Sankar Narayan has been appointed to the role of Chief Financial Officer for Virgin Blue, commencing duties in April 2011.CEO and managing director John Borghetti was thrilled to welcome Mr Narayan to the team.“His extensive financial, information technology, investor relations and strategy expertise will be of tremendous value to the Group,” he said.Outgoing CFO, Keith Neate had been occupying the role for the past seven years.“Sankar will lead our Financial, Information Technology and centralised Procurement divisions, be responsible for improving financial efficiency and play a key role in driving the Group’s growth,” Mr Borghetti said.Prior to joining Virgin Blue, Mr Narayan was chief financial officer at Fairfax Media. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
“We saw healthy demand growth in 2013 despite the very difficult economic environment and there was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year which bodes well for 2014,” IATA director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler said. According to the report, carriers from the Middle East and Asia Pacific recorded the biggest increases in passenger demand between 2012 and 2013 with 11.4 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. “Last year’s demand performance demonstrates the essential and growing role that aviation-enabled connectivity plays in our world, and with system-wide load factors at 79.5 percent, it is also clear that airlines are continuing to drive efficiencies to an ever-higher level”. The growth in commercial aviation is timely because 2014 is the centenary of commercial aviation. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced full year traffic results, indicating that global passenger demand increased by 5.2 percent in 2013, with results also indicating a 4.8 percent increase in capacity. Source = ETB News: T.N.
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a definitive agreement with Princess Cruises to purchase Ocean Princess for its newly acquired Oceania Cruises brand.The 684-passenger ship joins Oceania Cruises’ trio of award-winning sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica, the new addition will be named Sirena.Upon delivery in March 2016, Sirena will immediately undergo a 35-day, AUD$40 million refurbishment in Marseille, France to elevate the ship to the Oceania Cruises’ standard.The ship will welcome its first guests in late April 2016, and it will add to Oceania Cruises expansion and diversity of destination-rich itineraries offered.Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer Kevin Sheehan, said that the acquisition of Sirena provides measured capacity growth.“Our belief in the Oceania Cruises brand and our commitment to its growing base of loyal guests were the rationale behind our decision to bring Sirena into the fleet, the addition of Sirena opens up an entire array of new itinerary options for Oceania Cruises,” Mr Sheehan said.The inaugural season for Sirena will be released in late February 2015 with reservations opening on March 4, 2015.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Emirates, a connector of people, places and economies, has announced plans to offer a double daily service to Barcelona, less than three years after its initial launch to the city.From 2nd May 2015 Emirates will add a further 3724 seats per week to Barcelona increasing overall capacity by 51 percent. The extra service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200LR in a three class configuration, complementing the airline’s already successful daily A380 service. Timings for the new flight have been scheduled to create and facilitate more effective connections between Barcelona and key cities in the Far East, Middle East, Australia and Africa, via Emirates’ Dubai hub.“Barcelona continues to be a huge success story for Emirates. In less than three years we have not only launched a new service but also added significant capacity in order to keep up with customer demand. This extra daily flight is a major boost to our operations and firmly underscores our commitment to the Spanish market,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West.“Customers love the Emirates product and repeat usage continues to play a key role in our success. Our onboard product and service is second to none and we are committed to offering seamless connections for our customers both in and out of Barcelona. It’s no surprise that we have been able to increase capacity on this route so quickly,” added Mr. Frach.Barcelona frequently tops the must see destinations in Europe with over 7.3 million tourists visiting annually, making the city the 11th most visited destination in the world.The introduction of a Boeing 777-200LR will also add significant cargo capacity to the route with just over 230 tonnes per week to be added by Emirates SkyCargo. This additional capacity is expected to further support the movement of clothes, one of Catalonia’s main exports to the Gulf.The new flight will offer eight luxurious First Class Private Suites, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 216 seats in Economy Class. Emirates customers in all classes will enjoy over 2000 channels of inflight entertainment on ice in addition to gourmet cuisine and a generous baggage allowance of 50kg in First Class, 40kg in Business Class and 30kg in Economy Class.EK 188 will depart Dubai at 1545hrs and arrive at Barcelona El Prat Airport at 2100hrs. EK 189 will take off daily from Barcelona at 2245hrs and land in Dubai at 0725hrs the following day.In addition to Barcelona, Emirates also operates a double daily service to Madrid. Emirates first launched flights to Spain in 2010 and now offers a total of 21,042 seats per week to and from the country.Source = Emirates
