The Dollar, the Dalai Lama and La Leopolda
La Leopolda…The Most Expensive House in the World
August 14, 2008
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
While the U.S. dollar is building muscle, the Dalai Lama is inaugurating a newly-built Buddhist temple in Lodève and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is purchasing the world’s most expensive house, "Villa La Leopolda" (for a whopping $500 million!).
It’s all pretty ironic to me. The temple was built with €8.9 million ($13.35 million) of donations, a cost of a mere 2.6% of Abramovich’s new villa, whose wealth mostly stems from the oil business — a self-made success who began it all by selling plastic ducks from a small apartment in Moscow.
Either way, France benefits from the injection of euros into the economy and ultimately all of us, too, who own property here. Today, we focus on just that — how the rally of the dollar will affect us as investors in the French property market, how the Dalai Lama will affect us spiritually and how laying claim to the world’s most expensive house will teach us humility.
This week in Paris is the peak of summer vacation and therefore the valley for activity. Many of the commercial enterprises are closed up tight with signs on their doors announcing their return dates. Doing business this time of year is a struggle, including purchasing properties, when both owners and agents are on vacation as well as the Notaires and all the supporting services.
This morning I managed to find a plumber to fix a leaky toilet — a replacement for my regular guy, who said by phone that he couldn’t issue a bill until he returned in September. By then, I’m sure it will be twice as expensive!
In the meantime, we’re gearing up for the next Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference this coming October 11-12 here in Paris. We are ready to take your registrations, so don’t waste a moment in learning more and making your plans to attend. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/conference or scroll down for more detailed information.
Enjoy today’s issue that takes you to the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and the Côte d’Azur on the ‘greenback’ of the rising dollar and the upcoming conference that may help make your dream to live in France come true.
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. Now’s your chance! There are still a few shares remaining of "Le Petit Trésor," a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in Le Marais sold in fractions of 12 by Paris Home Shares. Buy now while the dollar is strong and before the price increases by 3,400 euros on the day of closing sometime next month! Don’t hesitate to learn more. Visit http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional for more information or contact Steve Navaro immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume VI, Issue 33, August 14, 2008
In this issue:
* Strengthening U.S. Dollar
* Moneycorp Dollar Update
* Record Setting French Property Purchase
* Biography of a Self-made Millionaire
* Dalai Lama to Open Lodève’s Lérab Ling Temple
* Making a Château Pay its Own Way
* French Property Fractional Offerings
* Next Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference – Paris October 11-12, 2008
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: September 9, 2008
* Hot Property Picks: A Château to Call Home
* Leasebacks: Domaine d’Enserune, France, Mediterranean Coast, Colombiers
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments — Le Pinot Noir
The Dollar Rally! Really?
By Adrian Le
Hooray! The dollar is showing some strength after many moons of rates as weak against the euro as $1.60. This past week, the rate actually fell to under $1.50. This is certainly good news for those living in Europe on dollar earnings and investment seekers whose wallets were getting thinner by the moment.
Chuck Butler, the President of World Markets at EverBank, said that "one of the currencies hardest hit by the dollar’s rally has been the Aussie dollar." Jonathan D. Epstein and Samantha Maziarz Christmann News Business Reporters wrote that the U.S. dollar hit the highest point against the Canadian dollar last Monday with $1.069 since one year ago with $1.07 on August 13, 2007.
Vivianne Rodrigues at Reuters this past August 12th, says that the "dollar has rallied against the euro with help from a sell-off in oil prices and growing views economies elsewhere may slow at a faster pace than in the United States." European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said last week "the euro zone economy was slowing more than policy-makers had expected." The signs tell analysts that the dollar may finally be seeing the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and now ending its seven-year slide.
There are endless articles on the Internet about the striking new development and how it’s going to affect our economic futures. If you’re in the foreign (euro) property market, the gain can work both for and against you.
Sure, any future purchase is going to cost you less. And any mortgage you currently hold in euros, will cost you less in U.S. dollar terms. But, of course, there is the other side of the coin — and that is the fact that euro assets you currently own will be worth less in U.S. dollar terms, too.
