Latvian pension funds post highest ever first-quarter returns

first_imgGeographically, the share of assets invested in Latvia fell by 7 percentage points to 38%, and that in Europe by 4 percentage points to 16%, while Eastern European investment rose by 4 percentage points to 18%, and global investment by 5 percentage points to 14%.Russian exposure halved to 0.5%.In the third-pillar funds – five open and one closed – average returns shot up from 1.98% to 10.28%, with the balanced funds returning 8.41% and the equity-weighted ones 14.85%.The number of open plans shrank by three to 14.Assets increased by 26% to €303m and membership by 7.8% to 240,255.Lithuania’s pension plans also produced strong results, with the voluntary second-pillar funds raising the average one-year return (measuring the weighted change of a unit value) to 15.05%, from 2.73% 12 months earlier, according the Bank of Lithuania, the central bank and pension regulator.The five high-risk funds, which can invest up to 100% in equities, returned 24.45%, followed by the nine medium-equity funds at 16.31%.The four low-risk funds (with up to 30% in shares) returned 13.32%, while the eight conservative funds, with no equity share, generated 4.79%.The net asset value of the funds increased by 26.5% to €2.1bn and membership by 4.1% to 1.17m.In the third pillar, 12-month returns averaged 17.45%, compared with 2.13% in 2014.High-equity-weighted funds returned 23.32%, mixed funds 16.5% and bond schemes 3.76%.Assets grew by 39.8% to €53.6m and members by 18.1% to 42,257.The year-to-date returns averaged 7.55% for the second-pillar funds and 9.16% for the third, results that Audrius Šilgalis, senior specialist at Bank of Lithuania’s financial services and market analysis division, attributed to the strong performance of European and US markets in the first quarter of 2015. Latvia’s pension funds posted their highest ever returns in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia (LKA).The mandatory second-pillar funds returned an average 9.5% over the year, well above the 1.5% recorded a year earlier.In 2015, thanks to strong equity market performances, the eight higher-risk, equity-weighted funds generated 11%, compared with 9.2% from the four balanced funds and 5.9% from the eight conservative, bond-weighted plans.Assets increased over the period by 23.2% to €2.2bn and membership by 0.8% to 1.24m.last_img read more

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ATP’s Danish equity holdings return nearly 50% over 2015

first_imgThe pension fund’s member assets rose to DKK705bn from DKK704bn.Its high-volume hedging activity, designed to protect the return guarantees it gives members, made a loss of DKK2.27bn in 2015, but it said this loss – at less than half a percent of the guaranteed pensions – was satisfactory.In absolute terms, the pension fund made a DKK16.5bn return before expenses and tax, equating to 17.2%, up from DKK6bn in 2014.ATP’s bonus potential, or reserves, grew to DKK101.2bn by the end of December from DKK95.8bn at the same point the year before.Within its investment portfolio, which consists of these bonus reserves, ATP said results had been mainly driven by good returns on its equity and inflation risk classes of DKK11.4bn and DKK7.5bn, respectively.The biggest detractors from returns were commodities, due mostly to falling oil prices.ATP said this year’s life expectancy update increased guaranteed pensions by DKK3.7bn, or 0.6%.This extra provision was due to the fact the observed increase in Danish life expectancy over the past year was higher than expected, rising by 2.5 months for women and three months for men.Administrative costs fell during 2015 by 7%.Investment costs, however, rose by 6% during the year, partly due to increased trading activity on liquid investment strategies, new mandates and increased market values.“In 2015,” ATP said, “focus was also on illiquid investments with a higher degree of direct control than in the past, and these investments have increased in volume.” Denmark’s ATP made a 17.2% pre-tax return on its investments in 2015, partly on the back of a 48% return on its holdings of Danish equities.In its release of full-year financial data, the pension fund revealed that its liabilities – the value of its guaranteed pensions for almost 5m Danes – fluctuated considerably during 2015, varying by almost DKK100bn (€13.4bn) over the course of the year.Despite the swings, which it blamed on rises and falls in interest rates, the value of ATP’s guaranteed pensions ended the year at DKK604bn, down from DKK608bn the year before.Carsten Stendevad, chief executive at ATP, said: “High investment returns, even lower administration expenses and higher ATP pensions made 2015 a good year for ATP.”last_img read more

