Category: sztrwnhinkoh

Industrial: Sweet taste of success

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Currency devaluations to put more pressure on emerging markets

first_imgThe devaluation of currencies will put further pressure on emerging market economies, Columbia Threadneedle Investments has warned.The asset manager said recent activity on China should not be overplayed compared with more structural issues in other emerging markets, particularly given the raft of policy options left for the world’s second-largest economy.Other emerging markets, however, do not enjoy the same options.They have become policy takers and are at further risk of deflation, warned Jim Cielinski, the asset manager’s global head of fixed income. Speaking at a media conference, Cielinski said external debt defaults were the system by which ailing emerging economies pegged to the US dollar were punished.But in a floating currency regime, he said, foreign exchange had become the “relief valve” for investors.“If you could look at the magnitude of the currency moves, the relief valve is what is going on,” he said.“Emerging markets outside of China are in trouble. China has enough policy options to hold growth where it is, but it is important to realise emerging economies are policy takers.”Cielinski said emerging markets were paralysed by weakening currencies, as it ruled out the option of quantitative easing to boost internal demand.He said this also meant pressure on costs, as weaker currencies translated into higher import costs.However, Cielinski said this would be a deflationary environment as higher import costs resulted in real incomes falling, rather than being inflationary.“Most of the stress on the other [than China] emerging market economics will be exerted through the currencies,” he said, suggesting currency movements would highlight opportunities over default rates.“Everything in emerging markets has been for sale, indiscriminately. And this is where a lot of opportunities arise.”Cielinski added that investors would punish emerging markets until more structural reforms were tackled.“There is a huge amount of correlation across the market, as they are heterogeneous economies,” he said.“When you see tight correlation, it is a sign you’re in the latter stages of a sell off.”last_img read more

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Regulators seen tightening focus on pension fund liquidity

first_img“What we will see is higher volatility, and this can happen even in the Bund market.”But while liquidity is about risk, Blanqué argued it is also about opportunities, such as liquidity-orientated strategies.Long-term investors must ask themselves whether they need liquidity.“My feeling is, generally, the fund industry underestimates the liquidity risk,” he said.Blanqué said there was huge confusion between what was listed and liquid, too much focus on daily liquidity in the long-term investment space and an under-appreciation of the illiquidity premium.Carsten Stendevad, chief executive of Danish supplementary labour market pension fund ATP, had earlier told the conference the dramatic drop in sovereign bond market liquidity since 2002 had contributed to a radically changed investment environment.“This has had a profound effect on us,” he said, adding that shrinking liquidity had been a huge challenge for ATP.Stendevad outlined a range of strategic changes the pension fund has made to adjust, centred around increasing its investment flexibility.Antoni Canals, president of La Caixa pension fund in Spain, told the panel discussing strategy priorities for 2016 and beyond that his pension fund was taking steps in its long-term policy to have ever fewer investment-grade bonds and more illiquid assets.It takes this approach, he said, because it is a full defined contribution pension scheme, and liquidity is not a special issue.But Canals acknowledged the controversial phenomenon facing pension funds such as ATP of diminished bond market liquidity combined with the regulatory need to cover liabilities.“When one needs to hedge the liabilities, and regulation puts pressure in that way, maybe the whole concept is wrong,” Canals said.Olivier Rousseau, executive director at French national pension reserve fund Fonds de réserve pour les retraites (FRR), said pension funds had to be careful about the concept of chasing illiquid assets. “If you do it because you no longer get the returns you expect from safe bond investments, and you are chasing very long-duration infrastructure debt or real estate debt, then that can be another aspect of moving outside the natural habitat, and that can be very risky,” he said.The danger, he said, could come when the low-yield situation of sovereign bonds reverses.But he qualified the remark, saying he was just being cautious.“It remains that there is something very interesting in the illiquid space and particularly as a result of regulatory changes after the crisis,” he said.Meanwhile, Poul Winslow, head of thematic investing and external market portfolio management at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, said he shared many of the concerns about the lack of liquidity in bond markets but that his institution was focusing even more on illiquid investments.“The key for us, particularly in the coming years, is that we are changing to become even more long-term focused, and that will mean we increase our focus on illiquid investments even more,” he said.He said the investment board had a very long-term horizon, with payments not set to exceed contributions in the pension system until 2023.“We spend a lot of time with the board debating what does that really mean and how do we express that,” he said.“We have concluded that our risk appetite is even bigger than it has been in the past.”The CPPIB will now increase its exposure even more to equity-like risk.While an increase in public equity exposure will be part of this, Winslow said, the board will focus very much on private equity infrastructure and other illiquid assets. Pensions watchdogs are likely to increase their focus on the issue of liquidity within pension fund investment, taking steps to force the funds to demonstrate they are considering the implications of moves to less liquid instruments, a conference has heard.Speaking at the IPE Conference & Awards in Barcelona, Pascal Blanqué, chief executive and head of institutional business at asset manager Amundi, said: “We will see regulators more and more asking for proper liquidity policies, including a proper definition of liquidity starting with liquidity indicators, pricing policies and new relationships with counterparties.”This move towards change in liquidity polices will result from the shift in market structure seen in recent years, as banks have retreated from the market making while investors simultaneously frantically seek yield, he said.“This liquidity problem we have got on the table – on the one hand, we have an excess of macro liquidity (quantitative easing) and, at the same time, a deterioration in micro liquidity,” Blanqué said.last_img read more

