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A British Ex-pat's Dilemma


Murgatroyd

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When I arrived in Thailand last April, my monthly income from investments in the UK amounted to about 1050 GBP per month. This produced a monthly income of 65,265 Bhat, just about qualifying for the monthly requirement of 65.000 Bhat needed to obtain the O/A (retirement) visa. As part of my income fluctuates, and is only paid quarterly, I elected to go the lump sum route, and easily established that I had UK bank deposits in excess of the 12,800 GBP required ( or 800,000 bhat ) for the visa.

Since then the exchange rate has fluctuated considerably. It rose briefly to 1 GBP = 67 Bhat, but has now dipped to 1 GBP = 48 Bhat.

So currently my origional income of 1050 GBP would only produce a monthly income of 50,400 Bhat.

In order to qualify for a further extension of my permission to stay based on retirement, I would need a monthly income of 1355 GBP, or a lump sum of 16,667 GBP deposited in a Thai bank, (Where it would earn no interest at all, thus further depleting my UK income) This amounts to having to find an extra 3867 GBP per year

Some financial forcasters are so dubious about the prospects of Stirling, that they predict that the GBP could fall further to an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 35 Bhat within the next year.

Under those circumstances my origional monthly income of 1050 would only produce 36,750 bhat. I would need a monthly income of 1857 GBP or to deposit 22,286 GBP in a Thai bank to qualify for a renewal of my permission to stay under the lump sum rule. This would require finding an extra 897 GBP per month, or 9486 GBP per year

The real situation turns out to be worse than that, for my actual income in the UK has fallen due to contracting interest rates.

I wondered how other Ex-Pats intended to cope with this worsening situation... In my case, as I have married a Thai national, I have the option of renewing my permission to stay on the "Marriage" basis. This reduces the amount of income or lump sum required considerably, but even then, I would be in considerable difficulties if the Pound fell to the projected 35 bhat exchange rate.

Should the prognostications of some financial doomsayers come to pass, and the UK banking system collapse altogether, then I would be unable even to afford a flight home, let alone provide for my new family.

So, speaking to other British Ex-Pats in Thailand on retirement visas, what are your plans to deal with this situation?

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Its not only Brits with limp currencies, mate.

A few things are in our favor:

-- long term extenders are grandfathered at their original levels as long as they don't break the chain (when the money requirements go up)

-- we can use the COMBO method by combining pension income with banked Thai money (most older people can indeed swing that), so if you pension drops to 400K if you can bank 400K you are set

Sure anyone who is not truly wealthy is eventually at risk for being priced out of here, or priced out of affording to live anywhere for that matter.

Edited by Jingthing
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Hold tight ... if you can. Things are going to change. The Thai Baht is under huge pressure (because of its relative value) and Thai exports are suffering big time.

The Baht will "tumble" sometime over the next 6 - 12months - i really cant see it been able to sustain its relative position for much longer. Knowing how the authorities like to hide bad news, when that tumble comes it will be fast and quick.

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A friend of mine lent money to another farang for the purpose of a visa, he gave my friend the ATM card and Bank Book, it seemed good , till my friend didn't see this guy for a few weeks,

Yep, you've guessed it, the so called trustworthy friend had conned him, .

Yes he had given the ATM card and Bankbook to my friend, but, after 3 days he went back to the Bank claiming to have lost both book and ATM, he was issued with new documents, cleaned out the account and left Thailand.

Beware of so called friends in Thailand, especially Farang friends ( your guard drops when its a Farang ), when they are down on their luck many would steal the eyes out of your head if you were not looking !

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A friend of mine lent money to another farang for the purpose of a visa, he gave my friend the ATM card and Bank Book, it seemed good , till my friend didn't see this guy for a few weeks,

Yep, you've guessed it, the so called trustworthy friend had conned him, .

Yes he had given the ATM card and Bankbook to my friend, but, after 3 days he went back to the Bank claiming to have lost both book and ATM, he was issued with new documents, cleaned out the account and left Thailand.

Beware of so called friends in Thailand, especially Farang friends ( your guard drops when its a Farang ), when they are down on their luck many would steal the eyes out of your head if you were not looking !

Have to agree with that. Beware of Farangs seeking cash, lent money to one guy to help pay off some medical bills. 4 months down the line, still waiting 52k. Not a happy camper, and certainly the last time I do something like that.

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Thanks for your replies.

I'm fairly lucky! As I approach the end of my first year in Thailand, I have the option of doing a border run before my origional O/A 1 year multi entry visa expires. On my return, I should recieve a stamp in my passport allowing me to stay for a second year before I have to apply at the immigration office for an extension of permission to stay, and present the financial paperwork that would currently be awkward in the present financial climate...