Mövenpick Africa to expand with Marrakech openingMarrakech opening in 2015 to expand Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ Morocco portfolio Linked to a major congress centre and close to the historic centre, the five-star hotel with 501 rooms will attract both MICE and leisure businessDubai (United Arab Emirates), 3 May 2015. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is set to further boost its brand presence in Africa with the announcement of a third property in Morocco. Mövenpick Hotel & Palais Des Congrès, Marrakech will soft open in Q4 2015.Owned by Kuwait’s Al Ajial Asset Fund, the 501-room five-star property will complete an extensive renovation and expansion programme, costing approximately US$69 million, before reopening under the Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts brand.The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the historic heart of Marrakech and just 15 minutes’ drive from Marrakech Menara Airport. Among the 501 guestrooms and suites will be family, business and executive rooms, as well as additional suites, which will be housed in a newly-built wing.Moroccan architectural details and orange tree gardens complement leisure facilities such as a spa, gym, swimming pool and children’s pool. Seven dining and entertainment venues will include a signature Moroccan restaurant and nightclub.“Although it is usually associated with leisure tourism, Marrakech continues to be a hub for business and incentive travel. Owing to the world-class facilities within the hotel as well as at the Palais des Congrès, attracting MICE business especially from Europe, the Gulf states and the US will be a key focus,” said Alan O’Dea, Senior Vice President Africa, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.A dedicated entrance connects the hotel to Morocco’s largest convention centre, the renowned Palais des Congrès, which will also be operated by Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. It includes flexible function space of 5,600 square metres, exhibition floor space of 2,700 square metres, two auditoriums and outdoor event areas.O’Dea also remarked on the continuing importance of the leisure travel sector. “Development of the city’s tourism proposition is key to the successful realisation of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco’s Vision 2020 plan, which calls for an increase to 20 million tourists per year. Marrakech has long been the ‘poster child’ for the country, with tourists attracted by its rich history, stunning old town and proximity to Western Europe.”“Last year’s announcement of a proposed new airport for the city, capacity expansion at Marrakech Menara Airport, and the growing number of international luxury hotel brands entering the market, are indicative of the city’s long-term tourism potential,” he added.Marrakech was recently voted the world’s top travel destination for 2015 by TripAdvisor users. According to statistics of the Regional Tourism Council of Marrakech, 2014 tourism arrivals recorded year-on-year growth of 6%.Mövenpick Hotel & Palais des Congrès, Marrakech will be the company’s third property in Morocco, along with the Mövenpick Hotel & Casino Malabata Tangier and Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca, which joined the portfolio last year.Source = Movenpick Hotels & Resorts
helloworld Limited announces full year results for FY2016Helloworld Limited has announced the end of financial year results for the year ending 30 June 2016“These results reflect a time of evolution for Helloworld Limited, following the merger with The AOT Group in February 2016. They represent the positive steps we have taken so far, and the opportunity to build on this momentum for success in the future.” Helloworld Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Andrew Burnes said.For the year ended 30 June 2016, Helloworld Limited achieved an EBITDA of $25.3 million, an increase of 5% from FY2015. TTV increased 8.3% to $5.1 billion and revenue from operating activities was $297.9 million, a 7% increase on the previous year.The Helloworld Limited profit before tax was $3.5 million for the year ending June 2016, a significant improvement on the prior year loss of $198.4 million. Basic earnings for the year was a profit of 1.89 cents per share and it was announced that a fully franked dividend of 2.0 cents per share would be paid. The first time a dividend has been paid since 2013.