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Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Finance, Banking, Insurance at crossroads in the UK Comment

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ast year in the UK, especially on the political front was turbulent. After the EU referendum PM Cameron instantly left, came Theresa May with high hopes and enormous amount of goodwill. Politics is a funny game, some say. Contrary to her previous and several pronouncements, Mrs May called for an election- and surprise, surprise! She lost heavily and her future is in doldrums. Politicians may come and go, welfare of the nation is more important. An economy is at the heart of any civilisation, as proclaimed by Chanakya some 2500 years ago.

The Finance, Banking and Insurance contribute its lion's share in employment, revenue and taxes in the UK. The ongoing, if at all they are progressing at expected pace, the Brexit negotiations or the exit itself has every potential to bring unexpected, unwarranted and serious problems for our country, especially for those involved in FBI. Shortsighted political argy-bargy has created huge problems, not only for the present, but perhaps and more worryingly for just not the current, but for the future generations. With all such concerns and even anxiety, there is one ray of hope, is the British sense of self correction and resilience. There are umpteen problems and every problem has an opportunity, as someone has said. Optimistically it is true also, but it depends on how we handle every coma and dot of the present negotiations. One hopeful sign is the potential of Indo-British partnership. India as the fastest growing major economy, along with its spectacular turn around over last 3 years, in both aspirations and systems have all the potentials to covet perpetual benefits for the UK. But the 400 year-old relationship changed beyond recognition, though at the same time, expectations of both sides appear to be complimentary. Inevitably there are some natural contradictions. As a developed economy UK can and should accommodate willingly, for long term benefit, needs and justifiable demands by India as well. Britain can provide substantial expertise in infrastructure management and fundraising. India has three Ds- democracy, demands and demography. But cooperation in trade and economic matters need a more free movement of manpower, especially skills. PM Theresa May has not yet forgotten her six years regime in the Home Office and could not see the wood behind the tree. Eventually the water finds its own level. We in Britain and our brethren in India will receive what they deserve- depending on how they deliberate and negotiate the future cooperation. British Asians especially from India have huge potentials to help in the regeneration of Great Britain. Equally expats or NRIs in the UK with their inner understandings of the British system and the traditional values, will augment the process of development in India. The time looks delicate, but as always every moment could be a turning point, with better hopes and expectation. I am privileged to welcome our readers to the 15th issue of FBI. There are some very well written and informative articles, which will help you gain some real fine expertise. Also a big thank you to all those supporters and advertisers who have contributed to this magazine, in one way or the other. Keep well, be happy, make more money and enjoy.

Yours sincerely

CB Patel Publisher/Editor Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Rakesh x 2New.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:35 Page 4

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Investing Opportunities In The UK Market During Brexit

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By Rakesh Shah, Kingly Capital

uccess with Brexit. Does it really exist? Brexit is a hot buzzword in the markets today and most reports focus on general themes that affect the share market as a whole. Whilst it’s important to understand the impact of Brexit on the UK financial markets, we first need to put this factor into context along with other’s that will move Global Markets in the next year. Initial Brexit reactions were most strongly felt in the fall in the value of Sterling. The share market had a more muted reaction in 2016 with worries over China’s economy providing a backdrop for slower global growth.

For long term investors, international trade cycles will probably have a greater impact on the UK share market growth. A large part of the Brexit resilience in the UK share market, is due to the number of international shares that collect revenues in dollars. These were in fact boosted, by the fall in the value of the Pound. Approximately 30% of the revenues of large cap shares are derived from trade in the UK. This gives us a challenge, as it is very difficult to generalise about the direction of the UK share market and the effect of Brexit. Breaking down the UK share markets into sectors, will help to define the impact of Brexit over the next 2 years. Each

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Rakesh Shah

sector will have its own particular characteristics. For example, defensives such as tobacco and pharmaceuticals were in demand due to high overseas dollar earnings. Equally commodity based shares in the metals and mining sectors did well as commodities are predominantly priced in US Dollars. UK Technology could also be a net gainer over the period, if the pound remains weak, having sales that benefit from a strong US Dollar. For traders, Brexit has also created greater volatility with strong short term movements in the market. The very nature of the unpredictability of the news flow, makes it difficult to trade shares in a planned fashion. As best as you can, make a small timetable of key events or announcements for planned Brexit news. Notably, European meetings from important committees and announcements by the Brexit team in the UK. Often these moves will happen in a matter of minutes or hours. So short term trading will be the natural way of taking advantages of these moves. What I say next is fairly common practice, but I will highlight the three ways in which to trade each of the news releases (for trading shares, CFD’s and spreadbets as they are announced). Whichever instrument you trade, there are three risk profiles which you can adopt in attempting to make a profit: 1. Positioning before the announcement. The Highest risk and therefore the highest reward, but equally has potential for the highest losses. Managing your risk here is the most difficult. 2. Trading during the initial reaction. As improbable as it may seem, markets are not totally


Rakesh x 2New.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:38 Page 5

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017 European Single Market for all financial services firms. Inevitably, efficient, even with all the technology available. It often takes the this uncertainty and the need to have two fully functional plans, market some time to digest complex news and announcements. for either result (hard or soft Brexit), will divert important internal This gives the short term investor an opportunity to take a resources to address these different outcomes. This will naturally position, by buying or selling some shares and monitoring act as a drag on the growth and expansion plans and I expect to positions carefully. Some short term technical analysis see a good long term price uplift on the sector (when compared techniques using charts, can help here. Charting packages are available from most banks and brokers. In my opinion this is the to defensive shares) when clarity is obtained on a potential positive outcome. lowest risk proposition as you can enter the trend and you will What effects will it have on local companies? London real quickly find out if you have picked the right direction. 3. Trading the move after the news has been released and estate stands to be affected by two factors; companies holding back expansion over this period and a number of companies the market has moved. This is a medium risk profile as that have been forced to relocate or open secondary the initial momentum has been lost, but you are offices in Europe, to ensure a smooth transition in the reliant upon a trend being setup and riding on this event of a hard Brexit. trend for the market to continue. Volatility will Property shares could be forced to downgrade Take for example the situation where an increase, as the two announcement is made, on the size of the exit on a hard Brexit, as nearly 25% of construction year timetable bill for the UK, from Europe. “Michel Barnier, workers are from Europe. With the number of comes to an end. the European Commission’s chief Brexit houses that need to be built to keep up with Investors will be demand, the sector needs to grow and needs negotiator, expressed in a statement that a increased manpower. This will be a difficult issue to divorce bill of €60bn was needed to cover repositioning on manage over the next 2 years for these firms. existing commitments.” An announcement like every news Some companies that have performed well over this, will initially drive the market with a knee jerk announcement. the last year, are those benefiting from infrastructure short term reaction (negative comments should make the market fall). But this type of investment, such as new roads, airports and hospitals. announcement, is one that also causes longer term They should continue to benefit during this period as the uncertainty in the minds of both investors and companies, UK population continues to rise. In addition, I expect the as it suggests the negotiation will be long and difficult. The technology sectors will be somewhat insulated from Brexit. Over both a ten year period (from the lows in 2007) and one year psychology this creates, will probably result in an extended follow period (from the lows in 2016), technology has increased by through in market weakening, as more investors and companies 157% and 51% respectively. These are impressive numbers expect a tougher time during the exit. So a trade with risk profile 3 is appropriate here. when compared to other sectors. The future for technology For the more advanced investor or trader, if the initial reaction remains bright, unlike some consumer retail and traditional is the opposite of what was expected, this also gives a good manufacturing sectors. trading opportunity. Let me explain, if the market rises on bad Before investing look at the price history and the behaviour of any share on some key dates to understand how they will react news, it simply means that the market was pricing in a much in the future. Keep in mind price movements in June and July worse result. These situations are preferred by myself, for trading 2016 to give yourself a roadmap, of how volatile the reaction will shorter term trends. In this situation the market is initially confused and this gives you a short window of time to position be, to any unexpected announcements for the shares that you yourself for the secondary move, while the market adjusts to a are holding. A similar pattern will probably follow on a much new pricing level. smaller scale for every hard Brexit update given, as news Volatility will increase, as the two year timetable comes to an announcements are made. end. Investors will be repositioning on every news announcement. How do you to maximise your opportunities in trading and investing around these Brexit news announcements? Primarily, there are two default positions (i) agreement found or (ii) nothing to be done. As each month passes, if no progress is made, volatility will rise. The primary market to trade these moves, will be the currency market and sterling. But some share sectors mentioned earlier will also move, probably rapidly, giving a short time window in which to trade. Therefore being prepared by conducting research, will be key here, to be act quickly. For the longer term investors, Brexit opportunities will arise due to price adjustments that result in unexpected pricing, in particular shares, relative to their peers in the same sector. This situation arises when there has been little change in the The FTSE 100 is very international and offers great prospects fundamentals of a share, i.e. no surprise news on changes in the for lower volatility and steady growth, but you will find that the earnings, sales or demand for a company’s products. Yet it does best moves will be found in shares in the FTSE 250. This is not rise at the same rate as other companies in the sector when where all the action is, for more active investors. Finally, just as positive Brexit news comes out. In this case, it would be a good strategy to invest in a small basket of these shares, using what is you would not think of leaving home without wearing your shoes, in the same way, train yourself to always trade with a stop loss. called a bottom up approach, where a full investigation into the It’s for your own benefit. Good luck with investing and I hope to financials, history, management and potential of the company is see you soon. assessed. Off-course this will require some advanced skills, but Rakesh Shah is a professional active investor and assists this skill set is well within the reach of every determined investor. family offices with investment strategies. For more information you Many UK banks and insurers will be faced with a difficult path can find him at www.tenpointtrading.com. ahead, due to uncertainty relating to reciprocal access, to the Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Alpesh Patel.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:39 Page 6

