SME Travellers Remain The Winners Amid Airfare Fluctuations

SME business travellers will face incremental airfare increases in 2018 but the passenger experience will be better than ever according to the latest 4D FOCUS – Australian Aviation and Airfare Analysis.

The report, produced by Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting (4D) team, includes a statistical outlook for 2017 and year on year benchmarking of corporate and leisure airfares from 2014 to 2016.

Corporate Traveller General Manager Jess Anscombe said despite some forecast increases on the most popular domestic routes, the uptick in airfares would be offset by the increased quality of the passenger experience.

“Qantas and Virgin Australia have shifted from capacity battles to focus on shoring up their product.  Both are vying for customer loyalty by introducing innovative new features on the ground and in the air,” she said.

“Two of the most important recent airline innovations was Qantas’ launch of its SME focused Qantas Business Rewards program and Virgin Australia unveiling its new Economy X Class.”

Ms Anscombe said the continued investment of both carriers to boosting their fleets and facilities pointed to the underlying value for money proposition being delivered to business travellers.

The report also suggested a shift from the long-held belief that booking 14-21 days in advance delivers the best fares on the busiest routes. The introduction of Days of the Week fares in late 2016, which made certain fare types more expensive for travel on Thursdays and Fridays, being the clearest disruptor.

Ms Anscombe said the report also highlighted the continuing strong demand in key SME destinations of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland with resulting cost increases for accommodation.

“Historically, airfares are still very competitive but using some professional expertise to match the market’s dynamic pricing is the best way to ensure you’re accessing the best airfares every time,” she said.

4D’s General Manager Felicity Burke said key international routes for SME travellers continued to show outstanding value.

“Flights between Sydney and Shanghai have dropped an astonishing 27 per cent in the last three years, the biggest fall of any major international route,” she said.

“Sydney and Los Angeles were the next best performing flights dropping 16 per cent in the same period.

“Other major destinations for SME travellers including Auckland, Singapore and Hong Kong all fell between three and nine per cent.”

Flight Centre Travel Group & Airbnb Host New Options for Corporate Travel

In an Australian and New Zealand first, Airbnb, the world’s leading community driven marketplace, has partnered with Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) corporate division to provide corporate customers with more options when travelling for business.

With five different corporate travel brands, FCTG corporate, offers the broadest range of travel management services for organisations across Australia and New Zealand. The new partnership with Airbnb means that FCTG’s corporate brands will now have an unrivalled pool of accommodation options to offer its corporate customers.

FCTG’s corporate brands, including FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, Campus Travel and Stage and Screen, will have access to Airbnb for Business. The new accommodation offering will give FCTG’s corporate customers access to more than three million listings worldwide, which are available to be booked through the home-sharing platform.

Since its founding in 2008, Airbnb hosts have welcomed more than 180 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings worldwide. Approximately 10 per cent of all travellers on Airbnb are business travellers, and in 2016, the number of business trips on Airbnb tripled.

Through this partnership, FCTG’s corporate travel brands will have access to Airbnb’s third party booking tool. Additionally the travel manager and the employee who is taking the trip, will be able to see trip details, make changes to the reservation, and message the Airbnb host with questions about the listing or neighbourhood.

Andrew Flannery, FCTG’s Executive General Manager of Corporate Travel, said today’s agreement would bolster the company’s award-winning corporate travel offering.

“Customers’ needs and preferences in the corporate travel sector are constantly evolving, and this agreement will deliver interesting new accommodation options that will appeal to sections of our customer base, particularly those who are looking to experience something a little different to a traditional hotel stay,” Mr Flannery said. “It will also benefit our corporate customers who are travelling to locations where there may currently be an under-supply of suitable hotel rooms.

“We are currently talking with a number of clients about the range of opportunities that Airbnb offers for travellers.”

David Holyoke, Global Director of Business Travel at Airbnb said, “We are thrilled to be working with FCTG’s corporate travel brands, in this sector of the travel industry, and look forward to helping Australian and New Zealand business travellers feel more at home while on the road.

