FD: Dutch schemes not euphoric despite excellent results

first_imgDutch pension funds are not in a celebratory mood despite facing one of the best investment years since the start of the financial crisis, Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad has suggested.A survey among the 100 largest schemes has made clear that returns of 10% on average during the past 10 years have been more than undone by the ever declining interest rates against which they must discount their liabilities.During the first three quarters of this year, the five largest pension funds for example reported returns ranging from 15.1% to 19.1%.The €1bn sector scheme for hairdressers (Kappers) even achieved a 10% on average during the past five years, and posted the best result (2.3%) for 2018, the FD found. However, the FD quoted Gerard van de Kuilen, the pension fund’s chair, as saying that he wasn’t happy, as funding had dropped to 93.8% at September-end, in addition to the scheme facing rights cuts as a consequence.He added that either contributions had to be raised, or annual pensions accrual had to be reduced.The chair said the scheme’s investment result had been largely thanks to its 50% interest hedge – through interest swaps and bonds – of its liabilities, which had delivered solid results due to declining interest rates.“But this is something you don’t want,” he commented.Van de Kuilen explained that, because of its young participant population, the liabilities of Kappers had a duration of no less than 34 years. “And a 1% drop of interest rates means a rise of liabilities of 17%.”The FD quoted Simon Heerings, director of risk management at consultancy First Pensions, as saying that most Dutch schemes are in a similar position.“They also generate insufficient returns relative to rising liabilities,” he said.“And as the high returns are largely due to dropped interest rates, the rosy figures will in part disappear as soon as interest rates rise again.”Rob Bauer, professor of finance at Maastricht University, shared Van de Kuilen’s view that there was not much reason to be proud of the figures.“I keep on seeing pension fund trustees and media referring to record returns and pension assets, but they deliberately ignore the liabilities side of the balance sheet,” he said, according to the paper.The €459bn civil service plan ABP, which posted returns of more than 15% for the first three quarters, is not celebrating either, said Diane Griffioen, the scheme’s head of investment, while referring to the scheme’s funding of 91% in September.However, she emphasised that all asset classes had contributed to the result, with equity, bonds and private equity yielding 21.9%, 11.4% and 11.1%, respectively. Property had generated 16.2%.While referring to a survey among 10 fiduciary managers by Dutch consultancy Sprenkels & Verschuren, the FD added that most pension investors expected much lower returns during the coming years.It said that the managers had predicted that, for example, average returns for equity and credit would drop to 4,3% and 0%, respectively, for the next five years.ABP’s Griffioen also tempered growth expectations, noting that part of this year’s returns were thanks to results springing back after losses incurred during the last quarter of 2018.last_img read more

Clymens is class of the field Saturday at Antioch

first_imgANTIOCH, Calif. (Aug. 22) – Trevor Clymens, a rookie in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division, won his first race in the class Saturday as he outran Anthony Giuliani at Antioch Speedway.“There were plenty of heart breakers this season,” Clymens said. “It’s our seventh race – we’ve led, we’ve run in the top three, but we couldn’t pull off a win until tonight.”Clymens, a standout Hobby Stock driver 12 years ago, returned to Antioch this season with the SportMod.“The car was set up for no failures,” he said. “And it’s the best it’s been all season.”Clymens maneuvered through traffic as Giuliani, a three-time winner in the division, gained ground.“I just needed a caution flag to have a chance to race Trevor side-by side,” Giuliani said. “I was hung up in traffic at the beginning of the race and never could catch up after that.”Merced Speedway standout Rick Diaz was third, edging Fred Ryland. K.C. Keller completed the top five.last_img read more

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw shut down indefinitely after back discomfort

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error WASHINGTON, D.C. — If you were counting the days until Clayton Kershaw’s return to the Dodgers’ rotation — keep counting.Kershaw has experienced renewed pain in his lower back — “same area, same symptoms,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said — since throwing approximately 60 pitches in a simulated-game setting Saturday in Los Angeles. He has not picked up a baseball to do any throwing since then and any plans for him to rejoin the Dodgers have been put on hold.“After he threw that live session, the next day, Sunday, (he) didn’t feel great,” Roberts said. “I think at that point in time it let us know we had to be a little more on the cautious side. So right now with Clayton, I don’t know if it’s a step back but we’re going to let this back pain subside and see where we go.“As far as his return – uncertain.” Kershaw has not pitched since June 26 and received an epidural injection in his lower back a few days later after an examination by Dr. Robert Watkins diagnosed a mild herniation of a disc. Roberts said Kershaw will likely undergo another examination.last_img read more

