started to sell this apartment a year and a half ago, but it was taking too long,” the official said. “We wanted to sell out all the units to avoid additional operating costs.”

“Developers tend to select locations more carefully of late,” said Tadashi Matsuda, a chief researcher at Japan’s Real Estate Economic Institute. “If condos are far from a station, sales depend more on prices.”

Data from the institute shows that the monthly contract ratio for new condos in the capital area — the ratio of new units sold to fresh supply — was under 70% for most of last year. Anything under that threshold is considered unfavorable. The figure for December, announced on Tuesday, was 49.4%, down 23.1 points from the previous year.

And there is a clear divergence between central Tokyo and its periphery. “Sales of condos in the suburbs of Tokyo were in very bad shape in 2018, in contrast to the top form of high-rise buildings in central districts,” said Tatsuhiko Hisamitsu, president of consulting company Totalbrain.

Prices in many parts of Asia have risen in recent years, with steady economic growth and relatively low interest rates pulling in investment. A study by the Asian Development Bank and Citigroup recently found that home prices were 26 times the median household income in Shanghai, 23 times in Beijing and 19 times in Hong Kong — an imbalance that raises the risk of a major shock when the market declines.

Some governments have sought to avoid that risk by lowering the market temperature. Singapore stepped in last July with measures including a 5% increase on the buyer’s stamp duty rate when purchasing a second and subsequent property. This came after the residential property price index rose 9% in the year through last June.

“The sharp increase in prices, if left unchecked, could run ahead of economic fundamentals and raise the risk of a destabilizing correction later, especially with rising interest rates and the strong pipeline of housing supply,” the Singaporean government explained.

Singapore’s intervention led to the first drop in the home price index in six quarters — a 0.1% fall in the October-December term. “Property prices could have increased by more than 10% in 2018 if not for the July cooling measures, which have been effective in curbing market exuberance,” said Christine Li, senior director and head of research at Cushman & Wakefield.

“Investors for high-end homes are expected to adopt a wait-and-see approach, as uncertainties in the global financial market have dampened the sentiment somewhat,” Li said. “Recent cooling measures have also made it less attractive for foreigners to invest in Singapore residential in the near term.”

Nevertheless, Thailand is also tightening its lending criteria for housing loans this year, aiming to rein in household debt.

The country is concerned about the rising ratio of nonperforming housing loans, which stood at 3.37% at the end of September, according to the Bank of Thailand.

The central bank governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob, cited the nonperforming loan ratio as a danger to domestic financial stability, noting that such loans have continued to rise “especially among second- and third- home buyers.”

Under the new rules, anyone buying a second home will have to make a down payment of at least 20% of the value to qualify for a mortgage exceeding 10 million baht ($310,000)

“One key area to watch this year is the pace of interest rate hikes, which will likely weigh on home buying interest should they escalate sharply,” said Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

Chinese fiscal stimulus is another factor to monitor. Praveen Choudhary, property analyst at Morgan Stanley, predicts prices in Hong Kong will drop more than 10% in the next six months but stage a modest recovery in the second half of the year, as Beijing stabilizes its economy and Washington pauses its hikes.

Capital Economics analyst Chang Liu is more pessimistic about Hong Kong, warning that a declining property market could impact other sectors in the territory of 7 million people. The analyst foresees a 30% decline in Hong Kong property prices over the next five years, leading to a 3% to 6% contraction in consumption and a 0.5-percentage-point reduction in annual gross domestic product growth.

An Asiawide housing slump would take a toll at the best of times, and these are not the best of times. The U.S.-China trade war threatens to destabilize the world economy, and for now the uptrend in U.S. interest rates has begun to suck money out of emerging countries.

Banks, developers and homeowners would be the first to suffer, but the ripples would fan out from there.

“We think weaker housing markets will impact economic activity,” Citigroup analysts noted in a recent report, citing “implications on household consumption,” including hits to wealth and confidence, as well as construction- and housing-related employment. They also expect detrimental effects on real estate investment activity.

“We find that the impact [of] housing prices [on] consumption is particularly high and statistically significant in more developed Asian economies — New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Australia (and a tad bit in Hong Kong) — but is surprisingly also disproportionately high … for the Philippines,” the analysts added.

China has already seen how a real estate slump, coupled with a stock downturn, can dampen consumption.While retail sales grew 9% on the year in 2018, the figure was down from 10.2% in 2017.

Now, as the real estate warning signs spread, it’s buyer beware in Asia.

