Latin America APAC lead business travel growth CWT

first_imgSouth America and the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are picking up steam in the MICE market, with business travel expected to boom in the regions over 2012.According to a Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) 2012 Travel Price Forecast, APAC’s travel prices will be flatter on a quarter basis compared to quarters in 2011, however the region will continue to be a global leader in business travel volumes.CWT said Asia Pacific’s airline pricing is expected to rise by up to 3.1 to 3.8 percent in 2012, while the average daily hotel rates will range from 1.9 percent drop to a 2.1 percent rise during the first half of next year.Car rentals in Australia and New Zealand will remain relatively flat, according to the company’s forecasts, ranging from 1.7 percent decrease to a 3.9 percent rise during the coming year.Meanwhile, growth in Latin America is expected to benefit main areas of travel spend, while political disruptions will see other countries miss-out on economic benefits.The forecast highlighted that the region as-a-whole will see a 5.8 percent rise in 2012 with Columbia leading the pack at 7.9 to 11.4 percent rises.Average daily hotel rates are expected to shoot up nine to 11.8 percent during the first half of the year, with Brazilian hoteliers are predicted to welcome a 24 percent jump across the first six months.CWT Solutions Group vice president Nick Vournakis said travel buyers looking to book trips are expected to experience “tough negotiations” as the landscapes “complexity” increases.“At the same time, economic uncertainty continues in some parts of the world and has resurfaced in others, prompting increasing questions on exactly what 2012 holds in store for organisations and, by extension, for business travel,” he added.While APAC and South America rise next year, North America and European conditions are expected to remain still and uncertain.According to the report, the US will see airline pricing rise by 3.5 to 4.1 percent next year while the daily hotel rate for the US and Canada will increase as little as 2.4 to 3.1 percent over the first six months 2012.Europe, the Middle East and Africa will also see stifled growth as airlines increase fares by as little as 2.1 to 3.7 percent next year and the average hotel rate tips up slightly by 0.2 to 0.9 percent. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Travel Counsellors rescue Air Australia customers

first_imgChairman David Speakman Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The leading independent agency revealed it would re-imburse its customers that booked Air Australia tickets through them.Those clients without travel insurance would recoup the original cost of flight tickets booked, in wake of the collapse of the airline.The re-imbursement will not cover additional costs customers may incur from booking with a different airline but will cover all monies paid toward Air Australia flights.According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Travel Counsellors have “set a great example of how organisations can prepare effectively for when the reforms come in.”Travel Counsellors Chairman David Speakman was adamant about protecting the agency’s ever increasing customer base.“Financial protection for the customer has always been paramount to us as a company. “We thought it only right and proper that we as the Agent should ensure that any customer of Travel Counsellors that does not have insurance is re-imbursed for the original cost of the flight they had booked with Air Australia through us,” Mr Speakman said.last_img read more

QF Virgin dispute affects overseas travel

first_img“It’s the second or third-largest market for these carriers outside their home market.” “Australia is an important travel market in its own right,” CIMB analyst Mark Williams said. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has expressed his distaste for Qantas’ behaviour in the airline’s battle to undermine Virgin Australia’s operations. The ongoing rivalry between Virgin Australia and Qantas Airways has the potential to impact international airlines regional competition, beckoning further involvement by partner carriers. Australia’s high-yielding business travel market – estimated by analysts to be worth as much as AU$3.8 billion – has the capability to affect regional travel in regions such as the Gulf and Asia, Reuters reported. Virgin Australia’s major shareholders, Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore Airlines and Qantas’ alliance partner Emirates stand to be greatly transposed by the outcome of the current conflict.center_img Last week, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce accused Virgin Australia of undercutting Qantas, in reference to the AU$300 million capital investment injection from overseas shareholders. “The strategy by Qantas to exert its power over its smaller rival by releasing false information and attempting to discredit Virgin Australia is no different.” “Over the past week I have watched the behaviour of Qantas, and likened it to the tactics that were thrown at us by British Airways in the 1990’s with their dirty tricks campaign,” Mr Branson said. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Etihad supporting over 200000 jobs in the US

first_imgA decade of orders by Etihad Airways for new Boeing aircraft is supporting more than 200,000 American jobs, the airline’s President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said yesterday.Since 2006 the airline has introduced or placed orders for 115 wide-bodied Boeing aircraft, including 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which will enter service early next year.The US Department of Commerce estimates that for every US$1 billion invested in the US aerospace industry, 5,747 American jobs are supported.Mr Hogan was speaking at the UAE – US Business Council lunch in San Francisco to celebrate the successful launch of Etihad Airways’ non-stop flights to San Francisco on 18 November, one of the airline’s six destinations in the US.“At 2014 list prices, the total value of Boeing jets we have received or have on order is US$36.5 billion. Based on the US Government formula, this represents almost 210,000 US aerospace jobs,” Mr Hogan said.“Linking San Francisco via Abu Dhabi with the strategically important and rapidly growing markets in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent will help to deepen the strong commercial, trade and cultural relationship between the US and the UAE.”By the end of 2014 Etihad Airways will operate 45 passenger flights per week between Abu Dhabi and the US following the introduction in March of a second daily flight to New York, the launch in June of daily nonstop services between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles.The airline have also commenced daily flights to San Francisco and three flights per week to Dallas/Fort Worth from November and December respectively.Last year Etihad Airways began a US$1 billion partnership with Sabre Travel Technologies for the provision of a new IT platform to support its global passenger services systems.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Vietjet launches super promotion for the New Year