While housing markets globally have been experiencing huge declines, France is still one of the most secure. Increases have boomed since 1998 and continue. From 2000 to 2005, prices for apartments in Paris rose by 76.4%, lower than 86% for France. Aix-en Provence and Nice remain the most expensive towns to live in France outside of Paris. Using figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) apartment prices in Paris have been moving a bit more slowly than France as a whole.
French property prices lost speed in 2007, rising by only 3% during the year, according to FNAIM. These price increases reflect a substantial slowdown from the 7.2 to 15.5% range increases registered between 2004 and 2006.
The housing market is obviously experiencing a significant slowdown from its peak period of price increases in 2004. Apartments and houses both saw price increases in 2007, of 4.5% and 4.8%, respectively. But this is nothing much, compared to 2004’s growth rates of 17.8% for apartments and 12.5% for houses.
So, when is the right time to enter the property market? We believe that there’s no time better than now, particularly if your investment is made in central Paris where prices continue to increase on the average almost as much as 10% annually.
Moneycorp Report on the Rally of the US Dollar
August 8, 2008
Moneycorp is committed to providing the very best foreign exchange services. We want to make sure that our clients are up to date on the latest business news and movements in the currency market.
The United States Dollar (USD) has continued to rally against many of the world’s major currencies and currently resides at critical levels against most. The USD index (a measure of the value of the USD against a basket of currencies) strengthened by almost 4% over the last 30 days with 3.2% of this strength seen within the last week.
You may find additional insights about the recent US Dollar moves from the “Currency Alert Summary” below.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Private Client Services desk at 1 877 999 4439 (toll free in North America)
Wayne W. Lee
Senior Marketing Manager
Phone: (415) 678-2770
Property: Mystery Buyer Sets Record for World’s Priciest Home on French Riviera
By Lizzy Davies for The Guardian
From the beaches of Cannes to the hills of Monaco, it is the mystery enthralling the French Riviera this summer: who is the Russian billionaire buying the world’s most expensive home?
The sale of La Léopolda, a sumptuous villa on the Côte d’Azur set in eight hectares of immaculately kept land,
is set to be finalized in Se
ptember after months of protracted negotiations. Its eye-watering price tag, understood to be between €400m and €500m (£312m-£392m), would smash the record for the greatest amount of money ever paid for a property…
To read the entire article visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/11/france.russia
Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich Biography (1966– )
Multi-billionaire businessman and entrepreneur, born in Saratov, S Russia. Born into impoverished circumstances and orphaned at age two, he was raised by an uncle and his family in Ukhta, N Russia. While still a student at the Moscow Auto Transport Institute (1987), he set up a small company producing plastic toys, and its success enabled him to found an oil business in the Omsk region. He rapidly made a name for himself within the industry and joined the board of the Sibneft company, eventually taking sole charge, and completing a merger which made it the fourth biggest oil company in the world. Sibneft was sold to the state-run Russian gas company, Gazprom, in 2005. In 1999 he was elected to the lower house of the Russian parliament representing the isolated Siberian area of Chukotka, to which he has donated large sums for improvement schemes. He was re-elected for a second term in 2005. Among his many homes is a country estate in Sussex, and he has become a familiar face in England since his acquisition of Chelsea Football Club in 2003.
The Dalai Lama is Coming to Lodève
Amidst no small amount of controversy, the Dalai Lama will be visiting the town of Lodève on August 22 in order to attend the ceremony for the grand opening of the Buddhist temple Lérab Ling after recent construction. Lerab Ling is the largest Tibetan Buddhist Temple and teaching Centre in Europe, and is an important attraction to the area.
The political controversy stems from the fact that the President Nicolas Sarkozy will not be present at the event, as he will be in China attending the Olympics. Instead, he has decided to send his wife Carla Bruni to represent him. Sarkozy has been under pressure from Chinese officials and human rights activists to make a decision about whether to meet the Dalai Lama when the Tibetan spiritual leader comes to the area next week.
Lodève is a vibrant town which lies where the plains rise up to the Larzac plateau, 54 km from Montpellier, in the valley of the Lergue river. It is surrounded by green hills and vineyards and is just 8 km from the large man-made Lac du Salagou.
Foreign buyers are attracted to the area for its more clement summers and because of the many recreational opportunities in the area, including great hiking, fishing in local streams and swimming at the Lac du Salagou. It is also an important cultural centre for the Northern Hérault as it is home to one of the best contemporary art museum’s in southern France.
