New Aircraft to Offer Modern Inflight Experience; First A319 with Sharklets to Help Increase Fuel EfficiencyTaking the next step forward in creating a more modern, fuel-efficient fleet, American Airlines today welcomes its first Airbus A319 aircraft, the first of 260 planned Airbus narrowbody deliveries. American and Airbus celebrated this important milestone with a special delivery ceremony at the Airbus manufacturing facility in Hamburg, Germany.The Airbus A319 will offer customers modern technology and increased comfort onboard, including leather seats, Wi-Fi and in-seat entertainment throughout the aircraft. In addition, customers will be able to stay connected throughout their travels with individual universal power outlets and USB jacks at every seat.“Everything about the new A319 aircraft has been designed with the customer at the center,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s Chief Commercial Officer. “The introduction of the A319 is another important step in building a strong foundation for the new American. We’re pleased to be partnering with Airbus.”The Airbus A319 will offer a wide selection of inflight entertainment options for customers throughout the aircraft. First Class customers will enjoy a complimentary selection of up to 200 movies, up to 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 15 games, on a 12.1-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor at each seat. Each seat throughout the Main Cabin will offer 8.9-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitors with an assortment of entertainment options, including movies, TV programs, games and audio selections.In addition to increased technology offerings, the new Airbus aircraft pave the way for American to have a more fuel-efficient fleet, incorporating the latest in aerodynamic improvements. The A319s have sharklets on the wings and other modifications to reduce fuel burn and keep American on the path toward being a more environmentally friendly airline.“It’s our great pleasure to welcome back American Airlines to the Airbus family,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer – Customers. “With its introduction of the A320 Family, the airline is demonstrating its confidence in a single-aisle product that has proven to be a game-changer for airlines around the world. American is undertaking a major strategic evolution and we are pleased to watch the A320 Family becoming an integral part of the airline’s future success.”American’s A319s will begin service in September from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to select cities, followed by additional routes throughout the end of the year. Initial routes planned for the A319 include service between DFW and Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland; Memphis, Tenn.; and Wichita, Kan.As previously announced, American plans to take delivery of 260 Airbus aircraft from the A320 family, including 130 current-generation aircraft from the A321 and A319 variants through 2017, and 130 A320neo aircraft with next-generation engine technology beginning in 2017. American will configure some of the current-generation A321s for use on transcontinental flights, designating these aircraft as A321Ts. The A321T is scheduled to begin service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in early 2014. Image: Airbus
6. Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage 2. Ski and snowboard adventure 2. The Mediterranean Where to Make Dinner Reservations 1. Italy Photographing the ‘big five’ while on safari in Africa ranks as the ‘trip of a lifetime.’ 8. South Africa There’s the classic traveller (26 percent of respondents) who re-visits destinations; the connoisseur (24 percent of respondents) who indulges in culture, arts and culinary delights; the trendsetter who’s all about what’s new and next; the go-getter who’s active and adventurous; and the relaxationist who prefers to rest, rejuvenate and restore while on vacation. 1. Galápagos Islands 2. New York City 4. Florence 3. Galápagos Islands expedition 2. Antarctica 3. France 1. Paris in April 4. The Caribbean 8. Renting a private island in the Caribbean Italy topped the list of dream destinations, while Paris was number one for dining and romance. 3. Maldives Top 10 Dream Destinations 6. United States 2. Renting a European villa Source = ETB News: P.T. 5. Hawaii 4. Roman holiday 4. Rome 7. Argentina Although European river cruising and Mediterranean sailing trips were the most popular forms of cruising, expedition trips to Antarctic and Alaska made the top five for luxury travellers. 2. Paris 10. Cuba Fantasy Islands Cities That Excite 1. Paris 9. Turkey 5. Barcelona 1. Photographing the “big five” on African safari Paris, France topped the list for luxury romantic getaways and fine dining reservations. 4. Ireland’s castles and countryside 10. Paris with a personal shopper 9. Chartering a private jet See below for complete survey results. 2. Greek Islands 5. Caribbean resort stay 1. New York 7. Staying in Europe’s top hotel suites 3. Galápagos Islands 5. Myanmar (Burma) 5. Alaskan cruise 4. Antarctic cruise Top Trips of a Lifetime International luxury travel agency network, Virtuoso, has revealed findings from its annual ‘Travel Dreams’ survey, identifying unique travel personalities through respondents selections. 5. Istanbul 2. New York for shopping, dining and shows 5. World cruise 1. European river/ canal Favourite Family Holidays 3. London 3. Alaska 4. Antarctica 5. The Caribbean Where to Set Sail 1. African safari European destinations remain the most popular amongst affluent travellers, while cruise holidays continue to climb the ranks, according to network survey results. 3. Mediterranean cruise Best Trips For Two 3. Rome 4. England
