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
56956206 - summer vacation accessories on tropical sandy ocean beach, holidays abroad - summertime lifestyle objects and european euros in flat lay top view arrangement in warm sand.

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


Dealer Trade Enters USA Second Hand Vehicle Market with Product First

Australia’s Dealer Trade Holdings Limited has signed a lucrative agreement to supply vehicle history reports in the large US vehicle market through its CarRecord.com subsidiary.

In the deal with J.D. Power Valuation services in the US, which will combine vehicle history information with values, Dealer Trade according to its chairman Wayne Myers “is making the process of compiling the total history and pricing of a vehicle much easier, saving customers time and money.”

J.D. Power Valuation provides NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) vehicle values by using auction and retail sales transactions—and review asking prices and other relevant information—to accurately value vehicles.

There were 38.5 million vehicles sold in the second-hand market in the USA in 2016.

dealer trade
Copyright: welcomia / 123RF Stock Photo

Mike Stanton, vice president and general manager at J.D. Power Valuation Services said, “We are excited to work with Dealer Trade Group to integrate our accurate, dependable and trusted pricing in their CarRecord product. The integration helps make the selling and buying process more efficient for all involved.”

This is the first time vehicle history and valuation information has been available together on the one platform. The US vehicle history report will be available on www.usacarrecord.com

Mr Myers said that as well as launching in the USA, CarRecord would be entering the UK and New Zealand markets by the end of April 2017.

Dealer Trade Holdings is an unlisted public company headquartered in Brisbane and is considering a possible Australian Securities Exchange listing in 2017.

Dealer Trade set up CarRecord.com.au in 2016 to offer a suite of vehicle information products 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 at up to almost half the cost compared to its two major competitors in the Australian market, and has the only suite of products in Australia that features reports on the entire collection of boats, jet skis, motorbikes, trucks, trailers, campervans and motorhomes.

Dealer Trade Cornering Online Vehicle Auctions For Motor Dealers

Dealer Trade has introduced an Australian-developed mobile app that 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 surplus stock on the app to other dealers that are in need of that particular vehicle.

Dealer Trade Holdings’ Wayne Myers said, “The Dealer Trade app has the benefit of making dealers more efficient in how they transact and minimise the reliance on wholesalers and auction houses.

“We’ve been successful in signing a large portion of dealers in Australia to the platform in just over a year.”

Dealer Trade Holdings has forged an agreement with technology firm Dealer Solutions which provides Dealer Trade as a native option alongside sites such as Gumtree, carsales.com.au and carsguide.com.au for dealers to upload sale vehicle details.  

For more information visit: dealertrade.com.au

Main image copyright: stocksolutions / 123RF Stock Photo


Luxury 3000Sqm Mornington Mega Lots Up For Grabs

Land lots up to 3150sqm from the Madison Hill development will go under the hammer on Saturday March 18 marking Mornington’s first large scale land release in over a decade.

Madison Hill’s first 14 lots ranging from 2035sqm to 3150sqm will be auctioned on site from 1:00pm at 141 Bungower Road Mornington, 4.5 kilometres from the Mornington Peninsula beach.

The luxury region’s most recent high profile residents include Carlton legend Chris Judd and his wife Rebecca, who last year purchased a $1.2 million two hectare holding at Main Ridge Mornington Peninsula.

Oliver Hume Director Paul Ciprian said Madison Hill was the only land development offered in the Mornington Peninsula and offered a landmark opportunity to secure large, vacant land in the popular location.

“We’ve generated more than 1100 registrations of interest in total, and welcomed more than 200 groups through on opening day, so we’re expecting a big auction crowd for March 18,” he said.

“It has been more than 10 years since land of this size, quality and location has been released,” he said.

“Each lot provides a unique opportunity to create a grand home free from the constraints imposed by space.

“One of the north facing blocks up for auction – at 3150sqm – has the widest frontage at 45 metres, and has achieved record levels of enquiry.

“Given the location of Madison Hill, the size of the blocks and the strength of the local market we expect a highly competitive auction for every parcel.”

