Gunmen in Egypt kill 2 police officers outside Giza Pyramids

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Reflecting an intention to keep up the crackdown, the government proposed Wednesday imposing penalties of no less than a year in prison and a fine for anyone who does not report owning explosives.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. CAIRO (AP) — Gunmen on a speeding motorcycle opened fire outside the famed Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo early Wednesday, killing two police officers in a rare attack near one of the country’s top tourist attractions, authorities said.The attack comes as Egypt tries to rehabilitate its vital tourism industry, which accounted for as much as 20 percent of foreign currency revenues before its 2011 revolt that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak and later years of turmoil. 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 From a high of 14.7 million tourists in 2010, Egypt has had an average of around 9 million a year since, though officials say tourists slowly are coming back. Government officials say the tourism industry saw revenues jump to $4 billion in the first half of this year, compared to $1.9 billion in the same period last year.The gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle at the back of the Giza Pyramids plateau on a main highway that leads to southern Egypt, wounding the two tourism police officers, a security official said. They died later of their wounds in the hospital, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.Egypt’s state MENA news agency said the gunmen fled and that an investigation was underway. An antiquities official in the area, Kamal Wahid, was quoted by the website of the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper as saying the attack was 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the pyramids. The location of the attack could not be immediately reached by journalists.Egypt sees regular attacks on its security forces as it struggles with the low-level Islamist insurgency, mostly in the lawless northern Sinai Peninsula following the 2013 military ouster of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Typically though, security forces are the targets of the attacks. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories But the attacks lately have inched closer to the capital, mostly targeting individual security agents but have also included near-daily small bombings in public areas. One bombing killed a police officer on a bridge in Cairo’s upscale island of Zamalek.An earlier wave of Islamist insurgency peaked in 1997 with a bloody attack against tourists in a temple south of Egypt that left more than 60 tourists killed. So far, however, tourist sites have not been targeted.The surge in violence in the last two years was accompanied by a crackdown on the 87-year old Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, and other Islamists. Militants say the attacks are meant to avenge the crackdown. Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis — which has claimed most of the major attacks in Egypt — has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group fighting in Iraq and Syria and has declared itself to be the group’s Sinai Province.The government blames the Brotherhood for the violence, a charge the group has denied. But increasing pressure on the group appears to have caused a schism within, between those who openly call for a direct confrontation and others who call for peaceful means. There also has been a rise in attacks against government institutions, electricity poles and recently the deadly shooting of three judges. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

TAT hosts Amazing Thailand Roadshow

first_imgTourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hosted the Amazing Thailand Roadshow 2010 at the Westin Hotel in Sydney last Wednesday. The roadshow offered participants a great opportunity to meet with leading hotels in Thailand, ground operators and airlines including THAI Airways, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Deirdre Smyth of Qantas Travel won her first ever industry prize on the night. Along with V Australia tickets to Phuket, Deirdre won five nights accommodation at Anantara Phuket including daily breakfast and a massage treatment for two.Anantara Phuket attended the Roadshow on Wednesday, represented by Leanne Ward of Exclusive Resorts, who has recently been appointed as the Australian representative for the luxury pool villa. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Leading Balinese resort Alila Villas Uluwatu sweeps the board at recen

first_imgAlila Villas Uluwatu in Bali has again been recognised for its world-class design credentials as the winner of the Best Hotel Design – Resort award at the prestigious Gold Key Awards, held in New York this week. Already voted the World’s Best Holiday Building at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards this month and the Best Resort Hotel in the TTG Asia Awards in October, Alila Villas Uluwatu is proving itself as a leader in the hotel style stakes.Entries for the 30th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality and Design came from 180 projects from 19 countries. An expert panel of judges from the hospitality and interior design fields selected winners based on aesthetic appeal, practicality and functionality of design and WOHA, the Singapore based architects behind Alila Villas Uluwatu, were once again recognised for their innovative approach.Alila Villas Uluwatu’s impressive combination of eco and design credentials was the deciding factor in placing the Balinese resort top of 500 entries from 61 countries in the WAF Awards, announced at the world’s biggest global celebration of architecture held in Barcelona this month. Voted for by distinguished architects and renowned industry experts, Alila Villas Uluwatu was praised for going the extra mile to fully embrace Environmentally Sustainable Design principles without compromising on style.The stunning all-villa resort is also winning the hearts of the global travel and tourism industry, beating off stiff competition to be one of just 25 category award winners from 48,300 nominations in the TTG Asia Awards.Set in a stunning cliff-top location on Bali’s Bukit peninsula set high above one of the world’s best surf breaks, Alila Villas Uluwatu is the first resort in Bali to achieve EarthCheck (formerly Green Globe) certification for building, planning and design. The striking contemporary style of the resort extends throughout the one, two and three-bedroom villas with private pools, dramatic dining locations and world-class spa offering a truly remarkable resort experience in one of the world’s most striking locations. Source = Alila Hotels and Resortslast_img read more

