PensionDanmark welcomes launch of DKK5bn green investment fund

first_imgA DKK5bn (€670m) green investment fund to be launched by the Danish government has been welcomed by one of the country’s largest pension funds for granting institutions access to small-scale green projects.Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive of the DKK152bn PensionDanmark, said he was prepared to invest if the projects offered an attractive risk/return profile.The government will initially offer loan guarantees totalling DKK2bn, although the guarantee could be expanded to up to DKK5bn, the Danish Ministry of Finance said.The fund will offer loans to private companies, non-profit housing associations and a limited number of government institutions that wish to address the energy consumption of production facilities and reduce the energy footprint of a building through changes to lighting, heating and ventilation systems. Additionally, loans will be available for resource-efficiency projects such as reduction of water use and the installation of heat pumps and wind turbines. Bjarne Corydon, finance minister and a member of prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s social democratic party, said the fund would give Denmark a “green injection”.“It will not only benefit the environment – it will also strengthen our industry leadership in environment and climate, and thus result in green jobs and new export opportunities,” he said.The government will supply an initial DKK80m to finance the start-up costs of the green investment fund until 2016.Möger Pedersen told IPE he welcomed the launch of the fund.“It gives us an opportunity to get invested in energy projects in smaller companies that can supplement our direct investments in large energy infrastructure assets,” he said.“So, if we can find the right balance between return and risk, we are ready to invest.”PensionDanmark has in the past been active in the renewables market, partially growing its infrastructure portfolio through the acquisition of stakes in wind farms.Last December, it acquired a 49% stake in a UK wind farm for £153m (€185m).It is not the first time the Danish government has offered loan guarantees to underwrite a fund aimed at pension investors.In 2011, the country’s export credit agency (EKF) launched a fund to lend to foreign companies placing orders with Danish businesses.At the time, PensionDamark committed €1.3bn to the fund.last_img read more

Latvian pension funds boost returns in second quarter

first_imgThe active funds increased their share of bonds and bond funds to 52%, from 48% in the first quarter, while decreasing the share of bank deposits by 2 percentage points to 5% because of historically low interest rates.The balanced funds likewise raised their bond share, by 5 percentage points to 75%, while cutting their equity and equity fund exposure, from 17% to 14%.The conservative plans remained relatively unchanged, with bonds and bond funds accounting for 78%, and deposits 7%. Like the active funds, they have also kept a sizeable share, of 15%, in cash.Brexit had little direct effect because the Latvian funds have relatively little investment in the UK, instead focusing increasingly on the home market.Latvia accounted for 42% of invested assets, followed by Eastern Europe (23%), and global and international securities (12%).More than 92% of investments went into euro-denominated assets, followed some way behind by the US dollar (6%).Assets accumulated in the 15-year-old second-pillar system breached the €2.5bn mark at the end of June, a year-on-year growth rate of 14.4%, with net investment income accounting for almost €400m.In the voluntary third pillar, the 12-month average fell to 0.52%, from 3.47% in June 2015, with the four balanced funds returning 1.1%, the 10 active plans minus 0.38% and the First Closed Pension Fund 0.75%.The wide range of returns from the active plans partly reflected currency developments over the period, with the two US dollar funds returning 1.23%, while the eight euro-denominated funds averaged minus 0.45%.Over the last three months, the active plans raised their share in equity and equity funds by 4 percentage points to 37%, while the balanced ones increased their bond holdings from 64% to 69%, in both cases at the expense of their cash holdings.Assets grew by 11.3% year on year to €340m and membership by 7.2% to 261,925. Latvia’s mandatory second-pillar pension funds’ 12-month weighted average return to 30 June 30 fell to minus 0.16%, from 2.71% a year earlier, according to the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia (LKA).The best results, of 1.53%, were generated by the eight bond-weighted conservative funds, followed by the four balanced funds at minus 0.47%, and the eight active, equity-weighted funds at minus 1.54%.However, a market recovery in the second quarter was reflected in the funds’ improved three-month performance, with the active funds returning 0.37% (compared with minus 0.75% in the first quarter), and the balanced funds 0.48% (against minus 0.07%), while the conservative funds’ result was unchanged at 0.57%.The funds’ asset allocation strategies became increasingly more risk averse throughout this year.last_img read more

