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Cheaper legal fees spell good news for buyers
New Straits Times - Malaysia
House buyers have welcomed the "significantly lower" legal fees for standard Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) which came into effect on 1 January 2006 under the Solicitor's Remuneration Order 2006.

The order, made under the Legal Profession Act, replaces the Solicitor's Remuneration Order 1991.

In welcoming the move, the National House Buyers Association (HBA), which has pressed for a revision in the scale of fees payable to lawyers for housing transactions, said the new rates will benefit those purchasing properties that are regulated under the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (HDA).

"It will make ownership more affordable, and put to rest the generalised 'No discount rule' that was implemented across the board for all conveyancing practices," said HBA's secretary-general Chang Kim Loong.
New Straits Times

Dark Age banking
Moneyweb - South Africa
Electronic banking has meant it's never been easier or faster to transact with clients and suppliers - yet some lawyers are still living in the dark ages when it comes to paying bills and receiving money.

Moneyweb is aware of a number of lawyers who discourage clients from electronic banking because, they tell their clients, it is risky.

Many smaller business operators have also shunned internet banking because they believe the chances of losing money are high.

Bumping into limits
Business Day - South Africa
Late last year, a developer couldn't believe what his tile supplier was telling him: those prices were up 30% on the year before and he'd have to wait a month for his order. His townhouse project had to be put on hold.

The supplier confided to his client that falling international prices and a strong rand had in fact reduced his own landed prices by up to 30%.

"How can you charge so much, then?" complained the developer.

"Because we can," came the reply.

Land affairs slated for delays
News24.com - South Africa
Nelspruit - Land affairs authorities have been accused of dragging their feet in implementing recommendations and resolutions of the national land summit held six months ago.

It's only now that the department has invited all land stakeholders in the country to gather in Pretoria and finalise the land summit report on Thursday.

Marc Wegerif, a land-rights activist from an NGO called the Nkuzi Development Association, said on Wednesday that the delay did not bode well.

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