first_imgVietjet launches super promotion for the New YearVietjet launches super promotion for the New YearVietjet has just announced one of its biggest ever promotions for the New Year under the banner ‘Fly Enthusiastically – Celebrate the Festive Season’. From December 28, 2017 to February 28, 2018, the airline is giving away two million ‘super promo tickets’ priced from only HKD0 (*) as well as incredible cash prizes with a total value of up to VND 1 billion (HKD 344,000) and many more free tickets.During the first week of the promotion, Vietjet will have a series of ‘golden days’ from December 28 to December 30, 2017 with millions of promotional tickets priced only from HKD0 available at for all domestic and international routes from Vietnam to Hong Kong/Seoul, Busan/ Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan/ Singapore/ Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai/ Kuala Lumpur/ Yangon/ Phnom Penh. The flight period for the promotion is from January 3, 2018 to May 31, 2018 (**).Adding extra festive joy to the promotion, passengers flying with Vietjet on all domestic and international routes (***) from December 28, 2017 to February 28, 2018 will have chances to participate in daily lucky draws and win domestic return tickets, ‘lucky money’ prizes up to VND 10,000,000 (HKD 3,400) as well as a special cash prize worth VND100,000,000 (HKD 34,000). Passengers can also experience the online game “Vietjet Sky Fun” to win more gifts including a pair of domestic or international return tickets.Tickets can be booked on all channels of Vietjet and within the golden hours  from 13:00 to 15:00 (GMT+8) at or at Payment can be easily made with debit and credit cards of Visa, MasterCard, JCB, KCP and American Express.With an aim of becoming a “Consumer Airline”, Vietjet is continually opening new routes, adding more aircraft, investing in modern technology and offering more added-on products and services to serve all demands of international and domestic travelers. Vietjet is a pioneering airline that is loved by many for its exciting promotional and entertainment programs, especially during the festive season. With high-quality services, diverse ticket classes and special low-fare tickets, Vietjet offers its passengers flying experiences on new aircraft with comfy seats, delicious hot meals, beautiful and friendly cabin crews, and other added-on services. (*) excluding taxes and fees (**) excluding national holidays (***) excluding charter flightsSource = Vietjetlast_img read more

ASIA DMC prevails at World Travel Awards

first_imgASIA DMC showcases the “Spirit of Travel” at ITB BerlinASIA DMC prevails at World Travel AwardsThe 25th World Travel Awards Gala, held in Hong Kong on 3rd September, recognized ASIA DMC triumphant in six categories, including “Asia’s Leading Management Company and also including five accolades as leading management company (DMC) in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. The accolade marks the second-consecutive year that ASIA DMC winning these prestigious titles being a major milestone for the company as ASIA DMC celebrates its 21 years of business.To coincide with the celebrations, ASIA DMC shall officially launch its first Carbon offset product, which will add further value to partners and clients by making practical efforts to reduce the impacts of tourism in each destination. The volume of carbon that clients are creating, measuring aspects like room nights and travel, will be calculated and identify the neutralise cost. Each purchase of this carbon offset product will be attributed to local projects in our destinations to counteract the emissions that cannot be avoided causing during the trips.“The idea for this product is to showcase the sustainable way that we provide travel – not only as a measure to decrease our carbon emissions but to meet the growing demand from travellers to travel in a responsible way” commented Andre van der Marck, Managing Director of ASIA DMC Thailand. Once it is launched, this product will also create funding for other projects that responsibly promote environmental as well as economic development and ASIA DMC will be the first company of its kind to offer this kind of product. “Travel is not necessary to cost the Earth; we just need to think of innovative ways to create memorable experiences.” Andre added.“In fact, the new carbon offset product is not the first initiative that ASIA DMC has established to combine memorable travel with a sustainable attitude. Several initiatives have been undertaken by the work of the HG Foundation, our CSR arm, which provides environmental and social benefits to communities across Southeast Asia.” Gerben Bloemendaal, Managing Director of ASIA DMC Myanmar added. For example, in line with the “Roots and Fruits” campaign, we’ve actually got 7 reforestation sites in Siem Reap, Luang Prabang, Hanoi, Nhatrang,… where we can take clients and they get the option to plant a fruit tree to neutralise their carbon footprints. This creates a concrete experience that promotes sustainable travel and tourism while also creating micro-economies in destinations.This responsible development oriented carbon offset product is a further movement to demonstrate the company’s on-going commitment to environmental and social sustainability across its business. About ASIA DMCASIA DMC is an international award winning Destination Management Company (DMC) specialising in Southeast Asia and solely dedicated to B2B trade. Founded in 1997 in Hanoi where the company is headquartered, ASIA DMC welcomes guests to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia where it operates offices led by highly experienced international and local native-speaking professionals. International guests from around the world include agency clients from the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Australia and New Zealand, making ASIA DMC a continental service provider for global businesses ranging from special interest groups, set departure groups and tailor-made trips for high-end experiential and independent private travel. ASIA DMC showcases responsible travel experiences and solutions with creativity, passion, in-depth local knowledge and expertise. Product and corporate focus is dedicated to the celebration of Asia in an extremely trade and customer centric way that also serves to protect the local people, culture and environment by working closely with its in-house HG Foundation which leads numerous community and environmental initiatives around the region.Source = ASIA DMClast_img read more