Easter trading benefit for NZ tourism industryLiberalising the Easter trading legislation will benefit the tourism industry and local economies, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.TIA has been calling for Easter trading to be permitted, to better serve both domestic and international travellers, for several years.Changing the law will help the tourism industry achieve its Tourism 2025 goal of almost doubling its contribution to New Zealand’s economy, TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.“International and domestic travellers expect shops to be open during significant holiday periods and it does not reflect well on the visitor experience if shops are closed. To reach our Tourism 2025 goal, we want to offer visitors every opportunity to open their wallets.”Tourism activity is no longer limited to the traditional regions. The availability of services for visitors, including the ability for shops to open over the Easter period, would support many regions’ economic development, Mr Roberts says.Individual retailers should still be able to decide whether they open on Easter Sunday and there should be no compulsion on workers to work that day, he says.Source = Tourism Industry Association New Zealand
Travel Counsellors recently announced the Gold Coast’s Palazzo Versace as the venue for its highly anticipated annual conference in 2016. To be held over the weekend of the 20th, 21st and 22nd May, the annual conference is the biggest event of the year for Travel Counsellors Australia.With an inspiring program packed with influential guest speakers, thought leaders and presenters, the conference is a must-attend event for Travel Counsellors agents, suppliers and partners who want to be motivated and inspired by the potential that comes with working in the travel industry.Offering a chance to meet and connect with other Travel Counsellors agents, the conference will see home-based agents travel from all over Australia to take part in three days of learning, sharing, celebration and collaboration.From the latest innovations in the industry, to the top travel trends and fresh ways to succeed in business, guest speakers will enlighten, entertain and inspire conference attendees with informative presentations and thought-provoking speeches.David Hughes, Managing Director of Travel Counsellors Australia believes that this year’s conference will be Travel Counsellors’ best yet.“While Travel Counsellors holds many events around Australia throughout the year, the annual conference is definitely our most significant even,” Mr Hughes said.“It gives our agents, head office staff and valued suppliers and partners a chance to take stock of where we’ve come from as a business, where we are now, and where we’d like to be. It also gives all of us a chance to really connect and collaborate with each other.“The annual conference is all about idea sharing and fostering the growth potential of each other and the business as a whole. It’s also about having fun, and where better to do so than in the luxurious confines of the Palazzo Versace?” Travel CounsellorsSource = Travel Counsellors
The new brochure outlines Club Med’s premium all-inclusive concept, one that sets them apart in the market and provides great value holidays for families, couples, groups of friends, and single travelers alike. With everything included in the package, from the accommodation, all gourmet meals at a choice of restaurants, full open bar including beer, wine, spirits and cocktails, kids clubs (aged 4+), all sports and activities from a selection of over 60 worldwide, and nightly entertainment, Club Med truly is the pioneer in all-inclusive holidays. Holiday makers can let themselves go and do as much or as little as they like!The brochure is viewable online on the Club Med dedicated travel agent portal, through your Club Med BDM or limited stock available at TIFS Club Meddiscover much more here Club Med releases new resort brochure for 2016After a year hiatus, Club Med have returned to the traditional brochure with their latest brochure release. Offering dream imagery coupled with inspirational content and key resort facts, the brochure features a selection of key sun and ski resorts from a range of over 70 properties worldwide.Managing Director Madeleine Clow-Suares noted that “we took on board the agent feedback and while they were in full support of the new magazine approach, they also felt a traditional brochure containing key resort details would best serve their client needs. You asked. We listened.”She also adds, “With the increased growth in our premium resort sales to destinations including Maldives, Mauritius, and Europe ski, we felt it was the ideal time to combine the sun and snow resorts into one brochure so agents could have a deeper understanding of our product range and move to a more premium positioning, all in one handy location.”Club Med new brochure Finolhu Villas, Maldives Club Meddiscover more hereSource = Club Med
