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Newsletter October 2016

Legal Updates

Paris treaty to enter into force on November 4th

Following the ratification by China e by the United States of America, the ratification by the European Union allows the entry into force of the Paris Treaty in November. Having achieved the ratification of countries that represent, at least, around 55% of global greenhouse air emissions, the UN held on its head office, on the past October 5th, the formalisation of the legal procedures of this decision.

Adopted just by the end of the past year, the Paris Treaty aims to decrease greenhouse air emissions, which is one of the main responsible factors for climate change and may trigger extreme weather events, such as intense hot waves or heavy rains

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Investment associated to the golden visa programme increases once again

On the first semester of 2016, an increase of 83% was registered on the approval of Golden Visas, in comparison with the homonymous period last year, as per data provided in June by the Association of Professionals and Property Brokerage Firms of Portugal.

Last September, in accordance with data from Services of Foreigners and Frontiers, the investment made in Golden Visas has increased around 15% compared to the month of August, hence having captured a total investment around 58,4 million euros.

Of these 58,4 million euros, around 48,9 million euros had origin in residence permits for investment purposes which imply acquiring a real estate property of equal or higher amount of 500 thousand euros, while 9,6 million euros were invested by transfer of capital (financial investment). The first Golden Visa conceded for urban rehabilitation was approved in July.

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Business Updates

Blockchain may allow for cheaper investment funds

Blockchain, a technology innovation that is the basis for crypto-coins bitcoin, may come to replace the systems used by the financial Portuguese system to communicate and register fund operations, making it possible to apply inferior transaction costs.

The Portuguese Association for Investment Funds (APFIPP) is developing a platform for buying and selling national investment funds based on the blockchain technology with the purpose of subscribing and redeeming participation units without the need for validation or reconciliation of third parties.

It will also allow for savings in audit and supervising, since the auditors and supervisors associated with that technology will be able to verify and access previously registered activities without the need to further investigate in any data base

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Dynamic real estate market in Portugal

According to the information given by the Real Estate Confidential in SIR – Residential Information System – approximately 6 thousand and 746 houses were sold between the second trimester of 2015 and the first trimester of 2016.

Approximately 20% of the houses on sale in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon were sold in less than 3 months, approximately 35% were sold in 3 to 6 months and 24% in 6 to 12 months. SIR also shows that in total, 40% of sales were in Lisbon, followed by Sintra, Cascais and Oeiras with 8 and 9%.

While it may be true that there is a growing demand for housing in Portugal, it is also true that the market recovery is a reality.

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