How International Banking Works

For a company to become adept in International banking it has to be well versed with international transactions even before exploring the available finance options. The rate at which a bank can also interact on an international platform is also necessary. There are several finance trade products for companies trading on the international frontier.

One of these is the letter of credit which helps the seller to ascertain that payments have been made. Once this letter has been received from the bank, the exporter gets a confirmation that payment will be made by the importer. This is the means through which the bank guarantees that payment will be made. If for unforeseen reasons an importer fails to meet the terms and agreement on the payment, the bank then steps in and makes the payment. This is the in which the exporter makes performs risk-free transactions through following these stipulated terms and conditions.

Any international bank should be well aware of all the specifics of international financing. There are some companies that prefer using banks that issue letters of credit online. This is one way of speeding up transactions since the exporter is able to get the letter of credit promptly and therefore goods can now be released to the importer since the bank has guaranteed the payment and therefore does not cause the unnecessary delays in the export and import process.

International financing is so crucial since one wants to ensure that they get the favorable terms available. The bank in which one makes transactions should allow one to available finance options available for exporting goods. International banks are in most cases preferred because of number of reasons such as tax avoidance in what many know as offshore banking, which is not necessarily illegal but one should always be aware of the hazards that come with international banking.

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International Finance for Trade and Commerce

International trade involves international financial transactions because different countries have different units of money. When your nation wish to buy goods from other nations, they usually must pay for the goods in the currency of the exporting country. In other words, Japan will probably demand yen, France will demand francs, West Germany will want deutsche marks, Great Britain will insist on pounds, and Mexico will demand pesos in payment for the goods they sell. Foreign currencies are called foreign exchange, and they are bought and sold in foreign exchange markets, which are markets that deal in the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Some banks specialize in financing international trade, and they are the major participants in foreign exchange markets. If an American importer wishes to buy automobiles from a Japanese manufacturer, the importer will go to a bank that specializes in financing international trade, and will exchange dollars for yen.

Exchange Rates: The foreign exchange rate is the price of one currency in terms of another. For example, the British pound might be worth 76 times more in Indian money. Historically, there have been two major types of foreign exchange rates: fixed exchange rates and flexible exchange rates.

Under the fixed-exchange-rate system, the price of one currency was fixed in terms of other currencies so that the rate did not change. The advantage of such a system is that importers and exporters know exactly how much foreign currency they can purchase with a given quantity of their own nation’s currency today, next week, or six months from now. Foreign exchange markets operated under a fixed-exchange-rate system from 1944 until the year early 1970. Prior to 1971, the value of the United States dollar was tied to gold at the rate of $1 equals 1/35 of an ounce of gold. In other words, one ounce of gold was equal to $35 in American money. Since the value of other currencies was also fixed in relation to gold, the dollar price of each foreign currency remained constant.

The disadvantage of the fixed-rate system was that it did not make allowances for changing economic conditions in various countries. For example, if the developed country like United States of America was experiencing high inflation at a time when Japan or China was experiencing little or no inflation, American-made goods would become increasingly expensive in relation to goods made in Japan or in China. As a result, Japan or China would purchase fewer American-made goods while Americans would tend to buy more goods made in Japan or in China. This in turn would lead to a serious imbalance in imports and exports between the two countries.

With a flexible-exchange-rate system, the type of system under which world trade operates today, the forces of supply and demand determine the value of a country’s currency in terms of the value of other currencies. Therefore, under this system, the price of a country’s currency can fluctuate up and down daily in response to market conditions.

The supply and demand for foreign exchange usually are largely determined by the supply and demand for goods and services. For example, if United States of America importers wish to import increased quantities of goods from a country, suppose from Japan, there will be a strong demand for the Japanese yen. This could force the price of the yen up substantially unless Japan was at the same time providing a large supply of yen in order to increase their imports from the United States of America. The demand for goods and services is not the only factor that determines the demand for a nation’s currency. Political or economic instability in other countries may cause people in those countries to exchange their currency for a more stable currency, such as the dollar of United States of America. In addition, high interest rates in a particular country may cause foreign investors to convert their currencies into the currency of that nation. This happened in the United States of America during the early 1980s. Interest rates became so high in this country that many foreign investors were prompted to exchange their currency for American dollars for investment purposes. This increased demand for dollars caused the value of the dollar to increase in terms of other currencies. The “strong” dollar made American-made products more expensive in world markets. As a result, Americans bought more foreign-made products, and foreigners bought fewer American-made products.

