UAE new reporting requirements targets real estate transactions settled with digital currencies – CoinGeek
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced new Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) reporting requirements for real estate transactions settled with digital assets. The directive stipulates that real estate brokers and law firms are to report all property transactions that involve any amount of digital assets.
The directive was jointly issued by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Ministry of Economy (MoE) in partnership with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The reports are to be made to the FIU and apply to both corporations and individuals.
The rule stipulates that transactions made in cash equal to or above AED 55,000 (about $15,000) and other funds derived from digital assets must also be reported to the government.
In the press release published by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), the government stated that the rules are targeted at clamping down on money laundering and terrorism financing. UAE Minister of Justice Abdullah Sultan Bin Awwad Al Nuaimi noted that the rule would tackle the “known and emerging risks” in the region.
The head of the FUI, Ali Faisal Ba’Alawi, and the minister of economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri also echoed the same sentiments.
“These new measures will improve the quality of financial intelligence available to the FIU and will be used to trace the suspicious movement of funds or investments as part of our fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” Ba’Alawi said.
UAE building its status as a digital asset and web 3.0 hub
The rule is coming on the back of an increasing number of real estate firms beginning to accept digital asset payments in the region. One such firm is the luxury property developer DAMAC.
According to a Bloomberg report, the UAE’s digital assets market has also been attracting citizens of sanctioned countries such as Iran and Russia. The UAE’s lack of sanctions on these countries has also put it on the Financial Actions Task Force (FATF) radar.
Meanwhile, the UAE has continued to pursue its goal of becoming a global digital assets hub. The government has established digital assets regulations and set up the Virtual Assets Regulatory Agency (VARA) to enforce the rule.
In a recent move, the Dubai government also announced a “Metaverse Strategy” that it intends to follow to become one of the top 10 metaverse economies in the world and create 40,000 jobs in the virtual space.
Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, Marhaba: BSV in the Middle East
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Bank Crisis Could Cast Pall Over Commercial Real Estate Market – The New York Times
The market hadn’t fully rebounded from the pandemic. Some worry that another slowdown could add to fears of a recession.
The fallout from the recent banking crisis spurred by the collapse of two banks — and concerns about the health of a third — is bubbling up in the market for commercial real estate lending, as borrowers fear that banks will pull back. That could slow down construction activity and increase the likelihood of a recession, analysts and real estate experts said.
Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank imploded in the same week. First Republic Bank teetered for days before its shares partly recovered on Tuesday. Both Signature and First Republic are large lenders to builders and managers of office buildings, rental apartments, shopping complexes and other commercial properties.
First Republic has the ninth-largest loan portfolio in that market in the United States, and Signature had the 10th largest before it collapsed, according Trepp, a commercial real estate data firm.
Midsize and regional banks like Signature and First Republic not only provide the bulk of commercial real estate loans to businesses, they are also part of a far bigger market. Banks typically package the loans they make into complex financial products and sell them to investors, allowing the banks to raise more money to make new loans.
That means that a pullback in lending can also alter the behavior of investors. Commercial real estate contributed $2.3 trillion to the nation’s economy last year, according to an industry association. And because the industry hasn’t fully rebounded from the blow dealt by the pandemic, analysts worry about a fresh slowdown.
“It is a perfect storm right now,” said Varuna Bhattacharyya, a real estate lawyer in New York with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner who mainly represents banks.
“We were already in a place with a much lower rate of originations,” Ms. Bhattacharyya said, referring to new loan applications that banks process. “It’s hard not to feel a bit of panic and anxiety.”
Ms. Bhattacharyya said lenders would become even more cautious about writing loans for any new construction projects other than the highest-profile “trophy deals.”
The fear among borrowers is that banks will become more conservative about lending. And although the panic appears to have mostly stabilized for now, the specter of bank failure could haunt the decisions of regional banks for months.
