Once seen as a far-fetched idea, too costly and time consuming to become a reality, it looks as though the early 90’s vision of building and inhabiting a floating city that cruises around the world is about to come to fruition. “The Freedom Ship will be the largest vessel ever built and the first ever floating city, making it a heavily capitalised project and the global economy in the last few years hasn’t been too for unproven progressive projects like ours,” Freedom Ship International director and vice president Roger Gooch said. Freedom Ship will be a 25-storey floating city, accommodating approximately 50,000 permanent residents and will come complete with shops, restaurants, hospitals, schools, an airport and other amenities and was originally the vision of Florida engineer Norman Nixon, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Although construction of the vessel is yet to commence and Nixon passed away last year, Freedom Ship International has taken advantage of the recent change in economic climate, reviving the idea, bringing it back into the spotlight and attempting to raise the US$10.7 billion needed to make the dream a reality. “However, in the last six months we’ve been getting more interest in the project and we are hopeful we will raise the US$1 billion needed to begin construction.” Source = ETB News: P.T.
Australia is one of seven markets Ecuador is targeting in an international tourism campaign aimed at turning the equator-straddling country from a boutique destination in South America into a mainstream one.Based on the Beatles hit, ‘All You Need is Love’, which the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism paid rights to use, the ‘All You Need is Ecuador’ campaign was launched last year but phase two of the initiative, worth A$11.6 million, began this month inviting travellers to disconnect from the digital world and ‘feel again’ amongst the cultural, historical and scenic wonders of the country.Targeting USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Brazil, Japan and Australia, the campaign includes press, TV, billboard and digital advertising as well as below-the-line activations. Promoting Ecuador’s diverse, multi-sensory experiences, the ‘All You Need is Ecuador’ campaign aims to make the country’s prospering A$1.9 billion tourism industry the nation’s major source of non-oil revenue by 2017. Located on South America’s west coast next to Peru, Ecuador attracted a record 1.5 million international visitors in 2014 – 12.3% up 2013, with overseas arrivals up 10.9% in the first four months of 2015.International travel representatives, AVIAREPS, which was appointed last month to represent Ecuador Tourism in Australia and Asia, said the new phase of the ‘All You Need is Ecuador’ campaign was designed to help travellers forge deep emotional connections with the world andthemselves.“Ecuador wants to help travellers find authentic meaning and adventure in a highly digitalised world,” said AVIAREPS’ Australian Manager, Peter Power. “The campaign encourages people to visit Ecuador to feel emotions like wonder, curiosity, passion and love. Just 8% bigger than Victoria, Ecuador offers an incredible diversity of experiences from the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes and the jungles of the Amazon to tropical beaches on the Pacific coast and the amazing Galapagos Islands – four very differing worlds all in one compact place,” Mr Power said.“For Australians, Ecuador has historically been an exotic and relatively unknown destination known mainly for the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands but the country is now spending 10 times more on tourism marketing than ibn 2006 as part of a bid to position itself as one of South America’s friendliest, safest, must-visit destinations.“More luxury, adventure, cruise, rail and culinary products are now coming on line in Ecuador as well as infrastructure for conference and incentive groups to meet demand,” he said.Drawcards in Ecuador include:* Mt Chimborazo (6268m) – the closest point on Earth to the sun due to the planet’s equatorial bulge* Mt Cotopaxi (5987m) – the world’s highest, active volcano* The new-look Tren Crucero (or Cruise Train) – one of the world’s most spectacular rail trips from Quito in the Andes to Guayaquil on the coast, with the 453km journey talking four days, with stays at haciendas enroute* Chocolate – Ecuador makes 70% of the world’s fine cocoa, called Arriba, used in chocolate products worldwide* The Galapagos Islands 1000km off the coast – one of the world’s foremost wildlife sanctuaries and diving spots* Quito in the Andes – world’s highest capital city at 2850m with its World-Heritage-listed old town the best-preserved, historic centre in Latin America.* Amazon jungle with the world’s greatest concentration of species by area, and also home to many remote tribes.* Birds – Ecuador is home to 18% of the world’s birds and boasts the highest density of bird species on the planet per square kilometres.* 50 surf beaches on the tropical Pacific coast* Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Spanish for Middle of the World) – an attraction near Quito where visitors can put one leg over the equator in each hemisphere.* World’s Leading Green Destination – a World Travel Award Ecuador received n 2014Source = Ecuador Travel
