Spanish pension funds post average 3.2% gain despite bond losses

first_imgMeanwhile, figures from Mercer’s Pension Investment Performance Service (PIPS) showed that, for the 2017 calendar year, equity allocations within Spanish pension funds returned 7.8%. Within this, euro-zone equities returned 8.4%, European equities outside the euro-zone gained 4.9%, and North American equities increased by 4.4%.Among the biggest allocations within fixed income, euro-zone government bonds made 0.2%, while euro-zone credit made 1.4%. However, government bonds, high yield and credit allocations outside of Europe contributed to an overall loss in fixed income of 0.5%.Xavier Bellavista, principal at Mercer, said these losses were due to performance and currency depreciation in non-euro-zone assets.Within alternatives, private equity made 13.3%, hedge funds 2.3% and real estate 1.3%.The PIPS survey covered a large sample of pension funds, most of them occupational schemes. It reported that Spanish funds on averaged allocated 59.9% to fixed income and 35.4% to equities.Fixed income allocations were dominated by euro-zone credit (18.8%), followed by euro-zone government bonds (18%) and 9.7% in cash. Euro-zone equities made up 17.7%, North American equities 10% and emerging markets 3.6%.According to the PIPS figures, only 4.6% of pension fund assets were held in alternatives, principally 1.7% in real estate and 1.4% in hedge funds.There has been a gradual shift away from euro-zone holdings over the long term, according to Mercer.Bellavista said: “The main difference between December 2017 and December 2016 is the increase in exposure to non-euro-zone assets… especially in fixed income. The equity exposure is the highest in the last seven years, while alternatives continue to increase slowly.”In terms of risk management, Bellavista observed that in general, during 2017 and the start of 2018, pension funds had quite a positive sentiment when looking at macroeconomic data.However, he added: “Most pension fund managers maintain a prudent approach because of high valuations and low interest rates. This is making some of them implement hedging strategies to protect against tail risk.” Spanish occupational pension funds gained 3.2% on average in 2017, according to the country’s Investment and Pension Fund Association (INVERCO).This marked an improvement on the 2.7% gain posted in 2016, and outpaced inflation, which came in at just under 2%.The fourth-quarter results brought the average annualised returns for Spanish occupational funds to 3% for the three years to 31 December 2017, and 4.8% for the five-year period.At end-December total assets under management for the sector stood at €35.8bn, an increase of 1% over the year. The number of participants in the occupational system was stable at just over 2m.last_img read more

Read more

Turkey blind was a lemon

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest If you happened to read my previous column on the topic, you know that I built an impromptu turkey hunting blind out of materials that were left behind after arsonists torched the old barn from which I had hidden and hunted gobblers for years. All that remained were the rusted, twisted roof panels atop a mound of ash, and I used the salvaged metal pieces to form a circular “hide” past which I hoped gobblers would continue to strut, as they had for years when the barn was standing.Much as I’d like to say it was a brilliant idea and worked like a charm, I can’t. In fact, it was a downright bad idea on several fronts — the first of which came when I attempted to enter the steel blind early on opening day. The fact that I was nearly so (blind) in the pre-dawn darkness factored into the misstep that sounded like someone kicking a 50 gallon oil drum when my boot didn’t quite clear the top of the panel I was stepping over.As if that thunderous announcement weren’t enough, thanks the previous night’s rains, I got to settle down into a quagmire of wet ash and fresh mud — the latter thanks to dirt kicked up by the resident groundhog that had also set up shop in the ruins. With a soaked butt and nothing more than a pair of cement blocks stacked one atop the other as a backrest, I was cold and uncomfortable and eventually soaked when the rains picked up mid-morning and drenched me from above.Because my hiding spot was surrounded by open land, I didn’t have an option to sneak out unseen under cover and find a new spot, or get closer to any distant gobblers I might have heard, so I was stuck in my miserable mud-pit. Any move by me had the potential to blow my cover for good. So, I toughed it out until the noon quitting time and slinked back to the cabin with a kink in my back, a soggy rear end and lesson hard earned.last_img read more