Dutch government, unions reopen pension reform talks

first_imgThe Netherlands’ three main unions have agreed to resume negotiations over pension system reforms from next week.IPE’s sister publication Pensioen Pro reported this morning that Wouter Koolmees, the secretary of state for social affairs in the Netherlands, had involved opposition parties in talks about a possible new pension agreement, according to sources close to the government.In the coming days, the government will continue discussions with unions and employers in an attempt to reach an agreement on work and state pension reforms. This afternoon it emerged that unions FNV, CNV and VCP had all agreed to resume negotiations, which came to a crashing halt last November.It follows two days of strike action across the Netherlands, with thousands of people protesting against plans to increase the state pension age, among other reforms. In a letter to the Dutch Labour Foundation and the Social and Economic Council, Koolmees hinted that there was room for “further agreements about less stringent linking of the state pension to life expectancy”, as well as sustainable employability and physically demanding jobs. Wouter Koolmees, the Dutch government’s social affairs ministerCredit: FNV FNV members on strikeHowever, he did not make any concrete commitments in the letter, and did not mention the idea of freezing the state pension age.Unions FNV, CNV and VCP have been asking the minister for months for a public response to their demands: freezing the state pension age for five years, cutting the link between an increase in pension age and life expectancy, an early retirement scheme for people in physically demanding professions, indexation of pensions and the ability for the self-employed, flexible workers and temporary workers to accrue pension rights.FNV negotiator Tuur Elzinga earlier this week promised striking workers that any deal would be presented to them first. “Even if there will be no agreement, we will get back to you,” Elzinga said. “But only in order to prepare new protests with you.”Union representatives told Pensioen Pro that they saw Koolmees’ offer as a signal that this week’s strike action had worked.last_img read more

The 1st annual Haitian Heritage and Cultural Arts Celebration, a huge…

first_imgWith every beat of the drum accompanied by the voice of Inez Barlatier the audience remained captivated. They clapped and sang loudly being suddenly taken back to a time where many were just young children. A time when they were listening to their grandparents sing to awaken the forces of their ancestors to protect many desperate Haitians who made the life-threatening choice to take to the sea in search of a better life. Over 30 years have passed and on September 15, Save Our Boys, Inc., highlighted the successes, gifts and commitments of the leaders that birthed from that era. Highlight the work of Haitians Andy Cherefant Founder/CEO of Save Our Boys, Inc., identified the need to share and highlight the great work of both Haitians and Haitian-Americans in South Florida. According to recent Census, Broward County is home to over 116,000 people of Haitian ancestry, who are a viable force increasingly gaining political presence while contributing to the community as nurses, teachers, physicians, engineers, artist, lawyers and more. A nation known for its resilience and strength against adversity; Haitians are consistently labeled as “Hard Workers”; that hard work was celebrated by Andy Cherefant, and his team of sponsors, dignitaries, volunteers and guests. HonoreesCongratulations to the Honorees. These were: Zeek Mathais, an award winning Haitian Artist whose breath taking piece “Neg Mawon” (Brown Man), reminds the world what very little armor and God given internal strength and determination led to the independence of Haiti; Representative Al Jacquet, Florida House of Representative, District 88, who captivated the audience by  thanking his parents for the discipline, focus on education and deep work ethic that was instilled in him and paved the way to his success, ensuring that our concerns and needs are heard on a larger political stage; Newton B. Sanon, Lesly Jacques, Rev. Dr. Jacques Durmonay, Dr. Patrick Jabouin, Rev. Hector Clerveau and Educator Karlie Richardson. These honorees detailed their outstanding contributions to the community through media, church, politics, education and philanthropy. The atmosphere remained colorful, festive and exciting with song, visual entertainment and the taste of Haitian cuisine. I would like to personally thank Inez Barlatier, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharl, Dadly Filius, Cindy Foley, Gina Demergeau-Lasseur, Pierre LeBlanc, Anthony Louis, Mdorest Production Chef Tony’s Restaurant, Radio TV Florida, Strings and Steel Music Duo, City of Pompano Beach, Broward County Florida Cultural Division, Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs, Old Dillard Foundation, Baccus Global, Gaicon LLC, Bogle Vineyards, Commissioner Rex Hardin and The Cherenfant Group for their contributions to this events success. Last but certainly not least, thanks to the beautiful and engaging Mistress of Ceremony, Regina Bell, for her strong voice, humor and professionalism, which show cased the gifts that Haitians and Haitian-Americans share in our community.last_img read more