“The outlook for Helloworld is very good. The fundamentals of the business are sound and we see continued demand in our retail, wholesale/inbound and corporate divisions. Margins are holding and we expect to see margin improvement in the year ahead. Tighter cost management including delivery on identified synergies and cost savings will deliver much stronger fiscal outcomes for the business.” Mr Burnes said.“Our agency networks are very pleased with the new developments in the business, particularly in terms of our brand strategies, our revamped advertising strategies and our online activities, which are now fully aligned with the interests of the brand carrying networks. Suppliers and destination partners are also pleased to see a new focus on delivering sales from our joint marketing initiatives and have re-engaged with the business.”“Travel continues to be both a necessity and a pursuit for just about everyone and the demand for our services in the retail, wholesale, inbound and corporate segments continues to grow. As we refine our offerings and align our new digital platforms with our traditional bricks and mortar businesses, we expect to see demand for our fundamental value proposition to significantly increase.”“It’s a good news story for our agents, staff, stakeholders, networks and shareholders. We are in a solid position right now and we have strong opportunity for growth. The future is bright for Helloworld.” said Mr Burnes.For the full 2016 Results Announcement see the Helloworld Limited website www.helloworldlimited.com.auAbout Helloworld Limited Helloworld Limited (ASX: HLO) is a leading Australian based travel distribution company, comprising retail travel businesses, destination management services (inbound) air ticket consolidation, wholesale, corporate and online operations. This includes “helloworld”, Australia’s largest network of franchised travel agents, as well as our Corporate, Associate and Affiliate networks, Qantas Holidays, Go Holidays in New Zealand, AOT Inbound, ATS Pacific, QBT, Sunlover Holidays and Insider Journeys“helloworld” is a nationwide network of independently owned and operated retail travel agencies offering Australia and New Zealand outstanding service, and the best value, tailor-made leisure and corporate travel experiencesHLO has over 2000 staff located in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA, South East Asia, India and UK/EuropeHelloworld is the proud major sponsor of Volleyball Australia and the helloworld Volleyroos men’s and women’s national teams and also the helloworld Boomers, the Australian Men’s Basketball team.Helloworld is the Official Travel Partner and a Gold Sponsor of Carlton Football Club. Source = helloworld
ATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effectATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effectToday, and in the last month, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has taken further action to cancel the ATAS travel accredited status of a number of ATAS participants for failing to renew or demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria.AFTA take this opportunity to remind ATAS Participants that the Eligibility Criteria of the ATAS Charter and the obligations under the ATAS Code of Conduct must be adhered to and demonstrated at all times.The cancellations are:WizTrips (ABN: 32166071790)Evolution Luxury Travel (ABN: 29085838053)Champion Travel & Tours (ABN: 60264035076)TravelPlus (ABN: 15945301094)Getaway Travel & Cruise (ABN: 23928129367)Lorraine’s House of Travel (ABN: 48003296286)ATAS Participants whose accreditation has been cancelled must immediately take steps to remove any logo or reference to AFTA or ATAS from their website, business cards, any ancillary internet or social media sites you may use (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) any printed material used to promote your business like brochures, flyers or newsletters and any other in store promotional materials used like certificates, stickers or window decals. Cancelled Participants are no longer eligible for the AFTA Chargeback Scheme (ACS).A notice has been posted to this effect on the AFTA website pursuant to s6.2 of the ATAS Charter.Source = Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA)
