Malaysian tourism to take a financial blow due to discontinued flights

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tourism in Malaysia may suffer billions of ringgit in revenue after Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia X reduced and discontinued international and regional flights. According to Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, the lack of accessibility will lead to a drop in tourist arrivals to Malaysia.”When there is no accessibility to the country, it will be very difficult to get tourists to visit Malaysia,” she said. Although the airline route cuts may deter tourists, Dr. Ng believes it’s necessary to remain positive.”What we can do is to request, persuade and put our case forward.”However, it will be a real challenge for us to bring more foreign visitors and I dare say it will cost us billions of ringgit (in tourism revenue),” she said. Tourism Malaysia plans to target long-staying tourists who would be willing to spend more, due to the lack of direct international flights compared to neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore. According to Dr. Ng, Malaysia is expected more such visitors from Russia, central Asia, China and the Middle East. AirAsia X recently suspended four loss-making international routes, namely to Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris and London. Last month MAS also suspended four routes on its regional network – Kota Kinabalu-Osaka, Kota Kinabalu-Perth, Kota Kinabalu-Haneda (Tokyo) and Kota Kinabalu-Seoul.MAS also discontinued eight international routes.  last_img read more

Specialisation key to agents survival RoomsXML

first_img“Try to be something to somebody rather than everything to nobody,” says RoomXML’s Prakash Bang (left). With Mona Tannous and Megan Patroni (Sultanate of Oman) and Mark Luckey (RoomsXML). Next door to the general practitioner you’ve been seeing for years is a cardiologist. Your doctor knows you, you’re comfortable with them, but when you get chest pains, will you go to the general practitioner or the cardiologist?This was the question posed by RoomsXML founder and director Prakash Bang in Sydney last week.His point: in order to survive being overlooked by the self-booking consumer, the traditional bricks and mortar travel agent must specialise.“You can make the pie smaller and smaller by asking yourself what is it you’re really good at,” Mr Bang said.“Try to be something to somebody rather than everything to nobody.” Mr Bang admitted this fact is sometimes “a hard pill to swallow” pointing to RoomXML’s own temptation to sell flights following growth of their core business (a temptation they resisted).According to the agent-only accommodation distributor, “It’s better to sacrifice 90 percent of the market but make sure you own that ten percent.”“It’s about doing more and more about doing less.”Within the coming weeks RoomsXML will release a new feature aimed at helping agents “take the guesswork out of the equation”. Check back on e-Travel Blackboard for more details. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

Japan Airlines and Vietjet launch comprehensive partnership

first_imgMr. Tadashi Fujita, JAL Executive Vice President, elaborates on the agreement’s detailed activitiesJapan Airlines and Vietjet launch comprehensive partnershipJapan Airlines (JAL) and Vietjet have reached a formal partnership agreement with the aim of improving customer convenience and the quality of operations and services while enhancing the corporate value of both companies.The two airlines have held a series of discussions on expanding their networks in response to the travel needs of people in neighboring Asian countries next to Vietnam, in addition to meeting growing demand for air travel between Japan and destinations in Vietnam. With the rapid economic growth in Vietnam, demand for air travel between Japan and Vietnam has been growing strongly. JAL is already operating daily non-stop services between Tokyo (Narita) and Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi respectively, as well as between Tokyo (Haneda) and Ho Chi Minh City.Vietjet, the first privately owned airline in Vietnam, started flight services in 2011, and now operates an expanding network all over Vietnam and Asia. Offering convenient and friendly services with reasonable fares, Vietjet has succeeded in creating new demands in Vietnam, and as a new-age carrier, it also offers higher-class service called “SkyBoss”, which has been very well received among passengers expecting quality service.As a first step, JAL and Vietjet have agreed to start a code-share cooperation for all flight services between Japan and Vietnam as well as the domestic flights of both airlines. Flights between Vietnam and other Asian countries will also be included. These significant add-ons are expected to create better customer convenience. JAL and Vietjet will further explore opportunities to develop the partnership in various areas, including a frequent flier partnership, aircraft operations and maintenance, as well as ground handling services and training.“The launch of this partnership with Vietjet represents a significant milestone for the two airlines to provide customers with better access to destinations between Japan and Vietnam and beyond, and we believe it will contribute to generate more passenger and cargo traffic between the two countries and open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ international networks,” said Tadashi Fujita, JAL Executive Vice President.Luu Duc Khanh, Managing Director of Vietjet said, “Through the agreement signed with JAL, Vietjet once again affirms the airline’s commitment to innovation, leading market trends, and offering new services following the global integration and international standards. Japan is our key market as we expand the airline’s flight network in the Asia-Pacific region. The partnership between Vietjet and JAL will diversify our air transportation products and the market segment while stimulating the movement of people between the two countries, as well as developing the two airlines’ relationship in line with our international commercial operation capabilities in the coming time.”Together with Vietjet, JAL will be striving to deliver greater conveniences and variety of choices to customers with a more comprehensive network in Asia.More details will be announced at a later date on both airlines’ websites.Source = Japan Airlines (JAL)last_img read more

ATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effect

first_imgATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effectATAS accreditations cancelled with immediate effectThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has taken action to cancel the ATAS travel accredited status of a number of ATAS accredited participants as a result of a failure to renew by the required timeline.The cancellations are:Adept TravelsBeautiful AccommodationBowen TravelCVT TraveleCruise & TravelGlobal OZ TravelInto Oz TourJ TravelKD Travel SolutionsTravel Direct of KingscliffTripro Travel Service Pty LtdWorldstar TravelATAS 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.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)last_img read more