For much of last year, commercial real estate lending had begun rebounding from the depths of the Covid-19 lockdowns, when new loan applications almost came to a standstill in the fourth quarter of 2020. By comparison, the annual rate of commercial real estate loan origination by dollar volume grew 18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Trepp.
Even before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation stepped in to take over Silicon Valley and Signature, a noticeable slowdown in lending to the commercial real estate industry had begun in January.
On an annual basis, the rate of commercial real estate loan growth this year had already been cut in half compared with last year, said Matthew Anderson, a managing director at Trepp. He said some of the slowdown was the result of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, which were starting to take a bite out of commercial real estate activity.
And lending has probably tapered off further since the collapses of Silicon Valley and Signature, Mr. Anderson said. “How long and deep the impact will be remains to be seen,” he said.
The universe of commercial real estate includes loans for new construction, mortgages and loans specifically for managing multifamily apartment complexes. The so-called securitized products containing loans that banks make are called commercial mortgage-backed securities — a more than $72 billion market last year. But it’s a different story in 2023, with issuance of those bonds down 78 percent from a year ago.
Daniel Klein, president of Klein Enterprises, a commercial real estate management firm based in Maryland, had been talking to several banks recently about a construction loan for a new project. But just the other day, after the banks collapsed, one of the banks suddenly pulled a term sheet for a loan, he said.
Mr. Klein, whose family-owned business manages about 60 shopping centers, offices and apartment buildings, said that the bank had offered no explanation for its decision, and that he did not know if the trouble in the banking sector had been a cause. He said he expected loan terms from lenders to get more onerous in the coming months, as midsize banks get skittish after the Signature and Silicon Valley Bank collapses.
“Banks in general are being more conservative than they were six or nine months ago,” he said. “But we have been pretty fortunate. We have many long standing community banking relationships.”
Regional banks are a critical part of the commercial real estate ecosystem because their bankers invest a lot of time into forging relationships with real estate developers and managers, said Michael E. Lefkowitz, a real estate lawyer with Rosenberg & Estis in New York. Large banks do not tend to provide that kind of “high-level service” to middle-market real estate firms.
Some of the concerns of real estate lenders eased a bit when the F.D.I.C. announced on Sunday that it had sold substantially all of the remaining deposits at Signature Bank to a subsidiary of a peer, New York Community Bancorp, which is also a major commercial real estate lender. The banking regulator took over Signature on March 12 after business customers — including real estate firms and crypto investors — began pulling money out of the bank.
Before its collapse, Signature was one of the biggest commercial real estate lenders in the New York metropolitan area.
In buying some of Signature’s assets, New York Community Bancorp picked up about $34 billion in customer deposits, down from the $88 billion that Signature had before the bank run, an indication of just how many customers fled the bank before regulators stepped in on March 12 to stem the bleeding.
Even with the sale of banking deposits to New York Community Bancorp, there are worries about whether other banks will fill the void left by the collapse of Signature.
New York Community Bancorp acquired about $12.9 billion in loans from Signature, the F.D.I.C. said, but most were business loans to health care companies and not part of Signature’s large commercial real estate portfolio. That means the F.D.I.C. still needs to find a buyer for Signature’s core commercial real estate loan portfolio.
A spokesman for the F.D.I.C. said that the organization “has not characterize the types of loans left behind” and that they would be “disposed at a later date.”
“I think this means that Signature’s commercial real estate portfolio is still up in the air,” Mr. Anderson of Trepp said.
An indicator that Trepp uses to measure the risk of default to loans held by banks on office complexes found that those facing the most distress were in San Francisco — where First Republic is based.
Banks are likely to cut back on lending to preserve capital in order to strengthen their balance sheets in anticipation of further Federal Reserve interest rate increases and renewed calls for regulators to get more aggressive in monitoring risk taking by banks. Any pullback in new lending could affect the start of commercial developments and push the economy closer to a recession.
As bank regulators work to stabilize the financial system, they will also need to keep an eye on banks holding too many commercial real estate loans in their portfolios — something that can create its own set of problems in a slowing economy.
