Tuesday 20 October 2015

Sell Dubai Apartment

Sell Dubai Apartment

If you would like to sell a Dubai apartment you are not alone. Selling a property in Dubai has once again become relevant. A lot of people bought apartments in Dubai back at the start of the centure (it only became possible to purchase property there in 2002). 

In 2015, however, developers around the Emirate were forced to contact property owners relating to an existing, but increased, 'Registration Tax' introduced by the Dubai authorities in 2013. The 4% registration tax was to be paid before the end of June 2015, otherwise penalties would be imposed. This deadline was later extended to the end of October 2015.

Quite a few recipients thought this was a request to complete on their properties. This took many of them by surprise as they had presumed that they would never receive a property in the Emirate.

One way or the other, the communication has brought a new impetus for those who have put deposits on property in Dubai but who do not now wish to complete on them for one reason or another. Quite a few developments in Dubai were very popular with UK and Irish based property investors, such as Bermuda ViewsEagle Heights and Profile Residence in Dubai Sports City in particular.

The market for property in Dubai, much like elsewhere in the world, dropped off a cliff after 2007, hence the lack of building activity. In fact, Dubai stayed in growth mode until 2008, but when the decline came it was spectacular. Since 2009, and particularly since 2013 there has been something of a pick-up, although there are signs that this is starting to tail off somewhat now with Dubai recording the largest fall in property prices in the world, at 15.5% in the first half of 2015. For a more in-depth analysis read Diarmaid Condon's Dubai Property Prices article.

If you do need to sell a property in Dubai, whether it has already completed or you've just put a deposit on the unit, then we may be able to assist.

We have contact with a number of investors in the region that are actively looking for property around Dubai. If they are interested in purchasing your unit or your option on a unit, then they are in a position to act quite quickly. This is a huge advantage, because under normal market conditions you could be waiting an awfully long time to sell your property or interest in a property.

If you would like to see what you can achieve for your unit drop a mail to info@diarmaidcondon.com stating the development, unit number, size and stage of completion (as far as you are aware) and whether you've paid the Registration Tax. We'll then see if we can find an interested buyer. 

Sell Dubai Apartment

Sunday 1 July 2012

How to Get Residency in the USA - The EB5 Visa

Apply for a US Green Card

How to Get Residency in the USA - The EB5 Visa

If you are looking to live in the USA, with residency rights, then the EB-5 Regional Center Investment Visa is one of the fastest ways to achieve this result. There are significant benefits to residency in the US, not least not having to regularly re-apply for a visa as you do if you are not a citizen and wish to stay in the US - with no guarantee of being granted the visa.

The EB-5 visa allows permanent residency (Green Cards) for you, your spouse and children under 21 by investing into a US government designated 'Regional Center' program.

With the EB-5 visa you have the option to take a job, run a business or retire and live anywhere in the USA. As a permanent resident you have access to all benefits enjoyed by US citizens. Your children can attend schools or universities with the same rights as US citizens. These rights do not end after they turn 21, they stay with them for life.

Your children have the advantage of job opportunities in the US with each member of the family being able to apply for citizenship having held their green card for a five year period.

The Advantages of the EB5 Regional Centre Program are:

1. Permanent residency for you and your family.
2. Access to benefits enjoyed by US citizens.
3. Freedom – no need to manage investment on a day to day basis.
4. Flexible - no requirements for age, business experience, or language skills.
5. No requirement to be constantly present in the United States.
6. Maintain business and professional relations in your country of origin should you so wish.

You can request a full brochure on the Visa and the investment process here

Thursday 7 June 2012

Florida Market Continues Recovery

Florida Market Continues Recovery

It's not going to be easy, or uniformly in one direction, but to all intents and purposes it appears that the Florida property market is showing signs that it may have bottomed out and is inclined to improve a little.

This will come as somewhat of a relief for Irish owners in Florida, of whom they are many, although prices there are a long way off where most Irish purchasers entered the market. At least, for now anyway, prices seem to be headed in the right direction for owners.

Irishman, Gary Kenny, who runs Coldwell Banker Feltrim in Davenport, Florida says the second home market, which his company services, has seen more international visitors coming back into central Florida which has helped the company sell more units in 2012 than the previous two years. There is actually, Kenny says, a shortage of good  property to promote and sell to an eager market.

Investor Product Launch

Within the next two weeks the company will announce details of an upcoming project just outside Tampa where it will release 50 units for sale, all producing return on investment to the buyer of between 10 and 12% nett. A decent return when you consider what you can get out of a bank these days.

Market Improvement

Orlando attracted more visitors last year than previously projected, beating expectations and setting a record for any U.S. travel destination, according to figures released last Tuesday.

Visit Orlando, the area's 'Convention and Visitors Bureau', said an estimated 55.1 million visitors spent at least a day in the Orlando area during 2011, an increase of 7.2 percent from the previous record. The visitors' bureau had earlier forecast a 2011 head count of 54.3 million people.

Paul Tang, chairman of Visit Orlando, termed the record year 'tremendously positive' news for the nation's theme-park capital.

Tang said: "We have seen a strong rebound in our visitation numbers over the past two years, led by increases in domestic and international travel, and we continue to be optimistic about the future of the destination. We are known worldwide as the top family destination, and we continue to be a top choice for inspiring meetings. Breaking the 55 million total visitation mark shows the strength of the Orlando brand."