Hilton Dubai The Walk To Open The Internationally Renowned Thai Restau

first_imgHilton Dubai The Walk To Open The Internationally Renowned Thai RestaurantHilton Dubai The Walk To Open The Internationally Renowned Thai RestaurantThe leading Asian dining venue, with restaurants situated in over 10 countries across the world, ‘Mango Tree Thai Bistro’ will be opening in Dubai, at Hilton Dubai The Walk in early February 2019. The venue promises to serve up delicious authentic Thai flavours and some new Thai creations that will entice Thai lovers palates, prepared by the talented in-house team and Head Chef – Atip Intarakased from Thailand.The menu will feature an array of mouthwatering dishes from the 4 regions of Thailand, along with introducing some items that are familiar to the local palate. Both countries share similar cultural elements, such as unique herbs and spices used in cooking, and the idea of dining together with families or for social gatherings, giving diners at Mango Tree Thai Bistro a feel for new and familiar tastes.Guests can expect to savour dishes such as watermelon salad with hand grinded dry shrimps floss, an ancient Thai recipe from the Royal palaces revived with a contemporary touch and new trends like som tam corn salad that has become a trend in restaurants everywhere in Thailand. The menu will feature other unique signature dishes such as spicy beef short ribs soup, jungle curry from the mountainous regions, and massaman leg of lamb inspired from the South of Thailand. Guests can also quench their thirst by sipping on delicious beverages such as the one-of-a-kind mango tree mule and mango basil tini curated in from Bangkok’s mixologist, complimented with a Thai tapas bar menu and Thai flatbread creations.The interiors of the new Thai Bistro boasts a vibrant, rustic and retro feel, coupled with bespoke art murals on the walls that resemble the lively and fun-loving lifestyle of Thai people and the bustling Bangkok. The architect behind the venue design is Ryan Phanphensophon, son of the COCA and Mango Tree Restaurants’ CEO Pitaya Phanphensophon, and grandson of the restaurant group’s original founder, Srichai Phanphensophon, who first started the restaurant group back in 1957 from a simple 20 seat shophouse in downtown Bangkok.The lively family-friendly venue allows a seating capacity of 156 guests and a terrace overlooking the vibrant streets of JBR. Guests can expect a relaxed dining atmosphere, with refreshing beverages and the upbeat sounds playing throughout the evening.“We are excited to have such a well-known restaurant brand open at our hotel. The concept is authentic and the food is full of flavours. We are confident Mango Tree Thai Bistro will see great success. We can’t wait to open the doors to our guests at Hilton Dubai The Walk,” said Andreas Searty, Cluster General Manager, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Hilton Dubai The Walk and Hilton Dubai Creek.“Our new Mango Tree Thai Bistro promises to deliver something never before seen in the region; a vibrant dining destination that is less formal than traditional Thai restaurants. Hilton Dubai The Walk attracts a large number of families and guests on extended stays, so this bold bistro concept with indoor seating and outdoor patio will be perfectly suited to guests who want a casual place to dine, couples and groups of friends seeking a fun and lively evening out,” said Trevor MacKenzie, Mango Tree’s Global Managing Director.Mango Tree Thai Bistro, known for its bold new menus and trendy and casual attitude, is sure to stand out from the crowd as it opens its doors at Hilton Dubai The Walk in February 2019.Source = Mango Tree Thai Bistrolast_img read more

Ethiopian Airlines welcomes the new Boeing 7879 Dreamliner

first_imgEthiopian Airlines has become the first airline service in Africa to add Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to its fleet. The aircraft model is one of the most technically advanced, ultra-comfortable, fuel-efficient and environment-friendly aircraft in the 787 family that Ethiopian will operate. Ethiopian Airlines was the first in the world outside Japan to receive and operate the 787-8 back in August 2012.Both the 787-8 and 787-9 offer superior and unmatched onboard comfort, thanks to their unique features such as the biggest windows in the sky, high ceiling, less noise, distinctive lighting, higher air humidity as well as 20% less fuel. The 787-9 is 20 feet or 6 meters longer than the 787-8 and has more passenger capacity with 315 seats and more cargo space.Tewolde Gebre Mariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, said, “Continuing our legacy of pioneering aviation technology in Africa, we are proud to celebrate yet another first with the introduction of the cutting-edge 787-9 into our young and fast-growing fleet. Today, the 787 is our core fleet with 20 aircraft in service. Our investment in latest technology aircraft such as the 787 and A350, which makes us among the very few airlines in the world to simultaneously operate these two most cutting-edge aeroplanes. We invite the travelling public to join us in one of our flights to enjoy the new level of comfort of the B-787-9.”Ethiopian Airlines currently flies to more than 100 international destinations in five continents using 93 most modern and youngest fleet, 20 of which are B787 Dreamliner, deployed on its long-haul routes.last_img read more

Global Shocks Unlikely to Directly Crimp Housing

first_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers American Enterprise Institute Capital Economics Dodd-Frank Existing-Home Sales First-Time Homebuyers Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Rates National Association of Realtors OCC Processing Service Providers Shares Stocks 2011-09-07 Ryan Schuette September 7, 2011 392 Views center_img Global Shocks Unlikely to Directly Crimp Housing Mortgage application volume suffered a drubbing Wednesday, even as the U.S. economy fell behind in important global rankings and the euro zone crisis continues to trouble investors. With numerous economists attributing lows for consumer confidence to a bevy of international concerns, _MReport_ spoke with analysts to spot any troubling signs for housing as the global economy wobbles.[IMAGE]The verdict: Apart from stock market fluctuations, market watchers should keep an eye the fallout from euro zone crises for mortgage rates and credit supply. Still, policymakers and institutions stateside are more likely to dent confidence than events overseas.On Wednesday the “”World Economic Forum””: released a “”global competitiveness report””: that pushed back on assertions about U.S. economic vitality and creditworthiness by ranking the world’s largest economy fifth on a list of other countries. A “”_New York Times_ story””: also raised new worries that U.S. financial institutions with exposure to euro zone markets could tighten credit standards in order to stave off effects from the spreading debt crisis.Alex Pollock, a resident fellow with the “”American Enterprise Institute””: and former head of the “”Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago””:, dismisses the news as largely inconsequential to homebuyers and other players in the U.S. economy.He highlights the $14.7-trillion GDP growth still enjoyed by the U.S., citing fundamental economic strength that still makes it a “”very big, very entrepreneurial, very rich stable country”” with plenty to offer homebuyers, overseas investors, and consumers at large.””It’s a good illustration really that the credit downgrade hasn’t made really made a difference,”” he says, referencing “”Standard & Poor’s””: recent decision to negatively rate creditworthiness for U.S. debt.[COLUMN_BREAK]The lower rank arrives amid a continuing surge in overseas homebuyer and investor activity. In March the “”National Association for Realtors””: found that cash buyers and investors accounted for a startling 35 percent of existing-home sales, numbers that have stayed high with few revisions.Asked whether an image problem for the U.S. could deter overseas cash buyers and investors, Paul Dales, a senior U.S. economist with “”Capital Economics””:, says that foreigners will likely continue to value all-time highs for housing affordability despite debt downgrades.As for debt crises for economies in euro zone markets? Dales toes the line with assertions he made for a past “”_MReport_ story””: that wobbly Europe could both help the housing economy and weaken the recovery.He says that a rush by scared investors to U.S. Treasury debt could depress mortgage rates, keeping home purchases attractive, even as spreading debt crises make lenders more cautious, a trend that could potentially dampen lending volume.All signs point to the need for more credit, not less, in the U.S. economy. The “”Office of the Comptroller for the Currency””: found in February that banks had squeezed their commercial and retail underwriting standards over 2010 by some 32 and 30 percent, tightening credit for home equity, residential real estate, and commercial construction nationwide.Underscoring the safety and competitiveness of U.S. debt, which stayed close to 2 percent for 10-year yields Tuesday, Pollock nods to the potential for competition from the European Union if the supranational entity moves forward with widely rumored plans for a fiscal union that could potentially create purchasable debt on par with Treasuries. Such a deal could raise borrowing costs for U.S. homebuyers if investors flock to a sounder-looking European alternative.””There you would have a big and deep economy and that might allow for a serious competitor for international reserves,”” Pollock says, adding that German bonds and gold create the only current competition for U.S. debt.His real concern? The former banking chief worries that “”regulatory over-reactions”” could make the U.S. less attractive abroad, lending weight to the World Economic Forum report.””The sort of political and regulatory over-reaction represented by the Dodd-Frank Act makes [the U.S.] a less desirable place to do business,”” he says.last_img read more

