Bahrain Air enters liquidation suspends all operations

first_imgBahrain Air has entered voluntary liquidation and suspended all operations after sustaining ‘considerable financial losses’.A notice on the airline’s website  explained, during Bahrain’s 2011 State of National Emergency the carrier was instructed to suspend flights to several destinations, an order that has cost the airline BD 4.5 million in lost revenues over the last three months.Although a Royal Decree on land, sea and air transportation advising all affected parties to be fairly compensated by the government, the carrier says it has received no compensation.Meanwhile, the carrier’s shareholders have advised they will not support the airline financially and negotiations with the Minister of Transportation to loosen flight restrictions have failed.Despite the airline’s situation, the carrier has been advised to make immediate payment on past government debts or face closure, which effectively ‘strangled’ the carrier and its ability to “generate the necessary revenues both to make these payments and to sustain long term profitability”.“We have created a proud legacy, with one of the best records for on time performance and value for money in the region,” the airline’s notice read.“We would like to thank our staff for their hard working and lasting devotion to the cause of Bahrain Air.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Bahrain Air suspends all operations. Image: GulfBusiness.com last_img read more

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New dinosaur species unveiled in Alberta Canada

first_imgArt by Julius T. Csotonyi. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta.Dinosaur lovers will stampede a new exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, which is displaying a brand new species of dinosaur, known as “Hellboy”.An almost complete fossilised skull of the unknown, horned dinosaur was uncovered in Alberta, Canada, a region commonly known as one of the biggest sources of dinosaur fossils in the world.The dinosaur has been nicknamed “Hellboy”, referring both to its similarity to a comic book character of the same name and the grueling ten year process from discovery to display.Post-doctoral fellow at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and co-author of the Current Biology article which announced the discovery, Doctor Caleb Brown, said this particular discovery is momentous.“The discovery is scientifically significant because it provides evidence of unexpected evolutionary traits in horned dinosaurs,” Dr. Brown said.“The rate at which we are finding new species today is higher than any time previously.“It is a very exciting time for dinosaur research in Alberta.”The skull of Regaliceratops peterhewsi, its scientific name meaning “royal horned face”, is on display at the museum’s Fossils in Focus exhibit from today.For dinosaur enthusiasts, Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park offers guided excavation programs for people to partake in real dinosaur digs that contribute to the museum’s ongoing research.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

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Natural Habitat Adventures debuts African Riverboat Safari in Botswana

first_imgNatural Habitat Adventures debuts African Riverboat Safari in BotswanaThe world’s premier nature travel company, Natural Habitat Adventures, introduces an exclusive new safari adventure aboard a privately chartered deluxe riverboat cruising the Chobe and Zambezi rivers beginning in June 2016.The Great African River Safari features an intimate cruise aboard the Chobe Princess followed by an overland safari through private reserves, a combination that offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Botswana while also touching into Zambia and Namibia. Guests spend three nights aboard the Chobe Princess, plying the broad channels and backwaters of the Chobe River and its confluence with the Zambezi River, and five nights at small luxury camps exclusively for Nat Hab guests and deep within Botswana’s premier private game reserves.The 10-day itinerary begins in Livingstone, Zambia, near Victoria Falls. Days 2, 3 and 4 are aboard Chobe Princess. Guests then transfer by air from Namibia into Botswana to commence the land portion of the trip, which includes immersive safaris in the Selinda and Moremi game reserves. The adventure ends in Maun, Botswana. Departures begin in June 2016 and are scheduled through October 2017.“Animals absolutely abound here, and our guests will encounter them in exceptional seclusion on this private adventure,” said Nat Hab founder and president, Ben Bressler. Hundreds of hippos, enormous elephant herds (70,000 live in Chobe National Park on the Botswana side of the river alone), great numbers of buffalo and antelope, rafts of crocodiles, a multitude of water birds and more are on display from the boat’s outdoor decks, and in air-conditioned comfort through the panoramic windows. Excursions by small skiffs up narrow channels provide even closer eye-level sightings.Each departure is limited to just seven guests to ensure the most personalized safari experience possible in the quiet, remote areas visited. On wildlife drives, each traveler gets a window seat for optimal viewing and photography.The adventure also includes Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Nat Hab guests will have a guided tour of the national park on the rim, exploring different viewpoints over the falls via a network of walkways before heading upriver to secluded Toka Leya camp, located on the banks of the Zambezi. A sunset cruise is included, where guests are sure to see plentiful hippos.Source = Natural Habitat Adventureslast_img read more