Asiabased arrivals offset US Europe loss

first_imgArrivals from growing Asia markets are assisting Australia offset declines in traditional travel markets, with a 3.4 percent rise in Asia-based arrivals in August this year compared to the same month last year.Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures for the month of August released late last week saw numbers from Indonesia double while Malaysia crept up by 34 percent and China-based arrivals swelled 21 percent.Meanwhile visitors from European and North American markets suffered for the month compared to 2010, with North-West Europe arrivals down 4.1 percent while US and Canada fell 4.4 percent and five percent.Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson said the popularity from the Asia market signified a tourism expansion beyond the traditional markets and provided a reason to stay positive for the industry’s future.“Today’s figures are a further reminder about the potential from Asia, and not just from China, but also our near neighbours in South-East Asia such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore,” Minister Ferguson said.Recognising the shift, Minister Assisting on Tourism Senator Nick Sherry added that employers would best handle travel changes by investing in skilled workers.“By 2015, our tourism industry may need as many as 56,000 extra workers, making the labour market even tighter,” Senator Sherry said.   “Offering employees career-development paths is one of the best ways for employers to hold onto existing staff and attract recruits. “The Labour and Skills Working Group adds value to that task.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

The Next Big Wave – Jetwing Surf Pottuvil Point

first_imgThe Next Big Wave – Jetwing Surf, Pottuvil PointSetting a benchmark in eco-tourism and hospitality, Jetwing Hotels introduces the award winning eco-luxury surf resort, Jetwing Surf in Pottuvil Point. Built on minimum carbon footprint this Jetwing Symphony invested property recently received the award for the Best Hotel Architectural Design at the Asia Property Awards 2017.A luxury resort dedicated for surfers, Jetwing Surf is located on an unspoilt stretch of beach in Pottuvil Point with magnificent waves gushing onto shore. Only a few minutes away from the surfer’s paradise of Arugam Bay, this property includes 20 beach cabanas that encompasses comfortable amenities inspired by a unique style of architecture with structures made using wood, woven coconut palm leaves and reeds. To heighten the experience by the beach the design elements take the form of seashells allowing guests to wander freely and fully submerge in the tropical environs.Each of the cabanas has a spacious outdoor deck that opens out to the towering coconut trees and gleaming view of the Indian Ocean in between. Equipped with ceiling fans to complement the sea breeze that circles within the premises, each of the rooms has a bathroom with hot and cold indoor and outdoor showers that allows you to feel closer to nature. With plush king-sized beds and couches, Wi-Fi, electronic power, tea/coffee making facility and even a beach bag with sun block, slippers and wraparounds, Jetwing Surf becomes your luxurious abode by the sea.Your meals at Jetwing Surf can be savoured at the breezy comforts of our main restaurant set under a thatched roof. The chef here will take you through a world of global favourites and local specialities through our carefully curated à la carte and set menus. The restaurant also houses a bar to serve you with refreshing thirst quenches and also a pool bar for you to laze around while sipping on delicious mocktails and cocktails. Capture picture perfect moments of the coastal line as you take a refreshing dip on our infinity edge pool complete with lily pods bringing out a unique design and style. The electric waves raging on to the shores at Arugam Bay, Pottuvil Point and Whisky Point are a must-catch for surf lovers and are a short distance away from Jetwing Surf.A lesser known fact is that the unexplored East is a haven of natural wonders, wildlife, and historical sites that can tick off many a travel bucket lists. The picturesque lakes will leave you in awe as you settle by the banks watching over the migrant birds flying in and out of the waters taking the colours of the pastel skies. The majestic sunsets by the Panama Lake, Semanikulam Lake and Rotakulam Lake coupled with the sounds of birds chirping is a thing of beauty to wind down into. For the history enthusiasts the Sastrawela Maninaga Pabbatha Viharaya, Kudumbigala Monastery, Muhudu Maha Viharaya, and Magul Maha Viharaya are significant archaeological sites encompassed with remnants of the glories tales of history. Deemed as one of the best places to spot the leopard and sloth bear in undisturbed territory is the Kumana National Park, which is also home to the largest flock of migrant birds. The Lahugala and Gal Oya National Parks are also in the vicinity and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. The resident naturalist at Jetwing Surf, Azick, will make sure to take you on an inspiring journey in the East through these experiences!To book your stay at Jetwing Surf log on to www.jetwinghotels.com or call on 011 4 709 400.Family owned and in the tourism industry for the past 45 years, Jetwing Hotels has surpassed expectation at every aspect. Building on their foundation of being passionate, as well as the experience of true, traditional Sri Lankan hospitality, constantly pioneering discoveries captures the essence of the brand. Such a strong statement and direction have enabled Jetwing Hotels to imagine, create and manage marvels and masterpieces, where distinctive design and elegant comfort complement each other and the environment. In line with the Jetwing Hotels Sustainable Strategy, across all properties sustainable and responsible practices are given precedence with resource efficiency, community upliftment and education, and awareness being some of our key focus areas.Source = Jetwing Hotelslast_img read more

