Lingerie tycoon plans £250 million Dubai property sale using bitcoin

Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone plans to offer a £250 million development in the heart of Dubai for sale to purchasers using Bitcoin. (@MichelleMone)
Updated 09 September 2017

Lingerie tycoon plans £250 million Dubai property sale using bitcoin

LONDON: Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone and partner Doug Barrowman plan to offer a £250 million development in the heart of Dubai for sale to purchasers using bitcoin.

The businesswoman who founded the Ultimo lingerie range and was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ when she became a British parliamentarian, has launched a site offering the first property development for sale using the crypto-currency.

She has teamed up with Doug Barrowman, the chairman of the Knox group of companies to launch Aston Property Ventures.

“I am thrilled to be launching a project of this scale as a step in the property development business. This is also a natural progression from the launch of Michelle Mone Interiors – bringing together my two passions in business for the first time; design and property,” said Baroness Mone.

Investors are being offered 150 apartments located in Dubai Science Park which are being developed by Dubai-based Aston Developments. The project is due to complete in Sept. 2019.

Studio apartments will start from 27 bitcoins ($124,000) with packages for interior design services and furniture available using bitcoins.

Aston claims investors can expect to receive rental returns of nine percent following handover.

“I wanted to offer the property, tech and blockchain community a unique and exclusive opportunity by merging the property and tech sectors together in a true first for the industry,” said Doug Barrowman. “Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in a few short years means it’s now the world’s leading cryptocurrency. This is exactly why we are the first property development ever to be priced in Bitcoin.

After a rampant rally in recent months, bitcoin has fallen sharply since Sept.1 losing about 20 percent against the dollar.

The launch of the bitcoin property development in Dubai comes just days before the annual Cityscape property exhibition where developers compete to grab the headlines surrounding the latest real estate launches.

Competition for investors is expected to be fierce amid a subdued residential property market where a glut of new homes is weighing heavily on prices.

In 2016, house prices in Dubai fell by between eight and 11 percent, according to credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, which forecasts a continued fall in property prices and rents across the emirate throughout 2017.


EU split over budget as Germans push for curbs

Updated 17 September 2019

EU split over budget as Germans push for curbs

  • Divisions over the next 2021-2027 financial framework run deeper than usual

BERLIN: The EU may need to scale back its plans to boost growth and counter climate change if it fails to quickly agree on a long-term budget, European officials said on Monday, as Germany and other northern states push to restrict spending.

The EU administration is funded with a seven-year budget. The size and targets are often subject to prolonged haggling among its member states.

But divisions over the next 2021-2027 financial framework run deeper than usual at a time when the bloc faces risks of a new economic recession and uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process — which is expected to lead Britain, one of the largest contributors to the EU coffers, out of the union.

“My big concern is that Europe will be in a difficult economic and geopolitical situation if there is no budget by the first of January,” the EU commissioner in charge of the talks, Guenther Oettinger, told an EU ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

He said the urgency to strike a deal was heightened by the bloc’s weakening economy, with Germany and other EU states stagnating. He said it would take years to find a compromise at the current pace of negotiation.

The long-term financial framework needs to be adopted well in advance of its starting date because it has to be translated into yearly spending programs which also usually require long negotiations.

The EU’s executive commission proposed last year a seven-year budget of roughly €1.1 trillion ($1.22 trillion) which would represent 1.11 percent of the bloc’s Gross National Income (GNI), a measure of domestic output. The estimate does not include funding from Britain, which is planning to leave the EU at the end of October.

But Germany, the EU’s largest economy and the main contributor to the budget, has made it known that it wants to limit spending to 1 percent of economic output, according to a document seen by Reuters. Sweden and the Netherlands openly support Berlin’s more cautious spending plans.

The budget for the current seven-year period also amounts to 1 percent of GNI, but Brussels said it has to go up because of planned higher spending on research, digital economy, border control and defense.

Berlin said the proposed cap would represent a net increase in spending by EU states, as the bloc would have to do without contributions from Britain. It also urged more spending to counter climate change.

The European Parliament, backed by southern and eastern European states who are net receivers of EU funds, wants a bigger budget, set at 1.3 percent of the bloc’s GNI.

Lawmakers also urged further funding for new projects on climate change and for unemployment benefits as mentioned by the commission’s president-designate Ursula von der Leynen in her inaugural speech after appointment in July. Spain’s state secretary for EU affairs, Marco Aguiriano Nalda, said differences between the proposals made it almost impossible to find a compromise before the end of the year.

“I have to express strong worries and reservations on the state of play of the financial framework,” he told his counterparts at a televised session of the ministerial meeting.

Poland’s State Secretary for European Affairs, Konrad Szymanski, told the same meeting that reduced spending caps would inevitably translate into lower ambitions.

A compromise is made more difficult also by plans to make EU funding conditional on upholding the bloc’s values, including the rule of law. Germany called for this “conditionality” in its confidential document reviewed by Reuters.