World Travel and Tourism Council announces new appointments
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) has appointed Kapil Chopra, President of The Oberoi Group as the new Chairman. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India is the new Vice President.Commenting on the new appointment, Chopra said, “Maintaining the momentum of the WTTCII Report, Tourism Action Plan 2014, presented to the new Government, we have recently requested urgent interventions at the Prime Minister level. Tourism growth in India has been the slowest in three years and is only four percent over last year. One of the most important interventions needed at this moment is the revival, recasting and relaunching the Incredible India Campaign 2.0. The E-Tourist Visa on Arrival (ETVoA) scheme, currently extended to 113 countries, must be communicated effectively to consumers through the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ campaign as awareness continues to be low. Also this campaign should be on the same scale and magnitude as ‘Make in India’ across print, digital and social media platforms for India’s key source markets. Both campaigns need to complement each other.”
Vacation guide to the city of Houston in Texas
Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed the ‘Space City,’ Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, and research.Source: Expedia
Clarks Inn Belgaum slated to launch by the end of 2017
Clarks Inn Group of Hotels has announced the signing of a distinct hotel property at the historic city of Belgaum in Karnataka on the state’s north-western border. The new property, a 60-key strategically located business hotel is currently in its last phase of development and is slated to start operation by the year end.Speaking on the latest addition, Rahul Banerjee, Associate Vice President-Operations, Clarks Inn Group of Hotels, said, “Clarks Inn witnessed one of its biggest growth year in 2016 opening and signing a total of 21 new properties, including 12 operational, with the total tally reaching 75 hotels last year spread across 17 states in India and one in Nepal. With a strong development pipeline, we are expecting another year of robust growth in 2017. And with the latest addition at Belgaum we are confident of reaching a 100 hotel portfolio milestone by the end of the year.”The 60-key Clarks Inn Belgaum will be a vibrant hotel property with strategic location that will cater to all the needs of the modern day discerning business and as well as leisure travellers. Other facilities in the hotel will be ‘Delhi Diner’, an authentic North Indian restaurant, Terrace Grill, Bar, Swimming Pool and Spa and conference and banquet facility that can accommodate up to 800 pax.With the latest addition Clarks Inn now boasts of a portfolio of 76 hotel properties, including 42 in operation, spread across 17 states in India and one in Kathmandu, Nepal.
FHFA Reports Modest Price Growth in September
Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) reported home prices continued to climb higher in September, with prices gaining by 0.2 percent from August. [IMAGE]On the same day Tuesday, the Case-Shiller Indices “”posted””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/case-shiller-indices-up-in-sept-momentum-slows-2012-11-27 a similar monthly increase of 0.3 percent. FHFA’s house price index (HPI) also revealed a quarterly price gain of 1.1 percent from the second to the third quarter. Compared to the third quarter last year, prices rose 4 percent. [COLUMN_BREAK]The agency stated the monthly index has increased for eight straight months now. “”With significant growth in home prices during the quarter and a modest inventory of homes available for sale, house price movements in the third quarter were similar to what we observed in the spring,”” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis.Yet, even with the consistent price gains, Leventis added, “”a number of factors continue to affect the recovery in home prices such as stagnant income growth, high unemployment levels, lingering uncertainty about the macroeconomy, and the large number of homes in the foreclosure pipeline.””On a quarterly basis, the index also found price increases for 39 states. States that saw significant quarterly increases included Delaware (+5.8 percent), Arizona (5.4 percent), and Nevada (+4.2 percent). Of the nine census divisions observed, the Mountain led with a 3 percent quarterly gain. The Pacific region saw a 2 percent quarterly increase, while the East South Central and Middle Atlantic both struggled with quarterly losses of 0.15 percent. FHFA’s report is based on data for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages originated over the past 37 years. November 28, 2012 434 Views FHFA Reports Modest Price Growth in September Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Home Prices Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-28 Esther Cho
Mortgage Fraud Up 11 from Q2 to Q3 2012
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investors Kroll Factual Data Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Processing Regulation Service Providers 2013-01-24 Tory Barringer A recent report from verification services provider “”Kroll Factual Data, Inc.””:http://www.krollfactualdata.com/, shows the risk of mortgage fraud rose 1.1 percent throughout the country between the second and third quarters of 2012.[IMAGE]To assemble the report, Kroll Factual Data examined metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with at least 1,000 applications per quarter and isolated certain files that may contain indicators of potential mortgage origination fraud.In some MSAs, the company found the risk of fraud rose from Q2 to Q3 by more than 50 percent.””While fraud alerts declined in some MSAs, these declines were offset by significant increases in others. This spike in potential fraud is troubling, coming at the same time the mortgage industry is beginning to turn the corner,”” said Rod Bazzani, president of Kroll Factual Data. “”More importantly, the fact that red flags are rising in every area of the country highlights the continued need for lenders to remain vigilant against fraud.””Bazzani added that recently issued regulations from the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/–many of which are designed to ensure verification of a borrower’s “”ability to repay””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-releases-qualified-mortgage-criteria-establishes-legal-protections-2013-01-10 a loan–“”raise the stakes for lenders to catch fraud or inadvertent errors that might compromise lending decisions or risk buy-back requests.””According to Kroll Factual Data, Flint, Michigan, saw the largest quarterly increase in potential application fraud, posting a 50.32 percent rise over Q2. It’s followed by: Columbia, Missouri (29.77 percent); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (28.83 percent); Tacoma, Washington (25.68 percent); and Santa Fe, New Mexico (24.24 percent).At the other end, the MSAs with the largest decreases in potential fraud were: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois (-19.55 percent); Bridgeport-Milford, Connecticut (-18.59 percent); San Francisco-Oakland, California (-18.37 percent); Birmingham, Alabama (-17.95 percent); and Cleveland, Ohio (-17.32 percent). January 24, 2013 403 Views Share in Data, Origination Fraud,Mortgage Fraud Up 1.1% from Q2 to Q3 2012