World Cup legends to lunch at Royal ICCKangaroo and World Cup winning captain Mal Meninga and dual world netball champion Laura Geitz are among a line-up of World Cup sporting legends converging on the Royal International Convention Centre (Royal ICC) tomorrow, for the Men of League Foundation Queensland Annual Lunch.Joining them as guest speakers at the event – to be attended by more than 850 people – will be two time Cricket World Cup champion Andrew Symonds and Women’s Rugby League World Cup winner Ruan Sims.Sticking to the World Cup theme, the iconic Rugby League World Cup trophy will even be making an appearance, featuring as a centrepiece of the event.The annual lunch raises funds for the Men of League Foundation which offers a range of services to those in the rugby league community, including support with medical expenses, rehabilitation and nursing home equipment.Brisbane Showgrounds General Manager of Venue Sales and Marketing Jago Coyle said they were thrilled to be hosting the lunch and those attending would be treated to a three course menu.“This event raises funds for a great cause and we’re looking forward to welcoming World Cup sporting celebrities and the business community to the world-class Royal ICC,” he said.“Our chefs will be preparing an impressive three course lunch menu featuring Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS) Gold medal-winning lamb and award-winning cheeses.”The charity lunch gets underway at 11.30am.The 22 hectare Brisbane Showgrounds precinct is located just 1.5km from Brisbane’s CBD and is Queensland’s largest indoor / outdoor events site.For more information about the Brisbane Showgrounds and Royal ICC visit www.brisbaneshowgrounds.com.auDon’t forget to follow us on social media #brisbaneshowgrounds Source = Brisbane Showgrounds
Pandaw CabinPandaw announces India debutRiver cruise pioneer launches India expedition on The Lower GangesPandaw has announced the launch of an India river expedition that will take guests on an epic journey along The Lower Ganges, aboard the stately, “Orient Pandaw”.The seven-night, “The Lower Ganges” sailing from Kolkotta to Farraka and vice versa, will debut on 23 December 2018 and will offer weekly departures until the end of April 2019. It will re-commence in July 2019 through to April 2020.“We’re delighted to have our own ship positioned in India and are excited to be able to offer our customers the full Pandaw experience in a totally new destination,” said Pandaw founder, Paul Strachan. “There’s no river in the world as sacred as The Ganges and an expedition on the Lower Ganges (or “Hooghly”) is one of the most picturesque journeys imaginable. The river wends its way through the lush countryside of West Bengal with its culturally significant towns crammed with temples and palaces. A rich and vibrant rural life abounds and there is never a dull moment as we gently ply this charming waterway.”“At Pandaw we strive to innovate, bringing new and exciting experiences to our loyal customers as often as we can. Adding India to our portfolio of exotic destinations is an important milestone.”The ship chosen to take customers on this fascinating India expedition, is the pride of the Pandaw fleet, the Orient Pandaw. Built in Vietnam in 2012 and having seen service in four countries, the Orient Pandaw features thirty staterooms on two decks, all with personal veranda space; indoor dining, a deck bar, a movie and lecture theatre and a spa.Starting in Kolkotta, the upstream itinerary sets sail at noon, passing by the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore, where guests will take a walk through the cantonment – past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House. On day two, guests will sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950, and visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House of the former Governor-General of French India. Cruising on past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura, guests will have the chance to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. On day three, the ship will land at the country town of Kalna and guests will be taken by cycle rickshaws to see some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines. The itinerary will continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON(International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world. On day four, after mooring near the brass-working village of Matiari, guests will make a morning visit to the a charming riverside village, where they can interact with the locals and witness the primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Later, they will cruise on and visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. Day five brings a morning walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. A little further upstream, guests will reach the great Hazarduari Palace, built by an English architect in 1837 and host to an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. On the sixth morning, guests will experience rural India at its most idyllic by enjoying a walk through the fields of the sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three miniature terracotta temples. Continuing up The Lower Ganges, which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards, guests will eventually reach a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage. Finally, on day seven, the ship will cruise to a mooring by the Farakka lock and guests will disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways and guests will visit a number of the most interesting before re-joining the ship in the evening above the Farakka lock gate to complete the cruise upstream.Prices for “The Lower Ganges” itinerary, start from US$1890 per person, based on two people sharing a cabin and this includes seven nights’ accommodation aboard the Orient Pandaw, local transfers, all excursions as stated on the itinerary, entrance fees, guide services (English language), main meals, jugged coffee, selection of teas and tisanes, local soft drinks, local beer, local spirits, mineral water, crew gratuities and cycling equipment. International flights are additional.For reservations and more information, go to www.pandaw.com.Source = Pandaw