Travel Tours launches second store in Kolkata

first_imgTravel Tours, the flagship leisure travel brand of FCM Travel Solutions – Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group, Australia, recently inaugurated their second retail and first franchise store at Salt Lake City, Kolkata. The store was inaugurated by Shravan Gupta, Executive Director – Leisure Businesses, FCM Travel Solutions and Sitaram Sharma, President of Bharat Chamber of Commerce & The Consular General of Belarus. Spread over 1200 sq. ft., the store in Kolkata aims at redefining travel experience from the region by focusing on both tailor-made vacations for families, business travellers, honeymoon couples as well as group holidays. It will offer domestic and international flights, customised and group holidays, hotels, car transfers, visa, cruise vacations, honeymoon packages, adventure holidays and more.Commenting on the launch, Gupta asserted, “This is a reiteration of our strategic intent at Travel Tours, FCM – to expand our footprint across key markets in East India. We are extremely bullish about our Pan-India expansion, with a few more store launches lined up in the pipeline for this year.”He also added, “As an affluent market, Kolkata – home to one of the grandest colonial-eras, promises a dynamic future for Travel Tours. As per our internal market research, the city has huge spending potential, owing to the younger generation of entrepreneurs that have embraced the value of investing in a refined lifestyle.”Travel Tours current footprint extends to a total of 28 stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and via a combination of owned branches and newly opened franchise outlets.last_img read more

Ahead of 2012 Home Sales Rise 4 in November

first_imgAhead of 2012, Home Sales Rise 4% in November December 23, 2011 461 Views Home sales followed a rocky road in 2011, as concerns over credit ratings, mounting public debt, and the potential for a double-dip recession forced homebuyers to the sidelines. _MReport_ takes a look back at this year’s home sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and looks forward to figures in 2012.[IMAGE]This week the “”National Association of Realtors””: (NAR) reported home sales leaping forward 4 percent to crest at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million in November, up from 4.25 million in October and 12.2 percent above 3.94 million-unit figures recorded in November last year.The numbers continue a forward-looking move from home sales that ticked up by 8.9 percent in October, according to NAR, even while real estate company RE/MAX said that home sales pulled forward by 9 percent over November.Speaking at a conference in November, “”Lawrence Yun””:, chief [COLUMN_BREAK]economist with NAR, forecasted that home sales would continue to rise in 2012, along with interest rates for mortgage loans.””There is a sizeable pent-up demand based on population growth, employment levels and a doubling-up phenomenon that can’t continue indefinitely,”” he said in a statement. “”This demand could quickly stimulate the market when conditions improve.””He said that new-home sales would likely reach 302,000 by the close of this year, but surge to 372,000 come 2012, with housing starts expected to arrive at 630,000, up from 583,000 this year.NAR President “”Moe Veissi””: said in a statement that housing affordability set new highs.””With consumer price inflation rising by more than 3 percent this year, consumers are looking to lock-in steady payments by taking out long-term fixed-rate mortgages,”” he added. “”However, the problem remains that some financially qualified families who are willing to stay well within their means are being denied the opportunity to buy in today’s market by the overly restrictive mortgage underwriting situation.””Not all was rosy for home sales this year. The jump comes off the heels of a 2.3-percent decline from August, which NAR said fell likely as a result of a political standoff in the nation’s Capitol. That followed a 0.7-percent downward drift over July from June as worries about a double-dip recession mounted across the country. Agents & Brokers Existing-Home Sales Home Sales Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-12-23 Ryan Schuettecenter_img in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Ocwen Wins Auction to Buy Out ResCap Portfolio

first_imgOcwen Wins Auction to Buy Out ResCap Portfolio Share October 26, 2012 535 Views Agents & Brokers Ally Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Servicing Rights Ocwen Residential Capital Service Providers 2012-10-26 Krista Franks Brockcenter_img in Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing “”Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC””: and “”Walter Investment Management Corp.””: outbid “”Nationstar Mortgage Holdings””: and received preliminary approval for the purchase of “”Residential Capital’s (ResCap’s)””: mortgage servicing and origination assets. [IMAGE] Ocwen’s $3 billion was the highest bid for the assets, which went to auction Tuesday. The final sale is contingent on approval in Bankruptcy Court November 19. ResCap, a wholly owned subsidiary of “”Ally Financial,””: now owned by the government and taxpayers, is one of the nation’s largest mortgage originators and servicers. ResCap filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May. According to Ocwen, ResCap was servicing over 2.4 million loans with an unpaid principal balance of approximately $374 billion at the end of March. Of those loans, about 68 percent were owned, insured, or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae. Walter Investment Management will acquire the Fannie Mae mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portion of ResCap’s portfolio, which represents a balance of about $50.4 billion. In a statement, Mark J. O’Brien, chairman and CEO of Walter Investment said, “”We are quite pleased to have won [COLUMN_BREAK] the joint bid with Ocwen to acquire these assets on what we believe are very attractive terms. We believe our long-established relationships with Fannie Mae and history of driving strong performance from their portfolios makes us ideally suited to acquire the Fannie MSR portfolio from ResCap.””Ron Faris, CEO of Ocwen commented, “”ResCap has been an outstanding performer in the mortgage industry. We share a common philosophy of foreclosure prevention through loan modifications that are net present value positive for investors.””After being outbid by Ocwen, Nationstar declined to submit a higher offer. Nationstar’s final bid was $2.91 billion, according to the “”_Wall Street Journal._””: admitting disappointment, Nationstar CEO Jay Bray said, “”Price matters.”” “”[I]n the end our judgment was that the price of the assets would not represent a compelling investment opportunity for us,”” Bray continued. “”ResCap will continue to work with all parties involved to ensure the best possible outcomes for its creditors and other stakeholders in its Chapter 11 cases,”” the company said in a brief statement Wednesday. Ocwen and Nationstar were the only two bidders for ResCap’s portfolio, according to the _Wall Street Journal._ Both servicers have been aggressive in growing their presence in the mortgage servicing sector as many large banks now look to exit the business. “”Market reaction to the Ocwen deal has been strongly favorable,”” said Wilbur Ross of WL Ross & Co., which sold Homeward Residential Holdings Inc. for $750 million in cash and convertible preferred stock earlier this month, according to “”_Bloomberg Businessweek._””: read more