US Home Prices Stall in July
Home Prices S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices 2014-09-30 Tory Barringer U.S. Home Prices Stall in July September 30, 2014 632 Views Leading measures released Tuesday show home price growth suffered a setback in July, falling month to month on a seasonally adjusted basis and slowing significantly on an annual scale.Including seasonal factors, the S&P/Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city indices both posted a 0.5 percent decline from June to July, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported. Those losses compare to declines of 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, from May to June.The National Index, recently added as a monthly (rather than quarterly) measure, inched up a meager 0.2 percent, a step up from its 0.1 percent drop in June.Removing seasonal adjustments, each index increased over the month, though growth was nearly halved compared to June. According to S&P Dow Jones, the 10- and 20-city composites each increased 0.6 percent (following an even 1.0 percent in June), while the National Index was up 0.5 percent (compared to 0.9 percent).”The broad-based deceleration in home prices continued in the most recent data,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, adding that prices are still rising at double or triple the rate of inflation. “The slower pace of home price appreciation is consistent with most of the other housing data on housing starts and home sales. The rise in August new home sales … is a welcome exception to recent trends.”Out of all the markets included in the 20-city index, 19 posted month-to-month appreciation, though 17 of those saw smaller increases than in June. Only San Francisco reported a decline, with prices dropping 0.4 percent—its largest decrease since February 2012.On an annual basis, the 10- and 20-market composites each experienced 6.7 percent price appreciation, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, stepping back from June’s 8.1 percent increase. The National Index was up 5.6 percent, also slower than June.Though all of the 20 cities tracked posted positive movement on an annual basis, 19 saw lower annual returns than in June. Cleveland was the one market where growth remained steady at 0.9 percent, putting it behind all of the other metros. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News
Citigroup to Sell OneMain to Springleaf for 425 Billion
March 4, 2015 493 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Uncategorized Share Citigroup will sell OneMain Financial Holdings Inc. to Springleaf Holdings Inc for $42.5 billion in cash, according to Reuters. The deal would make Springleaf the largest subprime lender in the U.S, with $15 billion in assets and nearly 2,000 branches.Citigroup has been trying to sell OneMain since 2011 as a plan the bank has implemented to sell unwanted assets and focus on wealthier clients. OneMain is a part of Citi Holdings, which was created during the financial crisis to place assets that Citigroup wanted to divest or wind down. It provides loans to buy small-ticket items and meet unexpected expenses. The company posted a loss of $2 billion in 2010, but has since been profitable, with profits rising 7 percent to $415 million in nine months. OneMain has 1,140 branches in the U.S.According to the article, OneMain had filed to go public in October, but Citigroup had always preferred an outright sale. However, potential buyers had trouble raising funds and Citi was unwilling to sell at prices being offered. Industry experts thought OneMain would sell for more money. Jefferies & Co said it expected OneMain to sell for $5 million.Citigroup said it will use a part of the sale proceeds to retire certain funding that supports Citi Holdings. The combination of the debt retirement and the remaining proceeds is expected to add about $1 billion to Citi’s earnings before income taxes. Citi Holdings’ assets had been reduced to 5 percent of total assets in 2014 from a peak of more than 30 percent, by Citi.Springfield shares rose 38 percent to a record $52.44 on Tuesday, while Citigroup’s shares were slightly higher at $53.73. Springleaf CEO Jay Levine said the combined company is expected to earn $800 to $900 million in 2017, according to Reuters. Citigroup to Sell OneMain to Springleaf for $42.5 Billion Citigroup One Main Springleaf. Citi Holdings 2015-03-04 Samantha Guzman
Flagstar Reports Jump in Profits for Q1
April 28, 2015 505 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Bank Profits Earnings Statements Flagstar Bancorp Michigan 2015-04-28 Seth Welborn Flagstar Bancorp Inc.’s profits have jumped significantly since 2014, according to a first quarter earnings report released this morning.The report revealed that Flagstar pulled in a first quarter net income of $31.5 million, or 43 cents per share–nearly triple the amount it reported in Q4 of 2014. In the fourth quarter of last year, the company reported a net income of just $11.1 million, or 7 cents per share. Early in the year, Flagstar recorded a net loss of $78.9 million for Q1 2014.The first quarter of 2015 also brought in a 15 percent increase in revenue and a 2 percent decline in operating expenses when compared to 2014, and interest-earning assets rose 8 percent over the last quarter. Warehouse lending also saw an increase of 15 percent since 2014.These new numbers reveal an upward trend for Troy, Michigan-based Flagstar, one that the company’s executives attribute to improved sales margins, lowered risk, higher-quality loans and internal changes within the originations process.”Our first quarter results reflect our significant efforts to strengthen our core business and improve financial performance,” said Alessandro P. DiNello, president and chief executive officer of Flagstar Bancorp. “Mortgage volumes increased during the first quarter, providing a favorable tailwind, but most of our revenue growth was due to improved gain on sale margins in part from fundamental changes to optimize our mortgage originations business. In addition to improving our top- and bottom-line results, we also grew our balance sheet and executed on our strategic priority to reduce risk by continuing to sell lower quality loans. Nonperforming loans are now well below $100 million, a level Flagstar has not seen since 2006.But despite the forward movement, the work is not done, according to DiNello. The company will continue to strengthen its franchises and warehouse lending branches.”We are encouraged by our progress, especially in controlling expenses given this quarter’s higher business levels,” DiNello said. “We remain focused on continuing our strong results by growing our community banking franchise in Michigan and expanding our national warehouse lending business, which led our loan growth this quarter. Last quarter, we pointed to the work done the previous two years to position the Company for going-forward success. We believe this quarter delivers on our promise to continue to build on this foundation.”See the full earnings report at Flagstar.com. Flagstar Reports Jump in Profits for Q1 Share