Mr Ciprian said nearly all enquiries had come from locals, with younger buyers wishing to upsize and some older buyers wishing to “downsize” from acreage to a Madison Hill address.

Madison Hill incorporates a total of 47 lots ranging in size from 2000sqm to 6000sqm. Stage One is the only available land at present. The 16ha site for Madison Hill is located to the east of the township of Mornington on the cusp of the main residential area. The site is bound by Bungower Road to the south, Baldock Road to the east, the Beleura Retirement Village to the west, and farming land to the north. Mornington Tourist Railway and Mornington Racecourse is located nearby with Padua College and a number of other schools also within walking distance to Madison Hill. Mornington is located between the exclusive beachside suburbs of Mount Eliza and Mount Martha on the Port Phillip coast, about 60 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. The suburb has direct access to Melbourne via the Peninsula Link highway. Mornington is a cosmopolitan seaside village that offers more than a kilometre of shopping with more than 370 retail outlets, including boutiques, homeware and designer stores, sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

The suburb has experienced strong growth in house prices in recent times with the media house price in September quarter rising 9.7% to $705,000. The whole Mornington Peninsula LGA saw prices increase 5.5% for the year to $650,000.

Mr Ciprian said the Madison Hill parcels were ideal for grand, sprawling residences that made the most of the semi-rural location.

“It will be amazing to see what homes our buyers deliver on these blocks,” he said. “Living the good life on a grand scale will be easy with such impressive block sizes.”

Oliver Hume Research Manager George Bougias said the demand for land in Melbourne’s growth corridors continued to accelerate in 2016 with little chance of a slowdown in the short term.

Figures recently-released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Victoria’s population is now larger than ever before and looks set to continue growing. In the year to 30 June 2016, the state’s population grew by over 123,000 people (2.1%). Victoria recorded the fastest population growth of all states and territories, adding more people than any other jurisdiction. This robust population growth is expected to continue, with Victoria’s population projected to hit 7 million by 2024.

“Based on current trends and forecasts, demand for housing in Victoria and Melbourne in particular, is set to reach unprecedented levels in the near future,” he said.


Permit Ready Rebrands To Development Ready In Time For Expansion

Permit Ready has announced the renaming and rebranding of its platform to Development Ready, in a move that coincides with an expanded service offering across Australia’s east coast two years after the company’s launch.

Development Ready is a buying and selling hub exclusively for development sites, instantly connecting real estate agents with qualified buyers sourced from developers and investors nationwide.

The site makes it easy for developers to find their next project anywhere across the country. The company has evolved rapidly to become one of Australia’s leading platforms for listing a broad range of development sites for sale, currently with over 10,000 subscribers including investors, developers and real estate agents.

The Development Ready rebrand coincides with several milestones for the company including its continued roll out of features including a construction calculator, feasibility tools, mapping functionalities and property development investment fund which will further guide aspiring and experienced developers through the life cycle of a development project.

The Development Ready team have set up a secondary office in Martin Place Sydney which was announced in January 2017.

Development Ready Managing Director, Nick Materia, said the business had changed its name and expanded its focus in response to developer demand.

“Until now, Development Ready has focused its resources on showcasing development-only approved sites for sale. But following the company’s initial launch, developers have also flagged interest in pursuing ‘development-potential’ land opportunities,” he said.

“This, combined with strong growth in our audience base and a rapid uptake in real estate agency partnerships has prompted an expansion of our service offering. It was time to re-imagine our company’s broader role in the future of development site listing and purchasing,” he said.

“Our buyers are genuine, active and targeted – and there are a lot of them. I believe this is what sets Development Ready apart from other portals,” he said.

Development Ready has a unique, independent view into development trends including upcoming hotspots, buyer trends, price trends and enquiry patterns for all states of Australia, with regular listings from over 300 real estate agencies across Australia.

The company has partnerships with leading agencies including Colliers International, CBRE, Savills, Knight Frank, Biggin & Scott Land, Melbourne Acquisitions, Ray White, Jellis Craig and many more.

Development Ready will roll out its redesigned logo along with an updated website URL, DevelopmentReady.com.au.