Elections Canada v GECOM

first_imgDear Editor,On Monday, Federal Elections were held in Canada without any fuss and fear. Except for schools being closed to facilitate the polls, it was just another workday. Canada has approximately 27 million voters and straddles 6 different time zones spanning four and a half hours. By 23:15h Eastern Time on polling day, mere minutes after the last polls closed in outlying provinces, the media was already announcing the results and naming the eventual winner: Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party.In all of this, the role of Elections Canada— their GECOM equivalent— cannot be overstated. Long before the elections, the list of voters would have been ratified and voter ID cards mailed, yes mailed, to all registered and eligible voters.  There was no attempt to manipulate lists, no doubt about the integrity of staff or deletion of registered voters who would have failed to uplift voter ID cards because these were mailed as mentioned above. Voter ID cards are printed on light cardboard and sized to fit a standard sized envelope for ease of postage. Change of address and such matters are all done online. Canadians are required to walk with their cardboard voter ID and a picture ID such as a driver’s licence or passport to cast their ballot which can be done in a matter of minutes. The holding of elections is not rocket science as the Canadians have just demonstrated.Contrast that with what we have in Guyana, where GECOM, our elections machinery, is being accused of the following:1.    Placing itself outside and above of the Constitution by creating and implementing work programmes that ignore the constitutional mandate to have election within 90 days of the NCM.2.    By virtue of the above, GECOM has appropriated the role for determining when elections will be held in Guyana.3. Delaying the elections – The combined delay is nearly one year from the constitutionally mandated date of March 21, 2019.4.    Persisting with prejudiced recruitment of senior executives.5.    Retaining the services of senior staff who are partisan even after footage of covert meeting were shown on social media with Govt officials.6.    Undertaking actions such as the unnecessary H2H to create more confusion, further delay elections, possibly disenfranchise legitimate voters and waste billions of taxpayers’ dollars.7.    Siding with the Government at every opportunity.8.    Refusing help from external sources that would expedite election preparation and lend to public trust in GECOM and the elections processes.9.    Threatening to delete the names of registered voters who have not uplifted their ID cards even when this is illegal.As if the above is not egregious enough, GECOM is contemplating a complicated merger of the old PLE and the data gleaned from the last H2H, which is unverified at best, since the Opposition representatives were not present at the time of obtaining this data, when the most logical and practical approach would be to update the old PLE which was last used in November 2017 to add people attaining voting age and to delete deceased persons evidenced by a death certificate. Some believe that this is merely another attempt to appease the Govt and to delete and disenfranchise Opposition supporters. In fact, the situation is so bad that people are openly commenting that the next General Elections will be rigged and that GECOM will facilitate it. While that is a bit extreme, GECOM must be concerned about its image. However, there is absolutely no effort on the part of that agency to change the narrative and to build trust. The Chairman of GECOM is yet to hold a press conference and so the public has been left to speculate.The bottom line is that there cannot be free and fair elections in Guyana if GECOM does not operate in an open and transparent manner. At this stage, nothing short of the Carter Center is needed to get this embarrassment, which we all know as GECOM, back on track if we are to have free and fair elections in Guyana. The intervention of the Canadian Official is welcome but a competent and powerful observer mission has to be situated within the heart of GECOM Secretariat where critical decisions are being taken to have any chance of being effective. Giving advice, as the Canadian proposes to GECOM Chair, whose actions thus far are all in favour of the Government, will be like whistling in the wind.The example of Elections Canada is relevant as here in Guyana there is strong evidence to suggest that the agency responsible for holding free and fair elections might be pursuing an agenda to do the exact opposite. After all, it is an irrefutable fact that PNC, the main party in Govt today, rigged the elections from 1968 to 1985.By the way, if there is another rigged elections, America and Canada will bear the brunt of the consequential mass exodus as many citizens already have visas particularly for the US.Sincerely,Ravi Ramlast_img read more