Mortgage Employment Increases in Q3

first_img November 26, 2012 409 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Mortgage Employment Increases in Q3center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Investors Jobs JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Processing Quicken Loans Service Providers Unemployment Wells Fargo 2012-11-26 Tory Barringer Hiring in the mortgage industry increased in Q3 for the fifth straight quarter, according to “”_Mortgage Daily’s_””: _Mortgage Employment Index_.[IMAGE]The index shows 8,711 hires were made in the year’s third quarter, up more than 3,000 from the last quarter and nearly 3,500 from Q3 2011. Even with an estimated 5,785 layoffs, the industry saw a net increase of nearly 3,000 jobs–more than double the gain in Q2.For 2012’s first three quarters, mortgage and real estate finance companies recruited 7,230 more people than they’ve laid off.The boost in employment comes at a time when many of the largest lenders and servicers are cutting staff. According to _Mortgage Daily’s_ data, “”JPMorgan Chase””: saw the most downsizing, reducing its mortgage staff by 2,123 in Q3. “”Aurora Bank””: took second-to-last place, cutting 922 jobs, while “”Bank of America””: held the third-worst position with approximately 700 fewer mortgage staff.Those losses were offset by growth at “”Quicken Loans Inc.””: (which expanded its mortgage staff by 2,500), “”Wells Fargo & Co.””: (which added 2,043 positions), and “”Nationstar Mortgage LLC””: (which saw a net gain of 600 jobs).State-by-state, Michigan showed the most mortgage employment growth, aided mostly by additions to Quicken’s staff in Detroit. The state reported 1,442 new positions in Q3–and no layoffs.The Great Lakes State was followed in employment growth by Iowa (which reported an increase of 1,229) and Texas (which saw 609 new mortgage jobs).The bottom-ranked states in Q3 included California (which was down 528 jobs), Nebraska (down 450 jobs), and Indiana (down 400 jobs).last_img read more

Housing Affordability Dips to FourYear Low in Second Quarter

first_img While rising home prices across the nation may be good news as they imply recovering markets, the trend may dampen housing affordability. Having been historically high for the past few years, affordability dipped somewhat in the second quarter of this year, according to the “”National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity index.””: [IMAGE]Increasing prices and mortgage rates “”contributed to affordability slipping to the lowest level in four years,”” said David Crowe, chief economist at NAHB. Nationally, the median home price rose from $185,000 in Q2 2012 to $202,000 over the most recent quarter. At the same time, affordability fell from 73.7 percent in this year’s first quarter to 69.3 percent–meaning 69.3 percent of Americans earning the national median income could afford a home sold during the quarter. [COLUMN_BREAK]The second quarter marks the first time since 2008 the index has fallen below 70 percent, according to NAHB. “”Such movement would be less concerning if it were not for ongoing discussions regarding potential changes to the mortgage interest deduction and federal support for the secondary mortgage market, both of which play enormous roles in keeping homeownership affordable,”” Crowe said. NAHB found a wide spectrum of affordability across major U.S. markets. The least affordable market is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California, where affordability is just 19.3 percent, in contrast to Ogden-Clearfield, Utah–the most affordable major market–where affordability is 92.8 percent. Ogden-Clearfield has topped the affordability chart for the past four quarters. After the Ogden-Clearfield metro, the remaining markets on the list of top five most affordable major markets are located Midwest and Northeast. They include: Indianapolis-Carmen, Indiana (91.8 percent); Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania (91.4 percent); Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania (90.9 percent); Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York (90.7 percent). Least affordable markets (after San Francisco) include Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California (28.3 percent); Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California (28.8 percent); New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York-New Jersey (29.8 percent); and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (32.2 percent). Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2013-08-14 Krista Franks Brock Housing Affordability Dips to Four-Year Low in Second Quarter in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img August 14, 2013 423 Views Sharelast_img read more

