Optimism in Asia

Tim Livingstone

Recently I attended the UHY Asia-Pacific Region Meeting which was held in Mumbai, India.  Attending the meeting were 28 members representing 15 countries.  The conference focus was on building the UHY network and utilising the substantial technical knowledge-sharing and marketing resources of the affiliation.

However, the real value from this meeting was the networking opportunities.  Unlike the US, Europe and most other western countries, the Asian economies are bubbling with confidence, have strong economic growth and are very optimistic about their future.  That got me thinking: why is Asia so economically successful?

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Nelson Mandela and the Art of Leadership

UHY Haines Norton’s Business Development Manager Michael
Jamieson reflec
ImportanceofMarketingts on the life of the inspiring leader.

As Nelson Mandela lies critically ill in a Pretoria Hospital, I think it is timely to reflect on the quality of leadership and unification he has shown to the world.
The transition from apartheid to a state where all races were considered equal was achieved relatively peacefully following Mandela’s release from prison.   Although people of many races made huge sacrifices to bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa it was Mandela’s mana, forgiveness, fortitude and humility that led the change.

It can be argued that there is still a long way to go in terms of crime levels, poverty among Native Africans and land confiscation still occurring in South Africa.  However if we look at the progress of Zimbabwe, Iraq and Afghanistan, where there have been repressive regimes forced out of power, the positive progress in South Africa is remarkable in comparison.

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The Continual Rise of Auckland House Prices

Mortgage Link LogoStuart Wills of Mortgage Link discusses the problems facing the Auckland property market.

The past few months have seen a shortage of properties on the market resulting in huge increases in Auckland house prices.  Ask any Auckland mortgage broker or mobile banker and they will tell you they are pre-approving plenty of mortgages, but the buyers are finding it difficult to find suitable properties.

So what are the causes of the housing shortage?
New building consents have been at record lows, with 2012 being the lowest in four decades. This was caused by three key factors:

  1. The Global Financial Crisis meant a lack of funding for developers
  2. Changes to tax treatment of investment property saw investors exit the  property market
  3. Poor World economic prospects lead to a lack of confidence.

All this led to a lack of properties being built, with developers leaving the industry. This trend is not easy to reverse.

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Taxing Matters: Sponsorship and IRD Payments

Taxing Matters provides a summary of topical tax and business information relating to individuals and business.

Deductions for Mid-winter Staff Christmas Function  Expenses associated with staff mid-winter Christmas functions are 50% deductible for tax purpose regardless of whether the function is held on or off the business premises.

Sponsorship  The IRD’s position is that for sponsorship to be deductible there must be a connection between the sponsorship expenditure and the business or income-earning activity.

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