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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 04 October 2014
SATURDAY 4 OCTOBER 2014 25 BUSINESS FINANCIAL WEEK House market cools down House price growth across the country cooled a little in the quarter just ended, after a virtually flat September, according to the latest house price index by sector monitor RP Data Corelogic. The monthly statistics are likely to be welcomed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which is wor- ried about housing bub- bles in Sydney and Mel- bourne. Even Sydney was rela- tively subdued in Sep- tember, with dwelling price growth of 0.8 per cent, ahead of Brisbane with a rise of 0.7 per cent and behind Adelaide with 0.9 per cent. All the rest of the capitals reported value declines in Sep- tember, leaving growth across the country at 0.1 per cent. Source: Fairfax Are you one of the 500,000 who lied? Half a million Australians have lied or omitted in- formation on a credit ap- plication. DATA bureau Veda, which provides in- formation and analysis to lenders and borrowers, said its research found three per cent of Austral- ians had admitted being less than straight-forward on their applications. "It's really a form of fraud if people are doing that," Veda spokeswoman Belinda Diprose said. Recent changes in legis- lation will allow lenders to see a range of credit details that expose lies and omissions, she said. The newly available in- formation includes: when accounts are opened and closed, the type of ac- count, the credit limit and, importantly, the re- payment history. Veda says it is just as alarming that 2.1 mil- lion Australians, or 13 per cent of those using credit, are at risk of de- fault in the next year. This is a slight reduc- tion from the previous year, down from 15 per cent. Source: News Limited Moke on its way to Greece The yellow Mini Moke is back, and it's thanks to Greek Australian Jim Markos. He's just returned from a very fruitful trip to Thessa- loniki for the International Trade Fair, and is in the pro- cess of writing up some distri- bution deals to see the canary yellow novelty car make it to the Mediterranean. Holding the exclusive inter- national licence to the new and improved Moke, Jim is finding demand is outweigh- ing his production output. Setting up shop at the Trade Fair alongside the Hellenic Australian Chamber of Com- merce and Industry (HACCI), Jim had brought over a Moke to show at the fair and was by far the most popular stall of the Australian contingent. Many festivalgoers made a beeline to the stall the min- ute they saw the car, asking Jim all sorts of questions both out of curiosity and for busi- ness ventures. "It was a huge audience that saw the vehicle and loved it," he tells Neos Kosmos. Some were very keen for a test drive, with a major Span- ish firm flying in to the fair just to see the new Moke in person. Jim says interest came from almost every industry. "We met people in the hotel industry, in the car hire and car rental industry, we met people from government lev- el and we met people from a manufacturing level," he says. "Really the only person I didn't meet was Antonis Samaras (the Greek prime minister)." He says that we could be seeing Mokes in the sunny Greek islands by next year's summer season. Quite amazingly, Jim took the project on in 2009. Back then there was no car, no man- ufacturer and no distributor. The original Moke was re- leased in 1964 and went out of production in 1992, after more than 25 years on the market. He knew demand was there, having sold the most expen- sive British Moke in Austral- ia for $28,000. He has since re- imagined the car, found a Chinese manufacturer and cre- ated the first pro- totype. His cars are now on the road in sunny locations around the globe. He's reached the point where people are begging him to come visit and set up a distribution. "We've been receiving a huge response from all the islands in Greece, and Cy- prus and Turkey for this car," he says. Jim has already set up cars in Thailand, Vanuatu and the Caribbean, all with embedded beach cultures. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Moke was a Bondi staple, when it came under the names of Austin Mini Moke, Morris Mini Moke and Ley- land Moke. From the start, Jim wanted to target the beach tourism industry, where Moke was ac- tive and much loved. "We're targeting all those countries that have a partic- ular climate." Seeing the car in Australia is still a little way off, with about 500 pre-orders taken. He hopes to open up more sales in 12 months, when the manufacturing line is more mature. "For us right now it's about creating a good manu- facturing line to produce lots of vehicles," he says. New ventures will be in Va- nuatu, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Algeria. Although the new Moke looks just like the British design, not much else is the same. It's been converted to meet more modern tastes, while also making it more safe and reliable. "It's got a modern driveline, four proper seating positions, there's a lot more room in- ternally than in the old one, the dimensions of the new Moke are bigger, it's got modern brakes, modern sus- pension," Jim says. While a lot of energy has gone into making the car suit- able for tourism businesses, Jim says the plan is to open up Moke to the wider pub- lic and get individual buyers driving around in them. "The private sector is really warming to the car," he says. "It's the person that has two cars, has their holiday house and they're looking for a cool car." The asking price for the new Moke in Australia is $22,999 and comes in six colours in- cluding black, yellow, red, white, orange and blue. Holding the international licence to the Mini Moke cars, Greek Australian Jim Markos is finding a thirst for the car in the Mediterranean International commodities trader Socrates Vasiliades has sold his 22-room Toorak mansion and has likely taken the Melbourne property price record. The buyer, Sarah Lew, ob- tained the property over the weekend for an undisclosed fee. The property's asking price was revised to $25 mil- lion recently, and has possi- bly beaten the previous re- cord of $26 million for the Portsea cliff-top estate Ilyuka in 2010 and the $24 million paid in 2010 by Harry Sta- moulis for the former Bail- lieu family estate in Toorak in the same year. Vasiliades' wife Celeste bought the Towers Road ad- dress in 2002 for $4.6 million. It took the couple six years to build the house now lo- cated on the land, boasting 22 rooms, a lift, home thea- tre, gym, pool, and basement parking. Vasiliades had tradespeo- ple flown in from around the world to work on the house on the 2,140 square metre property. Previously the house was listed for $30 million, and was later revised to create greater interest. The buyer, Ms Lew, had been living in a $4.2 mil- lion penthouse apartment in the same suburb since mid-2012. Mr Vasiliades famously lived in the mansion for six days and shortly thereafter, moved his family to Europe and put the property on the market in April 2011. Towers Road is one of Melbourne's most exclu- sive streets, known as one of Toorak's most expensive, made up of just seven huge properties. Born in Melbourne, Vasiliades traded steel and bulk raw mate- rials worldwide before setting up and becoming Core Min- ing's chief executive in 2003. Vasiliades $25 million mansion sold Socrates Vasiliades’ multi-million dollar property sold. A Toorak mansion owned by commodities trader Socrates Vasiliades, who famously lived in the 22-room property for six days, has been sold for an undisclosed fee HELEN VELISSARIS Jim Markos at the Thessaloniki In- ternational Trade Fair with his Moke car on display. MMMoke are bigger, it's got modern brakes, modern sus- pension," Jim says. While a lot of energy has The new Moke car is now on the road in the Caribbean and Thailand.
27 September 2014
11 October 2014