DoubleDigit Annual Price Gains Expected to End in 2014

first_img Share in Data Double-Digit Annual Price Gains Expected to End in 2014 National home prices are up 10.1 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, but price appreciation is expected to fall out of the double-digits, reaching 5.4 percent by the beginning of next year, according to the “”CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes.””:[IMAGE]Home price appreciation will continue to occur but will drop off even further moving forward, according to CoreLogic. The national index predicts prices will rise 3.4 percent over the next five years. “”Combined with increased housing construction, expected increases in existing inventories should restrain price appreciation even if demand remains strong,”” “”said””: David Stiff, principal economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller. Currently, prices are rising in almost 90 percent of the nation’s metro areas, according to Stiff. He also pointed out that prices are rising in all of the nation’s metros where population is more than 1 million. “”The strongest growth continues to be recorded in cities that were at the center of the housing bubble, but investor demand in those markets appears to be waning, meaning rapid rates of price appreciation are likely unsustainable,”” Stiff said. When observing metros with populations exceeding 950,000, CoreLogic Case-Shiller found four of the five metros with the greatest annual price appreciation in the second quarter are in California. [COLUMN_BREAK]Sacramento, California, experienced the greatest price growth–25.9 percent. Las Vegas took the No. 2 spot with prices rising 24.7 percent over the year in the second quarter. The three California markets to fill out the top five list were Oakland (23.7 percent), San Jose (21.9 percent), and Los Angeles (20.3 percent). At the other end of the spectrum, four of the five metros with the smallest price appreciation are located in the Northeast. Honolulu, Hawaii, and Edison, New Jersey, posted the smallest annual price gains in the second quarter–1.1 percent gains. They were followed by Hartford, Connecticut (1.3 percent), Long Island (1.9 percent), and Newark, New Jersey (2 percent). Looking forward, CoreLogic Case-Shiller analysts expect a shift in the lineup over the next year. Only two markets are expected to post double-digit gains–Oakland, California (11.1 percent), and Baltimore (10.8 percent). Other markets with price gains anticipated in the top five through the second quarter of 2014 include Tsucon, Arizona (9.5 percent), Hartford, Connecticut (9.1 percent), and Santa Ana, California (8.8 percent). Metros expected to post the smallest price gains over the next year are Miami (1.5 percent), Warren, Michigan (1.9 percent), Nashville (2 percent), Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2.2 percent), and Houston (2.7 percent). CoreLogic notes first-time and trade-up buyers are starting to increase their roles in the market, albeit slowly, while investor demand is slowing as fewer distressed homes are listed for sale.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies CoreLogic For-Sale Homes Home Prices Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-11-01 Krista Franks Brock November 1, 2013 436 Views last_img read more

New York Reg Hits Ocwen on Backdated Foreclosure Notices

first_img New York’s top banking supervisor once again set his sights on Ocwen Financial Corp. this week, saying the non-bank servicer sent thousands of foreclosure warnings to borrowers months after it was too late to save their homes.In a letter released earlier this week, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services for New York, said an investigation of Ocwen’s mortgage servicing practices turned up more than 7,000 letters sent to borrowers that had been backdated and sent only after their payment deadlines had passed.”In many cases, borrowers received a letter denying a mortgage loan modification, and the letter that was dated more than 30 days prior to the date that Ocwen mailed the letter. These borrowers were given 30 days from the date of the denial letter to appeal that denial, but those 30 days had already elapsed by the time they received the backdated letter,” Lawsky said in the letter, which was addressed to executives and board directors at Ocwen.In other cases, Lawsky said, Ocwen’s systems showed borrowers facing foreclosure received notices to cure their default months after the cure date had already passed.In addition, Lawsky claims the company ignored concerns brought up by an employee that its letter dating processes were inaccurate and misrepresented the severity of the problem to his team when questioned about it.”The existence and pervasiveness of these issues raise critical questions about Ocwen’s ability to perform its core function of servicing loans,” Lawsky said.This week’s letter is just the latest regulatory headache for Ocwen, the largest non-bank operating in the mortgage servicing space. The company has seen tighter scrutiny from Lawsky and other federal and state bank regulators in the last year as they turn their attention to independent servicers, who have grown significantly as banks come under heavier regulation.On Wednesday, a group of state bank supervisors—including a representative from Lawsky’s New York office—announced the formation of a new task force to analyze growth and practices at non-bank servicers in the hope of developing workable servicing standards for that segment.In a statement, Ocwen said the backdating issue stems from software errors in correspondence systems. While the company is not certain how many borrowers received backdated letters, it believes it has resolved the issues that have been found so far.”We are continuing to review the rest of the cases,” the company said. “We are working with and fully cooperating with DFS and the Monitor to address their concerns.”A spokesperson representing the company turned down a request for an interview. October 23, 2014 538 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing New York Reg Hits Ocwen on Backdated Foreclosure Noticescenter_img Benjamin Lawsky Compliance Ocwen Regulation 2014-10-23 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay Over HELOC Investigation

first_img Share Wells Fargo Agrees to Pay Over HELOC Investigation February 6, 2015 643 Views Wells Fargo has agreed to pay more than $4 million in penalties in redress over allegations of misconduct related to loan qualifications and an illegal home equity product offered by a former affiliate to borrowers in New York.In a statement released Thursday, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) said that Wells Fargo Financial Credit Services of New York offered loans to customers that allowed them to make credit card purchases secured by in interest in their own homes. Such loans are barred under state law.”Our investigation uncovered that this Wells Fargo affiliate put borrowers’ homes on the line for routine credit card purchases—creating substantial and undue risks for consumers,” said department Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky.Wells Fargo took ownership of the loan accounts in 2008 after the affiliate surrendered its license.The department’s consent order adds that a separate investigation in 2008 turned up evidence that certain mortgage loan documents contained altered information about borrowers’ incomes in order to qualify them for loans they would have otherwise not received.The order also says loan officers for the bank steered certain borrowers into loans with higher-cost subprime rates when the borrowers were potentially eligible for prime interest rate mortgages.As a result of the investigation, Wells Fargo has agreed to pay a penalty to the department of $2 million. The bank will also retroactively reduce interest rates for approximately 1,300 affected borrowers, resulting in an additional $2.2 million. Going forward, the rate reduction is also expected to provide additional relief of about $311,619.”New Yorkers deserve to trust who they do business with—and because of this aggressive investigation, individuals and families across the state will be justly compensated,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.In an email, Wells Fargo spokesperson Tom Goyda said the bank is “pleased to have resolved the New York Department of Financial Services’ concerns,” adding that the affiliate stopped offering the product to New York customers in 2005.center_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Benjamin Lawsky HELOCs Home Equity New York Department of Financial Services Settlements Wells Fargo 2015-02-06 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

