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The Top Factors to Consider When Selecting a Boutique Hotel

If you’ve ever resided in a boutique hotel, you probably know how intimate and charming they are. Boutique hotels provide their unique d?cor and style along with their charm that makes guests feel comfortable du4ring their stay. Selecting the right boutique hotel may be difficult as there are many service providers in this line of business. It is therefore important that you conduct proper research so that you have an easy time selecting the right hotel and at a convenient place. This article outlines some of the top factors to be considered when one is looking for a boutique hotel.

The first factor to check on is the amenities present. This is a very important factor as it will help you understand the kinds of facilities that are present at different boutique hotels. To avoid unpleasant surprises, make sure you check ion the facilities offered by different services before you decide on one. Boutique hotels come with few and basic amenities as compared to other brands. Some of the amenities you can get are restaurants, gym, etc. You should settle for a boutique hotel that has the amenities you need for your stay to be enjoyable.

The next factor to consider when choosing a boutique hotel is the location. A lot of questions will pop your mind when considering the boutique hotel’s location. You should check if the location is close to the venues of basic traveling modes. The location should also be secure for your stay to be a peaceful one. You should also check the transportation of the area and if the area has tourists’ attractions that can be explored. Addressing all these issues will help you select a hotel whose location you are convenient with and this will make you have a pleasant stay.

You can also use reviews to decide on the best boutique hotel based on your needs. Reading testimonials of the experiences of others who have stayed in the hotels you are considering will help you deduce the quality of services they offer. The majority of these reviews are always honest and they will prove vital during your selection process. With these reviews, you can deduce the quality of services rendered by these experts. You can also seek referrals from friends and family members who have visited boutique hotels before. You can then research the quality of services rendered by the hotels on your list before you make a decision. Make sure you settle for one with a lot of positive reviews as this will be an indication of superior services from them.

The final element to check on when choosing a boutique hotel is the cost of service. Boutique hotels charge their services differently and this is brought about by factors such as the amenities they have. Make sure you settle for a hotel whose rates you can easily afford without compromising your finances. You can also compare the rates of various hotels so that you have an easy time choosing one that offers quality services and at a reasonable fee.

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Eastern European Banking Model

A traditional banking model in a CEEC (Central and Eastern European Country) consisted of a central bank and several purpose banks, one dealing with individuals’ savings and other banking needs, and another focusing on foreign financial activities, etc. The central bank provided most of the commercial banking needs of enterprises in addition to other functions. During the late 1980s, the CEECs modified this earlier structure by taking all the commercial banking activities of the central bank and transferring them to new commercial banks. In most countries the new banks were set up along industry lines, although in Poland a regional approach has been adopted.

On the whole, these new stale-owned commercial banks controlled the bulk of financial transactions, although a few ‘de novo banks’ were allowed in Hungary and Poland. Simply transferring existing loans from the central bank to the new state-owned commercial banks had its problems, since it involved transferring both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ assets. Moreover, each bank’s portfolio was restricted to the enterprise and industry assigned to them and they were not allowed to deal with other enterprises outside their remit.

As the central banks would always ‘bale out’ troubled state enterprises, these commercial banks cannot play the same role as commercial banks in the West. CEEC commercial banks cannot foreclose on a debt. If a firm did not wish to pay, the state-owned enterprise would, historically, receive further finance to cover its difficulties, it was a very rare occurrence for a bank to bring about the bankruptcy of a firm. In other words, state-owned enterprises were not allowed to go bankrupt, primarily because it would have affected the commercial banks, balance sheets, but more importantly, the rise in unemployment that would follow might have had high political costs.

What was needed was for commercial banks to have their balance sheets ‘cleaned up’, perhaps by the government purchasing their bad loans with long-term bonds. Adopting Western accounting procedures might also benefit the new commercial banks.

This picture of state-controlled commercial banks has begun to change during the mid to late 1990s as the CEECs began to appreciate that the move towards market-based economies required a vibrant commercial banking sector. There are still a number of issues lo be addressed in this sector, however. For example, in the Czech Republic the government has promised to privatize the banking sector beginning in 1998. Currently the banking sector suffers from a number of weaknesses. A number of the smaller hanks appear to be facing difficulties as money market competition picks up, highlighting their tinder-capitalization and the greater amount of higher-risk business in which they are involved. There have also been issues concerning banking sector regulation and the control mechanisms that are available. This has resulted in the government’s proposal for an independent securities commission to regulate capital markets.