GDP Growth Expands to 37 Percent for Second Q2 Estimate
Gross Domestic Product Home Sales HOUSING U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 2015-08-27 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Market GDP Growth Expands to 3.7 Percent for Second Q2 Estimate Share The nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded expectations in the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ second estimate for Q2 released Thursday, expanding at an annual rate of 3.7 percent—an increase from 2.3 percent growth reported in the BEA’s advance estimate for Q2 last month.Real GDP growth in Q2 is way up from a paltry 0.6 percent annual growth rate in Q1 and at 3.7 percent is now way ahead of forecasts for the remainder of 2015. But when all economic factors are considered, is the news all good?According to the BEA, the increase in real GDP estimate for Q2 reflects positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCEs), exports, state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, and private inventory investment. Imports, which are subtracted in the calculation of GDP, increased in Q2, according to the BEA.Q2’s real GDP growth is consistent with the positive news for most housing metrics as of late. Existing home sales are at pre-recession levels, and in the July 2015 pending home sales report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales were up by 7.4 percent year-over-year. Affordability and tight inventory remain obstacles to home sales, however.”The GDP release today is very positive but most importantly because all components of the GDP showed strong improvement,” Trulia Chief Economist Selma Hepp said. “Also, the growth in all components suggest that we may be looking at a strong third quarter as well. In terms of housing, the economic improvement may actually put more pressure on affordability because we are still not seeing improvements in inventories. While job growth is generally strong, the wage growth is still lagging. We will see more wage pressures going forward which will help potential buyers’ purchasing power, but that process will be slow.””The GDP release today is very positive but most importantly because all components of the GDP showed strong improvement.”Measuring the housing market can be tricky this time of year because of the seasonality of the market, which can vary in different parts of the country, according to Realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke. But housing has benefited from since the stock market recently entering correction mode on August 21 for the first time in four years, Smoke said.”While momentum remains strong, we are entering a slower time of year for demand,” Smoke said. “However, the recent stock market correction has produced a gift to the housing market in the form of lower mortgage rates and a window of time before rates move up again.”Amid the positive news for both GDP growth and housing, the question still looms large as to whether the Fed will raise interest rates at the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which will be September 16 and 17. Many are speculating that the turbulent stock market activity in the last week will cause the Fed to postpone raising rates. Earlier in the week, New York Fed president Bill Dudley said a September rate hike seemed “less compelling” now.”In lieu of good economic data, the looking question is what is going to happen to interest rates,” Hepp said. “I think the financial turmoil we saw over the last week is going to postpone Fed’s decision to do anything. This is good for consumers since their confidence was just shaken by the turmoil and increase in rates may further derail their decisions to enter the housing market.” August 27, 2015 401 Views
The Housing Low Down on the Oil Crisis
The Housing Low Down on the Oil Crisis January 26, 2016 573 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News As oil prices continue to decline in the U.S., many in the mortgage industry are expressing concern about how America’s new crisis will affect the housing sector.ProTeck Valuation Services released its Home Value Forecast Tuesday, which explains how U.S. oil prices will affect the housing market, particularly home values.“Many of us are enjoying the benefits of oil at its lowest price in over 12 years, in the $30 a barrel range as of this release,” said Tom O’Grady, CEO of Pro Teck Valuation Services. “The impact on the U.S. oil industry, however, has been alarming.”To provide a clearer picture of the oil crisis, ProTeck explained that at the end of December 2014, there were 1,882 active oil rigs in the U.S. Just a year later, that number has fallen to 714. In the state of Texas alone, the rig count dropped by more than 62 percent in 2015.A report from Capital Economics found that there are two ways that lower oil prices can affect the economy, but ultimately feels that the decline in oil prices will boost economic growth.“In principle, a lower oil price should be positive for the world economy. The transfer of income from producers to consumers, who are more likely to spend on other goods and services, should boost global demand,” Capital Economics stated. “At worst, the impact might be expected to be neutral, with the winners offsetting the losers. In practice, though, the net impact of the recent slump in oil prices appears to have been negative or at least perceived as such in financial markets.”The report continued, “On balance, then we continue to expect an extended period of lower oil prices to boost global growth over the next few years, even if this process may take longer than we had anticipated.”Perhaps the most interesting connection between oil prices and housing was recently made by Bloomberg Business writer Tracy Alloway and Bank of America analysts.Alloway reports that one year ago, Bank of America connected the subprime mortgage crash with low oil prices. So could this oil crisis be the first sign of a subprime mortgage crash?Bloomberg reports that Bank of America analysts recently said this about the oil prices and subprime crisis relationship:The pattern of the decline in the price of oil that began in mid-2014 is remarkably similar to the 