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Fiji Airways donates FJD1million to Prime Ministers Relief Fun

first_imgFiji Airways donates FJD$1million to Prime Minister’s Relief FundFiji Airways, Fiji’s national airline, has donated FJD$1m to the Prime Minister’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund to assist those affected by Cyclone Winston. Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO, Andre Viljoen handed the cheque over today to Fijian Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama. The airline has also announced free carriage of relief supplies domestically and inbound from other countries coordinated through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).Mr. Viljoen stated: “We share the pain of our fellow Fijians at this time and will assist in any way we can to help rebuild our nation. The donation will assist the NDMO teams get much needed resources and personnel to areas of critical need. In addition, Fiji Link flights this week will carry as much water and dry goods as possible on all flights going to Labasa, Savusavu, Taveuni, Koro, Vanuabalavu, Cicia, Kadavu, and Lakeba. Fiji Airways, under the direction of the NDMO, will freight in relief supplies on our inbound flights. While we are heartened to see so many Fijians and our friends abroad offering assistance, we encourage everyone wanting to help to please work through the NDMO.”The donation was warmly welcomed on behalf of the Government by the Attorney General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. “All Fijians will appreciate this generous gesture by Fiji Airways, which reflects not only its commitment to the welfare of our nation but its sound financial management that has made the donation possible. The Government will be working closely with our national airline throughout this crisis, not only making sure that relief supplies get to those who most need it but assisting the tourism industry to get back on its feet”.The AG said the Government, through Tourism Fiji, is working with Fiji Airways and industry stakeholders on a comprehensive plan to maintain the health of the industry in the wake of Cyclone Winston.“We need to get the message out to our key markets that most Fijian resorts are open and functioning. The best way for Australians and New Zealanders, in particular, to support Fiji through this crisis is to keep visiting us. There is no need for intending holidaymakers to cancel or postpone their visits”, the AG said.All Fiji Airways’ flights to and from Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney) have resumed normal service. Their domestic carrier, Fiji Link, is also now operating the normal service. Fly Fiji Airways Source = Fiji Airwayslast_img read more

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NTIA 2016 – Industry celebrates at award extravaganza

first_imgNTIA 2016 – Industry celebrates at award extravaganzaNTIA 2016 – Industry celebrates at award extravaganzaCelebrated Saturday 16 July, at The Pavilion Darling Harbour, the Gala Dinner recognised 38 travel industry individual and businesses who have been awarded for their excellence and contribution to the travel industry.Helloworld Limited was awarded Best Travel Agency Group and Best Non-Branded Travel Agency Group. Queanbeyan City Travel and Cruise was announced People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year and George Hedley was awarded with the 2016 Emirates Travel Consultant Scholarship, to name a few.The full list of 2016 winners is available on the AFTA website.The attending airline sponsors amazed guests with a lavishing of ticket give-aways. Major sponsor Qantas, in partnership with American Airlines, gave two return business class flights. The Star Alliance network of 27 airlines delighted guests with more than 50 prizes in the napkin scratch & win promotion and Beverage Sponsor Air New Zealand wowed guests with an epic give-way; 27 Airlines tickets to celebrate their international flight routes.Tourism Fiji gave guest a warm welcome on the chilly Saturday evening and thanks to EMCEE Sponsor Dubai Tourism, multi-awarding winning journalist and TV personality Anjali Rao steered the proceedings with elegance and grandeur. Acclaimed performer / actor Johnny Ruffo delivered a high energy performance thanks to Express Travel Group and guests celebrations continued into the early hours of the morning thanks to the Singapore Airlines After Party which was held at The Watershed, Darling Harbour.Jayson Westbury, AFTA Chief Executive said: “AFTA, together with our valued and important Sponsors are very proud to have once again delivered such a spectacular event.”AFTA congratulates all winners and finalists. AFTAAustralian Federation of Travel AgentsSource = AFTAlast_img read more

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Vivid Sydney breaks global record

first_imgVivid Sydneywww.vividsydney.comVivid Sydney breaks global recordVivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, has once again cemented itself as a record-breaking international event. Guinness World Records, the global authority on record breaking, has awarded Vivid Sydney installation Dreamscape with the title for the ‘Largest interactive lighting display’.Made of 124,128 lights, Dreamscape, created by Vivid Sydney veteran 32Hundred Lighting, links the entire Circular Quay precinct from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbour Bridge into one cohesive canvas of light. It allows participants to decide the colour, texture and pattern of the lighting across the cityscape via 3D interactive modelling in a control room in Circular Quay. With the simple touch of a button, Vivid Sydney guests of any age have the power to create their own masterpiece, using the harbour city as their muse.In achieving the Guinness World Records title, Dreamscape trumped its own Vivid Sydney 2016 predecessor, Dress Circle, which was also a 32Hundred Lighting creation that illuminated Circular Quay. This year, the addition of the Cahill Expressway to the installation adds an additional one kilometre of lights to the record.Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination NSW and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney said, “Each year when we produce Vivid Sydney we want interstate and international visitors to be awed by what they see and we want locals to be proud of what our city brings to the world. Breaking a Guinness World Records title shows the global calibre of our festival and breaking our own title shows that we will never rest on our laurels.”Iain Reed, Managing Director of 32Hundred Lighting said, “We are beyond thrilled to break our own Guinness World Records title and be internationally recognised for our work. Our team is so passionate about what we do and it’s a pleasure to be part of Vivid Sydney once again, illuminating this great city!”Those wanting the opportunity to experience and interact with the record-breaking installation have until 17 June to head down to Vivid Sydney and join in the action. Vivid SydneySource = Vivid Sydneylast_img read more