A dream! Lufthansa increases sleeping comfort in Business ClassA dream! Lufthansa increases sleeping comfort in Business ClassPassengers on selected long-haul flights lasting ten and a half or more hours can now relax even more with the new “Dream Collection„From now on, Lufthansa Business Class passengers on long-haul flights to and from South Africa, Latin and South America and the West Coast of the USA can enjoy an even more relaxed night’s sleep. The Lufthansa Dream Collection makes it possible! In addition to a new pillowcase and a large, warm blanket, a comfortable mattress topper makes for beautiful dreams. In addition, our passengers can make themselves comfortable on night flights with the new sleep shirt from Van Laack.The soft and padded mattress topper was developed especially for Lufthansa in cooperation with the renowned German bed manufacturer “Paradies”. While the upper side is made of 100 percent cotton, the underside is made of non-slip terry cloth. This enables an ideal air exchange, which prevents strong heat accumulation. A similarly soft filling is provided by the new blanket and pillow, which provide pleasant warmth and comfort. Both the blanket and the pillowcase are designed in Lufthansa’s new brand design. Since Lufthansa is also setting standards in terms of environmental friendliness, the plastic packaging of the ceiling was replaced by a paper banderol.The increase in sleeping comfort in Business Class is symbolic of Lufthansa’s premium standard. Last December, the airline was the first western airline to receive the five-star seal from Skytrax, the British management consultancy specialized in aviation.The Dream Collection will be successively introduced on all other long-haul flights. From June the Dream Collection from Germany will also be available on selected Asian flights. The other long-haul flights will receive the new blankets and pillowcases from autumn 2018.Source = Lufthansa
Finnair flies its first Push for change biofuel flightsFinnair flies its first “Push for change” biofuel flights from San Francisco to HelsinkiFinnair today announced that it will fly the first biofuel flights backed by its “Push for change” carbon decreasing initiative this week.On both August 5th and 7th, the Finnair flight departing San Francisco Airport bound for Helsinki, Finland, will be flown with a biofuel mix of 12 percent, reducing the total C02 emissions for the two flights by approximately 32 tons.“The launch of our Push for Change initiative was an important step for Finnair in order to provide our customers with the opportunity to conveniently offset or decrease the emissions from their travel,” says Arja Suominen, SVP, Communications & Corporate Responsibility at Finnair. “We have been pleased with the early phases of the initiative so far and we are now excited to move forward and fly our two first biofuel flights supported entirely by the Push for change contributions. We naturally hope that customers will be increasingly willing and interested in using the service in the future as well.”Finnair’s biofuels partners in San Francisco are SkyNRG and World Energy; Shell Aviation has provided logistics and supply chain support for the project. The sustainable biofuel is produced from used cooking oil in California, which does not compete with food production or the agriculture industry.Additional information on Finnair’s Push for Change initiative, including the options to purchase biofuel for future flights as well as the offsetting of carbon emissions through certified projects, can be found on Finnair.com’s Push for change site.Source = Finnair
The video showcases the innovators of the future and how they would be changing the way we travel in the future. Source: CNN
India ranked among top 10 source market to Jordan Shruti Dugar | KolkataJordan, a country famed for its ancient monuments, nature reserves and seaside resorts and also home to the famous archaeological site of Petra, has renewed their tourism strategies this year and are eying significantly on adventure tourism and religious tourism to boost tourist’s arrival to the Middle Eastern country.Ala’a Al-Hindi, Director of Digital Marketing & IT, Jordan Tourism Board, while speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest at the sidelines of ATM 2018, stated that GCC serves as an important source market for them and that this year they plan on positioning the country as an ideal destination fit for adventure and faith tourism.Jordan boosts 21,000 archaeological and historical sites. The Roman ruins of Jerash, the Dead Sea and Wadi al-Kharrar, or Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where some biblical historians believe Jesus was baptised are some of the important sites which will be promoted for religious tourism to attract growing number of tourists from Asian countries including India, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, cited Al-Hindi.India ranked among the top 10 source market for Jordan, announced Al-Hindi. He said that owing to growing arrivals from India, they have eased visa application. He also highlighted a new promotional tool, “Jordan Pass” whereby booking tickets online will give them an opportunity to explore the major sightseeing in Jordan, a package especially tailor-made.The country has set a target to welcome 7 million tourists by 2020 and hence is also tapping strategically on its medical tourism drive. In March, Jordan eased visa application for medical purposes from major the Middle East and African countries and allowed them to obtain the visa within 48 hours.The kingdom hopes to woo more European travellers as per a recent agreement with a low-cost airline Ryanair for 14 new routes between Europe and Jordan.