Putting the figures in perspective, Orlando was the first U.S. market to draw more than 50 million visitors in a single year in 2010 when it reached 51.5 million, beating New York to the milestone.

Sunday 4 March 2012

Private Overseas Property Sales to Feature on OverseasCafe

Private Sales to Feature on OverseasCafe

Keep your eyes on the OverseasCafe.com site over the coming months. The site will feature a new Overseas Property Private Sales section which will allow private property owners to list their own properties for sale at a reasonable rate on a site that receives a lot of overseas property related traffic.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Ciaran Maguire Group Disassociates Itself from PCI

Ciaran Maguire Group Disassociates Itself from PCI

Ciaran Maguire claims to have sent this email to us back in October when we first queried him about the company's connection with PCI (see previous stories), but we certainly didn't receive it then, nor did we receive it after a further email to the company in November. In fact we received no response of any description from him. We remain sceptical that it was sent, but will have to take his word for it. 

It is particularly strange that the email says that "Ciaran Maguire Group are very much looking forward to delivering the first sets of keys in the second quarter of 2012 to our Palm View clients." when at that time on his Blog the PV Construction Schedule (which was still there at time of writing this post) states that completion would be in mid-December 2011, there's never been an update to this on the site - at least not yet. In fact there haven't been any updates at all since last September. Also, a sales agent for the Boa Vista Palm View Resort development claimed to have sold €5m of Palm View apartments at the Property and Investor Show in the UK in early November, stating on November 10th in its blog that the development was set for 'completion in December of this year'. This seems totally at odds with what Ciaran claims he sent us in an email early in October. Surely he would have informed all agents selling Palm View of such a large change in completion date. He would certainly have been far more likely to tell them than he would be to tell us. 

The moving of this completion in Cape Verde to May 2012, while deposits are being collected for a new project in Fond Bay, St. Lucia, and while previous clients in Cape Verde who have asked for their deposits back remain unpaid, may draw criticism in some sectors. 

In order to offer balance here is the email from Ciaran Maguire (which he claims was sent last October) exactly as it was received by us today, January 18th 2012.

"In response to your email, I can confirm that Ciaran Maguire Group had terminated all agreements with Provident Capital Indemnity over 14 months ago. We originally entered into an agreement with Provident Capital Indemnity over 2 years ago however when we realized the seriousness of the allegations against Provident capital Indemnity we quickly moved to dissolve all agreements. It has to be noted that PCI was introduced to Ciaran Maguire Group by the most reputable broker in the market, the London based broker have also ceased relations with PCI.                       

At the start of 2011 the Company set up conferences in London and Manchester and met with all of the Palm View clients to give them an exact status report as it is Ciaran Maguire Groups main objective to protect the interest of our clients. At the meetings, Palm View clients were made aware of the new 100% finance option in place of the PCI bond and also the news that we had taken over of a previous scheme in Boa Vista, this scheme has been re designed and re branded to the Palm View Resort. The takeover has proven to be very successful. We are on target to complete phase 1, (block A and F and the Palm View Hotel) in the second quarter of 2012. All of our Palm View clients have signed up to the new scheme as well as a considerable amount of new sales with phase 1 being sold out and is currently 85% built. There is no doubting that the Palm View project endured frustrating delays as indeed all developments were affected during the difficult global recession but Ciaran Maguire Group are very much looking forward to delivering the first sets of keys in the second quarter of 2012 to our Palm View clients.

As previously mentioned, I would be happy to make myself available to meet with you and furnish you with all relevant documentation such as Palm View land title, Palm View building permits, details on the 100% finance and indeed funding in place for Palm View Cape Verde and further projects, it would certainly clear up any queries you may have on Palm View. I leave for the UAE on Thursday the 20th and then on to Cape Verde till the 7th of November but am available prior to my departure and indeed on my return."  


Ciarán Maguire
Chairman & President

CastleBaggot House,
Dublin 22.

Ph: +353 1 6251542
Ph: +353 1 6251544

Reply from Ciaran Maguire relating to PCI

Reply from Ciaran Maguire relating to PCI

When reading Ciaran's reply to our recent post you should bear in mind that he actually ignored our email on the subject some months ago completely, as well as a second one a month later, which was the reason we published the post in the first place. It now seems that he is, once again, anxious to engage in communication, but as usual, only on his own terms.

Ciaran claims that the Boa Vista development is due to complete in May 2012, to the best of our knowledge this is the fourth such completion date so far - all previous ones have obviously been missed. We would hope, in fact for all investors involved we would pray, that the same will not happen with this one. 

We have acceded to his request to remove the picture of the brochure for new development the company is launching in Fond Bay, St. Lucia. 


Email is reproduced exactly as received. 

"You sent me an email a couple of months ago asking about PCI. I told you the exact situation and that my Company had terminated all interests with PCI and took the time to go into the exact details and yet you did not mention any of that on your recent post, you use an old quote and have married it to our new Palm View development in St Lucia. You have always claimed that you give an honest assessment but to me that’s low and a complete misrepresentation of the facts, you know we have nothing to do with PCI and yet you convey a different picture.

A balanced version would show my recent reply to you regarding PCI. For some reason the expansion of my Company really bothers you. You questioned if my company would deliver Palm View, Cape Verde and we are set for completion in May with the project sold out. (all of this done in the worst economic climate on file) The loan syndicates we work with have deemed CMG to be one of the fastest growing real estate development companies in the sector today and subsequently we have the credit facility in place to commence construction on the new Palm View Golf Resort, St Lucia and the Palm View Spa Resort in the Grenadines.