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Luxembourg reserve fund gains 3.9% as EM managers underperform

first_imgLuxembourg’s €16.5bn reserve fund returned 3.9% on its investments in 2017, a year in which it confirmed a new investment strategy and renewed a host of mandates.The Fonds de Compensation’s (FDC) investment vehicle underperformed its benchmark by four basis points.The board of directors said this slight underperformance was mainly due to stock selection by its equity managers, which could not be offset by the positive effects of FDC’s tactical allocation.Emerging market equities recorded their best performance since 2010 last year, the fund noted, with its benchmark returning 20.6%. FDC’s three managers “nonetheless” underperformed this by 3 percentage points, leading the reserve fund to terminate the mandate of one of these managers at the end of the year. Overall, FDC’s equity investments gained 8.8% in 2017, to which global equities contributed 7.2% and small caps 9.9%.Its bond investments returned 0.9%, real estate 0.7%, and money market funds 0.2%.Investment strategy reviewLast year the reserve fund revised its investment strategy for the third time since 2007, and renewed a number of asset management mandates.Its new strategy has a higher allocation to risk assets, raising the equity quota from 32.5% to 40% of the portfolio, at the expense of bonds and money market funds.  This pushed up its risk budget, but this was still below the 20% limit set by the investment strategy, according to the 2017 report for FDC’s mutual fund.The reserve fund did not consider additional asset classes as part of its strategy review, but said it was considering allocations to private equity and private debt.In addition, FDC indicated that it would place more emphasis on sustainability criteria in its decision-making processes. This included an aim to only award investment mandates to managers that considered sustainability matters in addition to carrying out financial analysis.As previously reported, the fund plans to allocate to equity and bond investments intended to have a positive social or environmental impact, based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.FDC was required to renew several mandates by law last year as they had been in place for 10 years. Four bond mandates were awarded: three for euro-denominated bonds to HSBC Global Asset Management, Amundi Asset Management and Allianz Global Investors, and a global bond mandate to AXA Investment Managers. Axa IM also secured the sole money market mandate that FDC renewed.Two mandates for indexed global equity management went to State Street Global Advisors and UBS Asset Management.last_img read more

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Aon ‘not pursuing merger with Willis Towers Watson’

first_imgAon’s London-based head office had already issued a statement on Tuesday in response to a report by Bloomberg, saying it had to make its intention public under Irish law after the newswire reported the discussions, as WTW is headquartered in Ireland.In its first statement, Aon highlighted that there was no certainty about a takeover or merger, or what form it might take.Aon and WTW are internationally known as, respectively, the second-largest and third-largest providers for insurance advice and risk management, and a merger would bring them close to industry leader Marsh and McLennan, the parent company of Mercer.The two companies are also dominant players in pensions and human resources services. In the UK, along with Mercer, they are the biggest investment consultants and fiduciary managers.WTW and Aon are both listed in New York, where WTW’s shares rose by 5% yesterday, taking the company’s market value to more than $22bn (€19.5bn).In contrast, Aon’s market capitalisation fell almost 8% to $40bn.Several commentators highlighted potential competition problems as a result of a merger. One analyst at Wells Fargo predicted that both companies would be forced to sell their overlapping business units, “as there are many areas where a combination of the two firms would lead to too much concentration in the market”.WTW was created by the $8.6bn merger of Willis Group with Towers Watson in 2016. Towers Watson, in turn, was created by the merger of Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt in 2009.Willis Towers Watson has so far declined to comment on a possible takeover. Consultancy giant Aon today pulled out of discussions regarding a potential merger with its rival Willis Towers Watson (WTW).In a statement, it confirmed that it had “considered potential opportunities with regards to WTW” as part of regular evaluations of return on invested capital.It blamed “media speculation” for its disclosure at the very early stage in the “consideration of a potential all-share business combination”.However, it also stated that it “reserved the right within the next 12 months to set aside this announcement where so permitted under Irish takeover rules”.last_img read more