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UK proposes mandatory pension scheme climate risk ‘action’

first_imgOutlining the plans during a visit to Glasgow today, Thérèse Coffey, work and pensions secretary of state said the proposals were “one of the most significant steps to date in the UK’s progress on tackling climate change”.“We were the first major economy to commit to reaching net zero by 2050 – to deliver this we must start now, working with investors and others to achieve this ambitious target,” she added. The UK government has launched a consultation on proposals for mandatory climate risk-related governance and risk management by larger occupational pension schemes and certain other pension providers, and for this activity to be disclosed in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the proposals would ensure trustees were legally required to assess and report on the financial risks of climate change within their portfolios.Among the activities required would be calculating a carbon footprint and assessing how the value of the schemes’ assets or liabilities would be affected by different temperature rise scenarios.The DWP also said the consultation would “signal an intent” that schemes report on the extent to which their portfolios are aligned with the Paris Agreement, although it was holding off on including such a requirement in the current consultation in anticipation of better methodologies emerging to measure and report a portfolio’s so-called implied temperature rise. Thérèse Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions“These measures will ensure pension schemes are in an ideal position to drive change to a sustainable, low carbon economy which will benefit everyone.”Mark Carney, UN special envoy for climate action and finance and the prime minister’s finance adviser for COP26, said: “By requiring pension schemes to report against the Taskforce’s recommendations, the occupational pensions of over 24 million UK citizens, representing over £1.3trn of investments, can be managed to mitigate the risks from climate change and seize the opportunities from an economy-wide transition to net zero.”About actionAt consultancy LCP, Claire Jones, partner and head of responsible investment, said trustees “shouldn’t be fooled by the words ‘governance’ and ‘reporting’ in this consultation”.“This consultation is about action. […] Fundamentally, it means that climate change can no longer be seen as a bolt-on to ESG considerations; it has to be a consideration that is integrated across all aspects of pension scheme management.”  Simon Jones, head of responsible Investment at Hymans Robertson, made a similar point: “This continued focus on climate risk is welcome and we are particularly encouraged that this consultation looks beyond just disclosure to the underlying actions that trustees are expected to take in developing their approach,” he said. DWP’s plan is to use the largest UK workplace pension schemes – those with £5bn (€5.5bn) or more in assets and including all authorised master trusts – to set an industry standard by requiring these to publish climate risk disclosures by the end of 2022.Around 250 more schemes with £1bn in assets would then have to meet the same requirements in 2023, the DWP said.The move to require mandatory TCFD reporting by pension schemes has arguably been well-trailed.In July 2019 the government said it expected all listed companies and large asset owners to disclose in line with the TCFD recommendations by 2022, and the Pension Schemes Bill, which is before the House of Commons, includes powers to enact the measures outlined in the consultation. Meanwhile, an industry group has developed TCFD guidance for trustees of pension schemes, although this was on a non-statutory basis.Paris-alignment reporting tantalisesLCP’s Jones said the proposals would require a “a step-change” for many schemes.“Those expected to be within scope should review their climate approach against the proposed requirements and start addressing any gaps, particularly in relation to scenario analysis, metrics and targets,” she said.Carolyn Saunders, head of pensions and long-term savings at Pinsent Masons, said the the detailed regulations and statutory guidance being proposed would help trustees “by providing real focus and support that will empower them to drive the development of the data and tools needed for effective decision-making”.“Trustees can take confidence from the strong message that they should be addressing climate risk, even though climate risk analysis is not a perfect science,” she said. “In addition, the promise of a future consultation on Paris-alignment reporting and measuring the warming potential of a scheme’s portfolio raises the genuinely exciting prospect of identifying an easily-understood and consistent measure which will drive best-practice.”The consultation closes on 7 October. The proposals As outlined by the DWP, the proposals outlined in its consultation include:Schemes embedding the TCFD recommendations into their organisation, including on governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targetsScheme scenario modelling to analyse the implications of a range of temperature scenarios for a scheme’s assets, to prompt strategic thinking about climate risks and opportunitiesA requirement to report the greenhouse gas emissions associated with portfoliosCompelling schemes to publish their report on a website and to notify pension scheme members via their annual benefit statement that the information has been published and where they can locate itSchemes providing The Pensions Regulator (TPR) with the web address of where they have published their TCFD report via the annual scheme return formAny complete failure to publish any TCFD report to be subject to a mandatory penalty imposed by TPRlast_img read more

