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ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE UK PROPERTY MARKET DESPITE BREXIT

By Javed Khattak

Zisk Properties: Flexible Investments & Profitable Outcomes

 

Investing in the UK property market is still a good idea, even though experts say house prices may be flat in the first half of 2019. There are still many property hot spots in the UK despite the Brexit uncertainties: One has to know where to look.

 

While it seems that Brexit has only affected high-value properties (over £2 million) in London and other cities, the average house prices are continuing to rise across the UK, due to the positive price movements witnessed in the regional markets. The weakening of the pound has also made the UK property market attractive to foreign investors, thus keeping the UK property market afloat, even if some experts say it is barely so.

 

Javed Khattak

Zisk Properties was founded by two brothers, Javed and Zafer, in 2016 to help solve the challenges that exist in buying and investing in the property market.

Property markets are slow to evolve, opaque and inefficient. While some countries like the UK are better than others, there is still significant scope to innovate and improve.

 

Areas that need consideration include making transactions more efficient, faster, increasing security (more relevant for certain countries), reducing the number of parties involved in a transaction, and most importantly, reducing costs. In addition, there are a considerable number of challenges associated with purchasing an investment property, including:

 

  • Large lump sums required;
  • Having access to good property deals through a strong network in the property market;
  • A complicated and daunting process;
  • The hassle to manage all the involved stakeholders – sellers, estate agents, lawyers and surveyors;
  • Extremely time-consuming – a property transaction can easily take up to 6 months or even longer. Furthermore, managing a property effectively not only requires time but also relevant skills and experience.

 

Zisk Properties was founded precisely to tackle these challenges, with the aim to innovate while helping everyone (who qualifies) to invest in properties with ease and convenience.

 

The use of latest technologies and data analytics, combined with crowdfunding business concept and an FCA registered fund structure are the key elements Zisk Properties utilises to enable it to become a future leader in the property market and pave a way for a better future.

 

Here are some property hot spots to look out for in 2019:

 

BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham is the host to  5 university campuses and has the third largest inflow of graduates in the entire country. The accessibility of daily commute to London means Birmingham stands a chance for migration of working professionals. The predicted influx of workers coming to live in Birmingham and a projected population growth of c. 15% over the next 20 years makes it a potential property market to look out for in the near future.

 

LIVERPOOL

Factors such as growth in property prices in the past 5 years and the predicted rise in population by 12% play a vital role for Liverpool to be considered as a potential property investment hotspot. Ongoing construction and regeneration projects launched in Liverpool also make it a preferable place for investors looking for recently built properties.

 

MANCHESTER

Typically referred to as the ‘London of the North’, Manchester has always been one of the prime hotspots for investors, and the trend might continue in the second-half of 2019 as well. In addition to having the MetroLink tram extensions and attracting foreign investments, Manchester also attracts a considerable number of young people to invest in properties. ROI on rental properties is currently at c. 8% and with more than 30% properties being a potential source for private rentals, properties in Manchester can prove to be a brilliant investment.

 

NORTHAMPTON

The lead time for any property to be sold and house prices growth in a particular area are positively correlated with the high demand for investments. Properties in Northampton are currently making the shift from “Available” to “Sold Out” in just a period of 33 days. 5% increase in house prices was also observed in the last quarter of 2018 in this area. These factors make Northampton being a potentially great prospect for property investments.

 

Despite the adverse predictions of experts regarding house prices, due to weakened currency combined with various local factors, the hot spots listed above should be on your list if you are considering a long-term property investment.

 

Further Information:

 

Javed Khattak is a successful serial entrepreneur, an established C-suite executive and an award-winning CFO. However, the young entrepreneur’s path to success hasn’t always been easy. Javed reveals exclusively to Global Banking and Finance Review how he is leading the property market with flexible investments and profitable outcomes.

 

 

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Business

THE SPAC BOOM: WHY COMPANIES AND INVESTORS ARE INCREASINGLY LOOKING TOWARDS SPAC IPOs

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have long been part of the investment landscape, but this market has boomed in recent years. As well-known underwriters and investors show increased interest in the initial publication offerings (IPOs) of blank-check companies, SPACs have been pushed to the forefront of the agenda and there is even discussion around whether these will outpace the traditional IPO. Essentially, SPACs have become a very viable alternative for many private companies.