I honestly don’t know what I ever did to cause the personal vendetta you have for me, but I take great pride in the fact that we now employ 22 people in Ireland and hundreds of people in construction overseas and will endeavour to create more opportunities for employment in times when this country needs them more than ever. I would ask that you give an honest reflection on the story; you have always posted my responses but not this one, strange.

On a final note I would like to bring to your attention an interpretation of Ireland in which it suggest of Ireland that "begrudgery is a national sport" and "The Irish are fatalist and pessimistic to the core"

It is sad to say that people are more interested in writing a negative story anyway who knows maybe one day I will be surprised by the media in this country, who have brain washed people into thinking that the glass is always half empty.

Will you please take down the picture of the launch of our new development while running a piece on PCI as they are not linked in any way and they never were and you are suggesting it is. It really is unfair and unethical, if you could do that I would very much appreciate it.

In the meantime, best of luck with everything.


Ciarán Maguire
Chairman & President
CastleBaggot House,
Dublin 22.

Ph: +353 1 6251542
Ph: +353 1 6251544

Sunday 15 January 2012

The Ciaran Maguire Group & PCI Underwriters

There are updates to this post in consequent postings, please read them all to get context for this posting. Basically Ciaran claims he has had nothing to do with this company for some time. We wrote to him some time ago about PCI and received no response, so created this post, and very quickly received a rebuttal from Ciaran claiming that he had immediately responded to our initial emails. 

From an email received from Ciaran Maguire back in April 2010:

"I think it is very important to note that I have signed a contract with a new bond company Provident Capital Indemnity (PCI) to underwrite the Palm View Resort and I am very proud to say that the Palm View Resort is the ONLY development in the world to have the Guaranteed Rental fully bonded with the financial market place in London hailing the brokering of the deal as a “pioneering product that will change the overseas property market for good”. I understand that the previous bond company we entered into a contract with has now gone into administration that is why I personally outlayed in excess of €100,000 on carrying out a full financial report on PCI via Dun and Bradstreet, a market leader in carrying out financial reports on Finance and Insurance houses and the report shows that PCI have assets in excess 250,000,000 USD and deem to be very secure as an underwriter for Palm View Resort."

It appears Ciaran should also look for his money back from Dun and Bradstreet (who typically charge about  $150 for a credit report - http://bit.ly/xEAqWy and if reports from the SEC are anything to go by they don't really put a lot of effort into compiling them). This new bond underwriter doesn't appear to have much in the way of real assets and isn't thought of too highly by the US Government's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - See Here (you'll need Adobe Reader to read the PDF document).

The case against the Defendant Jorge Castillo (PCI Auditor) was successful, he is to be sentenced on May 22nd, 2012. The case against the Defendant Minor Vargas Calvo (President and owner of PCI) has yet to be executed, it is due to start on February 12th, 2012. See the report from the Wall Street Journal here - DOJ: Purported Auditor of Provident Capital Pleads Guilty in Scheme

This court case was brought by the SEC back in January 2011. You'll get the gist of the accusations and the very specific wrongdoing the SEC felt was undertaken by PCI from the PDF document above. 

We've included some highlights below in case you don't fancy trawling through all 34 pages of the document, and who could blame you?

4. ...Contrary to their representations, however, Castillo never conducted an audit of PCI and instead issued clean audit reports at Vargas’s bidding, thereby supporting the illusion that PCI had materially larger assets and greater financial wherewithal to support its obligations under the life settlement bonds.  PCI’s “audited” financial statements reflect what, upon information and belief, appears to be a fictitious “Long Term Asset” that has comprised some 70% to 80% of PCI’s total reported assets from at least 2003 to the present.  PCI’s “audited” financial statements were provided to Dun & Bradstreet (“D&B”), which issued PCI a favorable rating of “5-A/S,” based exclusively on PCI’s reported net worth.  PCI then misleadingly represented in its marketing materials that D&B’s rating is a reflection of “successful customer satisfaction” and “the ability to maintain one of the insurance industry’s lowest loss ratios.”  PCI and Vargas also have represented that PCI was backed by a “bouquet” of reputable reinsurers that would backstop PCI’s obligations under its life settlement bonds when, in fact, PCI had no reinsurance coverage."

6. In February 2010, fearful that regulators would learn of his misconduct, Castillo urged Vargas to destroy his emails and other documents, telling Vargas in an email that their “best option is to prepare for the worst.”  Castillo then attempted to create backdated audit work papers that would evidence his purported audits of PCI’s financial statements, in one instance asking Vargas, “DO YOU HAVE ANY REAL ACCOUNTING?”  After working with Vargas to review some of PCI’s business records – years after his purported audits – Castillo described the exercise as the “first time we’ve had the opportunity to analyze everything . . . better late than never.”    

7. ... PCI continues to make false and misleading statements and issue bonds on new life settlement offerings in Europe and, upon information and belief, Vargas is contemplating changing PCI’s name to better enable the fraud to continue undetected. 

9. Relief Defendant Desarrollos Comerciales Ronim S.A. received some or all of the proceeds of defendants’ unlawful scheme under circumstances in which it is not just, equitable or conscionable for Desarrollos Comerciales Ronim, S.A. to be so enriched.

