Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Chinese Money Has Changed the Face Of Hong Kong's Skyline

China’s Wealth & Power

Italian fashion house is said to be one of the several top firms in Western countries to have found themselves on the other side of shaky real estate boom in Hong Kong. In prime locations of the city, the price of commercial property seems to have almost doubled up since U.K. had handed it over to China two years back, being the most expensive across the globe. Since several changes have taken place in Hong Kong after the historic handover in 1997, China’s increasing wealth and power is said to be at the core of confusion.

 Chinese companies, level with cash seemed to have given way to trophy office space in central districts, motivating up prices. According to brokers and developers, firms like Burberry –BBRYF and Gucci have resorted to cheaper office location in distant areas. No comments have been provided by the two fashion brands.

 Inflow of firms from the Chinese mainland tends to reveal a wider move in the role of Hong Kong as a business hub. The head of research for Hong Kong, Denis Ma had commented at a property brokerage JLL that `at the time of the handover, Hong Kong was seen as a stepping stone for multinationals looking to tap in the China market’.

Government Policies Progressively Opened Mainland Firms

He further added that in a sense it is still true though we have seen over the last few years is that (mainland Chinese) firms had begun to take a same view of Hong Kong as a stepping stone to engage with the wider world.

According to real estate services firm CBRE, the growing supremacy of China Inc. over Hong Kong seems difficult to go unnoticed and there are presently around 1,123 Chinese companies in the territory which is almost thrice the number 20 years back. This tends to account for 64% of the stock market capitalization of the city, up from 16% in 1997.

The government policies have progressively opened up mainland firms for Hong. Chinese businesses have been encouraged by Beijing to grow abroad with large sums of money being flooded out of China since its economy tends to have dropped in recent years. The persistent rush of Chinese money has increased in the real estate market.

Hong Kong Ranks Least Affordable City

According to CBRE, landlord tend to collect $264 on an average per square foot each year by way of rent for prime office space in central Hong Kong, which is quite high than the West End of London - $146 or Midtown Manhattan in new York - $144.

Being a property holder in Hong Kong tends to be a lot difficult since prices have increased by 89% since 1997, according to CBRE. Hong Kong tends to rank as the least affordable city for seven years in succession, as per Demographia, a public policy firm. The mounting prices have compelled some of the multination companies to move to other areas of Hong Kong though few have been quitting the region completely.

The numbers have actually doubled more over the past two decades from 3,069 to 6,863 according to CBRE. The president of the American Chamber of commerce in Hong Kong, Tara Joseph, considered the fall as comparatively small and put it down to the cost of rent and a recession in some industries, especially retail.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Five Mistakes Mutual Fund Investors Should Avoid In This Market

Spare Cash – Equity Schemes – Long-Term Prospects

Several investors of mutual fund, particularly the new ones tend to be apprehensive since the market seems to be suspended around past pea. Discussions of expensive valuating, liquidity driven rally etc. tend to make them anxious with regard to their investments. Several of them have been probing with their advisors of mutual fund regarding their investments.

 As per the advisors, they have been cautioning their clients from engaging in certain errors which they state could occur in a risking market such as the prevailing one. When the market is said to be on an upsurge, several investors of mutual fund seem to get excited and if in a position to do so, would not hesitate to put their money in equity mutual funds particularly in the group that tends to offer the highest returns.

However, this could rebound greatly. It is advisable to stick to ones goals and allocation. If one tends to have allocated money to equity schemes for long-term financial goals, they should stick to it. It is not necessary to change your investment plan because the stock market has been crushed. You could invest spare cash in equity schemes which tend to have long-term prospects. You could also make planned allocation when the need for big correction arises.

Reversal Trends – Investor Panic

However, one should refrain from making huge changes to their original investment plan and go heavy on equity schemes. One need not get apprehensive when there is excitement in the stock market. Some of the investors seem to get anxious when there are talks regarding the performance of the market.

Even the smallest indication of reversal trend in the market tends to make these investors to panic from the market which is not the appropriate attitude for investment. If one intends to invest with a long prospect, they tend to go through several phases in the market scenario which cannot be avoided. One needs to be firm and stick to one’s financial plan.

The treat to Fed rate cut is expensive valuations, imminent correction and liquidity-driven rally. Market is never short of talking points and experts enjoy discussing every frayed topic. But an investor of mutual fund does not have to be perturbed by all this topics provided by experts. Most of the issues are relevant to clients only who tend to build position daily in order to en-cash on these types of news.

Essential Information Forming Knowledgeable Opinion

Most of these earth shattering events seem like minor problems when they are considered after a long period of time. Buying and selling should never been undertaken in an impulsive manner. Several of the investors tend to make it a habit of indulging in it immediately after an event or news breaks out and believes that it would change the luck of their investments.