Property in France: How to Make a Château Pay its Own Way
Story and Photo By Penny Kitchen
By getting stuck in themselves, two British families have been able to start making money back on their stately piles in France.
If you think the grand surroundings of a French château might be a little intimidating for a holiday — suits of armor in dark corners and the propriétaire hovering in case you scratch the antiques — think again. The latest holiday trend for families — whether celebrating a wedding, landmark birthday or anniversary, or simply joining forces to split the costs — is to take over a château and live like lords and ladies for a week or two. For the cash-strapped château owner, a week’s high season rental can bring in thousands of pounds with none of the hassle of B&B.
Many owners keep a discreet distance from guests in a separate wing, cottage or even country, leaving you to get on with self-catering in modern, fully-equipped kitchens. The Château de Garinche, 50 miles south of Limoges, is left in the capable hands of housekeeper-administrator Elizabeth Jean while owners Nick and Jan Colwyn-Foulkes and their children are in Britain.
The house has the welcoming air of an elegant manoir — it is easy to imagine living here as a family — which indeed they do for four weeks in the summer and two weeks each at Easter and Christmas. It is big enough for three big family groups to share comfortably, but for Jan’s birthday they squeezed in 22 people…
To read the entire article visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main
Fractional Property Offerings from French Property Fractional
If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:
|Paris: LE PETIT TRESOR
|Paris: CHEZ LA TOUR
|Languedoc-Roussillon: MAISON BLEUE
|Meaux: CHÂTEAU LIVING FRANCE
|Nice: ON THE COURS SALEYA
For more details and pricing information, contact email@example.com
Adrian Leeds of the Adrian Leeds Group, LLC and John Howell of The International Law Partnership Present the…
Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference
October 11-12, 2008
Chez Jenny, Paris, France
If you’ve always dreamed of spending more time in France, enjoying a "pied-à-terre" of your own in Paris that you can profitably rent when you like, or just make a smart investment in the strong Euro by owning property in France…then this power-packed conference is a MUST. There is no doubt, from the hundreds of others who have attended conferences of this kind and fulfilled their dreams…this weekend in Paris will point you in the right direction to really make it happen!
This Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference produced by Adrian Leeds and John Howell is the 22nd conference of the series, which was the first ever of its kind to be offered both in Paris and the United States.
There is nothing else you can do in less time and as inexpensively to learn all you need to learn to make your dream to live and invest in France come true. Take advantage of this one-day power-packed conference with expert speakers from France, Europe and the U.S…
Co-hosted by Adrian Leeds, Director of the Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, Editor of Parler Paris and French Property Insider, author of the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants, Director of French Property Consultation, French Property Loan and Parler Paris Apartments, and co-coordinator of the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group!…
Co-hosted by John Howell, partner in John Howell & Co. This is the only firm of English lawyers that does nothing but work involving continental Europe – and Dubai. With clients all over the world, John Howell, has been dealing with international work since 1985 and is well known for providing entertaining and informative aspects of buying property and living overseas.
* Stéphane Denner, Manager ExPatriate & Non Resident Service, Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier
* Jody Cracknell, Business Development Manager, Moneycorp Currency Brokers
* Peter Zipper, President, Caye International Bank, Belize
* John Rule, Mortgage and Rental Manager, Adrian Leeds Group, LLP * Martine di Matteo, Interior Architect, Au Passé Recomposée
Click here to get to know all the conference presenters…
You will discover…
* Why Invest in Property in France?
* How to Minimize Your Tax and Maximize the Benefits!
* How to Find Your Dream Apartment in Paris or Home in the C
to Buy and Own Property in France!
* How to Obtain a Mortgage in France!
* How to Reduce Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* How to Learn More About the Best Kept Secret in Offshore Banking and Investing!
* How to Renovate and Rent Your French Property for Profit!
* Plus, answer all the rest of your questions during a Q and A panel with the presenters!
You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and learn all you’ll need to know to make your dream to live in France come true or how to take part in the profits of owning property there.
Click here for the complete full-day schedule… http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/conference/LIF_Paris_2008/schedule.html
The Conference Location
Historical Chez Jenny
39 boulevard du Temple
Place de la République
"An authentic Brasserie with a soul, a style and a history."