Livn launches Content ManagerLivn launches Content Manager– New Supplier Self-Service Tool –Livn – Asia-Pacific’s super-aggregator of instantly bookable tours, activities and attractions – has launched Content Manager, giving its suppliers the ability to control the presentation of their products on the global distribution platform. All Livn tours and activities products are now also airport and geo-coded so they’re easy for agents to find and sell, while notifications about new products and pricing can be done by literally ticking a box. Business Solutions GM at Livn, Gary Gelenter, explains that once the products have been loaded onto the platform by the Livn product team, suppliers are able to log on and view how their products are presented to travel agents with the ability to also edit and enhance. “The Content Manager is a significant step forward in terms of quality control and we worked closely with our clients to develop this market-leading solution,” says Gelenter. “Now suppliers can edit and verify their products 24/7 without having to waste precious time sending emails back and forth with the Livn content team. Importantly from our supplier partner perspective, this improves the time to market from sign up to sale by almost half.” The Content Manager is now available to Livn’s contracted wholesale clients. Over the past five years, Livn has quietly become the world’s largest aggregator of tours and activities, operating a business model similar to airline Global Distribution Systems. The Sydney-based company aggregates the inventory of more than 15,000 tour operators, sourcing more than 700,000 products, all of them bookable live, via a unified API which can be quickly integrated into any sales platform. “There’s no need for agents to waste time on the phone or email when they can easily make tours and activities bookings in seconds with Livn.” says Livn CEO Mark Rizzuto. Livn has agency distribution agreements with key retailers such as Flight Centre, while its inventory has also been integrated into the Amadeus GDS, allowing agents to seamlessly book tours and activities product with instant confirmations and ticketing. About LivnLivn is a super-aggregator instantly bookable tours, activities, and attractions. Through a single integration with Livn API, partners can automatically connect to 15,000 tour operators with over 700,000 day and multi-day tours & activities from all over the globe. The Livn API platform provides a vehicle for sellers in the global travel ecosystem to complete transactions directly without requiring custom connections to suppliers.Source = Livn
We have been participating in OTM for many years and it has always been a pleasure being part of OTM. It is very well organised, footfalls have been good and the response that we got from agents have been positive. Hopefully we will be participating in many more OTMs in the future.
Tourism in Kuwait will grow by 4.3% per annum, forecasts recent statistics, thereby propelling the country to invest in the sector. The forecast has been reported for over the next decade through to 2025, with a total investment figure of KWD 276 million (one billion dollars).Tourism received a boost in 2015 with airport passenger volume growing from around 10 million travellers in 2014 to just over 10.2 million last year as the Gulf state ploughs ahead with plans to expand its transportation infrastructure.World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) report titled ‘Kuwait Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2015’ states that tourism accounts for 1.5% of GDP in 2015, and is set to rise by 0.3% by 2025.The report also expects a growth in leisure spend by 6.2% per annum to KWD 2.4 billion in 2025 while business travel is expected to grow by 5.6% per annum to KWD 457.3 million in 2025.“Kuwait is focused on adding new high profile brands to its hotel mix as well as opening up the country with its expansion programme for Kuwait International airport,” said Nadege Noblet-Segers, Exhibition Manager, Arabian Travel Market.WTTC also predicts 440,000 tourist arrivals by 2024. Kuwait also exhibits high domestic travel spend that generated 88.1% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2014 and is expected to increase by 6.4% per annum through to 2025.High-end brands such as Four Seasons will open its first 263-key Kuwait property at Burj Alshaya at the end of 2016. This will be followed by the Mercure Kuwait (2017), Hilton Olympia Kuwait in 2019 and a Grand Hyatt in 2020. Kuwait will be entering new mid-market territory with a number of upcoming projects including the 160-room Novotel Sharq (2017) and several Rotana properties, with a Centro Rotana set to debut in 2018 with 200 rooms.