Development Ready offers future and existing clients and users access to a wider range of development site opportunities across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, with an additional focus on South Australia and Western Australia over the coming months.

“Our vision is to increase the visibility of this unique platform. We aim to keep user needs at the heart of our approach and make Development Ready even more accessible to sellers and buyers across Australia,” he said. “Recent case studies provided by existing clients have indicated that our website has consistently outperformed conventional portals, both in terms of the number of enquiries generated and the quality of these leads.”

Development Ready has listed over 2000 properties since its inception with a total sales value of more than $3 billion. Visit www.developmentready.com.au for more information.

doctors on demand

Australian Psychologists Stay Ahead With ‘Telemental Health’

The country’s first 24-hour video-consulting and medication prescription service for General Practitioners (GPs), Doctors on Demand, has expanded to include appointments with mental health experts at all times of the day. 

The ‘turnkey’ health service provides registered mental health practitioners and their patients with a new option for delivering and accessing mental health services.

Patients can access a registered Australian psychologist using Doctors on Demand on their computer, or via an app with their mobile phone or tablet.

Doctors on Demand CEO John Martin said the service aimed to improve mental health by providing greater access for patients who had been restricted in the past by distance, time, or even scheduling constraints.

“Our aim is to improve access to mental healthcare for all Australians, which will have benefits for rural and indigenous health, hospitals and outpatients and the primary health network around Australia,” he said.

“Psychologists in rural, regional and remote Australia account for approximately 20% of the psychology workforce, so there continues to be a need to increase accessibility of mental health professionals to all Australians and our platform is aiming to do this,” he said.

“Telepsychology is a solution for patients who seek treatment in a less-confronting or more private manner, and we are providing a safe and secure online environment for these patients to access the support they need,” he said.

The National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) is currently proposing that Medicare rebates be made available to patients living in “telehealth eligible” areas for telepsychology services provided under two existing programs:

-Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS); and
-Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) program.

In rural areas, GP mental health encounters per 1,000 people decline from 668 in major cities to 241 in remote/very remote areas, and even less for psychology service, despite the suicide rate outside a major city sitting 66 per cent higher than it is within a major city. 

Mr Martin supported the National Rural Health Alliance’s proposal and said timely diagnoses by a mental health expert via teleconferencing could, for example, help a recently separated mother suffering from depression cope with the pressures of managing a busy household by accessing psychology services from the privacy of her home when the children are asleep. 

“A quick check in via a fully registered telehealth expert could also assist a time-poor CBD worker or a university student to privately and securely access treatment for anxiety or depression, for example,” he said.

“Being more open to ‘telepsychology’ will assist many people who find attendance at a face-to-face practice confronting,” he said.

“Patients can speak to a registered professional on the go, from anywhere,” he said.

All patients complete the DASS checklist prior to their mental health appointment –  a 21-item self-report instrument designed to measure patient emotion – as is standard for face-to-face appointments.

Mr Martin said that for mental health professionals working for the service, the model provides flexibility and control.

“Psychologists who sign up to the Doctors on Demand telehealth service can set their own rates, their own working hours, and the length of each appointment,” he said.

“For example, if psychologists want to switch to part-time work while on leave, or on holidays, they can do so with our service,” he said.

The platform may also enable psychologists to work from home rather than an office, which typically takes up a large percentage of a practitioners’ operating costs.

According to the American Telemedicine Association, up to 15 million people used telehealth services in the United States during 2015, up 50 percent from 2013.

Telepsychology has been in place for almost 20 years at the US Department of Veterans Affairs and other international government organisations that serve patients in rural areas, according to the American Psychology Association.

Mr Martin said the company would begin working further with psychologists to continue to extend the service.

“Doctors on Demand was developed to provide GPs and GP clinics with foundational technology to support their eHealth strategies, and now we can offer an holistic approach to eHealth with mental health services,” he said.

Doctors on Demand launched the country’s first 24-hour GP video-consulting service on December 1 2016 with a team of experienced practitioners. To date the service has provided over 1000 consultations across Australia. The service is available at www.doctorsondemand.com.au or via apps for Apple and Android.