Balance of Trade: The amount of goods and services that a nation sells to other nations, and the amount it buys from other nations, are not always equal. The difference between the dollar value of exports and the dollar value of imports is called the balance of trade. If the United States exports more goods to foreign nations than it imports from foreign nations, it has a trade surplus. However, if the United States of America imports more than it exports, it has a trade deficit.

In 1971, the United States recorded its first trade deficit of the century. In all the years since then, except in 1975 when there was a modest surplus, the United States has imported more than it has exported, and the trade deficits of recent years have been so large that they have caused major concern among some economists.

However, not all economists agree on how serious a problem the trade deficits are, or even on their causes. Some believe that, in the long run, market adjustments will correct the problem. Others are not so sure. Some economists believe that the high trade deficits are linked to the large deficits in the federal government’s budget in the past two decades. They argue that heavy government borrowing to finance high budget deficits helps to keep interest rates high and encourages foreign investors to exchange their foreign currencies for dollars. However, so many things influence the trade deficits that it is not always clear which factors are playing the biggest role in the deficit at any specific time. The one thing that is clear is that the United States must increase its competitiveness in world markets. Like it or not, the world is moving rapidly toward a global economy. The volume of international trade is bound to grow rapidly in the decades ahead. Competition is still the name of the game, but the number of players has increased.

Balance of Payments: Economic relations between nations involve much more than just imports and exports. There are many different kinds of transactions that involve the exchange of money between nations. For example, American businesses invest funds in foreign nations, and American banks make foreign loans. In addition, the United States government spends money for foreign aid and to support military personnel stationed abroad. Americans spend money for goods and services when they travel abroad, and American citizens often send money to relatives living in other nations. On the other hand, money flows into the United States from other countries when foreign citizens travel in the United States, when foreign businesses make investments in the United States, when Americans receive dividends on foreign investments, and so forth.

Each nation keeps an accounting record of all its monetary transactions with other countries. This accounting record is called the balance of payments. A nation’s balance of payments account includes all payments that it makes to other nations, and all payments it receives from other nations during a year. A country’s balance of payments includes imports and exports, flows of investment funds into and out of the country, loans between nations, and all other transactions that involve payments between countries. The balance of payments is a broader measure of the financial transactions between countries than the balance of trade.

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International Finance and Global Relations

Countries are currently more proactively working together causing an increase in globalization. Globalization started after World War II but has accelerated considerably since the mid-1980 mostly because of technology being sought out overseas and more governments are refusing to protect their economy from foreign competition. Since international trade and globalization have been rising there is the need for more International laws. International law allow nations to work together cooperatively to make this globalizations possible through things like treaties and agreements for international trading. The exchange of goods across international borders needs to be regulated by laws so that countries can get along and problems and disagreements can be minimized. These laws are hard to establish because of the lack of a central world governing system but must be made and recognized in order for the interactions involving trade between all countries involved to be possible. Even with lack of a central global world leadership program, countries abide by these laws because they know that in order for mutual benefit they must get along. Things like natural law and the knowledge that another country will retaliate if one country does not hold up their end of the deal deters countries from breaking these agreements. International laws make trading easier for countries by forcing the parties to agree upon the rules and interactions that are in the best interests for everyone involved.

Along with international law comes the decision of countries to form international tariffs. Tariffs are a type of international law formed for reasons such as protecting internal and developing economies, protecting domestic employment, protecting consumers, national security and retaliation. Tariffs protect the internal economy and developing economies by increasing the cost of goods imported therefore restricting the amount of international trading that occurs. This in turn allows small companies and production of resources to be domestic and to become established. This also increases employment in the domestic country where the tariffs are being enforced. Tariffs also protects consumers when the governments of some nations place high tariffs on imports that they know are going to contain harmful products which will usually deter the trading of these goods. This also pertains to national security. Retaliation occurs when a country is trying to either protect their own economy or if a military action or war occurs then the other country may not agree with the decisions and a tariff will be placed on goods as punishment. Tariffs are basically taxes that add to the cost of imported goods by one of two ways; either by adding a fixed fee to a single unit of good or adding a percentage to the value of a good. Although most laws are needed for smooth interaction between nations, tariffs cause problems because they get in the way off a natural flowing free trade system. The reduction of tariffs between international nations would further increase international trade and benefit globalizations in general allowing the best allocation of world resources.

Regional trade blocks can contribute to transition countries’ economic stabilization but they also carry risks of diverting trade from potentially more beneficial trade partnerships with other countries. Ten transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic’s have applied for membership in the European Union, and nearly all transition countries have applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Joining the WTO would provide countries with protection particularly quotas which still hinder their exporting many goods to developed countries. Among these goods are agricultural products, iron and steel, textiles, footwear, and many others which may have comparative advantages. Joining the WTO would not only present rights on transition economies, it would also require them to meet certain obligations, such as maintaining low and abolishing non-tariff barriers. A major challenge for transition economies is finding their place in the worldwide division of labor. In many cases that means diversifying the structure of exports, particularly to developed countries.