2007-2009 pattern of the price decline of ABX, the credit derivative index that referenced subprime mortgages and, ultimately, the U.S. housing market. Given that both housing and oil prices were fueled to spectacular heights in the two periods by massive credit expansion, it’s probably more than just coincidence that the respective “bubble” bursting patterns are so similar.Consider how things tend to work. Denial on what constitutes fair value is a big component of bubbles, on the part of both market participants and policymakers. When perceived “bubbles” burst, markets take their time in steadily shredding views of the perception of fundamental value, as prices move lower and lower. Along the way, many will cite “technical factors” as the cause of the decline, which in some way suggests the price decline may not be real when in fact it is all too real. In the end, the technicals drive the fundamentals, as credit flees and borrowers go bust, and a feedback loop lower kicks in. Lower prices beget accelerated selling, as asset owners need to raise cash. It could be margin calls or it could be producer selling needs, it doesn’t really matter: the selling becomes inevitable and turns into forced selling. Share HOUSING Mortgage Industry Oil Prices 2016-01-26 Staff Writer
The Byproduct of Improved Loan Performance
The Byproduct of Improved Loan Performance in Daily Dose, Data, News Banks Mortgage Servicers Nonbanks 2016-10-10 Seth Welborn Share October 10, 2016 511 Views By Kendall BaerDepository institutions appear to be reducing mortgage servicing staff at a faster rate than non-bank servicers as portfolio sizes decline and loan performance improves, according to Fitch Ratings’ latest quarterly U.S. RMBS Servicer Handbook.This installment of the Servicer Handbook (the sixth that Fitch has published) contains data on key indicators through Q2 of 2016 that, when taken together, can give insight into the overall health of the mortgage market.The glaring statistic associated with the report is that banks have reduced their mortgage servicing staff by nearly half on average in the past two years. Two years ago, the average depository institution employed approximately 8,000 employees devoted to mortgage servicing. That number has dipped down to just north of 4,000. In contrast, the report says that non-bank servicers do not appear to be in any hurry to reduce staffing levels, the number of servicing employees at these institutions has remained fairly constant on average at approximately 2,000 employees.Fitch attributes the steadiness in staffing levels to the focus these non-bank institutions are putting on growing their servicing portfolios. Further, historically speaking, the company argues that the need for more robust staffing levels is also buoyed by the requirement that non-bank customers have for more frequent interaction.“In addition to lower mortgage delinquencies, high credit quality portfolio additions mostly brought on by origination activity are also contributing to reduced staff among bank servicers,” the ratings agency said while previewing the release. “In fact, bank servicers now manage more than twice as many mortgage loans per employee compared to nonbank servicers, a comparison not likely to change to any great degree anytime soon.” The handbook also dives into the difference in loss mitigation strategies between the two types of servicing institutionsClick HERE to view the Report
Banks Profits Fly South for the Winter
Share October 14, 2016 695 Views Banks’ Profits Fly South for the Winter JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and PNC Financial Group all experienced year-over-year declines in net income in their Q3 2016 earnings reports released Friday.Chase saw its net income drop by 8 percent in Q3, from $6.8 billion last year to $6.3 billion this year. For Citi, the third quarter decline was half a billion, down to $3.8 billion. PNC saw its net income fall from $1.1 billion in Q3 2015 down to $1 billion in Q3 2016.ChaseAccording to Chase, Q3’s net income of $6.3 billion “reflects higher income tax expense in the current quarter. The prior-year quarter included tax benefits of $2.2 billion due to the resolution of tax audits and the release of deferred taxes.”For Chase, despite the 8 percent drop in net income from the previous year, mortgage banking fared well. Mortgage banking income spiked by 21 percent over-the-year in Q3 at Chase, from $1.55 billion up to $1.87 billion. According to the report, the increase was “driven by higher MSR risk management results, higher production margins, and portfolio growth.”CitigroupCitigroup reported a net income of $3.8 billion for the third quarter, a half billion lower than the net income reported in Q3 for the year prior. This was also a decrease from the last quarter of $200 million, or 8 percent. Citi reports that the drop is due to the lower revenues, particularly offset by lower cost of credit and lower operating expenses.Despite this, Citi CEO Michael Corbat said, “I am very encouraged by the underlying momentum across our franchise, notably in several areas where we have been investing. In the quarter, both our Global Consumer Bank and Institutional Clients Group had solid year-over-year revenue increases in nearly every business line and geography. We also continued to grow core loans and deposits while reducing non-core assets to just 3 percent of our balance sheet.”Citi’s loans consisted of $638 billion as of the end of Q3, up 2 percent from the prior year period, and up 3 percent in constant dollars. In constant dollars, 7 percent growth in Citicorp loans was somewhat offset by continued declines in Citi Holdings, driven primarily by continued reductions in the North America mortgage portfolio.PNC Financial ServicesPNC Financial Services Group’s net income for Q3 was $1.0 billion, up from $989 million in the second quarter but down from $1.1 billion from Q3 of 2015. Residential mortgage banking net income accounted for about $13 million of Q3’s net income, compared to the total from Q3 2015 (a loss of $4 million). Residential mortgage banking noninterest income decreased by $5 million over-the-quarter but was up $35 million over-the-year in Q3 up to $160 million, driven by lower net hedging gains on mortgage servicing rights and lower servicing fees offset by higher loan sales revenue from higher origination volumes.“PNC delivered another good quarter,” said William S. Demchak, Chairman, President and CEO. “We grew revenue and managed expenses, loans and deposits increased, and capital levels were strong. Looking ahead, we continue to lay the groundwork for greater efficiencies and revenue growth to deliver positive operating leverage and create long-term shareholder value.”Click here to view JPMorgan Chase’s Q3 earnings report.Click here to view Citi’s Q3 earnings report.Click here to view PNC’s Q3 earnings report. in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Citigroup Earnings JPMorgan Chase PNC Financial Group Profits 2016-10-14 Seth Welborn