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Velma Spurlock – Batesville

first_imgVelma Spurlock was born on November 5, 1948 in Union, Kentucky a daughter to Estill and Helen Caudell Davidson.  After graduating high school she pursued a nursing degree.  Velma worked as a nurse for over 38 years with Decatur County Hospital in Greensburg.  On November 11, 1972 she married Estill Spurlock at Negengard Corner Freewill Baptist Church and he preceded her in death on December 18, 2015.  In her spare time Velma enjoyed reading, cross-stich and puzzles.  On Sunday, September 2, 2018 at the age of 69, she passed away at Decatur County Hospital.Those surviving who will cherish Velma’s memory include her children; Aaron (Shannon) Spurlock, Angie Spurlock and Aric (Dawn) Spurlock, all of Batesville; step-daughters, Brenda (Jim) Stanley of Milan, and Evelyn Sunderhaus and Beverly (Dave) Hoegeman, both of Sunman; 17 grandchildren;  13 great-grandchildren; one brother, Delma (Billie) Davidson of Batesville, and several nieces and nephews.  In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Alvin Sunderhaus, Jr.Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 from 4 until 8 p.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home, 929 Main Street, Brookville.  Services will be held on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home with burial will following in Maple Grove Cemetery.Memorial donations can be directed to a charity of choice.  To sign the online guestbook please visit www.cookrosenberger.com.  The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home are honored to care for the family of Velma Spurlock.last_img read more

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Age is not an issue, says returning F1 world champion Fernando Alonso

first_imgLONDON: Two-times Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso said age was not the issue after securing a comeback deal with Renault to race into his 40s.The Spaniard turns 39 this month and, after two seasons out, will be returning next year with the team that took him to his titles in 2005 and 2006.”In Formula One for many years the time watch (stopwatch) is the only thing that matters, not the age,” Alonso told reporters in a video news conference on Wednesday.”I never had a race classification based on the passport, date of birth. Always on the time watch.”Alonso will be the oldest driver next year if his former Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen, already 40 and now with Alfa Romeo, decides to stop.While 40-year-old racers were relatively common in the sport’s early days, they are a rarity in modern Formula One with an increasing emphasis on youth.McLaren’s Lando Norris, third in Austria last weekend, was only one-year-old when Alonso started racing at now-defunct Minardi in 2001.Alonso’s future team mate Esteban Ocon is 23 and said last week that the Spaniard’s success “gave me the love for the sport”.Team principal Cyril Abiteboul recognised some would question Renault’s choice of a veteran over an emerging young talent. AgenciesAlso Watch: #NewsMakers: Aabhijeet Sharma, President, APW in an Exclusive Chat with Oineetom Ojahlast_img read more

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Linden’s synthetic track will not be at MSC Ground-Jones

first_imgBy Tamica GarnettAS anticipation of a synthetic track finally being laid in Linden continues to prevail, Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, confirmed that such a facility cannot be accommodated at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Ground, where many had hoped it would be.However,other locations are already being mulled over.Speaking with Chronicle Sport, Jones agreed that the MSC facility, which currently houses a 300m grass track, will not do for the laying down of a synthetic track,which is 400m. Thoughts were given to expanding the dimensions of the MSC boundaries.However, this was cast aside when it was realised that all lands surrounding the MSC facility were occupied.“We’re still exploring the option of putting a synthetic track in Linden, but it will not be at the MSC, because it doesn’t have the space. We had a site visit there a few months ago.We were actually looking at a fence, I think it’s the Northern fence, and it was advised that there is land space beyond that.So the idea actually was to remove that fence and utilise the space behind. However, I found out that [the land] it apparently has something to do with a school, so that was not feasible. “ Jones explained.Nonetheless, Jones noted that this has in no way deterred(them) from moving ahead with the project, which he described as a venture that is “close to his heart”.“We’re still on the move to get a synthetic track in Linden.It’s not going to be that easy but we’re working on it, because Linden has the potential, Linden has the athletes, Linden is pregnant with athletes, so we want to provide them with that, so we’re working on it.”In terms of alternative arrangements, Jones said that a parcel of land that had been earmarked for one of the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) Goal Projects, showed the capacity to accommodate both the Goal Project and a synthetic track facility.“Apparently this is a vast land space. Through my intervention when Clinton Urling was President of GFF, I got government to essentially sign over the land, because the land was essentially under NICIL.So I had to get Minister [Joseph] Harmon to commit the land to the RDC.That done, this was in preparation for the GFF and their goal project; and apparently there is adequate space for both football and the synthetic track facilities.” Jones opined.But on the question of how soon Lindeners will be able to see the realization of this facility, Jones noted that it will be an uphill battle, as funding will be a challenge. None-the-less, he disclosed that in the interim he has been engaging in consultations on how to proceed, whenever that time comes.“I’ve already requested from the budget $440 million for the upgrade at the National Gymnasium, so for me to get an additional $400 million, it’s not going to be that easy, but we’re working on it. Matter of fact I’ve already started speaking with overseas governments since last year.” Jones said.Thus far, Guyana has only one synthetic track facility: the National Track and Field Centre,which is in Leonora on the West Coast of Demerara.This facility cost $1.084 billion and it was officially opened last year April.When the track’s location was first unveiled,many stakeholders were not too pleased,and questioned the rationale behind putting the track in an area hardly known as an attraction point for athletics enthusiasts. The government-funded initiative was spearheaded by then Minister of Sports, Dr. Frank Anthony.last_img read more