“Airbnb for Business gives business travellers the ability to explore a city like a local, making it easy to travel for work without sacrificing the comforts of home.”

FCTG have run a trial with one of their clients over the last few months and they are already seeing a positive impact for their employees travelling for business using Airbnb, with employees included in the trial rating the experience 4.76 out of 5 stars and with an average daily rate of of $80AUD.

Airbnb listings will be available to Campus Travel and Stage and Screen in the coming weeks, and then progressively introduced soon after to FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller.

Fare Reductions, Better In-flight Services and Loyalty Rewards Keep Corporate Travellers Chipper

Corporates have rarely had it so good, with a recent airfare study indicating the price of corporate Economy Class tickets dropped on key international routes in 2016 and fell by as much as 7% on the top domestic routes, according to the latest 4D FOCUS – Australian Aviation and Airfare Analysis.

The report, which was produced by 4th Dimension, Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) business travel consulting division, includes a benchmarking study that compares the price of corporate and leisure airfares purchased in 2016 compared to airfares purchased in 2015 and 2014.

4D’s analysis of corporate and leisure tickets purchased through the FCTG’s staple of travel brands, demonstrates that Australian travellers continue to see excellent value from the price of their air tickets.

Compounding the positive news for travellers is the fact that Australian airlines are heavily focused on improving the whole travel experience – from take-off to touch-down as they vie for customer loyalty.

Since 2014, Qantas has upgraded 100 Airbus A330 and 737 aircraft with new interiors, opened new lounges around the country and the carrier is also on the verge of introducing free high-speed Wi-Fi in the domestic market.

John Simeone, Qantas’ Head of Business and Government Sales, said in the report, “This year, we’re entering a new era with the introduction of free high-speed Wi-Fi in the domestic market and the arrival of Qantas’ first Dreamliner, opening up breakthrough routes like Perth – London.”

Meanwhile in the Virgin Australia camp – the brand has started a three month trial of testing in-flight Wi-Fi on its Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

These are but a few of the perks travellers now enjoy when travelling for work or play.

airfare

FCTG Managing Director, Graham Turner, said it’s been positive to see 2016/17 airfares remain competitive.

“Airfares are still extremely affordable for domestic and international travel and I think despite some of the distractions we’re seeing globally – the corporate and leisure travel industry will continue to perform throughout the rest of 2017,” Mr Turner said.

Below is a takeout of some of the key findings in 4D’s report.

Domestic Travel – CORPORATE Economy Class airfare benchmarking

(Based on 2016 fare benchmarking against 2015 fares)

  • Domestic Economy Class price changes for tickets purchased through FCTG’s corporate travel brands ranged from -7% to a 4% increase on key routes
  • Business travellers flying the BNE – MEL and the BNE – PER routes have enjoyed the biggest savings with average purchase price of tickets on both routes falling by 7%
  • Corporates travelling on the CBR – SYD and the MEL – SYD routes struck out on any savings with the average purchase price of tickets increasing up to 4% from 2015 – 2016

Domestic Travel – LEISURE Economy Class airfare benchmarking

(Based on 2016 fare benchmarking against 2015 fares)

  • From 2015 to 2016 the average price of domestic Economy Class leisure fares purchased through FCTG’s leisure division fell by 6%
  • Economy Class price changes for leisure tickets purchased through FCTG’s retail brands ranged from -10% to a 1% increase
  • Big ticket savings for leisure travellers were highlighted on the BNE – SYD route with a 10% reduction on the average purchase price, while tickets purchased through FCTG by leisure travellers flying on the HBA – MEL and the BNE – PER routes dropped by 9%
  • It was only on the MEL – SYD route, where capacity is tightly controlled by airlines due to the high volume of traffic, where travellers didn’t see a price reduction but rather wore a 1% increase on the average price of purchased fares.

Felicity Burke, General Manager, 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting, said the outcome of the latest research into corporate and leisure fare movement painted an extremely positive picture for companies and smaller businesses, as well as holiday travellers, that have been booking their travel through a travel management company or retail travel agency such as those that fell under FCTG.

