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Kosovo

Discussion in 'Emerging Property in Europe' started by kk1974, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    Did anyone look into Kosovo?

    Not only for real estate, but also for any kind of investment.

    That area has been for decades neglected by Serbia (before independence), and common sense would suggest that Kosovo government would welcome foreign investment.

    Has anyone got any experience there?
     
  2. neustria

    neustria New Member

    In what way was it neglected by Serbia? Until the US - led coalition intervened, the territory was actually an integral part of orthodox Serbia. Now it has become a muslim enclave with a US base and very palpable tension on both sides of the border. If there is investment to be made there, I think that it would likely be of the of the "carpetbagger" variety. All Europe is well represented there and the currency is for all intents and purposes the Euro. But if ever there was a future war zone to be found in Europe, then Kosovo is it.
     
  3. Stingo

    Stingo New Member

    Kosovo Investments

    I was going to answer the thread on whether now Kosovo was a good place to invest. What I really cannot be bothered with, is to get into political arguments and take view points on who is right and who is wrong ......
    I am totally impartial and hold no strong views either way.
    Kosovo is no more of a risk now than Albania and the trumpet has been blown in Albania for two years now.
    Albania is proving to be a worthwhile investment for many " early birds" but the story there has only just started.
    In Kosovo , it is even earlier. Just over 100 days in fact. The market is just moving . The price of land in Pristina is low and in the newest capital in Europe has cheap, off plan units - in comparison to the rest of Europe.
    The UK and US Embassies are setting up and large corporates and banks are moving in.
    Kosovo is a very important State for Europe and a new and exciting investment opportunity.
    Capital growth was 15% in the first half of this year on land .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2008
  4. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    Thank you Stingo. Yes, lets keep politics out of this.

    You made good points.

    Lets get in touch - I'm sending you my details over PM.
     
  5. neustria

    neustria New Member

    You mistook my drift there. I think that if you choose to invest in an area, one of the top issues that you will want to address is the political situation.

    Is the country stable? Are basic rights guaranteed? If you answer no to both of these questions, then you will be taking, what is to my mind, an unacceptable risk. In the case of Kosovo the very viability of the territory is uncertain.

    I was there a few months ago and got firsthand impressions. From what I saw there I wouldn't touch it.

    Is it cheap? Absolutely. But then you might want to ask yourself why....
     
  6. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    Yes, and political situation is exactly the starting point.

    I might be wrong but I think like this:

    - Serbia will not intervene - they know its the price they have to pay for getting in EU. It was a hard decision, and opposed by large groups of radicals who nearly won the elections. But what is going to benefit Serbia more - getting their national pride back or opportunity for economic development? The risk is in radicals getting back to power, but my bet is that they wont - Serbia suffered too much economically till now to make such a step backwards.

    - Compare it with Iraq - Kurdistan (north Iraq) is an investment hotspot right now. It is unbelievable how much is happening there right now. So we can see that there is a calibre of investors who are familiar with this kind of high-risk investments.

    - The real factor that will facilitate good investments is the willingness of government to support the investors by allowing them to make money in exchange for infrastructure and expertise. That's what went wrong in Croatia - government is inviting investors but made it impossible for them to make any money.
     
  7. Stingo

    Stingo New Member

    I agree that you should be aware of many factors when sizing up the risk within an investment opportunity.
    I am not saying that Kosovo has gone from high risk to low risk overnight. But, because of what has happened in the last 100 days or so, the risk is not what it was and if I was to catergorise, then Kosovo would, in my eyes, now be medium risk for a short or long term hold, depending on the individual's wishes or circumstance.
    The country is starting at the very bottom after years and years of being torn apart by uncertainty. Many actions are now in place to move the country forward in a deomocratic and civilized way.
    The country needs investment to improve the economy, infrastructure , services and wealth of the people. It is very much emerging and will make FDI as appealing as possible.
    This is a long road for this new State and needs positive exposure so that it can grow and become a great country with its own identity.
    Not without risk of course, but prices are low as it is just starting out and therefore with slight risk comes the greater reward.
     
