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Archive for October 25th, 2012

Budget Car Rental Expands Global Operations to Singapore

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SINGAPORE, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — There’s a new way to get around Singapore. Budget Car Rental, one of the world’s leading vehicle rental brands, announced on Oct. 22 the official opening of its rental location in Singapore, at Changi International Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

“Expanding our global footprint is one of our key strategic growth initiatives,” said Patric Siniscalchi, President, Latin America/Asia-Pacific, Avis Budget Group. “In Asia, as in other parts of the world, we have a great opportunity to pursue this initiative through growth in our Budget worldwide rental network. As a result, we’re now pleased to offer travelers to and residents of Singapore the great value and quality of Budget as the newest way to see this great destination.”

Budget Singapore renters will benefit from great rates on quality, well-maintained, late-model vehicles, such as the economy-size Kia Picanto, the compact Honda City, the full-size Toyota Camry, the Nissan X-Trail sports utility vehicle and the Honda Odyssey minivan. Budget also offers renters in Singapore Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation devices, child safety seats and fuel service options.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.budget.com.sg or call 1800 305 5390/+65 6305 5390.

About Budget

Budget Car Rental is one of the world’s best-known car rental brands with more than 3,000 locations in more than 120 countries. Budget is an industry leader in providing vehicle rental services to value-conscious travelers and also operates the second-largest truck rental business in the United States, through a network of more than 2,100 corporate owned, dealer and franchised locations. Budget is owned by Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CAR), which operates and licenses the brand throughout the world.  For further information, visit http://www.budget.com.

Written by asiafreshnews

October 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

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SunGard Study of Japanese Treasury Practices Reveals Opportunities to Improve Cash and Risk Management

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TOKYO, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A SunGard study on corporate treasury management practices in Japan has found an opportunity to help corporations leapfrog over their competitors by enhancing their approach to cash management and risk management with treasury technology.
Japan is the world’s third largest economy by GDP with a historically strong domestic financial services industry. However, Japanese companies have recently faced the combined challenges of depressed demand and inflationary pricing pressure created by the global economic downturn. High levels of government debt and credit downgradeshave increased the cost of borrowing, focusing attention on corporate liquidity and the importance of efficient cash management.

The key findings of the study are discussed in a series of five articles(http://www.sungard.com/Campaigns/FS/Corporations/AvantGardTreasury/AvantGardJapanTreasuryReports.aspx ) recently released by SunGard:

— Japanese firms are primarily concerned with managing FX risk exposure, followed by credit and interest rate risk. As a company’s global exposure increases, FX volatility can have a greater impact on profits, product pricing, and performance. A treasury management system (TMS) can help improve visibility and control in these areas. Only 13% of Japanese companies already have plans to implement new technology.
— 58% of Japanese companies reported that they do not use payment netting, which involves consolidating cash flows. Introducing cross-currency netting can help global firms carrying out multi-currency FX transactions to reduce FX costs.
— Over half of respondents use domestic cash pooling and 11% use bank pooling for foreign currency, with 29% of respondents expressing concern about cash pooling arrangements. This suggests that treasurers could benefit from reviewing current arrangements with banking partners.
— Credit risk is primarily managed with credit ratings data from an external information provider (49%) or managed internally on a case-by-case basis (26%). Close to half of Japanese finance managers indicate that utilizing collection agencies is a significant priority suggesting that improved credit ratings could help improve transparency and auditability of credit decisions.
— 63% of treasurers in Japan use in-house spread sheets or databases as their primary treasury tools, which are time-consuming and error-prone. There is a significant opportunity for these organizations to leverage more sophisticated technology to gain visibility into their cash position and process financial transactions such as FX, securities, derivatives and commodities.

Yohjiroh Yanagi, vice president of corporate liquidity, SunGard’s AvantGard Japan, said, “The results of this survey demonstrate that forward-thinking Japanese corporations are looking to gain a competitive advantage by enhancing their use of treasury technology to manage FX and credit risk. They are also migrating away from spread sheets to reduce the time required to gain visibility into their cash position.”

The study included 70 corporate treasurers at firms headquartered in Japan. More than 1,100 companies around the world, and 150 companies in the Asia/Pacific region, rely on AvantGard Treasury solutions.

About SunGard’s AvantGard

The AvantGard solution suite includes credit risk modeling, collections management, treasury risk analysis, cash management, payments system integration, and payments execution delivered directly to corporations or via banking partners. AvantGard solutions help consolidate data from multiple in-house systems, drive workflow and provide connectivity to a broad range of trading partners including banks, SWIFT, credit data providers, FX platforms, money markets, and market data. The technology is supported by a full range of services, including managed cloud services, treasury operations management, SWIFT administration, managed bank connectivity, bank on-boarding, and vendor enrollment, and is delivered by a team of domain experts. For more information, visit http://www.sungard.com/avantgard.

About SunGard

SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies. SunGard has more than 17,000 employees and serves approximately 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries. SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, education and the public sector. SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software. With annual revenue of about $4.5 billion, SunGard is the largest privately held software and services company and is ranked 480 on the Fortune 500. For more information, please visit http://www.sungard.com.