So I have the luxury of waiting another year before I have to worry about the official financial requirements... I can only hope that the exchange rate improves in the meantime.

Of course it would be very bad karma to hope that the Bhat suffers a similar collapse to the deminishing value of Stirling, for another financial breakdown in Thailand would hurt everyone, the poor most of all... on the other hand, it seems unlikely that the thai economy will be able to ride out the current global downtrend without suffering some problems of it's own.

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borrow money from a thai relative to put in the bank in your name and let them keep the bank book and atm card.

my thai relatives trusted me :o i must have a trustworthy nature,mind you he did collapse with relief when i gave it back :D :

mind you i borrowed it as the pound had fallen to 62 to the pound,god was i silly.

Edited by thaimate
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Thanks for your replies.

I'm fairly lucky! As I approach the end of my first year in Thailand, I have the option of doing a border run before my origional O/A 1 year multi entry visa expires. On my return, I should recieve a stamp in my passport allowing me to stay for a second year before I have to apply at the immigration office for an extension of permission to stay, and present the financial paperwork that would currently be awkward in the present financial climate...

So I have the luxury of waiting another year before I have to worry about the official financial requirements... I can only hope that the exchange rate improves in the meantime.

Of course it would be very bad karma to hope that the Bhat suffers a similar collapse to the deminishing value of Stirling, for another financial breakdown in Thailand would hurt everyone, the poor most of all... on the other hand, it seems unlikely that the thai economy will be able to ride out the current global downtrend without suffering some problems of it's own.

Nothing wrong with that nice place in Scotland, Sterling however, is a different matter!! :o

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When I arrived in Thailand last April, my monthly income from investments in the UK amounted to about 1050 GBP per month. This produced a monthly income of 65,265 Bhat, just about qualifying for the monthly requirement of 65.000 Bhat needed to obtain the O/A (retirement) visa. As part of my income fluctuates, and is only paid quarterly, I elected to go the lump sum route, and easily established that I had UK bank deposits in excess of the 12,800 GBP required ( or 800,000 bhat ) for the visa.

Since then the exchange rate has fluctuated considerably. It rose briefly to 1 GBP = 67 Bhat, but has now dipped to 1 GBP = 48 Bhat.

So currently my origional income of 1050 GBP would only produce a monthly income of 50,400 Bhat.

In order to qualify for a further extension of my permission to stay based on retirement, I would need a monthly income of 1355 GBP, or a lump sum of 16,667 GBP deposited in a Thai bank, (Where it would earn no interest at all, thus further depleting my UK income) This amounts to having to find an extra 3867 GBP per year

Some financial forcasters are so dubious about the prospects of Stirling, that they predict that the GBP could fall further to an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 35 Bhat within the next year.

Under those circumstances my origional monthly income of 1050 would only produce 36,750 bhat. I would need a monthly income of 1857 GBP or to deposit 22,286 GBP in a Thai bank to qualify for a renewal of my permission to stay under the lump sum rule. This would require finding an extra 897 GBP per month, or 9486 GBP per year

The real situation turns out to be worse than that, for my actual income in the UK has fallen due to contracting interest rates.

I wondered how other Ex-Pats intended to cope with this worsening situation... In my case, as I have married a Thai national, I have the option of renewing my permission to stay on the "Marriage" basis. This reduces the amount of income or lump sum required considerably, but even then, I would be in considerable difficulties if the Pound fell to the projected 35 bhat exchange rate.

Should the prognostications of some financial doomsayers come to pass, and the UK banking system collapse altogether, then I would be unable even to afford a flight home, let alone provide for my new family.

So, speaking to other British Ex-Pats in Thailand on retirement visas, what are your plans to deal with this situation?

In order to qualify for a further extension of my permission to stay based on retirement, I would need a monthly income of 1355 GBP, or a lump sum of 16,667 GBP deposited in a Thai bank, (Where it would earn no interest at all, thus further depleting my UK income)

Why you don't put the lump sum in a fixed deposit account? Kasikorn is given 3.25 % last time I checked. Another possible is that you mix the necessary lump sum with your income, lets say 50/50. After you get a renewal of your Visa based on marriage you wait to transfer some money till the rates get better. You also saving on transfer fees.

If you still have a Visa or MasterCard from your UK bank, you can use them to pay your grocery bills, benzine and other things because the rates are better and you have one month extra time to pay them.

I'm not a Brit but I do understand your worries, because this can happens to all us who retire in Thailand.

keep strong

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Since then the exchange rate has fluctuated considerably. It rose briefly to 1 GBP = 67 Bhat, but has now dipped to 1 GBP = 48 Bhat.