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Abu Dhabi welcomes 443000 hotel guests

first_imgSource = The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi welcomes 443,000 hotel guestsAbu Dhabi welcomes 443,000 hotel guestsThe opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island and the hosting of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix contributed to a dramatic surge in hotel guests staying in the emirate during November.The month saw a 16 percent rise in guests staying in the emirate’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments compared to the same period in 2016, according to figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.With 4.3 million hotel guests staying in accommodation across Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain Region and Al Dhafra Region in the first 11 months of the year, the emirate has witnessed 9 percent year-on-year growth and is on target to reach a record 4.9 million guests by the end of December.Welcoming the latest rise in visitors to the emirate, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “While November and Q4 is traditionally a strong period for us, particularly with visitors from Europe, we are still highly encouraged by the sector’s performance during the month and the 16 per cent increase in hotel guests across all three regions to number 443,000 guests.”“The opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi was a monumental event, not only for Abu Dhabi but also for the whole of the country and indeed the region, contributing enormously to our appeal as a ‘must visit’ destination. The museum attracted worldwide attention and instantly became a huge draw for domestic and international visitors, which we anticipate will continue for many years to come.”The museum’s opening on November 11, following close collaboration between the UAE and French governments spurred a 32 percent rise in French guests during the month compared to the same period in 2016 with further positive traction anticipated from the French market next year.During November, guests from the US increased by 50 percent, while the China, UK and Germany saw rises of 38 percent, 36 percent and 21 percent respectively. In total 443,636 guests stayed in the emirate, with 322,506 international visitors and 121,130 domestic visitors.“Our annual events calendar across the emirate continues to develop and expand with November hosting another successful Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Art festival, National Day celebrations and the Fourth National Traditional Handicrafts Festival in Al Ain,” added Ghobash.“These events are proving a draw to visitors who are seeking a blend of Arabian culture, heritage and excitement in a diverse and affordable destination. We expect a strong Q4 performance to round off a very successful year for Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector. We have challenges to address, such as increasing average length of stay of our guests and the occupancy rate, but we are constantly working on new initiatives and marketing to improve these figures.”The number of guests increased across all three regions in November with Abu Dhabi city seeing a 16.8 per cent rise in its 131 hotels compared to November 2016, Al Ain Region increasing by 10.7 percent in its 20 hotels and Al Dhafra Region increasing by 15.3 percent in its 11 hotels.China remains Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market with 334,000 Chinese guests staying in the emirate this year, a dramatic rise of 63 percent, which can be attributed to the lifting of visa restrictions and destination marketing campaigns taking place in major Chinese cities throughout the year.India is the second largest supplier of international guests, rising almost 10 percent this year to number 320,000. The UK is Europe’s largest market, witnessing 12 percent growth to number 244,000 while the US and Saudi Arabian markets have also recorded growth compared to the previous year.About The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu DhabiThe Department of Culture and Tourism conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike.  The Department manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment.  Its policies, plans and programs relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.  The Department of Culture and Tourism supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honor the emirate’s heritage.  A key role played by the Department is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.last_img read more

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Ghana raising Africas leisure tourism bar