These types of errors should be refrained. One needs to step back, consider the topic and get into discussion with your advisor, friends or colleagues with those who could be familiar with these sorts of issues. One should not involve in anything till you have all the essential information in forming a knowledgeable opinion.

Buying and holding is the only strategy which tends to work though it could also be a boring one for some and a segment of the market is always on the lookout for some fancy ideas which could be helpful. At times it tends to get difficult to resist from betting on the theme since it could be widely hyped as being the magic formula in multiplying money and one should refrain for the same.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Why is Cyber Insurance a Necessity in Today's Web World?


Cyber Insurance – Rising Threat to Cyber Security

An awareness regarding cyber insurance should be brought about owing to the rising threat to cyber security. The increasing threat with attacks like WannaCry rising in numbers together with the higher dependency on the web has given rise to the need for another support in the insurance segment namely cyber insurance.

The purpose of obtaining your online business or data insured has been an unfamiliar concept to several people. With various insurance companies available offering package connected to cyber insurances the idea for the same has not yet started. We have overseas insurance companies who have been providing cyber insurance keeping their focus on advent of tech companies.

 However in India, the scenario tends to be different. The MD and CEO of Future Generali Insurance, KG Krishnamoorthy Rao has commented that `it is a comparatively new concept particularly in markets here. Abroad the same has been prevailing for three-four years. However as more and more transaction tends to occur online, especially financial, incidents of cyber fraud seem to be on the rise.

Cyber terrorism is also a new threat where people tend to extort others online with threats that their data will be destroyed if the ransom amount is not paid. He further added that even if an awareness of cyber insurance is not familiar, it needs to be known and then there will be a market for the same.

Transacting Online – Information not Misused/Leaked

Krisnamoorthy’s company is awaiting approval for the launch of their cyber insurance package for the people. The other markets too are in agreement that the awareness could be important to this problem. Shupoorna Chakarabarty from ACP-India First Life Insurance had informed that most companies had not taken up this policy so far and it is critical that when one is transacting online, their information is not misused or leaked.

 It is often the banking sector or payment wallets which tend to need cyber insurance urgently. Though the loss owing to a cyber-attack is unavoidable, it could certainly be reimbursed. The cyber insurance offers a number of safety nets on any online business. Rao informed about some of the damages which tend to be covered within cyber insurance.

He informed that economic loss suffered by a client due to cyber-attack could be eligible for insurance and the insurance company is accountable in making up for the loss incurred. Moreover the transmission of data due to an e-threat, where the data tends to get destroyed is also covered by the policy. Another significant aspect is when the data is lost, the expenses in restoring the data is covered by the insurance agent.

Expert Intervention Needed

Though there are not several challenges while handling cyber insurance, Rao has mentioned that expert intervention was needed in handling these cases. He further added that when a client tends to claim a loss or damage, a cyber-security expert is essential in verifying the same.

The damages may not be easy to determine and tends to take a longer time. The issue prevailing so far is that in India, several of the people are yet not aware that they can claim this. He says that in India, we have not yet evolved to a point that we can sue a company stating that my information has been leaked.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tips for Protecting Your Farm from Unnecessary Risks

If you run a farm, then odds are good that you've experienced the unpredictable nature of the profession. Whether crops are ruined because of poor weather, or you've had difficulty with managing the health of your livestock, there are many things that can go wrong in the day-to-day operation of a farm. Despite its reputation for difficulty though, there are actually a few tips that can help you get a better handle on your farm and protect your business from undue or unnecessary hardships. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the best tips for protecting your farm.

Protect Yourself With Insurance 

Insurance can be a powerful tool for many different areas of life, but it's especially important for farmers. Insurance companies like Ark Agency regularly offer farmers the opportunity to get equine and livestock insurance in order to protect themselves from any issues following an accident involving their cattle or other livestock. Given how crucial these animals can be to the success of a farm, if something unexpected happens to them, it can leave you without any other potential recourse. With that in mind, there are a variety of different livestock insurance policies out there, which can be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. If you have highly valuable livestock, and haven't gotten an insurance policy for them yet, then now might be the time to do so.

Use Environmentally Safe Chemicals 

While everyone continues to debate on the reality of climate change, the truth is that farmers should still be trying to use environmentally safe chemicals above all else because it also has a direct effect on themselves. Studies have linked specific chemicals to health issues in farmers who regularly handle them, and it's worth noting that similar effects can also take hold in animals. If you regularly use pesticides and other chemicals on your farm, but aren't sure of their effects, then you might want to start doing your research. If you can find an similar, but more environmentally friendly, chemical, then you might want to consider making the switch.