  8. First of all Kosovo is not a country as it has not been recognized by everybody.
    Secondly you have drove me mad with your off-plans investments! An off-plan means ALWAYS someone smarter than you made a deal, bought a land and now develops something which is more or less crap and sells by parts this development to the naives.
    Thirdly if one only looks for the small price of a property he might lose even the few penny he owns as his great fortune.
    So go ahead invest in lovely Kosovo. Oh yeah, the smart guys have just woken up and have actually a few thousands to put together and buy some! Hurray to the investment community!
     
  9. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    Is everything ok on your side mate?
     
  10. Absolutely. I should ask you this. But if you want to invest in Kosovo, go put money there, it's the most wonderful place for investments, not only in the real estates! hahahahaha
     
  11. qrm

    qrm New Member

    yes, it is right thing to do to keep politics out of this, BUT !!!...if Investment community is just focused in buy cheap, sell high..than more or less it comes to old jewish saying, something like..."when its blood on the street, its time to buy realestate"...it will always be another totalitaristic regime to fall apart and always some poor people forced to sell cheap...
    quite something to think about, isnt it ?...It should not come to that in peoples (investors) minds, I dare to think so...
     
  12. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    qrm

    There is much more to investment than 'buy cheap sell high".

    :eek:

    How is this statement related to Kosovo?

    Do you understand some basics of economics?

    Lets take Kosovo for example.

    3 months old country, with no money, poor infrastructure and with desperate need for investment in order to develop.

    How do they move forward?

    They need to give some incentive to investors to come and inject some cash. For investors to inject some cash means that there must be some competitive ROI (return on investment). The riskier the investment, they will expect higher ROI.

    Banks lend money on same principle. When they do your credit score check, they will assess the risk and according to that risk they will decide what interest rate will you get.

    Now, its up to you to do your maths and see how much can you give away for what profits.

    And this is where your economy sense is tested.

    A year ago I approached one poor Croatian coastal municipality. They were quite left behind and though they owned lots of land, they couldn't sell any. Well, they were after 100eur per m2. :confused: No infrastructure, no facilities, nothing. They offered us 10% discount of communal taxes.

    I brought with me two investment bankers from London. We came up with the proposal where we would develop a master plan for a particular area where we have seen the potential. We would market that project and sell it for them to carefully selected investors. After the project was in full swing, the prices of all the land around would multiply and they would be able to make serious money. There will be many new jobs created, and lots of cash flow. In return, we asked for the best plot of land there, which was roughly around 20% of the total land offered.

    Can you guess the answer? They said no. We can't give it to you. We are happy to take, but we can't give. And they are still sitting on it, asking why no one wants to invest there.

    Then we moved to Dalmatia. We identified wonderful area on one of islands in the vicinity of Split. This time the story was different. When mayor heard our proposal, he offered us much better located land for half price (for total project), and offered to build the whole infrastructure from the taxes we were due to pay. :D

    This mayor was an experienced and educated businessman, and he understood that is much better to have 50% of something that 100% of nothing. Something that the other guys didn't.

    Unfortunately, some other investors beat us to it, and come up with cash quicker. :(

    Back to Kosovo.

    To get something, you need to give something. So if Kosovo government has any economic sense, they will give very good incentive to investors. In that way, the place will start developing, and other investors will follow like sheep, demand will increase, prices will go up, more money will be pouring in and very soon Kosovo government will have enough cash to start investing themselves.

    What is the end of the story?

    Investors that took the initial risk made lots of money, and government made money, country developed and everyone happy. :)

    All provided that the government had enough brains to chose what to give away and to whom, and for how long.

    Dubai is an excellent example of how to turn desert dust into gold dust, following the same principle.

    Finally, I really don't understand where your statement about exploiting poor people who are forced to sell cheap is coming from.