October 3, 2011 441 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties nationally. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of insurance requirements under “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html, “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, and the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://www.fha.com/.[IMAGE]How will the eligibility shortfall impact a still-fragile housing market? Despite the outcry from industry leaders and trade groups, few speaking with _MReport_ believe the return to old thresholds will hamper the recovery.””I don’t think it’ll be a complete disaster at all, really,”” says “”Paul Dales””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/global-economics/paul-dales.html, a senior U.S. economist with “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/. “”I don’t think it will help when mortgages are hard to get, but the fact is that only a small share of borrowers will be affected. And those affected will be able to get a jumbo loan.””He cites a “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ study that “”forecasted””:https://themreport.com/articles/fed-lower-fha-limits-for-jumbo-loans-likely-to-crimp-few-2011-09-23 that a significant shift would befall only 1.3 percent of current conforming loans with federal guarantees, with government data at odds over whether borrowers in anywhere from 250 to 669 counties would need to adjust for the lower limits.Writing for “”_Time_ magazine””:http://moneyland.time.com/2011/09/30/conforming-loan-limit-shrinks-this-weekend-%E2%80%94-will-it-hurt-the-already-beaten-down-market/, “”Stan Humphries””:http://www.zillow.com/profile/Stan-Humphries/, chief economist with real estate Web site “”Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/, said that “”the change is unlikely to rattle the fragile housing recovery.””Confirming the Fed’s earlier assessment, he said that only 2 percent of people applying to federally insure their conforming mortgages would “”fall directly within the impact zone,”” forcing only “”one in 133 homes across the country”” to finance their properties with jumbo mortgages as a result of the lower thresholds. “”In today’s weak market, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference,”” “”Gary Shilling””:http://www.agaryshilling.com/gary.html, president of “”A. Gary Shilling & Co.””:http://www.agaryshilling.com/, an economics consultancy group, tells _MReport_.[COLUMN_BREAK]Asked whether banks could pick up the slack in conforming loans, he says that financial institutions “”seem to be saying that they don’t want to make a lot of mortgage loans unless someone is prime… quality. The banks have so many problems being short of capital today that they are extremely reluctant to make any loans.””Members of Congress had originally raised the threshold for qualifying jumbo borrowers to $729,750 in 2008 to boost sagging home sales and head off any further deterioration in the housing market. The expiration follows months of lobbying on Capitol Hill, which reportedly met stiff opposition from lawmakers and government officials in a new political reality.Urging Congress to fix conforming loan eligibility at $729,750, the “”California Association of Realtors””:http://www.car.org/ warned in a June “”statement””:http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2011newsreleases/loanlimits/ that any change would crimp some 30,000 Golden State homeowners with federally insured conforming loans and their families by raising down payments and interest rates for loans.””Thousands of California home buyers will be shut out of homeownership,”” “”Beth Peerce””:http://www.car.org/aboutus/carleadership/bethpeerce/, the trade group’s president, said in the statement, calling higher loan limits “”critical to providing liquidity in today’s housing market and├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª essential to our housing recovery.””””Congress must act now to prevent the loan limits from reverting to lower levels,”” Bob Nielsen, chairman of the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx, another prominent trade group, said in a “”statement””:http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?sectionID=148&newsID=13447. “”A drop in mortgage loan limits would reduce housing demand, and place downward pressure on home prices in major markets. This would exacerbate the current housing downturn, trigger more foreclosures, impede job growth and endanger the fragile economic recovery,”” he added.Not deaf to the calls for a fix in higher limits,””Rep. John Campbell””:http://www.campbell.house.gov/ (R-California) and “”Rep. Gary Ackerman””:http://ackerman.house.gov/ (D-New York) “”co-sponsored a resolution””:http://www.campbell.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3046:release-reps-campbell-ackerman-introduce-bipartisan-bill-to-extend-conforming-loan-limits&catid=41:press-releases&Itemid=300032 in July to extend tenure for the $729,750 threshold over the next two years. The resolution ultimately died in the House, drowned by the political theater over debt-default ceilings and stopgap funding bills.Despite analysis finding marginal fallout for the housing market, Humphries added a caveat in his _Time_ article by saying “”the change will [not] be painless.””The economist outlined a scenario in which homeowners with conforming mortgages for a property worth $800,000, suddenly ineligible for federal insurance, will find themselves making monthly payments that amount to $67,000 over the life of their loan.Wrote Humphries: “”I agree: Ouch.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Fannie Mae Federal Reserve FHA FHFA First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability HUD Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates National Association of Home Builders Processing Refinance Service Providers Unemployment Zillow 2011-10-03 Ryan Schuette What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean Share