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Forex Trade: An exciting future

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By Alpesh Patel, Trader Mind

hat an exciting year for Forex trading. You had Brexit, the US election and the UK general election. If you are not up to speed on Forex – you are missing out. It’s a $5 trillion a day market. And in essence you are trying to do the same as anyone else in any business – buy low and sell high. But how? It’s all changed. In the last 20 years of online trading, I have never seen so much change. For me, the first best trader I ever met, who I looked upto as a mentor was former Global Head of Forex at Salomon Brothers, Bill Lipschutz. He was in my book, the Mind of a Trader and in 2016, Hedge Fund of the Year. My ambition: for the apprentice, to become the master.

The Rise of the Robots

For me it has been amazingly exciting because we created trading software to signal to us when to buy and sell. It told us to sell Pounds against US Dollars just before the UK election and on the night of June 23rd 2016! It does this by looking at market trends and speed of price moves. I have always been suspicious of social trading. The idea that some IT engineer sitting in their underpants in St Petersburg is going to make a consistently profitable trading algorithm. The reason is not that their computer skills are weak. It is that necessarily in trading there are losing trades, there are unrealistic expectations that computers mean only winning trades, and that drawdowns don't happen. When I have looked at algorithm performance on a multitude of social trading sites, their performance does not come close to what a hedge fund like ours could ever raise money on from institutions. And private investors tiny capital isn't going to make anyone money - unless as many of these brokers offering social trading do, you gouge the clients trading with hidden costs. Not exactly a good business model.

We took two approaches

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First, signals software where we would place the trades ourselves and us having ultimate control. But those signals based on scanning of patterns across multiple time frames and currencies. The second approach, an auto-trading algo robot which can execute trades for the client through their own broker account. But allow us to monitor it 24/7. We also realised that technology companies become billion dollar companies long before hedge funds do. Maybe that's why Jeff Bezos left being a hedge fund to set up Amazon. Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

The Rise of the Brand Ambassador

Alpesh Patel

But it was also personally exciting because I became a brand ambassador for a forex broker. The United Nations uses them. Companies use them - but usually those who are unrelated to the product eg a footballer being a brand ambassador for a snack company. You will see the world's richest man talking about products in which he has a vested interest from jewellery to insurance as their de facto brand ambassador. This model fascinated me. As a leading authority on online trading, the obvious brands to endorse were ones focused on online trading education and customer service. After all, writing 18 books on online trading and a weekly column in the Financial Times, 'Diary of an Internet Trader' makes you care a lot about your audience's experiences and trading education. And online trading brands agreed, from Goldman Sachs to American Express to MerrillLynch HSBC. The latest to find me, and me to find them; 24option. (www.alpeshpatel.com/24). All this is to say I am delighted to be just announced as Brand Ambassador of 24option, partnering alongside Juventus Football Club with ‘a broker that listens to me’ for CFDs and Forex trading. The company has lots of free trading education. Signup, open an account and I’ll send you a free signed copy of one of my recent international best-selling trading books and also free lifetime access to my Online Trading Charting Course (usually £1997) and my training webinars on online trading, PLUS a bunch of trading infograms, slides, ebooks and mindmaps.  See forex is already making you money! But what for the year ahead? My forecasts: The pound will continue rising against other currencies as we realise our pessimism is over done. Trump will not be impeached and the US but I bet on a stronger pound over US dollar and even Euro. What about Euro Dollar? I am expecting a strong Euro – not least because my amazing software tells me so. Alpesh Patel, www.alpeshpatel.com


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RationalFX x 2.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:41 Page 8

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

How Brexit will affect your currency

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By Paresh Davdra, CEO & Co-Founder

his article outlines how Brexit will impact on your currency and international payment requirements, including some of the factors and events, pre and post, to be aware of and to consider going forward. It’s almost exactly one year since the UK voted to leave the European Union, and while the full ramifications of the decision to Brexit are as yet unknown, the dramas of the past year have already had a serious impact on the outlook for the UK economy, businesses across the industry and the value of the Pound. Of late the Pound has struggled, after Theresa May’s disastrous snap election campaign, that has denied any party a majority in Parliament and fomented a sense of political chaos just days before Brexit negotiations begin. May has since received heavy criticism after forming a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Sterling plummeted as soon as the referendum results were announced and extended losses over the days that followed. While GBP/EUR dropped

Paresh Davdra

and impact inflationary figures. Exporters on the other hand have seen a major benefit to the falling Pound as the relative strength of other currencies against the Pound are providing better value for money. Economists generally agree the struggles predicted from an "out" vote in the June 2016 referendum failed to materialise and the UK economy hasn’t suffered as much as was anticipated. Core currency focus for the Pound: Euros, Dollars and Rupees.

EUR

from €1.31 pre-vote to €1.16 by early July 2016, GBP/USD fell nearly 15%, from $1.49 to $1.28, in the same period. The Pound significantly weakened after the announcement and still remains substantially below its pre-referendum level. The weak Pound has driven up importer costs which in turn has meant companies have had to hike their prices, which is now starting to feed through the economy

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Other factors have impacted the major currencies, the Euro for example has seen strength after Emmanuel Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen taking 65.5% of the vote to become the country's youngest president.

USD

The US economy continues to perform strongly after gradual increases in the federal funds interest rate. Economists highlighted the significance of plans to implement a "normalization program" later this year. Such a strategy will see a reduction in the US central bank's quantitative easing programme.


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Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

INR

The Rupee is benefiting as India attracts foreign capital inflows from investors seeking out the return on its high interest rates. Brexit to date, election and key next steps for negotiation The political environment in the UK and its plans for Brexit have been thrown into disarray by the unanticipated outcome of the general election that saw Theresa May fail to secure an overall majority in Parliament. Despite this, the UK and the EU must reach an agreement by the end of March 2019 after the Prime Minister’s decision to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. The formal talks which began on June 19 initially focussed on issues including the size of a "divorce" bill, the terms on which the UK will trade with the EU once it leaves, as well as the status and rights of EU nationals and Britons living in the EU. Prime Minister May is expected to give a short speech to the EU on the negotiations at June’s EU Summit, where representatives from all 28 EU states will be present. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier will then give a short debrief on the current status of negotiations to the remaining members states. The second round of the talks will begin on July 17 after another exchange of formal position papers outlining how the UK intends on handling the rights of roughly 3m EU citizens living outside the UK, as well a clear account of the bloc’s financial demands, which are expected to amount to €100bn. The negotiations which are due to take place over the course of the next two years will determine what sort of deal the UK and the EU can strike, if any at all. With May having recently struck a £1bn deal with the DUP, a Northern Irish protestant party, many investors are expecting the government to take a softer approach to Brexit.

tariffs or quotas on industrial goods exported to EU countries. Turkey has to apply EU's external tariff on goods imported from outside the EU.

4. The Canada option

l The CETA free trade deal with the EU has yet to come into

force. This deal will remove most tariffs on goods, excluding some food items and services, and stipulates the need to prove where goods are made or sourced from.

5. The Singapore and Hong Kong approach

l These city states do not impose import or export tariffs at all -

a unilateral free trade approach.

6. The default: World Trade Organisation rules

l The World Trade Organisation (WTO) sets rules for

international trade that apply to all members; including no free movement or financial contribution, no obligation to apply EU laws although traded goods still have to meet EU standards, some trade tariffs would need to be in place with the EU, and trade in services would be restricted.

Conclusion

Whatever the trade agreements that take place over the next couple of years the British Pound will continue to see currency and market volatility. To date we have already witnessed a major devaluation of Sterling since the vote to leave the European Union, and we expect further challenges along the road, whether these be political, economic or environmental changes. At this stage indications lead to a ‘soft’ Brexit, moving forward we may see this change as negotiations heat up.

Potential outcomes

Post Brexit we now face the prospect of having to establish new trade relationships both with the remaining 27 EU members and other countries around the world. Analysts remain optimistic as Britain is a large market, so there is a clear incentive for other countries to negotiate a deal. Advocates of Brexit argued that it would be in nobody's interest to interrupt the current trading partnerships.