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IOC bans 11 Russian athletes for life

first_img(BBC) – ELEVEN Russian athletes have been banned from the Olympics for life after committing doping offences at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.Silver medal-winning lugers Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko are among those to have been disqualified.The others include bobsledders, speed skaters and ice hockey players.The bans come as a result of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) investigations into the country’s doping scandal.The IOC announced the first Russian bans, based on the findings of the 2016 McLaren report, on 1 November.“To date, the number of cases opened by the [IOC] disciplinary commission [for Sochi 2014] has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses,” the IOC said.“All 46 of them have been handled, of which three have been filed. As some investigations are still ongoing [notably the forensic analysis of the bottles], it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases and holding more hearings.”The 11 athletes banned on December 22:Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko, lugersIvan Skobrev and Artyom Kuznetsov, speed skatersNikita Kryukov, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Natalia Matveeva, cross-country skiersLiudmila Udobkina and Maxim Belugin, bobsleddersTatiana Burina and Anna Shchukina, ice hockey playerslast_img read more

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Trojans fall to Colorado in triple-OT thriller

first_imgThe USC Trojans (9-11, 1-7 Pac-12) took a heartbreaking 98-94 loss to the Colorado Buffaloes (11-9, 4-4) 98-94 in triple overtime Wednesday night at the Galen Center.Kenneth Rodriguez-Clisham | Daily TrojanClose but no cigar · Redshirt sophomore guard Katin Reinhardt had his best game in a Trojan uniform since transferring from UNLV, but his team was unable to get the win.Redshirt sophomore Reinhardt had a career night for the Trojans with 35 points including 9-18 from behind the arc. His nine threes tied a USC record. Sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic was a consistent scoring threat throughout the night and finished the game with 30 points and 9 rebounds. Freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin posted a balanced stat line with 11 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds,  but only shot 3-13 from the field and 5-12 from the line. McLaughlin was held scoreless until two minutes into the second half, and he struggled shooting the ball all night.In triple overtime, it was up to McLaughlin to lead the team after Reinhardt fouled out. McLaughlin continued to attack the basket and get to the line, but it was senior guard Askia Booker who led the way down the stretch for Colorado with his clutch shooting, including the                 go-ahead free throws at the end.In double overtime, Reinhardt and Booker went back and forth, but it was Jovanovic who hit the shot late to give the Trojans the late lead before Booker hit a floater to send the game to a third overtime.In overtime, redshirt sophomore Darion Clark provided a spark with clutch rebounding and free throws. But it was junior guard Xavier Johnson who hit a three with 30 seconds left to tie the game. McLaughlin, once again, had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but his shot rolled off the rim to send the game to double overtime.McLaughlin missed a contested layup at the end of regulation that would have won the game for USC.Booker led the way for Colorado with 43 points and overcame a hard foul by Jovanovic in the second half to keep the Buffs ahead most of the second half and eventually led them to the victory. Booker did a lot of damage from the line as he shot 13-15 from the stripe. Freshman forward Tory Miller scored 11 points and added 13 rebounds and Xavier Johnson added 12 points for the Buffs, despite fouling out in double overtime, who were balanced scoring all around.Jovanovic started off the contest going 5-5 from the field before he finally missed a shot late in the first half. Reinhardt had 16 points in the first half when he shot 6-12 from the field including 4-9 from behind the arc. USC had a strong first half overall as they led 38-37 and shot 46.4 percent from the field.USC next faces the 11th ranked Utah Runnin’ Utes (16-4, 6-2), Sunday at the Galen Center. Utah is led by head coach Larry Krystkowiak and senior guard Delon Wright. Wright leads his squad in both points and assists and has been in the conversation all year for the Wooden Award which is awarded to the most outstanding college basketball player every year. Utah is coming off a loss against UCLA (12-9, 4-4).last_img read more

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