A report late last year by Moody’s Investors Service, the credit rating agency, found that 27 regional banks already had high concentrations of such loans on their balance sheets. The report said the issue could become problematic for banks if the economy fell into a recession.
Gisele Bundchen Reacts to Reports Linking Her to Jiu-Jitsu Teacher and Billionaire Real Estate Developer – TooFab
Of one of the men, she said, “I wouldn’t be with this guy … I mean, puh-leeze!”
Gisele Bundchen is speaking out against reports she’s dating her Jiu-Jitsu instructor Joaquim Valente or real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer following her split from Tom Brady.
In the months since filing for divorce, Bundchen has been linked romantically to both men. The supermodel has been spotted out with Valente solo and with her children on multiple occasions, while the Daily Mail recently reported she’s been seeing 55-year-old Soffer for several months.
“I think, at this point, unfortunately, because I’m divorced, I’m sure that they’re going to try to attach me to anything,” she told Vanity Fair when asked about the reports, which, at the time of the initial interview were only about Valente.
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Speaking with the publication about Joaquim and his brothers — Pedro, Gui, who are also instructors — she said she was “so grateful to know all of them, because not only have they helped me and helped my kids, but they have become great friends, and Joaquim especially.”
“He’s our teacher and, most importantly, he’s a person that I admire and that I trust,” she added.
“It’s so good to have that kind of energy, to have my kids around that type of energy.”
Gisele Bundchen Admits She Didn’t Always Have Good Relationship with Tom Brady’s Ex Bridget Moynahan
When asked about Soffer in a follow-up interview weeks later, the reporter noted she sounded “devastated” when they brought up his name. The real estate developer and billionaire is a longtime friend of her ex-husband was previously married to fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson.
Calling the report “absurd,” she said she has “zero relationship with him in any way” and hasn’t seen him in more than six months. “He’s Tom’s friend, not my friend … I wouldn’t be with his friend. I wouldn’t be with this guy,” she added, “I mean, puh-leeze.” She also said, “They were saying I’m with this guy, he’s old, because he’s got money — it’s ridiculous.”
Saying that “seeing lies being created all the time about yourself is not easy,” 42-year-old Bundchen insinuated the stories were “planted,” said VF, and said whoever did it wants “to make me look like something I’m not.” She concluded that all she wanted to do was “to go do my job and raise my children in peace.”
Tom and Gisele split in 2022 after 13 years of marriage. Announcing the news on Instagram, Bundchen wrote, “The decision to end a marriage is never easy, but we have grown apart and while it is, of course, difficult to go through something like this, I feel blessed for the time we had together and only wish the best for Tom always.”
The former couple married in 2009 and share two children, Vivian and Benjamin. Tom also shares a son, John Edward, from his previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.
Tom Brady’s Daughter Vivian Hijacks His Instagram Account
Simcoe County’s real estate market shows signs of recovery
Real estate experts paint a cautiously optimistic outlook after a year of downward market trends across the country.
Trends in Simcoe County show an increase in viewings and buyers re-entering the market after key interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada warded off many last year.
Lance Chilton, the broker of record at Re/Max Hallmark Chilton Realty, calls the local market “more or less balanced.”
“Inventory conditions are the same as they once were in 2018,” he noted.” From 2020 to 2022, prices rose to about 43 per cent, which was rather rapid.”
Chilton said key interest rate hikes eventually bottomed out the local market by about September – that’s when home prices that peaked at around $1 million dropped to about $730,000.
“Since then, it’s recovered by about five per cent,” Chilton said. “In fact, we actually saw showings increase for the first time in about six months.”
The Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR) confirms that showings have picked up again, with people getting that “spring fever.”
However, the one key issue that remains is low inventory.
“We saw prices dip because of interest rates and people pulling out of the market, but we never saw that supply come back online,” said Luc Woolsey, BDAR president, adding the situation creates multi-offer bids.
“So there’s still a lot of people having to come in firm, waiving conditions and inspections because they’re having to compete.”
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