GIKMAA shine again in Suriname

first_imgThe Guyana International Kyokushinkai Martial Arts Academy (GIKMAA) left Guyana with a team of 12 on August 17, to compete in the Shuirken Martial Arts School Tournament which began on August 19 in Suriname.Led by Grandmaster Soke and Dr Nazim Yassim, they were able to cop nine medals. They took with them seven students who were eager to participate in the tournament. They were: Christian Freeman (13), Joshua Bascombe (17), Govindanauth Persaud (17), Vikash Somwaru (17), Bhudesh Shilchand (18), Shakeel Rahat (23) and Maranda Bennett (23).Being a confident unit, the team fought with everything they had, and thus secured three gold medals, five silver medals and a bronze medal. This feat was no easy task, as it required hard work and dedication.Enmore resident Govindanauth Persaud fought extremely well, but lost the bout in the quarter finals.Instructor Vikash Somwaru claimed all three gold medals: in the Kata, weapons Kata, and Kumite 16-19 divisions.Christian Freeman secured silver in the 13- 15 Kumite; Joshua Bascombe struck silver in the 16-19 Kumite; Bhudesh Shilchand won two silver medals in the 16-19 Kata & Kumite Division; while Shakeel Rahat, who fought for the first time, landed bronze in the Kumite.Lone female on the team, Instructor Maranda Bennett, claimed silver in the 20- 25 Kata.Even though that leg of the competition is completed, Grandmaster Soke stated that he is not going to let the medal count get to his head, as the team is already being prepared for the Open International Championship on September 23. His team (kyo-Kushin-Kai Guyana) will be doing battle against Suriname, Trinidad, and local teams at the National Gymnasium.Dr Nazim Yassim also expressed heartfelt thanks to the National Sports Commission, Gafsons Industries Ltd, and all the parents that supported the Kyokushinkai Guyana Team.last_img read more

McCain campaigns in Lomita

first_imgMcCain also said the United States must reduce its dependence on foreign oil and pointed to nuclear power plants as one option. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By The Associated Press GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain sharply criticized Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday during a California campaign stop in Dana Point. The senator also visited a VFW Post 1622 in Lomita. McCain called the Iraqi leader’s government a disappointment during a wide-ranging speech before the California Chamber of Commerce board of directors at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point. The Arizona senator said he was committed to keeping U.S. troops in Iraq as long as necessary and criticized Democrats for pushing for a deadline to bring soldiers home. He added, however, that any military success must be accompanied by strong leadership from elected Iraqi officials. He said the al-Maliki government has “not been functioning effectively” to suppress sectarian divisions and violence. last_img read more

