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

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Fernandinho focused on Chelsea game

first_img City must pick themselves up for a crunch early-season clash with their main title rivals after suffering an agonising last-gasp defeat in their Champions League opener at Bayern Munich on Wednesday. League leaders Chelsea already have a five-point advantage over the champions after just four games of the campaign. Fernandinho says Manchester City must quickly get over their Munich heartbreak to prevent Chelsea stretching their lead in the Barclays Premier League. Fernandinho said: “When you lose a game like this at the end, after the game you feel a little bit sad. “But you have to recover as soon as you can. We have a great game against a big team like Chelsea and the best way to recover is to win that game. “In the Premier League the most important thing is not to give the team at the top of the table reasons to keep winning game after game. “We don’t want a big space between us. We have to win because there would be six or eight points difference between us and Chelsea. We have to shorten it. “We have to win, keep working and keep going until we are top of the table.” Chelsea ran City close last season but eventually finished six points behind Manuel Pellegrini’s men in third. This term they look stronger with their summer recruitment, particularly the signings of prolific striker Diego Costa and cultured midfielder Cesc Fabregas, adding much to the side. Costa could be a fitness doubt for Sunday’s encounter at the Etihad Stadium but Fernandinho is anticipating a tough contest. The 29-year-old said: “They have started very well. Their new players have shown their quality. “I think this will be a great game. We have a good team as well and are playing at home for our supporters. I hope we can win this game.” The match may also be important for confidence with City having now not won in three games with the Munich loss – heartbreaking as it was – coming after a defeat by Stoke and a draw at Arsenal. Fernandinho said: “That is not easy (to take) for a big team such as City, but the best way to recover our confidence and our best qualities is to win the next game. “Already we think about the Chelsea game. We have to win this game because we have had a draw against Arsenal and a loss at home to Stoke. “We have to recover points to think about the top of the table.” Fernandinho has no doubts about City’s quality and takes much from the performance at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. City ultimately went down 1-0 after a deflected strike from Jerome Boateng in the 89th minute found a way past the imperious Joe Hart. Bayern’s dominance over 90 minutes meant victory was not undeserved but City not only showed resilience but had chances of their own. Because of that Fernandinho is convinced City can succeed at the top European level. The club have made no secret of their ambition to make an impact in the Champions League this season after three years of doing little more than gaining experience in the competition. Asked if City can compete against such sides, Brazil international Fernandinho said: “I think so, especially like we have played here. We played well. We created some chances to score goals, we (could have) had a penalty for us. “Unfortunately we conceded the goal at the end of the game. “But in the Champions League you have to keep the concentration to the end, then we wouldn’t get beaten or concede a goal.” Despite his confidence, the result leaves City already playing catch-up in a tough Group E, with their next opponents Roma having opened their campaign with a 5-1 win over CSKA Moscow. And there was also no doubting that City’s star performer was their goalkeeper, as Hart produced a string of brilliant saves to deny the likes of Thomas Muller, David Alaba, Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze. It looked like being his night when he made another fine one-handed stop to deny Boateng with the clock ticking down, only for his former team-mate to get lucky with another strike moments later. It was almost a reputation-restoring display by Hart, whose loss of form last autumn led to a short spell out of the side and questions have persisted over his consistency since. “He showed his best quality,” said Fernandinho. “He showed why he is the number one for England.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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After unfortunate ending for North Dakota’s women’s hockey program, future of female sports remains unknown