The increase in international trade and the better allocation of world resources would be beneficial to countries involved because it would increase choices for consumers and also reduce prices. This would also allow countries to use their own resources to make the goods that are most desirable and most efficient to produce from an economic standpoint and import goods that were less efficiently produced with the resources available. Correct allocation of resources is important for countries so they can maximize profits, lower cost and use their resources to produce the goods most desirable to consumers the time.

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The International Finance Centre at Hong Kong

The International Finance Centre was completed and became operational in the year 2003. However, it is still the epicenter of all talks related to international business and investment. It has become one of the landmarks of the Hong King Islands that are known worldwide.

It is situated in the midst of a jungle of skyscrapers that have dominated every corner of the island. It seems to command a sense of respect from all those tall buildings. It is one of the most gruesome battle sites in the recent history of international corporations. At the time of writing this, the International Finance Centre is the 8th tallest office building in the entire world. It is often compared to the former World Trade Center in New York. It is a symbol of strength and potential of the new and emerging Asian markets.

The tallest building in Hong Kong, it also has an international symbol of prestige for companies that have their offices in it. It stands out from the crowd and is one of the most recognized modern structures in entire Asia, outside the continent. To the modern world, the International Finance Centre is what the Great Wall used to be to China, a few centuries ago.

The IFC is divided into two main buildings. They are called Tower One and Tower Two. Tower One is known for its signature shopping mall, while the other for its 88 storey’s.

Tower One was completed and started prior to the second one going operational. It has around 40 floors and is no less magnificent than its taller counterpart. It is divided into 4 zones, and is built up on a total area of approximately 800,000 square feet. More than 5,000 people can occupy the building at an instance.

The International Finance Centre was developed under a joint venture of Sun Hung Kai Properties and MTR Corporation. The IFC was created with the aim of exhibiting the financial prowess of Asia to the rest of the world. It is strategically placed; very close to the airport, to make it better accessible for international business tycoons.

Tower Two of the IFC is as appealing as it is magnificent. It is the tallest feature of the complex and was designed by the world renowned architect Cesar Pelli. It was completed only in 2003; years after Tower One became operational. It has 88 floors, as the number 88 is considered to be very lucky in Chinese mythology.

However, it is interesting to note that Tower Two does not have exactly 88 floors. This is due to some other superstitions in the local culture. A number of floors have been omitted while numbering. This is because many numbers, such as 14 and 24 are considered taboo, because they sound very much like some expressions related to death.

The Tower Two of the International Finance Centre is known for its excellent and modern telecommunications facilities. A number of floors have been reserved for the use of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The floors of the building are designed in such an amazing manner that the columns are not visible at all. This tower is designed to accommodate three times more people than its counterpart. Together, both the towers can accommodate 20,000 people at one go.

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Hong Kong International Finance Centre Building

Within the myriad of skyscrapers and soaring buildings distributed on the islands, the International Finance Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong. The International Finance Centre, which is branded as “IFC”, is an integrated commercial development on the famous waterfront area of Hong Kong’s Central District.

To be the tallest building in Hong Kong is of course, an international prestige, and the sheer size and height makes it a very prominent landmark on the Island. The International Finance Centre boasts of grandeur and splendor as it stands out from all the other tall buildings in the city.

IFC basically consists of two skyscrapers. Tower One consists of the IFC mall and the forty-storey Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. The 88 storey Tower Two International Finance Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong, usurping the place that was once occupied by the infamous Central Plaza.

The complex was developed by a consortium lead by Sun Hung Kai Properties & MTR Corporation. In addition, the Airport Express Station Central is directly beneath it, providing more convenient transportation especially for traveling businessmen.

The One International Finance Centre was completed in 1998 and opened in 1999. Its height is 210 meters, has a 38-storey building with a four-floor trading, 18 high speed passenger lifts in 4 zones, and comprises 784,000 square feet, or approximately 72,850 square meters. The building currently accommodates approximately 5,000 people.

Of the two skyscrapers that make up the International Finance Center building, the Two International Finance Centre is the tallest building in the city. It was designed by Cesar Pelli and completed in 2003. Its height measures approximately at 415 meters. It has 88 storeys, which is an extremely auspicious number for the Cantonese culture.

