International Property News

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Lehman had incurred losses of billions of dollars in the US mortgage market.
The move threatens to deal a further blow to the global financial system, as banks unwind their deals with Lehman.

Merrill Lynch, also stung by the credit crunch, has agreed to be taken over by Bank of America in a dramatic weekend of events for Wall Street.

The deal came amid a hectic weekend on Wall Street, with Lehman Brothers announcing that it would file for bankruptcy protection. There were worries that Merrill would be the next bank to lose the confidence of investors as it has been hit hard by bad mortgage debt.

Merrill has written down more than $40bn of assets in the past year.
Under the terms of the deal, Bank of America will pay about $29 for each Merrill share.While that represents a 70% premium to the closing share price on Friday, Merrill's share price stood at $50 in May and was above $90 at the start of 2007.

Merrill Lynch sought to bolster its balance sheet and reduce its risk last night when it announced moves to raise $8.5 billion (£4.27 billion) and the sale of $11.1 billion worth of high-risk mortgage-backed securities.

The group said it would record a $4.4 billion writedown in its third-quarter from the sale of the securities, known as collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), or pools of mortgage bonds, in a disposal that represented the majority of Merrill’s remaining CDO portfolio.

Merrill said it planned to raise $8.5 billion by selling shares equivalent to more than a quarter of its market capitalisation in a move that will significantly dilute the existing investors’ ownership.

Some $3.4 billion of the shares will be acquired by Temasek, the Singaporean wealth management fund. Temasek is already an investor in Merrill, after buying 87 million shares in December.

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Greece's finance minister resigned on Monday due to ill health, throwing the government's drive to soften the terms of an international bailout into confusion less than a week after it took office. With the win of right wing leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras, it is assured that Greece has made it to the Eurozone.

The recent World Bank report suggests developing nations to get prepared for a tough economic scene which is about to appear in near future. Fearing the financial crisis to spread to bigger regions such as Italy and Spain...

Spain warns euro can be finished in months – without banking and fiscal policies. The EU summit in Brussels should assure markets that euro is to be safe-guarded against all odds. As recent reports suggest, Spain was looking out for an immediate bailout of funds from the euro-zone.

t looks as my wishes came true as in the last minutes Countries agreed a deal today to push for a new climate treaty, salvaging the latest round of United Nations climate talks from the brink of collapse. After more than two weeks of intense talks, some 190 countries agreed to four main elements.

More good news for home owners with Europe as The European Central Bank has cut interest rates back to their historic low of 1%, as expected by markets. UK interest rates have been held at a record low of 0.5% by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.

Global housing markets under pressure and other than a few pickets of resistance in Uk and other traditionally strong markets, the world's housing markets were on balance weaker during the year ending in the second quarter of 2011

Dubai Property owners are facing legal limbo as developers prematurely withdraw their maintenance services in anticipation of owners taking over the building’s upkeep, a property lawyer said. Property "Owner associations" (OA) waiting for registration have been left unable to pay bills

The Eurozone crisis appears to have pushed more European tenants into the central London rental market since the beginning of the year, with European tenants taking 30.4% of all new lets between January to May 2011 compared to 25% during the same period in 2010. By Knight Frank

Property markets in the UK may be reaching a turning point, according to the latest property analysis snapshot from real estate consultants Colliers International. The phrases ‘risk curves’ and ‘quality secondary’ are increasingly heard in informal conversation suggesting that movement may be imminent, it says.

Western Canada has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful places in the world, and Whistler, where all our holidays depart, has won the reputation as North America’s finest resort (as rated by Snow Country Magazine for the past six years).

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