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Dominica government advised to allocate more funds towards disaster management

first_imgSevere flooding in Massacre due to the passage of Tropical Storm Ophelia in 2011.Dominica’s former disaster management coordinator Cecil Shillingford has indicated that based on the vulnerability of the Caribbean to natural disasters, disaster management and preparedness should be placed on the government’s front burner.Shillingford while reporting to the media following the end of a meeting with stakeholders in the sector earlier this week, issued a call to donor agencies and the government for more money to be allocated towards disaster risk reduction and management.“We need the international and regional organizations to understand our vulnerability. We are the most vulnerable region in the world. We see all these hurricanes every year, we have lots of volcanoes we are in an earthquake region, we have landslides at is pertains to heavy rainfall. We need the regional organizations to put a little more money into the region to look at risk reduction. We need our government also to put more money for that national office. We do not want to manage disasters; we want to do things ahead of time”.Shillingford also emphasized the common saying that precaution is always better than cure.“We want to do things ahead of time so that an event doesn’t necessarily have to be a disaster. So if things are in place and you have a hurricane, it doesn’t have to be a disaster. If all our houses are built to a certain specification, we will lose fewer roofs”. He said if the effects of hazards are assessed early, a “disaster” might not necessarily be a disaster.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring! Share 43 Views   2 comments Sharecenter_img Share Tweet LocalNews Dominica government advised to allocate more funds towards disaster management by: – April 19, 2012last_img read more

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Barangay ‘kagawad’ robbed, shot to death

first_imgThe 45-year-old resident Edward DominicAlgara sustained gunshot wounds on the head and body, police said. The suspect then took the victim’smoney, the police added. Officers of the Pontivedra municipalpolice station conducted a manhunt operation against the suspect who fled afterthe shooting./PN BACOLOD City – A village councilman was shotto death in his store in Barangay Antipolo, Pontivedra, Negros Occidental.center_img Algara was rushed to the ValladolidDistrict hospital where the attending physician declared him as “dead onarrival.” According to police investigators,Algara was tending to his store when an unidentified suspect declared holdupand shot the victim twice around 11:15 a.m. on March 23.last_img

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Rio Olympics refugee team wins Laureus award

first_img(REUTERS) – A refugee team that competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics with 10 athletes from countries including Syria and South Sudan was named yesterday as winner of a Laureus Award for sporting inspiration.“This award is for the 65.4 million displaced people globally, who cannot go to their homes because of strife,” Kenyan distance runner Tegla Loroupe, the team’s chef de mission, told a news conference in Monaco.“Each of the 10 inspirational people in our team have triumphed over adversity and endured unimaginable journeys to get to the start line.”The hand-picked team of refugees from Syria, Congo, Ethiopia and South Sudan provided one of the highlights of the Games with the athletes taking part in athletics, swimming and judo.One of those attending yesterday’s news conference was Syrian swimmer Rami Anis, who made the hazardous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece after fleeing his home town of Aleppo and ended up in Belgium.“Sport gives everyone a chance, and what happened at the Rio Olympics showed people around the world who have trouble and fear in their lives that there is hope,” he said in a Laureus statement.The International Olympic Committee has yet to decide whether to send another refugee team to Tokyo in 2020.More than a million refugees streamed into Europe in 2016 alone as they fled fighting in the Middle East and elsewhere.Millions more are housed in camps in countries across the world, having escaped wars or armed conflicts in their home nations.last_img read more

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Asian Games Asian Games 2018, Day 7: Tajinderpal Singh Toor wins gold in shot-put