At the colonial exhibition in 1930, Robert Jenny had a kiosk where he sold produce from his region: salt-pickled cabbage choucroute, sausages and beer. Appreciating Parisian life and noting that the fine Alsatian products attracted the Parisians, this native of Strasbourg sought to set up business in the capital. He found just the right place not far from the place de la République, at number 39 boulevard du Temple, an establishment that had played host to a Russian restaurant, a Belgian restaurant and finally the Victor dance-hall. Inaugurated in 1932, the Chez Jenny brasserie has always been able to recreate the atmosphere of an Alsace ‘winstub.’ The oysters, Presskopf, Cervelas sausages, symbolic sauerkraut and draught beers, combined with a cheerful and refreshing ambience, make Chez Jenny well worth the detour.
Lunch at Chez Jenny!
The Conference includes a three-course lunch with Kir, wine and coffee!
Menu (subject to change):
* Kir Vin Blanc à l’Edelzwicker d’Alsace and Bretzels
* Terrine de Canard aux Pistaches,
* Suprême de Volaille à la Moutarde, Nid d’Alsace aux Légumes or Pavé de Perche Rôti, poêlée de légumes Provençale
* Crème Brûlée Caramélisée à la Cassonade
* Wine or Mineral Water, Coffee
• Coffee Breaks Mid Morning and Mid Afternoon
• Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception
• Reference Materials
• Tote Bag with Free Gifts from Paris
Special thanks to France Today and France-Amérique, which will distribute free copies of these illustrious publications to conference attendees, and who has generously provided publicity and advertising support of the conference.
The Magazine of French Travel & Culture
Le Journal Français des Etats Unis
Seminar Conference Fees
Single Person €427
Subscribers of Parler Paris, French Property Insider and Clients of John Howell & Co….Bring your spouse, partner or friend at a special discounted price!
You Pay Only €377
Second Person €327
(Add Your Spouse, Partner or Friend)
Subscribers of Parler Paris, French Property Insider and Clients of John Howell & Co….Bring your spouse, partner or friend at a special discounted price!
Second Person Pays Only €277
Please Note: Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to attend.
To check current currency rates of exchange, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
Stay in a luxury apartment by Parler Paris Apartments! Or a hotel nearby!
Click here to see recommended apartments and hotels in the immediate vicinity plus a map of the area.
You are free to make your own travel arrangements, however, we recommend that you contact:
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Delray Beach, FL 33483 USA;
Phone local (561) 243-6276 or toll-free (800) 926-6575, Fax (561) 278-8765
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web site: http://www.agoratravel.com
Cancellations received on or before September 15, 2008, will receive a full refund, less a $50 processing fee. From September 15 through September 30, 2007, a refund of 50% per person will be given, less a $50 processing fee. After September 30, 2007, the conference fee is non-refundable. Please call, fax, or email our offices immediately to avoid any unnecessary charges if you are unable to attend. If you cancel due to medical reasons that are covered by your purchased travel-insurance policy, we will advise the insurance company that your travel and conference or seminar fees are non-refundable. Any refunds issued by the insurance company will negate any credit due.
Protect Your Investment: We strongly suggest you protect your investment by purchasing trip-cancellation insurance. We are happy to recommend a policy to you. Please visit http://cruiseorairtravel.com/travel_insurance/insurance.htm for more information or contact Maria Maher at Agora Travel, email@example.com
Reservations and information:
If you’d like to know more about the conference or reserve your place, email Schuyler Hoffman, Conference Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paris Office 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Paris Time Phone 1-310-427-7589
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp Global Money Services: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:
The charts below are updated every ten seconds.
The prices shown are "inter bank" exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.
Parler Paris Après Midi
Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…
The next gathering is September 9, 2008, and every second Tuesday of the month.
Note: There is no meeting in August.
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: A Château to Call Home
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation
***Lodève, Château, 7 bedrooms
Close to the centre of Lodève, in the middle of a lovely park of 4.5 hectares bordered by a river. The main house is composed of hall, 2 sitting rooms, large character kitchen, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and 2 studies. The guest house comprises a sitting room, 2 bedrooms and bathroom. There is an orangerie with sitting room and summer kitchen. Swimming pool, tennis court and greenhouse. Avenues, lawns, fountains, small canal, river and pond. Magnificent interior integrating authentic elements and contemporary elements. Automatic gate, pool house, cellar, courtyard, basement, fireplace, intercom and oil central heating.