True to its name it contains twenty-two high-ceiling trading floors. The Monetary Authority (HKMA) is located at the 55th floor. The whole complex is equipped with state of the art telecommunications, raised floors for flexible cabling management, and nearly column-free floor plans. The building expects to accommodate up to 15,000 people, when all offices and floors are fully occupied.

Due to Cantonese culture and beliefs, the 88 storeys of the building may not be exactly eighty-eight (88). Why? Because of superstitious reasons, “taboo floors” like 14 and 24 are omitted because these numbers, according to Cantonese culture, sound like “definitely die” and “easy to die” respectively.

The top floor of the Two IFC is only slightly higher than Hong Kong city’s landmark, the Peak. Two IFC is the third tallest building in the Greater China region and the 6th tallest office building in the world.

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A Brief Guide To Online Finance Degrees

Online degrees are gaining popularity because they are flexible, accessible and convenient. However, if you plan on getting a finance degree online you need to make sure that Moreover they are also acknowledged by most of the employers provided they are pursued from accredited online universities. You can opt for various levels of degree programs as well as certification programs completely online without discontinuing your existing job.

Types of Online Finance Degrees

Different levels of degreesin finance can be pursued online; this includes undergraduate, bachelor’s, master’s as well as Doctorate Degree in Finance. You can even consider various types of specialization to develop niche careers. Some online colleges even offer a combination of accounting and finance degrees.

Some of the most popularOnline Finance Degrees are:

>Online Finance MBA Programs
>Online Finance Certificate Programs
>Bachelor of Science Finance
>Bachelor of Business Administration Finance
>Master of Science in Finance
>Master of Science in International Finance

Choosing an Online Finance Degree

If you are interested in a specific career in the field of finance, you can consider different levels and types of Online Degrees in Finance. They can help you to develop lucrative careers like finance analyst, finance manager or budget manager. However, while choosing an Online Finance Degree at any level, you should look for credible degree programs. You should conduct adequate research and develop a list of accredited online colleges which ensures quality online education.

You can find out about its accreditation from various accredited agencies which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. With these accredited degree programs, you can develop a lucrative career in the field of finance. This can enable you to get jobs in various work settings like private banking, financial planning, insurance or investment management.

Curriculum for Online Finance Degrees

The curriculum for an Online Finance Degree is one that can help you to develop a strong foundation in the field by gaining business skills along with gaining knowledge about different areas related to the field like finance, marketing, management, economics and statistics. You can also get in-depth understanding about various aspects of the field like risk management, related concepts, different strategies, investment and banking and financial markets.

The basic curriculum for different types of Online Degrees in Finance includes subjects like:

Financial and Intermediate Accounting
Cost Management
>Business and Finance
>Mathematics and Statistics
>Money Markets
>Commercial Finance
>Fiscal Accounting
>Financial Administration
>Insurance
>Global and Domestic Business Finance
>Introduction to Economics
>Investment Banking

An Online Finance Degree offers a lot of benefits and can help you to get experience as well as pursue higher education without leaving your existing jobs or compromising on other family commitments. You can pursue it at your own schedule and pace and can take it up from anywhere and at anytime.

In these times of uncertainty, a finance degree pursued from a top university is one of those few careers that still promise a good salary and a prestigious job.

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The Future Of Finance Jobs

In the not so long-gone past, many career advisers were advising young people seeking to start out a career to go into finance. The financial markets were doing well then, finance jobs were in plenty and MBA schools were bursting with young students seeking to build a career in finance. And the finance jobs were, of course, not limited to the financial markets. With a strong economy, finance graduates who couldn’t get jobs in the financial markets and investment banks could quite easily be absorbed into commerce and industry accounting jobs. Other would get middle office finance jobs in the public service, and going was good.
Then the bubble burst.

The economy went into recession mode, the financial markets shrunk and finance graduates who had taken up jobs with investment banks found themselves facing the axe, as the investment banks are the worst affected by turmoil in the financial markets. And as if on cue, companies, in a bid to cut costs, were also cutting on their head counts, thus also shaking the fortunes of the finance graduates who found commerce and industry accounting jobs in the private sector. In the midst of all this, it seems that the only secure finance graduates are those who took up middle office finance jobs in the public sector, but even this is not fear-proof for we do not know for sure what the full effects of the economic turmoil will be on civil service staffing.

So in the face of all this, what is the future of finance jobs?
It might seem counter-intuitive to say, but the future of finance jobs is still bright, in spite of the current turmoil in the financial markets. As it were, economists tell us that the current economic turmoil is largely short-term to medium term, which is to say that it won’t be with us forever. Which means that the people who chose to pursue a career in finance need not regret their choice, as better times are coming. But even before the better times arrive, the people with finance backgrounds who are currently getting laid off might not find themselves in the cold for too long.
As governments unveil the various economic stimulus plans, there will be need for people to manage the money as it goes into various sectors which translates to some finance jobs. Of course the finance jobs created in this way will be for the best brains in finance.