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Asian Games News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Asian Games 2018 Day 7 will witness the spotlight shift to the track and field events as athletes kick-star their Asiad journey on Saturday. Stars like Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Niramala Sheoran will be seen in the track events. Many eyes will be on the global stars PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal as they play in the second round of the badminton singles event.ALSO READ: Asian Games 2018, Day 7: India’s complete Schedule, Timings, and moreIndia added a total of seven medals to their take their tally to 25 on the Day 6 of the Asian Games 2018 as men’s quadruple Sculls’ team bagged the gold, while the women’s Kabaddi team settled for the silver. Squash contingent also assured three more medals by reaching the semi-finals, while shooter Heena Sidhu bagged the bronze. Asian Games 2018 Day 7 LIVE Updates:# Shot Put GOLD for India: Tajinderpal Singh Toor makes new Asiad record, throws 20.75 m in his fifth attempt. Wins gold for India.# Squash: Sourav Ghoshal and Ming Chun Au are tied 2-2 in the men’s singles semifinals.#Badminton: PV Sindhu beats Gregoria Mariska 21-12, 21-15 to enter women’s singles quarterfinals# Badminton: Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy bow out after losing 11-21, 22-24 against Q Chen and Y Jia of China.# Boxing: Pavitra defeats Pakistan’s Rukhsana Perveen to advance into the women’s Light (60kg) quarterfinals.# Weightlifting: India’s poor outing comes to an end without a single medal as Vikas Thakur finishes 8th in the men’s 94kg category.# Badminton: PV Sindhu advances to quarterfinals after defeating Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung by 21-21, 21-15.# India’s Medal Tally: India 26 medals – 6 gold, 5 silver, 15 bronze# Squash: Dipika Pallikal bags bronze medal after losing 0-3 in the women’s singles squash semifinals against Malaysia’s Nicol Ann David. # Badminton: PV Sindhu wins the first game by 21-12 against Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the women’s singles Round of 16.# Badminton: Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lsoe byg 17-21 21-19 17-21 against South Korea’s Solgyu Choi and Minhyuk in the round of 16.# Badminton: Saina Nehwal advances to quarterfinals in Women’s singles event after defeating Indonesia’s Fitriani by straight sets.# Badminton: Saina Nehwal takes the first game by 21-6 against Indonesia’s Fitriani in Women’s singles round of 16 match.# Shooting: Anish Bhanwala and Shivam Shukla fail to qualify for the final of 25m Rapid Fire Pistol.# Track and Field: Rajiv Arokia finishes second in Heat 4 of men’s 400m, qualifies for semi-finals.# Volleyball: India defeat Maldives in straight sets of 25-12, 25-21, 25-17.# Track and Field: Muhammed Anas Yahiya finishes first in Heat 1 of the men’s 400m race with a time of 45.63 seconds to qualify for the main event# Volleyball: India take a 2-0 lead against Malaysia in the men’s volleyball Pool F match. # ARCHERY: India beat Mongolia 5-3 to reach women’s recurve team quarterfinalsThe Indian team, comprising of Deepika Kumari, Promila Daimary and Ankita Bhakat, beat Mongolia 5-3 to reach the women’s Recurve Team Quarterfinals# Major medal events for the day: Shooting, Shotput, Athletics, Squash, Archery, Badminton, Boxing and Hockey.# Athletics schedule for the day:last_img read more

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Mbappe Overcomes Coronavirus Scare, Tests Negative

first_imgPSGwill be hoping Mbappe recovers in time to play a part in today’s Champions League last-16 second leg tie against Borussia Dortmund.The Ligue 1 champions trail 2-1 in the tie thanks to Erling Haaland’s double.Mbappe assisted Neymar’s equaliser with a sparkling run at Signal Iduna Park, before Haaland fired home an emphatic 20-yard winner 13 minutes from time.If PSG fail to overturn the narrow deficit, they will suffer a Champions League last-16 elimination for a fourth successive season.PSG boss Thomas Tuchel revealed Mbappe has been struggling with angina, a type of chest pain.The German coach said: “Kylian is sick.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Kylian Mbappe has reportedly tested negative for coronavirus after missing PSG training due to illness.The 21-year-old has been sidelined for two training sessions due to a throat infection.And French media, L’Equipeclaims he tested negative for coronavirus, the deadly disease which has infected over 115,000 people worldwide, including more than 4,000 deaths.last_img read more

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Davies, Smith shake off rough start to season, look for WCHA awards