Potential post-Brexit options for the UK:

1. The Norway model

l A member of European Economic Area (EEA) with full access

to single market, obliged to make a financial contribution and accept majority of EU laws, free movement applies as it does in the EU.

2. The Switzerland model

l A member of the European Free Trade Association but not the

EEA, with access to EU market governed by a series of bilateral agreements. These agreements covers some but not all areas of trade. Switzerland also makes a financial contribution although smaller than Norway's contribution, and doesn't have a general duty to apply EU laws but does have to implement some EU regulations to enable trade, where free movement applies.

3. The Turkey model

l Has a customs union with the EU that means that are no

Whatever your payment requirement, speaking to a currency specialist, can help eradicate some of these risks. RationalFX have helped over 150,000 clients transact over £8bn in 48 different currencies to 172 countries across the globe. With RationalFX you will be allocated a dedicated dealer who will guide you on the currency markets and ensure you find the right product and transact at the right time to help you save on your international payment. Typically RationalFX will save you around 3% on your overseas payments versus a high street bank. Speak to RationalFX today – go to www.rationalfx.com, alternatively call 0207 220 8181 or email dealers@rationalfx.com to find out how you can save on your next international payment. Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Ragu.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:42 Page 10

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

GBP/USD eight year cycle By Rugu Dharmaratnam, ACMA CGMA

Executive summary

The pound is 1200 years old, born about 775AD, when sterling or silver pennies were the main currency in Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Sterling / US Dollar (£/$) currency pair known as “cable” is one of the most widely traded currency pair in the world. Cable trades have increased as a percentage of the foreign exchange market in the last few years, with GBP/USD accounting for nearly 10% of all currency trades. That’s worth $470 billion daily. Brexit volatility may mean trades have increased even further. The price of any currency pair may move because of demand and supply and professionals use fundamental and technical analysis to forecast future exchange rates. History repeats itself in currency market therefore past price patterns also play a big part in predicting future rate changes and one of them is the “Eight year trading cycle” and based on this cycle we may be able to find out when the next low in Sterling / Dollar is going to occur.

8 year trading cycle

As you can see from the 45 year history graph every eight years or so, the Sterling pound makes a significant low against the U.S Dollar. Since 1970 it has made five significant lows in 1977, 1985, 1993, 2001, 2009, therefore can we expect the next low to come in this year 2017 ?

Ragu Dharmaratnam

Between 1980 to 1985 Sterling experience the biggest drop of the lot falling from 2.45 to 1.05 which was a 57% drop. 1985 was the all time low against the pound against the dollar. Next low point was in 1992/1993 when George Soros, alongside other speculators decided that the pound was overvalued and gambled heavily against the dollar, by selling / shorting sterling for deutsche marks and other British securities. During this process Mr Soros, rumoured to have made as much as $2 billion in his bet against sterling, was christened “the man who broke the Bank of England” by Daily Mail. Between 1999 to 2001 during the dot.com sell off pound lost some 20% in value. During 2007 to 2009 due to credit crunch/financial crisis Pound dropped from 2.12 to 1.35 (36% fall or drop of 7700 pips).

Conclusion

In 1972 £/$ was trading at 2.62 and then dropped almost 40% to 1.57 and formed a low in 1977 and war in the Middle East, high oil prices and UK’s slow economic decline, were cited for this fall.

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Based on the eight year cycle the last low was hit in 2009 and therefore we may expect a next low to hit sometime this year (2017). In June 2016 edition we said the following: we do not want to see Cable trading below 1.3500 level and if it breaks below then based on head and shoulder chart pattern and support and resistance level it may drop very quickly to 1.1500 and below and the 1.1800 level low was hit in January 2017 and hope we are correct this time as well to inform the investors in advance that the low point in “Sterling /Pound” will occur in 2017/18.


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Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

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Ben Kumar.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:43 Page 12

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Will bonds blot their copybook?

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By Ben Kumar

ecent news headlines have made for worrying reading if you’re an investor in bonds, particularly here in the UK. Bonds are currently being issued with a very long time until they mature – now nearly double that of the mid-nineties – while rising inflation increases the probability that the Bank of England will raise interest rates. They’re both bad scenarios for bond holders.

Today’s change in circumstances actually started some 10 years ago as the first ripples of the Financial Crisis travelled around the world. In its wake, the Bank of England (BoE) was charged with supporting economic growth, and it swiftly dropped interest rates to 200-year record low levels. Panic continued to spread, and with rates on the floor, the BoE got creative. It launched a massive programme of printing more money (or the 21st century digital equivalent, which uses fewer trees), which saw the Bank buying billions of Pounds worth of bonds. The billions in extra cash in the system kept the economy ticking over, but the buying spree quickly pushed up the price of the bonds. As prices rise, yields fall. So, in March 2009, a 10-year UK government bond was yielding 3.6%...not terrific, but above inflation, which in the same month stood at 2%. Today Gilts (the term used in finance for UK Government Bonds based on the original paper version having gilt edges) are giving investors about 1.1% while inflation is at 2.9%. So investors are actually losing money in real terms – the cash you are being paid buys you less and less. If inflation moves higher still investors would see a still lower future spending power. The issue is compounded since bonds are the favoured asset of cautious investors and retirees. Since time immemorial, they have played the role of a traditional safe haven, giving holders more predictable returns. The period just after the Financial Crisis was a great time for these cautious investors. Sure, the yield was falling, but the capital value of the bond kept growing. You didn’t need to take as much investment risk and their value typically would hold up when other investments trended south. Even when you were being cautious, you were making money! Now though, as mentioned above, that period may be coming to an end. If interest rates rise, cautious investors may find themselves in a position

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Ben Kumar

of taking capital losses (no one wants to buy your bonds), and not having enough income to make up for it. It may not happen for a number of years, but if the yield on a 10-year Gilt returns to 3% that could generate an almost 20% loss for that part of your portfolio. When low risk assets become uninvestable, where can you go? How do you balance the level of risk for careful investors who will still want positive returns after inflation’s been taken into account, but can’t take full equity market risk? If bond income isn’t there, what can cautious portfolios invest in? Alternative investments are needed – and we have been finding some answers within the alternative investment sector. For 7IM, infrastructure investment companies are seen as part of the solution. These are things like toll roads, ports, bridges and airports – structures necessary for the country to function. They offer long term, predictable cash flows, with a high degree of inflation linking and a low sensitivity to financial market movements. They are also usually backed by public sector entities. Other assets such as gold also provide opportunities to diversify risk. Gold famously doesn’t yield anything – but at the moment, neither does cash! Here at 7IM, we have almost zero exposure to UK government bonds. And while that might mean missing out on some potential gains, very, very few people ever get out of a bubble right at the top. Ben Kumar is an Investment Manager at Seven Investment Management LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Member of the London Stock Exchange. Registered office: 55 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 3AS. Registered in England and Wales No. OC378740.


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Trading Commodities

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

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ach decade, a wave of global changes, sparks trends in commodities markets. Fortunes have been made and lost trading them. So why chose commodities when there are so many other trading assets? Whether you select Gold or silver or agricultural markets such as coffee and sugar, volatile markets have existed as for thousands of years and the allure of making a quick profit is often the cause of great pain. In many ways, commodities are the same as any other asset, such as stocks and shares. But they often exhibit specific tendencies, which although somewhat difficult to consistently define, can make them special. Trends seem to continue beyond logical reasoning both on the upside and the downside. Commodities exhibit strong trending behaviour. This means that they can rise and fall for a long period and for a wide range in prices. Liquidity, the ability to trade at a price level at a specific period in time, can be low, with large gaps in prices. This means that although you may place a stop loss at a particular price point, in fast moving markets, you may be filled, i.e. your order executed at prices that are very far from where you expected. For some success, it is essential to understand both the marketplace and the pricing of the commodity. To further elaborate, less liquid commodities such as orange juice will have a steady number of players that need to continually hedge and purchase contracts on a regular basis. Speculative players, can enter and leave the market at any time and have in the past outnumbered, in size, a number of the hedgers and suppliers. These players can then hold large speculative positions and can therefore influence

prices through supply and demand, when exiting the market. This can happen at times when there is little news causing large gaps in pricing. If you are trying to exit in this period, you may not be able to get out at your stop loss point and suffer a much worse loss. Always keep that in mind and reduce your positon size accordingly. A great place to see this in action, is to watch a film called ‘Trading Places’. All of these factors can add to the so called excitement of trading commodities. But there should be little emotion in trading or investing. Decisions should be rationally made. And bringing this type of excitement to trading, is akin to going to a casino. Most casinos rely upon the fact that, human nature compels people to continue betting, even when there is little money left in the kitty. Often investors exhibit the same behaviour when holding onto losing positons. Don’t fall into this trap. A strong discipline in technical analysis can really help here. It is much easier to visualise price levels and trends on charts. Then create your own strategy set ups based on historical price moves and expected future trends. Make sure you have some excellent charting analysis software, a crucial investment into your success. This will allow you to evaluate all of your decisions in real time. Let’s look at a trading example. Iron ore has collapsed from the highs set in March 2017 for around $90 to $55 where it sits now. A recent low of $40 was set in January 2016 which is still some distance away. That’s a wide range for an 18 month time period. Hypothetically, if you decide to trade with the current falling trend, expect a rocky ride with sharp corrections to the upside. A wide stop loss is needed to take into account the volatility. It vital to use any leverage cautiously. It’s easy to lose more than you initially invest. For this reason, I always suggest taking small positons and trading more frequently, rather than betting the house. For a gentle start, look into setting up a limited risk account with a broker. This is where stop losses are automatically placed on trades. A number of spread betting providers now offer these services. For experienced trading veterans, I would look to identify short term bubbles in markets and use purchased options to control both the risk and reward of the strategy. Rakesh Shah is a professional active investor and assists family offices with investment strategies. For more information you can find him at www.tenpointtrading.com Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Bank of Baroda.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:48 Page 14