MetLife Lauds RecordBreaking 11B in Commercial Loans

first_img in Origination, Servicing “”MetLife””: originated $11 billion in commercial mortgages in 2011, making last year the largest on record for the life insurer.[IMAGE]The company said in a statement Monday that it achieved the results by signing off on a number of real estate transactions with mortgages roughly equal to $200 million and above.It said that these include $350 million on a loan for commercial real estate in Manhattan; $255[COLUMN_BREAK]million on a mortgage for an office building in Chicago; and super-regional malls based in Denver and Tampa, each worth $360 million and $325 million, respectively.””Capitalizing on the strength of the MetLife lending platform, we were able to originate a significant number of larger loans on trophy office buildings and dominant regional malls in the U.S.,”” Mark Wilsmann, managing director and head of MetLife’s mortgage lending group, said in a statement.Robert Merck, senior managing director and global head of real estate investments for the company, chalked up the results in a statement to “”key guiding principles, which enabled us to strategically navigate through the economic downturn during the past few years and remain an active lender in the market.””The record-breaking loans from last year come on the heels of a pullout by MetLife from the forward mortgage origination business, which the company announced last fall and completed in January.MetLife more recently axed 804 originators in Irving, Texas, where it filed a notice of layoff with state authorities in February. February 27, 2012 490 Views Agents & Brokers Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers MetLife Processing Service Providers 2012-02-27 Ryan Schuettecenter_img MetLife Lauds Record-Breaking $11B in Commercial Loans Sharelast_img read more

Capital Economics Lower Rental Yields Undermining Investment Case

first_imgCapital Economics: Lower Rental Yields Undermining Investment Case Lower rental yields in today’s market may threaten to drive out investor interest, but “”Capital Economics””: sees no reason to start worrying just yet.[IMAGE]In its latest US Housing Market Update, the analytics firm addresses the uneven gains seen between home purchase prices and rent costs over the last year. (The report cites January data from CoreLogic, which shows prices rising 9.8 percent year-over-year with rents rising only 2.7 percent in the same period.)The disparity is weighing on rental yields. By Capital Economics’ measure, average gross rental yields–annual rent payable on a property divided by its current value–fell from a peak of 5.5 percent in early 2012 to 5.31 percent by the fourth quarter.””In a US Housing Market Focus from last year we highlighted that the house price gains that investor interest in housing are driving would eventually price many of those selfsame investors out of the market,”” writes Paul Diggle, property economist for the company. “”The mechanism will be via a reduction in rental yields and less potential for capital appreciation, to a level that doesn’t compensate investors for the high set-up and management costs of residential investment.””For a housing market still reliant on investor purchases, the phase-out may represent a serious problem.Diggle offers as evidence the case of Phoenix, Arizona, a hard-hit market that has largely been revived as a result of investor activity. There, prices have risen by 23 percent over the past year, rendering the city a “”no-go area”” for many institutional investors interested in cheaper prospects.However, Diggle notes lower yields are unlikely to dampen investor interest in housing, at least in the short term.””First, the decline in rental yields is still very gradual and will see yields remain high relative to Treasuries for a while yet. While we expect the 10-year Treasury yield to end the year below 2 percent, our forecasts for house prices and rents imply gross rental yields averaging 5.1 percent during 2013.””Second, even as the typical rental yield slides backwards, our expectations for an 8 percent gain in house prices this year implies a healthy total return for investors. Indeed, at 12.7 percent in Q4 2012, the total return from housing–rental yield plus capital appreciation–was already at its highest level since early-2006,”” he writes.For the time being, at least, Capital Economics expects investor demand to continue to act as a major support for the recovery. However, with fewer distressed assets for sale and price gains leaving less potential for capital appreciation, that increased interest has an expiration date.””In that context, the 14 percent increase in mortgage applications for home purchases over the past year has been an encouraging sign that mortgage-dependent buyers may be beginning to play more of a role in the housing comeback,”” Diggle remarks. “”But there’s no doubt that demand from this group will have to strengthen by a lot more to keep the recovery going.”” March 29, 2013 441 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Home Prices Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Rental Properties Service Providers 2013-03-29 Tory Barringercenter_img in Data Sharelast_img read more