10. The Commission, in the interest of protecting the public from any further unscrupulous and illegal activity, brings this action against the Defendants, seeking temporary, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of all illicit profits and benefits Defendants have received plus accrued prejudgment interest and a civil monetary penalty.  The Commission also seeks an asset freeze, an accounting and other incidental relief, as well as the appointment of a receiver to take possession and control of Defendants’ assets for the protection of Defendants’ victims.

15. Minor Vargas Calvo (“Vargas”), 51, is a citizen and resident of Costa Rica.  He is the President of PCI and of Desarrollos Comerciales Ronim S.A.   Vargas has been active in PCI’s business since 2002.  By at least 2004, he became PCI’s President, and he has been its majority stockholder since no later than 2005.  Since 2005, PCI has been the subject of at least two state regulatory actions, including the following:  In 2006, the Texas Department of Insurance entered a cease-and-desist order against PCI for engaging in the unauthorized business of insurance in Texas in connection with its issuance of bonds on bonded life settlement contracts; in 2008, the Texas State Securities Board, entered a cease-and-desist order against PCI for, among other things, failure to register its bonds with the Securities Commissioner of the State of Texas and offering securities for sale in Texas without being registered as a securities dealer or agent and for engaging in fraud.  Vargas also is president of Grupo Icono, a Costa Rican company that markets a number of services and lines of business to soccer teams.

16. Jorge L. Castillo (“Castillo”) is an accountant who resides in New Jersey.  At all times relevant to this Complaint, Castillo held himself out to be a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Costa Rica and, through 2009, in New Jersey.  The State of New Jersey Board of Accountancy currently lists Castillo’s license as inactive.  Castillo publicly presented himself to be PCI’s independent, outside auditor commencing no later than PCI’s fiscal year ended September 30, 2003 (“Fiscal Year 2003”).  Since then, Castillo has sought and received cash loans from Vargas to help cover medical and other expenses of his family (including his in-laws) in the United States and Costa Rica and has received other compensation from Vargas outside of the auditing relationship.

34. Upon information and belief, PCI and Vargas currently are marketing and attempting to sell PCI’s bonds to issuers and others in the United States and abroad.  In December 2010, PCI announced that financial guarantee bonds are a current growth area for the Company.

35. The overall face value of the life insurance policies bonded by PCI – and sold through the above-identified issuers including A&O and ASA – exceeds $670 million.

36. PCI charged as a premium six to eleven percent of the total face value of each life insurance policy that it bonded.  These premium payments, including payments made by A&O, ASA and other life settlement issuers, typically were sent to a U.S. dollar-denominated bank account in Costa Rica in the name of Relief Defendant Desarrollos Comerciales Ronim S.A.

62. The first part of D&B’s rating is an estimate of the company’s financial strength and is based on the company’s self-reported net worth.  PCI was automatically assigned the “5A” rating because its materially false and misleading financial statements indicated that it had a net worth higher than $50 million.  D&B assigns the first part of its rating based on company provided data and does not independently verify the accuracy of the data provided, which, in the case of PCI, was purportedly audited by Castillo

63. The second part of D&B’s rating is a composite credit appraisal, but, because PCI is a service company and D&B does not perform credit appraisals of service companies, PCI was automatically assigned an “S,” which the report explains means “Service -- Not Applicable – No Condition Assigned.”  PCI’s overall “5A-S” rating did not reflect any qualitative assessment by D&B.

67. Additionally, from at least October 2004 to the present, PCI and Vargas not only touted PCI’s D&B rating, but also, they suggested to issuers and the public that the D&B rating was a reflection of substantive analysis and review by D&B.  PCI has stated on its website since October 2004, that:
"As a private fully recognized insurance company, PCI has chosen to use the rating services of [D&B] Internationally.  PCI’s strict underwriting guidelines [are] responsible for maintaining the highest rating attainable (5A) from D&B indicating successful customer satisfaction and the ability
to maintain one of the insurance industry lowest loss ratios." Contrary to PCI’s claim, the D&B rating was unrelated to “customer satisfaction” and did not reflect low loss ratios or any appraisal of PCI’s credit-worthiness.  It was based solely on PCI’s materially false and misleading financials.
70. ... PCI did not and does not have reinsurance coverage or any other contractual relationship with the reinsurers listed in its sample bond.  

75. ...  a North Carolina-based sales agent informed a customer that PCI had D&B’s “highest rating” and was reinsured “by some of the biggest companies around,” including AIG and Swiss Re.  As a result, the customer invested $254,000 in the A&O offering.

78. ... PCI and Vargas violated a cease-and-desist order issued by the Texas Department of Insurance in 2006 that prohibited PCI from engaging in unauthorized insurance business in Texas.  PCI and Vargas similarly ignored a Texas State Securities Board’s cease-and-desist order against PCI in 2008.  

81. "Recently, PCI has been forced to use incoming premiums on a new life settlement offering to make partial payments on claims lodged against PCI bonds on investments in which the policyholder outlived his or her life expectancy."

In other words, the SEC is accusing PCI of running a Ponzi Scheme. Sound familiar?  

If you look closely at the picture accompanying this piece, you'll have pre-empted the news that the Ciaran Maguire Group has now started marketing a development in St. Lucia - http://on.fb.me/yZrhQa - which will come as a bit of a shock to those who have invested in, and to date not received, a property in Cape Verde. 

More on this anon. 