first_imgSource = HTI Consulting Ghana raising Africa’s leisure tourism barGhana raising Africa’s leisure tourism bar“Continued economic growth in many African countries is driving greater interest in the continent from a tourism perspective but it’s interesting to see that Ghana, in particular, is proving increasingly attractive as a leisure tourism destination,” says Wayne Troughton, CEO of specialist global hospitality and tourism consultancy HTI Consulting.“In many ways this is not surprising,” he says, “particularly considering Ghana’s natural beauty and unspoiled coastline, its cultural and historical heritage as well as it’s relative political safety under the new government elected in December 2016,” he states. “But, in the past, these assets remained largely underexplored by foreign visitors, many of whom visited Ghana purely to investigate business opportunities in what still remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world.”“The difference now, however, is that, with a number of promotional initiatives underway, the country’s new administration is making a dedicated push to transform Ghana into a leisure tourism destination,” explains Troughton. “A veritable slew of ongoing projects, such as the newly built terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport and significant road upgrades, are also expected to generate a further boost.”Recently too, The World Bank approved a facility of USD 40 million to the Ghana Tourism Development Project. The project will enhance the tourism sector’s offerings in targeted destinations; diversify its impact and help increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the Ghanaian economy. The project will also support the aviation sector as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises, which will benefit from improved access to markets, better public goods provision in the targeted tourism destinations, and better skilled workers.This is good news for the region, and Ghana in particular, given its political stability and friendly people. Although not exposed to any major incidents similar to attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire in 2016, Ghana’s security measures have been tightened.“The ability to attract more private capital and ensure sustained spending on infrastructure remains a priority. Addressing prices constitutes another priority,” explains Troughton, “allowing Ghana to become a more affordable destination compared to its African peers.”“According to the research recently undertaken by HTI Consulting in Ghana, where focus was placed on understanding the levels of demand for leisure hotels in the country, Ghana has yet to make strong in-roads into the international leisure market, however, demand from local, expatriate and regional leisure tourists is growing, particularly as economic conditions in West Africa improve,” he says.“Though tourism data for Ghana remains largely outdated,” explains Troughton, “it is estimated that approximately 20% of the almost one million visitors to Ghana, travel for purposes of leisure,” he says. “A large proportion of such visitors are sourced from neighbouring Nigeria, largely due to the fact that Nigeria has limited offerings in terms of leisure resorts and Ghana offers an attractive, nearby alternative for middle to upper income Nigerians wanting to holiday beyond their borders, “ he explains. “Accra also represents a nice weekend break for Nigerians seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of larger cities such as Lagos, and resort- style developments on the beach in or close to the capital are preferred,” he says. “Nigerians therefore represent the largest source of foreign room night demand.”According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTCC) leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 66.5% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2017 (GHC6, 854.3mn) compared with 33.5% for business travel spending (GHC3, 455.2mn). Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 6.1% in 2018 to GHC7, 272.1mn, and rise by 4.7% pa to GHC11, 486.8mn in 2028. Business travel spending is expected to grow by 2.3% in 2018 to GHC3, 535.9mn, and rise by 2.6% pa to GHC4, 569.6mn in 2028.“The potential for expanding leisure tourism is significant,” states Troughton. “There’s been an increase in quality hotel supply in recent years, driven by the arrival of a number of international hotel chains such as the Kempinski-branded, five-star Gold Coast City hotel and the Accra Marriott Hotel, which followed on the heels of other international entrants such as Mövenpick, Holiday Inn and Golden Tulip.”Additionally a Ramada property is currently operational in the Coco Beach area, whilst a five star resort property is expected to be developed approximately 90 minutes from Accra within the short to medium term.” A Hilton is currently under development in Ada Foah, whilst recently too the Marriott Group announced the scheduled opening of Protea Hotel by Marriott Accra, Kotoka Airport, the brand’s second hotel in Ghana and the first Protea Hotel by Marriott in the capital city of Accra.“Destinations preferred included Ada Foah (designated a tourism enclave with area earmarked for big tourism projects in the near future) and the Volta Region. The resorts are approximately two hours drive from Accra, the gateway to the country, and offer a diversity of entertainment including beaches, beach activities, swimming pools, kids clubs, tennis courts. In addition to the above, another popular destination is Labadi Beach in Accra itself.”“Research has shown that occupancies of these resorts is only at an approximate 60% mark and greater investment in resort infrastructure, that offers international standards and service, is a key requirement for future growth from foreign markets,” states Troughton. “West Africa offers good proximity to Europe and with the right product investment, infrastructure development and marketing, could attract high levels of demand, particularly over the European winter periods.Ghana is currently leveraging itself as ‘The Centre of the World’ according to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Mrs. Catherine Abelema Afeku who says that renewed attention had been directed to the tourism sector through partnership, aggressive marketing, as well as inter-ministerial committees to ensure that all pillars were raised for the development of the sector.“Ghana looks fast set to harness the opportunities presented by the country’s renewed focus on tourism and, as resort, entertainment, road and air infrastructure continues to improve, increased leisure demand for Ghana looks set to become a promising and tangible reality,” says Troughton.last_img read more

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TAT conducts biking competition to promote tourism in Northeast

first_imgThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently conducted the ‘Ride to Khong’s Legendary’ long-distance biking competition along the scenic routes of four provinces in Thailand’s North eastern region.The event was organised as part of TAT’s plans to promote the North eastern region as the hub of sports and tourism and the ideal gateway to the Mekong countries.H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “The Ride to Khong’s Legendary biking competition will mark a new era of tourism for Thailand’s North eastern region, which is poised to become an important hub for sports tourism in the Mekong area. This region is complete with picturesque natural landscapes, rich historical and cultural legacies, international standard sporting facilities, and convenient transportation access to the neighbouring Mekong countries; hence, it is the ideal destination for those who seek to enjoy sports challenges and cultural tourism at the same time.”The ‘Ride to Khong’s Legendary’ biking competition is a long bike ride, covering a 248 km route in four provinces – Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan. The bikers in the route are treated with beautiful natural scenery, including the scenic routes along the Mekong River, allowing bikers to experience the charming Thai way of life along the ride.The three-day competition included three different stages of smooth, steep and challenging rides. Each day posed different stages of difficulty. The winners of the event were awarded with the Royal Trophy of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.The event intended to attract biking enthusiasts from Australia, Korea, Malaysia, the UK and other European countries as well as from ASEAN countries.last_img read more

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Cordray Gets Stiff Reception from Lawmakers Analysts