Do Americans Really Support the CFPB

first_img Share July 25, 2017 515 Views Do Americans Really Support the CFPB? Americans for Financial Reform CFPB Dodd-Frank The Cato Institute 2017-07-25 Aly J. Yalecenter_img Though a recent poll by the Americans for Financial Reform showed overwhelming support for both the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to Thaya Brook Knight, Associate Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the CATO Institute, the poll might not have been the most accurate marker for approval. In a recent blog post, Knight claims the poll’s questions weren’t just misleading but downright “disingenuous” in places.The AFR’s poll, released in mid-July, showed 74 percent of those surveyed supporting the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and 73 percent supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Though these may seem higher than average numbers, according to Knight, they’re actually on the low end considering how the poll’s questions were worded.“What has not been as widely reported is how skewed the questions were,” Knight wrote. “Given the questions, it’s surprising there was not more support for Dodd-Frank and the CFPB.”Knight says the phrasing of many of the poll’s questions were stilted, using inflammatory terms like “risky” and “abusive” without proper explanation.Here’s how the question related to Dodd-Frank read: “Now please listen to this description of the Wall Street Reform law that was passed after the financial crisis. In addition to requiring federal oversight of a larger range of financial companies, this law also prohibits banks from certain risky practices and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to fight against abusive financial practices that hurt consumers. It also bans taxpayer-funded bailouts of large banks and financial companies and, instead, sets up a system where investors rather than taxpayers bear the losses of bank failures. Please tell me whether, overall, you favor or oppose this law.”“This question also lobs a number of very nuanced and deeply controversial terms at the respondent—words like ‘risky’ and ‘abusive’—with almost no context,” Knight wrote. “What is the optimal level of ‘risk’ for financial institutions, who should assess ‘riskiness’ and how risk can be adequately hedged are questions at the core of ongoing debates over the cause of the 2009 financial crisis and future policy considerations. Labeling a set of practices as ‘risky’ is conclusory and deliberately ignores any existing controversy.Knight says the verbiage on the CFPB question was also disingenuous and that it essentially suggests “the debate over the CFPB is between those who are for abusive practices and those who are against them.”Overall, Knight says, the questions brush off the true issues surrounding Dodd-Frank and the CFPB and, ultimately, don’t provide accurate proof that Americans support either.Read the full post at in Daily Dose, Government, Headlineslast_img read more

The Changing Dynamics of Home Prices

first_imgThe Changing Dynamics of Home Prices August 20, 2018 654 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News A new report on July home sales by Redfin paints an increasingly common phenomenon in the U.S. housing market: While prices keep going up the rate at which prices are growing is decreasing.According to Redfin, U.S. home-sale prices compared to a year ago increased 5.3 percent in July, to a median of $307,400. At the same time, the price growth rate dropped for the fifth consecutive month, “and has not been this low since September 2016,” the report stated. In Portland, home prices were up 4 percent year over year, but that, reported Redfin, was the lowest price growth in 41 months. Similarly, while Seattle home prices increased 8 percent compared with last year, that was the lowest growth in 27 months. Even San Jose’s 19 percent uptick, the highest growth rate of any metro Redfin tracks, was the lowest price growth the city has seen in nine months.“The Bay Area, Seattle, and Portland have been so competitive for so long that buyers and sellers have adjusted to those conditions and may feel uneasy about the changes we’re seeing in the market,” said Taylor Marr, Redfin’s senior economist. “After several years of shrinking inventory and unsustainable price growth, I’m encouraged by these changes as a signal that we may be returning to a healthier, more balanced market.”According to Redfin, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore are also slowing down. Home prices grew 0.7 percent in Washington, D.C., while sales grew almost 13 percent in July. Inventory in D.C. also grew 9 percent.Meanwhile, Baltimore’s prices fell 0.5 percent as sales surged almost 56 percent since last year, Redfin reported.Twenty-eight percent of homes on the market in July had a price drop, which is 3 percent more than last July’s total.In a similar push-and-pull dynamic, homes sales increased 4.1 percent nationally over July 2017 as inventory declines continued to moderate. The number of homes for sale was down 5.4 percent year over year, making July the third month of supply declines around the 5 percent mark, Redfin reported. That follows 19 months of inventory declines of over 7 percent.For the second month in a row, inventory increased year over year by double digits in San Jose, (28 percent), Seattle (27 percent), and Portland (22 percent). “These markets also experienced sales declines of 11.9 percent, 6.4 percent, and 6.1 percent, respectively,” the report stated.Homes that sold in July went under contract in a median 35 days, three days faster than last year and one day slower than in June. “While homes are still selling near a record-fast pace, there are some signs competition is waning,” the report stated. “For the first time since March 2015, the share of homes that sold above asking price declined year over year—albeit slightly—from 26.5 in July 2017 to 26.2 percent last month.”center_img Share Days on Market Home price Home Sales Homebuyers homeowners homes HOUSING Inventory Redfin 2018-08-20 Radhika Ojhalast_img read more

