PensionDanmark invests DKK2.9bn in North Sea wind-power grid

first_imgTenneT, which is owned by the Dutch state, will finance most of the expected construction costs of the DKK14.2bn project, as well as building and operating the grid. DolWin3 is planned to be ready for use in 2017, and the system has a total capacity of 900MW. Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive at PensionDanmark, said: “We are very satisfied with our cooperation with CIP, which is undertaking and managing many of our investments in stable alternatives.” He said the investment was a good addition to the pension fund’s existing investments in alternatives, and would contribute to securing a good, steady return for scheme members for many years to come.PensionDanmark said its target was to invest 20% of its total assets in more than DKK150bn of stable alternatives such as property and infrastructure.The investment is subject to the approval from German competition authorities, CIP said. PensionDanmark is investing DKK2.9bn (€384m) in a transmission network for wind energy in the North Sea to be built and operated by Dutch company TenneT.The Danish labour-market pension scheme is making the investment via Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), which was set up in 2012 with DKK6bn from PensionDanmark as seed investor.However, CIP said this investment was being made through a separate legal structure with PensionDanmark – rather than the partnership – as the investor. The investment in the new DolWin3 offshore grid connection – which will transmit power to German customers on the mainland from several wind farms in the German North Sea – will be made jointly with TenneT, CIP said. last_img read more

Norway’s Finanstilsynet stresses gravity of low rates for pension funds

first_imgIt added that, on top of this, the pension providers were having to meet higher technical provision levels because of rising longevity.Commenting on the upcoming introduction of the European Solvency II Directive on 1 January next year, the regulator said this regime would better reflect the risk inherent in the insurance business than previous solvency requirements had done. “This will be particularly evident in the case of life insurers whose insurance liabilities under the new solvency regime will be recognised at market value,” it said. However, since interest rates are at a low level, the change to the new regime will in some respects involve a big increase in the value of their liabilities compared with the situation now, Finanstilsynet said.“Life insurers are granted a transitional arrangement lasting 16 years in which to complete their technical provisioning,” it said. The regulator said this would ease the solvency requirement for life insurers for a period, but it pointed out that there would be no change in the underlying risk picture.Looking at the picture for the entire financial sector in Norway, Finanstilsynet focused in its report on how the fall in oil prices was affecting Norway’s heavily oil-dependent economy.Lower demand from the petroleum industry has led to much lower activity and hit profitability in sectors selling to the petroleum sector, it said.Finanstilsynet’s director general Morten Baltzersen said: “In the event of a severe setback affecting the Norwegian economy on a broad front, the banks could suffer heavy losses across several parts of their loan books.” The Norwegian financial regulator Finanstilsynet has highlighted the seriousness of the long-term low interest rate environment for the country’s pension providers in its 2015 financial trends report.Releasing the official report today, the regulator said: “The low interest rate level and prospects of low rates for a long period ahead pose a major challenge to pension providers.”It pointed out that a large portion of providers’ liabilities consisted of contracts that carried an annual guaranteed rate of return that was higher than current market interest rates. “Achieving sufficient return on pension assets in a low interest rate regime is difficult,” Finanstilsynet said.last_img read more

Swiss pension funds produce 0.7% median return, says ASIP

first_imgThe median return for Swiss pension funds stood at 0.7% last year, according to pension fund association ASIP.As at the end of 2015, the allocation of ASIP’s sample portfolio, as calculated by Towers Watson, stood at approximately 10% domestic equities, 20% foreign equities, 37% bonds and 20% real estate.Real estate was the chief driver of returns, with direct Swiss property returning 5.3%, indirect Swiss property 5.1% and foreign real estate 3%, respectively, ASIP said.Commodity investments, accounting for 3% of portfolios on average, fared worst over the period, producing a 23% loss in ASIP’s sample portfolio. Domestic bonds returned just under 2%, while foreign bonds lost 3.7%, with both asset classes accounting for roughly 18% of ASIP’s model portfolio.The Swiss pension fund association said many schemes were thinking to increase exposure to equities, real estate and “even alternatives such as infrastructure”, given the investment market for bonds.It also pointed out that some Pensionskassen had divided their liquidity holdings among various banks to avoid having to pay a negative interest rate, which some banks are demanding above a certain threshold.ASIP said 2015 would be the last year for which it would calculate an average return, as “there is now a large number of other performance information available”.For example, the Credit Suisse Pensionskassen index, based on a portfolio of Credit Suisse custodial clients, returned 0.95% over the same period, again due mainly to the performance of real estate, which accounted for 22.37% of the overall portfolio, a record high.According to calculations made by UBS based on its client sample, the average return for 2015 was 0.7%.In its sample, real estate was also the best performer and accounted for 27% of the overall portfolio.Pictet’s 2015 index returned between 0.11% and 0.48%, with higher returns achieved by the portfolios with a lower equity exposure.last_img read more