ClosingCorp Launches New Closing Costs Calculator

first_imgClosingCorp Launches New Closing Costs Calculator October 4, 2016 546 Views in Headlines, News ClosingCorp has announced the release of SmartCalc, a next generation online closing costs calculator that enables title companies to provide accurate, instant online quotes, actual title and settlement rates and fees, transfer taxes, and recording fees.Lenders will be able to use SmartCalc to access accurate information about settlement services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The tool will also help realtors by providing their sellers with the information they need to understand potential proceeds from the sale a property—including a breakdown of buyer and seller fees.SmartCalc includes a personalized Seller Net Sheet, which shows all of the title, settlement services, transfer tax, recording fees, and commission that are included in the closing process, according to the announcement.The new tool is designed to not only make operations more efficient for title companies, but to improve their relationships with lenders and realtors.“Title companies, lenders and Realtors are looking for new ways to add transparency to the home buying and selling process. They want to help their clients—both buyers and sellers—understand the costs associated with the transactions and do this as quickly as possible to eliminate surprises at the closing table,” said Kerry Stockel, product manager of ClosingCorp. “SmartCalc will be able to significantly boost productivity, increase efficiency and provide a sustainable solution to clients.”center_img ClosingCorp 2016-10-04 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

LPS 19 Brazil aspires to become one of the most

first_img LPS ’19: Brazil aspires to become one of the most … From the pages of Produce Business UKDespite inflation in the grocery market, the UK is more engaged with fresh produce than ever before, according to the latest grocery market data from Kantar Worldpanel, presented by Strategic Insight Director Ed Griffiths.Here, PBUK reports on the opportunities for the fresh produce trade to tap into dish diversity, talk about health, market fruit for function, retail veg for convenience, promote dishes over meals and price produce to win by considering economy ranges and achieving premiums through health. In 2018, shoppers made 109 trips featuring produce to UK supermarkets, a figure that has risen from 101 trips in 2014 (equating to eight more trips in an average year), according to Kantar Worldpanelwhich tracks 30,000 UK households. “This is well ahead of growth at a total grocery level, which has only five more trips,” Griffiths explained. “Produce is even more important to the grocery market – it’s a real powerhouse.”As well as buying produce more often, volume and repertoire diversity is up too, according to Kantar. The average UK household bought 50 different produce items in 2018, against 46 items in 2014. Tap into dish diversity Kantar determines that the UK’s more diverse dinner plate undoubtedly has been driven by growth in the eating-out-of-the-home market, which has helped to expand shopper repertoires in store.This is where offers such as Lidl’s ‘Pick of the Week’ and Aldi’s ‘Super 6’ are resonating with shoppers in particular, with nine items being bought on average per trip to Aldi, compared with seven items at Tesco. “People are emulating their experiences outside of the home,” Griffiths said. “There’s been an explosion of meal kits and food kits. The nice thing is that they all need fresh fruits, veg and meat. “We are seeing growth away from classic British occasions like roasts [plus casseroles, soups and sausages], which are down year-on-year,” pointed out Griffiths.“Asian food is up quite substantially … and these cuisines use different ingredients. Pak choi, etc. has become more prominent. Keep in mind a more diverse dinner plate.”Talk about healthHealth is another reason why the UK is more engaged with produce, and, therefore, an important message to communicate. “Health is a growing factor amongst consumers in the UK, with 31% of all meal occasions being consumed for reasons relating to health,” Griffiths pinpointed.“With produce a poster child for many campaigns it’s no surprise that produce sees 71% of all consumption occasions flagged as for health.”As such, Kantar predicts more produce occasions – driven by the inherent health credentials of fresh produce – alongside the growth of health is likely to continue into the future. “If your product is healthy … positive press and campaigns can have a significant impact on your category,” Griffiths suggested. Kantar data finds that other fundamental reasons for eating produce are: To achieve a portion of fruit/veg (representing 29% of consumption occasions);Because produce is more natural/less processed (15%) and;Because produce is lower in fat, sugar, salt (12%).Market fruit for functionTogether with purchasing growth, Kantar reveals that the UK is eating fruit and veg on more occasions than five years ago. During the 52 weeks ended August 2018, against August 2014, the number of meal occasions featuring fruit rose by 8%, while vegetable consumption occasions grew by 3%. Currently, breakfast is the key to fruit consumption – led by berries and bananas, and especially with cereals (+28% vs 2014) and yoghurt (+39%) – versus desserts, where fruit consumption has fallen. “Breakfast is the driving force behind the rise in fruit consumption,” explained Griffiths. “80% of the category growth is coming at the breakfast occasion. This is an additional 550 million occasions over five years.“Meanwhile, fruit is losing its place at our main meals. We are now less likely to be eating fruit at lunch and in evening meals. “We have eaten 820m fewer desserts compared with five years ago; really that’s because we’re getting our health needs at the start of the day.” As for the reasons why the UK is choosing to eat more fruit, Kantar data finds they include. To get a portion of fruit or vegTo enjoy the tasteFor health benefitsIt’s lighter/not fillingIt’s refreshing.“Great taste and health benefits are becoming more significant to our choice of fruit,” Griffiths explained. “Refreshing and being lighter are also growing needs. Fruit is ticking more needs.” Bearing this in mind, Griffiths urged avoiding 5-A-Day messaging when it comes to fruit. “Instead, I’d move towards getting across these types of occasions [for eating fruit], the functions of fruit and how they can help you to lead healthy lifestyles.”As for the winning and losing consumer groups, the over-65s and the Millennials represent the two ends of the spectrum, according to Kantar data.