Tourism and transport winners in ACT budgetThe Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, has welcomed the ACT Government’s 2017-18 Budget and the additional investment in major events and Canberra’s transport network.TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said the significant investment in Canberra’s integrated public transport network would ensure the nation’s capital was well-positioned to manage population growth and to minimise the cost of congestion.“TTF is a strong supporter of the Canberra Metro project as it has the potential to transform Canberra and future-proof its public transport network as the city’s population keeps growing and growing,” Ms Osmond said.“We welcome the $53.5 million commitment for the second stage of light rail between the City and Woden, including the development of a business case, design analysis and procurement activities.“The project will provide significant opportunities for urban renewal throughout the city, give commuters a real alternative to driving. It will also support growth in the ACT’s tourism sector, assisting those visiting the city to get around.”Ms Osmond said the Budget embraced the potential for the ACT to also grow its visitor economy, with the establishment of a new Major Events Fund and additional funding to promote Canberra as a holiday and business tourism destination.“Prior to the Budget, TTF called on the Government to invest in growing the Territory’s visitor economy by recognising the importance of business and major events to the ACT economy,” Ms Osmond said.“The funding commitment to secure high-yield business and major events is a fantastic investment that will help to grow local jobs and encourage domestic and international visitation and tourism opportunities.“With the arrival of Canberra’s first international flights last September it was vital the Government continued its investment in promoting Canberra as a tourist destination, and TTF welcomes the funding for VisitCanberra to sell the Territory to Australia and the world.“TTF also welcomes the $7.5 million over four years to support a range of public events in Canberra, including Enlighten, Canberra Day celebrations and SpringOUT.” Tourism & Transport ForumSource = TTF
Qatar Duty Free (QDF) has unveiled RED, its latest concept restaurant to open at Hamad International Airport (HIA), Doha.RED grill is located in the airport’s North Node, and showcases a distinctive menu reflecting different food cultures from around the world. The restaurant takes its inspiration from the golden age of travel and the unique story of one individual, Passepartout, a charismatic French valet to an American philanthropist. Diners are offered an exceptional culinary experience fashioned from the memories, adventures, mementos, pictures, food and stories of Passepartout’s travels in the 1900s and his memorable exploits will leave guests with a lasting impression.Keith Hunter, Senior Vice-President Qatar Duty Free said, “RED is an exciting and fresh concept, offering a new dining experience for all travellers at HIA. RED is QDF’s first concept restaurant to open in HIA’s North Node and its unique, characteristic theme, and inspired menu, set a new benchmark in airport hospitality, further complementing the comprehensive array of existing food and beverage offerings.”QDF’s newly opened restaurant combines colourful décor, ambiance and food to offer diners a celebration of worldwide travel. RED’s individual design represents the playfulness and vibrancy of the story behind its inception, using furniture and chinaware to evoke global festivals, celebrations and cultures. The signature onyx counter depicts the elegance and style that came with the golden era of the 20th century.Diners will enjoy the contemporary menu, which draws on influences, styles and flavours collected from across the culinary world to stimulate an exploration of food. Guests have a varied menu from which to choose, ranging from the all-American ‘Red Big Breakfast’, to the selection of Almost Famous Sandwiches, such as the ‘Mad Fish’ and ‘Union Street Veg’, ‘The Spicy Goat Burger’, the ‘Fat Boy’ soup, ‘Australian Beef Steaks’ and more. Children will be wowed with their own fairytale menu that includes specialties such as the ‘Monkey Snack’, ‘Mouse Trap’ and ‘Magical’ shakes, all to be enjoyed in the lively ambiance of RED, surrounded by vintage pictures and images showing the memories of old cities, towns and cultures, reflecting how people lived and travelled.RED joins the 30 cafés and restaurants that offer a sumptuous selection of global and local cuisine.QDF offers 40,000 square metres of combined retail, food and beverage facilities, establishing the retailer as a premier shopping and dining destination. With more than 70 retail outlets offering an unprecedented selection of designer labels, fashion, electronics, gourmet foods and much more, Qatar Duty Free at HIA caters to all passengers’ tastes.