Last year China increased tariffs on a large range
Last year China increased tariffs on a large range of important U.S. fresh fruit imports, including table grapes, cherries, citrus and apples from 10% to 50%, effectively pricing many companies out of what had been a strong growth market.”We don’t know what the next round of retaliation could look like. It’s possible that China would increase tariffs in retaliation even more,” said Owen.”For the products that have already been targeted, I don’t know that it would do a lot more damage, but if they put it on additional products, there could be more impact,” he said, explaining that there were still some U.S. fruit and vegetable products going into China that had not been affected by last year’s tariff increase, mainly processed products.Loss of market opportunityHowever, he said that the longer-term issue for the U.S. produce industry is the ongoing loss of market opportunity, with many farmers having hoped that the trade war would be over by now.”Every time you substitute products from one market to another market, you’ve got to fight to get those markets back. So the longer you’re out of a market then the more you have to fight to come back in,” he said.”So the Chinese buyers are looking for products from other countries to fill that void, and the longer that happens or the longer the trade war continues then the market kind of shifts and readjusts with the reality.”Owen said that the overall mood in the U.S. produce industry was “frustration” of not knowing what the end goal is with this escalating trade war. There is also the sense that fruit and vegetable growers are getting “caught in the crossfire”, he said.But he was hopeful that both sides would reach a deal that could end the trade war and allow the countries to move forward. May 10 , 2019 Chinese cherry production, imports to rise in 2019 … Chinese market apple shortage leads to highest pri … Japanese apple saplings reportedly sold illegally … U.S., China revive trade talks ahead of Trump-Xi G … You might also be interested in The recent tariff increase on Chinese imports will lead to higher input costs for U.S. farmers, according to the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).At 12.01 a.m. on Friday the U.S. Administration raised tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%, in what analysts say is a major escalation of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.The value of Chinese goods imported into the U.S. in 2018 was US$539 billion, according to the US Census Bureau, and so the tariff rise affects almost half of total imports.Speaking to FreshFruitPortal.com, Richard Owen, vice president of global membership & engagement at the PMA, said there could be several implications to the U.S. produce industry.”For this round of tariff increases – which are really across the board on a number of Chinese imports – they’re really going to affect farmers’ input costs on a number of things, such as fertilizers and equipment,” he said.”Input products are sometimes mixed in with other things, but there are a lot of items that are included. If you think of the electronics that go into a lot of the farm equipment – technical equipment in particular -, if you think of inputs greenhouses if you’re a vegetable producer … that’s an increase for farmers as well so it narrows the margins even further.”Potential retaliationThe effect of China’s threatened retaliation on U.S. farmers is another important factor. The Chinese Government has not yet said what form this would take but has vowed to implement the “necessary countermeasures”.
14 Chicago Bears – Ha Ha ClintonDix S Alabama
14. Chicago Bears – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, AlabamaMeet another member of the Aaron Donald fan club, but if the Pitt defensive tackle is off the board, the Bears could look at the best safety prospect in the class, and they may believe it is Clinton-Dix.15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan StateThe Steelers have not drafted a corner in the first round in ages, but Dennard fits perfectly into the Steelers “tough as hell” mantra.16. Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Pryor, S, LouisvillePryor gives the Cowboys a physical presence in the back end of their defense.17. Baltimore Ravens – Zack Martin, OT, Notre DameThe Ravens need help along the offensive line and Martin offers starting right tackle upside.18. New York Jets – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon StateLast season the Jets were waiting for Tavon Austin with the ninth pick, but the Rams traded up to make sure they secured the speedy receiver. This year, they don’t miss out on Cooks, as they get more weapons for Geno Smith or Mike Vick.19. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio StateThe rumor is that Shazier will not get past the Dolphins, who need help and youth at the linebacker position. 3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack, Edge Rusher, BuffaloI want to mock Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel here, but just can’t do it. Jaguars grab their fit in the Bradley defense.4. Cleveland Browns – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&MThe Browns get a weapon for Brian Hoyer. Evans gives the Browns a dynamic weapon to pair along with Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Ben Tate.5. Oakland Raiders- Sammy Watkins, WR, ClemsonAl Davis may be gone, but his spirit lives on and the Raiders take the best wide receiver in the draft. 6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (Possible Trade Spot)The Falcons need to find a way to protect Matt Ryan or rush the opposing quarterback (up to two for Mack), so it comes down to the “sure thing” in Matthews or the superior specimen in Anthony Barr.7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh(Possible Trade Spot) This spot will coveted, as teams try to secure the services of Donald, but the Bucs and Lovie Smith get their “Warren Sapp”.8. Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia TechMike Zimmer wanted a shot at Donald and offensive coordinator Norv Turner wouldn’t mind Bortles or Carr, but getting secondary help is a must, and Fuller has been the hot name being bandied about. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The dynamic Ward goes to a very talented team, who may be just missing that one player to get them over the hump.25. San Diego Chargers – Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLAThe Chargers need help along the line to keep the offense afloat and Philip Rivers upright. Su’a-Filo is the best guard prospect in the draft and he’ll be an ideal fit in San Diego.26. Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, LouisvilleThe Browns take a similar chance in 2014 that they took in 2012, this time going wide receiver early and quarterback late in round one.27. New Orleans Saints – Marcus Martin, C, USCThe Saints lost their starting center, the linchpin to their offensive line and a very important battery mate to Drew Brees, and somehow they upgrade with Martin.28. Carolina Panthers – Morgan Moses, OT, VirginiaThe Panthers need a left tackle badly, so they take the top player left on the board in Moses.29. New England Patriots – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, MinnesotaThe Patriots get maybe a top-five athlete in the draft, but off-the-field concerns may cause Hageman to drop. The Patriots gladly accept the gift.30. San Francisco 49ers – Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 20. Arizona Cardinals – Blake Bortles, QB, Central FloridaLet the fan base be divided. The Cardinals sit at 20 with the intention of picking up the best defensive player on the board, but have fate them with the ultimate dilemma.With Bortles available at 20, Steve Keim and Bruce Arians will have to decide if the answer is “YES” to the future or “YES” to the here and now. 21. Green Bay Packers – C.J. Mosley, LB, AlabamaMaybe it is unlikely that the Alabama product falls all the way to 21, but the Packers take advantage and pull the trigger on a key part to what they hope is an improved defense.22. Philadelphia Eagles – Marqise Lee, WR, USCChip Kelly has a familiarity with the Pac-12 product and the Eagles need to find a way to get DeSean Jackson’s production back. Lee has the ability after the catch and can play all of the positions in the Eagles attack.23. Kansas City Chiefs – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&MThe Chiefs having the ability to either sign Alex Smith long-term, or draft maybe the perfect Andy Reid quarterback. They’ll do the latter and take the polarizing Manziel.24. Cincinnati Bengals – Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois 9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron, TE, North CarolinaWhile Taylor Lewan should be in play here, the idea the Bills need more help for E.J. Manuel is real. Ebron is similar to Mike Evans, whom the Bills supposedly covet, and can be used as the big-bodied wide receiver they need.10. Detroit Lions – Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSUBeckham is a hot name right now, with rumors the San Francisco 49ers would like to come up and get the talented wideout. But he goes here to the Lions and will give them an option next to Calvin Johnson.11. Tennessee Titans – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLAThe Titans moving to a 3-4 defense need either a pass rusher or a corner for the defense, and they take the highly talented Barr and let DC Ray Horton groom him.12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan, OT, MichiganThe Giants score a huge victory. Getting Lewan at #12 will help protect Eli Manning, or whoever is the Giants quarterback going forward.13. St. Louis Rams – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma StateThe Rams are one of the teams that could move up to get Aaron Donald. If that doesn’t work out they’ll take the player highest on their board between Gilbert and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. 0 Comments Share Here’s a look at Seth Cox’s final mock draft.1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, Edge Rusher, South CarolinaThe rumor has it the owner wants Johnny Manziel, but everyone else likes Clowney. That’s the right pick, unless you draft Khalil Mack.2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn (Possible Trade Spot) No mocking of trades, but it seems as though it is a foregone conclusion the Rams will move from here. Without a move they take the best run blocker in the draft, and let Jeff Fisher continue to build his offense. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Latimer could be the answer the 49ers have been looking for at wide receiver. The long, lean and athletic Latimer didn’t get much of a chance to show what he could do at Indiana, but that will change by the bay.31. Denver Broncos – Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYUIf the Broncos have shown us anything, it is that they are going all in this year, and they won’t let their defense be what keeps them from winning a Super Bowl.32. Seattle Seahawks – Joel Bitonio, OT, NevadaSeattle needs help along the offensive line and take one of the top offensive line prospects in the draft this year in Bitonio.
Starwood has now finalised its sale of The Gritti
Starwood has now finalised its sale of The Gritti Palace in Venice to Nozul Hotels & Resorts, the owner of W Doha Hotel, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Jaidah Holdings for €105 million (approximately US$117 million).Starwood will continue to operate the hotel under The Luxury Collection brand flag under a new long-term management agreement.Adam Aron, CEO of Starwood on an interim basis, said, “As we said on our quarterly earning’s conference call on April 29th, Starwood reaffirmed our confidence that, as part of our asset light strategy, we would complete $800 million in hotel dispositions in the balance of 2015, while maintaining these hotels’ continued participation in the Starwood system. The sale of The Gritti Palace is an important and positive step toward achieving our 2015 target.”Built in 1525 as the private residence of Doge Andrea Gritti, The Gritti Palace has built a reputation as one of the world’s most iconic and luxurious hotels.Many of the property’s 82 rooms (including 21 suites) offer views of the Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Salute.The hotel, which joined The Luxury Collection brand in 1992, completed a significant restoration last May and features the world-renowned Club del Doge restaurant, Bar Longhi, and the Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Spa.13 May 2015
Luxperience yesterday issued the following stateme
Luxperience yesterday issued the following statement:“Today we have been made aware that Ms Lindy Andrews has submitted a Statement of Claim to the NSW District Court.The notification being distributed to media has several claims. Unfortunately as this is now a legal matter Luxperience is unable to discuss the situation to ensure we do not prejudice any outcomes.All statements of claim by Ms Andrews will be addressed fully and vigorously through the legal process.” It is claimed that Logas said Luxperience was likely to be sold by the end of 2015 but the employment contract of Ms. Andrews, signed in September 2013, was terminated 12 months later following the 2014 show. Lindy Andrews, the former CEO of Luxperience, a luxury travel trade show, is suing the company and its owner Helen Logas for an alleged breach of contact.Andrews claims her role was to get the business ready for sale within 12 to 18 months upon which she would become a 10 per cent shareholder and receive an additional 10 per cent share in the proceeds of the sale.