first_imgDespite a rocky start to the 2009-10 season, Wisconsin junior Brendan Smith is the nation\’s top-scoring defensemen.[/media-credit]This weekend’s WCHA Final Five features five ranked teams loaded with talent, and the third-ranked Badgers have multiple players flaunting gaudy statistical seasons.Two of those skilled individuals, senior forward Michael Davies and junior defenseman Brendan Smith, are in solid position to earn postseason recognition for their efforts, but that did not seem likely after the first series of the season.It was before that series that Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves made one of the hardest decisions a coach ever has to make.October 16th marked the start of the 2009-10 season for Eaves and the Badgers, but that wasn’t the case for Davies.He watched the entire series in a suit and tie.According to Eaves, the senior St. Louis native needed to prove his work ethic to the coaching staff before he could see time on the ice.“It started in the summer because Michael wasn’t where we wanted him to be conditioning wise,” Eaves said. “We had a very honest talk, and unless he met a certain criterion he probably wasn’t going to play.”Smith, on the other hand, suited up for the season opener, but after a shaky night in his own zone, Eaves knew Smith’s play needed to improve, and he felt the first round draft choice needed to be held to the standards expected of a veteran defenseman.“It was a heart-to-heart talk, and it was hopefully a moment in his life that he’ll remember,” Eaves said. “It was time to hold him accountable as to what he needed to do for him to be effective — being responsible with and without the puck.“We didn’t want him to just be a one-way player.”Wisconsin lost that season opener to Colorado College, but the Badgers salvaged a point by earning a tie in game two.UW was in a fight to the bitter end with Denver to win the regular season WCHA title (a fight Denver won), and the failure to grab those points proved to be costly. But Eaves hoped the short-term damage would allow the two players to grow.“It might have hurt us that weekend to be quite honest with you, but the hope was that is would help us in the long run,” Eaves said.A tough pill to swallowComing into his senior year Davies had posted over 70 career points in three seasons.Thanks to his tremendous stick handling, Davies became known for his offensive skill in space, but his abilities weren’t on display at the start of his final season, and that was a difficult reality to accept.“It was obviously disappointing, coming back as a senior and not being in the lineup,” Davies said. “Coach said I didn’t deserve to be playing and looking back on it maybe I didn’t deserve to be out there.”Davies needed to better condition himself for the rigors of WCHA play, and once that was in place, his work in the offensive end still needed improvement. The UW coaching staff wanted to see more than the pretty dekes and toe-drags.They wanted to see grit.“The message was to get my nose in the corners and just be a tough player to play against,” Davies said about the conversation he had with Eaves.Smith’s meeting was admittedly emotional, and the benching took its toll on the talented defenseman.“It was very tough. That was the first time I was a healthy scratch in my life,” Smith said. “I was very disappointed. It was hard, but I think it helped me out. Coach and I talked a lot; we had a lot of meetings, and ultimately I knew I had to play better defensively.”Message receivedA week later Davies and Smith returned to action, and they have been mainstays in the lineup ever since.As UW prepares for St. Cloud State in the semifinals of the WCHA tournament, it’s Davies who leads the team in points with 48 and Smith who has been identified as a Hobey Baker award candidate.For Eaves, the growth of these two players from the rocky start of the season has been a joy to watch.“It has been very rewarding,” Eaves said. “Whenever a young man maximizes his potential it’s one of the best things about coaching.”Davies has improved his game along the boards while showing a willingness to deliver hits, and the offensive production has followed.He has been the facilitator of the power play, displaying flawless passes right to the sticks of his teammates. And he is currently riding a three-game scoring streak heading into round two of the WCHA playoffs.So, what role did the early season benching play in Davies’ breakthrough season?He says it’s one of the main reasons he’s improved.“Had I not sat those two games, I don’t think I’d be the productive player that I am today,” Davies said.Much like Davies, Smith has taken his game to another level after his removal from the lineup.“It definitely shook me,” Smith said of the benching. “But it motivated me to prove what kind of player I am.”Smith has accepted his defensive responsibilities and refined his game at the back end, but that hasn’t limited his offense.In fact, Smith, who recorded four points in the first round of the WCHA tournament, is the highest scoring defenseman in the country.Both players were sent an early season message; both players have excelled as a result. And according to both Badgers, the key to their success centers on one key attribute — consistency.“Anybody can get taken out of the lineup at any time and it’s a privilege to be playing,” Smith said. “Ever since [the benching] I’ve taken that to heart. Every practice and every game you have to be your best.”Davies echoed his teammate’s sentiments.“I used to be very inconsistent, I’d put up three points one night and then go pointless the next five,” Davies added. “It’s all about consistency at this level, and the reason I’ve been so good this year is because I’ve been consistent.”Postseason conference awards will be handed out Thursday before round two and both Davies and Smith will be in attendance, along with several other Badgers, hoping to be recognized by the WCHA.The seasons they each have compiled are noteworthy considering where it all began, but though the potential recognition is appreciated, Davies and Smith have their minds set on different award, one they can share with their teammates.“It’s an honor to be up for those individual awards,” Davies said. “But hopefully we can keep it going and eventually get that team award at the end of the season.”last_img read more

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