The World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report released at World Travel Market, London revealed that travellers and the tourism industry are at odds over what sustainability means, whose responsibility it is and how green they really are.The World Travel Market 2015 Industry Report asked UK consumers and the global travel industry a number of questions about the environment and tourism.The UK holidaymakers’ findings showed that 61% of respondents claimed that the environment and sustainability were quite or very important (46% and 15% respectively) in their choice of holiday destination. On the other hand, this means that a balance of 39% says it is a not very or not at all important (32% and 7%).However, 74% of the sample never offset their carbon emissions when flying, although in a separate question, 30% said they would be willing to pay more for a more environmentally-friendly holiday.Respondents were asked for specific details about what they did on holiday in terms of minimising their impact on the environment – 61% visit local attractions with 52% buying local goods as souvenirs, 52% re-use bath towels and 44% use public transport to get around.During the keynote speech for World Responsible Tourism Day 2015, Tyndall Centre climate scientist Professor Kevin Anderson laid out the level of the threat facing both the travel industry and society at large. Commenting on the established target of keeping temperature rise to within two degrees centigrade, he said, “At a two degrees rise many millions of poor people, mostly in the southern hemisphere, will die. It means we are prepared to sacrifice the lives of many poor, low emitting people.”Rather than expressing optimism for the solutions the industry is implementing, he argued that, “We cannot build the low carbon supply fast enough. In the interim we therefore have to reduce the level of consumption.” This would mean the sacrifice of many of the luxuries richer people have become accustomed to, he said, for example requiring a dramatic reduction in the number of flights people take.Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO said, “Growth is not the enemy. If we start seeing growth as the enemy, then we are running away from the problem.” However, he did agree with Professor Anderson’s argument that the removal of the $5.2 trillion annual subsidies for the fossil fuel industry would greatly increase the chance of success.Some of the highlights of WTM London Responsible Tourism Programme Sessions included,• Child Protection• Taking Responsibility for Wildlife and National Parks• The role of government in managing tourism in Destinations• Carbon Resource Efficiency Good Practice• Increasing the local economic benefits of tourism
Sidharth Malhotra, Tourism New Zealand’s Brand Ambassador for India shared his recent New Zealand experience at a media event in Ahmedabad. The Bollywood star spent a week in New Zealand last October and a video encapsulating his experiences captivated the audience.Speaking at the event, Steven Dixon, Regional Manager- South and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand, said, “Sidharth is the perfect fit for New Zealand and his trip created great conversations about the destination, not just in India but in New Zealand too. Our country experienced the impact of Bollywood when Sidharth was surrounded by fans everywhere he went.”Dixon informed that India is a growing visitor market for New Zealand and welcomed 23,440 holiday arrivals from India to year-end April 2016, which is an increase of 16.4% on the previous year. He further added, “We can expect double-digit growth to continue from India in the next five years and Gujarat is one of our key regions for growth.”Recollecting the memories of his New Zealand tour, Sidharth Malhotra quipped, “My New Zealand trip was definitely the high point of the year for me. It is a stunningly beautiful country which offers an array of adrenaline pumping adventures, breath-taking views and rich cultural experiences. I urge people from Gujarat to visit this magical country and experience everything first hand.”
South Korea welcomed 88,917 visitors from India by the end of July 2016, an increase of 47.9% relative to the same period of the previous year.The persistent efforts made by the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), New Delhi office can be accredited for the positive growth. The tourism board’s effort on educating the travel trade partners to promote the destination in the best possible manner, the proactive business approach from the DMCs and connecting with the end traveller through tactical media platforms have been the key factors in the result.As the interest of the Indian traveller grows, the increase in the airline connectivity has been introduced at the right time. Asiana Airline has increased its operations from three to five times a week from Delhi and plans to operate daily in the near future. Korean Air will be launching its Delhi operations in the month of December with five times a week frequency.According to Byungsun Lee, Director, KTO, “Over 1,50,000 Indians visited South Korea last year and we have almost 90,000 within seven months. So we are confident of surpassing the last year’s numbers by the end of 2016. As we approach the festival season and the winter holiday season, we plan to widen our efforts and establish South Korea as a preferred leisure destination amongst various traveller segments including families, honeymooners and adventure lovers.”