So currently my origional income of 1050 GBP would only produce a monthly income of 50,400 Bhat.

In order to qualify for a further extension of my permission to stay based on retirement, I would need a monthly income of 1355 GBP, or a lump sum of 16,667 GBP deposited in a Thai bank, (Where it would earn no interest at all, thus further depleting my UK income) This amounts to having to find an extra 3867 GBP per year

I wondered how other Ex-Pats intended to cope with this worsening situation... In my case, as I have married a Thai national, I have the option of renewing my permission to stay on the "Marriage" basis. This reduces the amount of income or lump sum required considerably, but even then, I would be in considerable difficulties if the Pound fell to the projected 35 bhat exchange rate.

Should the prognostications of some financial doomsayers come to pass, and the UK banking system collapse altogether, then I would be unable even to afford a flight home, let alone provide for my new family.

So, speaking to other British Ex-Pats in Thailand on retirement visas, what are your plans to deal with this situation?

ok. not sure this aplies to you but here we go. if ur married and ur wife work ahe can claim to earn 40k bt a month, pay the tax job done. yes it was a possibility but ive a feeling this has changed since i did this , last august.also as a married man u only need 40k a month or the deposit or a combination of the two. so by my calculations u should be ok till it goes down to 35=1. hope this is of some use.

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When I arrived in Thailand last April, my monthly income from investments in the UK amounted to about 1050 GBP per month. This produced a monthly income of 65,265 Bhat, just about qualifying for the monthly requirement of 65.000 Bhat needed to obtain the O/A (retirement) visa. As part of my income fluctuates, and is only paid quarterly, I elected to go the lump sum route, and easily established that I had UK bank deposits in excess of the 12,800 GBP required ( or 800,000 bhat ) for the visa.

Since then the exchange rate has fluctuated considerably. It rose briefly to 1 GBP = 67 Bhat, but has now dipped to 1 GBP = 48 Bhat.

So currently my origional income of 1050 GBP would only produce a monthly income of 50,400 Bhat.

In order to qualify for a further extension of my permission to stay based on retirement, I would need a monthly income of 1355 GBP, or a lump sum of 16,667 GBP deposited in a Thai bank, (Where it would earn no interest at all, thus further depleting my UK income) This amounts to having to find an extra 3867 GBP per year

Some financial forcasters are so dubious about the prospects of Stirling, that they predict that the GBP could fall further to an exchange rate of 1 GBP = 35 Bhat within the next year.

Under those circumstances my origional monthly income of 1050 would only produce 36,750 bhat. I would need a monthly income of 1857 GBP or to deposit 22,286 GBP in a Thai bank to qualify for a renewal of my permission to stay under the lump sum rule. This would require finding an extra 897 GBP per month, or 9486 GBP per year

The real situation turns out to be worse than that, for my actual income in the UK has fallen due to contracting interest rates.

I wondered how other Ex-Pats intended to cope with this worsening situation... In my case, as I have married a Thai national, I have the option of renewing my permission to stay on the "Marriage" basis. This reduces the amount of income or lump sum required considerably, but even then, I would be in considerable difficulties if the Pound fell to the projected 35 bhat exchange rate.

Should the prognostications of some financial doomsayers come to pass, and the UK banking system collapse altogether, then I would be unable even to afford a flight home, let alone provide for my new family.

So, speaking to other British Ex-Pats in Thailand on retirement visas, what are your plans to deal with this situation?

In order to qualify for a further extension of my permission to stay based on retirement, I would need a monthly income of 1355 GBP, or a lump sum of 16,667 GBP deposited in a Thai bank, (Where it would earn no interest at all, thus further depleting my UK income)

Why you don't put the lump sum in a fixed deposit account? Kasikorn is given 3.25 % last time I checked. Another possible is that you mix the necessary lump sum with your income, lets say 50/50. After you get a renewal of your Visa based on marriage you wait to transfer some money till the rates get better. You also saving on transfer fees.

If you still have a Visa or MasterCard from your UK bank, you can use them to pay your grocery bills, benzine and other things because the rates are better and you have one month extra time to pay them.

I'm not a Brit but I do understand your worries, because this can happens to all us who retire in Thailand.

keep strong

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Why you don't put the lump sum in a fixed deposit account? Kasikorn is given 3.25 % last time I checked. Another possible is that you mix the necessary lump sum with your income, lets say 50/50. After you get a renewal of your Visa based on marriage you wait to transfer some money till the rates get better. You also saving on transfer fees.

