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Detroit's loss is Hobbs's gain

EDDIE Hobbs, below, seems to be doing okay from the decline of Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy last year after its population more than halved from 1.85 million in 1950 to 701,000 last year. The investment firm established by the celebrity consumer advocate has recorded an immediate €1.2m gain from its investment in Detroit's empty houses.

The €1.2m gain from the purchase of distressed residential properties in the Detroit region contributed to pre-tax profits at Hobbs's Cork-based Brendan Investment Pan European Property (BIPEP) plc increasing 14-fold to €888,863 in the 12 months to the end of 2012.

This followed a pre-tax profit of €60,562 in the 11 months to the end of December 31, 2011.

The directors' report attached to the BIPEP accounts show that distressed properties were purchased in 2012 by the group's US investment entity, Artesian Equities, with the cost of the acquisition at €4.56m.

The report states that "a gain of €1.21m has been recorded in the income statement in respect of the revaluation to their fair market value at year end".

Nice to see that there are one or two Irish vulture funds engaged in a bit of bottom feeding as well as the US variety.

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