KC radio host, company ‘part ways’ after comments about Chiefs coach Andy Reid

first_imgMORE: NFL coaches vote Reid SN’s 2018 Coach of the YearUnion Broadcasting said when it suspended Kietzman that his comments “were clearly not to his or our standards.” The company apologized to Reid, his family, the Chiefs and listeners.Kietzman apologized to Reid on the air, but he also insisted that he was only speaking about the Chiefs and Reid failing to “fix” players and employees, most recently wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Britt Reid is a Chiefs assistant coach and Garrett Reid also served on his father’s staff; those hires, according to Kietzman, made referencing Reid’s family history relevant.MORE: Chiefs reportedly hopeful after ‘positive’ meeting between Hill, NFL He told Awful Announcing: When Reid decided to hire his sons to try to help them, it ceased being a personal, private matter in my opinion. When a tax payer supported football team hires convicted felons, it is absolutely worthy of scrutiny. Andy Reid has hired several convicted criminals in his career and asked fans to trust him. Some have worked out, many have not.Kietzman has also noted he has done charitable work in preventing teen suicides.Kietzman hosted “Between the Lines” on WHB, in which he is an investor, for 22 years. A Kansas City sports radio host is out of a job less than a week after making comments about Chiefs coach Andy Reid that were roundly criticized.Kevin Kietzman and Union Broadcasting, Inc., parent company of station WHB, “mutually agreed to part ways,” the company announced Friday. Kietzman had been suspended since Tuesday after saying on the air that some of Reid’s past attempts at being a disciplinarian “did not work out well in his family life.” Reid’s son Garrett died of a heroin overdose in 2012; another son, Britt, has served time in prison on gun and drug charges.last_img read more

STAYS IN VEGAS, DECKED OUT, MOKAT & QUEEN BLOSSOM HEAD WIDE OPEN FIELD OF 13 IN GRADE I, $300,000 AMERICAN OAKS ON SATURDAY AT SANTA ANITA