The SPAC boom is best exemplified by recent research from Refinitiv, which found that

SPACs have raised $79.4bn globally since the start of the year, eclipsing the $79.3bn that flooded into investment vehicles in 2020.[1] In fact, some studies report that SPACs accounted for a record 30% of all industry IPO earnings in 2020 and is already accounting for 54% in 2021, up from 1% in 2014.[2] The SPAC frenzy that commenced in 2020 therefore shows no signs of slowing, with 2021 set to be a record year for SPAC listings.

In light of this, with a long list of SPACs having filed for an IPO in 2021, it is imperative for companies and investors with growing appetites for participation to take a closer look before coming to a decision. So, let’s dive deeper into the rising popularity of SPAC transactions, the traditional IPO vs. the SPAC IPO and the future outlook for the thriving market.

The rising popularity of SPAC transactions

SPACs are non-commercial companies created solely to raise capital through an IPO in order to acquire an existing private company, thus bringing that company to the market. While SPACs have been around for quite some time –entering the investment landscape back in the 1990s– it is only recently they have exploded in popularity, as better-known underwriters and investors started taking part in them. This trend will likely grow as major private equity firms and venture funds continue to form more SPACs.

The reasons behind the rising popularity of SPAC transactions include low interest rates, simplified listing requirements, increased investor participation and the quantitative easing policies that are still adopted by most central banks. SPACs are also a great way to get exchange-listed during increased market volatility, as well as enable existing companies to gain access to liquidity that would not otherwise be available.

Ultimately, there are a range of factors that make SPACs a more sustainable option for raising funds, hence why target companies are increasingly looking towards SPAC IPOs to take them public. These factors, combined with the increasing number of high-profile sponsors entering the SPAC space, have enabled this market to soar. But will SPAC IPOs really outpace traditional IPOs this year?

The traditional IPO vs. the SPAC IPO

Traditional IPOs and SPAC IPOs are both subject to the same set of rules when taking a company public. When delving deeper into the benefits of these investment vehicles, however, there are notable differences. Compared to a traditional IPO, SPAC IPOs offer more certainty regarding the company value and fundraising, since the valuation is fixed through a privately concluded merger.

Alongside this, raising funds through SPAC transactions is one of the quickest ways for private companies who are in urgent need of capital. Getting ready for a regular IPO requires time, from a few months to a year, whereas creating a SPAC can be completed in just three short weeks. The benefits of this pace have been recognised none more so than amongst the ongoing pandemic, hence why investments in SPACs continue to surge.

One potential shortfall to point out, though, is the ability of SPAC IPOs to acquire a private company in the allotted timeframe. Once a blank-check company lists its security information on an exchange, it must complete a merger within three years or risks falling through, which creates added risk for buyers looking to invest.

In a nutshell, while SPAC IPOs can provide greater flexibility, efficiency and speed for target companies, they cannot wholly replace the reliability of traditional IPOs. Companies looking to go public must therefore weigh up the pros and cons of each option in line with their individual goals and capabilities.

The future of the SPAC market

That being said, many experts still believe that SPACs’ popularity will continue to grow in coming years as companies look to raise capital quickly and investors look to actively participate in this craze. This is demonstrated by initial stock market listings in 2021, which witnessed one of the best starts to the year since 2008, thereby highlighting that active participation in SPACs is undoubtedly growing. On top of this, with low interest rates and savings on commuting, food and coffee costs, COVID-19 has triggered an increased interest in investing amongst younger buyers.

But with so many SPAC options on the table, which ones are actually worth investing in?

