Hong Kong International Finance Centre Building

Within the myriad of skyscrapers and soaring buildings distributed on the islands, the International Finance Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong. The International Finance Centre, which is branded as “IFC”, is an integrated commercial development on the famous waterfront area of Hong Kong’s Central District.

To be the tallest building in Hong Kong is of course, an international prestige, and the sheer size and height makes it a very prominent landmark on the Island. The International Finance Centre boasts of grandeur and splendor as it stands out from all the other tall buildings in the city.

IFC basically consists of two skyscrapers. Tower One consists of the IFC mall and the forty-storey Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. The 88 storey Tower Two International Finance Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong, usurping the place that was once occupied by the infamous Central Plaza.

The complex was developed by a consortium lead by Sun Hung Kai Properties & MTR Corporation. In addition, the Airport Express Station Central is directly beneath it, providing more convenient transportation especially for traveling businessmen.

The One International Finance Centre was completed in 1998 and opened in 1999. Its height is 210 meters, has a 38-storey building with a four-floor trading, 18 high speed passenger lifts in 4 zones, and comprises 784,000 square feet, or approximately 72,850 square meters. The building currently accommodates approximately 5,000 people.

Of the two skyscrapers that make up the International Finance Center building, the Two International Finance Centre is the tallest building in the city. It was designed by Cesar Pelli and completed in 2003. Its height measures approximately at 415 meters. It has 88 storeys, which is an extremely auspicious number for the Cantonese culture.

True to its name it contains twenty-two high-ceiling trading floors. The Monetary Authority (HKMA) is located at the 55th floor. The whole complex is equipped with state of the art telecommunications, raised floors for flexible cabling management, and nearly column-free floor plans. The building expects to accommodate up to 15,000 people, when all offices and floors are fully occupied.

Due to Cantonese culture and beliefs, the 88 storeys of the building may not be exactly eighty-eight (88). Why? Because of superstitious reasons, “taboo floors” like 14 and 24 are omitted because these numbers, according to Cantonese culture, sound like “definitely die” and “easy to die” respectively.

The top floor of the Two IFC is only slightly higher than Hong Kong city’s landmark, the Peak. Two IFC is the third tallest building in the Greater China region and the 6th tallest office building in the world.

The International Finance Centre at Hong Kong

The International Finance Centre was completed and became operational in the year 2003. However, it is still the epicenter of all talks related to international business and investment. It has become one of the landmarks of the Hong King Islands that are known worldwide.

It is situated in the midst of a jungle of skyscrapers that have dominated every corner of the island. It seems to command a sense of respect from all those tall buildings. It is one of the most gruesome battle sites in the recent history of international corporations. At the time of writing this, the International Finance Centre is the 8th tallest office building in the entire world. It is often compared to the former World Trade Center in New York. It is a symbol of strength and potential of the new and emerging Asian markets.

The tallest building in Hong Kong, it also has an international symbol of prestige for companies that have their offices in it. It stands out from the crowd and is one of the most recognized modern structures in entire Asia, outside the continent. To the modern world, the International Finance Centre is what the Great Wall used to be to China, a few centuries ago.

The IFC is divided into two main buildings. They are called Tower One and Tower Two. Tower One is known for its signature shopping mall, while the other for its 88 storey’s.

Tower One was completed and started prior to the second one going operational. It has around 40 floors and is no less magnificent than its taller counterpart. It is divided into 4 zones, and is built up on a total area of approximately 800,000 square feet. More than 5,000 people can occupy the building at an instance.

The International Finance Centre was developed under a joint venture of Sun Hung Kai Properties and MTR Corporation. The IFC was created with the aim of exhibiting the financial prowess of Asia to the rest of the world. It is strategically placed; very close to the airport, to make it better accessible for international business tycoons.

Tower Two of the IFC is as appealing as it is magnificent. It is the tallest feature of the complex and was designed by the world renowned architect Cesar Pelli. It was completed only in 2003; years after Tower One became operational. It has 88 floors, as the number 88 is considered to be very lucky in Chinese mythology.

However, it is interesting to note that Tower Two does not have exactly 88 floors. This is due to some other superstitions in the local culture. A number of floors have been omitted while numbering. This is because many numbers, such as 14 and 24 are considered taboo, because they sound very much like some expressions related to death.

The Tower Two of the International Finance Centre is known for its excellent and modern telecommunications facilities. A number of floors have been reserved for the use of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The floors of the building are designed in such an amazing manner that the columns are not visible at all. This tower is designed to accommodate three times more people than its counterpart. Together, both the towers can accommodate 20,000 people at one go.

100 Financing Investment Property

100 financing of investment properties refers to 100% financing from outside for your investment in real estate. Funds that are brought from one’s own savings, on loan from friends or relatives are in a way not much different from capital whereas real debt or Investment property financing comes from financial institutions. These entities – banks, mortgage firms and lending organizations like credit unions — lend funds to the applicant on the trust of a collateral security or based on the income, credit-worthiness and repayment capacity of the individual. Even if these criteria are satisfactory, an investment property financing institution may ask to be shown the business plan of how the applicant means to generate income using the pieces of property he or she means to buy and consequently pay off the loan or conclude the mortgage. The lender has the right to know how the business is going to be conducted because the revenues of this business determine how fast the loan is going to be repaid. With the turn in the economy, 100% financing investment property has almost been done away with.