first_imgPRESTIGIOUS OAKS, TO BE RUN AT 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF, IS FINAL GRADE I EVENT OF 2016 Lady Valeur–Rafael Bejarano–121Stays in Vegas–Flavien Prat–121Dreamarcher–Luis Contreras–119How Unusual–Alex Solis– ALT–119Cheekaboo–Mike Smith–121Sassy Little Lila–Luis Saez–119Decked Out–Kent Desormeaux–121Queen Blossom–Joel Rosario–121Norris–Victor Espinoza–119Sheeza Milky Way–Brice Blanc–ALT–119Dynamic Mizzes K–Corey Nakatani–119Barleysugar–Tyler Baze–119Mokat–Drayden Van Dyke–121First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional racing information, including scratches, changes and morning line, please visit santaanita.com. ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 28, 2016)–Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Stays in Vegas heads a wide-open field of 13 sophomore fillies Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $300,000 American Oaks, to be contested at a mile and one quarter on turf. The Oaks, which has been carded as the eighth race on a nine-race New Year’s Eve program, will serve as North America’s final Grade I event in 2016.Also prominent in Saturday’s Oaks are trainer Keith Desormeaux’s Decked Out, trainer Richard Baltas’ Mokat and Queen Blossom, an Irish-bred who will be making her U.S. debut for trainer Graham Motion. STAYS IN VEGAS: Sent from the gate in the Grade I, one mile turf Matriarch at Del Mar on Dec. 4, this Kentucky-bred filly by City Zip just missed, as she ended up third, beaten a head by multiple Grade I winner Miss Temple City. Although her lone win this year came six starts back in the one mile turf Grade III Senorita Stakes here on May 7, she’s been very consistent, amassing four third place finishes in 2016–all in graded turf stakes at a flat mile and at a mile and one eighth. While the mile and a quarter looms a question mark, Stays in Vegas looms extremely dangerous if she’s allowed to set a soft pace under Flavien Prat. Owned by Jim and Janet Rome’s Jungle Racing, LLC, KMN Racing, LLC or LNJ Foxwoods, she is 12-5-1-4 overall with earnings of $418,934. MOKAT: An emphatic 3 ¾ length winner of the Grade II, one mile turf San Clemente Handicap three starts back on July 23, she was subsequently fourth, beaten three quarters of a length in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks Aug. 20. Following that, she ran an even fifth at 11-1 in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles turf Queen Elizabeth Cup Oct. 15 at Keeneland. A Kentucky-bred filly by Uncle Mo, she’s owned by J K Racing Stable, LLC and will be ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke, who will likely stalk the early pace. With an overall mark of 11-2-2-2, she has earnings of $318,040.center_img DECKED OUT: A dedicated deep closer, Decked Out comes into the American Oaks as a fresh horse, having been rested since running a better than looked 12th in the Grade I, 1 ¼ miles turf Rodeo Drive Stakes here on Oct. 1. Second, beaten a head two starts back in the Grade I, 1 1/8 miles turf Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 20, this Kentucky-bred filly by Street Boss has kept good company in 10 starts this year and seems a good fit at the distance, particularly if there’s a live pace. Her only win this year came six starts back in Santa Anita’s Grade III Providencia Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf April 9. Owned by Voss, Big Chief Racing, LLC and Head of Plains Partners, LLC, Decked Out will be ridden back by Desormeaux’s Hall of Fame brother, Kent, who has guided her to both of her lifetime wins. QUEEN BLOSSOM: Lightly raced in her native Ireland, she has two wins from five starts and has been idle since well beaten in a Group III stakes at a mile and a quarter on turf May 11. Ensconced for the past several months with Motion at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, she has a late running style that should be effective at the Oaks distance of a mile and a quarter. Of great benefit is the fact that top eastern-based rider Joel Rosario will ship west to ride for owners Team Valor International, LLC and Gary Barber. THE GRADE I AMERICAN OAKS IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTSRace 8 of 9                                                                                                          Approximate post time 4 p.m. PDTlast_img read more