“Not only are FCTG’s corporate customers purchasing extremely well-priced fares but they are also getting all the additional value that comes with booking through a travel company such as 24-hour global traveller support, access to experienced consultants that manage their company’s travel policy, travel spend and activity reporting capabilities as well as access to our online booking technology,” Mrs Burke said.

“And the really good news is that this experience is about to get even better for travellers with the likes of Virgin Australia and Qantas both acutely focused on enhancing the traveller experience to grow market share and increase loyalty, particularly in the corporate sector.”

WHAT’S NEW AND CHANGES AHEAD IN 2017

Fare tracking conducted by 4D for first Quarter 2017 indicates a moderate increase of between 3% – 5% in domestic Economy Class fares across both the corporate and leisure buying groups.

Further to this, both the major Australian airlines introduced ‘Days of the Week’ fares late 2016, which has travellers on certain routes, with certain ticket types paying a higher price to fly on Thursday and Friday.

The data collected suggests a definitive shift away from the long-held beliefs of travel buyers – that booking 14-21 days in advance delivers the best deal on the busiest routes. With a likelihood of one in 10 tickets being changed by corporate travellers after a ticket is issued, 4th Dimension highlights that customers should consider the benefits of ‘flexible’ fares to avoid costly change fees. The report shows the average cost of change charged by the airlines is $165.

Internationally, the big changes in 2017 include:

  • Start of non-stop Qantas flights from Perth to London
  • Virgin Australia expanding to Hong Kong and Beijing
  • The opening of Qantas’ flagship international lounge due to open at London Heathrow
  • Qantas adding services to Beijing and Tokyo (Narita) and;
  • Virgin Australia reintroducing a Melbourne to Los Angeles service.

ACCOMMODATION

Strong demand for accommodation

4th Dimension research showed, that in the second half of 2016, there was strong demand for accommodation in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, as leisure and business travellers arrived in huge numbers for work, conferences and holidays. The upshot in demand fuelled accommodation rate rises in those cities, with hotel rates increasing two or three times more than what the traveller paid for flights. Looking ahead to the second half of 2017 and into 2018, room bookings in these metro hot spots are expected to continue, causing demand to outstrip supply in some cases during peak periods.

FAST FACTS

1Source: BITRE, Aviation Domestic Airline Ontime Performance 2016
2Source: CAPA Centre for Aviation
3Published fare year-on-year benchmarking fare change 2016. Source 4D analytics

Dealer Trade Signs Up Mitsubishi

Australia’s Dealer Trade Holdings Limited has signed a lucrative agreement with Mitsubishi Motors to auction their manufacturer-owned vehicles on the Dealer Trade listing platform.

Mitsubishi in Australia are now using Dealer Trade to auction their manufacturer-owned vehicles to their 190 plus franchisees in a move that will lower costs and streamline the distribution of their vehicles by creating an Australia-wide auction in a closed network.

Dealer Trade Chairman Wayne Myers said, “Since launching the Dealer Trade platform late last year we have already signed up more than 35% of the Australian motor dealer market.

“The Dealer Trade app has the benefit of making dealers more efficient in how they transact and minimise the reliance on auction houses.”

The Dealer Trade Australian-developed mobile app is transforming the way motor dealers source their used vehicles by allowing them to bid directly on other dealers’ wholesale stock as soon as it is listed.

Dealers are also able to list their trade-in, wholesale or surplus stock on the app to other dealers that are in need of that particular vehicle based on a set of preferences.

Dealer Trade Holdings is an unlisted public company headquartered in Brisbane and is building to a possible Australian Securities Exchange listing in late 2017 after completing its product expansion into the US and the UK.

Mr Myers said, “As our product portfolio expands, we are now the only company to have introduced a full suite of products providing a thorough history for a broad range of vehicles and watercraft.”

Dealer Trade set up CarRecord.com.au in 2016 to offer a suite of vehicle information products in conjunction with Glass’s Guide to the Australian consumer.

CarRecord offers a complete car history product including values, written off vehicle register and Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) or encumbrance status, and has proven to be better value than competitors at a cost of $19 compared to Veda-owned carhistory.com.au for $36.95 and RedBook powered carfacts.com.au at $29.