Read more

Jesse Robinson Replacing Paul Lewis at Guard

first_imgPaul Lewis in at right guard for #okstate. Jesse Robinson is at left guard. Michael Wilson off the field.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) October 31, 2015Gundy told reporters last week that Paul Lewis was recovering from “bum knee”, and would likely return to full health this week [for Texas Tech]. So it appears it wasn’t a health issue, but rather the elevated play of Robinson that prompted the staff to make a change.“(Robinson) battled,” Yurcich told The Oklahoman last week after a win against Kansas.  “He did a great job and graded out pretty high. So we’re excited about him and the depth that we’re building on the offensive line.”If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Two weeks in a row Jesse Robinson has started at right guard in place of sophomore Paul Lewis. By any measure, Robinson has been the starter except by official standards. Kieran Steckley points out that the updated depth chart reflects the unofficial changes that have been set for the past 2 games, and Robinson is now listed as the starting right guard.After weeks as the backup, Jesse Robinson is listed as starting RG. Was an “or” with Paul Lewis last week. Robinson has started past 2 games— Kieran Steckley (@Kieran_Steckley) November 2, 2015On Saturday, the offensive line made some strange adjustments, moving Lewis to right guard and moving Robinson to left guard in replacement of Michael Wilson. Apparently, that change didn’t stick with the coaching staff, so Wilson will return to his respective position and Robinson will take over at right guard.last_img read more

Read more

Global Maternal Health Conference 2010: Day One Take-Aways from the Young Champions

first_imgPosted on August 31, 2010June 21, 2017By: Lorraine Thompson, Winner, Ashoka’s Maternal Health Blogging ContestClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On August 30 at 8:00am, the air was already hot and sticky as Ashoka’s Young Champions and Changemakers boarded an air-conditioned bus. After careening across Delhi’s bumpy streets, the young social entrepreneurs stepped into the bright light of downtown Delhi for their first day at the Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC).In the morning they attended the Conference’s inaugural ceremonies. After lunch they absorbed new facts, figures and findings at special conference sessions. Later that evening, I caught up with two Young Champions and a Changemaker to ask a question:What was your most important takeaway from today’s GMHC sessions? How will it impact your work?Onikepe Owolabi“At the first presentation today, I was struck by the obstetric epidemiologist from Aberdeen (Wendy J. Graham from Immpact at the Univeristy of Aberdeen). She kept mentioning context of research. And it struck me that when we look at studies to influence what we do, we should always try to find out about the culture of the people there. And the other things was her idea of ‘failing forward’: learning to maximize our failures—to make them into successes and leverage them for future successes.”“In the afternoon, I attended a session on the social and economic impacts on maternal health. There was a young man who spoke about a qualitative study done in Nepal. Because of what I heard in the morning, I was a lot more open to qualitative research. Sometimes people think it’s not as scientific as quantitative data collection. He spoke about the cultural things that stopped women from accessing healthcare. He kind of sparked a thought in my heart—that culture is an integral part of people’s lives.”“I think the aim of our Young Champion projects should be to eliminate the harmful practices of culture. But maybe we will get women to access healthcare better if we can incorporate some good parts of culture. From my cultural context, many people use traditional birth attendants because they want the love, the prayers and the social support. So maybe if we could somehow incorporate those spiritual rituals into hospital birthing and institutional deliveries, women would be more open to using them—as against just insisting that they come to the hospital.”Seth Cochran“The partner I work with in Uganda uses these birth kits. She goes around to different women in the villages and shows them a little backpack filled with things that will make a pregnancy safer. Really basic stuff. Like soap to wash your hands. A razor to cut the cord—a sterile razor. A clean blanket.”“Originally I thought, it was a great idea. But it turns out it’s a pretty controversial idea. A lot of people worry that if you give a woman this kit of clean stuff, it’s going to tell her it’s okay to give birth at home. And that’s not what the institutional players want. They want the women having their babies in hospitals. Which I think is ideal—but in a lot of cases not realistic.”“Since the Women Deliver Conference, I’ve been thinking I need to better understand this discussion. So today I went to a session on birth kits. It was structured almost like a debate. Like, Here are some of the facts: What do you think?”“And it became very clear to me what I want to do. With these birth kits, there are all these possibilities, right? It doesn’t have to be a facility birth. If you manage it properly, not only can it make a woman want to go to the hospital, it can help the hospital more effectively treat her. It’s a packaged set of commodities—and the facility may be short of commodities.”At the hospital, they know, if they’ve been trained, how to receive this woman: The woman comes with a little package, they can immediately take every thing out, do the job quicker, more effectively, make sure everything’s there.”“Today the debate made it very clear in my mind that I’m going to do this as a fundamental part of my program. The specifics of how—I’m not quite sure about yet. But my mind was boiling with possibilities: You could sell these things. You could sell vouchers for additional care. You could give them vouchers for local transport—negotiate with taxis. It’s a physical good, a package that’s not only sellable to the woman in Africa—or donate-able—but it’s also saleable to the donating public. Because it’s tangible. And it’s low cost—probably less than $10 or $15.”Dr. Minal Singh“I liked meeting people from the same field, with a similar cause. The best part was I’m coming away with the feeling that I’m not alone—I’m not facing different values in the field of maternal health. The values are shared by people all over the world. So it gives me lots of inspiration to work with new energy when I get back.”“There are so many synergies. Though we had little time to connect with all the partners, I’m sure we have their contact details and their organization names. Thanks to the World Wide Web, we’ll be able to connect again. I can see much potential—people from whom I can learn and partner.”“In the afternoon I attended a session on the social and economic and cultural implications of maternal health. It was a very nice talk. And this is actually the problem we are facing—the gap in India between the rural and the urban and also the economic gap. So I hope this will help me implement better.”Lorraine Thompson is the winner of the Ashoka’s Maternal Health Blogging Contest and is live blogging for the Change Summit and the Global Maternal health Conference. Stay up to date with the conference happenings! Follow the Maternal Health Task Force and EngenderHealth on Twitter: @MHTF and @EngenderHealth. The conference hashtag is #GMHC2010.For more posts about the Global Maternal Health Conference, click here.For the live stream schedule, click here.Check back soon for the archived videos of the conference presentations. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Read more