Sam Houston State Survives First-Round Elimination Game

first_imgCentral Arkansas came close to evening the score in the bottom frame of the inning, but Sam Houston caught Libby Morris at home for the final out to hold onto the lead. The Bearkats had runners at first and second in the top of the fourth and tacked on its second run of the game when Megan McDonald slid home following a throw that went wide at first on the double-play attempt. Sam Houston’s Codi Carpenter smashed a home run to left-centerfield to make it 4-0 in the sixth inning before the Bearkats added five insurance runs in the seventh inning to go up 9-0. The Bears scored one run in the ninth before the Bearkats’ pitcher Lindsey McLeod forced the flyout to center to end it.SB: Megan Crosby picks up her second double of the day to give @BearkatsSB the 8-0 lead in the top of the seventh. #SouthlandStrongWatch live at https://t.co/7ZPBTsX4xw. pic.twitter.com/ldhdBEkTLM— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 8, 2018 LAKE CHARLES, La. – No. 8 Sam Houston State topped Central Arkansas 9-1 Tuesday to open the 2018 Southland Conference Softball Tournament at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La. The Bearkats will turn around to face No. 4 Southeastern Louisiana at 4 p.m. CT today. The winner of that game books an 11 a.m. date with No. 1 Nicholls on Wednesday while the non-winning team will face an elimination game tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. McLeod went all seven innings, striking out five and giving up five hits. Her offense tallied 11 hits for the game, including five doubles. UCA’s Oakley Sisemore went 2-for-3 for the game. With two outs in the top of the second inning, the Bearkats producced back-to-back doubles to take the 1-0 lead. Sophomore Megan Crosby doubled to centerfield to bring sophomore teammate Bailey White home for the first run of the tournament. Tournament Central | Box Scorelast_img read more

House approves of resolution rejecting Bush’s Iraq policy

first_imgWASHINGTON – Six weeks after taking power, congressional Democrats have their first triumph in their campaign to end U.S. participation in the Iraq war. The Democratic-controlled House issued a symbolic rejection of President Bush’s decision to deploy more troops to Iraq on Friday, opening an epic confrontation between Congress and commander in chief over an unpopular war that has taken the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops. The vote on the nonbinding measure was 246-182, and within minutes, Democrats said their next move would be to challenge Bush’s request for $93 billion in new funds for the Pentagon. “The stakes in Iraq are too high to recycle proposals that have little prospect for success,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of Democrats who gained power last fall in elections framed by public opposition to the war. Republican senators said in advance they would deny Democrats the 60 votes needed to advance the resolution, adding they would insist on equal treatment for a GOP-drafted alternative that opposes any reduction in funds for the troops. Even so there were signs of Republican restlessness on the issue. Only two members of the GOP rank and file sided with Democrats on an earlier procedural vote; the total figured to be higher this time. The House vote completed a turnabout from the fall of 2002, when the House bowed, 296-133, to Bush’s request to authorize military action against Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. U.S.-led troops made quick work of his regime but soon found themselves targeted in a country where long-suppressed sectarian rivalries flared and outside forces rushed to intervene. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in the ensuing war, along with more than 3,100 U.S. troops. Bush made no comment on the developments in the House, and his spokesman said the president was too busy to watch the proceedings on television. After a secure videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Bush said the Iraqis reported providing troops to fight alongside Americans, making sure that no ethnic or religious factions are ignored in the security operations, providing $10 billion toward reconstruction and working on an oil revenue-sharing law. “That’s good news for the Iraqi people. And it should give people here in the United States confidence that his government knows its responsibilities and is following through on those responsibilities,” Bush said. More than 390 of 434 lawmakers spoke during nearly 45 hours of dignified debate that spilled across four days – an unusual amount of time devoted to what Republicans and Democrats alike said was the most significant issue confronting the country. House Republican Leader John Boehner appeared to choke back tears at one point as he read from a letter that a husband of a former congressional aide wrote home before being killed in Fallujah. Pelosi led the House in a moment of silence, out of respect, she said, for those who fought, and “particularly those who have lost their lives in the war, and their families.” Supporters of the nonbinding resolution included 17 Republicans – fewer GOP defections than Democrats had hoped to get and the White House and its allies had feared. Two Democrats joined 180 Republicans in opposition. The developments unfolded as a new poll showed more than half those surveyed view the war as a hopeless cause. A sizable majority, 63 percent, opposes the decision to dispatch more troops, although support for Bush’s plan has risen in the past few weeks to 35 percent from 26 percent, according to the AP-Ipsos poll. The House measure disapproves of Bush’s decision to increase troop strength, and pledges that Congress will “support and protect” the troops. Bush has already said passage of the measure will not deter him from proceeding with the deployment of another 21,500 troops, designed primarily to quell sectarian violence in heavily populated Baghdad. Already, troops of the Army’s 82nd Airborne have arrived in Iraq. Another brigade is in Kuwait, undergoing final training before proceeding to Iraq. Three more brigades are ticketed for the Baghdad area, one each in March, April and May. In addition, the Pentagon is sending two Marine battalions to Anbar Province in the western part of the country, the heart of the Sunni insurgency. Bush and his allies in Congress calculated days ago that the House measure would pass, and increasingly have focused their energy on the next steps in the Democrats’ attempt to end U.S. participation in the war. “The President believes that the Congress should provide the full funding and flexibility our Armed Forces need to succeed in their mission to protect our country,” said White House press secretary Tony Snow. But Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who chairs the committee that will review Bush’s request, said, “the president wants a supplemental \. If he wants it, he’s going to have to accept certain things.” Democrats have made clear in recent days they will use Bush’s spending request to impose certain standards of readiness, training and rest for the troops. “That stops the surge \ for all intents and purposes, because … they cannot sustain the deployment,” Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said recently. Republicans pointed to Murtha’s remarks repeatedly during the day as evidence that despite their claims to the contrary, Democrats intend to cut off funds for the troops. “This is all part of their plan to eliminate funding for our troops that are in harm’s way. And we stand here as Republicans … committed to making sure our troops in harm’s way have all the funds and equipment they need to win this war in Iraq,” said Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home,” she vowed after the vote, in which 17 Republicans joined 229 Democrats in a wartime rebuke to the president. Citing recent comments by Democrats, Bush’s Republican allies said repeatedly the measure would lead to attempts to cut off funds for the troops. Outnumbered, they turned to GOP Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas to close their case – and the former Vietnam prisoner of war stepped to the microphone as lawmakers in both parties rose to applaud his heroism. “Now it’s time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home, and for those who fought and died in Iraq already,” he said. “We must not cut funding for our troops. “We must stick by them,” he added, snapping off a salute as he completed his remarks to yet another ovation. Moving quickly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set a test vote for today on an identical measure, and several presidential contenders in both parties rearranged their weekend campaign schedules to be present. last_img read more