Source: asia.nikkei.com

Ghanaian Millionaire To Invest In Real Estate,Other Sectors In Liberia

President George Manneh Weah at his inaugural address passionately appealed to the global business community to explore the enormous investment opportunities the Liberian economy has to offer. The influx of investors to Liberia after this clarion call has been highly remarkable and refreshing.

According to reliable data at the National Investment Commission, a significant amount of these investors are from West Africa, reinforcing the pan African school of thought that Africa can be built by Africans. Latest to respond to this call is one of Ghana’s astute and highly successful business owners, Dr. George Obeng.

Dr. Obeng is expected to visit Liberia later this month, in order to hold talks with some top government officials from selected ministries and agencies so as to discuss his investment plans and also extend a hand of invitation to the official opening of Nananom Group Liberia in the first quarter of 2019.

The company seeks to commence operations in various sectors; namely: Real Estate, Hotel, Shopping Malls, Logistics, Aviation, Transportation and Mining.

In a telephone conversation, Dr. Obeng said: “Our decision to invest in the Liberian economy is also in line with our 3 year strategic plan to extend operations to 6 African countries. Liberia was given immediate consideration, based on the findings of our consulting partners who conducted three months of feasibility studies in various sectors of the economy.

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“We are excited about the prospects in Liberia and will commit a significant amount of investment to the private sector. Our passion is job creation, which we strongly believe will complement the pro poor agenda of the government.”

Dr. Obeng started Nananom Financial in 2006, the first African-owned financial service company in Ontario, Canada, where the company offers financial services to over 5,000 clients. These services include accounting and taxation, bookkeeping and finance, mortgage and loans, legal services, income tax appeal, insurance bond, harmonized sales tax, etc.
Nananom grew from a single company to a Group Status in 2010, with a number of distinct businesses in Canada and Ghana.

According to Dr. Obeng, Nananom Group has built a strong financial base in order to cater for all its subsidiaries; it has been re-positioned and re–structured so as to be one of the most competitive businesses in Africa and the world.

He said the group currently operates in over 15 industries, namely: Real Estate, Property Management, Mining, Transportation, Manufacturers’ Representative and security Services. Highlighted among these is the group’s flagship housing project, Summerhill Estate, which has been highly applauded by the Ghanaian government and stakeholders in Ghana’s housing sectors.

In 2015, the Nananom Group gave birth to the prestigious Summerhill Estate located in a new luxurious residential enclave, East Legon Hills, Accra, Ghana. It offers very high quality products, exquisitely and stylishly built with personalized first class facilities.

Summerhill is considered the most preferred real estate company in Ghana and beyond as it offers the highest quality and customer focus housing while creating value for clients through competitive price. It comes with emphasis on affordability, which highlights bridging the gap between luxury and affordability—which Liberians could benefit from.

The CDC-led government, since its ascendancy, continues to echo the need for the provision of affordable, permanent and decent homes for Liberians, many of whom are extremely poor and underprivileged.

This effort, the Weah government indicates, is to address the country’s housing dilemma as Liberia lags far behind its African counterparts, especially within the Mano River Union basin, on the provision of decent and affordable housing units that could bring dignity to the lives of the citizenry.

Being a renowned real estate firm involved with the construction of Luxurious Apartments and Condominium Rentals in Ghana, Nananom Group, through its Summerhill subsidiary, is also contemplating on constructing housing units for low income earners based on arrangements with the requisite authorities within the country. “Our coming to Liberia could also be a great relief for the nation and its people through the construction of affordable housing units,” the Nananom Group founder said.

Venturing in such an initiative could engender President Weah’s quest to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor through government pro-poor agenda.

Another advantage that comes with such an investment is the employment opportunities that it offers for ordinary Liberians, especially the young people.

Dr. Obeng noted that his interest in investing in Liberia is predicated upon President Weah’s call that the country is open for business and that those wanting to invest in Liberia should come in. “We need to come as Africans and support the vision of this new President and his government,” he said.

Source: liberianobserver.com

Real Estate: Romanian Investors made A Record €200million Investment in 2018-Report

The year 2018 ended with a significant premiere on the local real estate market: Romanian investors ranked second in the volumes generated by nationality. Almost EUR 200 million were paid to buy commercial properties (about a quarter of the total volume), a significant leap to more than five times their investment in 2017, according to Colliers International real estate consultancy.

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“The increased presence of the Romanian capital on the real estate market marks a possible turning point, because one of the observations we have received so far from some foreign investors without activity here was: if Romanians do not trust the local assets, why should we? At the same time, it is also a sign that the Romanian economy as a whole has grown so much in the last decade to lead to capital accumulation, a positive aspect for longer term prospects,” said Robert Miklo, Investment Services director, Colliers International.