The Top 25 Leaders and Influencers Part 5

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features BSI Financial First American Mortgage Solutions flagstar bank Tromberg Law Group VRM Mortgage Services 2019-02-12 David Wharton February 12, 2019 2,477 Views Editor’s note: This feature appeared in the February issue of MReport, out now.In the final part of this series, MReport recognizes the top leaders and influencers of the industry. Compiled from nominations submitted by industry professionals, the “Top 25 Industry Leaders & Influencers” list recognizes those individuals who are guiding by example, thinking outside the box in ways that are shaping the industry’s path forward, and still maintaining that personal touch that ensures their team members feel supported, inspired, and recognized.Gagan SharmaPRESIDENT AND CEO, BSI FINANCIALYears in Industry: 18Gagan Sharma acquired BSI Financial Services from its former parent in 2006 and transformed the company from a small lender into an innovative and thriving loan servicing provider, growing BSI by over 50 times since his acquisition. During this time, Sharma has overseen the launch of several new product lines at the company and complemented it with bolt-on acquisitions, while building a strong management team and culture with the organization focused on a shared set of core values. This included the development of BSI’s proprietary data and analytics platform, ASSET 360, which imports data elements on BSI’s loans on a daily basis, including all collection comments, transaction history, and loan status updates. Sharma was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award Finalist in the Southwest Region. Before acquiring BSI, Sharma founded a global outsourcing company serving the financial services and technology industries. He raised institutional equity financing and increased its labor force to more than 1,200 people before selling it. Before that, Sharma was a consultant with Deloitte, advising clients on matters of strategy and operations in the financial services and high tech industries. His areas of expertise include specialty loan servicing and subservicing, loan-servicing quality control, REO/asset management, MSR acquisition, loss mitigation strategies, loan-servicing technology, and outsourcing. A seasoned entrepreneur, Sharma brings a wealth of deep expertise and experience in the launching of new businesses, raising capital, P&L management, and growing organizations from startup to enterprise scale. Sharma is praised by colleagues for his effective leadership of teams and his commitment to trustworthiness and integrity._______________________________________________________________Rocky StubbsSVP, HEAD OF DIRECT LENDING, FLAGSTAR BANKYears in Industry: 15Rocky Stubbs helped lead the industry through one of its darkest hours. Currently, with Flagstar, Stubbs helmed JPMorgan Chase’s foreclosure prevention group in the country’s hardest hit markets during the financial crisis, which successfully helped over 100,000 struggling customers avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes. An innovative and strategic mind, he has an industry reputation as a bold innovator who is highly skilled at leading rapid growth agendas. His passion for designing incredible customer experiences using leading edge digital tools is second to none. He is one of the few industry leaders to crack the code on scaling purchase business in a direct lending channel. While most scaled (2Bb+) consumer direct lenders struggle to get over 10 percent purchase mix, Stubbs’ team achieved over 40 percent purchase while delivering industry leading customer and Realtor satisfaction scores. Stubbs has rapidly put Flagstar Bank on the map as a competitive player in the digital lending arena for both mortgage and the home equity businesses. He continues to be a strong thought leader for the industry in the areas of digital lending, artificial intelligence, digital assistants, and customer experience. He attributes the reason for his success to a group of strong mentors. He always prefers useful feedback to accolades in his effort to be continually improving. “I call Rocky ‘the maestro’. He’s like an orchestra leader pulling all of the instruments into the music at the right time. Everyone is welcome around the table and encouraged to weigh in,” shared David Dickey, EVP at Guaranteed Rate Affinity._______________________________________________________________Cheryl Travis-JohnsonEVP AND COO, VRM MORTGAGE SERVICES AND CO-FOUNDER, COUNCIL FOR INCLUSION IN FINANCIAL SERVICESYears in Industry: 30+Since joining VRM in 2008, Cheryl Travis-Johnson has been responsible for developing and rolling out VRMU, one of the leading training vehicles for real estate professionals. She is committed to developing nontraditional services to mitigate losses associated with nonperforming loans. As a director on the board of PCV/VRM Seeds of Hope nonprofit, Travis-Johnson leverages philanthropy to support neighborhood stabilization efforts. Immediately prior to joining VRM, Travis-Johnson served as Director of REO Sales Operations for Freddie Mac, during which time she received Freddie Mac’s Premier Achievement Award. She is the Co-founder for the Council for Inclusion in Financial Services (CIFS), an industry initiative created to help the financial services industry develop and sustain an inclusive workforce and promote financial literacy so more Americans have access to wealth management tools. The CIFS was initially formed to address the requirements of Section 342 of The Dodd-Frank Act that relate to supplier utilization, women, and minorities in senior leadership roles. Travis-Johnson received her bachelor’s in Economics from Mills College as well as an MBA and Doctorate from Walden University. She was a 2018 nominee for the Five Star Conference Keystone Award—recognizing female leaders in housing and mortgage. VRM has invested more than $90 million in veteran-owned businesses since 2012, a cause Travis-Johnson has championed. “Our support of veterans is about their future and the future of our country,” Cheryl TravisJohnson said. “Engaging veteran-owned, small businesses through our extensive, results-driven network boosts the economic opportunities for veterans year-over-year,” she said._______________________________________________________________Andrea TrombergOWNER, TROMBERG LAW GROUPYears in Industry: 13Andrea Tromberg began her legal career as a public defender and then a criminal defense attorney, trying over 100 jury trials. This taught her to think on her feet and exposed her to a broad array of different people, backgrounds, and personalities. These experiences provided many useful lessons, including the ability to deal with differences of opinion by stepping back and considering who is delivering the message, and why. Tromberg has spent the last 10 years in default litigation and runs a mid-size firm in Florida, which also practices in Puerto Rico. She prides herself on her firm’s diversity, with management comprising primarily women and all ethnicities and races. Her colleagues say that Tromberg leads by example, with patience, ethics, care, brilliance, and dignity, as well as a commitment to always doing the right thing. When dealing with an employee who is having a difficult time, Tromberg will attempt to understand the person’s issues and the reasons behind that struggle, while also ensuring they understand that she cares. Tromberg consistently promotes her employees and gives them opportunities to grow and make a name for themselves in our industry. Tromberg is currently serving her second term as the America Legal Financial Network’s first female Chairperson of the Board of Directors. She is also dedicated to charitable causes such as the Boys and Girls Club and Breast Cancer Awareness, and she recently attended the Five Star PR18 Summit in Puerto Rico to help find solutions to assist with the island’s ongoing recovery._______________________________________________________________Kevin WallPRESIDENT, FIRST AMERICAN MORTGAGE SOLUTIONSYears in Industry: 25+Under Kevin Wall’s stewardship, First American Mortgage Solutions solidified its leadership position as a trusted and proven provider of data and technology-driven offerings covering the entire loan spectrum, with a focus on quality and consumer experience. Wall reorganized an array of previously separate organizations, products, and services to create a single voice and point of contact at a time when lenders needed greater accountability from, and coordination with, their service providers. Wall then led First American Mortgage Solutions to bolster its end-to-end offerings through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, integrating rich data assets throughout all points of the operation, and working collaboratively with lenders to enhance their businesses with these industry-leading data assets. As digital transformation swept the mortgage industry, Wall’s product team engineered API-enabled versions of Mortgage Solutions’ end-to-end products and services to empower lenders in innovating their digital mortgage strategy, from online application to eClosing. Wall is a visionary leader who responds to customer needs and industry trends by fostering innovation across the division while stressing accountability, transparency, and alignment. He consistently reinforces this business approach with his leadership team and employees with the message that their collective accomplishments are helping shape the company’s legacy. Wall also advocates for the values and award-winning culture of First American, which was named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list three years in a row. As a constant reminder of his appreciation, he uses the signoff “Thanks for all you do!” in all employee communications.center_img Share The Top 25 Leaders and Influencers, Part 5last_img read more