first_imgThis caused an uproar in the women’s hockey world, and many people began to wonder what kind of school could just simply get rid of a program without bothering to tell them they were on the chopping block. Many asked for North Dakota to reconsider, or to give the team a year to make up the deficit, as they had allowed the men’s golf team to do the year prior.North Dakota’s president Mark Kennedy denied many of these requests, stating that the matter was over and that this is what the university needed to do. Many people, including former women’s hockey players, began to show their disappointment in their alma mater, with the hashtag #NotUNDProud.#NotUNDProud pic.twitter.com/8LZtNW0McG— Jocelyne Lamoureux-D (@JocelyneUSA17) April 12, 2017The appeal to get the women’s hockey program back at UND soon began, with the hashtag #NeverEndtheFight uniting people across both the U.S. and Canada in their mission to bring back the program. Many thought that the outcry from the public would be enough to make the university reconsider, but in the end, North Dakota held firm in their decision with the team.By the time that May rolled around, many of the players began to receive offers to attend other universities, many of which were in the WCHA. The team was fractured, and many of its players still feel pain when they think of the fate of their former team.Some players were not as lucky as others, as many colleges and universities already had their roster spots filled for the 2017-2018 season. While North Dakota still provided scholarships for the athletes of the recently canceled program, many of them were forced to quit a sport that they loved and left without any means of continuing at UND.Wisconsin was only able to acquire one person from the North Dakota program, and Campbell is now the starting goaltender here at the University of Wisconsin. Looking back at the unfortunate end of the women’s hockey program at UND, Campbell feels as though this loss was a major loss for the entirety of women’s hockey.Three former UW women’s hockey players honored in ESPN’s annual body issueIn this year’s Body Issue, ESPN featured three former University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team members in recognizing their fight Read…“It hurts women’s hockey, it hurt’s the game,” said Campbell. “But a program like [North Dakota] can get cut. It became a fight for the future of women’s hockey. We tried the best we could to raise awareness because we didn’t want this to happen to any other program in the NCAA.”This unfortunate event shows just how fragile the world of women’s sports can be. North Dakota is not the only school that has canceled a female sport due to budget concerns, nor will they be the last.Wisconsin is currently home to 12 different women’s sports, and it is sad to think that there might come a day when we lose one of them. Wisconsin has a strong fan base that provides for many of the women’s sports that they have, but the same cannot be said for other institutions.What happened at North Dakota is a tragedy, and calls to question how secure the world of women’s sports really is. These kinds of events cause many to lose interests in women’s sports and are extremely discouraging to any female athletes out there who want to continue playing their sport at the next level.Supporting a women’s sports team at this time is crucial, and doing anything is better than doing nothing. North Dakota should serve as a turning point in the history of women’s athletics, not as a catalyst. No one expected the University of North Dakota to cancel their women’s hockey program at the end of the 2017 season, not even the players of the North Dakota team.On March 30, 2017, UND announced that after financial aid cuts from the state government they would be forced to cancel three of their athletic programs. Out of those three programs, two of them were women’s sports: hockey and swimming.What makes this series of cuts even more unfortunate was the fact that North Dakota had not informed teams that budget cuts would be made to their athletic programs. Many thought that after budget cuts from the previous year, which would see the loss of the North Dakota baseball team, that finances at the university were finally stable.Women’s hockey: While classmates prepare for exams, Pankowksi, Clark chasing Olympic goldAnyone who has taken an economics class knows that every choice you make always has an opportunity cost — losing Read…So you can imagine the shock on the face of Kristen Campbell and her teammates when they found out their head coach was going to meet with school officials to discuss the future of their program. Campbell and her team already knew that this was not a good sign, since this was the exact same dialogue that happened between the university and the baseball team one year prior.“Our coach came into the locker room and said that they had a meeting at three,” Campbell said, “which was never a good sign. When baseball got cut the year before, they got a text saying that they had to go to a meeting.”Campbell and her teammates knew something was wrong when they saw their senior class watching over them at practice. Since this was a spring practice for the team, seniors were not required to attend practice, but the senior class of North Dakota came to watch their teammates play one more time.A few of the seniors had found out about the demise of their program from Twitter, where stories and rumors were already beginning to spread in the area. While all of these stories were not technically confirmed yet, the senior class had a pretty good idea of what was about to happen to their team.Campbell recalled the strange events of that day, and remembers that the team knew something was off. Still, the team practiced on, not knowing that this would be their final practice together.A heartbreaking photo came out a few hours later, with North Dakota’s Gracen Hirschy showing the team practicing for the 2017-2018 season that they were looking forward to.last_img read more

