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Oracle Capital Group Review
June 2014

Dear Reader

In this edition, we will give you inside knowledge on important changes in UK visas, alternative investment outlook, and many more.

  1. UK Visas: Home Office announces important changes
  2. Commercial real estate market in London
  3. The Art world
  4. Fake wines: how to avoid disappointment
  5. UK Housing Shortage Presents Investment Opportunity
  6. The Sunday Times Rich List 2014
  7. Is there a connection between equity market performance and GDP growth?


By Natalia Makhonina-Byrdan, Head of Business Development at Oracle Capital Group

Oracle Capital Group has published a number of articles on these pages in recent months on proposed changes to the rules for Investor, or Tier 1, UK Visas. Mostly these articles have been intended to make our clients aware of the debate which is going on in the UK on wider immigration issues. But the Home Office has announced two changes which will directly affect those applying for Tier 1 UK Visas.

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By Mark Browning, Member of the Advisory Board at Oracle Capital Group

Whilst the London commercial real estate market was not immune to the global turndown in 2008, it was relatively insulated by the strong fundamentals of being a Global City, having restrained supply, consistent occupational demand (that moved away from financial occupiers) and high levels of foreign inbound investment; it has therefore fared better than the rest of the country and recovered far more quickly. Interestingly though, prime West End office rents have still not overtaken the levels that were set in the heady days of 2007 (they are forecast to do so in 2017/18). Availability of office space across Central London is estimated at around 6% (it was closer to 4% in 2007) which is around half the UK average of 12.7% and, with improved market conditions, there is continued upward pressure on rents. Leasing activity in Central London rebounded in 2013 with the final quarter seeing 3.7 m sq ft of take-up, 20% higher than the long-term average but back to where it was in 2007.

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By James Butterwick, art advisor to Oracle Capital Group

Two facts have become clearer in the last month, another month of soaring prices in the Art world.

Firstly, growth in the Russian sector, it would appear, is going to increase with signs that the political crisis in the Crimea may positively affect sales. In my article for the Oracle Capital website last month I wrote how ‘people ‘move into collectibles’ when times are rough, that great art will always find a buyer and may even be a “financial-crisis-free” investment.’

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By David Nathan-Maister, Director of Oracle Paradis Wine Fund

Faking of wine and spirits is as old as commercial alcohol production. In the 18th and 19th century, watered down whisky and gin was adulterated with white pepper to make it taste stronger. At the end of Prohibition in the 1930’s, the US market was flooded with faked alcohol, especially cognac from Spain. Until the 1960’s, Bordeaux producers routinely added some of the darker and heavier Rhone wines to their vintages, to improve their body and appearance.

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By Inessa Falina, Head of Ashton Rose (Property division at Oracle Capital Group)

Figures just released by the UK Land Registry show that house prices went up 5.6% annually across the country in the 12 months to March, which is the fastest increase in four years. Not only is this one of the strongest indicators of the recovery of the UK economy but it also points to two exciting investment opportunities: purchase of existing housing and investment in construction of new housing.

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By Natalia Nataliya Makhonina-Byrdan, Head of Business Development at Oracle Capital Group

The annual “Sunday Times Rich List” for 2014 has revealed that Britain’s wealthiest 1,000 people have increased their fortunes by over 15% in the past year. With combined wealth totalling £519bn, they have doubled the pre-crisis amount of £258bn recorded in 2009.

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By Alexei Debelov, Head of Equity at Third Rome (strategic partner of Oracle Capital Group in Russia)

At the end of April, the International Monetary Fund slashed its 2014 growth forecast for Russia to 0.2 percent.
In early May, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Devel­opment made a similar call revising its Russian GDP growth forecast downward to 0.5 percent. Investment professionals the world over are anxiously awaiting the latest quarterly GDP statistics of the largest glob­al economies. In discussions investors often turn to sluggish economic growth to justify their downbeat assessment of the Russian market outlook. We would like to take a closer look at the connection between equity market performance and GDP growth, as well as the importance of economic growth for asset management.

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About Oracle Capital Group

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Luxembourg, Oracle Capital Group provides comprehensive, tailored and confidential services for high-net-worth individuals and their families, including investment advisory (through the offices in Switzerland and the Bahamas), wealth structuring and asset protection, asset financing and insurance, legal case management, property development, and concierge services. Oracle Capital Group has 7 offices (London, Luxembourg, Geneva, Nassau, Moscow, Almaty and Limassol) and employs over 100 staff worldwide.

Should you wish to get in touch, please email us or call +44 (0) 207 725 6900

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