“”Genworth Financial, Inc.””:https://www.genworth.com/, has appointed an independent director as part of the company’s strategy to rebuild value for shareholders. Naming the former CEO and director of “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ to the board, Genworth added David M. Moffet to fill the new position.Prior to taking over leadership for Freddie in 2008, Moffet was a senior advisor with the “”Carlyle Group LLC””:http://www.carlyle.com/. Moffet has also served as a vice chairman and CFO for “”U.S. Bancorp””:https://www.usbank.com/en/AboutHome.cfm and Firstar Corporation. Currently a member of the board for both “”eBay Inc.””:http://www.ebay.com/ and “”CIT Group, Inc.””:http://www.cit.com/index.htm, Moffet boasts extensive directorship experience. “”MBIA Inc.””:http://www.mbia.com/, the “”E.W. Scripps Company””:http://www.scripps.com/, and “”Building Materials Holding Corp.””:http://buildwithbmc.com/ have all previously tapped Moffet as a director.Genworth’s non-executive chairman of the board, James S. Riepe, commented on the company’s decision to name Moffet as an independent director, stating, “”As Genworth continues to[COLUMN_BREAK] execute its strategy of rebuilding value for shareholders, we believe David’s extensive experience and perspectives will provide invaluable insights.””[IMAGE] Share Genworth Adds Former Freddie Mac CEO as Independent Director December 10, 2012 436 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-12-10 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology
Housing optimism for the year ahead diminished somewhat in March, though signs largely point to a positive spring season.Fannie Mae released Monday its most recent National Housing Survey, revealing a slight softening in the housing recovery as monthly indicators remain volatile.According to results from the March survey, fewer than half of consumers polled expect home prices to continue rising over the next 12 months, continuing a trend of uncertainty that started as price gains began to slow noticeably last fall.Even among those expecting more increases, the average yearly change predicted is 2.7 percent, down half a percentage point from February.“The housing recovery continues to proceed in fits and starts,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Rising mortgage rates and a lack of supply have dampened housing market momentum.”According to Fannie, 54 percent of consumers last month said they expect rates to keep rising over the next year, while only 3 percent—an all-time survey low—anticipate declines.Looking at more immediate indicators, responses were more optimistic: More consumers now believe it is a good time to either buy or sell a home compared to February, and the share of those who believe it would be easy to get a mortgage today climbed back up to 52 percent, matching a survey high first recorded in January.American’s attitudes regarding their own finances also improved, albeit slightly. While the share of those expecting their finances to improve over the next 12 months dropped slightly, the share expecting their situations to worsen fell more substantially to 12 percent.Meanwhile, a record 40 percent said their personal financial situation has improved over the past year.Still, only one-third of those surveyed said the economy is on the right track—continuing a declining trend—and Duncan said those who still harbor doubts about housing “tend to point to economic conditions as the primary issue.”Given the current improving climate, that pessimism may not last, he adds. “Looking forward, we expect to see a pickup in economic growth later in the year, and this may boost the confidence of prospective buyers and sellers.” Confidence Fannie Mae Home Prices Mortgage Rates 2014-04-07 Tory Barringer April 7, 2014 468 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Share Americans’ Feelings Mixed on Present, Future of Housing
Homeownership Rate Forecasts: Seeing the Big Picture October 17, 2016 683 Views in Daily Dose, Data, News Housing experts are debating whether the homeownership rate, which at 62.9 percent is at a 51-year low, will rise or continue to fall—some say it might even drop below 60 percent.But these projections might be overly pessimistic, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti.The homeownership rate among demographics that have historically had lower-than-average rates has dropped substantially; for example, the homeownership rate among African Americans rose to a peak of 49.7 percent in 2004, when the overall homeownership rate peaked. Twelve years later, the African American homeownership rate has returned back to its mid-1990s levels of 41.7 percent.The main reasons why the homeownership outlook is bleak are increasing age and increasing diversity.