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Football Federation of BiH became member of UEFA Referee Convention

first_imgBiH Football Federation has formally become a member of the UEFA Referee Convention, reports BiH Football FederationAfter the UEFA Executive Committee gave the approval, the protocol was signed by president of FFBIH Elvedin Begić, secretary general of FFBIH Jasmin Baković, president of UEFA Michel Platini, secretary general of UEFA Gianni Infantino and Chairman of the Referee Committee Angel Maria Villar Llona.With this convention FFBIH has obliged itself to respect all principles of the UEFA Referee Convention and to notify the UEFA about any changes in organisation or education of referees.On the other hand, UEFA will give 100 000 EUR for the development of the referee structures and the training of referees in BiH.(sportsport.ba)last_img

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UPDATED: COPS DO WANT TO QUIZ ETIC SOLUTIONS BOSS, SOURCES CONFIRM

first_imgUPDATED: COPS DO want to quiz Ballybofey-based French businessman Francois de Dietrich as part of an investigation into an alleged Ponzi investment scam, PSNI and Garda sources have confirmed.Earlier today de Dietrich, boss of Etic Solutions, claimed he isn’t wanted by the authorities.However sources have told us they do want to question him about the scheme – and about alleged breaches of a Northern Ireland High Court retraining order. Assets and cash valued at an incredible Stg£20.3 Million have been seized in the North as part of a cross-Border investigation into Mr de Dietrich.The shocking new figures were released as detectives in Donegal and the North join forces to investigate how at least 230 people – most of them from Donegal – handed over vast sums of money to the boss of Etic Solutions.Earlier this week donegaldaily.com posed the question – where is Francois?Today that is the question on the lips of at least five different police forces, two financial authorities and two sets of revenue investigators. Police believe Monsieur de Dietrich had run a scheme offering vast returns to investors, claiming he was buying and selling liquidated stock.However they don’t believe any stock existed – and that Mr Dietrich was in fact running a so-called illegal Ponzi scheme.In November Gardai raided offices at the Bastille Bistro in Letterkenny, Mr de Dietrich’s home and offices in Ballybofey.By that stage the Financial Services Authority in the North had sought and won a High Court injunction, preventing Mr de Dietrich from procuring any more funds for his scheme.A judge also granted an order freezing assets then worth £6M. Mr de Dietrich is alleged to have breached the judge’s order and three weeks ago the High Court ordered his immediate imprisonment.He has been ordered to appear before the court again next week. Meanwhile cops and the FSA UK have frozen more accounts in five different banks containing £14M – taking the total over £20.2M.The news will not surprise too many people in Donegal.Some associates of the French businessman had been telling investors that their money will be returned soon. However the fact that the authorities have managed to recover so much money will mean that all is not lost for investors.Tonight a well-placed source in the North told us: “The final tally of cash could be in excess of £50M between Northern Ireland, the Republic, Germany and other countries.“I suppose the big question will be how many of these investors will come forward to put in a claim for money after any criminal trial. We do believe that some of these investors have put in money that they may not have necessarily declared to the taxman.”Donegaldaily.com now been given a list of names of investors.Many are well-known business people from every part of Donegal. One is waiting on €1.4M plus his interest.Agents of the scheme – two of them well known in the county – were not available for comment. They are being treated as innocent parties by cops.We will endeavour to get their side of the story today. Their details are with the authorities.A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organisation, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors.It always collapses – and many people are usually left out of pocket.If £20M has been seized, it is possible that this scheme could involve three times that amount.Having taken so many investments from Donegal people, it is understood a number of Derry business people were also asked to invest in recent months.Mr de Dietrich had sponsored City of Derry rugby club.Last night one Derry investor told us: “I only realised I may lose my money when I was told by a friend to log onto donegaldaily.com just before Christmas. It is still sinking in.“Hopefully I will get my small investment back, even if it takes a couple of years.”UPDATED: COPS DO WANT TO QUIZ ETIC SOLUTIONS BOSS, SOURCES CONFIRM was last modified: January 22nd, 2011 by gregShare this:Click 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 share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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