100 financing investment property

In the United States, there are three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, that maintain records of the lines of credit extended to each individual and how they are being handled. The credit reports formulated by these bureaus reflect how many credit card accounts a person has, how many times he or she has defaulted in payment or gone over the credit limit; other forms of financing availed by the individual such as home mortgage, auto finance or student loans, are also listed. Lenders and creditors have access to these credit reports and use them to check if an applicant is worth the risk of being given a loan. The exact features that point to an applicant as being risky can be found out after a professional analysis of one’s credit report. A high Debt to Income ratio and loan to value ratio are some of the red-flags. These areas have to be improved so as not be saddled with an exorbitant rate of interest and terms that are not favorable to the borrower. Some unfavorable terms are floating interest rates that send the finance charges through the roof upon a single defaulted payment. To prevent this eventuality, it is better to choose a deal with a fixed (flat) interest rate or a low ceiling rate on the interest rate slab.

Lending fees, high interest rates, discount points (another form of lending fees paid upfront to prevent the interest from racing up) can actually break the bank. In fact, there are many cases in which discount points have been deceptive and one ends up paying more for them, than the actual interest (finance charges) that would have been paid if the interest rates did go up. To prevent such goof ups, it is a good idea to take estimates from two or three lending organizations, compare their offerings and then choose the one that appeals most to one.

The worst pitfall to guard against is when some lender tells you that you are eligible for 100% financing of investment property. Those idyllic days are over. In fact, they are past their sell by date because there were not so idyllic. There may be such plans available on subsidy from the government for the exclusive use of first time homeowners who belong to the low income group. But this does not include investment property dealers. Traditional methods of 100% financing are now called owner financing and are still available but they are not an attractive option. It is not surprising that requests for owner financing are viewed with suspicion of default by lenders and therefore, that avenue is best avoided.

The Best Finance App

The best finance app, in my opinion, is Mint.com’s mobile app. Here is a list of its features and finance app alternatives if you prefer to use an app other than Mint.com.

Mint.com (Free)

I have been using mint for a long time now and believe it is the best finance app. Intuit bought this web site a while back so it is very secure, using bank level encryption.

Mint gives you a quick overview of your finances, which you can put on one of your main screens in the form of a widget. The widget will show your current cash amount and your credit debt. It will also show you the last time your information was updated, so you can be sure that you are looking at the most recent information.

Once you set up a monthly budget, you can access it with the app to make sure you are staying on track for the month. Mint is very good at knowing how to categorize your transactions for budgeting purposes and it will let you know if it does not know how to categorize a transaction.

The app automatically gives you alerts for various things, which include the availability of large deposits, what bills will are due in the next few days, etc.

You can get a very general picture of you investments with this app. By that, I mean if you simply want to know the balance of you accounts, you will be happy with this app. If you want to get more information about the performance of specific investments, you will need to go to the website.

To set up this app, I would suggest you log on to the main website to input all of you account information and set your budget. Once that is completed, you simply download the app, log in, and all your accounts are ready to go.

Adaptu Wallet (Currently Free)

Adaptu Wallet has many unique features like tracking loyal programs and creating spending forecasts. The app also allows you to store photos of insurance and business cards, which will decrease the clutter inside your wallet. The app is currently free, but the word on the street is they will start charging for usage sometime in 2012.

Pageonce (Free or $4.99 for Gold version)

Pageonce arguably has the best interface of all the finance apps. Your key account balances are placed in thumbnails that appear on the home screen. Contrary to popular belief, this app does provide PayPal support even though many claim it doesn’t. Balance updates are not as fast as Mint.com or Adaptu, some transactions take days to update. The Gold version has the useful ability to pay bills directly from the app, and this is the only finance app that can do this. The gold version also removes all the ads from your app.

What Stands Behind Capital One Credit Cards and Savings Products?

In the times since the global financial crisis, it has increasingly become a concern as to what the backing of the financial institution that issues your credit card or holds your saving account is. There are a number of laws which regulate the financial system and try to ensure that customers can rely on banks to honour their obligations which can be a particular concern in relation to savings products. Title 12 of the United States Code in part 325 specifies a number of ‘capital adequacy requirements’ in relation to all banks. The aim of these requirements is to force banks to adequately provision of a crisis and ensure that they will remain solvent even if there is a large crisis. Banks must report periodically on their arrangements to show regulators that they are meeting the capital adequacy requirements.

Capital One at the moment is, when measured by asset pool, the 8th largest bank in the United States with balance sheet assets of approximately USD$286bn in 2012. Amongst other distinctions, the company is also one of the largest customers of the United States postal service. Its head office is in Fairfax County Virginia and the current chairman, CEO and President of the company is Richard Fairbank. It is one of the fastest growing banks in American history having been founded in 1988 by the current CEO. Like many banks in the American financial system, Capital One was the recipient of a bail out during the sub prime mortgage crisis of 2007 when it received $3.56bn from the United States Government in exchange for 3,555,199 shares in the company. By the end of 2009, the company had managed to buy the government out of the business.

As well as being involved in credit cards, Capital One has an Auto Finance Division which is a substantial part of the company. An entity known as Capital One 360 is also now in existence having formerly been known as ING Direct on the idea that a bank could perform retail services entirely on the basis of an online model. This division of the company has no branches and only maintains a physical presence in the form of call centres and online processing maintenance facilities. The online bank model seems to achieved some success given that the lower overheads from rent and staff result in lower costs to consumers and therefore a better outcome.

One of the notable characteristic of Capital One is that it appears to have retained an ability to ride out the periodic financial storms which emerge in the world of consumer credit. It has grown consistently throughout good and bad times in consumer finance and continues to grow based on the analysis of its most recent financial data. This history of growth and the ability to ride out financial storms appears to bode well for the credit and savings products of Capital One.