“Older age groups have higher homeownership rates, and America is getting older, a factor that will prop up the homeownership rate for a decade or so,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said. “Counterbalancing the influence of aging on the homeownership rate is the projected increase in demographic diversity.”Historically, non-Hispanic whites have had the highest homeownership rates—nearly 18 to 28 percentage points higher than African American, Asian, and Hispanic households. Nearly three-quarters of baby boomers (those born from 1946 to 1965) are non-Hispanic whites, compared with only 59 percent of millennials, Becketti said. As the baby boomer generation leaves the picture, the more diverse millennial group will take center stage—and, Becketti said, “If historical demographic differences in homeownership rates persist, this increased diversity eventually will drive the homeownership rate significantly lower.”There are three reasons to be skeptical about whether or not these negative homeownership rate projections are accurate, according to Becketti. First off, the future of housing finance is uncertain.“No one knows when a consensus on these complex issues will be reached in Congress, but whatever choices are made will surely influence the future path of homeownership,” Becketti said.Also, many analysts have predicted that the household formation and homebuying behavior of millennials will catch up to that of previous generations, which will likely cause the homeownership rate to rise. But most important, Becketti said, non-white demographic groups may overcome the factors that have been holding down their homeownership rate.“The income and education gaps that are responsible for some of these differences may be narrowed or eliminated as the U.S. becomes a ‘majority minority’ country,” Becketti said. “And the mortgage market may shift in ways that chip away at the remaining gaps—the ones that can’t be explained by income or education and that highlight constraints on access to credit.”Becketti notes that borrowers who don’t fit smoothly into the mass production of today’s mortgage industry, which is supposed to reduce costs, will continue to gain a larger share of the potential homebuyers market—and that it will become “increasingly expensive” for lenders to overlook this group. Forecasts Freddie Mac Homeownership Rate 2016-10-17 Seth Welborn Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Lenders’ Sentiments on Profit Margins Hit a Low Note Share Lender sentiment is at an all-time low according to the latest Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey by Fannie Mae that was released on Thursday. The profit margin outlook, as well as expectations on mortgage demand, have sunk to an all-time low matching the reading from the Q42016 survey for lenders.Competition from other lenders continued to be the primary reason for expecting lower profit margins during the quarter and set a new survey high for the fifth consecutive quarter across all profit margin drivers as the key reason cited by lenders for a lower profit margin outlook.Apart from profit margin concerns, consumer demand for purchase and refinance mortgage is weighing heavily on the minds of lenders, the survey found, with the net share of lenders who reported growth in purchase demand over the prior three months hitting negative territory for the first time in four years. Lender sentiment on mortgage demand fell to the lowest reading since Q12014. Lenders also reported declining demand in refinance mortgage over the last quarter, with the net share of lenders expecting increased demand over the next three months continuing to drop and continuing a trend that began in Q1 2017.“Lenders have faced an increasingly difficult market environment as they report the most sluggish refinance demand expectations in more than a year, the most anemic purchase demand outlook on record for any first quarter, and the worst profit margin outlook in the survey’s history,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae.Easing of credit standards was another area where lender sentiment dipped during the quarter. The survey found that after rising for four consecutive quarters and reaching a survey high in Q4 2017, the net share of lenders reporting an easing of credit standards over the last three months has fallen across all loan types and has approached levels similar to the same period last year.“Despite the pressures to remain competitive and profitable, signs of lender caution appear to be emerging,” Duncan said. “While more lenders eased lending standards than tightened them, continuing the trend that started more than three years ago, the net share of lenders reporting easing credit standards declined for the first time in five quarters to the lowest level in a year.” March 15, 2018 807 Views Credit Standards Fannie Mae Lenders mortgage Profit Margin Profits Purchase Mortgage Refinance Mortgage sentiment 2018-03-15 Radhika Ojha