Treasury Sheds Last AIG Shares December 11, 2012 405 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The “”Treasury””:http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1796.aspx announced Tuesday it will sell the remainder of its shares of “”American International Group, Inc. (AIG)””:http://www.aig.com/home_3171_411330.html common stock. The move brings Treasury’s stake in the company to an end.[IMAGE]After the offering, Treasury will still hold warrants to purchase about 2.7 million shares of AIG common stock. “”On behalf of the 62,000 employees of AIG, it is my honor and privilege to thank America for giving us the opportunity to keep our promise to make America whole on its investment in AIG plus a substantial profit,”” “”said””:http://www.aig.com/press-releases_3171_438003.html Robert H. Benmosche, president and CEO of AIG. “”Thank you America. Let’s bring on tomorrow.”” Benmosche also pointed out that in addition to repaying its debt, AIG paid $22.7 billion in positive returns to the government. Together, Treasury and the Federal Reserve invested $182.3 billion to stabilize the failing insurance behemoth in September 2008 at the start of the financial crisis. Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan were retained as joint bookrunners for the federal offering. In addition to recouping the total $182.3 billion, the Treasury incurred a positive return of $5 billion, while the Federal Reserve received a positive return of $17.7 billion. The Treasury received the bulk of its positive return–$4.1 billion–from common stocks and the remainder from preferred stock holdings. The greatest portion of the Federal Reserve’s positive return–and the combined positive return to both the Fed and Treasury–came from Maiden Lane II and III, which purchased mortgage-related assets. The profit from Maiden Lane II and III was $9.5 billion. Since the financial crisis, AIG has diminished in size to about half of what it was. The company has rid itself of many of its non-core assets and now centers its business on its insurance operations. The Treasury plans to sell its remaining shares at $32.50 per share. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers TARP Treasury Department 2012-12-11 Krista Franks Brock Share
March 28, 2016 580 Views BofA Breaks Free From Financial Crisis Burdens With the release of the company’s Q1 2016 earnings statement right around the corner, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said in his letter to shareholders in the 2015 Annual Report that the bank is “no longer clouded over by heavy mortgage and crisis-related litigation and operating costs.”Crisis-related litigation plagued Bank of America in 2014. The bank reached a settlement with the Department of Justice in August of that year for $16.65 billion over the sales of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis; litigation costs and other expenses related to that settlement took a big chunk out of the bank’s 2014 net income. The $16.65 billion settlement remains a record for a settlement between the Department of Justice and a single company over matters related to the 2008 financial crisis (it was eclipsed only by British Petroleum’s $20.8 settlement with the DOJ in October 2015 over the Gulf oil spill).“This progress is the result of continued strong business performance, no longer clouded over by heavy mortgage and crisis-related litigation and operating costs,” Moynihan said. “Over the past several years, we’ve followed a strategy to simplify the company, rebuild our capital and liquidity, invest in our company and our capabilities, and pursue a straightforward model focused on responsible growth.”For the full year of 2015, Bank of America more than tripled its net income from the previous year ($15.9 billion compared to $4.8 billion). The bank’s earnings for 2015 were the highest since the pre-crisis year of 2006 (net income of $21.1 billion).“Other general operating expense decreased $16.0 billion primarily due to a decrease of $15.2 billion in litigation expense which was primarily related to previously disclosed legacy mortgage-related matters and other litigation charges in 2014,” the shareholder letter said.Moynihan’s announcement follows what was largely a positive second half of 2015 for Bank of America. In November, independent monitor Eric Green reported that the bank was well ahead of schedule to pay off the $7 billion in consumer relief required by the August 2014 RMBS settlement. In December, the Federal Reserve approved the bank’s resubmitted capital plan after spending approximately $100 million to “get the process right for resubmission,” Moynihan said. Nine months earlier, the Fed announced that Bank of America must submit a revised capital plan due to certain weaknesses in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank’s capital planning process the Fed located in its annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) conducted in early March 2015.Bank of American’s earnings statement for the first quarter of 2016 will be released on Thursday, April 14.Click here to view the entire 2015 Annual Report for Bank of America. Bank of America Earnings Statements Mortgage Crisis Profits 2016-03-28 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination Share