Dealer Trade Holdings Limited has now launched the following product suite being the only vehicle records company in Australia to offer a full range of products:

  • jetskirecord.com.au
  • boatrecord.com.au
  • motorbikerecord.com.au
  • truckrecord.com.au
  • tralierrecord.com.au; and
  • motorhomerecord.com.au.

Dealer Trade has also recently launched Vehicle Market (vehiclemarket.com.au) for consumers and dealers in direct competition to carsales.com.au and carsguide.com.au but for a seller listing fee of only $10. By using individual IP addresses for each listing, a vehicle can be searched for specifically with access available from their search engine without having to trawl through pages of results.

In February Dealer Trade signed a milestone agreement to supply vehicle history reports in the large US vehicle market through its CarRecord.com subsidiary. The deal combines history reports with vehicle values from J.D. Power Valuation services.

Dealer Trade Holdings has forged agreements with motor industry data suppliers Dealer Solutions, Edge, CDS Online, Datamotive, EASY Cars, UBS and others allowing vehicles to be uploaded to its platforms in bulk.

For more information visit: dealertrade.com.au

Gold Coast Turf Club To Be Renamed Aquis Park In 3 Year Partnership Deal With Aquis Australia

Major Naming Rights Deal Announced Making It the Largest In Club’s History

Gold Coast, Thursday 1 June:  Gold Coast Turf Club & Event Centre (GCTC) today announced a 3-year partnership deal with Aquis Australia that includes naming rights to the racecourse. Effective 1st of August 2017, the Turf Club will be renamed Aquis Park.

This is by far the biggest deal the Club has inked to date and in the coming months the partnership will unveil a number of specific activations to bring the brands closer to its Members, equine precinct, horse owners and trainers and the general public.

The financial arrangements underpinning the partnership are confidential.

“Aquis Park will be a first for the Racing Industry in Queensland and we are excited to enter this long-term partnership with Aquis, fast becoming an iconic brand in Australia,” Gold Coast Turf Club CEO Steve Lines said.

“The synergy between the Club and this premium brand represents tremendous opportunity for us to elevate the experience for all our stakeholders and further accelerate our future plans.” Mr Lines adds.

As part of the partnership, the Club will undergo a series of staged renovations and Aquis Park will feature signage atop A.D Hollindale Stand, at the track entrance, on the Winners Post and Stalls as well as throughout the venue and organisation.

A number of strategic marketing initiatives will also be rolled out to capture the full potential of the partnership.  One being, in line with the Racing Infrastructure submission to Racing Queensland, Aquis is excited about the potential of “Night Racing”.

Aquis Australia Chairman Tony Fung said the partnership would be a important plank in growing the Aquis brand in Australia and was a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to the Queensland racing and breeding industries and the broader Queensland community.

“This deal is not only a naming rights program, but it is designed to be a true partnership between two companies dedicated to providing world class racing,” he said. “The partnership is also an important part of our strategy to improve links between the local industry and Asia in both horses and real estate. This partnership will bridge the ocean between the two industries.”

Aquis Australia CEO Justin Fung said the company was looking forward to working with the Gold Coast Turf Club to progress a range of opportunities at Aquis Park.

“We see this as a genuine partnership with a range of opportunities to grow our respective businesses by leveraging the expertise and resources of each organisation,” he said. “We have been very impressed by the GCTC’s long term vision for their facility and look forward to the next few years.”

Over the last two years Aquis has built Queensland’s largest thoroughbred racing and breeding facility – Aquis Farm – at Canungra on the Gold Coast hinterland and recently acquired the long term management rights to Emirates Park in the Hunter Valley.
Gold Coast Turf Club Chairman Brett Cook said he was excited about the shared vision, commitment and enthusiasm of the new partnership.

“On behalf of myself and The Board of Directors we are excited with this agreement and this is great news for ourselves and our members,” he said. “We are looking forward to building a very strong partnership with Aquis Australia; the racing and non racing opportunities are on the table for both parties to explore with positive times ahead for all.”