IndiGo recently announced the expansion of its network by adding 20 new flights to cities with high demand and expanding potential. IndiGo, with growing demand from the Southern India region, has reoriented its focus by introducing additional to and fro flights connecting Hyderabad and Chandigarh; Chennai and Chandigarh; Chennai and Hyderabad; and Chennai and Kochi. The airline would also add a second daily flight on its Chennai-Singapore route.In the Eastern region, IndiGo would increase operations from Delhi and Kolkata to Bagdogra with four additional flights to strengthen connectivity between metro cities and remote routes.Commenting on the new flight schedule, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo, said, “The new flights not only strengthen domestic and international connectivity of our services but also helps us better serve increased demand in growing markets. We are hopeful that these new flights will provide affordable and unmatchable travel experience to our passengers across India and beyond.”
Thomas Cook (India) and Euronet Worldwide has formed a strategic partnership in order to introduce significant additional benefits on its unique prepaid travel cards — The Thomas Cook Borderless Prepaid multi-currency and One Currency card in India.This alliance enables Euronet Worldwide to be the exclusive technology partner of Thomas Cook India.The Borderless Prepaid multi currency card is a secure and convenient way to carry eight global currencies in one card with benefits of emergency cash, surcharge free ATM withdrawals in certain countries and insurance against fraudulent transactions. The Thomas Cook One Currency Card is US dollar loaded and guarantees a zero cross currency conversion fee across the globe. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) said, “Innovation has always been one of our key drivers. With the world moving rapidly into the digital era, the smart tech-savvy protagonist traveller of today has spurred the demand for cashless transactions that offer value and convenience. We have hence partnered with Euronet, the leaders in the electronic payment space to bring a groundbreaking product that offers maximum benefit to customers.”Himanshu Pujara, Regional Managing Director of Euronet Worldwide, India and South Asia said, “Euronet is happy to partner with Thomas Cook in India on this program and help them roll out new variants and categories and gain additional market share.”
Fitch Ratings Jumbo Loans Prepayments RMBS 2014-04-22 Colin Robins in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market RMBS Prepayment Rates Down as Interest Rates Rise April 22, 2014 563 Views According to Fitch Ratings’ latest quarterly index, prepayment rates among U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) have declined to the lowest levels of the post-crisis era.Fitch Ratings’ director Sean Nelson attributed the decline in prepayment rates to higher interest rates and fewer distressed liquidations.”Mortgage rates are up roughly 100 basis points from their historic lows in late 2012,” Nelson said. “Borrowers not taking advantage of historically low rates may be unable to refinance their mortgages due to credit issues or lack of equity.”The conditional prepayment rate (CPR) for prime jumbo loans fells to 14.7 percent, while the rate for Alt-A loans fell to 10.3 percent.The CPR for subprime loans fell to 8.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014. “Prime CPR is at the lowest level since early 2009, while Alt-A and subprime CPR are at or near all-time lows,” Fitch said in a release.CPR is made up of both voluntary and involuntary prepayments. Voluntary prepays are traditionally 90 percent of the all-in CPR figure. Fitch found that since the crash of the housing market, involuntary prepays, or liquidations of distressed loans, have made up an increasing share. Since 2009, the majority of non-prime CPR has been involuntary liquidations.”Both voluntary and involuntary prepayment rates are likely to decline further if mortgage rates continue to rise and liquidation rates continue to fall as expected,” Nelson said.Fitch also announced that it has launched its first U.S. residential mortgage servicer snapshot. The report will contain key information for active RMBS servicers, including a description of all Fitch rated servicers, current servicer ratings, portfolio size per servicer, and analyst contact detail and links to full RMBS servicer reports.The company said, “Notably, the snapshot will also provide the names of RMBS servicers currently assigned to transactions in an easy to use CUSIP reference format. While the majority of active RMBS bonds are included in this published list, Fitch expects to continue to expand coverage.” Share