Tuesday 27 September 2011

MRI Ireland Creditors Meeting, October 7th, 2011

MacAnthony Realty International Ireland Creditors Meeting – October 7th 2011

2nd Floor, Kandoy House, 2 Fairview Strand, Dublin 3 on 7th October 2011 at 11am

Registered address: 28 Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3

Last accounts filed: 31/12/2008

CRO number: 386664

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Sao Nicolau - Cape Verde Development

Sao Nicolau - Cape Verde Development

Have you invested in a hotel development with Cork based (although currently all out of the country) Cape Verde Development on Sao Nicolau island in the Cape Verde Islands (also known as San Nicolau)? The development is known as Monte Gordo

This project (pictured as it stood in 2006 - but it's not much different now) was allegedly purchased from a bankrupt developer - Sanilisa Empreendimentos S.A. It was to have a hotel added to the middle of the development to create the Hotel Monte Gordo Resort which would then be run by Extreme Hotels. The hotel was to be built between the rows of apartments, where a hole now stands (there is a foundation for something there at this stage, but that's as far as it ever got). In any case, the hotel never materialised and investors here are not one bit pleased as they feel this development was sold fraudulently.

If you were involved get in contact (info@overseascafe.com), as we would like to hear from you. We have received some information about this development which may be of use to investors involved in the project.

Note: There have been further developments relating to this project on which you will find some information here on the Monte Gordo Investors Group and here on Tom Sheehy of Cape Verde Development and court action that is in train. 

Deposit Recovery from Mediterrania Saidia

Deposit Recovery from Mediterrania Saidia

If you've invested in Fadesa Maroc's (now Excelia) Mediterrania Saidia development along the Mediterranean Morocco coastline then this may be of interest, particularly if you're looking to get your money back.

Diarmaid Condon, on his own website, has posted an article looking for investors in this development who are looking to recover their money.

It appears the development is very badly delayed and the quality of what is being built is a long way short of what was promised by the developer when it was being marketed.

You'll find the article here - http://bit.ly/okSCuU.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Private Syndicated Office Property Investment

This is a Commercial Promotion

Private Syndicated Office Property Investment

Medical Centre, Chemnitz, Germany (Purchase Closed May 2011, last remaining investment units being offered)

• Opportunity to acquire a significant equity stake in a large (54,500 sq ft) modern medical center well located in the thriving city of Chemnitz ( population 243,000). The rent roll is exceptionally well spread across 34 medical /commercial units and 7 apartments, with a diverse range of medical specialists and related tenants.

• Sourced off market via an insolvency where the asset is under the control of a receiver appointed by DKB Bank with whom we have a strong relationship from previous deals financed by them. We worked with the receiver and DKB over 6 months to secure the deal on attractive terms whereby the initial yield of 7.64% inclusive of acquisition costs is based on existing 84% occupancy rate .The investment is self –funding from Day 1 after all costs, with full capital repayment on attractive bank finance fixed for 4 years , non – recourse to investors .

• The yield can be significantly enhanced within the first year by letting any of the 5 commercial units and 3 apartments that are vacant. There are already tenants interested in some of the vacant units, and it is realistic that occupancy level could be brought up to 90% -95% within the first year thereby increasing rental yields to 8.2%- 8.7% quite quickly although we have assumed a much slower pick up . • The investment is €3.95M funded €2.7M by German non-recourse bank finance and €1.25M by Investor equity.

The objective is to raise the equity from private investors in amounts of €50,000 to €300,000 each. Pre-tax returns of 90% over 5 years, 127% over 7 years (over 18% pa) are forecast based on conservative assumptions as detailed further in the offer document, particularly no capital appreciation assumed. There is no cap on returns and there is real potential to bring occupancy to a high level quickly and to increase rent roll further which could increase returns yet further.

The purchase of the property has completed on MAY 19th 2011. Remaining investment units are now being offered.

The minimum investment is €50,000.

If you are looking for some up to date information on the German market take a look here.

For a full prospectus please send me an email on info@overseascafe.com.

Monday 23 May 2011

Where to Invest - Germany

With all the doom and gloom around the place you'd be forgiven for thinking that there's nowhere left in the world in which it's worth investing. In fact, you'd be very far from the truth. Just because Irish investors don't have the deep pockets (and reckless banks) they once had, doesn't mean that there are not countries out there worth a look. We're going to look at one of them today. Germany. Here are a few highlights.

The German economy is performing exceptionally well with very exciting economic news in recent months. There are strong indications that the country is moving more and more centre stage as the main driver and, increasingly, perhaps the saviour of the Euro economy.

Germany is the world’s second largest exporter and its third largest economy, driven by a population of over 82m people. Recent economic news points to excellent economic fundamentals - which is more than can be said for a lot of European economies.

GDP growth of c 3.5% in 2010 was exceptionally positive , and the official forecast for 2011 was recently increased form 2.3% to 2.6% on the back of excellent data elsewhere.

German exports experienced their fastest growth rate in two decades during 2010 , with German trade surplus of €60.2 billion from Jan-May 2010. Compare this to the other 'powerhouses' of the European economy -France (-€20billion) and UK (-€40billion).

Business confidence measured by the German IFO index has climbed continuously over the past year from 95.9 in Jan 2010 to 110.3 in Jan 2011, another all time high in the 20 year period since re-unification. “The German economy has started the year with great vigour” (H-W Sinn , President IFO Institute Munich , 01/2011).