first_img Agents & Brokers Campaign for America’s Future Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren Lenders & Servicers Processing Richard Cordray Service Providers The Cato Institute 2011-07-20 Ryan Schuette Following his nomination Monday, lawmakers and trade associations continue to greet “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) director-nominee Richard Cordray stiffly, with spokespeople accepting his new role lukewarmly and officials vowing once more to stall the confirmation process for any nominee that “”President Barack Obama””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama puts forward.[IMAGE]””Sen. Jerry Morgan””:http://moran.senate.gov/public/ (R-Kansas), one of the 44 authors of a May letter to the president that held he and his colleagues would never confirm a director, issued a statement Sunday reasserting his beliefs on the subject.””Today’s announcement, nearly 12 months after the President created this new agency, does nothing to increase transparency or accountability,”” “”Sen. Moran””:http://moran.senate.gov/public/ said in the statement. “”I along with 43 of my Senate colleagues have made our intentions quite clear, but the Administration has yet to respond to our May 5th letter calling for the “”Bureau’s””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ leadership structure to be strengthened. I fear today’s decision is just the beginning of an end-run around Congress.””I would urge the President to put the best interests of consumers ahead of politics and seriously consider my proposal,”” he added.””Sen. Moran””:http://moran.senate.gov/ introduced the Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act, the law that would transform the single-person directorship into a board of directors and rope the “”CFPB””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov into the federal appropriations process ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô one that critics contend would allow Congress to strip the bureau of its funding.””_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-19/republicans-take-aim-at-cfpb-call-nominee-dead-on-arrival-2-.html reports that “”Rep. Spencer Bachus””:http://bachus.house.gov/ (R-Alabama), the bill’s sponsor and “”House Financial Services Committee””:http://financialservices.house.gov/ chairman, played down the Republican opposition as one of oversight.””Is payback a proper function of legislation?”” the news service reports “”Bachus””:http://bachus.house.gov/ as saying of the Dodd-Frank Act to a throng of reporters. “”Consumers were abused by financial institutions in a number of ways, but is it proper to undermine the safety and soundness of financial institutions, or is it proper to find a middle ground where consumers are protected in a way that’s not inconsistent with safety and soundness?””Not everyone felt surprised by the shake-up that booted “”CFPB””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov architect Elizabeth Warren. “”Republicans have already said they’d block a vote on him unless the bureau’s essentially gutted,”” says Richard Eskow, a senior fellow at the left-leaning “”Campaign for America’s Future””:http://www.ourfuture.org/. [COLUMN_BREAK]He says the real question is “”Will Cordray run the bureau on an interim basis in the meantime? He would have limited authority but could still serve an important role.””Without a director, the “”CFPB””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov will stay at the “”Treasury Department””:http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx instead of relocating to the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/. That punts the ball to “”Treasury””:http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx Secretary Timothy Geithner, in whose office the Dodd-Frank Act vests the authority to name a special adviser and interim director.””Republicans are so opposed to her [Warren’s] confirmation because bank lobbyists are so opposed to her confirmation,”” he said. In the e-mail, Eskow called Republican arguments “”transparently artificial,”” attributing their stiff reception of any nominee to big business and banking industry connections.A spokesperson for the “”American Bankers Association””:http://www.aba.com/default.htm (ABA), a critic of the “”CFPB””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/, declined to comment. In testimony before the “”Senate Banking Committee””:http://banking.senate.gov/public/ in July, “”ABA’s””:http://www.aba.com/default.htm chairman-elect, Albert Kelly, Jr., chairman and CEO of Oklahoma-based “”SpiritBank””:http://www.spiritbank.com/Our-Products/, said that “” “”ABA””:http://www.aba.com/default.htm supports the creation of a board or commission that would be responsible for the “”Bureau’s””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov actions rather than giving the head of the Bureau sole authority to make decisions that could fundamentally alter the financial choices available for customers. It also provides the needed balance and appropriate checks in the exercise of the “”Bureau’s””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov significant authority. We urge the Congress to pass statutory provisions that ensure such accountability before the “”Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov is established with a single director.””In a statement, Chris Stinebert, president and CEO of the “”American Financial Services Association””:http://www.afsaonline.org/, said he “”welcomes “”President Obama’s””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama nomination of a director for the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov. The nomination of Richard Cordray answers one of the top questions surrounding this powerful new agency, but much uncertainty looms with the transfer date a few days away.””We hope that Cordray will strive to provide regulatory certainty to an economy that is in dire need of it,”” Stinebert added.Other analysts think lightly of Cordray’s seriousness as a nominee for the “”CFPB””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov, and for much less than his views on consumer financial protection.In an interview with _MReport_, Mark Calabria, a senior financial analyst at the conservative-leaning “”Cato Institute””:http://www.cato.org/, colored Cordray’s nomination and Warren’s withdrawal as a thinly veiled attempt by the Obama administration to pocket the former in a recess appointment.He also suggested the Obama administration may have made the Cordray-Warren switch to help the former Ohio attorney general secure reelection in his home state.””I would be concerned that this guy is going to go along the path of making this agency a close partner to the litigation industry,”” says Calabria. “”If one is in the banking industry, this guy is as much a reason to fear as she was.””Cordray’s nomination moves forward as the “”CFPB””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov prepares to launch tomorrow. July 20, 2011 496 Views in Government, Origination, Servicingcenter_img Share Cordray Gets Stiff Reception from Lawmakers, Analystslast_img read more

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A New Reason to Love La Quinta

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-06-19 Abby Gregory June 19, 2012 418 Views Boasting 40 acres of land, full equestrian facilities, and six guest houses, the La Quinta, California, “”estate””:http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2012/06/merv-griffins-la-quinta-horse-ranch-up.html once belonging to Merv Griffin is now on the market for $9.5 million. The ranch, which is located near Palm Springs, was built by Griffin and his family, and the large property is said to be entirely walled and electronically gated. Famed decorator Waldo Fernandez designed the main house and most of the auxiliary homes, and the Moroccan-themed decor includes jewel-toned stained glass, mosaic tile work, and hammered metal trim. For outdoorsy types, the estate also includes pools, fishing ponds, and a 16-stall horse barn and adjacent training oval.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE]center_img A New Reason to Love La Quinta? Sharelast_img read more

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Gains in Mortgage Applications Point to Sustainable Trend