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Bank of Baroda: 60 years of service in UK

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ank of Baroda is completing 60 years in the UK. Over a period of time Bank of Baroda has been meeting the aspirations of the local UK population across the demography’s by offering tailor made products to meet the requirements. The UK mortgage market is one of the most innovative and competitive in the world. The product ranges are wide and varied to meet the requirements of each and every individual. The market is well regulated with the Regulators coming out with various rules to secure the position of individual borrowers and small borrowers and to ensure that there is a fair play between the lenders and the borrowers. Bank of Baroda has been lending against properties to various sectors of borrowers viz. Individuals, proprietors, traders, project finance, development loans etc.

Various mortgage loan products and their salient features:-

Baroda Buy to Let Loan (BTL) Unregulated

l l l l l l

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Loan for Purchase a new property or remortgage an existing Buy-to-Let property Lending is also available for a wide range of HMO properties Loan available to sole proprietor, Individual, LLP, SPV and Ltd Company. Loan amount determined by loan repayment capacity Flexible repayment Maximum LTV up to 70% of property value

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Attractive interest rate to choose from Fixed or Variable interest rates

Baroda Flexi Mortgage Loan

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Loan for personal/ business use other than speculation purpose Loan available to sole proprietor, small and medium entrepreneur, Trader, LLP, SPV, Ltd Company and Individual. Can be availed either as overdraft or demand loan as per your need. Flexibility to withdraw money deposited earlier Loan amount determined by loan servicing capacity LTV up to 70% of property value Adhoc facility available up to 10% of limit for 1month Fast and Easy processing which reduces TAT Flexible repayment

Baroda property development loan

Loan for development of property for sale & leasing l Loan amount as per the project cost l Margin 30% to 40% of cost of project l No prepayment charges (if from our sources) l Can be availed either as overdraft or demand loan as per need. l Tenure up to 5years or Project realisation/ completion l Fast and Easy processing The products of the bank are well received in the market because of the excellent service and reduced TAT (Time for Average Turnaround) and competitive rates. l


Prideview-New.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:50 Page 15

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

‘Strong and Stable’ Property Investment in Uncertain Times

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he political environment of today poses perhaps more uncertainty than ever, and suddenly our political safe-haven status, a fundamental driver of the global obsession with our commercial property market, is being questioned. The protracted Brexit negotiations, absence of a ‘Strong and Stable’ government and increasingly frequent terror attacks are all contributing to the malaise. It’s been a year since that Brexit vote, when the tumbling Pound sent inflation climbing, and since then many of us have come to accept that the only certainty these days is uncertainty itself. What we are seeing in the property market is increased interest in the bricks and mortar security of real estate, with a particular focus on income and yield at a time where capital gains are hard to come by. Savings in the bank continue to earn zero interest and finance remains readily available. But this time around all eyes are on commercial property, partly thanks to the punitive tax changes on residential buy-to-let property landlords.

Author: Pritesh Patel Consultant at The Prideview Group

level, and a more commonly sought-after lot-size is around £500k. Deals around this mark tend to be outside of London and whilst some worry about how Brexit will play out up North, we always look at things on a deal-by-deal basis. We recently sold a Europcar car and van rental site in Doncaster on a 15 year lease with fixed 5 yearly rental uplifts for under £500k / 5.75% gross yield. The buyer got finance on this and was comforted by the fact that the half an acre site offers future development potential too.

Europcar, Doncaster, West Yorkshire

In Glasgow, we recently purchased a purpose-built, singlestorey building let to Co-Op Food for 15 years for ca. £700k / 6.5% gross yield. Our client, who is from the north-east, was very happy given that his money in the bank “was doing nothing” and has since agreed to acquire another investment via us elsewhere.

Sainsbury’s Local, Northolt, Greater London

Many investors want to hedge their bets against this tough market outlook, but need to be aware that only a few of the commercial properties on the market (in auction or otherwise) can be considered investment-grade for this purpose, and of those just a few are even deliverable. Below are several deals which we sourced and successfully acquired this month for clients with this mind-set: A London-based Asian investor had been looking without success for a rock-solid investment within the M25 since Brexit, and pounced when I showed him a Sainsbury’s Local in Northolt, north-west London, on a 15 year lease in a brand new development for ca. £2m / 5% gross yield. Bidding on this investment was extremely strong and one of the reasons we came out trumps was because he made a cash offer based on just 5 days to exchange - all done in the week leading up to, and in spite of, the ‘snap’ election! Not everyone can transact with such speed at that price

Co-op Food, Glasgow, Scotland

These are just a taster of the deals we have done during the political upheaval of recent months. Demand remains strong for the corner of the market we focus on, namely quality commercial property, and in an uncertain political world, security is what many seek. Theresa May may be struggling to deliver on ‘Strong and Stable’, but we certainly won’t! Pritesh Patel can be contacted at pritesh@prideviewproperties.co.uk Tel: 0203 113 2144 Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Satish Thakrar.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:52 Page 16

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Buy to let

Investment F

By Satish Thakrar

or these group of people, there has been nothing but bad news one after another since last 2 years. First, the chancellor put up 3 % extra stamp duty on BTL (and second home as well) property purchases. Secondly, 10 % wear and tear allowance has been withdrawn since this April. This was a good tax deductable item to reduce tax liability.

Thirdly, The Brexit. Less people will come to UK to work from EU. This will reduce demand for rental properties. Then there is changing market condition. Big companies and pension providers are investing directly into these properties, now called Built To Rent (BTR). After that you have specialised student accommodation that could house up to 200-300 students in a single building. Landlords in a University Town and cities could well be affected. Now the Taxation changes. In his 2015 Budget, the chancellor has restricted mortgage interest deduction to 75 % from this tax year, with 25 % being available as a basic rate tax deduction; than next year to 50 %, (50 % available at basic rate) and than to 25 % (75 % at basic rate). So from

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2021/22, Tax Year, the whole rental income will be restricted to basic rate 0f 20 % deduction. This will be the biggest change to affect the rental property market. Some higher rate tax payers might have negative cash flow meaning, they will have to find some cash from other sources for Inland Revenue because, rental income will not cover it. Many accountants are now encouraging us to put our property into a Limited Company. In this, instead of paying income tax at one’s tax rate, we pay Corporation Tax (CT) on the profit, which is 20 % starting with April 2016. So for higher rate tax payer, this could be a good idea but be careful about added costs. Your accountant will charge you more for doing Limited Company accounts. Than you will have to sell the property to your company at current market value, raising the prospect of paying Capital Gain Tax. If your current mortgage provider does not give loan to a limited company, you will have go to a specialist mortgage provider. You might get up to 85 % Loan To Value (LTV) than 75 % LTV by your current lender (you might raise some cash by this), but interest payable would be higher than your current loan. Coventry Building Society (Tel. 0800 121 8899) is the best for BTL loans. Their 1.89 % rate (not fixed) is for the whole term for 65 % LTV with £ 1999.00 fee. All rest of the lenders have 3.5 % Plus rate after the initial period. But do not despair. There are some good news as well. We are still not building enough new homes. And due to high property prices, more and more people are renting rather than buying. With 0.25 % base rate, we are enjoying historical low interest rate available to BTL investment. Happy Investing.


Kishan Dewani.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 16:56 Page 17

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Dealing with Inheritance Tax (IHT) By Kishan Devani, Consultant

Writing a Will

Before looking at one of the most effective approaches to mitigate the IHT liability on your estate, the most basic – but often neglected – part of estate planning is making a Will. Making a will is something most people should definitely consider if they haven’t already. The lack of a will can add strain and distress to the surviving family at arguably the worst time. But strain and stress are by no means the only consequences of ‘dying intestate’, i.e. without a will. Unless your estate or family set up is very simple, there is no reason not to make a will, and it’s important to revise yours regularly and keep it up to date.