Aquis Park Raceday on August 5 will be the official public launch.

Profast Group Sale To Steelmasters

Profast Pty Ltd and Profast (WA) Pty Ltd have joined the Steelmasters Group of companies.

The Steelmasters Group based in Auckland New Zealand, is a privately owned company that encompasses four Steelmasters branches in New Zealand and six Boltmasters branches in Australia.

Profast Group Founder and former Managing Director Trevor Brown will be transitioning into retirement over the coming months whilst still consulting to the group on a part time basis.

Profast Group’s Brisbane Head Office and Perth branches, will continue on business as usual with no changes to customer accounts, products or staffing, and will still be provide the same high quality products with the outstanding level of service and expertise they are known for. 

Moving forward, Profast expects to see great benefits for their customers from the new group including a much larger distribution footprint for the Profast range of industrial fasteners and tooling.

With Boltmasters branches in Melbourne, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Emerald, Townsville and Cairns, customers will have the option to purchase the Profast range from their local branch while being confident they have the expertise and backing from both Profast and Boltmasters.  In addition, Profast customers will also have access to Boltmasters’ extensive range of nuts, bolts, screws and other fasteners through the Boltmasters network.

FIIG Closes New Corporate Bond As Axsesstoday Adds $30 Million To Fund Continued Growth

ASX-listed specialist finance group Axsesstoday Limited (ASX:AXL) has closed oversubscribed a new $30 million Note offer as part of its strategic debt diversification plan.

It will also fund the continued growth of the company’s underlying equipment financing business, which has more than tripled in the last 18 months.

This is the third time Axsesstoday have issued into debt capital markets, and the first since the company listed on the ASX in December, with all issues being arranged by FIIG Securities Limited.

The $30 million Series 2 Medium Term Notes pay a fixed coupon of 7.50% p.a. quarterly in arrear and are due on 22 June 2021. The Notes provide a third layer of debt into Axsess’ capital structure and will rank in priority to the existing $40 million Subordinated Notes due 9 October 2021, and behind their current bank facilities.

The issue was available to FIIG’s client base of Wholesale and Sophisticated Investors only.

Axsesstoday is a Melbourne-based specialist provider of business and operational critical equipment funding to small-to-medium size enterprises through accredited distribution channels in hospitality and other niche sectors.

Since Axsesstoday began originating leases, it has grown its net leases to $89 million as at 31 December 2016, compared to net leases of $27.5 million in October 2015.

FIIG Securities Head of Debt Capital Markets John Ricciotti said Axsesstoday’s strong credit profile, combined with its listing on the ASX made it an attractive proposition for clients.

“As a lender itself, Axsesstoday understands the importance of diversification and debt duration and we are confident this series of Notes will help underpin their future business success.”

“This type of issuance is ideal for unrated non-financial sector and we expect demand to continue to grow through the year.”

Other financiers to conduct successful bond issues through FIIG include: StockCo Australia ($47m), CML Group ($65 million), MoneyTech Finance ($25 million), Cash Converters ($60 million), and Silver Chef ($30 million). This is the 37th bond that FIIG Securities has originated bringing the total raised to over $1.6 billion.

Axsesstoday Limited CEO Peter Ferizis said the Notes were an important part of the company’s overall funding structure as it entered a new phase of growth as a public company.

“To have access to debt markets, traditional bank debt facilities, equity markets and our own cash flow provides us with a diverse range of levers to draw on as we add to our asset base,” he said.

FIIG Securities Limited, which is licensed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), is Australia’s largest specialist fixed-income dealer.

FIIG has more than $11 billion in term deposits and corporate bonds under advice in its short-term money market, bonds and custody business. The company has Offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. For more information about FIIG Securities please visit www.fiig.com.au.

Aquis Farm Teams Up With Emirates Park For New Joint Venture

Leading Hunter Valley thoroughbred breeding facility Emirates Park and Queensland’s Aquis Farm have today announced a new joint venture that will see Aquis Farm take over management of Emirates Park’s Murrurundi property, facilities and stallion roster.