Pooches invited; puffers are not

first_imgSIMI VALLEY – The Simi Valley Town Center is welcoming shoppers who bring along their pooches, but cigarette-puffing patrons are finding themselves in the doghouse. Mall officials recently introduced two new policies: One bans smoking at the open-air center. The other allows folks to bring their dog for a day of shopping. “I think it sucks,” said Raul Cervantes, 19, a smoker. “If it was indoors, it would be different. It’s outdoors. People shouldn’t be told where they can or cannot smoke. We should be able to smoke here.” The new regulations are the result of a survey using a sampling of 350 people, which indicated customers want a smoke-free, pet-friendly mall. “I don’t like it,” the 20-year-old Simi Valley man said, smoking a cigarette outside one of the stores last week. “It’s ridiculous. People are always telling other people what to do.” In comment cards since the mall’s opening last October, shoppers repeatedly complained about smokers lighting up, while others hated the idea of being asked to leave because of their pets, Lenners said. Kim Perez of Simi Valley said she takes her soft-coated wheaten terrier, Kenna, everywhere she goes, and that she was removed from the mall before the recent rule change. “I respect people,” she said. “The dog is not hurting anybody. I don’t take her to the (food court). If she was aggressive, I would not have her here.” The news also was well-received by Barbara McLaren and her 5-month old puppy, Rozella. “I want her to come out with me (to) places and meet people, … socialize,” she said. “This is great.” City Councilman Glen Becerra said the mall appears to be responsive to what its customers want. While he applauds the smoking ban, he has concerns with the change in pet policy. “Would I feel comfortable walking with my children when someone is coming down the pathway with an 80-pound dog at their side?” Becerra said. “If they are toy dogs people carry in purses, I’d have less concern.” Lenners said mall officials plan to enforce the rules by posting no-smoking signs throughout the shopping center. The issue of pets will be addressed in the code-of-conduct guidelines displayed at each of the mall’s entrances. Smokers now will only be allowed to smoke in the mall’s parking lot and in restaurants that allow it in their outdoor seating areas. Pets must be on a leash and cannot be left unattended. If the animal is overly aggressive or is believed to be a threat to the public, its owner will be asked to leave. Mall officials are also considering installing stations with bags for waste cleanup. For owners who don’t pick up after their pets, “housekeeping staff is ready and prepared to handle anything that might be missed,” Lenners said. Jamie Santos, a Simi Valley mother of three, said while she is not surprised at the decision to snuff out smoking at the mall, she dislikes the idea of dogs strolling the trellised and covered walkways. “Not all dog owners clean up after their pets,” she said. “I can see how you can clean the poo, but how can they get rid of the pee odor?” Angie Valencia-Martinez, (805) 583-7604 angie.valencia@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “We’re simply responding to what the community is telling us,” said Greg Lenners, the mall’s general manager. “It’s a positive thing.” The Mediterranean-style shopping center, with the slogan “A Breath of Fresh Air,” is the first regional mall to be built in Ventura County in a quarter-century and features more than 120 specialty stores, sit-down restaurants and a food court. The no-smoking rule comes on the heels of an ordinance passed by the Calabasas City Council strictly regulating smoking in public places. The change also was spurred by new research designating secondhand smoke a toxic contaminant, Lenners said. “That helped in making the decision,” he said. But Eddie Corner feels differently. last_img read more

Hog forgets mate, chases long legs

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Willy, a wild member of the pig family, and 16-year-old Nicole were placed in the same exhibit area more than a year ago. Willy and his mate, Ruby, were comfortable with Nicole, but kept mostly to themselves, said Jeff Holland, exhibit curator. Then last summer Ruby died of cancer. Within a week, keepers noticed the hog turning to his only remaining pen-mate for companionship. “I think he was probably lonely. He definitely was aware that his mate was gone,” Holland said. Nicole didn’t take to Willy immediately. The first time he tried to approach her, she thrust her horns at him – a clear sign she wasn’t interested in a relationship. “She bowled him right over,” Holland said. Willy didn’t grieve long after his mate went to hog heaven. The 10-year-old, 187-pound Red River hog wasted little time in taking up with his pen-mate Nicole, a much taller and heavier bongo – the largest member of the forest antelope family. The two share a muddy exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, where they have been spotted grooming, napping and cuddling together. On occasion, they’ve been seen snout to nose. “It’s adorable,” said zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs. “Wherever that bongo is, the hog is usually nearby.” But the persistent pig wouldn’t give up, and eventually Nicole stopped pushing him away. Now, they share a routine, which begins with breakfast at 10 a.m., often eaten out of the same feeder. Then they take a slow walk around their pen. Nicole leads, and Willy trails closely behind. “I think he definitely likes her more than she likes him,” Holland said. But the relationship isn’t one-sided. After they finish pacing the grounds, Willy settles in for grooming, and Nicole picks at his shaggy red coat. She then lets Willy reciprocate. Grooming is significant in the animal kingdom, Holland said – a way for animals to make contact with each other. Finally, they settle in, side by side, for an afternoon nap. Zookeepers were surprised by the budding relationship. While placing different species in the same space is not uncommon in zoos, having them form lasting attachments is. “I’ve never seen anything quite like this to this degree,” Holland said. Nicole and Willy are primarily vegetarians whose ancestors are from West and Central Africa, where they reside in forests and thickets. They have common characteristics. Both have red coats and ridges of white fur running down their backs. While there are other Red River hogs living in the zoo, Nicole is the only bongo, and she is among the last of her kind. Bongos are extinct in the wild – their numbers lost to agriculture and hunting. There are fewer than 500 living in zoos and other facilities around the world. It’s unknown how long Willy and Nicole will stay together. Curators said they hope to bring another bongo to the zoo for Nicole, probably another female, and Willy could be moved to another part of the zoo with other hogs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Sanchez and Ozil ‘offered 20% pay rise to fire Arsenal back into top four’