Go back to the enewsletter The first Trump Hote
Go back to the e-newsletter >The first Trump Hotel Collection property in downtown Manhattan, Trump SoHo New York, is welcoming its guests to a winter wonderland of seasonal surprises. Surrounded by New York City’s iconic holiday traditions and festive spirit, Trump SoHo is the ultimate home for the holidays with luxurious accommodations and exclusive offerings, including unexpected gifts for guests with a 12 Days of Holiday Cheer programme and Holiday Gift Guides featuring local SoHo retailers curated by renowned fashion bloggers Tommy Lei and Haley Shepherd.Trump SoHo holiday gift guideFor those making lists and checking them twice, Trump SoHo has collaborated with style bloggers and fashion illustrators Tommy Lei (@mybelonging) and Haley Shepherd (@alyson_haley) to develop curated “his” and “her” Trump SoHo Holiday Gift Guides. Taking advantage of Trump SoHo’s ideal location amid world-class shopping in SoHo and the West Village, the Trump SoHo Holiday Gift Guides cater for fashion-minded guests with exclusive picks for the season’s best gifts, ranging from warm overcoats and tuxedo blazers to cosy pajamas and knee-high leather boots. Featured retailers include neighborhood boutiques and specialty stores – such as Kate Spade New York, Equipment, Theory and Helmut Lang – many of which participate in Trump SoHo’s Shopping Card programme, which provides insider access and exclusive discounts to guests. As an added perk, guests who prefer to avoid the crowds can order Holiday Gift Guide items from the comfort of their well-appointed accommodations, with items couriered to their rooms. Trump SoHo Holiday Gift Guides by Tommy Lei and Haley Shepherd are available just in time for holiday shopping.The 12 days of holiday cheerEvery guest who arrives at Trump SoHo from 14-25 December will be surprised with a special holiday gift upon check-in, ranging from complimentary Wi-Fi to festive drinks at Mr. Jones, the hotel’s new cocktail lounge. In addition, guests could even receive a complimentary weekend stay in a Trump Executive Suite or an exclusive opportunity to experience The Spa at Trump SoHo’s newest treatment, The Moroccan Ritual.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Azamara Club Cruises has added four additional sai
Azamara Club Cruises has added four additional sailings to its line-up of Cuba voyages. Departing from Miami, the sailings on board the recently revitalised Azamara Quest feature overnights in Havana, as well as visits to two maiden ports of call: Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. As the cruise brand that pioneered immersive destination experiences, Azamara is offering more opportunities for guests to travel deeper into Cuba.“Interest in travelling to Cuba from both new and loyal guests is undeniable,” said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Destination Immersion is the heartbeat of our brand, so naturally we wanted to deliver authentic experiences in Cuba – from new ports to unique land discovery offerings – that truly bring the country’s rich history, culture and people to life.”Azamara has created a variety of unique people-to-people shore excursions in Cuba. Travellers can enjoy the destination from sunup to sundown – exploring historic sites by day, followed by mojitos and sultry Cuban music in the evening. Multiple overnight stays also allow guests the opportunity to experience the destination at night when the cobblestone streets are filled with music from salsa clubs, the scent of hand rolled Cuban cigars, and delicious local cuisine.Shore Excursion offerings feature a variety of experiences including a visit to the open-air cabaret, Tropicana, a Nelson Dominguez art gallery tour, Havana by classic car along the Malecón waterfront and Hemingway’s Havana, with more experiences coming soon. All tour programmes offered by Azamara are designed to meet US requirements for travel to Cuba.Two new Cuban ports of callCienfuegos: Known as La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South), Cienfuegos sits on the south-central coast of Cuba. Cienfuegos translates to “100 fires” and the town adds a bright light to this fascinating country.Santiago de Cuba: Perched on the Caribbean Sea southeast of the capital of Havana is Santiago de Cuba. The soul of Cuba’s second largest city is bustling, diverse and bursting at the seams with fascinating history and cultural life.Six opportunities to experience CubaAzamara’s full list of Cuba itineraries for 2017 and 2018 is below. Demand is high, so travellers are encouraged to book early.Havana Discovery Voyage: 10-night round trip sailing from Miami departing on 20 November 2017 with a call to Florida, and overnights in Havana, Cuba and Cozumel, Mexico.Havana Getaway Voyage: Four-night round trip sailing from Miami departing 27 November 2017. The voyage includes an overnight stay in Havana, Cuba.Panama Canal & Costa Rica Voyage: 11-night cruise from Miami to Costa Rica departing 4 January 2018. The sailings includes overnight stays in Havana, Cuba; Fuerte Amador (Panama City) in Panama and Caldera in Costa Rica, as well as calls to Golfito, Quepos and Puntarenas in Costa Rica, and cruising through the Panama Canal.Cuba Intensive Voyage: 10-night round trip from Miami cruise departing 9 March 2018, which includes a call to Royal Caribbean’s private island of Labadee in Haiti, two overnights in Havana and maiden calls to Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos in Cuba.Cuba & Grand Cayman Voyage: Seven-night sailing round trip from Miami and departing on 19 March 2018. The voyage includes an overnight docked in Havana, as well as calls to George Town in Grand Cayman, Santiago de Cuba in Cuba and Royal Caribbean’s private island of Labadee in Haiti.Cuba Intensive Voyage: 10-night round trip itinerary from Miami departing 28 March 2018, with two overnights in Havana as well as calls to Key West in Florida and Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba in Cuba.