Did TRID Offer Large Lenders a Helping Hand? in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination CFPB Fannie Mae Lenders TRID 2016-05-11 Staff Writer May 11, 2016 634 Views When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) swept the industry with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule in October of last year, lenders were faced with the new challenge of altering their disclosure and closing processes.Now the question is which lenders, large or small, were able to come out on top following the TRID regulation.Fannie Mae has the answer in its Q1 2016 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey Topic Analysis, which surveyed senior mortgage executives in February to examine lenders’ experiences with implementing TRID requirements, including challenges and operational practices, and lenders’ views about TRID’s impact on the competitiveness of the mortgage industry.TRID was rolled out as part of the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” initiative. Lenders are now required to replace the Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 with two new disclosures: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. In addition to the form changes, lenders also put pressure on lenders to be timely, accurate, and complete when processing the forms.According to the survey, lenders, especially large lenders, seem to be using TRID to their advantage, with nearly one-third of lenders, and 44 percent of large lenders, indicating that moving TRID disclosures gave them a competitive advantage. Only 12 percent said TRID hindered competitive advantages.Meanwhile, only 16 percent of small lenders said TRID created competitive advantages for their company.Sheila Teimourian, VP & Deputy General Counsel at Fannie Mae noted, “Many small to mid-sized lenders indicate that larger institutions are able to invest more to upgrade systems and have in-house compliance resources to increase efficiency and competitive advantages.”The two biggest challenges lenders reported when implementing TRID were managing/coordinating with third-party technology vendors and communication with key origination and closing players. The report showed that 8 in 10 of those who cited coordinating with third-party technology vendors as a challenge during TRID implementation still consider it an issue.Fannie Mae found that most lenders agree that TRID has extended the time it takes for a loan to close, with an average of seven additional days, but they do expect this time to shorten over time. Despite the increased time to close, 44 percent of lenders say they raised loan fees.”The survey results confirm in large measure the sense that lenders and their service providers have had difficulties in transitioning to TRID, particularly among smaller lenders. As is evident from trade association and Congressional proposals in recent months, lenders remain concerned over how to comply with TRID and the consequences for non-compliance,” Teimourian explained. “Although there have been some suggestions in media reports in recent weeks that lenders’ concerns over TRID implementation have receded somewhat, there is a growing sense of unease among the lender community over the interpretations and policies of due diligence firms and secondary market investors regarding TRID compliance.”She continued, “Finally, it will remain to be seen whether the competitive advantage that larger lenders reported as a result of TRID implementation will be sustained or whether small and mid-sized lenders will close this gap using their own resources or through innovative third-party vendors.”Click here to view the full report. Share
August 1, 2017 506 Views Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines Home prices have risen 6.7 percent since this time last year, according to the most recent Home Price Index released by CoreLogic this morning. Prices are now nearly 50 percent higher than their low point, reached in March 2011.Over the month, home prices were up 1.1 percent compared to May. By the end of 2017 though, CoreLogic forecasts price growth will slow, largely due to inventory shortages, according to Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic.“The growth in sales is slowing down, and this is not due to lack of affordability, but rather a lack of inventory,” Nothaft said. “As of Q2 2017, the unsold inventory as a share of all households is 1.9 percent, which is the lowest Q2 reading in over 30 years.”Overall, CoreLogic’s HPI forecasts a price growth of about 5.2 percent over the year.According to Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, overcoming the current inventory shortage is crucial to keeping U.S. homes affordable.“Home prices are marching ever higher, up almost 50 percent since the trough in March 2011,” Martell said. “With no end to the escalation in sight, affordability is rapidly deteriorating nationally and especially in some key markets such as Denver, Houston, Miami, and Washington. While low mortgage rates are keeping the market affordable from a monthly payment perspective, affordability will likely become a much bigger challenge in the years ahead until the industry resolved the housing supply challenge.”The HPI also shed light on home prices in individual metro markets—specifically, if average prices are undervalued, at value, or overvalued. According to the report, there were four metros overvalued for the month of June: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado; Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas’ Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida; and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia.According to CoreLogic, an overvalued market is “one in which home prices are at least 10 percent higher than the long-term, sustainable level, while an undervalued market is one in which home prices are at least 10 percent below the sustainable level.” CoreLogic Home Prices HOUSING Housing Affordability Housing Prices mortgage 2017-08-01 Aly J. Yale Prices Continue Their Climb