Trademark Information: SunGard, the SunGard logo and AvantGard are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

SOURCE﹛SunGard

Written by asiafreshnews

October 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm

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Great Britain, You’re Invited

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LONDON, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

VisitBritain teams up with Hostelworld.com to launch GB tourism campaign

VisitBritain has appointed Hostelworld.com to support its 125m pound “GREAT Britain, You’re Invited” programme. Targeted at independent and youth travellers, the joint campaign will promote Britain as a must-see destination and encourage travellers to explore the UK using a wide network of accommodation available on Hostelworld.com. This comes shortly after Hostelworld.com was voted “Most Trusted Hostel Booking Website” in a 2012 Travel Survey.[1]

The resilient budget and youth travel market is an increasingly important segment for Britain as the national tourism agency looks to attract an extra 4.6 million overseas visitors by 2015. With global economic growth still subdued, many travellers are choosing accommodation abroad based on cost. According to 2012 Travel Survey nearly 90% of travellers questioned will not pay over $US100 per night for a room and with a majority willing to reduce accommodation costs to have their holiday of choice.[1]

The marketing campaign supporting the partnership will be rolled out early 2013, initially focusing on the highly important German market. Germany accounts for 10% of visits to the UK, with nearly three million German travellers spending 1.25billion pounds in 2011. Holiday visits from 16-34 year olds from Germany have also been rising over the last few years (up 17% compared to 2004), while there has also been 29% growth in the number of younger Germans staying in hostel/university accommodation.[2]

Feargal Mooney, CEO for Hostelworld.com: “We’re proud to be VisitBritain’s partner of choice in this exciting initiative. As the most trusted hostel booking site[1], we look forward to promoting the value that hostels represent and the opportunity this gives people to travel to the UK more frequently, stay longer and see more, than they would otherwise be able to afford to do.”

Director of Marketing at VisitBritain, Laurence Bresh: “Hostelworld.com offers a great range of rooms for travellers coming to the UK, with a great regional spread providing the chance for visitors to experience our history, culture and lush countryside. Alongside fantastic bargains and great social atmosphere, visitors will find modern and innovative accommodation on offer that includes private rooms, ensuites and Wi-Fi.”

Notes

Global study from Hostelworld.com and Lonely Planet questioned over 5000 people in 141 countries.
Analysis taken from annual data set of Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey, which measures characteristics and numbers of inbound visitors to the UK each year.

Contact:

Kirstyn MacRandal
+44-20-7842-3269
Kirstyn.MacRandal@speedcommunications.com

Written by asiafreshnews

October 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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EVEN(TM) Hotels Announces First Property Signing

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ATLANTA, Georgia /PRNewswire/ —
Wellness Brand Will Fill Unmet Demand for Healthier Travel in New York City
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG; NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] today announces the signing of the first EVEN™ Hotels property which will be located in New York City, with ownership group CWC, Inc. The IHG-managed hotel will be located at 219 E 44th Street in the heart of midtown Manhattan, and will be a flagship property for the brand. The hotel will be a new build scheduled to open in late 2014. The hotel will feature 23 guestroom floors and 230 guestrooms, dedicated meeting areas, and indoor and outdoor exercise and eating spaces for an impressive 87,000 square feet in total space.
“This is another important first for IHG. By developing our portfolio of preferred brands in line with emerging consumer preferences, we are meeting the needs of a new type of guest who’s looking for hotels with an intrinsic focus on wellness in terms of food, work, exercise and rest,” said Richard Solomons, chief executive officer, IHG. “New York City is an ideal location, being one of the most health-minded cities in the U.S. – so it will provide the EVEN Hotels brand with the right exposure to its target guest, the healthier-minded traveler.”
With over 50.9 million visitors in 2011 alone, New York City is one of the strongest markets for the EVEN Hotels’ target guest, and perfectly complements the four priority areas of the EVEN Hotels experience – eat, work, exercise and rest. New York City was ranked one of the top 50 healthiest cities in the U.S. in 2012, and it’s no surprise with more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs providing multiple opportunities for exercise. New York City has also led the charge on changes aimed at a healthier city experience, including: banning the sale of sugary drinks over 16 oz., posting all calorie counts on menus and menu boards and banning the use of artificial trans-fats in foods.
“New York City is a key part of EVEN Hotels’ distribution strategy and provides strong market exposure to healthier-minded people both living and traveling to New York City, looking for a holistic wellness hotel experience,” said Kirk Kinsell, president, the Americas, IHG. “We are excited about the start of this new owner relationship with CWC Inc. as it brings together IHG’s branding and management expertise with CWC Inc.’s strong presence in the New York City real estate market.”
EVEN Hotels meets the large and growing customer demand for a healthier travel experience and is another industry first for IHG. EVEN Hotels uniquely provides solutions for all aspects of travelers’ wellness needs in the areas of food, work, exercise and rest – no other brand can do this under one roof. Joining IHG’s existing seven hotel brands, EVEN Hotels will be a key pillar in IHG’s portfolio of preferred brands and in the long term, a key driver in market share growth in the U.S.
IHG expects to sign 100 EVEN Hotels in the U.S. in the next five years under managed and franchised agreements in key markets including New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. IHG plans to announce additional locations over the next few months and to open the first EVEN hotel later on in 2013. To learn more about EVEN Hotels, please visit our brand website at http://evenhotels.com.
About CWC, Inc.
Frank Chan and Lance Steinberg have been in business together for over 20 years. Over the life-span of their business, they’ve created a substantial 300,000 square foot portfolio of owned and managed multi-tenant commercial space.
Notes to Editors:
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with nine hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, as well as our two newest brands, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 67 million members worldwide.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,500 hotels and more than 666,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
Visit http://www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and http://www.priorityclub.com for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit http://www.ihg.com/media, http://www.twitter.com/ihgplc, http://www.facebook.com/ihg or http://www.youtube.com/ihgplc.
Source: IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