ALTA Confers National Title Professional Designations

first_img February 22, 2019 704 Views ALTA Confers National Title Professional Designations Cropped shot of two businesspeople shaking hands during a meeting in the boardroomWashington, D.C.-based American Land Title Association has announced the award of a National Title Professional (NTP) to Mary Jo Edmiston, MTP and Zachary A. Ruroden. The designation recognizes land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience, and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property.Formally acknowledged with her NTP designation on Feb. 1, 2019, Edmiston and Ruroden join 97 other leaders from across the United States who also have devoted their careers and themselves to the land title insurance industry.“The NTP designation is bestowed only upon land title industry professionals who have made an extraordinary commitment to the industry and proved themselves through a rigorous vetting process,” said ALTA President Cynthia Durham Blair NTP. “Mary Jo’s hard work, extensive experience, and active participation make her an excellent example for the industry; her designation is well-deserved. I invite other land title insurance experts to apply for this achievement.”“Zach’s hard work, extensive experience, and education advocacy make him an excellent example for the industry; his designation is well-deserved. I invite other land title insurance experts to apply for this achievement,” Durham Blair added.A land title industry professional since 1987, Edmiston is the executive vice president of Boone Central Title Co. in Columbia, Mo. She is very active in the Missouri Land Title Association (MLTA), earning her Missouri Title Professional designation in September 2017. She was president of the MLTA from 2016-2017 and currently serves on several committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors and the Columbia Home Builders Association.“The Iowa Land Title Association [ILTA] congratulates Zach for his hard work and dedication to the title industry and as the first Iowan to receive the NTP designation,” said ILTA Executive Director Jan Gemar. “It is an honor to work with Zach during his many years of service to the ILTA.”The president of Fritcher Abstract Co. Inc. in Storm Lake, Iowa, and G.T. Murphy Abstract Co. in New Hampton, Iowa, Ruroden has more than 20 years of experience in the abstract and title industry. Currently, president-elect of the Iowa Land Title Association, he will be installed as the president in May 2019. Ruroden also has served on multiple ILTA committees during his years of service to the association. He earned his ILTA Certified Land Title Professional designation in November 2016. in Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Share ALTA Land Title Title Insurance 2019-02-22 Radhika Ojhalast_img read more

May 16 2019

first_imgMay 16 , 2019 Central Queensland University (CQUniversity), Australia, has built the world’s first mango auto-harvester, with the first prototype achieving 75% efficiency in automatically identifying and picking fruit in view during its first field trials at Yepoon.According to the university, the prototype harvester takes approximately five seconds to harvest a fruit, from detection to placement.Elaborating on the machine’s functions, Ian Groves, of Groves Grown Fruit, Yeppoon, says: “That technology is also able to measure the size range of that fruit and so knowing how much fruit is in that block, knowing when it’s going to be mature and knowing the size of the fruit, means we can schedule our workforce, order the right number of cartons, the size of the inserts going into those cartons – this could be a real game changer, not only for our farm but for the entire industry.”He adds: “The machinery identifying and counting fruit in the orchard turned out to be within just a few per cent of the actual number of fruit in the entire block last year.”In regards to the significance this technology holds for the future, CQUniversity Professor Kerry Walsh believes it could help produce companies and their growers manage difficulties caused by labor shortages.“The auto-harvester has the potential to solve some of the major labour force issues that currently limit the industry.”The machine is already turning heads within the industry as a result of its early positive results, says CQUniversity. It notes that its researchers are now working to take their mango sensor and auto-harvest technologies to commercial-ready deployment.Walsh says he will reveal details of the auto-harvester at this week’s Australian Mango Industry Association conference in Darwin, including researchers’ aims to improve the harvester’s performance to over 90% efficiency in picking fruit in view, to increase its speed, and to refine its construction to reduce costs.One possible modified version of the prototype would see it mounted on a terrestrial drone to operate autonomously, at faster speeds and higher accuracies.“The end goal is to save costs and improve productivity on farms while driving consumer demand by ensuring a top-quality eating experience every time,” Walsh explains.The prototype was developed as part of a RND4Profit Commonwealth-funded research project led by Horticulture Innovation.It is just the latest technology created by Walsh’s team, which previously delivered to industry a near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measurement system to access the eating quality of mangos and predict their ideal harvest time.Now adopted within the mango industry, the university asserts that this advancement laid the foundation for research into in-field machine vision systems to count fruit and estimate fruit size for fruit load estimates before harvest, allowing farmers to better plan how many pickers to hire at which time periods.”Both harvest estimates and autoharvest works best deployed in small tree-high density orchards, so this work complements the Queensland DAF work on such orchard designs,” concludes Walsh. Australia expects bumper avocado crop, plans expor … Australia: Massive hail storm rips through NSW avo … center_img Monsanto dealt first Australian lawsuit over cance … You might also be interested in AUS: Govt to penalize welfare recipients who turn … last_img read more