Discounted Gift Trust (DGT)

Your will is in place and this will ensure that all of your assets will be distributed as per your wishes once you have died. You still have a significant amount of personal and family wealth that will be subject to IHT on your demise and you would prefer to ensure that as much as possible passes on to your beneficiaries. You are in the fortunate position that you have enough wealth to provide for any unforeseen emergencies in the future. You are mid-60s, retired, currently in good health and have no problem relinquishing access to some of your money. The only proviso is that you are not comfortable gifting to your beneficiaries at this time primarily because you would like to continue drawing an income from your investments, but also to avoid other issues involved in gifting. It would seem that using a DGT would be a suitable solution to your issue. As the name suggests, a DGT aims to provide the settlor/s with an immediate discount to their potential IHT liability with any growth on the trust fund falling outside of their IHT estate from Day 1. A DGT involves a Single Premium Investment Bond being written under a suitable trust. As the settlor retains the right to a chosen level of income during their lifetime, this will have a value for IHT purposes which will stay inside of the IHT estate. As such, for the purposes of calculating the gift at the outset; the value of the full investment can be reduced (“discounted”) by this ‘retained value’. The actual value of the ‘retained fund’ is calculated taking into account the settlor’s sex, age, state of health, and the amount and frequency of the capital payments they are entitled to, and is

Kishan Devani

calculated on application. The remaining part of the investment is subject to the “Seven Year Rule” and will be totally outside of the estate after seven years. On the demise of the settlor/s, the investment will pass directly to the beneficiaries without being subject to probate.

Offshore Wrapper

There are a number of different types of “Single Premium Investment Bonds” all of which can be held in a DGT. For a number of reasons, we use the International Portfolio Bond (IPB). This is also known as an Offshore Wrapper. The offshore wrapper allows you to set up an investment that sits in a safe offshore jurisdiction (Isle of Man) which will grow free of any ongoing tax. You are allowed to bring up to 5% of the bond back into the UK each year without paying any tax at all. This means that if you set up the investment with £1m, you can bring up to £50,000 each year into the UK without paying any tax at all. With most other investments, once you place them into a DGT, you are no longer able to take an income. The beauty of putting an Offshore Wrapper into the DGT, is that you can hold it in a place that guarantees that all growth is outside of your IHT estate immediately, that a certain amount of the capital will be outside of your IHT estate immediately and that the rest of the capital will drop out of your IHT estate over the next seven years – and all of the while you can continue to take a tax free income from the investment. There are many more advantages to using the Offshore Wrapper that are beyond the scope of this article. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and past performance of an investment is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Kaushik Desai.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:33 Page 18

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Making gifts out of normal expenditure

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By Kaushik Desai, Chown Dewhurst LLP

t is common knowledge that inheritance tax (IHT) is payable on all estates worth over £325,000 (unchanged since 6 April 2009 and frozen until 5 April 2021) which, with the residential nil-rate band rises to £425,000 for the year ended 5 April 2018. The residential nil-rate band is expected to rise to £175,000 by the year ended 5 April 2021. This effectively means that for a couple, where the assets including the home are first passed on to the surviving spouse, estates up to £850,000 (rising to £1m by 5 April 2021) can be passed to your children without paying IHT. Despite this, the IHT receipts have risen consistently and raised £4.5 billion for the fiscal year 2015/2016. This is further expected to increase by almost £2 billion over the next five years as revealed in March 2017 in “the Office of Budget Responsibility”. This is not surprising given the rising house prices and stock

Kaushik Desai

The legislation (section 21 of the IHT Act 1984) exempts transfers if, taking one year with another, it can be shown that the gifts:

formed part of the deceased’s usual expenditure l were made out of income, and l left the deceased with sufficient income to maintain their normal standard of living. The exemption does not apply to gifts made out of capital, which includes 5% investment bond withdrawals and the capital element of purchased life annuity payments. l

Case law suggests the following:

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market. The other main factor why the IHT bill is increasing is that with low investment income received (the Bank of England base rate is at a historical low rate of 0.25%), one needs a significant level of capital to have a modest comfortable income in retirement. One way to stop the IHT liability from increasing is to consider making gifts out of normal expenditure - provided they meet the strict criteria, they will be exempt. They do not even impact on the £3,000 annual IHT exemption and are outside the seven-year rule (normally if you give an asset away you need to survive at least seven-years to avoid the gift forming part of your estate).

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

l l

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“normal expenditure” means that when it took place it was part of the settled pattern of expenditure adopted by the donor; a “settled pattern” can be shown from the expenditure of the donor over a period of time or by showing that the donor assumed a commitment or adopted a firm resolution, in relation to future expenditure and has then made gifts in accordance with that commitment – this can be achieved by you making a declaration which states that it is your intention to now gift surplus net income; there is no fixed minimum period to establish the relief; where there is no formal commitment or resolution, it may be necessary to show a series of payments (three will usually suffice, two possibly); there can be some variation in the pattern, but to claim the relief it must be shown that the donor intended a pattern to exist and to remain


Kaushik Desai.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:33 Page 19

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

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for a period of time (barring unforeseen circumstances); the amount of the transfer does not have to be fixed; the amount does not need to be to the same person each time; the amount may be fixed by a formula such as a percentage of earnings or a figure such as ‘what is left over after paying nursing home fees’; tax planning does not disqualify the expenditure, almost the reverse; if the tax payer can show that he entered into a series of gifts having taken advice, and intending to make use of the relief in s.21 IHTA 1984, it will help that he took the advice in 0claiming the relief;

It is vital to keep a record of the income, expenditure and gifts. This could be achieved by depositing all the income in a separate bank account and paying all expenditure from this account. Any surplus before the end of the tax year should then be gifted to your children or your beneficiaries. This will enable you to keep a good record of your income and expenditure as Form IHT 403 which captures this information requires the following:

1. Income including salary, pensions, interest, investments, rents and annuities (income element) and any other sources of income less income tax paid – this is then the net income for a tax year. 2. Expenditure broken down between mortgage (interest only), insurance, household bills, council tax, travelling costs, entertainment, holidays, nursing home fees and any other expenditure. 3. The difference between the net income and total expenditure

is the surplus (deficit) income for the year. 4. You will need to detail the total gifts made excluding the annual exemption of £3,000. 5. The figures derived in 3. and 4. above will then determine whether the gifts outlined in 4. qualify for gifts made as part of normal expenditure out of income and, if they do, they will be exempt and not form part of the seven-year rule for the purposes of calculating the IHT liability of your estate. Clearly this is one way of reducing your IHT liability. There are other possibilities including creating a trust, gifting assets away but bear in mind any capital gains tax implications and considering equity release. However, we would suggest that you see a professional adviser to consider ways of minimising your IHT liability as, if you do nothing, you can be sure that there will be tax on death for which there are no reliefs!!!

Kaushik Desai is a principal of Chown Dewhurst LLP, a firm of UK and International tax advisers. 020 7403 0787 or kdesai@chowndewhurst.com

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Sureshx2.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:01 Page 20

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

The Cult of

Money By Suresh Vagjiani, Sow & Reap Ltd

The definition of a cult is defined as follows

1. a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object. 2. a person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society. Both definitions can be applied to the object known as money. There is a religious like devotion to the pursuit of it and it is unarguably very popular amongst society. Often it is used as a yard stick for judgement of one’s character. In the same way religious beliefs can cause one to act irrationally and even immorally, money has the same effect on the psyche. Symptomatic of a cult is also the phenomena that something has value because everyone in the cultish circle believes it has value.

This is also the truth about currency

There is no intrinsic value to currency. If we examine the ten, twenty or fifty pound note we find the words ‘I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of X pounds’. This is based on the old system of promissory notes which means they should be backed by something. However, you will be sadly disappointed if you try to cash your notes in at the Bank of England for a portion of gold. Traditionally a £5 note was backed by 5 gold sovereigns. Now it is backed by nothing. It exists and is accepted because we have been herded to accept this as valid currency. In the US, on the 23rd December 1913, the Federal Reserve Act was passed, under the president Woodrow Wilson, which took away the ability to print money from the people to a group of private individuals.