March 20, 2019 1,277 Views Conventional Ellie Mae FHA fico scores mortgage Purchase Loans rates Refinance VA 2019-03-20 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Falling mortgage rates and a decreasing time to close loans has resulted in an uptick of purchase loans, according to the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report released on Wednesday.The report noted that the 30-year rates have declined for the second consecutive month to 4.86 percent from 5.01 percent in January. The time to close loans has also decreased by two or more days for all loan types. These factors have resulted in the percentage of purchase loans rising to 66 percent from 65 percent in January, even as the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) decreased to 7.6 percent in February from 8.6 percent in the prior month.Refinances, the report indicated, made up 34 percent of all closed loans. The average time to close refinance loans also decreased to 35 days, compared with 47 days for purchase loans.Breaking up the rates by loan product, the report revealed that the average 30-year rate on FHA loans decreased to 4.91 percent in February. Conventional and VA rates decreased to 4.88 and 4.66 percent, respectively.“Purchase percentages have increased following both the holiday season and the 30-year note rate decline,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We expect this increase to continue as we enter the busier spring buying season.”The closing rates for all loan types increased to 75.5 percent with refinance closing rates increasing to 70.8 percent and purchase closing rates increasing to 78.2 percent. The report noted that 70 percent of all closed loans had FICO scores over 700. While 70 percent of purchase loans had FICO scores over 700, 68 percent of refinances had FICO scores over 700.Looking at the profiles of all closed loans, the report indicated that the average FICO score on all closed loans increased two points to 726 in February. Average loan to value increased to 78 and debt to income ratio decreased to 25/39.Click here to read the full report. Homebuyers Get a Spring in Their Step Share
The European Commission has reportedly pushed back its ruling on Total Produce’s (US$303 million) €260 million purchase of a stake in U.S. rival Dole to the end of July after the Irish-based fruit and vegetable distributor agreed to a number of concessions. You might also be interested in Total Produce’s 2018 revenues rise 18% on back of … July 12 , 2018 The EU competition watchdog had set July 16 as the initial deadline but recently revised that to July 30.The fresh produce distributor unveiled the acquisition of a 45 percent share in Dole, one of the world’s top producers of bananas and pineapples, in February, and plans to tap investors for about US$150 million (€127 million) to help fund the deal.If the transaction receives a green light, Total and Dole’s owner, 95-year old billionaire, David H Murdock, will run the company as a joint venture.www.freshfruitportal.com The Independent reported the changes are minor and will not impact the key terms of the agreement, which if approved by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, may ultimately result in the creation of a global conglomerate with combined sales of €8 billion. U.S.: Dole inks deal for executive office in uptow … Dole trucks attacked in Honduras as protests build … Speculation mounts over Dole corporate office move …
PRESS RELEASECamposol has been recognized as the Non-Traditional Exporter of the year, a prize granted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur, in Spanish) and the Peruvian Commission for the Promotion of Exports and Tourism (PromPerú, in Spanish) within the framework of the Exports 2018 event, which was attended by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, among other authorities. You might also be interested in he event #Seguimos Creciendo (#We continue growing) – Exports 2018 recognizes and grants awards to Peruvian exporting companies that have stood out by their leadership, growth, innovation and social and environmental responsibility and contribute to the Peruvian economy and positioning development as an important country within the dynamics of the markets in the world.In 2018, the non-traditional exports reached the record quantity of US$ 13,223 million, 17% more than in 2017, the fishing and agricultural exporting industry being the most dynamic industry during this period. February 21 , 2019