Fairfield By Marriott Makes its brand debut In Bali

first_imgSource = Marriott International Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian – Deluxe Pool ViewFairfield By Marriott Makes its brand debut In BaliMarriott International adds color to Bali’s lively Legian neighborhood with the opening of the Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian. Situated close to laid back Legian Beach and within easy reach to Seminyak’s dining and nightlife scene, the hotel welcomes global travelers to enjoy a relaxing holiday.“The Fairfield by Marriott brand is inspired by the warm hospitality and simplicity of the original Fairfield Manor House and the Fairfield Farm, owned by the Marriott family,” shared Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “The brand has evolved and expanded globally with more than 900 hotels worldwide. Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian will add to the Marriott International portfolio in Bali by providing an opportunity for travelers to enjoy an affordable stay coupled with Fairfield’s seamless service and welcoming hospitality.”Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian features 163 guestrooms, including 9 suites, which showcase simple, intuitive design with natural wooden furnishings and local Balinese accents. Deluxe Pool View and Deluxe Pool Terrace rooms offer relaxing views of the pool and alfresco area. The Junior and Grand Suites provide ample space to unwind as well as a whirlpool bathtub.Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian understands the importance of keeping balance during a holiday or work trip. The gym is open 24/7 to keep up with your healthy routine and the hotel pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and outdoor seating to soak in the sun. The adjoining Pool Bar is an excellent space to unwind in an expansive outdoor area with a refreshing selection of drinks and tapas-style bites. All-day dining venue, Tebu Merah, is where guests can start their mornings with a healthy breakfast, and savor both local Balinese cuisine and international favorites throughout the day in a casual, relaxed setting.The hotel also offers flexible venues for business meetings and special gatherings. Equipped with reliable technology and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, both Kecak and Legong meeting rooms can be reconfigured to include two breakout rooms for more intimate events. A reliable team of associates is also on hand to design any event and menu according to specific requests and needs.“We look forward to welcoming international travelers to rediscover Bali at Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian.” said Lily Wijaya, General Manager, Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian. “At our hotel, every detail is thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of our guests at a great value, so they never skip a beat.”Follow us on Instagram @FairfieldBali and “like” Fairfield by Marriott Bali Legian on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairfieldbalilegian to keep up with our latest news and stay connected with other travelers.last_img read more

SeaLink Captain Cook Cruises WA operate first ever cruise servi

first_imgSeaLink & Captain Cook Cruises WA operate first ever cruise servicesSeaLink & Captain Cook Cruises WA operate first ever cruise servicesCaptain Cook Cruises WA will provide sports and entertainment fans with the first ever Swan River transport option to Optus Stadium from Perth’s CBD, Fremantle and the Swan Valley. The leading tourism company has been granted exclusive access to the new state of the art Burswood Jetty, situated only meters from the Stadium entrance.Five unique Captain Cook Cruises vessels will offer a range of charter and public cruises to Burswood Jetty for Optus Stadium major events including football matches, cricket and concerts.Services will provide a leisurely 15-minute licensed return cruise from Barrack St Jetty and accommodate a combined capacity of 720 passengers, helping ease the transport congestion of existing train, parking and pedestrian access.According to Captain Cook Cruises WA General Manager, Andrew Lane, “We are very excited to be operating cruises to Burswood Jetty for all of the great events at Optus Stadium. From first class pre-game functions to quick post-game transfers to the city, we look forward to exploring all the possibilities that the Stadium jetty offers.”The stadium stop will also be incorporated into Captain Cook Cruises’ existing day cruises.“From 21 June 2018, Burswood Jetty will become a regular stop on our daily Swan Valley Gourmet Wine Cruise, dropping passengers to the stadium precinct at the end of our cruise.”“What better way to spend the day than cruising upstream to the Swan Valley, enjoying lunch at a world-renowned winery, then being dropped off at the stadium to watch your favourite sporting team or international performer,” said Mr Lane.Captain Cook Cruises vessels accessing the stadium can pick up from nearly any public access jetty on the Swan River, from as close as Barrack Street Jetty to as far away as Fremantle.“The opportunity this presents for Perth locals and visitors to Western Australia is enormous.  It will put Perth on the map as a viable events destination in Australia with a uniquely spectacular transport experience.  We will also help reduce traffic in and around Perth city by taking cars and buses off our roads,” said Mr Lane.SeaLink Travel Group, proud new owners of Captain Cook Cruises WA, also recently launched the new Rottnest Island Ferry service on the vessel Quokka 1.  The company has also invested in a major upgrade of its Swan River cruise products.For further information visit: www.captaincookcruises.com.auSource = SeaLink & Captain Cook Cruiseslast_img read more