In 2014 the annual Virtuoso Luxe Report proclaimed
In 2014 the annual Virtuoso Luxe Report proclaimed that the multi-generational trip was one of the hottest trends in travel. Three years on, the trend is showing no signs of abating – hardly any wonder as ever-increasing numbers of time-poor parents and grandparents eager to spend as much quality time with family as possible recognise that a holiday is the ideal vehicle to do this.There are so many benefits to holidaying with the whole tribe. A great opportunity to reconnect, families can mix it up helping with the kids, with grandparents babysitting to give the parents a night off, while single grandparents get to travel and enjoy the company of family.The secret to successful multi-generational holidays? Identifying the right destinations and creating unforgettable experiences that will appeal to grandparents, parents and children alike. Unsurprisingly, more and more travel operators are recognising this and are tailoring offerings to the needs of families travelling with younger and older relatives.One of the most popular family get-together options is an African safari. Safaris incorporate everything from wildlife viewing and walking safaris, to canoe trips and cultural experiences with the Maasai.To meet this growing demand, boutique luxury safari operator Sanctuary Retreats now caters specifically to multi-generational travellers at many of its 14 African lodges and camps, with plenty of experiences and activities family members can opt in or out of and bond over shared interests. Popular safari destinations, Kenya and Botswana, offer up two of the best options.Sanctuary Olonana, KenyaSituated on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Maasai Mara Sanctuary Olonana is the ideal choice for a multi-generational safari. This small and exclusive camp is only a short 45-minute flight from Nairobi and offers an array of activities including game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, balloon flights and scenic flights, making it a wonderful and unforgettable African safari for guests of every age.Special tented family rooms feature two double beds – great for those with young children. Plus there’s a broad range of family-friendly activities on offer including tailored game drives, an excursion to a nearby Maasai village to learn about how to make and shoot a traditional bow and arrow, mingle with locals and learn Maasai songs and traditional dances, nature walks, bush treasure hunts and tree-planting. And for parents and grandparents wanting a bit of ‘child-free time’, babysitting facilities are available and the camp offers a delicious range of children-friendly menus.Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, BotswanaFor the ultimate intergenerational family safari, it’s hard to go past Sanctuary Retreats’ flagship property, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp.Located on Chief’s Island in the Mombo Concession of the famous Moremi Game Reserve, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp lies in the heart of Africa’s predator capital, meaning you’re almost guaranteed to see the Big Five. Its 10 spacious bush pavilions are among the largest in the area, and each has incredible views over the surrounding Okavango Delta, which can be enjoyed from a private plunge pool or tranquil outdoor seating area. Bathrooms, which come complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and folding glass doors, also have a spacious outdoor shower and an indulgent bath tub – perfect for soaking in after a day’s game viewing.Best of all for families, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp has its own dedicated kids’ area, designed with children aged six and up in mind. The area includes a fancy dress corner and a nature table, where guides are on hand to help young guests identify wildlife by their droppings – cause for much interest and amusement! There’s even an entertainment zone for children aged 11-plus complete with a PlayStation and table football to keep them entertained well after the excitement of the morning’s predator safari game drive is over.Special offerNow is definitely the time to book a family safari holiday with Sanctuary Retreats’ extended stay offer at one or more of its luxury camps and lodges, including Sanctuary Chief’s Camp and Sanctuary Olonana.Stay three to four nights at any combination of Sanctuary Retreats African camps and lodges including Sanctuary Chief’s Camp and/or Sanctuary Olonana and save 30 per cent.Stay five to seven nights and save up to 35 per cent.Stay eight or more nights and save up to 40 per cent.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World is delighted to a
Small Luxury Hotels of the World is delighted to announce The LaLiT London as the latest addition to its collection of small, independently owned hotels in the UK capital. The hotel, which is available to book now, opened in February 2017 and is the first overseas venture for New Delhi-based hotel company The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group.The LaLiT London sees the transformation of a derelict Grade II-listed building into a 70-room luxury boutique hotel following a 5-year restoration, and combines original Victorian features with custom-made Indian interiors and modern technology. Once home to St Olave’s Grammar School, there are nods to the building’s history throughout, most notably in the striking panelled Great Hall, two bars located in the former Teachers’ Room and the Headmaster’s Room and some guestrooms which boast 9-metre ceilings.The dramatic great hall is home to pan-Indian restaurant Baluchi. Here guests can sample a selection of flavours from across India including Kashmir, Bengal, Kerala and Goa. The restaurant features a Naanery where guests can pair wines with artisanal breads prepared in the tandoor and an outdoor shisha terrace. During the afternoon guests can enjoy the best of both worlds with a High Chai Afternoon Tea as well as two bespoke teas.Localised phones are provided in all the guest rooms enabling guests to navigate their way around the city and stay connected during their visit. To disconnect, Rejuve – The Spa features one of the only Ayurvedic treatment tables in London and offers treatments including Shirodhara, where a continuous stream of warm medicated oil is poured over the forehead. This has been known to improve memory, regularise sleep and normalise blood pressure.Daniel Luddington, vice president of development at SLH says: “SLH now has nine hotels in London, so any new hotel we add to the collection here has to be something really special. The LaLiT London offers extraordinary attention to detail and craftsmanship as well as a modern take on Indian fine dining. A stone’s throw away from Tower Bridge and the Southbank, we are excited to offer the SLH community our first luxury experience south of the River Thames.”