On average, in the Central and Eastern European economies, local buyers accounted for 23 percent of the business, so Romania approached the other countries in the region for the first time. Another observation would be that South African capital still dominates in Romania, with a share of almost one-third of the investment volume, double the share it has in the region as a whole.

A second memorable event of the past year is that two of the signed deals are among the top ten largest real estate transactions.

“The sale of The Bridge and Oregon Park offices in Bucharest is one of the top 10 largest real estate deals ever made in Romania. If Romania’s economy does not go too far from potential growth in 2019 (about 4 percent), and the global economy will remain in a relatively favorable dynamics, growth in the real estate market can also be seen. Last year yields in the Central and Eastern European capitals continued to decline, increasing the gap with prices in Romania. Thus, despite the more difficult economic context and higher uncertainties than a year ago, there are premises for 2019 to generate new positive surprises, and these two records recorded in 2018 could even be overcome,” added Miklo.

The largest transaction made by the Romanian capital also marked the entry into the real estate market of the Dedeman group, which bought the Bridge project in Bucharest’s center-west area for a total value close to 200 million euros (in the metering of investments in 2018, a lower figure for this transaction was taken into account as the third phase will be completed in 2019).

Other transactions made by local stock companies were smaller but relevant for the market: the acquisition of the Bucharest Corporate Center office building by One United Properties or Oradea Shopping City by Sapient Center Oradea.

Source: business-review.eu

Top Seven Traits Of A Successful Real Estate Investor

Real estate is said to have made more millionaires than anything else. For those who have successfully made money in it, it’s not hard to see why. With so many different ways to grow wealth investing in real estate, there are tons of opportunities for many different people with different skill sets and talents to be successful, make money, and improve their financial position in meaningful ways.

There are recognized patterns in the abilities of an investor that often lead to their success. I’ve compiled a list of some of the traits I see pop up time and time again among the most successful investors I’ve met. Whether it’s a house flipper, residential home landlord, or large apartment complex owner, these same traits are almost always involved.

1. Knowledge

There is no substitute for knowledge. When you see the very best doing what they do, they always seem to know more than those around them. Real estate investors with large portfolio simply know more about what drives markets, how to time market cycles, and which things to watch out for. They are much more likely to recognize shifting markets before others do and are prepared to take advantage of these opportunities when they present themselves.

The very best never stop learning, and real estate is no exception.If you want to focus on where to grow your knowledge, I recommend starting with developing the following skills:

  • The ability to analyze a property for cash flow
  • The ability to recognize an under-valued property
  • Developing a basic understanding for estimating rehab costs
  • Learning the economic factors that drive a market
  • Learning the various pieces at play when it comes to owning rental property (property management duties, etc)

The more you know about real estate investing, the less fear you’ll have. Overcoming fear is one of the best things you can learn to do if you want to carve out a successful career for yourself in real estate.

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2. Patience

Having patience may sound simple, but that’s not always the case. When it comes to real estate investing, there is a lot of pressure on you to move and move fast. The best deals go quick, and allowing projects to run past the agreed upon timeline can be expensive. Investors are constantly facing pressures to do more, do it faster, and do it cheaper.

The best investors have learned to temper this pressure with wisdom and patience. They know when they need to run fast, and when they need to stop and wait to see how things develop. Patience can take several forms when it comes to real estate investing. Learning to recognize areas where you’ll need to practice it can save you from a lot of expensive mistakes.

One big area investors make mistakes on is buying a property solely because it allows them to meet a goal they’ve established in their own mind. Many newbie investors set deadlines for when they’d like to buy their next property, then feel pressure to make it happen-even if the deal isn’t that great. The best investors don’t feel the need to buy a pre-determined number of houses a month. They know if they don’t buy one this month, they may just buy two next month instead. Having patience to wait for the right deal is crucial, and having the fortitude to wait until it comes along is a valuable trait to possess.

Another problem novice investors make is jumping in at the wrong part of the market cycle. When everyone else is buying a home, it can be tempting to want to get involved yourself. Top investors zig when everyone else zags. They are fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Waiting for the market to slow down, or crash even, can require more intestinal fortitude but it is also a much better time to be picking up assets.

Managing the friction between pressure to act and patience to wait is a tough skill to develop. The best real estate investors have mastered this and reap the rewards of it.

3. Vision

While real estate investing may look like it’s all about the numbers from the outside, this is rarely the case. While buying cash flowing property and holding on to it for a long period of time will generally build your wealth, the very best investors do more than just buy and hold. They buy and improve the assets in their portfolio, adding value in additional ways.