Hussain Lootah, son of His Excellency Nasser Lootah, Founder and Chairman of Emirates Park, said the joint venture between the Lootah and Fung families would create a new force in the Australian thoroughbred breeding and racing industry.

“For some time now we have been looking for a like-minded partner to share our vision for taking Emirates Park to the next stage of its growth and development and in Aquis Farm and the Fung family we believe we have found the perfect partner,” he said.

“We are excited by this joint venture and what it will mean for both the Emirates Park and Aquis Farm businesses going forward and I personally very much look forward to being able to develop the leading band of broodmares in Australia in the next few years.”

Aquis Farm CEO Justin Fung said that he and his father, Tony, were excited to be entrusted with the management of the Emirates Park property, facilities and stallions but more excited to have found great friends and business partners in the Lootah family.

“We see the sky as the limit in our vision to grow the respective Aquis and Emirates businesses in Queensland and New South Wales,” Mr Fung said.

Emirates Park CEO Bryan Carlson said the joint venture was the perfect outcome for the aspirations of the Lootah family.

“It will allow the family to focus on developing their Australian based high class quality broodmare band as well as their international thoroughbred interests, whilst Aquis focuses on operational activities at Emirates Park on a day to day basis as well as management of the great Emirates stallions Artie Schiller, Dream Ahead and Al Maher,” he said.

Mr Carlson said a key component of the joint venture was Aquis’ commitment to retaining all the existing Emirates Park staff.

Emirates Park Director Dr Shalabh Sahu, who was instrumental in bringing the Lootah and Fung families together, said: “we are all extremely excited by what the future holds and especially look forward to working together on all our stallion’s future stallion prospects”.

Key points of the Emirates / Aquis Farm Joint Venture:

  • Emirates Park has appointed Aquis Farm to manage their property and stallions at their facility at Murrurundi, New South Wales, under a long-term management agreement. The Emirates Park name will be maintained.
  • Under agreement Aquis Farm will care for Emirates Park’s high quality Broodmare Band and to consign the Emirates Park sales stock for auctions throughout Australia. Emirates Park will retain ownership and strategic management of its Broodmare Band.
  • On behalf of Emirates Park, Aquis Farm will manage the stallions Artie Schiller, Dream Ahead and Al Maher at Emirates Park.
  • Aquis Farm and Emirates Park have agreed to work co-operatively to identify and develop stallion prospects for the Australian breeding industry.
  • Aquis Farm will transfer exciting Todman Stakes winning, first-season stallion Kiss And Make Up to Emirates Park for the 2017 breeding season with his progeny to be supported by three bonus schemes.
  • The Aquis Farm property at Canungra on the Gold Coast hinterland will remain unaffected and will continue to expand as it has done over the last two years.
  • Aquis farm will transport and agist, free of charge, client broodmares between Emirates Park and Aquis Farm (both ways) so that clients of Aquis Farm can easily and conveniently use stallions at either farm without substantial interstate transport costs.
  • Aquis Farm will employ all Emirates Park staff in their existing roles with the exception of Dr Shalabh Sahu and Bryan Carlson who will remain in new strategic and senior international and domestic roles with Emirates Park.

Following the agreement Emirates Park and Aquis Farm clients will have access to an incredible roster of high quality stallions for the 2017 season.

Emirates Park (managed by Aquis) NSW Stallions and Fees (all including GST):

  • Artie Schiller $33,000
  • Dream Ahead $19,800
  • Kiss and Make Up $16,500 – NEW
  • Al Maher $13,200

Aquis Farm Queensland Stallions and Fees (all including GST):

  • Husson $13,200 – NEW
  • Spill The Beans $11,000
  • Holy Roman Emperor $9,900
  • Furnaces $9,900 -NEW
  • Domesday $8,800
  • Sweet Orange $4,400 – NEW
  • Benfica $4,400

How To Protect Your Overseas Travel Money Exchange Rate This Easter

USA, UK and Thailand top destinations in April

 Australian travellers now have some much-needed protection from currency exchange rate movements with the introduction of free Rate Guard exchange rate protection from Travel Money Oz.