“The over-65s are the only consumer group consuming fruit less frequently than five years ago,” Griffiths stated. “They account for nearly 30% of all fruit occasions, so how do we re-engage these consumers?” Millennials, meanwhile, account for more than half the additional fruit occasions over past five years. “They are the only consumers eating more fruit at every meal time – across breakfast, lunch and evening meals,” Griffiths added.Retail veg for convenience When it comes to vegetable consumption, salads are the key driver because they are helping consumers to tick the lifestyle boxes for health and convenience.“Salads have done incredibly well, and so have other veg over the past five years, whilst potato consumption is falling,” Griffiths explained.“People are spending less time on preparing evening meals; they are less inclined to cook and more inclined to make a salad. Salads are healthy too.” Kantar data indicates that salads are winning with the young, and women and men of all age groups.“It’s a go-to healthy meal; it’s ideal for lunch boxes – salad meals are twice as likely to feature in carried-out lunches than other foods – salads are considered to be convenient,” Griffiths added.“Consumers need things to be practical, quick and enjoyable. If you can meet more needs for consumers, they will pay more.”On that note, Griffiths advised that health is the need for which UK consumers will pay the most. In 2016, the UK paid 5% more for healthy products versus standard; rising to 7% in 2017 and up to 9% in 2018. Promote dishes over mealsMore generally on the consumption front, Kantar claims the UK is eating ‘dishes’ rather than meals. “Consumers are talking about dishes,” Griffiths revealed. “They are looking for solutions, and that is the language that we should be talking to them with. Talk abut dishes and not meals.” In the past few years, Kantar data demonstrates an uptick in dishes including:Salads;Toast meals;Oriental food (including Thai) and;Pizza. Conversely, those in decline are:Roast dinners;Indian food;Steak meals and;Baked potato meals, among others.Across the UK, Italian food, salads and vegetarian dishes are also growing in popularity. Bearing that in mind, Griffiths advised the produce trade to align its products with these meal occasions. For instance, avocados – which Kantar data ranks as the fastest-growing produce item of all, have successfully expanded into new dishes and meal occasions.“Avocados are growing through all meal occasions,” he said. “Avocados used to be all about salads, but now they feature in breakfast and dinner.”Other produce items gaining in the number of meal occasions are: ginger, kale, spinach, berries and currants, plus garlic, according to Kantar.Price produce to win When it comes to pricing fruit and vegetables, Kantar data indicates that the UK market is all about value and premium ranges.“In the past 18 months throughout grocery at a total store level, private-label tiers are driving growth,” Griffiths stated. “Brands are finding it hard.”Fresh produce is experiencing very similar trends, according to Kantar. Economy and premium are driving growth in produce; with economy (+24%) and premium (+5%) outperforming standard (+1%). So, what are the driving forces? Consider economy rangesEconomy tier products at retail were worth £676m in sales during the latest year, up £128 million, according to Kantar.“It’s all about new shoppers,” Griffiths clarified. “Nearly 1 million households (955,000) have bought into economy ranges in the latest year, and it’s not just a one-off. The people who are buying it are already buying it more often (worth an additional £86m). It’s a double whammy.” Largely, this is related to the farm brand labels launched by Tesco and Asda, according to Griffiths.“The two occasions that Tesco and Asda managed to stop losing market share in the last five years are when they launched their value propositions; Tesco’s ‘farm brands’ and Asda’s ‘farm store ranges’,” he explained.“In both instances their market losses to the discounters did reduce. It’s probably the reason we saw the launch of [Tesco’s] Jack’s. If that works, you can bet they’ll roll it out.”Griffiths added that ‘wonky produce’ also sits within the value range, describing the offer as having done “quite well for itself.” Since its introduction two years ago, Kantar data finds that wonky fruit and veg captured 7.7 million households during 2018, up from 1.7m in 2016. In terms of retailers, Morrisons is the leading the way.“There’s a very strong repeat [purchasing] rate,” noted Griffiths. “It might be resonating with consumer groups, and not be the fad we thought.” Achieve premiums through healthAt the other end of the scale, Kantar data shows premium produce accounted for £782 million in sales during the latest year, up £38m.There were 538,000 new shoppers in premium produce, who were buying more often (worth +£25m). Lidl posted the strongest growth among the retailers.“Premium is a great thing for the produce industry,” Griffiths enthused. “You should all be mindful of it, and definitely consider it.“People are already shopping more, so it’s unlikely we’ll get many more trips in the short term.The other avenue for growth is price. But if put prices go up, we’re unlikely to get growth. ‘Premiumisation’ is a way to get higher prices.“Premium offerings can help justify price premiums that consumers might not otherwise accept – 81% of the growth driven by premium in the past year was incremental to the market.”As for choosing the right messaging for premium-branded produce, Griffiths suggested tapping into the health trend, considering that consumer sentiment continues to shift toward health as a driver for produce consumption. “Economy ranges are consumed for more practical reasons,” he said. “Premium is more likely to be consumed for health. “People will pay more for health. If you can get a premium message across, as well as a healthy message, I think you’re probably onto a winner.”  You might also be interested in U.K.: M&S and Ocado’s £750M JV to “transform … Ethical Trading Initiative terminates Fyffes’ memb … October 22 , 2018 Walmart “disappointed” by U.K.’s blocked Asda-Sain …last_img read more