Qatar Airways chose the Opening Day of ITB Berlin

first_imgQatar Airways chose the Opening Day of ITB Berlin 2018 to announce ‘aggressive expansion plans’ for 2018/19 that include 16 new destinations.Somewhat controversially, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, also hit back at his neighbours for the illegal blockade on Qatar.“During the blockade Qatar Airways continued its expansion; it continued its march ahead. We kept our country supplied and we became prouder as a nation. The blockade made my ruler an icon of defiance. Today, we are more independent than we were nine months ago. We are very defiant, and Qatar Airways will keep on expanding and keep on raising the flag for my country all over the globe.”Mr Al Baker also tipped a raft of forthcoming global destinations for the airline in line with its expedited expansion plans, including the announcement that Qatar Airways will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg. Other new destinations to be launched by the airline include London Gatwick, United Kingdom; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay, Turkey; Mykonos and Thessaloniki, Greece; and Málaga, Spain.In addition, services to Warsaw, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague and Kyiv will increase to a double daily frequency, while services to Madrid, Barcelona and the Maldives will increase to triple daily. airlinesQatar Airwayslast_img read more

cruise industry report

first_imgcruise industry report Tourism and cruise industry expert, Tammy Marshall, who heads up business transformation consultancy, The B Hive, which focuses on future-proofing tourism industry organisations, has released an annual Cruise Industry Report.The demand for cruising is estimated to grow between 14-18% in the next 12 months with approximately 1.63m Australians expected to take a cruise by EOFY 2018. However, with a third of all Australians considering taking a cruise in the next 12 months and two thirds of past cruisers considering cruising again, there is still space for acquisition of new customers to secure future demand. The report provides an understanding of the future demand for cruising in Australia and identifies customer needs and potential challenges for the industry. It concludes that while, to date, the cruise sector has been dominated by the over 55s, there is the potential that this segment is moving closer to being exhausted, with greater future growth likely to come from younger age groups, especially the under 35s.Affluence is still a strong predictor of cruise appeal, with those with the highest incomes finding it the most appealing, while appeal is still weakest among those who live alone, and likely to travel solo.“A critical question for destinations in shaping their cruise strategy has always been whether cruise growth replaces land-based visits or whether it drives new visitation. Overall it appears that cruising does have a positive effect on future visitation. Three out of five travellers consider cruising a good way to sample a destination and half of those who have taken a cruise to a destination do actually return with two fifths extending their stay at the beginning or end,” says Marshall.The report is available to download HERElast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires LISTEN: Karlos Dansby, Cardinals Linebacker Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The football world is still reacting to the seemingly unbelievable stories of bullying within the Miami Dolphins’ locker room.Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team last week and the Dolphins have indefinitely suspended veteran guard Richie Incognito as the league looks into allegations that include racial slurs and threats of violence against the second-year player.Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby has an interesting perspective, as he spent the last three seasons in Miami before re-signing with his original team in the offseason. While many in the NFL community are wondering why Martin didn’t stand up for himself and “handle the situation like a man,” Dansby says the Stanford grad did exactly the right thing.“It could have went in entirely the wrong way if Jonathan handled it himself,” Dansby told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 620. “Some guys, the stuff that was said to him, he might try to kill you, man.”The league is looking into a voicemail left by Incognito to Martin that ended with, “f— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”Dansby believes a confrontation would have turned an ugly situation even uglier.“He didn’t want to go there, he didn’t want to throw his future and his career away, so that’s the best way he can do it,” Dansby said. “If he would have confronted Richie about it, it probably would have went there.”Dansby, who was a teammate of Incognito’s from 2010 to 2012 and Martin’s last year, says he doesn’t know if the eight-year veteran will ever play in the league again. “I don’t know if guys would embrace that,” he said. “That crossed the line on so many different levels. I don’t know if guys are going to embrace it.” Your browser does not support the audio element. Asked specifically if he could accept Incognito as a teammate with the Cardinals, Dansby said it would be difficult. “That’s out of my control, I’d never be able to look at him the same.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Some readers protested Fitzgerald’s inclusion last year, and will likely do the same this time around, but the simple truth is that, talented as he may be, he’s so far failed to justify being the second-highest paid receiver in the game. In fact, Fitzgerald’s eight-year deal currently pays an average annual salary over $16 million, while no other wide receiver not named Calvin Johnson makes more than $12 million. And of the seven receivers who make $10 million or more per year, only Dwayne Bowe has put up worse numbers than Fitzgerald on a per-game basis.Fitzgerald, Forbes says, should be making closer to $7.3 million, according to their Approximate Value metric.The publication also listed Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen as the league’s most overpaid player, while including Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his $20 million salary on its top 10 list. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Forbes, a business magazine, says that’s too much.Using its own value metric, the publication listed the soon-to-be 31-year-old Fitzgerald as the sixth-most overpaid player in the league.They explained their criteria for the ranking.Our metric for performance is Approximate Value (AV), a stat that boils down a player’s impact to a single number that can be compared across positions. AV is a cumulative stat, so we adjusted each player’s AV to a per game figure and then extrapolated it to a 16-game season so that players weren’t punished for games missed due to injury. The ten players who receive the most money per AV point generated are our picks for the league’s most overpaid players.Last season, in his 10th season with the Cardinals, Fitzgerald reeled in 82 catches for 954 yards and 10 touchdowns — eclipsing double-digit scores for the first time since 2009. He has seen his production plummet since 2011, when he logged a career-high 1,411 receiving yards, logging just 1,752 yards in his following two seasons. Johnson, meanwhile, caught 84 balls for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. As Forbes notes, no other wide receiver besides those two makes more than $12 million in a season. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will receive approximately $1 million per game this season — not to undermine the hundreds of hours of preparation put in during practice and training camp this year, along with his time spent in community engagement and, potentially, the playoffs.The $16.1 million salary nevertheless makes Fitzgerald the 12th highest paid player in the NFL, edged out only by Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson amongst earners at his position. Fitzgerald will make $100,000 less than Johnson this season. last_img read more