Share HSBC Announces Group CEO Successor On Thursday, HSBC Holdings announced that John Flint, Chief Executive of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, is set to succeed Stuart Gulliver as Executive Director and Group Chief Executive.Flint joined the bank in 1989, and according to Group Chairman Mark Tucker, who led the search to find Gulliver’s successor, during Flint’s tenure he has developed a broad banking experience across regions, businesses, and functions, and has a great understanding and regard for HSBC’s heritage.“I am humbled by the responsibility and enormously excited by the opportunity to lead HSBC as Group CEO,” said Flint. “The bank is very well-positioned for the future but we must continue to innovate and accelerate the pace of change required to meet the expectations of our shareholders, customers, employees and society at large.”Flint’s new role will become effective February 21, 2018, after Gulliver steps down from both roles and retires from HSBC, according to the announcement.Tucker explained that Gulliver has led HSBC through a challenging and difficult period with great energy and commitment, while he successfully reshaped the business strategy of the bank.“I would like to thank him on behalf of the Board for everything he has done for HSBC,” said Tucker. “This includes the important work of putting in place global standards for identifying and preventing financial crime.”Under Gulliver’s direction, since January 2011 the bank has paid U.S. $60.7 billion in dividends, announced an additional U.S. $5.5 billion of share buybacks, and delivered a total shareholder return of 66.8 percent—which Tucker called an “outstanding track record.”Gulliver commented expressing his gratitude and how privileged he feels to lead HSBC as Group CEO for the last seven years.“My primary role as Group CEO is stewardship and to hand the company to my successor in better shape than when I started,” said Gulliver. “After the most extensive restructuring of the bank in its history and a relentless focus on meeting the evolving expectations of society I am confident HSBC is in better shape than it was seven years ago. I know that with Mark and John leading the organization, it is in great hands.”In addition, Tucker added that through the search process, Flint has developed with him and the Board a clear sense of the opportunities and priorities that lie ahead.“Over the coming months, before he formally takes over the Group CEO role from Stuart, we will be working closely together to develop and agree the key actions required to ensure we build on and enhance HSBC’s current momentum,” Tucker said. October 12, 2017 641 Views HOUSING HSBC mortgage 2017-10-12 Nicole Casperson in Featured, Headlines, News
Share After declining for two consecutive weeks, mortgage rates surged again rising to their second highest level this year according to the latest weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey by Freddie Mac. According to the survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased eight basis points to 4.62 percent from 4.54 percent last week. At the same time last year the rate was 3.91 percent.”The good news is that the impact on consumer budgets will be smaller than past rate hike cycles,” said Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac while commenting about the rising interest rate environment that continued during the week after the Fed announced a 25 basis points hike on Wednesday.The Fed rate hike though is not the reason for the rise in mortgage rates according to Khater and that’s because “a much smaller segment of mortgage loans in today’s market are pegged to short-term rate movements. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of outstanding loans is a lot smaller now, 8 percent versus 31 percent than during the Fed’s last round of tightening between 2004 and 2006,” Khater said.According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, “Today’s mortgage rate does not reflect yesterday’s Fed move because the majority was collected ahead of the meeting. But in anticipation of these events, rates already adjusted higher. Homebuyers who were able to take advantage of the uncertainty to lock lower rates in the last few weeks are likely to be satisfied with their decision.”For those homebuyers who were unable to take the benefit of the lower rates in the last few weeks, Hale said there was another reason to remain optimistic. “In spite of ongoing record low inventories and fast-moving properties in the housing market, we know that 557,000 new listings hit the market in May, the highest number since summer 2015,” she said. “These new listings may be just the opportunities homebuyers need to find and close on a home.”However, Khater cautioned that borrowing costs were inching higher in the current environment as inflation continued to firm. “Although wages are slowing growing stronger gains would certainly go a long way in helping consumers offset these increases in prices and rates.”According to the survey, 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.07 percent this week from 4.01 percent, while the five-year Treasury-indexed ARMs rose to 3.83 percent during the week, compared with 3.74 percent last week. June 14, 2018 671 Views Rising Mortgage Rates vs. Consumer Budgets Borrowing Costs Buyers Federal Reserve Freddie Mac Homebuyers homeowners Listings mortgage rates Realtor.com the fed 2018-06-14 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