Viking showcased one of its most popular itineraries on Channel 7’s Mighty Cruise Ships, which aired Thursday 29 March, and has released a special offer into the bargain.The 15-day Into the Midnight Sun ocean cruise, from London to Bergen or vice versa, is now priced from $9,195 per person on selected sailings in June-July 2019 and 2020, when booked before 31 July 2018, unless sold out prior.“Many Channel 7 viewers were wowed by this spectacular journey when they watched last week’s episode of Mighty Cruise Ships,” said Michelle Black, Viking Managing Director Australia and New Zealand. “Demand has spiked so we recommend agents book soon if they have clients interested in cruising the Arctic Circle and seeing the magical midnight sun.”Agents can also encourage their clients to watch the episode of Mighty Cruise Ships featuring this itinerary in full, which can be viewed here.The cruise travels along the fabled Norwegian coast and sails across the Arctic Circle where the midnight sun shines 24 hours a day. Following the path of the Vikings, guests will witness the remote beauty of North Cape and the windswept Shetland and Orkney Islands of Scotland. After an an overnight stay in the former Hanseatic League city of Bergen, the ship sails to Edinburgh in Scotland, where medieval glory mingles with classic beauty.A range of exciting shore excursions can be organised on this cruise, including the famous King Crab Safari, where guests venture out to catch their own king crab and retreat to a traditional Sami tent to prepare and feast on their catch.IMAGE: STAR Explorers Lounge earlybirdsViking Cruises
Peregrine Adventures is celebrating the launch of five new voyages in its 2019/20 Exclusive Voyages brochure with up to 30 per cent off a select range of polar cruises when booked before 19 August 2018The new brochure, which covers Antarctica and the Arctic and is available now, will see guests follow in the footsteps of Drake and Shackleton in comfort and style. Ensuring guests have the most enriching experience, Peregrine polar voyages feature a team of experts in a range of fields including glaciology, ornithology, marine biology and polar history.“As seasoned adventurers, we’re always looking for new ways to take our polar experiences to the next level without costing the earth. These five new voyages will provide our guests with memories that will stay forever sketched into their hearts and minds as they witness the jaw- dropping natural beauty of glaciers and fjords, encounter unique wildlife, and learn about the extraordinary history of the north and south pole,” said Brett Mitchell, Australia and New Zealand Regional Director for Peregrine Adventures. The five new voyages include:Jewels of Antarctica (12 days) and Pristine Antarctica (11 days)Travellers will explore Antarctica’s untouched wilderness, snowy peaks, towers of broken blue-white ice and abundance of wildlife including thousands of gentoo penguins, humpback and minke whales.Discover Antarctica (11 days) Starting in Ushuaia, this voyage sets sail through the Drake Passage following the footsteps of famous English seafarer, Sir Frances Drake. Travellers will spend four days on the Antarctic Peninsula spotting wildlife, visit an active research station and explore well-known sites such as the Lemaire Channel, Deception Island, Paradise Bay and Neko Harbour.Exclusive Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands (21 days)In addition to Drake Passage and the Antarctic Peninsula, this voyage will retrace Shackleton’s path to South Georgia where travellers will see seabirds, whales and other wildlife. Weather permitting, they will land at Elephant Island where Shackleton embarked on one of the greatest survival stories of all time.Arctic Unveiled (8 days)The shortest of the five voyages, this eight-day journey starts in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. On a zodiac cruise, travellers will watch for Brunnich’s guillemots, puffins, kittiwake and prowling Arctic foxes. There’s hope of cruising near Monaco Glacier and spotting a polar bear. In Hinlopen Strait, travellers can spot reindeer, pink-footed geese and walruses.AGENT FACT FILESome voyages are onboard the new Hondius vessel that rates among the elite few civilian ships with Polar Class 6 notations meaning it’s the strongest ice-strengthened ship available. Hondius carries 176 guests and each of its 84 cabins have views of the Antarctic landscape. The remaining voyages will be onboard the newly updated Ocean Atlantic ship that carries up to 198 passengers, and includes a gym, polar boutique and panoramic views from the bar.