If you still have a Visa or MasterCard from your UK bank, you can use them to pay your grocery bills, benzine and other things because the rates are better and you have one month extra time to pay them.

I'm not a Brit but I do understand your worries, because this can happens to all us who retire in Thailand.

keep strong

Do these kinds of accounts satisfy Thai immigration though, with regards to issuing the visas?

Some on here have said in the past that they DON'T qualify, and the person is refused an extension.

Pekoprod

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In my case, as I have married a Thai national, I have the option of renewing my permission to stay on the "Marriage" basis. This reduces the amount of income or lump sum required considerably,

I think this is the crux of the issue, as far as residency permits and visas. Marriage to a Thai national should qualify for residency permission as it does in so many other places in the world. Whether one's expendable income is 40k ThB, 65k ThB or more per month, it is money being brought from outside the country to be spend in the country, which is beneficial for the country as a whole. The amount of money should be just a matter of whether or not this is enough for you to live in your chosen lifestyle.

I know someone who is married to an Irish national. By virtue of marriage, he is qualified for and possesses an Irish passport, which of course gives him the opportunity for residency should they opt for it. I would like to see something similar in Thailand, of course with the proper checks and balances to minimize the amount of abuse of privilege.

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Hold tight ... if you can. Things are going to change. The Thai Baht is under huge pressure (because of its relative value) and Thai exports are suffering big time.

The Baht will "tumble" sometime over the next 6 - 12months - i really cant see it been able to sustain its relative position for much longer. Knowing how the authorities like to hide bad news, when that tumble comes it will be fast and quick.

Unfortunately for we Brits, it's not the strong Baht that is the problem.

The GBP has taken a nose-dive against every other nation's currency (with the possible exception of those small Amazonian tribes who trade with beads and mirrors).

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A friend of mine lent money to another farang for the purpose of a visa, he gave my friend the ATM card and Bank Book, it seemed good , till my friend didn't see this guy for a few weeks,

Yep, you've guessed it, the so called trustworthy friend had conned him, .

Yes he had given the ATM card and Bankbook to my friend, but, after 3 days he went back to the Bank claiming to have lost both book and ATM, he was issued with new documents, cleaned out the account and left Thailand.

Beware of so called friends in Thailand, especially Farang friends ( your guard drops when its a Farang ), when they are down on their luck many would steal the eyes out of your head if you were not looking !

It wasn't in Pattaya was it?

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I know someone who is married to an Irish national. By virtue of marriage, he is qualified for and possesses an Irish passport, which of course gives him the opportunity for residency should they opt for it.

I know we are talking about Ireland here...but your statement appears to be ar*e about face...in most countries you qualify for residency in country first then get the passport, as once you have a passport you are a citizen of that country....

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Hold tight ... if you can. Things are going to change. The Thai Baht is under huge pressure (because of its relative value) and Thai exports are suffering big time.

The Baht will "tumble" sometime over the next 6 - 12months - i really cant see it been able to sustain its relative position for much longer. Knowing how the authorities like to hide bad news, when that tumble comes it will be fast and quick.

Hope your right Tim I've read many post's were your convinced of this you certainly know more about Thailand's economy than me, but waiting for this devaluation people talk about could be a long time coming if ever. We live in hope.

Lets hope this graph tumble's upward then.

Thai Bahts to 1 GBP (invert,data) graph120.png1x1_clear.gif120 days latest (Jan 22)

48.0182 lowest (Jan 22)

48.0182 highest (Aug 7)

65.2178

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I know someone who is married to an Irish national. By virtue of marriage, he is qualified for and possesses an Irish passport, which of course gives him the opportunity for residency should they opt for it.

I know we are talking about Ireland here...but your statement appears to be ar*e about face...in most countries you qualify for residency in country first then get the passport, as once you have a passport you are a citizen of that country....

OT, but you apparently misinterpreted the context of the statement, which was that they are not current residing in Ireland, but have the option to move there.

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Thanks for your replies.

I'm fairly lucky! As I approach the end of my first year in Thailand, I have the option of doing a border run before my origional O/A 1 year multi entry visa expires. On my return, I should recieve a stamp in my passport allowing me to stay for a second year before I have to apply at the immigration office for an extension of permission to stay, and present the financial paperwork that would currently be awkward in the present financial climate...

So I have the luxury of waiting another year before I have to worry about the official financial requirements... I can only hope that the exchange rate improves in the meantime. ...............

Surely if you use your original visa you will only get 90 days - not 1 year?

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I know someone who is married to an Irish national. By virtue of marriage, he is qualified for and possesses an Irish passport, which of course gives him the opportunity for residency should they opt for it.