Couture captures heavyweight title

first_imgCouture continued to control the pace of the fight, getting the better of the exchanges when the fighters were standing, and controlling the ground game, as expected. It was UFC’s debut in the midwest, and the crowd of approximately 19,000 at Nationwide Arena saw two fighters begin their quest regain their championship status. Rich Franklin, who lost his middleweight title to Anderson Silva last October, scored an impressive TKO victory over Jason McDonald. Franklin looked like his old self against McDonald, showing off his well-rounded style. Near the end of the second round, Franklin gained full-mount position and pounded his opponent until the bell rang to end the round. McDonald could not answer the bell for the third round. Also, former welterweight champ Matt Hughes, coming off a loss to Georges St. Pierre, earned a unanimous decision over Chris Lytle. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As he stood in the center of the Octagon, chest heaving and sweat dripping from his brow, all Randy Couture could do was smile and offer one simple sentence. “Not bad for an old man, huh?” Few outside of Couture’s camp believed it could happen. Couture, 43, had been retired since losing the light heavyweight title to Chuck Liddell in February of 2006. In coming back to fight, he was taking on Sylvia, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound giant of a champion who possesses one-punch knockout power. If Couture was to have a chance, he would have to take Sylvia to the mat where his superior wrestling skills could be put to use. Instead, Couture showed off his striking ability early, landing a solid overhand right to the jaw of Sylvia, who was immediately staggered. Though Sylvia survived the round, it seemed he never recovered from that opening punch. “I didn’t think he’d try to strike with me,” Sylvia admitted in the post-fight interview. “He kept me off balance the entire fight.” center_img Not bad for any man. Couture had just become, once again, the UFC heavyweight champion thanks to a unanimous victory over Tim Sylvia in Saturday’s main event of UFC 68 in Columbus, Ohio. last_img read more