Friday, 27 June 2014

Give me land

Today's Guardian has an investigative piece about supermarket Tesco buying up land and leaving it empty, either to stop competitors opening stores near their own or in anticipation of its value increasing, and BBC2 also broadcast a documentary last night showing how house building companies operate along similar lines.

We all know how pubcos use restrictive covenants to stop rivals buying pubs they sell off as unprofitable, ensuring that they become houses, shops or other businesses; I wonder what an analysis of Land Registry records like the one the Guardian has carried out on Tesco's property division would show about their "land banking" activities.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Rio by the sea-o

With a week to go before the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, it's predictions time. So, skipping to the latter stages of the tournament, here are mine.

In the quarter-finals, Brazil will beat England, Germany France, Spain Italy and Argentina Portugal; in the semi-finals, Brazil will beat Germany and Argentina Spain; and in the final itself, Brazil will beat Argentina, lifting their sixth World Cup and their first as hosts.

You heard it here first. Get yourself down to the bookies and stick your shirt on Brazil (currently 3-1 to win it).