January 28 , 2019 Leading British supermarkets and food service chains have warned that a no-deal Brexit will lead to higher prices and empty shelves in the short-term.The British Retail Consortium (BRC) made its latest warning in a letter sent to lawmakers. It was also signed by the bosses of supermarket groups Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and Lidl and fast food chains McDonald’s, and KFC. The U.K. is currently due to leave the European Union on March 29, but Parliament two weeks ago voted heavily against a deal reached by Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the country’s future relationship for when it leaves the economic bloc.If the country leaves the EU without a deal, many laws in place governing trade would cease to apply, and experts have warned that there would be widespread disruptions. You might also be interested in ‘Cooperation, communication and education’ key … LPS19: Despite challenges, Britain and Holland’s f … Shipping companies drop British flag to avoid Brex … In the letter, the groups say there will be “significant risks” to maintaining the choice, quality and shelf life of food.“While we have been working closely with our suppliers on contingency plans it is not possible to mitigate all the risks to our supply chains and we fear significant disruption in the short term as a result if there is no Brexit deal,” the letter said.“We are therefore asking you to work with your colleagues in Parliament urgently to find a solution that avoids the shock of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March and removes these risks for UK consumers.”The letter noted that nearly one-third of the food eaten in the U.K. comes from the EU. The situation would be even more acute in March when British produce is out of season, with 90% of lettuces, 80% of tomatoes and 70% of soft fruit sourced from the EU at that time of year.“As this produce is fresh and perishable, it needs to be moved quickly from farms to our stores,” it said. “This complex, ‘just in time’ supply chain will be significantly disrupted in the event of no deal.”The BRC noted that even if the British government does not undertake checks on products at the border, there will still be major disruption at Calais as the French government has said it will enforce sanitary and customs checks on exports from the EU.
Helloworld Business Travel recently joined Carlton’s business elite for the third Carlton IN Business event for 2017.Senior coach of the Carlton Football Club, Brendon Bolton, and CEO Steven Trigg, addressed the audience on leadership, values, teamwork and the financial challenges and achievements for the Club over the past year.Bayview Travel Director Chris McGetrick, and 1000 Mile Travel Director of Partnerships, Alex Stewart, joined Helloworld Business Travel Business Manager Steve Hona at the event, which provided an opportunity for agents to engage and connect with prominent Australian businesses.Helloworld Business Travel is the naming rights partner of Carlton IN Business.L-R: Steve Hona – Helloworld Business Travel, Chris McGetrick – Bayview Travel, Brendon Bolton – Carlton Football Club, Coach Helloworld Business Travel
IHG has agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts for $39 million in cash. The hotel group will bring Regent into its brand portfolio at the top end of the luxury segment and intends to grow the brand from six hotels today to over 40 hotels in key global gateway city and resort locations over the long term.“IHG is already one of the world leaders in luxury with our InterContinental Hotels and Resorts brand, but we see significant potential to further develop our global footprint in the fast-growing luxury segment,” said Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer of IHG. “As one of the pioneers in defining luxury hotels both in Asia and around the world, Regent is an excellent addition to IHG’s portfolio of brands. We see a real opportunity to unlock Regent’s enormous potential and accelerate its growth globally. In addition, by creating a dedicated luxury division, we will be bringing together some of the most experienced and respected people in the industry who will help drive our luxury offer, ensuring that our existing luxury brands continue to evolve and allowing us to bring in new brands such as Regent to enhance our brand portfolio.”IMAGE: Lobby of The Regent, Berlin IHGRegent Hotels
To say Justin Bethel had a rough 2016 would be an understatement.And now, he’s paying for it.It was learned Wednesday that Bethel’s salary has been reduced from $4.5 million in 2017 to $2 million, with the 2018 season of his contract being voided.Bethel, who had signed a three-year contract extension in 2015, is in essence taking a pay cut in 2017 to be a free agent following the season.Given what transpired last season, it makes some sense that Bethel would roll the dice on posting a bounce-back 2017. He could once again be in line for a large role, with former starter Marcus Cooper signing with the Chicago Bears. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Seattle Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) reacts to missing a game-winning field goal as punter Jon Ryan (9) looks on during overtime of an NFL football game as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) falls, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The game ended in overtime in a 6-6 tie. