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Travel Ban Expats With Debts Win Right To Work

Expats banned from leaving Bahrain because they owe money will have the right to legally live and work in the country under a new law.

Bahrain courts can stop expats leaving the country if they have an unpaid debt or civil legal challenge proceeding against them until the debts are cleared.

The law leaves expats in a legal limbo because they cannot work to raise cash to pay off their debts.

Under the new law, expats with debts will still have to stay in Bahrain, but will have the opportunity to work and pay off the money they owe.

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China’s Prosperity Relies on Painful Economic Reform

The Chinese economy is likely to suffer if policymakers do not embrace painful but necessary changes to deal with over-supply problems.

Decisive reform is hampering recovery in the world’s number two economy and the country’s leaders need to take action before it’s too late, argues Kunjal Gala, senior investment analyst on the Hermes Global Emerging Markets Fund.

Not making the right decisions and implementing them quick enough is a failing that runs through China’s recent economic history, he says. Now, President Xi Jinping seems to be across what action is needed. “The transition will take time, but I have visited China and can see progress is starting to be made,” said Gala.

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Fed blusters and delays US interest rate hike

The long awaited Federal Reserve decision to fire up US interest rates with another hike turned out to be a damp squib yet again. Fed chair Janet Yellen and her team of policymakers have hinted that the time is right to ratchet up the rate since the last rise from 0.25% to 0.5% in December 2015.

Despite sending signals and blowing smoke about putting interest rates up, the Fed has done nothing this year. The rate-setting committee only meets three more times before Christmas, including November when the USA goes to the polls to elect a new president. Traditionally, the Fed is unlikely to make such a major economic change.

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Gulf expats lost power and water subsidies

Expats in Kuwait face higher energy and water charges after the government voted to raise utility costs for foreign residents and businesses.

 Kuwaiti nationals and their businesses are exempt from the tax.

 The bill still has to pass the final hurdle in the Kuwaiti parliament at the end of April 2016.

 The proposal is to increase utility bills for apartments from 0.2 fils a kilowatt to 0.5 fils a kilowatt.

 The parliament heard that Kuwait pays $8.8 billion a year to subsidise water and power charges.

 The Kuwaiti government is also mulling over plans to put up petrol prices.

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Negative Interest Rates Good For The Price Of Gold

Negative interest rates are having a positive impact on gold prices, according to trade body The World Gold Council.

Statistics show that gold prices have surged by 16% since the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan cut some interest rates to below zero.

Policymakers see negative rates as tools for controlling pressure within the economy leading to deflation and a way of devaluing currencies.

The council argues negative interest rates are good for investors holding gold.

Historically, returns on investment during negative rate terms are double those at other times and investors should increase their gold holdings to take advantage of this, argues the council.

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World’s Top 10 Destinations For Expats

International removal specialists have drawn up a list of favourite destinations for British expats – and the list does not hold too many surprises.

The list of Commonwealth friends and European neighbours is interspersed with a couple of surprise locations.

So here is the Movehub list of countries expats choose for their new homes:


The USA is a surprise as the number one destination. The cities of San Diego, Phoenix and Miami are popular for sunshine, while many British expats cluster around the north east of the country near New York and Boston

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Budget 2016 – Osborne Means Business

Chancellor George Osborne piled a number of tax giveaways in the arms of small businesses in his Budget 2016.

On a day when he was feeling benign about helping entrepreneurs and business, the only taxpayers to really suffer were contractors who work for their own companies.

From April 2017, he contractor can no longer decide whether they pay tax under IR35 rules or more relaxed ordinary business profit and loss calculations.

Instead, the ‘end user’ makes the tax compliance decision, deducts the right amount of income tax and national insurance and leaves the contractor to argue the merits of the decision with HM Revenue and Customs.

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Are you aware of the new UK Government’s sneaky way to attack your pension pot?

Back in 2006, there was a major shake up of the UK pension market. A-Day as it was called, was set to make the new world of pensions in the UK ‘simple’. A-Day was the brainchild of the current Labour government and was announced in 2004, and its primary aim was to make things ‘simple’ going forward. Now if you know anything about UK pensions, nothing is ‘simple’.

There were many changes that A-Day brought to the market, but the biggest was undoubtedly the introduction of a lifetime limit on the size of your pension pot. When introduced, this Lifetime Allowance (LTA) was set at £1.5m and was subsequently increased to £1.8m, in an attempt to get more of us saving towards their retirement.

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Market Volatility

Over the last few trading sessions we have continued to see volatility spike, culminating in major declines for most equity indices on Wednesday. There has been a clear shift in investor sentiment, with market participants focusing on bad news and giving limited attention to the good. For example, some of the positive earnings releases emanating from the US over the last week would have normally garnered greater attention.
The fall in the oil price from around $30 per barrel three days ago to around $27 (the result of an Energy Administration Agency warning of persistent oversupply) was the key driver of the decline in sentiment. However, there have also been other negative headlines such as reports from the World Economic Forum in Davos focusing on the risk of market liquidity drying up, a further downgrade of global growth projections from the IMF and poor corporate earnings reports from the likes of Royal Dutch Shell.