ACI Reportgender salary gapjob satisfactiontravel

first_imgACI Reportgender salary gapjob satisfactiontravel industry The 2017 ‘Salary & Employment Trends Report’ by ACI HR Solutions released this week confirms that the disparity in the salaries men and women earn across the Asia-Pacific’s travel, tourism, hospitality and lifestyle industry sectors is real, not imagined!In fact, the report points to a widening of the gender salary gap, and says that despite female executives being seen to be making inroads toward professional equality, their male counterparts continue to earn substantially more – the report’s male respondents’ earnings were 55% higher than those of the report’s female respondents. Disappointingly, that 55% figure is augmented because fewer women than men hold senior positions in travel, tourism and hospitality as they move into older age groups.“Surprisingly, given the amount of discussion and coverage professional equality receives, and some of our clients having wonderful initiatives implemented, not only have we not seen the gap narrow, but over the past three years we have actually seen it widen from 48% in 2015 to 55% in 2016,” said ACI founder & CEO Andrew Chan.“While the gap appears large, drilled down the 55% isn’t a position vs position gap – the 55% represented our overall survey, which actually highlights the disparity in the number of women holding senior positions.“The graph that best describes this in the report is the one that indicates the age of respondents by gender showing far less female respondents as the age group increases.“This ultimately shows us, irrespective of the salary component, there are far less females holding senior positions across these industry sectors in roles such as general managers and CEOs.”Read the full report here.last_img read more

It appears that not everyone is excited about the

first_imgIt appears that not everyone is excited about the possibility of Kevin Kolb joining the Arizona Cardinals.Former Cardinals tight end Anthony Becht recently tweeted that the Cardinals need more help than just a quarterback. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Little salty? RT @Anthony_Becht Breaston out. One playmaker left. At this point QB doesn’t matter. Have fun this yr;) #cardsless than a minute ago via Twittelator Favorite Retweet ReplyJay Feelyjayfeely Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories While Becht may be on to something, his tweet does come across as bitter or “salty” as Jay Feely puts it.Becht, who had 10 catches and one touchdown in his lone season as a Cardinal is currently a free agent.With the loss of Breaston, the Cardinals are a bit thin at wide receiver and could also use some help on the offensive line.There is no doubt that a team who went 5-11 last season has multiple holes to fill, but as a player with no team, Becht is not in a position to take shots. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals traded running back Tim Hightower tothe Redskins last year in exchange for veteran defensivelineman Vonnie Holliday and a 2012 draft pick. The move seemed as much about giving Hightower a chance toplay as it was about getting talent in return, but theCardinals benefited from a surprising discovery:Vonnie Holliday could still play.According to, Holliday was verysolid for the Cards, and is one of the best veteranplayers on the free agent market. Comments   Share   While Holliday is no longer the player he once was, hestill did a good job filling in on the line, and is a goodlocker room presence for one of the NFL’s youngest teams. Vonnie Holliday is the prototype forgotten 30+ player.Every season he seems to get picked up by a 3-4 team as asituational player for their rotation before performingextremely well and then doing the same thing all overagain. For some reason, none of these teams ever seem toput two and two together and bring him back for another goat it. Maybe they always believe they can get a similaramount of snaps and production out of a younger, cheaperbackup, but it isn’t always that easy. Generating interiorpressure from the 3-4 is not as simple as you might think,and though the second- or third-year player with a veteranminimum contract that might be half of what Holliday isdue seems like an attractive option, they rarely producethe way you know Holliday will. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ There has been little chatter about whether or notHolliday wants to return, but it would make sense for theteam to bring him back.The 36-year-old finished the season with just 14 solotackles and no sacks, but the stats don’t tell the entirestory for how productive he was in 2011.He may have gone without a sack last season, but he didgenerate three quarterback knockdowns and four morepressures from his 82 pass-rushes, which is not aninsignificant figure. He also chipped in with a battedpass and 14 tackles, 11 of which were defensive stops. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

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 Chris Johnson has provided one of the best stories of the 2015 NFL season.After being involved in a drive-by shooting in the offseason that killed his friend, Johnson’s career was very much in doubt. The Arizona Cardinals, needing some depth in a running back group that was besieged by hamstring injuries during training camp, signed Johnson to an incentive-laden one-year deal in August.All the 30-year-old back has done is help revitalize what has been a dormant Cardinals running game. Johnson ranks third in the league with 676 yards and he’s averaging 4.8 yards per carry for first-place Arizona heading into their Week 10 showdown in Seattle against the Seahawks. If you’re confused by this ranking (and you should be), consult PFF’s grading scale broken down. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) is chased by the Detroit Lions defense during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson) You’d think that kind of first-half performance would garner praise instead of criticism. But the folks over at Pro Football Focus don’t feel that way.Bryson Vesnaver penned a piece naming the lowest-rated player at each position so far this season, including Johnson at running back.Johnson has long been someone that puts up the stats but has never graded well, and there are a few reasons for that. It’s easy to run when your O-line is creating holes the size of three people. Currently, the Cardinals have our fourth-best offensive line in terms of run blocking. Johnson’s elusive rating is a mere 40.2, as he’s broken just 20 tackles on 146 touches.On top of that, the Cardinals have one of the most dangerous passing games in the league. So, when you’ve got a really strong offensive line, and a passing game defenses need to focus on, you’re going to get some running lanes. But despite all the yards, Johnson just hasn’t done enough on his own to show he can succeed without the perfect offense around him.Huh?The site has Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell rated as the top back in the first half. Bell is a great back, but missed the first two games of the season due to suspension and suffered a devastating knee injury in Week 8 that will keep him out the remainder of the year. Comments   Share   last_img read more