  • Stable Road Acquisition Corp – Expected to merger with Momentus. Momentus is a pioneer in space transportation and infrastructure technology and is at the forefront of space commercialisation. With an experienced team of aerospace, propulsion, and robotics engineers, Momentus developed a cost-effective and energy-efficient space transportation system based on a water-plasma propulsion technology.
  • Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. V – Expected to merger with SoFi, a leading next gen financial service platform. SoFi’s mission is to help people achieve financial independence by taking correct money management decisions. This is a one-stop member-focused financial service hub that includes loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance, and investment and deposit accounts, with over 1.8 million users.
  • Property Solutions Acquisition Corp – Expected to merger with Faraday Future.  Faraday Future is a global smart mobile ecosystem company, the mission of which is to change the aspects of digital life when it comes to cars. The company already has a powerful portfolio of revolutionary value-added technologies, protected by nearly 900 patents worldwide.

The future for SPAC transactions is therefore likely to be bright as private companies increasingly look towards SPAC IPOs as a viable option to go public. With a growing number of players entering the SPAC space, the SPAC frenzy is only gathering pace.


[1] https://www.ft.com/content/321400c1-9c4d-40ac-b464-3a64c1c4ca80

[2] https://seekingalpha.com/news/3656255-piper-sandler-spacs-look-bubble-like-but-may-boost-goldman-sachs-and-evercore

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Business

HOW NEW DATA SOURCES CAN ACCELERATE OUR JOURNEY TO RECOVERY

Jonathan Westley, Chief Data Officer, at Experian UK&I

With the growth of e-commerce and streaming of everything from music to films, online subscription services have become increasingly popular. According to research published by Barclaycard, Britain has become a nation of super-subscribers – spending over £550 a year on new digital services and signing up to an average of seven services per household.

Although interesting to see, these numbers aren’t surprising. There’s no doubt that we are spending more and more of our time online. The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to accelerate the digital disruption we’ve seen across all sectors in recent years.

What’s less obvious is the impact that this behavioural change is having on the provision of financial services. There is a big opportunity to utilise the financial information created through the payment of subscriptions and other digital services to help lenders to understand affordability in a more robust and intuitive way. One which is more appropriate for the digital age.

By building out financial track records with these new sources of information, lenders are able to understand credit risk in a way that is fit for purpose in a rapidly changing marketplace. For the individual, this has the potential to help them access better deals on credit, even when there’s a lack of traditional information to strengthen their credit history.

Challenges to greater data sharing

While the above provides a compelling case for greater data sharing between consumers and financial services organisations, we know there are several entrenched challenges to this.  

Firstly, people will only share information if they fully understand the terms of the exchange and place a high enough value on the product or service they receive in return. This value must also outweigh any risk they perceive in sharing. This delicate balance is known as the ‘consent equation’.

While sharing information on their subscription payments could present real value for consumers, enabling them to access more affordable credit, these benefits need to be communicated clearly. Organisations also need to face the risks that people may perceive in how their data is used, shared or stored, and address these through communications. 

Process or user experience can be another significant barrier to data sharing. While robust security protocols are paramount, organisations do need to consider the journey people must complete to share their information. Make this too arduous, and people will drop out part way down the road. 

Taking the first steps towards the future

While substantial, these challenges are not insurmountable – and the potential benefits to consumers and lenders make overcoming them well worth the effort.

We aim to lead progress in this area with the launch of Experian Boost. The free service uses Open Banking technology to allow consumers to factor information on regular payments, such as their council tax or Spotify subscriptions, into their credit scores. Any information submitted is only used to this end, and to improve rather than negatively impact users’ scores.

In the current context, this information could be vital. While the furlough scheme and its extension over the summer will continue to cushion the financial blow of the pandemic for many, lenders may still see an uplift in the number of people requiring some form of support.

Against this challenging backdrop, there’s even more of a need to make a sound assessment of vulnerability and affordability, which requires a full understanding of a customer’s current circumstances and financial exposure, and therefore the breadth of their indebtedness across all credit commitments.

New data sources created through digital subscription services, as well as those available through Open Banking data sharing, can be harnessed to help develop better credit options for consumers. Experian Boost is evidence of this. The next step of this journey is helping more people to add their own consumer contributed data directly to their credit files and improve their credit scores. By embracing the use of these new and relevant sources of information, made possible through the proliferation of digital services, lenders will be in the best possible position to adapt to the changing consumer landscape and accelerate down the road to recovery.

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