SKAL International Gold Coast will host SKAL Australia

first_imgSource = SKAL Gold Coast Gold Coast Skalleagues ending themselves at The Ruby Collection SKAL International Gold Coast will host SKAL AustraliaSKAL International Gold Coast will host SKAL AustraliaSKAL International Gold Coast will host SKAL Australia’s National Assembly at QT Gold Coast from March 22-23 this year. SKAL’s World President Lavonne Wittman from SKAL Pretoria, and Daniela Otero, SKAL’s Spain-based CEO, will be VIP guests at the Assembly.Skål is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to Do Business Among Friends. And supports selected charities and environmental initiatives, and provides mentoring to younger members.SKAL has over 14000 members in over 300 Clubs in over 80 countries. SKAL Australia has over 1000 members and is one of the most active and influential countries in SKAL.Each of Australia’s 23 SKAL Clubs will be represented, as well as New Zealand colleagues (“Skalleagues”).SKAL Gold Coast will welcome delegates and partners at its Club meeting on Thursday 21 March at the new Ruby Collection, with the Assembly being opened on Friday 22 March with a Welcome Party at QT Gold Coast, with the Assembly and Gala Dinner at QT on Saturday 23 March. While the Assembly is only open to registered SKAL members, former SKAL members and travel/tourism industry leaders are welcome to join our social functions – see www.skal.org.au for details and booking links.“I look forward to welcoming some 100 Skalleagues and partners to the beautiful Gold Coast, as we experience growing membership numbers and great networking. Lavonne and Daniela’s presence is a honour for SKAL, and they will induct several new Gold Coast members on the 21st Of March”.The Ruby Collection F&B Teamcenter_img Dining at The Ruby Collectionlast_img read more

MTDC to monetise its properties with the help of PPP

first_imgWith the help of private players, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is looking to monetise all its properties and land banks which are scattered across the state.After just four months of being transferred from the Maharashtra Maritime Board, Paraag Jaiin Nainutiia, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), has become a very busy man. For this year he has defined the area within which he wants MTDC to perform – public private partnerships (PPP). He said, “We can do so much within this framework and I will make some policies to achieve this.”Nainutiia added, “We will switch to the PPP mode in a big way. This includes monetisation of all our properties which we own. We are also focusing on upgradation of our existing resorts at different spots in Maharashtra. We should see something concrete by end of this year. Government money will be utilised for this upgradation.”MTDC has 85 existing resorts, 20 of which are run by MTDC while the rest are leased to private companies. Once upgraded, he says, MTDC will advertise promoting those facilities and destinations.“Simultaneously, we are also trying to find a formula where we can monetise our huge land banks with the help of private players. We have finalised the booklet that will be circulated to potential investors. We will have a meeting with them by June 2015 to explain and go over things,” the MD said. The land bank is estimated to include around 100 plots which are scattered all over the state.last_img read more

Starwood Hotels and Resort closes 2015 with 220 new signed hotels

first_imgThe year 2015 was closed with 220 new signed hotel management and franchise agreements, announced Starwood Hotels and Resort. This marked the sixth consecutive year of increased signings and the most incremental signings in its history. The company also opened a record of 105 hotels in 2015, representing approximately 22.5k rooms in 30 countries, also the highest number of openings in its history.“Our continued commitment to brands, design and innovation this past year allowed us to accomplish much on behalf of our shareholders, which is a true testament to the great work of our associates and something our team should be proud of,” said Thomas Mangas, Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc.Last year’s signings were driven by the select serve or mid-market segment. While Four Points by Sheraton continues to maintain the company’s largest pipeline, Aloft experienced incredible growth momentum last year with a 65% increase in signings over the prior year. At the same time, Starwood lengthened its lead in the luxury and lifestyle segment, with 29 deals across its St Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands, an increase of almost 40% over the prior year. The company continues to see luxury demand in all corners of the world with new hotels coming to sought-after destinations like Dubai, Maldives, Punta de Mita and Shanghai, following flagship openings last year in Amsterdam, Mumbai, and Prague. In the upper-upscale segment, Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most global brand, had signings that were up over 40% compared to the prior year. The company’s newest brand, Tribute Portfolio, launched in Q2 2015, finished the year with 16 hotels either operating or with signed agreements.last_img read more