Swiss voters reject plans to increase first-pillar pensions

first_imgA ‘yes’ vote on the AHV-plus referendum would most likely have sent the AV2020 proposal – which covers both the first and second pillars – back to the drawing board.After this weekend’s resounding ‘no’ vote, Berset called on all stakeholders to “break up the reform clogging retirement provision”, warning that it would become “increasingly difficult and expensive” the longer it took to reach an agreement.ASIP, which had rejected the AHV-plus proposal, welcomed the “clear result”.It told IPE the unions’ argument that a higher AHV pension was needed because Pensionskassen could not deliver on their promises was “unconvincing”.“This is a vote in favour of the more comprehensive ‘Altersvorsorge 2020’ reform,” it said. Like Berset, ASIP called on all parliamentary parties to find common ground on reform, rather than use it for political gain.“We need a reform that is accepted by the majority and stands a chance of being accepted in a public referendum,” ASIP said.Because parts of the reform package will require changes to the Swiss Constitution, the whole of the AV2020 proposal is likely to be put to a public vote.In the wake of the AHV-plus referendum, conservative politicians withdrew their support for a one-off increase in AHV pension payouts, which is currently part of the reform package.The Swiss people’s party SVP even announced that it would file a motion to break up the package into three parts.The parliamentary session is scheduled for three weeks; when exactly the debate on the AV2020 will take place remains unclear.For more on Switzerland’s pension reform process, read the November issue of IPE Voters in nearly all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons rejected proposals to increase first-pillar pensions by 10%.In a popular referendum over the weekend, nearly 60% of voters rejected the so-called AHV-plus model, which had proposed increasing the AHV basic state pension – known as the AVS in French-speaking Switzerland.The Swiss government, company representatives, economic think tanks and the country’s pension fund association (ASIP) welcomed the outcome, with Interior minister Alain Berset suggesting “the people have understood the major hurdle we are facing of creating a stable first pillar”.His remarks were made in a press conference after the results were published on Sunday – and just a day before the major chamber of Parliament, the Nationalrat, begins its autumn session, which includes discussions on the Altersvorsorge 2020 (AV2020) pension reform proposal.last_img read more

Green light for Central kicks off UK government LGPS pool feedback

first_imgLGPS Central happened to be the first of the pools to meet with the minister and has received a letter that effectively amounts to approval of the pool’s plan. Colin Pratt, investments manager at Leicestershire County Council, the administering authority for the Leicestershire Pension Fund, said: “The letter more or less says ‘carry on the good work’, and it doesn’t raise any issues that need addressing, so it’s basically ‘carry on and get through the first of April 2018 in the way that you’re proposing to’.“I think that’s probably as close as we’re going to get to formal approval.”The Wales pool had not replied to a request for comment from IPE by the time of publication.The eight pension funds* in LGPS Central are intending to pool £32.6bn (€38.5bn) of assets, well above the £25bn that had been indicated by the government as a minimum requirement.The letter confirmed that the pool’s authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a pre-requisite.Obtaining this authorisation is part of “a huge chain of events” that must happen in the run-up to April 2018, according to Pratt.This includes making key appointments, to positions such as a chief executive and a COO and of providers such as asset servicers, he said.“There are a whole host of things that need to be done, and we are working on all of them,” Pratt said. “We have made good progress to date, but the timetable is still very challenging.”Pratt noted that the governance structure and regulatory set-up being targeted by LGPS Central was closely aligned with the model initially suggested by the DCLG, as this was deemed the best fit for the eight pension funds forming the pool. *Pension schemes for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands Pension Fund (including West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority) and Worcestershire The UK government has given the Central local government pension scheme asset pool the go-ahead to proceed with the plan it submitted for its formation to the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) in the summer.All of the emerging local government pension scheme (LGPS) asset pools have been invited to meet with the minister, Marcus Jones, with LGPS Central and the Wales pool having been the first to have their meetings, last week.The round of meetings will extend into early December.The pools, at least some of them, have been anxious to get feedback from the government about the models and plans they have proposed for setting themselves up, given what they see as a tight timeframe for being operational by the 1 April 2018 deadline.   last_img read more

