London’s Midtown Offices Replace West End For Returns

London bullion body could charge more or disband gold rates

In July, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) – a global umbrella group for market regulators – detailed a series of principles on financial benchmarks, after the Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate)manipulation scandal. The scandal led Madrid-based IOSCO to study how Libor, which was rigged by British banks, including Barclays (BARC.L), and other money market benchmarks should be supervised and how they are set, to restore market confidence. Libor is the estimated interest rate set daily by leading London banks at which they would be charged when borrowing from other banks. The GOFO rate is the gold equivalent to Libor, at which dealers will lend gold on swap against U.S. dollars. “Going forward, the GOFO service has to conform to some principles, therefore we have to look at how the data is collected, how it’s recorded, who is administrating it,” LBMA Chairman David Gornall told Reuters in an interview. “And we could either charge member banks more money or if the market decides that they don’t need to spend more money on regulatory affairs (because) as they already pay someone to do that… then the GOFO might not exist.” Gornall added that the alternative for the LBMA would be to carry on with the Good Delivery List, the Responsible Gold Guidance on ethical gold production, refining and assaying, the annual conference, publishing the dedicated quarterly journal the Alchemist but not the regulatory side. The Good Delivery rules specify the physical characteristics of bars used in settlement in the wholesale London bullion market. PRICE ENVIRONMENT Gold prices have fallen by a fifth this year, hurt by speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to rein in its bullion-friendly quantitative easing (QE) policy, a major driver of the record-high prices seen in recent years.

and broker Farebrother Ltd . said. Properties in the area stretching from Farringdon Road to Tottenham Court Road generated a total return of 5.9 percent compared with 5.4 percent in the West End and 4.3 percent in the City of London financial district. Midtowns total return of 4.8 percent, which includes rents and changes in values, trailed the West Ends 4.9 percent six months ago, though it beat the Citys 3.4 percent return. Midtowns diverse tenants, the relatively low levels of stock and limited development pipeline have combined to make it Londons most compelling investment proposition, Alastair Hilton, head of investment at Farebrother, said in the statement. The Crossrail train, due to be open in 2018, and improvements to the existing Thameslink railway will make Midtown one of the most accessible places in the U.K., he said. Tenants are looking beyond more traditional districts for offices as transport links to the west of the City of London improve and space becomes increasingly limited in the West End. Blackstone Group LP (BX) is among investors in the district, buying The Adelphi Building for 265 million pounds ($426 million) and Lacon House for 90 million pounds, according to the report. The value of all transactions in Midtown fell to 1.1 billion pounds in the period from 1.4 billion pounds a year earlier. Overseas investors were involved in 71 percent of the transactions during the period, according to the report. Far eastern investors accounted for 17 percent of deals, according to the report. Editors: To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Gower in London at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at More News:

Super Recognizers Used By London Police To Fight Crime

How does Hyland do it? Nobody knows. But since 2011, about 200 London police officers have been recruited to an elite squad of super recognizers. Officials say they have tripled the number of criminal suspects identified from surveillance photos or on the street each week, and even helped prevent some crimes like muggings, drug deals and assaults. “When we have an image of an unidentified criminal, I know exactly who to ask instead of sending it out to everyone and getting a bunch of false leads,” said Mick Neville, Detective Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard. Neville started the super recognizer unit after realizing the police had no system for identifying criminals based on images, unlike those for DNA and fingerprints. The unit proved especially valuable after riots hit London in the summer of 2011. After the violence, Scotland Yard combed through hundreds of hours of surveillance video. So far, there have been nearly 5,000 arrests; around 4,000 of those were based on police identifications of suspects from video images. The super recognizers were responsible for nearly 30 percent of the identifications, including one officer who identified almost 300 people. A facial recognition software program made only one successful identification, according to Neville. Weeks before the Notting Hill Carnival, the biggest street festival in Europe, kicked off last month, the super recognizers were given images of known criminals and gang members.