Having the vision to see what a property could be, and then pursuing that vision, is what sets apart the average investors from the best. In real estate there is a term called “highest and best use.” It describes the concept of finding the very best use for a property and working to help bring that to fruition. Good investors do this well.

In a hot market, you don’t just find good deals. You make good deals. Top notch investors see ways to add value to properties without spending more money than they have to. For those with the vision to bring it about, there can be big rewards for those who buy the ugly duckling and turn it into the beautiful swan.

Some of the common ways investors do this are:

  • Adding bedrooms to a house in a house with less than three
  • Adding bathrooms to a house with less than two
  • Adding square footage cheaply. Often by converting car ports, Florida rooms, efficiency rooms, or covered storage areas to make them part of the property
  • Buying properties with strong bones that need cheap cosmetic upgrades
  • Buying income property and increasing the rents
  • Buying commercial property and decreasing the expenses

There are many ways to add value to a property and the best real estate investors have mastered this. Whether it’s a big time real estate developer who creates an experience buyers will pay top dollar for, or a weekend warrior handyman who buys a fixer upper and does the work himself, the top notch investors all have the vision to take something as it lies and make it better.

4. Efficiency

Efficiency is a skill practiced by the best business people around, and real estate investing is no exception. The vast majority of us would accomplish much more than we do in life if we had the ability to cut through distractions and get things done faster. Top real estate investors excel in this area.

In order to become efficient at what they do, smart business people look for things that take up time throughout their day that aren’t adding to the bottom line. Answering every email, taking unscheduled phone calls, and following up on tasks that are someone else’s responsibility are all examples of ways we prevent ourselves from focusing on what really matters.

Once you understand how important it is to be efficient, you are more likely to start demanding it from those around you. Contractors are much less likely to miss their timelines when they know the boss is an efficient person who expects the same. This principle drips its way down through every aspect of the business.

The best investors expect information to be delivered timely and in the format they understand best. They use their time wisely, listening to audio books and podcasts during their morning commute and leveraging assistants to respond to emails and phone calls. If you want to take your business to the next level, start with increasing your own efficiency and see if it doesn’t have a direct result on your productivity.

5. Focus

This one should come as no surprise. The best investors are highly focused, know what they want, and do not let anything prevent them from getting there. Obstacles are not a problem for the focused. A light bulb shines it’s light throughout a whole room. Its energy is spread out and covers a large area-that is its purpose. A laser, however, is highly focused. Its energy is narrowly concentrated in a specific direction. Lasers can punch though obstacles that light bulbs cannot.

The best investors have the focus of a laser. They don’t let obstacles stop them, and they know exactly where they are going. The “Pareto Principle” (also called the 80/20 rule and developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto) can be summed up by stating 20% of your efforts will result in 80% of your results. Top business people adhere to this belief and it’s philosophy is seen in their business plans. By focusing their efforts on the 20% of the job that produces 80% of the results, they outperform their competition and make progress where others stall.

Don’t believe me? Look at the way income is distributed throughout the world. Look at the way the top 20% in most industries get 80% of the business. Whether it’s at a macro level (20% of a nations population control 80% of the wealth), business level (top 20% of salespeople are responsible for 80% of the revenue generated), or personal level (you wear 20% of your closet’s clothes 80% of the time), you’ll see the 80/20 principle at work.

Top investors understand this and narrow their focus to concentrate it rather than expand it to weaken it. The ability to focus increases production and allows them to punch through obstacles that would stop others.

6. Relationship building

If you want to know what the best business people focus on in their top 20%, it’s relationship building. Those with the best relationships always seem to win. Whether it’s getting the deal first, getting their permits approved by the city, winning the bid for the project, or getting the best pricing for the construction, those who have the best relationships are going to succeed.

We’ve all heard “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. The top investors have stopped fighting this fact and embraced it. Want to know why the wealthiest business people want yachts, expensive huge homes, and take lavish trips? It’s not always purely ego. These people understand that assets like these can open doors for relationship building that pay off bigger later.

That yacht can be a great way to get to know someone to give you the business loan your company needs, and that vacation home in the mountains can come in really useful when trying to build a relationship with someone who ski’s. Owning assets isn’t the only way to improve your relationship building, but it is an indication that smart business men and women understand this.

Bringing value to others is the foundational bedrock of relationship building. Learning it’s not always about you and taking steps of faith to pour into someone else first can open big doors for you later. Books like “How To Win Friends And Influence People” are timeless classics because they lay out the fundamentals for relationship building. Many of the top real estate investors I’ve met read this book over and over again every year!