And then there is the fact that all companies, like human beings, have a native survival instinct, which they are likely to find handy in these hard economic times. One survival strategies for companies in crises is to hire the experts who are likely to navigate them through the particular crises. And since the current crisis is financial, the companies are likely to find themselves hiring financial experts to help them address the economic crisis. Of course, the companies are not likely to be overtly looking for finance experts to help them address the financial crises. What we are likely to see is an increase in commerce and industry accounting jobs, but the accountants so hired are bound to be almost exclusively tasked with cost and revenue management tasks, geared towards helping their employers sail through the turbulent times successfully.

And finally the good times will surely come back again. If the history of the financial markets is anything to go by, we know that all bursts are always followed by booms.

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How Can You Finance A Mortgage?

Most homeowners purchase their houses through mortgage finance or a loan. There have been many changes in home mortgage financing and loans in the past ten years, bringing many benefits to homebuyers. These changes also bring some significant tradeoffs. The greatest benefit a homeowner received from the changes in mortgage finance is that there are more choices. More choice means a homebuyer can effectively shop around for the best mortgage finance deals and make better decisions.

There are a number of specialized mortgage finance institutions that provide mortgage finance products. Savings and loan mortgage finance institutions are also known as thrift associations, since lenders take the deposits of their customers and use the money to create mortgage finance and loan products. Thrifts declined during the 1980s when interest rates were erratic, and mortgage failures were at an historic highpoint. Thrift institutions were replaced later on by mortgage finance bankers, who originate the mortgage finance product and offer them to investors. In the 1990s, mortgage brokers arrived on the scene. These are freelance mortgage finance agents who handle loans for a number of lenders and sell them to several clients that may include investors or homebuyers. Mortgage brokers remain popular with homebuyers who are looking for mortgage finance advice. Because these brokers have relationships with several lending firms, they represent the best source of mortgage finance advice concerning the current real estate market. Another good source of information for homebuyers who are looking to make a final mortgage decision is the Internet.

The general rule in the 1980s was that only individuals with good credit could obtain a mortgage finance loan. In the current market, nearly anyone can apply for such a loan if they want to buy a house. If you have excellent credit, you will probably find a mortgage finance loan that covers the total purchase price of a home. Having bad credit does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to get a mortgage finance loan, however. It is still possible, but you will pay a higher interest rate. Homebuyers who are getting their first house and how do not yet have a credit rating also have mortgage finance loan options available to them. These loans typically have low down payments and flexible standards defined in the underwriting.

The loan approval process has been made much faster because some of the underwriting has been streamlined. Computers have allowed mortgage finance loan information to be accessed rapidly, In fact, some finance companies offer approvals online or by using computer programs. The concept of credit scores” has also led to a decrease in the number of finance loans that are rejected. Credit scores can offer some relief in usually strict mortgage loan approvals, so applicants have less of a problem.

The modern mortgage finance market has developed a number of new mortgage products as well. When interest rates began to fall, homeowners took advantage of the decreases to refinance their mortgages. In order to reduce the expense of refinancing, lenders than began to offer mortgage finance loans without discount points.

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Where To Get Your Online Finance Degree

An online finance degree is a wonderful option for individuals who want to go to college, but for whatever reason prefer an online forum as opposed to a traditional classroom. Frequently, those who opt for an online finance degree have busy schedules already because of family and work commitments, and juggling a typical class schedule is nearly impossible. Also, individuals who have disabilities often times opt for an online finance degree simply because it is easier to work straight from home. No matter why you want an online finance degree, there are many options out there for you to choose from.

The online finance degree is a very popular major, and because of this almost all of the online universities offer the online finance degree. In addition to this, the online finance degree is not only available in bachelors, but also in masters and in some cases PhD. So, no matter if you want just a bachelor’s online finance degree or want to get an online finance degree at ever level, the choice is totally yours.

Paying for your online finance degree is not as difficult as it ahs been in the past, either, because now you can get student loans and choose different payment plans for your online finance degree. Paying for your online finance degree has never been easier.

In addition to this, you will need to decide exactly what you are looking for in the university where you will obtain your online finance degree. The reason for this is because there are so many online university options that range in popularity, accreditation and cost, that you will need to find out which ones offer the best online finance degree for your budget.

Be sure, however, before you begin studying for your online finance degree that you know your university is accredited and has many successful graduates with their online finance degree.

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