The German unemployment rate has fallen to 7.5% from 8.2% in 2009. This rate is forecast to drop further in 2011 to 7% with 300,000 new jobs anticipated. The number of Germans at work in 2012 is expected to reach an all-time high of 41 million . In the former East German states, including Saxony, unemployment is at the lowest rate since 1991. Germany is one of the few countries where unemployment in now lower than before the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

The German budget deficit is in control unlike other leading economies. The deficit is now forecast at 3.7% for 2010 reducing to 2.4% in 2011, well within the 3% EU target. The key German Markit purchasing managers survey shows that both services and manufacturing are performing strongly with the index at 61.0 , the 2nd highest reading on record “yet another signal that Germany’s economy is pulling away from most of its Eurozone competitors” (Irish Times 24/01/11).

“There are encouraging signs that domestic demand is beginning to emerge as a source of additional growth in the German economy.” ( Equinet Bank , Frankfurt 10/01/2011)

So where can you get a bit of Germany? We'll be posting here with some info in the near future.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Ciaran Maguire Group takes over Praia de Cabral Resort

We've had further communication from Ciaran Maguire relating to the Palm View Resort development on Boa Vista in Cape Verde. It has once again become a topic of some interest, principally because of the adverts being run by the group on TV3 at the moment - see here.

First Email:

"I am writing to you regarding your blogs on the overseas café I see from your posts that you have not made any comments recently. Since your last posts there have been huge changes with the development and a lot has been turned around. I am not asking you to take anything down but someone in your field should be conveying a balanced view on the status of Palm View in Cape Verde. The fact remains and you can check this by independent lawyers and lawyers representing the clients that we are on schedule for completion in December 2011. In November this year we open our new reservations centre in Dublin creating 27 new positions, this is surely news that is worth publishing instead of the doom and gloom we are constantly bombarded with on the news.

With the progress been made with Palm View it has allowed us to work with all Palm View clients including cancelled clients to ensure that their investment comes to fruition. I have dozens of pictures from site, land title documents, planning permission documentation etc but you still harbor the outdated negative story. I will forward on Pictures from site so you can see the progress, or feel free to check the company blog pages for updates.

We have turned things around and would request at least a balanced reflection on Palm View. I trust you understand my point of view. I simply ask that the information being hosted is updated to reflect the current state of affairs.

I have attached relevant documentation as to ensure a fair reflection.

As has been mentioned to you before in various emails from Ciarán himself, we welcome any calls to our office for further information.


Colm Quinn

Sales Manager."

Note: Two attachments were received, which appear to be a title document and planning permission for the Praia de Cabral Resort. We're not experts on legal documentation in Cape Verde, but they look genuine. If anybody wishes to see them just email us at info@overseascafe.com and we'll send on a copy.


Ciaran / Colm,

Many thanks for the information you sent last week. We are looking for you to clarify a few points detailed below.

Firstly the title deed appears to be for Praia de Cabral Resort, whoever owns that, but there's nothing anywhere to state that it's owned by Ciaran or CMG.

Secondly, everything is dated 2006, which was before CMG even existed, so it is presumably the planning consent for Praia de Cabral Resort as well, with the same query as above.

It's all in Portuguese obviously so we have no idea what it says specifically, a translation would be great ideally.

The main question is obviously what is the relationship between the Praia de Cabral Resort, Ciaran Maguire Group and Palm View Resort?

We look forward to hearing from you.

The OC Team.

CMG Reply:

I can confirm that Ciaran Maguire Group has acquired the shares of Praia de Cabral Resorts. An agreement was signed, final quarter of last year. The company PCR has full title and full planning but had stopped works 18 months ago due to the lack of sales and economic climate.

The Ciaran Maguire Group were constantly enduring frustrations in its previous locations, we had been given assurances from SDTIBM of certain infrastructure works being implemented on site as to allow us to make real progress with construction on site. The infrastructure works were delayed on 3 separate occasions and although Palm View Resort had outline planning permission for the site in Chaves, it required full detailed planning to release our credit facility, this was another instance were we experienced delays from SDTIBM despite being given the relevant assurances at contract stage.

Cape Verde is a beautiful country and ultimately the investors in Palm View will reap their rewards but as someone who has the responsibility to ensure their investment matures, it is very difficult to do business in Cape Verde as the islands are still at an infancy stage. Having evaluated the situation and after several high level meetings with the primary objective to ensure Palm View clients got their apartments this year, I took the decision to, for the time being to park the project in Chaves and move ahead with the share acquisition of PCR. I have since held events in Dublin, London and Manchester and met with all of my Palm View investors to inform them of the decision.

I can say that the Palm View clients were very excited that their apartments will be ready this coming December and have successfully migrated the clients onto the new scheme. I informed the clients and supported it with relevant documentation to outline that although the previous scheme was Creola Sands, the new scheme has been completely redesigned to replicate the previous Palm View and we are currently in the process of adding to the existing structure that exists. It is also important to highlight that there is a new B.O.Q in place and the specifications for the new Palm View are exactly the same.

I have also structured a new finance package for Palm View that offers 100% finance with No money down. It's the first of its type available in the current market. I am also very proud to say that we will opening a new reservations centre for Palm View in City West in November and will be creating 27 new positions.

At this stage, I am in a position of "your damned if you do and your damned if you don't" I just want to get on now and build Palm View, I now see that Diarmaid (Condon) is ensuring that old news does not go away by providing anyone who is interested with the links of the blogs that harbor outdated information. There are 4 or 5 new blogs that say very positive things about Palm View but needless to say there not mentioned.