Share March 11, 2019 1,110 Views Black Knight eNote technology eOriginal Inc. Inc 2019-03-11 Staff Writer eOriginal Inc. has announced that Black Knight, Inc. will begin offering the company’s mortgage origination and settlement clients the ability to create, execute and deliver eNotes using eOriginal technology. Black Knight clients using the company’s Expedite Close digital closing solution will now be able to integrate eNotes into their mortgage origination process. Black Knight joins others in the industry such as Fannie Mae, MERSCORP Holdings and Wells Fargo Home Lending in leveraging eOriginal’s eNote technology to help provide system capability and liquidity to the digital mortgage market. “At Black Knight, we’re laser-focused on transforming the mortgage industry through innovation,” said Rich Gagliano, President, Origination Technologies, Black Knight. “When it comes to the digital mortgage, creation, and acceptance of the eNote represents a quintessential ‘last mile’ challenge. By offering access to eOriginal technology through our Expedite Close solution, we’re traversing that last mile, and adding another key tool our clients need to achieve an end-to-end digital real estate transaction.”eOriginal has provided scalability and adoption of technology in the mortgage ecosystem. In addition, eOriginal provides technology for mortgage servicers that assists in the management of life-of-loan events in a digital environment.“Black Knight’s collaboration with eOriginal marks another significant step toward an end-to-end digital mortgage,” said Simon Moir, SVP and General Manager of Digital Mortgage at eOriginal. “The integration with eOriginal continues their commitment with a focus on capital efficiency and market execution, and provides clients with a capability that is proven, reliable and readily deployed.” Black Knight Offers New Technology in Daily Dose, News, Servicing, Technology
U.S.: Del Rey Avocado expands in Southern Californ … U.S.: Heavy flooding in Northern California vineya … You might also be interested in The California citrus sector is expecting a strong end to the season, which got off to a tough start last year and has so far been affected by a “series of dynamics”, according to an industry representative.Joel Nelsen of the California Citrus Mutual said the industry faced challenges in its opening months last year due to an oversupply of poor quality imported fruit that lingered in the market, while over recent months a spate of heavy rain in production areas and adverse weather elsewhere in the country have limited growers’ ability to satisfy demand.”The first quarter of the season, which we define as October through December, was extremely difficult,” Nelsen said. “We have never experienced this much tonnage this late in the calendar year. The definition of counter-seasonal has expanded tremendously and we have got to differential ourselves to a better degree than what we’ve done in the past.”As well as the customer “confusion” caused by the abundance of imports in the U.S. market, a heatwave last year – which saw over 30 consecutive days with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees – led to smaller sizing during the start of the season.Sizing has improved in the first quarter of 2019, Nelsen said, but the heavy rains have resulted in problems getting the fruit harvested. While rains and good snowpack in a state that has faced a severe drought over recent years are of course positive in the long-term, he said that in the short-term it has created “some difficulty in satisfying demand”.On top of this, storms and severe weather on the Eastern seaboard and in the Mid-West caused transportation issues for trucks.With more rain arriving in early March, Nelsen said the outlook remained relatively uncertain, but he was optimistic the coming few months would be more positive than the first.”This is one season that has had a series of dynamics that has affected the year,” he said. Strawberries in Charts: Expected California shorta … “Now, we’ve had some of the smaller fruit has begun to fall from the tree, which looks bad but makes harvesting easier because the good quality fruit remains on the free and we have a significant amount of volume – around 50% – of harvest left to go. So the anticipation is that the second half of the season will be much better,” he said.California oranges and mandarins could be available until July 4 if the spring sees cool temperatures, but hot weather would likely result in a June finish.Lemons are so far about 30% of the way through their harvest, with the major volumes now about to begin in the Venture area.Exports have also been challenging this season, Nelsen said. The peak export period has now passed, although there will likely be some demand for Valencias from around April.Business