7. Leverage

The last trait I’ve noticed that is common amongst successful real estate investors is their ability to use leverage. If you want to do anything at a large scale level, learning to learn leverage is absolutely crucial.

Leverage can come in several forms, but the three I see most commonly mastered by the top investors are money, people, and opportunity.

Money:

OPM, or “Other People’s Money” is one of the most commonly taught tenants of successful real estate investing. At a certain point in every successful investors career, they end up with more deals and more opportunity than they have capital to buy. At this point, the ability to use other people’s money (and pay them for it) is the best way to scale. By leveraging the resources of others, top investors grow their wealth and the size of their portfolio while creating win-win scenarios for those partnering with them through financial backing. If you aspire to be a successful real estate investor, you’d be wise to assume at some point you’ll be needing OPM.

People:

Successful investors also leverage people. By hiring talented, hard working trustworthy people (or partnering with them), top tier investors get much more done than they ever could by themselves. In any project, job, or business, there is a specific number of tasks that need to be completed to move forward. One of the biggest mistakes of the amateur is to assume they must be the one to complete all these tasks. Successful business people have learned to leverage the talents and abilities of other people to allow them to focus more on the 20% of the business that will bring them more results. If you plan to be a top notch investor, start learning as much as you can about how to hire talented people to work for you.

Opportunity:

The final thing I notice the best investors leverage is opportunity. Successful business people learn that every win isn’t just a win, it’s an opportunity for another win down the road. When a project is completed and the investors in the deal are happy, it is much easier to leverage that success into getting their capital again in your next deal. When you develop and sell land in an area with high demand, it is much easier to learn from that experience and do it better the second time around. One successful endeavor almost always leads to more opportunity to repeat it, and the best investors are always looking to capitalize on this fact. The best don’t waste opportunities to do even better the next time.

Consider the Golden State Warriors, considered to be one of the very best basketball teams ever assembled in the history of the NBA. After winning the league championship, they were able to recruit Kevin Durant, considered to be a candidate for best player in the league. How did the Warriors accomplish this? Their winning formula created an attractive environment that enticed top talent to join them, making it even easier to win another Championship the next year (they went on to win two more in a row). How does this play out in real estate investing?

  • Buying more deals creates stronger relationships with those who find deals. The top investors get these deals first.
  • Doing more rehabs helps investors learn new, creative ways to save money on rehabs in the future.
  • Learning to rehab rentals can lead to opportunities to also flip houses. The skill sets between the two have a large overlap.
  • Learning how to read a profit and loss statement and manage employees can create opportunities to start newer side businesses.
  • Owning a large portfolio of rental properties can create opportunity to open your own property management company and scale up.
  • Flipping large numbers of homes can create an opportunity to build a real estate brokerage to sell them, save on commissions, and scale up.

When it comes to real estate investing, very little is new or innovative. The vast majority of the best investors are simply learning from what others are doing and then putting it into practice better than their competition does. If you want to be the best yourself, start studying what they do, how they act, and the way they think. If you do what the best do, someday you’ll become the best yourself!

Source: forbes.com

Forbes: Trump Sold $35 Million in Real Estate in 2018

Though President Donald Trump has given this two oldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, control of the management of his assets while he is president, he still owns his business, and they sold $35 million worth of real estate in 2018,Forbes reports.

Forbes looked at local property tax records and federal filings.

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The largest sale was from a housing complex in Brooklyn that went for $900 million, according to Forbes. Trump owned 4 percent of the property and walked away with about $20 million before taxes.

The Department of Housing & Urban Development had to approve the sale, Forbes noted, which falls under the leadership of President Donald Trump.Other sales found by Forbes:

  • 36 units in Trump Tower in Las Vegas for $11 million. (Trump owns 50 percent of the tower with casino owner Phil Ruffin, according to Forbes.)
  • Three empty lots near his LA-area golf course for a total of $5.6 million.
  • Three parking spaces at Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago for $170,000
  • A warehouse in South Carolina for $4.1 million.

Among ethical concerns cited by Forbes is the fact that about a third of the Vegas units were purchased through limited liability companies, allowing buyers to shield their identities.

“In other words, people were pumping cash into the president’s coffers without disclosing who they were,” Forbes reported.

Further, the report noted, that one of Trump lawyers promised before he took office that “No new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump’s presidency.” Yet, on Oct. 2, a man named Yu Zhang who listed his address as Taiyuan City, China, bought a Vegas unit for $255,000, according to Forbes.

Source: Newsmax.com

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