In his own words, he writes

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“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Suresh Vagjiani

therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world- no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”0 This kind of currency is called a “Fiat” currency. “Fiat” means an “authoritative decree”, hence the use of the word “Fiat” to describe the issuance of currency. There is no backing for what is known as Fiat currencies. Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity. It survives because of two reasons: firstly, that the powers that be tell us it’s real, and secondly, we all accept this fact. If someone invests and accepts a currency to be real then it becomes so. President Wilson was not the first president to dabble in Fiat currency. It had been adopted in 1862 and US currency was no longer backed by gold. However, Congress did limit the amount of money in circulation to $347 million. It was not just the Act of 1913 that changed everything. In 1971, the US came off the gold standard entirely. If you chart US inflation history, this is when currencies around the world, starting with the US currency, became increasingly worthless. In effect, what has been established is the world greatest Ponzi scheme. Money needs to be continually printed in order for the game to carry on. Since 1971 it can be argued that the world


Sureshx2.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:02 Page 21

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017 economy has developed into an $80 trillion Ponzi scheme. Alarmed by this history, I have been looking into which strategies a smart investor needs in order to hedge against and benefit from this Fiat arrangement. Recently, I was researching various crypto currencies. One option interested me because it is being backed by gold, each ‘coin’ is backed by a gram of gold. With each trade a fee is charged. As the charges are earned, it is used to purchase more gold and thereby make the currency increase in value, backed by a real asset - gold. As confidence in Fiat currencies declines and regulations increase, it is easy to see why various crypto currencies have become increasingly popular. Bitcoin is the most famous example, but is by no means the only one. I have also met the founder of a company whose aim is to protect HNWI wealth. He is doing so by keeping wealth in a physical form totally outside of the system. His analysis of the current economic situation is most banks and currencies are bankrupt. He questions why would you place assets with a bankrupt company or in a bankrupt system? He has bought some underground nuclear bunkers, and uses them to store gold for HNWIs. It is fully insured and served by its own airline strip. For a minimum of £500,000 in gold, the investor is able to keep a store of wealth entirely outside a risky system. Like death, we know that the system will fail one day but it could be tomorrow or in two hundred years’ time. So, it does not make sense to hoard all our wealth in a nuclear bunker. This should be a hedge.

Meanwhile, my observation is that the best way to benefit from this Fiat currency driven system is to seek assets that are genuinely limited by supply. This means that the investor positions himself in place where inflation and debt drive demand up while supply is fixed. In this scenario, in the long run, as long as the entire system does not collapse, prices will go up. Seek, therefore, mature cities where planning regulations are tight and byzantine, land scarce and the political climate unable to deliver a revolution in housing supply. Also pay close attention to the long term demographics such as population and the number of persons per household. This is why London, in spite of periodic blips, has been a rich den of deals for five hundred years. In summary, in order to accumulate and preserve real wealth, one must make the transition from Fiat currency to real assets. These should include gold, and property. Gold is a firm hedge against Fiat currencies, as it has been used for millennia, and its use as an instrument of trading as been around longer than any Fiat currency in existence. Property is the other obvious real asset. It has the added

advantage of being able to generate a monthly income which gold does not. There still is a chink in the system which can be exploited, which is the home buyers scheme. The conditions are it is only open to new buyers and home movers. Here the government will give you up to 40% of the deposit money in order to purchase a property up to a value of £600k. The rest of the money will come from mortgage providers.

All that is required is the 5% deposit. This enables one to transform Fiat currency, into a real asset. It’s not just that this money ultimately does not exist, the majority of the money which does not exist does not even belong to you. It comes from the government and the lending institution.

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Manoj Ladwa.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:05 Page 22

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

How will the next generation judge the UK-India relationship we build?

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By Manoj Ladwa

he introduction of the Indian government’s landmark Goods and Services Tax, we can now consider the power of India’s $2 trillion economy and 1.25 billion consumers becoming unified for the first time into one single common market.

However, in the UK, we approach equally unexplored but far less optimistic terrain, as Brexit negotiations have begun and the country enters a long period of economic uncertainty. Following the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK Government needs to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that it can find alternative markets and negotiate trade deals that can compensate for the losses the nation could accrue from Brexit. The EU currently accounts for half of the UK’s import and export trade. As India, the world’s fastest growing economy, looks towards a period of further economic growth and liberalisation, this is the perfect time to look at the huge shift in the balance of power between the UK and India. If the UK and India are to forge a global trade relationship beyond Brexit, the UK must first take stock of the new influence India wields across the world. We now have much more a relationship of equals than at any time in the last two-centuries.

From transaction to transformational

It is therefore essential that the UK does not approach this relationship with only a bilateral Free

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Manoj Ladwa

Trade Agreement (FTA) in its sights. We must engage; we must cooperate; and we must move from a shallow transactional relationship, into a genuinely transformational relationship. Prime Minister Modi recently talked of a ‘living bridge’ between the two nations through the enormous cultural impact we have had on each other, and this living bridge must be leveraged as we attempt to search for a mutually lucrative deal in the future. The two countries have a great deal of cultural influence over one another, sharing the rule of law and a Parliamentary democratic system, and these cultural ties have already established a significant economic relationship. The UK is currently the fifth largest importer of Indian goods; Indian companies have created 110,000 jobs in the UK; and India invests more in the UK than the rest of the EU combined. Though in recent years the trade figures have seen a dip. This economic platform can now be built upon, not only by the governments of the respective nations, but also the populations. Going ‘out into the world’ will engage the whole of the UK, including its many diaspora communities, and these will be essential in forming the strongest external partnerships. Britain’s diaspora communities are a hugely underplayed asset. In the UK, the hard-working and diverse diaspora communities add a huge


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Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017 amount to the UK’s exceptional cultural fabric. They contribute to the economy, and create jobs. Despite this, there is a tendency to treat diaspora communities as the enemy within – a tendency verging on a wave of right-wing sentiment in the wake of the EU referendum. The movement of people is the principle behind the engineering of the ‘living bridge, and the UK can harness these diaspora communities to boost its relationships with its overseas partners, from Italy and Spain to Ghana and Nigeria, but India especially. British businesses small and large must reciprocate Indian investment by finding opportunities and overcoming barriers to trade and invest in India - it is absolutely essential to the relationship that the bridge must continue to be a two-way route with underpinned by shared values and economic interests. And this two-way route must similarly be applied in the way the UK views the movement of Indian talent and technological skill. People are the vectors of innovation and new ideas, and India will find it difficult to agree to liberalised trading terms unless the UK shows greater imagination on issues like visas for Indian professionals and students who have graduated from British universities. The letter written by forty-five Conservative MPs urging Her Majesty’s government to bring in easier visa regime for Commonwealth citizens could be a good starting point, but it is hard to see the potential for real cooperation when the UK still classes Indian students as immigrants. And, similarly, this growing perception of Britain pulling up the drawbridge on Indian talent has not gone down well, made shockingly evident by the falling numbers of Indian students choosing British universities in recent years. Someone recently quipped to me that we may soon see more Indian students in

German universities than in the UK! Therefore benefits of human cooperation are already being seen on issues such as cyber-security, where GCHQ has set up an accelerator programme in which they invest in Indian tech companies to benefit both countries in the long term. This sort of successful investment in Indian talent provides long term benefits for both countries, and must be central to future relations. It is for British politics and politicians to find a compromise – not because India seeks it, but because the British economy itself needs to keep the doors open for a certain type of global talent and to preserve its own ideas of global values. Manoj Ladwa is the author of ‘Winning Partnership – India UK Relations Beyond Brexit’ The Book os available on Amazon and Apple iBooks. He is the Founder and CEO of India Inc. publishers of Global Business magazine and India Investment Journal. @manojladwa

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Mitul-2.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:06 Page 24

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

Expats in mind as the Indian Government issues GST

I

n an over-the-top, publicised midnight Parliament session (reminiscent of India's midnight freedom of 1947), the Indian Government introduced the monumental Goods and Services Tax on July 1. Dramatically reshaping the country's $2 trillion dollar economy, the nuclear tax regime has replaced a set of indirect taxes and already benefited several key sectors.

The entire network of indirect taxes like excise duty, service tax, central sales tax, value added tax and octroi has been replaced with a single tax. Consumers will no longer bend down to double taxation, and state governments will still have a say in the matter with the number of taxes reduced to three: Central GST, State GST, and Integrated GST for inter-state dealings. Updates are good so far, with the Indian economy getting nothing but a much-needed push by around 2 per cent. Cofounder of UAE-based Nimai Management Consultants, Pankaj Mundra said this is the first time any good or service produced or rendered will have a clear end to end visibility and this would lead to lot of transparency and make any manipulations difficult if not impossible. “This tax reform will certainly boost GDP by increasing tax collections,” he said. Not only Indian residents, the tax change is touted to make things easier for Indian expats as well. Visibly optimistic with the game-changing reform, NRIs believe GST will significantly increase ease of doing business in the country. CEO BNC Network, Dubai, Avin Gidwani said, “As NRIs, we are benefited by the simplicity and efficiency of government systems in the UAE. It is good to see India moving in this direction, as GST is healthy for the country.” Where exactly will the community benefit the most? One of the most invested-in sector, the real estate is beginning to look quite more attractive with the GST and introduction of RERA. A financial planner based in Mumbai, Veer Sardesai said, “NRIs looking at buying apartments (not land) are likely to find that builders will be able to pass on the GST benefit, thereby reducing prices by a few per cent.” It is widely known that NRIs are dominant investors in the real estate sector. Market report by Square Yards suggest an expectation of