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-05-08 Tory Barringer May 8, 2013 423 Views Gains in Mortgage Applications Point to Sustainable Trend After examining mortgage application data throughout April, “”Capital Economics””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/ sees “”mounting evidence that mortgage-dependent buyers are starting to play a fuller role in the housing market recovery.””[IMAGE]Compiling information provided by the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA), Capital Economics found that total application volume was up 3.5 percent from March to April. Demand for home purchase loans provided a significant boost. According to Capital Economics, purchase applications rose 4.6 percent, building on a 4.5 percent gain in March. Purchase applications have risen for seven of the last eight months, and while volume remains far below pre-crash levels, the firm notes that applications have risen 11.5 percent over the past year and now stand at a three-year high.The findings “”sit comfortably”” with the rise in mortgage lending demand reported in the latest “”Senior Loan Officer Survey””:https://themreport.com/articles/credit-terms-for-mortgages-esat-in-2q-as-demand-increases-2013-05-06 (SLOS) from the Federal Reserve. Thirty-nine percent of banks responding to that survey reported stronger demand for mortgages in the first quarter–the seventh consecutive quarterly rise.””Of course, it’s difficult to know just how many of these applications are being approved. But given that a net balance of 7.8 percent of lenders reported loosening credit conditions on residential mortgages in the latest SLOS, it’s reasonable to assume that more would-be borrowers are passing banks’ credit checks,”” writes Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics.Diggle also observed that banks responding to the SLOS were more likely to extend a loan to a borrower with a 20 percent deposit and a FICO score of at least 680 than they were a year ago, indicating an increasing willingness to lend.Refinance application volume also rose, propped up largely by a decline in mortgage interest rates to an average 3.67 percent (30-year fixed). Refinance applications were up 3.3 percent month-over-month in April, continuing March’s turnaround in demand.””With the Fed likely to start curbing its asset purchases later in the year, the end of the era of ultra-low mortgage interest rates may be in sight,”” Diggle said. “”But for mortgage payments to return to their long-term average of 22 percent of disposable income, 30-year fixed rates would have to rise all the way to 9 percent! Accordingly, we’re optimistic that the nascent improvement in mortgage applications will be sustained.””In its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey (for the week ending May 3), MBA reported a 7.0 percent increase in applications, with refinance applications up 8 percent and purchase applications up 2 percent week-over-week. The association also reported a decline in government share to 29.1 percent, a two-year low.The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.59 percent last week, a decrease from 3.60 percent the week before, according to MBA.center_img in Data, Origination Sharelast_img read more

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Top MI Companies Release Financial Data

first_img Essent Group First Quarter Net Income MGIC Investment Corporation 2015-05-08 Staff Writer Top MI Companies Release Financial Data May 8, 2015 444 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Essent Group Ltd. more than doubled their net income for Q1. According to data released by the company, the net income for Q1 2015 was $38.4 million or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to $15 million or $0.18 per diluted share for Q1 2014.Essent also reported that the company had primary insurance in force of $53.3 billion and consolidated stockholders’ equity of $996.0 million as of March 31, 2015.Essent is a Bermuda-based holding company that offers private mortgage insurance for single-family mortgage loans in the United States through its wholly-owned subsidiary Essent Guaranty, Inc.“Our strong results reflect our continued execution on building a high credit quality and profitable mortgage insurance portfolio,” said Mark Casale, chairman and CEO of Essent. “Our outlook for the private mortgage insurance sector remains positive and Essent continues to be well positioned and optimistic about the future of our franchise.”The management at Essent held a conference call this morning to discuss the company’s positive Q1 results. A recording of the call will be available for the next two weeks on their website.Essent released the following stats as part of their announcement:Insurance in force as of March 31, 2015 was $53.3 billion, compared to $50.8 billion as of December 31, 2014 and $34.8 billion as of March 31, 2014.New insurance written for the first quarter was $5.3 billion, compared to $6.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $3.6 billion in the first quarter of 2014.Net premiums earned for the first quarter were $75.0 million, compared to $67.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $44.8 million in the first quarter of 2014.The expense ratio for the first quarter was 36.6%, compared to 37.8% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 52.4% in the first quarter of 2014.The percentage of loans in default as of March 31, 2015 was 0.21%, compared to 0.20% as of December 31, 2014 and 0.12% as of March 31, 2014.Another company with new data was MGIC Investment Corporation. The company released their Operational Summary of its insurance subsidiaries for their primary mortgage insurance for April 2015. MGIC is a principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation. According to the summary, MGIC covers about one million mortgages and has $166.1 billion of primary insurance in force as of March 31, 2015.As part of their monthly operating statistics, MGIC released the following stats:Primary New Insurance Written: $3.6 billionBeginning Primary Delinquent Inventory (# of loans): 72,236Ending Primary Delinquent Inventory (# of loans): 69,630 Sharelast_img read more