    :confused:
     
  13. neustria

    neustria New Member

    Re. But, because of what has happened in the last 100 days or so, the risk is not what it was and if I was to catergorise, then Kosovo would, in my eyes, now be medium risk for a short or long term hold, depending on the individual's wishes or circumstance.
    **************************************************************************
    In a little reported story, on June 8 two men entered the highly protected compound which is the residence of the Prime Minister of this not-quite-a-country. Hashim Thachi wasn't there at the time and the intruders escaped when guards opened fire. Thachi was a leader of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) before being named PM, and the Serbs consider him a war criminel and therefore a fair target for their agents. Any Serb who dares venture into Kosovo is almost certain to be targeted by the local population and it is even ill-advised for foreigners to travel to the enclave with a Serbian registered vehicle. Thousands of Orthodox churches have been destroyed in Kosovo (whilst UN forces look on) and Orthodox priests have been molested and sometimes even murdered. The recent Declaration of Independance has exacerbated tensions even further between the Christian Orthodox Serbs and the Islamic Albanians...
    "Such criminal acts damage the positive image of the state of Kosovo" said a government official after the attack.

    Kosovo prime minister's home attacked » Kuwait Times Website
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  14. neustria

    neustria New Member

    I might add that when you reach the border of the territory, you are required to buy a special warzone insurance policy. It costs 50 Euros and is valid for two weeks only.
    Passports are not stamped by the Kosovar authorities, and your "visa" is a simple paper document which is meticulously inserted into each passport.
    Once you have your policy and visa in hand, your car is directed through the barbed wire and around the tanks into the enclave.
    When you leave the territory, the visa is removed from the pages of your passport, and no trace of your visit subsists for others to see.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  15. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    Thanks Neustria, this is very useful info.

    Can you suggest the best way of getting there from London?

    Cheers.

     
  16. neustria

    neustria New Member

    "Can you suggest the best way of getting there from London?"
    *****************************************************************
    Best you not go, for you won't like it.

    *****************************************************************
    "Thousands of Orthodox churches have been destroyed in Kosovo (whilst UN forces look on) and Orthodox priests have been molested and sometimes even murdered." (my own quote)
    *****************************************************************
    The above figure was a bit of an exaggeration, and I apologize to those whom I might have inadvertently misled by it. .

    Though there are thousands of Orthodox churches in Kosovo, according to the latest information that I have found, "only" 76 have been damaged or destroyed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army...

    Of these seventy-six, twelve were built in the 14th Century, two in the 15th Century, and seven had been built in the 16th Century.

    With the exception of five, the others were built in the 20th century.

    These destructions were indeed often carried out in the presence of UN peacekeepers, notably British, American, and Italian…

    The warzone insurance is only valid for up to two weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  17. kk1974

    kk1974 New Member

    Maybe the locals just got a bit upset about decades of abuse by Serbia... :rolleyes:

    In the same light, I guess I should cancel my trip to Belgrade. After all, Serbian army also destroyed many churches and mosques (before any orthodox one's were destroyed), and on the top of that killed ten's of thousands innocent civilians in the presence of the same UN 'peacekeepers'... :(

    Can you remind us, who was that bombing Dubrovnik? :confused:

    In short, don't you think that we should keep the politics out of this discussion?

    :)
     
  18. neustria

    neustria New Member

    I was attempting to describe the atmosphere which reigns at this time in this territory where you seem to be considering investing, and where you are perhaps also implicitly suggesting that others on this forum could follow your lead. As I wrote previously, I was in the enclave only a couple of months ago.

    Political my post? Kosovo is politics and passions there are running high. And you will not be able to avoid this all-pervading subject wherever you mght go in the enclave. Would you consider investing in something on the French Riviera without mentioning at the same time how far the property is from the Sea?

    Finally the post you made above was exactly of the type you were reproaching me. But following your wish, I am happy to not answer it per se, thereby granting you the satisfaction of having the last word in this decidedly never-ending debate.
     
  19. claudio_italy

    claudio_italy New Member

    Developing there. The economy is now very basic. What you have now there is construction (a lot) and little else.
     
  20. Stingo

    Stingo New Member

    Claudio - PM me please.

    Kind regards
    Stingo
     
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