London Luxury-home Values Climb At Fastest In Five Months

London bullion body could charge more or disband gold rates

Homes selling for less than 2 million pounds in districts such as Chelsea and Knightsbridge have climbed 16 percent since the government in March 2012 raised a transaction tax known as stamp duty to 7 percent from 5 percent for properties priced above that level. By contrast, values for properties subject to the tax gained 8.7 percent, the broker said. The stamp duty issue is definitely in effect, Liam Bailey, global head of residential research at London-based Knight Frank, said by phone. Theres no doubt that investors have been concentrating their firepower in the 1 million-pound to 1.8 million-pound bracket. Thats been pushing that market. Prices in central London have climbed for 35 straight months. Although the rate has slowed, the markets strength this year has exceeded most brokers expectations. Knight Frank as recently as June said there wouldnt be a significant price increase this year. A month later, the firm forecast a 6 percent gain. Discretionary Market Theres a push-back from buyers, Bailey said. Its a discretionary market and people are looking for value. They arent desperate to buy anything at any price. Notting Hill and the City of London financial district led the increases with gains of 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in September. Belgravia, where values declined 0.2 percent, was the only neighborhood that didnt see a gain. Rents in prime central London fell 0.1 percent in September from the previous month, the fourth-straight decline, Knight Frank said in a separate report. Rents dropped 2.5 percent on an annual basis. There was a lot of firing in the financial sector in 2012 and that undermined rents, Bailey said.

Idan Ofer, whose Quantum Pacific Group spans energy, international shipping, natural resources, oilfield services and automotive industries, is an alumnus and long term supporter of the School, its values and its ethos. Mr Ofer said: “I have enjoyed a long association with the School and believe that it offers something uniquely valuable in the world of business education, combining strong fundamental business and management education with an emphasis on the business community being part of the solution for a better society. “This project is an important step towards ensuring the School can continue to grow and prosper in the future, creating new generations of leaders who can address the challenges of business and wider society. My father Sammy enjoyed learning from others and throughout his career in shipping was known to spend many hours speaking with seamen and officers of vessels, rather than being tucked away in his office. This sense of curiosity resonates strongly with London Business School’s community where students are not just stretched intellectually; they become a part of an ever-expanding international community, learning as much from each other as from the faculty,” he continued. “One of the goals of The Idan and Batia Ofer Foundation is to ensure the next generation of Israeli entrepreneurs is equipped to cope with the challenges of globalisation. London Business School is at the forefront of helping to meet these challenges. The Foundation hopes in this small way to contribute to economic growth in the region, ultimately improving the prospects for peace and stability.” Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean, London Business School, said: “This wonderfully generous gift will enable us to convert this iconic London landmark for use as a state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility. It will provide us with the space we need and enable us to achieve our vision of having a profound impact on the way the world does business.” Today, the School has also announced its first comprehensive fundraising campaign – to raise GBP100 million over the next five years. The School’s campaign is to fund the development of Old Marylebone Town Hall, attract world class faculty, double its scholarships offering, invest in the latest technology, and to develop an unrestricted fund in support of the School’s strategic priorities. The campaign launch will cover six world cities in a three week period, in addition to London. A series of high profile events, chaired by the School’s dean, Professor Sir Andrew Likierman and other prominent faculty and alumni, will set out the School’s vision for the future.

Landmark GBP25 million Gift for London Business School’s Old Marylebone Town Hall

Libor is the estimated interest rate set daily by leading London banks at which they would be charged when borrowing from other banks. The GOFO rate is the gold equivalent to Libor, at which dealers will lend gold on swap against U.S. dollars. “Going forward, the GOFO service has to conform to some principles, therefore we have to look at how the data is collected, how it’s recorded, who is administrating it,” LBMA Chairman David Gornall told Reuters in an interview. “And we could either charge member banks more money or if the market decides that they don’t need to spend more money on regulatory affairs (because) as they already pay someone to do that… then the GOFO might not exist.” Gornall added that the alternative for the LBMA would be to carry on with the Good Delivery List, the Responsible Gold Guidance on ethical gold production, refining and assaying, the annual conference, publishing the dedicated quarterly journal the Alchemist but not the regulatory side. The Good Delivery rules specify the physical characteristics of bars used in settlement in the wholesale London bullion market. PRICE ENVIRONMENT Gold prices have fallen by a fifth this year, hurt by speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to rein in its bullion-friendly quantitative easing (QE) policy, a major driver of the record-high prices seen in recent years. QE put pressure on long-term interest rates, keeping the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold at rock bottom, while stoking fears of rampant inflation in the years to come. Gold dropped $200 an ounce in two days in April in its sharpest slide in 30 years, and investors started to divest gold as a result, unwinding nearly 700 tonnes of ETF holdings so far, while central bank buying more than halved.