Air India to launch flights to Tel Aviv

first_imgAir India (AI) has announced that it will begin flights between India and Israel by May 2017.  AI is planning to open the New Delhi-Tel Aviv route with three weekly flights.Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism, Israel, said, “Air India Chairman Lohani was deeply impressed with his visit to Israel and is convinced that the many Indian tourists who will visit Israel will find it an exceptional tourism destination. There is no doubt that the opening of the route, combined with our marketing efforts in India, will generate a significant increase in incoming tourism from India.”Talking about the commencement of the new flight, Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, said, “Air India is looking forward to the opening of the direct route to Israel in a few months’ time. I believe that this will have a positive effect on the tourism traffic between our two countries.”The Israel Ministry of Tourism established their India office in 2014 and since then tourist arrivals from India to Israel has grown by 28%. Regarding the growth in the India market, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism in India, said, “We are very happy with the growth in Indian travellers to Israel. In 2016, there were 44,672 Indian tourists that travelled to Israel, setting a new record for the highest number of travellers from India. With Air India commencing operations directly to Israel, we are confident of an increased influx of arrivals to Israel in 2017.”With the addition of the Delhi-Tel Aviv sector to Air India’s roster, travel between the two countries is slated to increase exponentially, strengthening the relationship between the two nations.last_img read more

Buy Whispering Rock Gain Your Own Private Island

first_img Share In Montana, a real estate tycoon is looking to divest himself of a luxury, lakeside estate. Donald G. Abbey has listed his famed Whispering Rock property for $78 million, making it the fifth most expensive home for sale in the U.S.Located on Flathead Lake near “”Glacier National Park””:www.nps.gov/glac/, the 24-acre spread sits on its own private island, and “”Curbed””:http://curbed.com/archives/2012/07/03/nations-fifth-priciest-home-awaits-deeppocketed-buyer.php reports that ultra-wealthy potential buyers will enjoy one-of-a-kind design elements like African mahogany, Italian marble, and Indiana limestone. This is not the first time Abbey has tried to sell Whispering Rock, and the current price tag represents a steep discount over his original ask of $105 million.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE] in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology July 9, 2012 516 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Celebrity Homes Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-09 Abby Gregory Buy Whispering Rock, Gain Your Own Private Islandlast_img read more

HARP Refinance Volume Highest Since 2009 FHFA

first_imgHARP Refinance Volume Highest Since 2009: FHFA Agents & Brokers Euro European Union Fannie Mae FHFA First-Lien Mortgages Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac HARP Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan-to-Value Ratio Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Service Providers Treasury Yields 2012-07-16 Ryan Schuette July 16, 2012 481 Views More underwater borrowers are choosing to refinance their mortgages under the Home Affordable Refinance Program than at any time since the government program launched in 2009, according to the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA).[IMAGE]The regulatory agency released a report Monday that found total refinance volume up by 20 percent in May.The reasons why? According to the FHFA, record-low interest rates for 30-year fixed-mortgages couple with recent modifications to HARP to create the conditions for an ongoing refinance boom.Recent modifications lifted fees and loan-to-value caps, fueling homeowner demand in a refinance environment with historically low interest rates.[COLUMN_BREAK]Freddie Mac “”reported””:https://themreport.com/articles/mortgage-rates-tumble-on-disappointing-jobs-report-2012-07-12 last week that 30-year fixed-mortgages reached a new low of 3.56 percent on average, as a disappointing jobs report and trouble in Europe convinced more investors to stay with the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt.””These numbers show HARP 2.0 is accomplishing the goals set forth-to provide relief to borrowers who might otherwise be unable to refinance due to house price declines,”” FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco said in a statement. “”Borrowers with Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed loans who are current on their underwater mortgages are taking advantage of the opportunity offered by HARP 2.0.”” The FHFA said that more than 78,000 successful refinances crossed the finish line during the first five months of this year, exceeding totals for last year.Nearly one-third of HARP volume stems from borrowers who refinance their mortgage loans with LTV thresholds of more than 105 percent.According to the agency, many underwater borrowers also choose to refinance their loans into shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages to create equity faster than with 30-year loans.In May, homeowners in states like Arizona and Nevada accounted for more than half of the total refinance volume under HARP.Those in other hard-hit states like California, Idaho, and Nevada accounted for roughly 40 percent to 50 percent of HARP refinance volume.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Wingspan Bulks Up Business Development Team