I know we are talking about Ireland here...but your statement appears to be ar*e about face...in most countries you qualify for residency in country first then get the passport, as once you have a passport you are a citizen of that country....

OT, but you apparently misinterpreted the context of the statement, which was that they are not current residing in Ireland, but have the option to move there.

But he will not move there with an Irish passport; he will only acquire Irish citizenship through marriage after living with his wife in Ireland for 3 years.

However, I agree with your point that being required year after year to establish a right to remain in Thailand is tougher than the situation in most Western countries. But perhaps that's a trade-off against the relative ease with which westerners can enter and prolong their stay in Thailand.

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Hold tight ... if you can. Things are going to change. The Thai Baht is under huge pressure (because of its relative value) and Thai exports are suffering big time.

The Baht will "tumble" sometime over the next 6 - 12months - i really cant see it been able to sustain its relative position for much longer. Knowing how the authorities like to hide bad news, when that tumble comes it will be fast and quick.

Don't bet on it. Thailand has higher foreign reserves than the UK does right now. Thailand has neglible foreign liabilities compared with the estimated 4.2 trillion pounds that the UK owes the rest of the world.

The Thai banking system is not as exposed to the financial crisis either, having learnt hard lessons in 1997. Siam Commercial Bank, for example, made a profit last year. British banks are a disaster area in comparison

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columni...bankruptcy.html

While Thailand was exporting rice, the UK was exporting debt

Edited by dbrenn
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Why you don't put the lump sum in a fixed deposit account? Kasikorn is given 3.25 % last time I checked. Another possible is that you mix the necessary lump sum with your income, lets say 50/50. After you get a renewal of your Visa based on marriage you wait to transfer some money till the rates get better. You also saving on transfer fees.

If you still have a Visa or MasterCard from your UK bank, you can use them to pay your grocery bills, benzine and other things because the rates are better and you have one month extra time to pay them.

I'm not a Brit but I do understand your worries, because this can happens to all us who retire in Thailand.

keep strong

Do these kinds of accounts satisfy Thai immigration though, with regards to issuing the visas?

Some on here have said in the past that they DON'T qualify, and the person is refused an extension.

Pekoprod

I have always had the impression, but can't put my finger on where, that immigration only really understand Savings accounts and it is Savings that is specified in the list of requirements they need for extension. They don't specifically dismiss Term deposits in the lists but I have always made sure my accounts were Savings accounts. Previously they could only fathom bank books, but last time I renewed, they had finally understood that some Savings accounts don't have them and that statements and letters are credible proof. It is always best to be on the safe side, unless prior experience proves otherwise, even it means missing out on 3 months interest.

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Why you don't put the lump sum in a fixed deposit account? Kasikorn is given 3.25 % last time I checked. Another possible is that you mix the necessary lump sum with your income, lets say 50/50. After you get a renewal of your Visa based on marriage you wait to transfer some money till the rates get better. You also saving on transfer fees.

If you still have a Visa or MasterCard from your UK bank, you can use them to pay your grocery bills, benzine and other things because the rates are better and you have one month extra time to pay them.

I'm not a Brit but I do understand your worries, because this can happens to all us who retire in Thailand.

keep strong

Do these kinds of accounts satisfy Thai immigration though, with regards to issuing the visas?

Some on here have said in the past that they DON'T qualify, and the person is refused an extension.

Pekoprod

I have always had the impression, but can't put my finger on where, that immigration only really understand Savings accounts and it is Savings that is specified in the list of requirements they need for extension. They don't specifically dismiss Term deposits in the lists but I have always made sure my accounts were Savings accounts. Previously they could only fathom bank books, but last time I renewed, they had finally understood that some Savings accounts don't have them and that statements and letters are credible proof. It is always best to be on the safe side, unless prior experience proves otherwise, even it means missing out on 3 months interest.

I have always understood that immigration want your money in a savings account to show you are using the money on a daily basis.After you receive the extension there's nothing to stop you transferring a portion to a fixed term if you want to.

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borrow money from a thai relative to put in the bank in your name and let them keep the bank book and atm card.

:o:D

That is funny as I'd say 90% of retirees that come here meet their wives on the internet or tourist areas. They are the cash cows and the Thai family would never dream of lending a large sum of money, and usually don't have it.

I personally know a few retirees that probably won't have a wife if the pound goes to 40.

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Let's not turn this into yet another Strength of the Baht thread but I think it would be very unwise for people to plan on the Baht crashing to a level that will make a substantial difference - similarly, I wouldn't look to the Pound to gain substantial amounts over the next twelve months either. I say these things because it's probably best to start planning an alternate way out of the situation now rather than waiting for an event that is unlikely to occur.

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