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Mortgage Peer Network and LendingQB Announce Integration

first_img Mortgage Peer Network has announced an integration with LendingQB’s cloud-based loan origination system (LOS). The partnership will allow lenders to generate business and will provide peer-based performance metrics that will lead to a more streamlined and intelligent lending operation.    The merger will enable lenders to monitor their performance and measuring the effectiveness of their operations in comparison to similar lenders. Mortgage Peer Network will analyze performance data generated by LendingQB, and lenders will be able to select specific peer criteria to provide insight into their services.Dave Demster, Managing Partner of Mortgage Peer Network, explained that the new venture will allow customers to make new business connections and attract clients. “Through this partnership, LendingQB customers can join Mortgage Peer Network without the challenge of creating data extracts or interfaces, it’s a hands-free setup process for the lender,” he said. “Mortgage Peer Network effectively becomes an extension of LendingQB’s overall LOS value proposition and helps lenders of all sizes drive new business.”Tim Nguyen, President of LendingQB, looks forward to the partnership with Mortgage Peer Network. “Aligning with Mortgage Peer Network delivers a truly unique value proposition for our customers, he said.” “In the past, only larger lenders could afford to go through the process of integration, implementation and customization that is typical of a solution like this, and even then, it was typically many months before the system was usable. Through this relationship, LendingQB clients will be integrated on the very first day they sign up and will begin to receive Mortgage Peer Network benefits shortly thereafter. Mortgage Peer Network is a solution that will help all our customers.” in News, Technology Company News Integration LendingQB Mortgage Peer Network technology 2016-12-29 Staff Writer Mortgage Peer Network and LendingQB Announce Integrationcenter_img Share December 29, 2016 629 Views last_img read more

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Where Home Prices Are Accelerating

first_img February 22, 2019 4,046 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Where Home Prices Are Accelerating Miami, Austin-Round Rock, and Cape Coral-Fort Myers remain the most overvalued metro areas in the nation, according to CoreLogic’s HPI Forecast Validation Report.The report noted that Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro continued to be the most undervalued market with a population size of over 700,000 with Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford closely following.The report compares the 12 months CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) forecast to the actual CoreLogic HPI data and compares the changes in national and key core-based statistical areas (CBSA)-level forecasts. The current report notes data changes from November 2017 to November 2018.However, the report noted that some major metros were experiencing a large absolute price change over the last 12 months and that CoreLogic was monitoring these areas. “Many of these major metros have had complex economic, market demand and supply factors over the last year,” the report said.According to the report, the national prediction of a 4.7 percent increase was within 0.1 percent of the 4.8 percent increase of the HPI during the period under review. While the most accurate CBSA-level forecast was for the Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Massachusetts region which came on target of the actual HPI increase of 5.5 percent. The widest CBSA gap was for San Diego, California, a market that was over-estimated by 6.4 percent compared to the actual increase.This gap, CoreLogic said was because of a downturn of overall demand, combined with concern over long-term affordability.Apart from San Diego, the report said that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; and Fort Worth, Texas were among the three other areas that were at the high end of the forecasting gap. While the Philadelphia market was slow to recover after the housing crisis, the market saw home price appreciation exceeding 5 percent for the first time since 2006, last spring.Atlanta, on the other hand, had exhibited a very strong, higher-than-expected year-over-year increase due to the limited inventory of homes. This in a market where construction has traditionally kept up with the demand for housing.The Dallas-Fort Worth economy grew at twice the national rate with 3.2 percent versus 1.6 percent annual job gains in August 2018. The report noted that although home construction in this CBSA had returned to pre-bubble rates, “housing supply may not be keeping up with population growth.”Download the full report here.center_img CBSA Construction CoreLogic Forecast Home Home Prices HOUSING Housing Supply HPI Inventory 2019-02-22 Radhika Ojha Sharelast_img read more

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Webjet

first_imgWebjet Webjet has partnered with NAB (National Australia Bank) to allow NAB Rewards customers to earn points for their spending across three credit cards: Classic, Platinum and Business. Points earned can now be redeemed to book flights through Webjet – on any airline, to any destination, at any time.To celebrate the launch of the partnership, NAB Rewards are offering triple points with every purchase made on Webjet with a NAB rewards card.For NAB Rewards members, the rewards technology has been integrated into Webjet’s existing booking engine. Travellers can view their points balance, toggle flight costs between dollars and points and purchase using points or a combination of points + pay.Webjet MD John Guscic said “This partnership connects our travel and technology expertise with NAB card holders wanting more from their points.“In line with Webjet’s Customer First philosophy, this innovative partnership with NAB offers customers another unique payment method for travel. Webjet is always looking for opportunities to enable Australians to travel more.”last_img read more

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Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The list of people interested in Arizona Cardinals’ Vice President of Player Personnel Steve Keim has grown. Early Tuesday Keim was reported to be interviewing with the San Diego Chargers at some point this week.Late Tuesday night, CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported Keim will speak with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the near future. The Jags have interviewed Dave Caldwell (ATL) and Tom Gamble (SF) for their GM job, and will also interview Steve Keim (AZ).— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 2, 2013 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Keim was the early favorite to replace Rod Graves as the GM in Arizona, but team president Michael Bidwill said in a press conference Monday he expected Keim to interview with other teams, too. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