first_img Dallas-based “”Wingspan””:http://www.wingspanportfolioadvisors.com continues the expansion of their business development team with the recent announcement of John Guy joining the team as SVP of Business Development. Guy comes to Wingspan after serving as the Managing Director of Business Development at “”Auction.com””:http://www.auction.com. [IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]This news comes only weeks after the announcement of Aaron Luburich coming on board, also as a SVP of Business Development. Guy brings a combined 24 years of experience in mortgage servicing, secondary marketing, and securitization to Wingspan, and he will use his expertise to drive the business development strategy and expansion of Wingspan’s offerings from Florida.””John brings a wealth of experience and a background that covers all facets of the mortgage industry,”” said Susan Pettem, EVP of Business Development. “”His expertise will directly benefit Wingspan’s existing and future clients as they seek solutions to the many challenges presented by the new business and regulatory environment.””Guy will be based in Florida and will oversee generating business in component services outsourcing and other areas across Wingspan’s line of business; he will also work with clients across the United States as Wingspan continues its expansion program. New,Wingspan Bulks Up Business Development Team January 17, 2014 530 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Service Providers Wingspan 2014-01-17 Kristin Conklincenter_img Share in Origination, Servicinglast_img read more

Fed Officials Say Labor Market Not Strong Enough for Rate Increase

first_imgFed Officials Say Labor Market Not Strong Enough for Rate Increase in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News July 29, 2015 549 Views Although Federal Reserve officials determined that economic activity is expanding moderately, the housing sector has shown additional improvement, and job gains have been solid with declining unemployment, the federal funds rate will remain the same at a target range of 0 to 1/4 percent, according to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) July meeting.”To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate,” a FOMC statement said.No specific timeline of when the federal funds rate would be raised was provided at the meeting.The Committee also determined that labor market indicators found that underutilization of labor resources have diminished slightly, and growth in household spending has been moderate, while the housing sector showed some improvement. However, business fixed investment and net export remained soft. More importantly, inflation is still running below the Committee’s objective of 2 percent, reflecting earlier drops in energy prices and falling prices of non-energy imports. Looking ahead, the Committee still expects a moderate pace of GDP growth, with continuing job gains and lower energy prices supporting household spending.The Committee noted that it will assess both realized and expected progress in determining how long to maintain the near zero target range toward its maximum employment and 2 percent inflation objectives. The assessment will consider labor market conditions, inflation indicators, and financial and international developments.”The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term,” the FOMC said.The FOMC also mentioned that it is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. They believe this policy should help maintain accommodative financial condition by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels.Janet Yellen, FOMC chair revealed at a mid-July House Financial Services Committee hearing that rates would be raised upon improving economic conditions at no particular time.“At our meeting that ended today, the Committee concluded that these conditions have not yet been achieved. It remains the case that the Committee will determine the timing of the initial increase in the federal funds rate on a meeting-by-meeting basis, depending on its assessment of incoming economic information and its implications for the economic outlook.”However, Yellen did allude to the rate increase possibly occurring before the end of the year in a Senate Banking Committee hearing also held in mid-July .”If the economy evolves as we expect, economic conditions likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate target, thereby beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy,” Yellen said. “Indeed, most participants in June projected that an increase in the federal funds target range would likely become appropriate before year-end. But let me emphasize again that these are projections based on the anticipated path of the economy, not statements of intent to raise the rates at any particular time.”The committee has three more meetings this year in September, October, and December to still raise rates.center_img Federal Funds Rate Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve 2015-07-29 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