Asking Price, 2,500,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Château, 11 bedrooms
Between Montpelier and Beziers, located 25 minutes from the sea, a 12th-18th century village castle on 4 levels with a 17th century chapel and a sheep fold of 120m². The castle includes 11 apartments. There is central heating and an alarm. The roof, electricity and facades have been redone. There are ramparts, turret and angle tower, windows with mullions, French ceiling and huge chimneys. There is 3600m² of enclosed park.
Asking Price: 2,632,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
***Pézenas, Château, 7 bedrooms
On the outskirts of Pézenas, historical town of great charm, in 14.6 acres park and fields entirely closed by a wall, elegant 17th and 19th century Château, recently renovated, of 700 m² living space. Main residence: three reception rooms, vast kitchen, five bedrooms, four bathrooms. Guests apartment: living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. Guardians apartment: living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom. Chapel, orangerie and horse stables. Heated swimming pool with pool house. Sophisticated security system. In the axis of the Château a vast lawn leading to a pond, bordered by groves with listed fountain.
Asking Price: 3,300,000€ + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
France, Mediterranean Coast, Colombiers
One Bedroom 33m² to 33m² €94,000 to €94,000
Two Bedrooms 39m² to 49m² €112,000 to €136,000
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 4.00%
New tourism residence 3 star rated, situated in Colombiers, only 5 km from Beziers in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. We are very pleased to tell you about the future launch of this French Leaseback project, under the French Leaseback scheme. Ideally located between the Canal du Midi and fine sand beaches, the residence will comprise fully furnished and equipped houses, including terrace and car park, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and Spa.
This development comes with a commercial lease contractually guaranteeing a rental yield of 4% paid net with 2 weeks of personal occupancy (phase 1) and 3% with 8 weeks of personal occupancy (phase 2). The residence will be fully managed.
Key investment points:
- Exceptional location, close to the Canal du Midi and a few minutes only from Beziers (20 minutes away from the seaside)
– Swimming pool with outdoor Spa (Turkish bath and fitness area)
– French Petanque area, shop and bar directly on site
– Fully secured residence: digital code and entrance gate with remote control
– Leaseback scheme.
– 3 star rated tourism residence.
– Semi-detached houses, including car parking and terrace.
– Lease offering a yield of 4% with 2 weeks of personal occupancy and 3% with 8 weeks of personal occupancy.
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
When you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you want to know that you can trust the people you are dealing with. Adrian Leeds has developed a network of professionals that meet only the highest of standards. With the expertise and experience of Adrian and her team, you can depend on getting the best advice and support to feel completely confident that you are making an informed investment decision.
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We wanted better guides.
So we wrote them.
Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…and the newest guide, Practical Paris!
French Property Insider subscribers receive a discount of 10% off any guide and up to 25% off the entire purchase (if two or more guides are purchased at the same time). Here’s how it works:
1. Click on special Web link we give you just for FPI subscribers.
2. Then order one or more guide(s) and use the promotion
code "ED762." This promotion code gives you 10% off your total
3. If you order two or more guides, then an additional 15% will be
taken off automatically. There is no promotion code needed.
Here is the special "coupon" Web link just for you:
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HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!
Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
Le Pinot Noir
Rue Debelleyme, 3
One-Bedroom, Sleeps up to 4
"Le Pinot Noir" one-bedroom luxury apartment is a wine connoisseur’s dream and everyone’s dream. Located just steps off the lively rue de Bretagne, but facing the quiet little street of rue Debelleyme across the street from one of Paris’ finest restaurants, Le Pamphlet, it affords views of rue de Bretagne and the adjacent Marais streets from close to rooftop level.
Le Pinot Noir is completely equipped for pure luxury. Newly renovated, it is complete with a queen size bed that converts to twin beds when desired, a comfortable and easy-to-open sofa bed for additional guests, a washer/dryer combination, microwave, four-burner ceramic stove, full size over, large refrigerator with separate freezer, high speed Internet, flat screen TV, DVD player, stereo, and free(!) long distance phone service
For more details and photos visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/pinot_noir.html
To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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