NRI

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

$11.5 billion in NRI investments this month. Why so? The GST is expected to reduce black economy substantially, and make the Indian economy transparent. This directly translates into a rise of willingness to purchase. With processes expected to be more transparent, it will become much easier to do business in India. The government released an official notification prior to the launch, stating that existing taxpayer under VAT, Service Tax and Central Excise, can enrol at the GST Portal. While Indian traders have already completed the third phase of registration, non-resident Indians planning to invest in India will need to register too. The GST Law has specifically stated a 'non-resident taxable person' as any one who occasionally undertakes transactions involving the supply of goods or services, or both, whether as principal or agent or in any other capacity, but who has no fixed place of business or residence in India. ClearTax says, “A nonresident taxable person will file electronically an application for registration using the FORM GST REG-09 along with a self-attested copy of his valid passport. The application must be duly signed or verified through EVC or Electronic Verification Code.” The move however, come with impediments in the initial phases. About 37 annual tax-fillings, three a month and one annually, are to be filled by businesses. Benefits include GST refund claims, where “NRIs on leaving India may be able to claim the GST refund, thereby making their purchases in India cheaper. However, it might take a few months before that is possible as the government could take some time to set up counters at the airport.” Another change includes a shift in Gold in the Indian market. Analysts say buying gold jewellery in India is now more expensive than in the UAE. Managing Director, International Operations, of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Shamlal Ahamed MP, said NRIs in the UAE enjoy 12 to 14 per cent difference in gold prices between both the countries. “GST has been set at three per cent. In addition, there is five per cent GST on making charges. Earlier, it was one per cent excise and 1.2 per cent VAT. When you add 10 per cent customs duty, there will be a difference of around 13 to 14 per cent between gold prices in India and the UAE.” Also, NRIs will find it cheaper to buy luxury cars in India. They however, will have to pay more for currency exchange and other banking services as taxes have been raised by 3 per cent. “Under GST, the applicable rate is 18 per cent, (as compared to the previous 15 per cent). Other financial services such as brokerage fees buying or selling investment will also be similarly affected,” a Mumbai-based financial planner said.


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Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

A Year later, Brexit continues to bite

F

ollowing months of intensive campaigning from the 'Leave' and 'Stay' campaigns, the historic Brexit referendum was put forth by our reluctant former prime minister David Cameron. Speaking in the House of Commons, on February 22, 2016, Cameron announced the referendum date and spoke of an intention to trigger Article 50 in case of a leave vote, and of the two-year time period to negotiate the arrangements for exit. Over 51 per cent voted for an exit from the European Union on June 23, last year, leading to what was a “historic victory” as described by leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage. The pound fell to its lowest level since 1985, and Cameron resigned from his post following the declaration of the result. Theresa May took up the reins of the country, after a leadership contest. Phillip Hammond replaced George Osborne as Secretary of State, former Mayor of London Boris Johnson was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and David Davis became Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

After the Supreme Court's ruling in Miller's case, followed by the passing of the European Union Act 2017, May invoked the Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union on March 29, 2017, setting pace for negotiations with the EU, over a span of two years. However, with unpredictability amongst the people and the market running high on Brexit fever, the British government took another hit when the Conservatives lost their majority in a general election in June 2017, leaving Britain with a

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

hung parliament. May currently hangs onto power by the slightest thread, trying to form a government with support extended from Northern Irish party, the DUP.

CONSEQUENCES

Economy

The move comes with several and severe implications for both, the UK and the EU. Needless to say, Brexit sent economic shockwaves through global markets and Britain reportedly lost its top AAA credit rating. However, the Bank of England cut interest rates and took other emergency steps to stop the UK from rushing into a recession. The Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, warning that Britain would lose up to £70 billion in reduced economic growth if it didn't retain Single Market membership, with new trade deals unable to make up the difference. Now, a year since more than half the population wrote the UK's fate, one sees a dark picture of households bearing rising costs and firms faced with falling demand. The economy managed to evade recession so far, and months following the Brexit vote, the UK did outperform several other advanced economies. However, by the end of the year, it has remarkably slowed, and the UK has now slipped to becoming the last of the European growth league. June brought with it, a drop in retail sales, a four-year high in inflation, slow in wage growth, and the housing market losing momentum. Wages are said to be falling in real terms, trying to adjust for inflation. Unemployment remains at a 42-year low and the deficit on public finances narrowed in May is expected to widen this year as Philip Hammond grapples with spending demands in the wake of the election shock. Even,the squeeze on household budget has hurt consumer-facing businesses. Former Bank of England policymaker Andrew Sentance said the squeeze on consumers was being reflected in weaker retail sales. The most obvious economic impact has been the hike in prices, caused by the Pound's sharp fall against other currencies. Higher import costs and the rise in global oil prices have been gradually passed on to consumers. What is worse, that the wages refuse to match the rises, prompting perhaps the biggest squeeze on living standards in a very long time. On the plus side, higher import costs following the leave, served as good news for exporters who were struggling with the high value of the pound


Mitu lno3 x 2.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:10 Page 27

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017 until then. Following the end of negotiations, when the UK leaves the EU, it will no longer have to contribute billions of pounds a year towards the European Union's budget.

GDP

The steady plummeting in the country's GDP has caused it to lose approximately 15 per cent of its value in a span of one year. Yes, benefits of a weaker sterling are promising, but the rising cost of imports is severely affecting the citizens. Data shared by a media source revealed, that by the end of Q4 2016, foreign investment in the UK plunged by 0.9 per cent, and by 2019, the BOE anticipates a 25 per cent decline in business investment.

HOW BREXIT AFFECTS SECTORS

Agriculture

The only thing certain and clear regarding the Brexit is that the decision has prompted proposals to implement the most significant changes to agricultural policy since it joined the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 1973. As a report said, the move will take the entire sector back to what it was in the 1920s. One of the country's largest remaining manufacturing sector, is food and drink- touted to be bigger than the car and aerospace industries combined. It contributes over £28bn a year to the economy. Europe is its most significant export market. Agriculture accounts for over 13 per cent of national employment, and 55 per cent of all UK farm income is derived from European subsidies as we only produce over half of what we eat.

Brexit is a major kick to the farming industry as it exerts existential risk to our food and farming system. Farmers received about £3bn in support from the much-reviled common agricultural policy last year – over £2bn in direct payments, paid per hectare, and about £600m in rural development payments. Take them away, and only the largest-scale and most intensive greenhouse-gas-generating British producers will be competent enough to compete in globalised commodity markets. And even then, they will struggle. It is wise to say that the practicalities of adopting, amending, or abolishing the 4500 or so EU regulations covering food, farming and environmental standards will be a lot for the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Manufacturing

The looming lack of direction of the Brexit will potential force British Manufacturers to make major brutal cuts, whatever the

outcome, as the sector approaches a “tipping point”. The warning was issued by Engineering Employers' Federation chief executive Terry Scuoler when a small group of chief executives met with Chancellor Philip Hammond recently. Manufacturing accounts for about 10 per cent of the UK economy, and is desperately trying to push the government on the right path. Scuoler said, “Business groups can help with the negotiations over trade, which is the model every other government involved in trade negotiations operates. “UK businesses need to know soon what arrangements will be in place after March 2019, to be able to plan, make investment decisions and have confidence that an orderly and carefully managed approach to Brexit is under way.” Scuoler added, “If they don't have that assurance there will come a tipping point, sometime in 2018, when boards in the UK and elsewhere will need to make decisions based on the state of the negotiations at that point.”

Services

Sluggish growth across services companies in June completed a “triple whammy” of disappointing news as growth in construction and manufacturing industries faded in response to Brexit uncertainty and weak consumer confidence. Analysts said the weak set of figures indicated a broad softening in activity across the economy that was likely to dent the enthusiasm BOE policymakers who proposed increasing rates. Activity in the industry, that is responsible for almost 80 per cent economic activity, fell to a four-month low in June, bringing down the all-sector IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers index (PMI) from 54.5 in May to 53.9 in June, the lowest since February. International trade in services depends on staff mobility, recognition of qualifications and the ability to transfer client data across borders. Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson said, “A slowing in services sector growth completes a triple-whammy of disappointing PMI survey readings. Although the three PMI surveys are running at levels that are historically consistent with GDP growing by around 0.4% in the second quarter, it’s clear that the economy heads into the third quarter losing momentum.”

Universities

The icing on the very cake. Universities in the UK generate £11bn in export earnings and support approximately 750,000 jobs across the country and Brexit is about to the sector upside down. The EU gives about £800m a year in grants and contracts, which makes up for 14 per cent of British university research income. Also, one fifth of the UK's academic staff are EU nationals with some of their visa status being uncertain. Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

GST: Proof of the pudding is in the eating

A

s India switched to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, there is still is little to no clarity on the amount of damage that comes with the imposition of the new indirect tax regime. The Indian economy has reset, and the prices of several goods, including processed meats, imported condiments, alcohol, and tobacco has soared.