The Week Ahead Is the Fed Between a Rock and a Hard

first_imgThe Week Ahead: Is the Fed Between a Rock and a Hard Place? in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Although the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) did not raise the federal funds rate at the April meeting, even with further improvement observed in the housing sector, there has been ongoing speculation about if the Fed would make a move this month.Despite Fed signals and several industry economists pointing to a June increase after April’s standstill, many have pulled back on those forecasts due to disappointing employment data.The most recent employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the labor force participation rate fell by 20 basis points down to 62.6 percent and has fallen by 40 basis points over April and May to offset first-quarter gains, after hitting its lowest level since the 1970s in 2015. Not only did job gains total only 38,000 for May, but March and April totals were downwardly revised by a combined 59,000 jobs down to 186,000 and 123,000, respectively, making the average monthly job gain over the three-month period from March to May a less-than-stellar 116,000.Economists in the mortgage industry also commented on how the employment numbers will affect the Fed’s June decision.“The employment data issued today is the weakest monthly job creation report since September 2010. This greatly diminishes the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising rates in June, which would be a net positive for housing demand this spring,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said. “But diminishing job growth also raises concern about longer-term demand for housing later this year and into 2017. Although some of this decline could be temporary, the deceleration we are seeing in job creation will eventually impact the pace of household formation. Fewer households being formed will impact the demand for homes, both to rent and to buy.”This was an unqualified dud of a jobs report, with the weakest month of job gains since 2010,” said Curt Long, Chief Economist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. “The unemployment rate fell, but for the wrong reason as labor force participation declined for the second consecutive month. As for the Fed, this likely puts an end to the hopes of a rate hike in June, and will probably shift market expectations to September.”If the Fed does decide to raise rates in June, this would be the first time the Fed has raised the federal funds target rate since the historic liftoff in December.Minutes from the April FOMC meeting said, “Participants agreed that their ongoing assessments of the data and other incoming information, as well as the implications for the outlook, would determine the timing and pace of future adjustments to the stance of monetary policy. Most participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labor market conditions continuing to strengthen, and inflation making progress toward the Committee’s 2 percent objective, then it likely would be appropriate for the Committee to increase the target range for the federal funds rate in June.”Yellen spoke recently at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and showed that she believes that the Fed will still raise rates this year if and when the economy improves. However, the rate increase at the Fed’s June meeting, which Yellen noted would be “likely,” has been nearly ruled out due to the most recent employment data released last week.”My colleagues and I will make our policy decisions based on what incoming information implies for the economic outlook and the risks to that outlook,” said Janet Yellen, Chair, Federal Reserve. What is certain is that monetary policy is not on a preset course, and that the Committee will respond to new data and reassess risks so as to best achieve our goals.”This week’s scheduleWednesday, June 15Federal Open Market Committee Meeting Announcement, 2 p.m. ESTThursday, June 16National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index10:00 A.M. ESTFriday, June 17U.S. Census Bureau/HUD Housing Starts8:30 A.M. EST Federal Reserve FOMC Interest rates 2016-06-12 Staff Writercenter_img June 12, 2016 477 Views Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Origination Report Shows FICO Scores Dropping Across Loan Products

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Origination Mortgage Origination Report Shows FICO Scores Dropping Across Loan Products Credit Scores Ellie Mae FICO HOUSING loans market mortgage Origination Refinance 2017-12-20 Staff Writercenter_img December 20, 2017 823 Views FICO scores dipped across most loan types in November according to the Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for mortgage providers, on Wednesday. The report focuses on loans that closed in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans that closed three and six months earlier.The report noted that the percentage of refinances held steady at 39 percent of total loans. Average FICO scores on all loans dropped to 722 in November from 724 in October. According to the report, refinances saw FICO scores dip across loan products with the FHA refinance scores dropping from 650 in October to 645 in November. Conventional refinance FICO scores dropped to 730 in November from 732 in the month prior and VA refinance scores also dropped to 700 from 702 in October.“We saw FICO scores drop modestly, especially across refinances, indicating that lenders may be loosening credit standards to attract the dwindling refinance market. This is certainly a trend we will continue to watch into the winter months,” Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae said.The report also noted that in November the percentage breakdown of all closed loans remained steady with conventional loans at 66 percent, FHA loans at 20 percent and VA loans at 10 percent. The closing time for all loans held at 43 days for the third straight month according to the report which is published monthly. Thirty-year interest rates increased marginally from 4.20 percent to 4.24 percent in November and the percentage of ARMs increased to 5.6 percent, the report said.“Interest rates rose slightly in November while we saw the refinance share hold at 39 percent of all closed loans,” Corr said. To read the entire origination report click here.last_img read more