I am not going to get involved in any mudslinging as my only objective now is to just get on and complete Palm View by December, but journalists and editors have to take a level of responsibility for the country being in this situation but the real concern is that with the negative attitude of our journalists and how they are reporting I believe it will ensure that this Country takes a lot longer to get out of this situation than it actually should.

As an entrepreneur based in Dublin, I can tell you my biggest obstacle is the Irish press. I have the finance, I have full title, full planning, I have the clients and yet my biggest obstacle is being allowed to just get on with things with certain people wanting to ensure that its not ok to come through a difficult period and be successful, I think that there is something really wrong with that picture and our entrepreneurs in this Country will probably never go on to realize their full potential due to the nature of the reporting carried out in this country, It is sad, but there you go.

I have attached a standard purchase contract for your perusal. We unfortunately don't have translations but all clients lawyers who have carried out their due diligence will verify that everything is in place.

Ciarán Maguire
Chairman & President
CastleBaggot House,
Dublin 22.
Ph: +353 1 6251544
web: www.ciaranmaguiregroup.com

End of Communication.

Note: The purchase contract for Praia de Cabral Resorts mentioned above was received. Again, if you wish to see a copy just email us at info@overseascafe.com and we'll send on a copy, or you can contact CMG directly.

We're taking Ciaran at his word that his company owns the site in question and is building on it. Photos received would seem to indicate that there is work in progress, but we've not seen proof that CMG does, in fact, own the development apart from the fact that the contract states that it is for Palm View Resort but is being sold on a contract for Praia de Cabral Resorts which is presumably due to the aforementioned purchase of the shares in the resort.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Maguire Claims to be Moving Forward

Mr. Maguire is back in the news again following claims in a Cape Verdean newspaper, Expresso das ilhas, that his Palm View Resort is now to be constructed on the site of another unfinished development. Courtesy of the BoaVista Forum the following rough translation of the newspaper article was offered:

"The Irish group Ciaran Maguire launched on the morning of Thursday, 24, in Boa Vista, the first stone for the construction of an apartment complex with 238 luxury apartments, casino, thalassotherapy center and restaurants.

The initial investment Palm View Resort is 25 million and, according to prosecutors, all the apartments are already sold to Europeans, especially English and Irish. "The hotel, the restaurants will be complete later this year, and the other blocks will be complete next year," he told Radio in Cape Verde Ciaran Maguire, chairman of the Group.

Palm View Resort is a luxurious beachfront resort, which initially will have three hundred employees. The project includes a seven-star boutique hotel, nine swimming pools, four restaurants, beach bars, bar, nightclub, tennis courts, soccer fields, outdoor theater, fully equipped gym and a health spa luxury and beauty. The design of the Palm View Resort Ciaran Maguire Group will be born in Praia Cabral, the former complex Sabi sands, FM Group, which went bust just over two years.

In Cabral Beach Ciaran Maguire group wants to invest in the area surrounding Palm View Resort, rehabilitating the area and build a function room, a high school level and creating pedestrian promenade, with shops selling local handicrafts.

It is recalled that in 2008, Ciaran Maguire organized a tour of the island of Boa Vista, and has taken him about 160 people, some of which would become investors in the transaction. But due to delays and uncertainty in implementing the project, some eventually require replacement funding.

The idea had been thought initially to Praia and then was transferred to Boa Vista."

The original article in Portuguese is here - http://www.expressodasilhas.sapo.cv/pt/noticias/detail/id/23822

The BoaVista Facebook page is, however, quite adamant that much of the information in this article is false and misleading. It says:

"The name "Palm View Resort" has again reared its head in relation to Boa Vista. This "Newspaper" article is riddled with the same old promises and has glaring inaccuracies. I have written to the newspaper and asked them to review this story in light of the damage that it will do to their credibility."

Saturday 26 February 2011

Ciaran Maguire Responds

It's a miracle, Ciaran Maguire eventually, after almost a year of email silence, has sent us an email. Naturally it's one of complaint, but at least it's a communication of some sort. You might want to have a coffee to get you through this lot.

Start of communication:

I wouldn’t normally waste my time on negative sources however I thought I would maybe give you some advice. I understand from someone in my sales office that you and the other minority of narrow minded negative people have again made comments regarding me presenting a video. I have to say that the out takes were simply an extra to the video and simply shows that you shouldn’t always take things too seriously and if it puts a smile on someone’s face in difficult times than that’s a bonus. The videos have received a very positive review from people who matter to me, Palm View clients etc. It has also helped drive people to the actual corporate video and subsequently create more sales.

The fact is, we have full finance and are on schedule to have the first 129 apartments and Hotel ready by end of October this year. I have structured an unrivalled finance package for Palm View clients that ensures they don’t have to put any more money down, We have arranges a 70% mortgage and I am giving them a 30% developer loan, this information along with proof of funds for construction, full land title and planning permission is available to anyone who wants to come out of hiding behind their computers. I have put my hand up and said that mistakes were made along the way but no ones perfect, I have rectified them and ensured my clients investment comes to fruition. Look at my competitors in Cape Verde……….there all gone, Palm View is the only development that construction is on going, everyone else has stopped works, CMG are primed to stand alone in the Cape Verde market, an Irish company creating jobs in Ireland and abroad and you continue with the cheap shots. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I have met with over a hundred and twenty Palm View clients over the last few weeks, they understand the frustrations but are now very happy with the recent progress and we have now closed over €16,000,000 value of sales since the turn of the year.