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Top Stories Expected to challenge for a starting cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson, he was limited over the offseason by a foot injury. Then, when he was on the field, Bethel struggled to the point where head coach Bruce Arians, when asked if the player was a work in progress at cornerback, answered that it’s “a failure in progress” due to his battling injuries and lack of practice time.Bethel played fairly well over the season’s final two games, and finished with 26 total tackles, six passes defensed and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. The special teams ace also contributed 13 total tackles there — 12 unassisted — while also forcing one fumble.The 26-year-old Bethel was a sixth-round pick of the Cardinals in 2012 out of Presbyterian, and was a Pro Bowl choice for special teams in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Johnson is the focal point of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s offense. With veteran Sam Bradford expected to start at quarterback ahead of Rosen, it’s a sure bet Arizona’s run game will aim to keep defenses out of aggressive pass-rushing mindsets.When the team does have to pass, Johnson will not only provide quick escape options for whichever quarterback might be under pressure but act as a legitimate threat as a receiver.From what Wilks has voiced publicly, the ground game is going to be the Cardinals’ friend with the 224-pound back working behind a revamped line and potentially even fullbacks, something Arizona didn’t utilize under former head coach Bruce Arians.In short, Johnson will get a lot of touches in a lot of different ways.What’s the running back’s competition for the comeback player of the year honor in 2018? Let’s just say it’s an impressive list of talents.Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are all returning for season-marring injuries. Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) stretches out with teammates during a voluntary team activity Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the NFL football team’s training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Was it the regular NFL cycle of injuries or just a bad year of luck?Whatever it was, injuries to All-Pro-caliber players in 2017 have lent the 2018 season plenty of storylines. Among those who saw their years end on a disappointing note was the Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson, whose third NFL season lasted just 11 carries and six receptions.But the running back is expected to be back in a big way under first-year head coach Steve Wilks. 1 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo A new group of quarterbacks, an offensive line that will need to jell and a receiver group that doesn’t have a clear No. 2 option will put a lot on Johnson.Related LinksChase Edmonds’ chip on his shoulder makes him a great bet for CardinalsRosen-Kirk connection highlights first day of Cardinals rookie mini-campAnd when it comes to protecting those quarterbacks in terms of health and aiding the receivers with his own set of hands, few NFL players at any position could make more of an impact in 2018. That’s why Pro Football Focus listed Johnson third among the top five candidates to win the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.David Johnson’s dominance as a receiver in 2016 really shouldn’t be overlooked. So good in fact that he won our award for the Best Receiver in the NFL, with a PFF grade of 92.6 as a receiver, and 87.8 overall. The former third-round draft pick out of Northern Iowa forced 27 missed tackles on 80 receptions, and another 44 on his 293 carries, making a huge impact in the Cardinals running and passing game. His workload was huge for a running back as his 964 snaps on offense the second-most we’ve seen from a running back since 2006. Only Matt Forte’s 998 snaps in 2014 rank higher than Johnson in 2016. The key to Johnson being so important and so good as a wide receiver is how he can be utilized all over the field, and back in 2016 there were plays where he lined up out wide and made key receptions to keep drives alive. Assuming he is fully healthy, there’s no reason not to expect the Cardinals offense to run through him again in 2018, and don’t be surprised if he quickly becomes Josh Rosen’s top target when he assumes the starting job at quarterback.There’s a lot to unpack there, but here’s what we do know: Top Stories
As of August 2015 Atlantis, The Palm, in Dubai will begin a partnership with OTT to offer those in the travel trade the opportunity to embark upon e-training courses focusing on the resort.Rewarding benefits for those taking an OTT course on Atlantis, The Palm include an increase in product knowledge and a boost in sales confidence and potential.Upon completion of the training, members will receive a certificate and additionally will be entered into prize draws as part of an incentive programme, giving participants the chance to win trips to Atlantis to further enhance their training experience.With tourism growth in Dubai set to increase by seven to nine per cent annually and a target of 20 million visitors by 2020, in depth training of the travel trade becomes vital in the coming years to ensure continued tourism growth.Kyp Charalambous, director of international leisure sales commented: “As Atlantis, The Palm is such a vast destination it can be tricky to truly bring the experience of a stay or visit to the resort to life if you’ve never been here.“We therefore hope that our new partnership with OTT and our engaging training modules will help to bring a stay at Atlantis to life and really allow the travel trade to get to grips with what makes an Atlantis experience so memorable and unique.“We also look forward to inviting members over to see the resort on incentivised visits, to enable us to enhance their knowledge and ensure Atlantis, The Palm is as unforgettable to them as it is to any guests who walks through our doors.”