is off “tremendously” in China due to the increased tariffs, although some importers are still willing to pay a higher price for consistent quality, Nelsen said.”Unfortunately the volumes can’t be absorbed in other markets. The Korean free trade agreement has created an opportunity for more sales, but countering that was the fulfillment of trade agreement with a number of countries of which the U.S. wasn’t a part, so our product continues to arrive in the Asian theatre at a little bit higher price than some of the competition,” he said.”But right now demand from Korea is good, we’re moving some tonnage into Japan, although it’s fairly flat. Southeast Asia has a bit of difficulty, and Canada continues to be strong.”Exports are not quite as good as they have been historically, so we’re relying on that domestic market to a greater degree.” Grapes in Charts: California sees low prices after … March 11 , 2019
airportsCaribbeanSt Maartentourist A 57-year-old female tourist, believed to be from New Zealand, has been killed after being hit by a jet blast on the Caribbean island of St Maarten, famous for the low-flying planes that appear to almost skim the sand as they approach Juliana International Airport.Despite signs warning of the danger, and constant police patrols, it’s a tourist ritual for some thrillseekers who flock to the beach and road, and hang onto the dividing fence to take selfies, with aircraft looming so low the images appear to show people touching the planes.On Wednesday at around 6pm [local time] police say the woman was among a group of people who were holding onto the airport fence during the take off of a large jet aircraft. During the take off the woman ‘…was blown away by the jet blast…’. She later died from her injuries. IMAGE: File image – Maho beach in St. Maarten is known for its views of airliners on approach to Princess Juliana airport. (STEINGRÄBER/ULLSTEIN BILD VIA GETTY IMAGES)/nydailynews.com via NY Daily News
cruiseexpeditionHapag-Lloydpolar From January 2018 it will be mandatory for all ships operating in the polar regions to have a Polar Ship Certificate, as mandated by The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), with regulations covering everything from a ship’s construction and equipment to training and crews. The Polar Code is intended to increase the safety of ships and pay greater attention to environmental protection.The Polar Ship Certificate confirms compliance with the Code and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 4-star expedition cruise ship, the 155-passenger MS BREMEN has become one of the first passenger ships in the world to receive the Polar Ship Certificate, following a two-year long phase of intense preparation. All other ships in the fleet are also due to meet the requirements of the Polar Code by the Arctic season in 2018.“The Polar Code will improve the safety of navigation in polar waters significantly. We have taken a pioneering step in certifying the BREMEN and paved the way for the other ships in the fleet of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to comply with the Polar Code. I am happy to have contributed”, says Captain Thilo Natke, who oversaw the certification process for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. BREMEN will be operating three international cruises during the 2018/2019 season, including sailing to the North East Passage in the Summer of 2018.Enquiries and bookings can be made via email@example.com
awardsFour Seasons SydneyhotelsMICESydney At Thursday night’s (26 July 2018) Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) NSW Awards for Excellence, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney took the crown for Conference and Events Venue of the Year.The TAA NSW Awards for Excellence are recognised as the most prestigious hospitality and tourism awards, honouring the achievement of excellence in a wide range of categories in the accommodation industry.Completing a multi-million dollar renovation in 2017 to the Grand Ballroom, Four Seasons Sydney enabled the integration of advanced technology and broke the mould for design, colour palettes and bespoke fixtures. The new technology includes a phenomenal cinematic LED screen in partnership with AVPartners, measuring 12 metres by 3.5 metres which features game-changing advanced technology, with spectacular sound to match.Helen Radic, Director of Marketing said “The Four Seasons unwavering focus and dedication to service, quality of food and beverage, accessibility to advanced technology and innovative approach to design has continued to delight guests and ensure our success in the market.”When asked about his team and their passion, Will Parry, Director of Conferencing and Catering said “Delivering meaningful and memorable guest experiences is our upmost priority, and our passionate team is forever dedicated to providing the highest level of service for each guest every day.”
SydneyVividVivid Sydney 2019 Vivid Sydney 2019 has been confirmed for 23 nights from Friday 24 May to Sunday 15 June.Celebrating its 11th anniversary in 2019, Australia’s most loved and awarded festival brings together light artists, music makers and brilliant minds to share their creativity with visitors and residents alike.The official Vivid Sydney 2019 program will be announced on Tuesday 19 March 2019.Stay tuned for updates.