I have delivered for my clients and despite all the negative issues you people have tried to create, you have failed. Watch this space, your going to start running out of negative things to comment on as we are quite simply building Palm View. Ciaran Maguire Group is one of a very few success stories and your negative attitude clearly epitomize why our great little country is in this situation. This country has a lot of talented and skilled potential entrepreneurs however people like yourself and your negative minded colleagues continue to target any one who dares to be successful instead of giving them a platform.

My advice is simple, you should try being more positive, you have tried and failed to create a negative situation for me, I have no doubt you will try a few more cheap shots “OMG instead of CMG” when really if you had of taken up my request of a sit down meeting, you could have all this information on file and could of indeed been an advocate for the resort. Sadly there are people out there who are negative by nature and will be years behind the positive minded people in terms of getting through difficult times and you just happen to be one of those people.

Please don’t reply, I don’t want any negative crap coming to my email, but do yourself a favor and lighten up and remember the glass is not always half empty!!

They say success has many enemies and I think your and your narrow minded negative thinking friends are testament to this.

Needless to say, don’t expect an invite to the opening of Palm View in October.

Good luck and God Bless.


Ciarán Maguire

Chairman & President

CastleBaggot House,
Dublin 22.

Ph: +353 1 6251542
Ph: +353 1 6251544
web: www.ciaranmaguiregroup.com

So we replied:

Dear Ciaran,

if you are, indeed, going to have Palm View Resort completed by October of this year I would imagine that you have all the infrastructure work at the site completed and that all foundations are now in place. A few pictures of this development would go a long way toward dispelling the naysayers who disparage your development.

Those who doubt you do so simply because you've shown no proof of a track record in the industry, no evidence of financing, your company which took deposits from clients is currently bankrupt and the liquidator has said publicly that you've removed all the clients funds for your own use. You seem more interested in posting weird videos on the web than you do in actually building the development for which you have taken people's life savings.

Positivity is one thing, deranged lunacy is another entirely. In case you've forgotten, you promised to have the development completed by October 2010 as well and to date you've managed to put a few loads of trunking onto a site in God knows where. While you're at it, could you send on pictures of the social housing project you completed in CV last year.

We've bent over backwards to facilitate you in proving that you have any hope of completing this development, or even getting it started, and you've failed miserably at every single turn.

Best regards,


To add to the miracle, Ciaran again replied:

You have just proved my point. You pick up on one point, the video and embellish it and turn it into a negative. By your latest email it is clear you have not done your homework. If your going to mudsling than at least do your homework. We are well and truly under way with the full shell and core "built" on block A and F. The Palm View clients who have invested their hard earned cash with me have been kept updated and are very happy. I have met with the majority of them in the UK over the last couple of weeks. The pictures of the meetings and the site works are there for all to see.

You keep mentioning track record. The people with track records are gone bust in Cape Verde and indeed this is the case around the globe leaving a vacuum for new companies with new strategies and innovative mind sets which I believe my company fits that mould.

You speak of delays, after all the issues we have had we are only 12 months behind schedule, in development terns in the current market place that is still an achievement.

You should really go and do your Due Diligence, We are well advanced in construction and KPMG have been furnished information that contradicts what they had suggested. They never said it as fact it was a suggestion which has now been disregarded since they reviewed the full case.

"Bent over backwards" that's a laugh, you were negative about me and my project from the moment we launched again mentioning we never heard of this guy before and discrediting my family business.

You may speak with any Palm View client to see how they feel which is more important to me than anyone else. Opinions are the cheapest commodity on earth and you make your living giving yours but if you are going to make opinions, please do your homework.

I trust all is well with you and your colleagues in negative town.

Good Luck and God bless


Ciarán Maguire

So we felt we should, again, state our case (hang in there, a little more coffee and you'll make it):

Dear Ciaran,

We've scoured your websites for evidence that you own or have built anything in Cape Verde and can find none. There are some interesting pictures of you walking around the abandoned Creola Sands development, but nothing else.

We have never (nor has anyone else as far as I'm aware) seen any proof that you have funding of any description to complete a development you estimate to be worth anything from €100 million to €2.2 billion depending on which of your Press Releases is to be believed.

To our knowledge KPMG has never issued a statement exonerating you from your obligations to your clients on the basis that you had their best interests at heart when you removed funds from Flash Developments. If you have one we'd love to see it.

We've never been negative about your development, we've been realistic - there is a distinct difference. There are certain criteria that need to be met to build a successful resort development including land ownership, planning, funding and a team that has experience in creating and marketing such a development. To date you've not been able to prove that you meet any of these criteria, hence our understandable scepticism.

Building a resort development takes a lot more than simply telling everybody to be positive and posting a few quirky videos on your website.

Some proof is all we've ever asked from you right from the off and we've never received it. It is the least your investors deserve.

For the sake of these investors we very much hope this development will become a reality but your actions to date suggest that it will not.

Best regards,


End of email tennis session.

This last one seems to have hit a nerve somewhere along the way as the email silence was renewed almost as quickly as it had been broken. It appears young Ciarán thought everybody would fall for the switch of the now abandoned Creola Sands development in the pictures (readily available on his blog here) in which he stuck his flags for a few weeks, and take it as verification of his assertion that he has actually started work on the Palm View Resort. From reports received from those on the ground on Boa Vista it appears that there is currently no activity on the suggested Palm View site (which CMG has yet to prove it actually owns).