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October 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm

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Savvis Recognized as a Leader in Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

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Cloud Services a Key Part of Savvis’ Complete Global IT Solutions Portfolio
ST. LOUIS/PRNewswire/ — Savvis, a CenturyLink company (NYSE: CTL) and global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises, has been positioned by Gartner Inc. as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111122/CG10879LOGO )
The report can be accessed at http://savvis.com/magic-quadrant-leader.
“Enterprises need perspective in today’s competitive cloud landscape, and we consider our position in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service a strong testament of Savvis as a global cloud leader,” said Bill Fathers, president of Savvis. “Enterprises turn to Savvis for the unmatched support and security that comes with having an extensive data center footprint, comprehensive suite of Symphony cloud services and high-performance global network integrated across our extensive portfolio of services.”
Savvis offers a full suite of enterprise-class cloud services, engineered and deployed to meet global computing needs. From shared, dedicated and hybrid cloud solutions to fully virtualized data centers, Savvis Symphony cloud services are part of a complete portfolio of IT solutions that includes managed services, colocation, consulting services and network services.
In addition, CenturyLink, Inc. and Savvis recently announced the beta launch of savvisdirect, a simplified approach to cloud computing that expands the portfolio of Savvis cloud services to businesses of all sizes.
Gartner analysts Lydia Leong, Douglas Toombs, Bob Gill, Gregor Petri and Tiny Haynes authored the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service report, published on Oct. 18, 2012. Evaluation for the report was based on vendors’ completeness of vision, including market understanding, offering strategy and innovation, among other criteria. The Magic Quadrant also assesses ability to execute, which includes capabilities, overall viability and customer experience.
About the Magic Quadrant
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
About Savvis
Savvis, a CenturyLink company, is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises. Nearly 2,500 unique clients, including more than 30 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, use Savvis to reduce capital expense, improve service levels and harness the latest advances in cloud computing.
About CenturyLink
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink™ Prism™ TV and DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations.
For more information, visit http://www.savvis.com or http://www.centurylink.com.
Source: Savvis

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October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

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World’s Largest English Proficiency Index Reveals Scandinavians on Top and Libya the Worst of 54 Countries

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It’s official: women are better at English than men.
HONG KONG /PRNewswire/ — EF Education First’s English Proficiency Index reveals wide gaps in English skills across the world. Women are better at English than men. This is one of many findings officially reported today in the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), the world’s most in-depth ranking of English ability. The Swedes are the best English speakers of all based on a survey of 1.7 million adults in 54 countries and territories in five continents.

EF English Proficiency Index of 1.7m adults reveals women are better than men.
“English is key to innovation and competitiveness,” says Michael Lu, Senior Vice President of EF Education First. “The EF ranking should be a wake-up call to countries falling behind their neighbors – because today’s report shows that poor English is linked with less trade, less innovation and lower income.”
Key points to revealed by the EF EPI include:
Italy, Spain and Portugal at the heart of the euro zone crisis are being dragged down by poor English. EF’s research suggests that English skills are strongly linked with how much exports contribute to an economy.(p.12 of the report). All three countries are among the bottom in Europe in proficiency.
There are wide disparities between the BRIC countries, the developing nations competing to be future economic superpowers. Brazil is ranked only 46th, much lower than China at 36th, Russia at 29th or India – where English is an official language – at 14th.
The gap between men and women is widest in the Middle East and North Africa, where female scores are considerably higher. This highlights the fact that English could prove key to greater opportunities for women in developing nations. Other countries where men are far worse than women are Italy and China. South Korea, at 21st, and Japan, at 22nd, perform disappointingly badly for wealthy countries near the top of global rankings of academic achievement. This is surprising because they come in well behind several lower-income countries, including Hungary (8th) and Poland (10th).
This year’s report also analyses English scores by region, age and gender for select countries.
About the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI)
The EF EPI (www.ef.com/epi/) ranks the English proficiency of 54 countries and territories using data from 1.7 million adults around the world.
The EF EPI is published by the world’s leading international education company, EF Education First (www.ef.com), which specializes in language learning, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs.
Media inquiries:
Michael Lu, EF Education First
Tel +44-2073418500
press@ef.com
Source: EF Education First

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October 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

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