GST and Real Estate

As the wait for GST ends, the Centre-imposed 12 per cent tax on sale of houses from July 1 has left both, property buyers and players fretting over the amount of money they will have to shell out or circulate. One of the biggest financial decisions for a person, GST's effects on real estate has turned builders and buyers looking clueless. The GST Council announced four rates for services: 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent, and 28 per cent. While the first slot is mostly for transportation, restaurant services will vary from 12 to 18, gambling and cinema comes under the 28 per cent slab, works contract will be taxable at 12 per cent with full input tax credit. One of the major changes in the system, the input tax credit is where credits of input taxes paid at each stage of production or service delivery can be availed in the succeeding of value addition, completely eliminating 'tax on tax'. As per the past tax regime, works contract attracted 6 per cent service tax- a reduced tax rate under a special scheme called the abatement scheme, and a value added tax (VAT) that ranged from 1 to 5 per cent. Developers did not get a deduction of the input tax before, however, under the GST, they will. Meaning, while no set off was available to them on the amount of excise duty and VAT they paid on cement or steel, under the new regime, they will be able to get benefits on taxes. The rate of 12 per cent is applicable on under-construction properties, as settled by the Council. This rate with input tax credit aims to remove the inefficiencies of dual taxation in the form of VAT, service tax and completely ends multiple taxes. The schedule of GST rates for services said that the “construction of a complex, building, civil structure or a part thereof, intended for sale to a buyer, wholly or partly. The value of land is included in the amount charged from the service recipient.” All these will be taxed at 12 per cent along with full input tax credit. An expert said, “Under GST, the under-construction projects are going to attract 12 per cent tax, where previously it was about 4.5 per cent. This will push the market and we can expect an increase in prices. Steel will also attract 18 per cent GST, which will further put stress on prices.” The GST rate for steel has been pegged at 18 per cent which is expected to be beneficial in the long run for other sectors as well. Cement prices are

28

Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

expected to go up marginally, as it has been put in the 28 per cent tax slab from the earlier 23-24 per cent. With the GST not applicable on completed, ready-to-move-in apartments, real estate experts believe stamp duty and property taxes may continue to be levied on immovable properties.

What does this say about property prices?

Prior to the roll-out, Harpret Singh, partner, indirect taxes, at KPMG had said that the prices of the houses will depend on the “current value-added tax prevailing in different states. For example, if the current VAT is 2 per cent and service tax rate is 6 per cent, then though the total tax rate may increase to 12 per cent, the price of the property may be cheaper if the benefit of additional tax credit outweighs the negative increase in the tax rate.” Singh also added, “Buyers should not worry about the developers not passing on the benefit of the additional tax credit because GST also provides for an anti-profiteering provision which makes it mandatory for the dealer to pass on the benefit of GST to the end consumer.”

Housing Societies to hurt most

Housing Societies with an annual corpus of over Rs 2000,000 has to register in the GST era. Even if its monthly maintenance charge is less than Rs 5,000 per flat, if its membership base is large and the annual collection is in excess of Rs 2000,000, it is liable to pay GST. An expert said that if the total billing is over Rs 2000,000, but less than Rs 7500,000, “the CHS (co-operative housing society) may prefer to opt for the composition scheme.” “The other way, if possible, is to split the buildings of a big housing society to form separate societies so the collection amount stays within Rs 2000,000.” The expert also added that the current tax exemption of Rs 5,000 per member per month may not be applicable in the GST since the billing in totality for the CHS will be taken into account. “Overall, GST shall be a big disappointment from a CHS point of view.”


Spread betting .qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:17 Page 29

Speculate with Spread betting

S

pread betting is a way of investing in the movement of a particular market – like forex, shares or indices – without actually owning the asset.

Spread betting enables you to speculate on the movement of a particular asset – like a currency pair, company stock or even an entire index – without actually owning the asset. With spread betting, you predict an outcome, and the degree to which you are right or wrong determines the size of your profit (or loss). Spread betting differs from alternatives such as fixed- odds betting, where you have a simple win/lose outcome and a pre-defined payout or loss. When financial spread betting, the outcome you're speculating on is the direction in which the price of a financial instrument will move. If it moves the way you predict, your profit will grow further it goes. However, if the market moves against you, your loss will also increase as the price movement becomes greater. Betting on the price increase is referred to as going long while betting that it will decrease is called going short (or ‘shorting’).

The spread

Spread betting gets its name from the spread that all providers wrap around the underlying market price. The costs of the trade are factored into the two prices, so you will always buy slightly higher than the market price, and sell slightly below it. The difference between these prices is known as the spread. If you think a market is set to rise you ‘buy’ at the offer (higher) price, and if you think the market is set to fall you ‘sell’ at the bid (lower) price. When you want to close a bet, you take the opposite action to when you opened it: buying if you sold, and selling if you bought. For that reason, the market price of your asset will have to move beyond the spread before any profit is made.

The bet size

The bet size is the amount you bet per unit of movement of the underlying market. You can choose your bet size, as long as it meets the minimum. Your profit or loss is the difference between the opening price and the closing price of the market, multiplied by the value of your bet.

Bet duration

All spread bets have a fixed timescale, expiring from within a day to several months away. You are,

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017

however, free to close them at any point in their designated expiry time, assuming the spread bet is open for trading.

There are two types of spread bet

l Daily funded bets run for as long as you choose to keep them open. l Quarterly bets are futures bets that expire at the end of a quarterly period. These bets have funding costs built into the spread.

Benefits of spread betting

The main benefit of spread betting, as opposed to conventional forms of trading, is that you can trade on both rising and falling markets, giving you the potential to make a profit regardless of whether the markets go up or down. But, there's plenty more to consider. l Any profit you make is tax-free All profits made in spread betting are exempt from UK Capital Gains Tax*. This automatically saves you from losing a large percentage of your profits. As spread betting is a derivatives product, it’s also exempt from UK stamp duty. l (Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances.) l You can trade 24 hours a day l Use leverage to maximise your profits As a leveraged product, when you spread bet you only need to deposit a small percentage of the full value of your position - this is known as margin. This means that the potential for profits, or losses, from your initial capital outlay, is significantly higher than with traditional trading. l Ability to go long or short Spread betting is one of the few forms of financial trading that enables you to profit from falling market prices. So you can gain exposure to market movements regardless of the direction in which the markets are moving. For example, if you think the markets are going to rise, you go long on the price (buy). Your profits will rise in line with any increase in that price (and your losses will increase in line with any fall in price). If, on the other hand, you think the markets will fall you go short on the price (sell). Your profits will rise in line with any fall in that price (and your losses will increase with any rise in price). l Trade on a huge range of markets With spread betting, you can not only take a position on thousands of individual shares, indices, and currencies around the world but also place trades on sectors, commodities, bonds and interest rates. Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

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30-Index.qxp_A4 Temp 07/07/2017 17:23 Page 30

Finance, Banking & Insurance - 2017 Editorial Index

Editor/Publisher: CB Patel

Chief Executive Officer: L. George

Topics ................................................................................................ Page No. Investing Opportunities In The UK Market During Brexit.......................... 4-5 By Rakesh Shah, Kingly Capital Forex Trade: An exciting future.................................................................. 6 By Alpesh Patel, Trader Mind How Brexit will affect your currency............................................................8-9 By Paresh Davdra, CEO & Co-Founder GBP/USD eight year cycle..........................................................................10 By Rugu Dharmaratnam, ACMA CGMA Will bonds blot their copybook?..................................................................12 By Ben Kumar, 7IM Trading Commodities.................................................................................. 13 By Rakesh Shah, Kingly Capital Bank of Baroda: 60 years of service in UK................................................14 ‘Strong and Stable’ Property Investment in Uncertain Times....................15 By Pritesh Patel, Consultant at The Prideview Group Buy to let Investment ................................................................................ 16 By Satish Thakrar Dealing with Inheritance Tax (IHT)............................................................ 17 By Kishan Devani, Consultant Making gifts out of normal expenditure .................................................... 18-19 By Kaushik Desai, Chown Dewhurst LLP The Cult of Money...................................................................................... 20-21 By Suresh Vagjiani, Sow & Reap Ltd How will the next generation judge the UK-India relationship we build?.. 22-23 By Manoj Ladwa Expats in mind as the Indian Government issues GST............................ 24 A Year later, Brexit continues to bite.......................................................... 26-27 GST: Proof of the pudding is in the eating ................................................ 28 Speculate with Spread betting....................................................................29

Managing Editor: Kokila Patel

Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta

Deputy Editor: Urja Patel News Editor: Kamal Rao

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Head of Sales & Marketing: Rovin J George

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Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Customer Service: Ragini Nayak

Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga Houes, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW Tel: 020 7749 4085 Fax: 020 7749 4081 www.abplgroup.com ©Asian Business Publications Ltd

Disclaimer

The ideas and conclusions expressed in the articles are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any particular company. They are for general interest only and should not be taken as investment advice or as an invitation to purchase or sell any specific financial product. The publishers of Finance, Banking and Insurance (FBI) magazine are not responsible for the individual views expressed by various authors in this publication and would like to direct readers to consult professional advisers or brokers if they require further information on any topic covered in this magazine. Some of the products, offers, opinions included in the articles and advertisements carry risk and readers should consider them at their own discretion.

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