MiFID II research rules ‘hitting sector coverage and quality’

first_imgA cut in spending on research by fund managers, caused by MiFID II rules, could be leading to poorer coverage of some sectors of the equity market, surveys of the industry have found. Speaking to more than 500 professionals in European fund management on the impact of the updated Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), CFA Institute discovered almost half of those providing the research thought the quality had decreased overall.Just 44% of respondents working for banks or brokerages said the quality of research had remained constant in the 12 months since the introduction of the regime. The same number said research quality of small and mid-cap stocks had decreased.Rhodri Preece, head of industry research at CFA Institute, said: “Independent and sell-side research providers are under pressure, which we see translating into reduced research coverage, particularly in small and mid-cap equities, and fewer sell-side analysts.” Since the implementation of MiFID II – which required managers to separate the cost of research from the cost of trading – fund managers have significantly scaled back the amount they allocate to research from banks and brokers.CFA Institute found the average decrease in research budgets amounted to 6.3%.However, the largest firms have made the largest cuts, and for those managing more than €250bn the average budget reduction has been 11%. For those managing less than €1bn, the budget change has been negligible, the institute reported.Further readingUnbundling research payments has hurt transparency, report finds Splitting research and trading costs could go against one of the main aims of MiFID II, according to Scope Analysis and Frost ConsultingMiFID II has ‘shrunk’ fixed income research market ICMA reports that less research is available for the fixed income, currencies and commodities sectorsBriefing: MiFID II – a year on The new rules are having a dramatic effect on the world of investment research, writes Steve Kelly, adviser to Euro IRPIn another survey highlighting the impact of MiFID II, broker Peel Hunt and the Quoted Companies Alliance said nearly two thirds of investors – 62% – believed less research was being produced on mid and small-cap companies. A third said they expected further reductions in both the volume and quality of research in the future.Steven Fine, CEO of Peel Hunt, said these were unintended consequences of MiFID II – and warned there would be more to come.Fine said: “Specialists will become generalists. Generalists will cover too many stocks and their product knowledge will dilute. Quality will decline, gaps will appear in the market and many smaller companies will de-rate.”Some 63% of investors polled by Peel Hunt said the regulation had produced a negative impact on the liquidity of UK mid and small-cap stocks over the past 12 months.The broker chief said he suspected liquidity would continue to dry up, leading to companies moving off the stock exchanges and becoming private holdings.last_img read more

The Wine O’clock show host Tam Wrigley loves the Sunshine Coast

first_imgNational media personality Tam Wrigley shares her property dreams with The Sunday Mail.National media personality Tam Wrigley is living proof that when you do what you love, anything is possible. RELATED: Fashion Festival founder on why she loves the Sunshine Coast I was living in Indooroopilly when the Global Financial Crisis hit and my bank at the time said they were unable to fund anymore of my property projects unless I had a business with cash flow. I had gotten out of owning my own real estate business for about two years and all of a sudden, I found myself thrusted back into it. I purchased a rent roll in Nambour on the Sunshine Coast 10 years ago and relocated there. House with a mini-me cubby house What was the best piece of property advice you were give? You’ll love this house to the moon and back >>FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON FACEBOOK<< I love the openness, it’s bright and airy and I love the view, I will never get tired of looking out across 10ha of parkland and the two lakes that this house backs on to.I love the location as it is perfectly placed; 10 minutes’ drive from Mooloolaba beaches, five minutes’ drive from the Bruce Highway, 40 minutes’ from Noosa, one hour to Brisbane and about 15 minutes’ drive from the hinterland and my real estate office. What would you change about your home? My home is about 15 years old and hasn’t had a facelift since it was built.Full renovations are needed and that is my plan this year.I would like to expand the bedrooms, they are a tad on the small side.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago MORE: What is the best thing about your suburb? I often say that in my past life I use to live in castle.Every time I step inside one, I feel an instant connection of being at home.If money was no option, I would buy a castle in France or England and spend six months of the year living between the Sunshine Coast and my castle. What do you love about your home? Where do you live and why? I live in a growth suburb which for me is great as my home continues to gain capital.It is a small community that is rapidly growing, you will always know projected growth when a fast food chain drop their restaurants in your area.It’s central to everything and has some of the best university and schools in the state just down the road.The best thing is the natural landscape and wildlife we get around here even though it’s turning into a little city, the council are very mindful of the kangaroos and other natives that live here. If money was no option, what would be your fantasy home and where? As the creator and host of iStyle TV and The Wine O’clock Show, Tam is also a mother of two, wife, beauty and fashion columnist and the co-owner of a multimillion-dollar property portfolio. She shares her property dreams with The Sunday-Mail. Tam is a mother of two, wife, beauty and fashion columnist and the co-owner of a multimillion-dollar property portfolio. My best piece of advice and you hear it always — location, location, location.You make money on the buying of the property and not on the selling of a property.One of my biggest learnings from my 20 years in property is to buy properties in separate entities to avoid paying land tax, if I had of done this when I first started buying land and properties, I wouldn’t be paying the land tax I am today.last_img read more