 As many Australians leave for overseas this Easter and school holiday period they are being offered protection for any last-minute currency exchange rate improvements so that they can obtain the best rate possible. 

 The foreign currency specialists will pay you back the difference if the exchange rate improves within 14 days of you making your foreign currency purchase in store*.

 Scott McCullough, Retail General Manager of Travel Money Oz said, “There’s no need to leave getting your travel money sorted to the last minute and trying to guess when the right day is to buy.

 “Rate Guard will help remove uncertainty for travellers as no one is able to predict market movements.

 “We’ve seen some recent strengthening of the Australian dollar against the US dollar. If, for example, you’re about to leave for the USA, Rate Guard can give you peace of mind about missing out on any ongoing rate improvements.”

 Mr McCullough said that according to Flight Centre Travel Group leisure booking data the top five destinations for Australian travellers this April are the USA, United Kingdom, Thailand, New Zealand and Indonesia.

 The Rate Guard protection is available for seven currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, NZD, IDR, FJD, THB) purchased instore at the advertised exchange rate and will see the difference paid into your nominated bank account within five business days of claiming.

Travel Money Oz is the only foreign currency exchange provider to currently offer this protection in Australia.

 Mr McCullough said a change in exchange rates can have a real impact on overseas spending money, which is often a last-minute purchase consideration by travellers.

 “If you’re travelling to the UK this Easter then your holiday money is 11% cheaper than this time last year and the Euro currency is 4% cheaper than a year ago^,” Mr McCullough said.

 “Even in the days before you travel exchange rates can improve significantly after you have purchased your foreign currency.

 “With Rate Guard, you know you will be getting the best rate during the 14-day period and it’s available as a free add-on.

 “We aren’t able to provide any rate predictions but we know that many travellers prefer to have certainty.”

 *Conditions apply. Visit www.travelmoneyoz.com/rateguard for full terms and conditions.

^comparison based on exchange rates on 3 April 2017 to 12 months earlier.

IMF Bentham Taps Debt Markets for $40 Million

The world’s most experienced and successful litigation funder IMF Bentham Limited (ASX:IMF) has completed a $40 million follow on bond issue as part of its ongoing capital management strategy. The issue was oversubscribed from the minimum issue size of $18 million.

The 3.25 year Notes will pay a fixed rate of interest of 7.40% p.a., paid semi-annually in arrear. The Notes are to be issued at a capital price of $101, providing a yield to maturity of 7.04%. The Notes will be consolidated and form a single series with the company’s existing $32 million Secured Notes due 30 June 2020, and issued on 8 April 2016.

Completion of the $30 million issue, takes the total amount of bonds issued by IMF through FIIG to $72 million. This is the 37th bond that FIIG Securities has originated, bringing the total raised to over $1.5 billion.

FIIG Securities Head of Debt Capital Markets John Ricciotti said IMF Bentham’s strong balance sheet and commitment to maintaining high levels of liquidity provided a strong investment case for the Notes.

“The company has a strong track record of maintaining cash reserves to ensure it can satisfy litigators and Courts that it has sufficient resources to meet funding of costs during trials and any judgements.”

“This issue will add to existing cash reserves of over $150m and support their growing case portfolio both in Australia and the United States.”

IMF Bentham was established in 2001 and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It is the largest litigation funder in Australia and now offers its services in overseas jurisdictions, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore and through its joint venture operations in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.

Mr Ricciotti said the number of companies returning to debt markets to retap existing issues highlighted the value of establishing a bond program.

Of the 36 issues completed by FIIG, 4 are by companies who have previously issued bonds through FIIG’s Debt Capital Markets team.

“Along with diversifying your debt portfolio, the ability to quickly and efficiently return to market to issue new debt as your business grows highlights the flexibility of corporate bonds,” he said.

FIIG Securities Limited, which is licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), is Australia’s largest specialist fixed-income dealer. FIIG has more than $11 billion in term deposits and corporate bonds under advice in its short-term money market, bonds and custody business.

The company has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. For more information about FIIG Securities please visit www.fiig.com.au