first_imgArsenal have offered contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil 20 per cent pay rises if they help the Gunners secure Champions League football next season.The club have been left frustrated by the duo’s refusal to sign new deals, with both wanting deals worth £300,000-a-weekThe 20 per cent payrise would be triggered if Arsenal finish in the top next season, after missing out on Champions Leagu football for the first time in 20 years last term, according to the Daily Mail.The Gunners are desperate to lock the pair into new deals are they both heading into the final 12 months of their deals.They’ll be allowed to speak to overseas club in January and worst-case scenario is that they run down their deals and are allowed to leave for free.Manchester City have been linked with a move for Sanchez, while Ozil is wanted by Turkish giants Fenerbahce. 1 Sanchez and Ozil are about to head into the final 12 months of their contracts at Arsenal last_img read more

Quigley talks big cards, Coldplay and a World Title fight in Ireland

first_imgDonegal boxer Jason Quigley has revealed his ambition would be to have a big fight, possibly a World title fight back in Ireland. Quigley, is quickly making a name for himself Stateside and has won all of eleven professional fights to date.His next fight is on the undercard of the super-fight between Saul Alvarez Canelo and Liam Smith which takes places at the 110,000 capacity Cowboys Stadium on September 17th. Quigley’s last win over James De La Rosa was his finest to date, and there’s no doubting the quality and class of the former Finn Valley AC fighter.In an exclusive interview with Balls.ie, Quigley spoke about fighting on big undercards, his dream of bringing a massive fight to Ireland, and his relationship with music giants Coldplay.Quigley said, ”  It’s absolutely amazing to be honest. These are the kind of things that most young fighters and young professionals dream of – fighting on these big shows, fighting on these big cards, and this is the reason why I’ve moved to LA and signed with Golden Boy Promotions: To get these opportunities. When my time comes to fight for a world title I won’t be overawed by these big stadiums or these big crowds. “I’ll be there for full fight week – doing all the media stuff, interviews, grand arrivals and everything like that. It’s all becoming second nature to me now. I belong on these stages because this is where I perform at my best – this is what brings the best out of me as a fighter, and I’m really, really excited.LA is the city of superstars, and when you’re an upcoming boxing star, you start to rub shoulders with some of the world’s most famous celebrities – as a result Coldplay are now a fan of Quigley.“Coldplay are wearing one of my jackets on their world tour right now. They invited me and a few of my friends to their gig at the Rose Bowl, I think it’s in two weeks’ time. They’ll be giving us the special treatment, all the behind-the-scenes stuff!“I’m good friends with the security guy who works with Coldplay – that’s how it all came about. So now the guys are always asking him, ‘when’s he fighting next?’ and they got me and my mates a few tickets for their gig. We’re invited to the after-party too but it won’t be much of an after-party for me with the fight coming up! Maybe I can invite them to my own after-party in September.Since the days of Bernard Dunne, and the non-event which was the Willie Casey fight, Ireland hasn’t hosted a world title fight – Quigley is hoping his career trajectory continues to ascend and that he can have a big fight, or maybe even a world title fight in Ireland.“I would love to get a big fight back in Ireland very shortly – world title fight or not. I’d love to get back there and wet the lips of some of the supporters, and to build up a bit of a hype. And for them to be able to come and watch me build towards that shot at the world title. “My dream is to win or defend the world title in my own country, and Golden Boy are aware of that. They’re fully behind me – 100%. But at the end of the day it’s one step at a time, one fight at a time, and I’ve to take care of business on September 17th before any of that.Quigley talks big cards, Coldplay and a World Title fight in Ireland was last modified: August 16th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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)Tags:AmbitionColdplayDallasDreamFightJason QuigleynewsSportlast_img read more