Melbourne couple pays $12.5m for Gold Coast mega mansion

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:31Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:31 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenIs it a good time to list?02:31A Melbourne buyer looking to escape the city amid the COVID crisis has splashed $12.5 million on a sprawling resort-style estate, setting a new main river record. The contract on the luxury 3300 sqm holding at 249-255 Monaco Street went unconditional today in one of the biggest deals on the Gold Coast so far this year. MORE: Gold Coast’s newest million-dollar suburb Renovated beach cottage sold in 24 hours A Melbourne couple plans to relocate to the Broabeach Waters estate.The Melbourne buyers, introduced by Rebecca Moffrey of The Professionals Mermaid Beach, are relocating to the Gold Coast in what has become a fast-growing trend.Mr Jones said another Melbourne couple had purchased 165 Monaco Street for $3.1 million and Sydney and Melbourne buyers were circling a four-bedroom house at 155 Monaco Street.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago“There’s definitely a change in appetite, related to COVID-19, among people wanting to get out of those high population areas,” he said. “The Gold Coast has always been the number one postcode for internal migration in Australia but this has just made it more attractive.” Is this mega mansion built in the wrong suburb Villa Cantarocco drew worldwide interest.The five-bedroom Villa Cantarocco boasts 43 metres of prime river frontage as well as a 17m swimming pool, pontoon, jetty and a six-car garage.The sale is the latest in a string of prestige property deals on the Gold Coast this year, led by the $25 million sale of Breakfree founder Tony Smith’s Mermaid Beach mansion in May.The same month Simon and Tah-nee Beard – the couple behind Gold Coast streetwear giant Culture Kings – paid $11.75 million for a Bali-inspired mansion on Isle of Capri. 249-255 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters has sold for $12.5 million.The sale tops the $12.45m paid for 15 Southern Cross Drive, Cronin Island in June for the luxury mansion which was once home to Billabong International CEO Matthew Perrin.Marketed as a world-class property asset, the neo classic Monaco Street residence, known as Villa Cantarocco, drew worldwide interest during a 90-day campaign.“We had 212 inquiries through our campaign, with interest from Europe and three significant buyers out of Melbourne,” said Savills Gold Coast Director Christopher Jones, who led the campaign with Aydan Mullin.“There were two offers on the same day, one from Sydney and the other from Melbourne, which were fairly close.”last_img read more

Mystic River Restoration Forum Takes Place in July

first_imgThe Mystic River Restoration Forum, to be run by the Conservation Commission, Department of Planning & Community Development and Department of Public Works, will take place on Thursday, July 6, in the main room of the Senior Center in Arlington, MA. The meeting aims to provide a project update and an opportunity to gather public input to help assist in the developing community participation for the project.The project, scheduled to begin later this year, will create a native riverbank (riparian) habitat and improve storm-water quality.This scheme will restore the riverbank through slope stabilization, the removal of a broken concrete head wall, natural ecosystem enhancement and water-quality improvements.The project will also include participation from the surrounding community in plantings, developing educational signs along the existing adjacent footpath and stewardship of the newly restored habitat.[mappress mapid=”24196″]last_img read more

Aker Solutions to deliver umbilicals for Eni’s Coral South FLNG project

first_imgNorwegian oil services company Aker Solutions has been awarded a contract to deliver three umbilicals and associated equipment at Eni’s Coral South project, Mozambique’s first offshore field development.Aker Solutions informed on Monday that the work scope includes three steel tube umbilicals that will total more than 19 kilometers in length and connect the Coral South floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to the field’s subsea production system.The umbilicals will be manufactured at Aker Solutions’ plant in Moss, Norway, and are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019. The two companies agreed not to disclose the financial value of the contract.“This contract is an important milestone for Aker Solutions as we continue to demonstrate our capability as a partner of choice for products and services across Africa,” said Aker Solutions’ Chief Executive Officer, Luis Araujo.“It is a privilege to be involved in the first offshore development in Mozambique and to play a part in developing the country’s energy industry.”Discovered in 2012, the Coral South development is the first energy project offshore Mozambique and is estimated to contain about 450 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Eni sanctioned the project at the beginning of June, three years since the drilling of the final exploration well in a Mozambique.The Italian company already awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, commissioning and start-up (EPCIC) of the Coral South FLNG facility and its associated risers and subsea flowlines system, as well as the installation of the umbilicals and subsea equipment to TechnipFMC. The FLNG unit will have a capacity of around 3.4 million tons per year.last_img read more