Kazakhstan is getting a make over. Its President Nursultan Nazarbayev wants to change the way the Kazakh language is written, replacing Cyrillic with a modified, diacritic-laden version of the Latin alphabet. The alphabetical amendments are meant to make it easier to use the Kazakh language online. More importantly, they are a signal to the world and to Kazakhs themselves that Kazakhstan is a modern and independent country, rather than a decrepit post-Soviet backwater like some of its neighbours.
A Mongolian company, Steppe Gold, just listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) at a valuation of US$25 million. The exchange- known for its focus on mining- is popular amongst exploration companies. This project, though in its infancy, is viewed as a baby step in developing 140,000 of ounces of precious metals in the first year of production. Perhaps for this reason, Steppe’s leadership team have described it as ‘low cost, low risk.’
Proximity to parks and green spaces has long been associated with increased property prices. Such spaces are determined by economists to have “hedonic value”. An early example of appreciation of the value of land surrounding green space is Regents’ Park. Constructed in London in the early 1800s with residences both inside and surrounding it, the park’s planners aimed to raise funds for the royal family by selling the park-side homes for a premium.
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