Eye on the Industry Updates on Ellie Mae HomePoint Mortgage and More

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Media, News, Technology Ellie Mae Encompass home point financial HOUSING mortgage Mortgage Capital Trading SimpleNexus Tim Fitzgerald 2018-11-22 Rachel Williams From new appointments and partnerships to new campaigns and technology, get the latest news from the mortgage industry in this weekly update.Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry and SimpleNexus a digital mortgage platform that brings the home mortgage process to mobile devices have announced an official integration partnership. The companies announced that the partnership would provide SimpleNexus’ 180 clients and 18,000 loan officers with a fast and secure data transfer between Ellie Mae’s Encompass Lending Platform and SimpleNexus’ Mobile Originator tools.“We are excited to provide Encompass users with this secure and powerful integration enabling the originator to do their job on-the-go, helping lenders improve relationships with Realtors® while getting more loans in the door,” stated Matt Hansen, CEO of SimpleNexus._____________________________________________________________________Home Point Financial Corporation (Home Point), a national mortgage originator and servicer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that Tim Fitzgerald has joined the company as Managing Director–Regional Manager. He will direct Home Point’s Third Party Originations (TPO) regional sales team responsible for 14 states in New England, the Northeast, Midwest, and Washington, D.C. He will report directly to Paul Wyner, Senior Managing Director–TPO SalesFitzgerald has nearly 30 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Regional Account Executive for Cardinal Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previous experience includes positions with MB Financial Mortgage, Franklin American Mortgage, and ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, among others. Phil Shoemaker, Chief Business Officer for Home Point noted, “Tim’s experience positions him as a clear fit for the role of Managing Director–Regional Manager. We are happy to have him on our team and are confident that his innovative leadership style will contribute to Home Point Financial’s position as a leader in the TPO channel.”_____________________________________________________________________Mortgage Capital Trading, Inc. (MCT), a San Diego-based mortgage hedge advisory and secondary marketing software firm, announced that it is incorporating the company’s patent-pending geocoding technology into its Bid Auction Manager (BAM) whole loan trading platform in order to shield borrower addresses from being shared with non-buying entities throughout the whole loan bidding process. “Concealing borrower addresses for whole loan bids is the most recent step that MCT is taking to heighten data security while protecting borrowers and lenders,” said Phil Rasori, COO and Head Trader at MCT. “We estimate that upwards of 90 percent of all secondary marketing transactions expose borrower addresses to non-buying bidders. The only investor that should eventually see the property address is the one that wins the loan. MCT’s proprietary BAM Geocoder enables investors to price LMI-CRA incentives without the address.” November 22, 2018 1,538 Views Eye on the Industry: Updates on Ellie Mae, HomePoint Mortgage, and Morelast_img read more

Carnival AustraliaSture Myrmell

first_imgCarnival AustraliaSture Myrmell Carnival plc. has announced that Sture Myrmell, current President of P&O Cruises Australia, will expand his role to become the regional President of Carnival Australia, which is the umbrella entity that supports the company’s seven brands sailing in Australia and New Zealand.Mr Myrmell’s appointment is effective immediately. He will report to Jan Swartz, Group President Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. The role has been open after Ann Sherry, who celebrated 10 years at the helm of Carnival Australia earlier this year, decided to step back from day-to-day operations to take on the part-time Executive Chairman role. She will continue in this role advocating on major industry issues.Mr Myrmell has been in global cruising with Carnival Corporation and plc for nearly 25 years, including the past 10 years at P&O Cruises Australia where he has been key to the brand’s evolution to a contemporary product that reflects modern Australia.Prior to Carnival Australia, Mr Myrmell spent almost 15 years with Princess Cruises in California and Cunard Line and Seabourn in Florida, covering positions in Food & Beverage, Hotel Operations, New-build and Product Development. Sture first started his career at sea with Cunard.IMAGE: Sture Myrmell pictured with Ann Sherry December 2015 on his appointment as President of P&Olast_img read more

Nevada officials reach out to Dbacks on potential

first_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Gronkowski spoke to those of us in the local media on a conference call earlier:On Cardinals defenseThey are pretty solid. They have a lot of great players at a lot of positions so very good defense. Big, fast, aggressive and they are definitely very good.On similarities between Cardinals and Steelers defensesYes, definitely. They have a couple of coaches coming from the Steelers and everything and the head coach too came from the Steelers. They kind of have a defense a little bit like that and we have to be ready because they are both good defenses. It’s kind of the same: same front, same base, a couple of the same blitzes. You just have to prepare for anything and everything at all times.On the culture in New England that allows for continued successWe’re just taking one game at a time basically. One week at a time. Obviously, we have the Arizona Cardinals coming up this week and they are a very good team and we just have to put in one practice at a time starting today. We have to go out and have a good practice, worry about our jump, worry about what we have to do out on the field and just work together as a team.On UA beating Oklahoma State last weekend D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ It’s great seeing your alma mater put up a victory over a ranked team. I’m definitely supportive of Arizona and it’s good seeing that. September 12, 2012: Behind Enemy LinesRob Gronkowski set school records for receptions, receiving yards and TD catches by a tight end depite playing only two seasons at UA. Now, he needs one more touchdown (28) to break out of a tie with Russ Francis and move into sole possession of second place for most receiving touchdowns by a Patriots tight end.There’s no question he can play the game of football. And there’s no question he has adhered to the advice of his head coach when speaking to the media: say nothing. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more