Although these tips can't fully protect you from unexpected accidents while on the farm, they can at least keep your prepared in the event of one. No one wants to see all of their hard work get wasted due to a simple mistake, or an unexpected event, so these tips should give you the best chance of avoiding them. As always, hard work and determination can help you overcome anything, but it doesn't hurt to have a little help as well.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Machine Learning Promises to Shake Up Large Swathes of Finance


Machine-Learning – Compliance/Risk Management/Prevention of Fraud

Machine-learning has been enhancing in fields right from trading to credit assessment to fraud prevention. It has begun shaking up finance wherein a subset of artificial intelligence –AI tends to excel in locating patterns as well as making forecasts, which it utilised in preserving the technology firms. Towards 2019, those seeking to aspire being a `chartered financial analyst’ or desire distinction in the industry would be requiring, AI proficiency in order to be successful in his exams.

 Machine-learning, regardless of the uncertainty of several inclusive of some `quant’ hedge funds which tend to specialise in algorithm based trading, is said to be poised in having great impact. New fintech firms together with some quick officials have begun applying the system to everything right from scam protection to discovering new trading policies, capable of up-end not only of the labour of the back office but also the more honest glamorous stuff.

 Machine learning has already been utilised for task like compliance, risk management as well as the prevention of fraud. A British firm known as `Voice’, tends to sell machine-learning driven speech transcription tool to huge banks in order to monitor the phone calls of traders for any indications of wrongdoing lime an insider trading.

Near Actual Tracking – Risk Disclosure

The other specialist such as Xcelerit or Kinetica seem to provide the banks as well as investment firms with near actual tracking of any risk disclosures enabling them to display their capital needs constantly. Machine-learning tends to surpass in noticing strange patterns of operation that may display fraud. Start-ups firm such as Feedzai – for payments, or Shift Technology – for insurance to behemoths like IBM have been providing these services and some have been developing the skills internally.

A British banking start-up – Monzo had built a model, swift enough for stopping the would-be fraudster from implementation of a transaction thus bringing down the fraud rate on its pre-paid cards in June 2016 from 0.85% to less than 0.1% by January 2017. The natural-language processing wherein AI-based system have been released on text, has begun to have a great effect in document-heavy portions of finance.

JPMorgan Chase, in June 2016, had organized software which can scrutinize through 12,000 commercial-loan contracts within seconds in comparison to the 360,000 hours the lawyers and loan officers tends to utilise in reviewing the contracts.

Automated Financial Decision

Besides this, machine-learning is also said to be good for automated financial decision irrespective of assessing credit worthiness or eligibility for an insurance policy. Zest Finance being in business of automated credit-scoring right from its foundation in 2009 had earlier in the year rolled out a machine-learning underwriting tool to support lenders in making credit decisions as well as for people with little conventional credit-scoring information.

It tends to scrutinize through huge amount of data like the payment history of people or how they seem to interact with the website of lenders. A tech savvy insurance start-up, Lemonade, has been utilising machine-learning to sell insurance policies as well as to manage claims. The latest boundary for machine-learning probably is in trading wherein it is utilised to bite on market data and also to select and trade portfolios of securities.

At Goldman Sachs, the quantitative-investment strategies division tend to utilise language processing motivated by machine-learning in order to go through thousands of analyst’s reports on the companies. Here it complies an aggregate `sentiment score’, depending on balance of positive to negative words. Goldman had also invested in Kensho which is a start-up utilising machine-learning in predicting how events such as natural disasters tend to affect market prices centred on data on similar events.

Restricted Useful Applications

A Toronto-based upstart, Castle Ridge Asset Management has attained annual average returns of 32% since its establishment in 2013. It tends to utilise a cultured machine-learning method such as those used in modelling evolutionary biology in making investment decisions. The chief executive, Adrian de Valois-Franklin, claims that it is very sensitive that it picked up 24 acquisitions before they had even been announced.

On the other hand, Man AHL, which is a well-established $18.8bn quant fund provider, had been conducting research in machine-learning for the purpose of trading since 2009 as well as utilising it as one of the techniques in managing client money since 2014. Martin Lueck of Aspect Capital seems to find the system exaggerated stating that his firm had observed only restricted useful applications for the same. However in other fields machine-learning has the possibilities of game-changing and there is no reason in expecting finance to be changed.

 As per a machine-learning fund manager, Jonathan Masci of Quantenstein, years of work on rules-based approaches in computer vision, telling a computer on how to recognize a nose for instant were instantly eclipsed in 2012 by machine-learning processes which enabled computers to `learn’ what a noses looked like from examining millions of nasal pin-ups.

Likewise a machine- learning procedure, according to Mr Masci has to beat conventional trading strategies depending on rules set by humans.