Stars Roll Up To UNICEF UK Halloween Ball

first_imgUNICEF UK Ambassadors Jemima Goldsmith and Michael Sheen led the terror-ific turn out alongside guests Rita Ora, Poppy Delevingne and Hugh Grant at Unicef UK’s annual Halloween Ball on Thursday, raising vital funds to help protect Syria’s children in danger.Michael Sheen at UNICEF Halloween BallCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKThe event raised an incredible £1.6 million, made possible by the UK Government matching all public donations pound for pound on the night.Rita Ora at UNICEF Halloween BallCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKHigh-profile personalities from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and business arrived at London’s iconic venue, One Mayfair, for the freaky circus themed party that included live circus acts and spooky immersive theatre.Hugh Grant at UNICEF Halloween BallCredit/Copyright: UNICEF UKSinger Jessie Ware kicked off the entertainment with a breath-taking performance followed by an electrifying show by artist, Rita Ora. Producer and DJ Mark Ronson kept the party going with a DJ set until the small hours as guests danced the night away.Long-standing Unicef UK Ambassador Jemima Goldsmith said, “We’ve all been shocked by the recent heart-breaking images of children’s bodies washed up on beaches and children suffocating in trucks as families desperately try to seek safety in Europe. But it’s not enough to be shocked, we must take action. Unicef is one of the few organisations working inside Syria as well as delivering life-saving humanitarian aid for refugee children across the region. Their work remains desperately underfunded. At the Halloween Ball tonight we’re thrilled to help raise vital funds to support Unicef’s work for Syrian children whose lives have been devastated by the conflict.”The money raised at the Halloween Ball will help Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, provide clean water, vaccinations, school supplies, warm winter clothes, psychosocial care and child protection for Syrian children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict.Until the end of January 2016, the UK Government will match pound for pound all donations made to Unicef’s work for the children of Syria.International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The Syria conflict is robbing a generation of its childhood. There are nearly six million children inside Syria in desperate need of help and children make up half of the four million refugees forced to flee their homes. Many have known nothing but war.“Unicef is working to reach these children in danger and to ensure they get the clean water, medical care, protection and warm clothes they need as another winter closes in. For the third year in a row we are matching pound for pound all donations to Unicef’s Syria winter appeal, to ensure that this public support goes twice as far.”Unicef UK Executive Director, David Bull said: “Right now there are there are now nearly 14 million children in Syria and the surrounding countries affected by the conflict. Every day they face danger of exploitation, violence and abuse and as winter looms, many are sleeping in the open air and are at risk from pneumonia and hypothermia. The need to protect these children has never been greater. We are thankful for the overwhelming support and generosity that our guests have shown at the Halloween Ball and to the UK Government for matching pound for pound all donations made on the night and until the end of January 2016. We rely entirely on voluntary donations so the money raised is vital to enable Unicef teams to continue working round the clock to protect Syrian children in danger.”You can help keep Syria’s children safe. Please visit www.unicef.org.uk/halloweenball to donate.last_img read more

Read more