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Banks, Lenders & Investors Finance General

Investor Visas offer another source of finance for UK businesses

Businesses looking for investors may be able to take advantage of another avenue of finance, as a result of revised rules of access to the UK for overseas investors.
Tier 1 Investor Visas allow people from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland to live and work or study in the UK for up to three years and four months on certain conditions.
The visas are conditional on applicants investing at least £2 million in either UK Government bonds, share capital or loan capital in UK-registered active & trading companies. The money has to be held in a regulated financial institution such as a bank, building society or stock brokerage for 90 consecutive days before making a visa application.
Tier 1 Visa investors cannot invest in companies mainly engaged in property investment, property management or property development companies.
Investors can apply to settle in the UK if they make further significant investment, of £10 million after two years, or of £5 million after three years of living in the UK on a Tier 1 visa.
UK Government data has revealed that there has been a significant increase in the numbers of Chinese applying for the Tier 1 Visa doubled in 2014 compared with 2013, with 357 visas granted, while 184 Russians were granted Tier 1 visas in 2014.

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Business Development & Marketing Cash Flow & Forecasting General Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery

Maghreb and Middle East Volatility Adds to Pressures on UK Business

Pressure on UK businesses is already intense as a result of the Government’s austerity measures designed to cut the UK budget deficit.
Already facing changes to NI payments, rising prices for raw materials as well as January’s increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% and the dilemma of how much of these additional costs to pass on to consumers, now upheavals throughout North Africa and the Middle East are adding enormous uncertainty.  Oil prices have soared to their highest levels for two years, with impacts on all areas of the economy.
But it is not only oil prices that could add to business instability.  The UK is Egypt’s largest investor at around £10 billion, with around 900 UK companies involved, in
Tunisia exports from the UK in 2009 totalled £153 milliion, while imports were at £406 million, and trade with Libya is estimated to be worth £1.5 billion. British exports of goods to Libya were worth an estimated £1.29 billion in 2010.
The impacts will be felt on the UK travel industry, UK construction involved in building and infrastructure projects in Egypt and Tunisia but also on domestic services, for example Libyan-funded education in the UK of more than 6,000 students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses, worth an estimated £160 million.
I believe that, while businesses should try to hold their nerve, even those businesses that have survived so far without getting into difficulties might be wise to not only pay close attention to cash flow but also to revisit their business plans to put themselves in the best possible shape to be able to cope with the continuing uncertainty.