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The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Hubert did not quit his job, as he told them he had to take some time off.“I may be back, but hopefully I won’t (be),” he said, adding that his situation was understood.How could it not be? Hubert is not the first player to keep chasing his dream while at the same time in part live his life as if that next chance will never come.“It’s just crazy,” he said. “I’m learning every day how the business goes, just how at any time your number can be called. You’ve just got to be ready, that’s what I tried to do. It’s a great feeling, really.”Hubert said he was hoping to hold off on getting a regular job, because he had a feeling the Cardinals would give him a call at some point.“I just didn’t know when,” he said.Then, the phone rang.“It’s been great, getting the call to come back and then being able to be active, it’s a true blessing,” he said.Hubert said he was informed right before practice that he was going to be active.“So yeah, I’m really happy, really excited,” he added.The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Hubert was a surprise star in the early parts of training camp, coming down with long catches seemingly every day. The undrafted rookie free agent from Fayetteville State made the team’s practice squad out of camp, but was released after Week 1 as the Cardinals looked to add more size at the position. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arians said they liked him from his time with the team earlier in the season.“He’s bright,” the coach said. “He’s a dual-position guy, so he could give us depth for Sunday.”The Cardinals turned to Hubert because they may be a bit shorthanded at receiver, with Jaron Brown now on IR, John Brown working his way back and Michael Floyd dealing with a hamstring injury.As a senior last year, Hubert caught 71 passes for 862 yards and 13 touchdowns, and his training camp performance turned some heads.Hubert said as of Wednesday he was not sure what kind of role he would have with the team this week or going forward, but he should be in uniform Sunday when the Cardinals visit the Panthers. Hubert is from Raleigh, so the chance to be active for the first time in a game in his home state is a blessing, he said.“Really, just to be able to go back home and be active for the first time, on the 53, it’s a dream come true,” he said.Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to this report Top Stories center_img Arizona Cardinals’ Chris Hubert works on a drill during NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at the team’s training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires TEMPE, Ariz. — Since being released by the Cardinals on Sept. 13, Chris Hubert said he spent time working out and catching passes from a JUG machine with his father.He had also, recently, gotten a job.“I actually had gotten a job with UPS,” he said Wednesday. “I worked there for seven days before I got a call to come back yesterday.”The call was from the Cardinals, who on Tuesday re-signed Hubert to their practice squad. The next day he was elevated to the 53-man roster. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

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0 Comments  

first_img 0 Comments   Share   In five years with the Arizona Cardinals, Kurt Warner completed 1,371 regular-season passes.Those throws were completed to 39 different players. As we celebrate Warner’s career as part of our #KurtForCanton campaign, that’s your Trivia Tuesday challenge this week — name every Cardinals player who caught a pass from the gloved one from 2005 to 2009.We know, this is really difficult. But so is ascending from the Arena Football League to lead two different franchises to the Super Bowl and winning two MVPs in the process. Top Stories Again, these are only regular-season receivers. We’ve given you their total number of catches thrown by Warner, their positions and their uniform numbers, so we’re not that cruel.You’ve got eight minutes…good luck! The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

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Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   (AP photos) TEMPE, Ariz. – Picking up the pieces after a 22-16 defeat to Seattle on Thursday Night Football meant first taking stock of the injured.And there were several. All serious.The Arizona Cardinals lost two starters and a key player on special teams.On Friday, head coach Bruce Arians confirmed safety Tyvon Branch, left tackle D.J. Humphries and tight end Ifeanyi Momah will be placed on injured reserve, thus ending their seasons. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “That’s kind of been a chronic MCL for him now because he had a brace on, so that should fix that problem he’s had,” Arians said.The recovery time for Humphries is three months, Arians added, which should allow him to return to the field by the start of organized team activities.“It’s a shame because he was playing really, really well,” Arians said. “He has turned into a true pro; the film study, the extra work out on the practice field. He used to be a jokester. Now he’s serious as heck. He’s about his craft.”Because the Humphries injury is season-ending, the Cardinals plan to move right tackle Jared Veldheer back to the left side and insert John Wetzel at right tackle.Veldheer spent his entire seven-year career at left tackle prior to this season.“He’ll be out best left tackle now,” Arians said.With three more players headed to injured reserve, that brings the Cardinals’ season total to 11, including seven starters: Branch, Humphries, long snapper Aaron Brewer, linebacker Markus Golden, left guard Mike Iupati, running back David Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer.Asked whether the short week—and two games in five days—played a factor in the team’s latest injuries, Arians didn’t hesitate. “I’ve always felt that but it’s not going away,” he said. “You have to deal with it, but there were some major injuries in that game, both sides.” – / 32 Branch and Humphries both suffered right knee injuries, while Momah broke his leg and may need reconstructive ankle surgery.Branch tore his ACL. He’ll need surgery but first he requires an immediate surgical procedure to repair some cartilage damage “because his knee is locked,” according to Arians.Entering Week 10, Branch was leading the Cardinals in tackles and the top tackling safety in the NFL.“He was having a great year,” Arians said. “I don’t know if he had the reputation to play in the Pro Bowl but he had the game. He was playing at that level. He bailed us out twice last night when guys were beat and he came over the top and broke up balls. It’s just a shame.”This is the fourth time in five years, including each of the past two years with the Cardinals, in which Branch is ending a season on injured reserve. After accepting a pay cut prior to 2017, Branch is due to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.Arians announced rookie Budda Baker will step into Branch’s role.Humphries’ ACL is fine, according to Arians. It’s his MCL that he re-injured plus he suffered a dislocated knee cap. Humphries initially sprained his knee in the season opener and then missed the next four games. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories last_img read more

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