For the season the rookie has tallied 517 yards a

first_imgFor the season, the rookie has tallied 517 yards and seven touchdowns on 105 carries, 335 yards and four scores on 30 receptions and 598 yards and one touchdown on 22 kick returns. His 1,450 total yards rank eighth in the NFL, and at this moment it appears the only thing holding him back has been a limited role.With a lot of proven depth at the running back position, it’s understandable why Johnson did not see the field as much earlier in the season, and it had nothing to do with a lack of belief in his ability.“When we drafted him,” Arians said Sunday of when he first knew Johnson could carry the load. “We knew what we were getting, he just missed all of training camp with that hamstring. And then we got Chris and we didn’t need him. So it was a great run for Chris, but David kept showing signs that this was what he was capable of.”Ellington could return as early as this next game against the Green Bay Packers, so what that means for Johnson’s role remains to be seen. However, it’s difficult to envision the rookie’s touches getting reduced dramatically, especially when he’s playing the way he is.Sunday night, he became the first player in Cardinals history to run for at least 180 yards and three touchdowns in a game, and joined Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the only players to run for at least 185 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles. But what he did Sunday in Philadelphia, running for 187 yards and three touchdowns while also catching four passes for 42 yards, was a statement delivered on national TV. What he did on his 47-yard touchdown run, a play in which he broke multiple tackles and had one vicious stiff-arm on the way to the end zone, was…special. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires – / 14 But while all that is nice, the question is how Johnson can build on this going forward. With two games left in the regular season before what is expected to be a deep postseason run, the pressure will be even greater on the rookie to perform at a high level.“I mean, that is what we are hopeful for,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “When we get Andre Ellington back, that will be a pretty nice and special duo there. Then God willing we can get to the Super Bowl and get Chris Johnson back, then that would be a three-headed horse that would be very difficult for a lot of teams to face.”“Yeah, definitely,” Johnson answered when asked if he can handle the role of lead back in the postseason. “With the help of all the guys around me, all the veterans helping me out, it’s definitely been I’m definitely getting a lot more comfortable with this team.”As he has become more comfortable the game has slowed down. Johnson said he’s gained a greater understanding of how to be patient with the football. That’s what led to his monster run, and that run, he said, could lead to even better things down the road.“Especially momentum-wise, confidence-wise,” he said. “Especially with just reading my blocks, being able to know that I’m able to, capable of breaking tackles and helping out my team — you know, stiff-arming, doing everything that I could that maybe I might have doubted a little bit, but now it definitely does help out.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   TEMPE, Ariz. — For the most part, Arizona Cardinals fans knew who David Johnson was prior to Sunday night’s game in Philadelphia.The third-round pick out of Northern Iowa had impressed through the team’s first 13 games, showing ability as a runner, receiver and kick returner. Entering the game, he was one touchdown short of tying a single-season franchise record for touchdowns by a rookie, so you know his first year as a pro has not exactly been a quiet one. Why don’t we watch that @dajohnson7 touchdown one more time. #AZvsPHI— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 21, 2015“I think I was just surprised that the whole opened up real quick, and ended up just seeing a gap that was open and breaking a couple tackles,” Johnson said Monday of the run.The rookie added it was “definitely a blur” to him during the play and he didn’t really know what happened until he saw the replay after the game.Given that he lived it, that makes sense. Quarterback Carson Palmer, who watched it, has a different take.“It’s a grown man run. Physical,” he said. “The blocking downfield was spectacular. He’s not a guy you want to tackle 15, 16, 17, 18 times coming down at you.”The 47-yard touchdown was just one of the 33 touches Johnson had on the evening, as he carried the kind of workload befitting a No. 1 running back. It was his third game in that role in place of the injured Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, and it was the third time he has experienced a good measure of success. Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson, left, breaks free of Philadelphia Eagles’ E.J. Biggers on a touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories last_img read more

The Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers 388 in f

first_imgThe Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers 38-8 in front of 64,878 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium, clinching a first-round playoff bye in the process.Arizona led by 10 and took over on their own 24-yard line after a Tim Masthay punt with two minutes left in the second quarter. On first down, Palmer tried to hit running back David Johnson on a screen pass, but it was intercepted by lineman Mike Daniels, who returned it to the Cardinals’ 15-yard line.Rodgers got the Packers down to the 10-yard line and faced a 3rd-and-5 from there. He targeted receiver James Jones in the right corner of the end zone, but Bethel deflected and caught the ball for his second pick of the season.You are wonderful, @Jbet26! #GBvsAZ— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 27, 2015Palmer then hit Michael Floyd on a 47-yard pass on first down, which took the Cardinals to the Green Bay 33. Six plays later, he’d connect with John Brown on a 7-yard touchdown strike that stretched the Cardinals’ lead. Bethel knew he was going to get picked on by Rodgers and the Packers, with Patrick Peterson continuing his season-long lockdown of one side of the field and the Cardinals missing starting safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Johnson. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “You kind of have to know it’s going to happen,” Bethel said. “It’s not like I’m surprised. I don’t know how many times they threw at me. They kept on doing that back-shoulder (throw). That’s like one of the hardest routes to cover. There are definitely some things that I can get better at. I’m going to keep working and get ready for the playoffs.” – / 36 Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) intercepts a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) in the end zone during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when the Arizona Cardinals racked up nine quarterback sacks (the most they’ve had in a game since 1986), forced four turnovers and scored twice, there were enough defensive highlights to fill a 30-minute television show.But one stood above the others on the importance scale. Cornerback Justin Bethel picked off an Aaron Rodgers pass in the end zone with under a minute to go in the first half. What could have been a 10-7 game at the break turned into a 17-0 Arizona lead as Carson Palmer marched the Cardinals on an 80-yard touchdown drive in the two-minute drill. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more