The privatization package for the Czech Republic’s four largest banks, which currently control about 60 percent of the sector’s assets, will also allow foreign banks into a highly developed market where their influence has been marginal until now. It is anticipated that each of the four banks will be sold to a single bidder in an attempt to create a regional hub of a foreign bank’s network. One problem with all four banks is that inspection of their balance sheets may throw up problems which could reduce the size of any bid. All four banks have at least 20 percent of their loans as classified, where no interest has been paid for 30 days or more. Banks could make provisions to reduce these loans by collateral held against them, but in some cases the loans exceed the collateral. Moreover, getting an accurate picture of the value of the collateral is difficult since bankruptcy legislation is ineffective. The ability to write off these bad debts was not permitted until 1996, but even if this route is taken then this will eat into the banks’ assets, leaving them very close to the lower limit of 8 percent capital adequacy ratio. In addition, the ‘commercial’ banks have been influenced by the action of the national bank, which in early 1997 caused bond prices to fall, leading to a fall in the commercial banks’ bond portfolios. Thus the banking sector in the Czech Republic still has a long way to go.

In Hungary the privatization of the banking sector is almost complete. However, a state rescue package had to be agreed at the beginning of 1997 for the second-largest state bank, Postabank, owned indirectly by the main social security bodies and the post office, and this indicates the fragility of this sector. Outside of the difficulties experienced with Postabank, the Hungarian banking system has been transformed. The rapid move towards privatization resulted from the problems experienced by the state-owned banks, which the government bad to bail out, costing it around 7 percent of GDP. At that stage it was possible that the banking system could collapse and government funding, although saving the banks, did not solve the problems of corporate governance or moral hazard. Thus the privatization process was started in earnest. Magyar Kulkereskedelmi Bank (MKB) was sold to Bayerische Landesbank and the EBDR in 1994, Budapest Bank was bought by GE Capital and Magyar Hitel Bank was bought by ABN-AMRO. In November 1997 the state completed the last stage of the sale of the state savings bank (OTP), Hungary’s largest bank. The state, which dominated the banking system three years ago, now only retains a majority stake in two specialist banks, the Hungarian Development Bank and Eximbank.

The move towards, and success of privatization can be seen in the balance sheets of the banks, which showed an increase in post-tax profits of 45 percent in 1996. These banks are also seeing higher savings and deposits and a strong rise in demand for corporate and retail lending. In addition, the growth in competition in the banking sector has led to a narrowing of the spreads between lending and deposit rates, and the further knock-on effect of mergers and small-hank closures. Over 50 percent of Hungarian bank assets are controlled by foreign-owned banks, and this has led to Hungarian banks offering services similar to those expected in many Western European countries. Most of the foreign-owned but mainly Hungarian-managed banks were recapitalized after their acquisition and they have spent heavily on staff training and new information technology systems. From 1998, foreign banks will be free to open branches in Hungary, thus opening up the domestic banking market to full competition.

As a whole, the CEECs have come a long way since the early 1990s in dealing with their banking problems. For some countries the process of privatization still has a long way to go but others such as Hungary have moved quickly along the process of transforming their banking systems in readiness for their entry into the EU.

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How to Choose Used Endoscopy Equipment

Buying new endoscopy equipment for your home or business can be costly. Choosing to buy used equipment can be less costly. Ensure that you know the safety of the equipment and its warranty before buying it. You need to talk to professionals who understand the equipment that you need. Renting a piece of equipment is also a cheaper alternative. You can choose to rent it only when you need it. Endoscopy involves inserting the equipment into the human body and you have to ensure that they are working well. Endoscopy allows a doctor to see organs in your body without making big incisions. Techniques used in endoscopy keep advancing. Some of the latest endoscopy techniques include capsule endoscopy. The procedure involves swallowing a small pill with a camera which passes through the digestive tract, creating images as it moves. Endoscopic ultrasound and mucosal resection are other endoscopic procedures. You will need to keep in mind some tips when you are choosing used endoscopic equipment. The helpful tips are discussed below.

Ensure that the manufacturer of the equipment offers technical support. The support should be available even in the off hours. You will benefit from the equipment if the manufacturer will be ready to provide technical support to you. In case it fails and you need repairs, you will need to know where to go to. You should know how the equipment will be repaired and where you can get parts of the equipment in case you need any.

Ensure that you have adequate space for storing the equipment. The available space should fit the height and weight of the equipment. Some requirements are heavy and can take up lots of space. There are ways through which you can check the length of life left for the equipment. You should buy used equipment that still has a lot of life in it.

Check the cost of the equipment. You probably chose to buy the used equipment so that you can save money. You should get good value for your money. Check the working condition of the endoscopic equipment. Establish the age of the equipment before buying it. In case you are only interested in the part of the equipment, ensure that the parts are working well.

Determine whether you need the used equipment. A good offer should not be the only reason you are buying the equipment. You should determine where will be of use when you perform procedures. The equipment should be useful and meet your needs. You can consult with professionals before buying it. You should not overlook these guidelines when you are buying used endoscopic equipment.

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