first_imgIn contrast, low-volatility manager Quoniam performed worst, it said.The pension fund credited its currency hedge for contributing 3.1 percentage points to its overall gain of 7.5%. The €25.5bn pension fund of Dutch banking group Rabobank has slashed its equity holdings by almost 5 percentage points in favour of government bonds and credit.In its annual report, it indicated that its decision had been triggered by the growth of its equity portfolio, which yielded 9.2% last year.It reduced its equity exposure to 38.2% at the end of 2017.Emerging markets in particular performed well, the scheme said, with asset manager Fidelity outperforming its benchmark by almost 6.7% while focusing on quality and growth. Rabobank’s headquarters in Utrecht, NetherlandsRabobank’s 40.4% fixed income allocation gained 0.2% overall, largely due to its credit holdings, which benefited from a reduced risk premium as a result of improved economic conditions, as well as the ECB’s quantitative easing programme.With a yield of 8.6%, infrastructure had performed well for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Rabobank Pensioenfonds.It cited “enthusiasm among governments embracing new projects” as well as the development of data sets and benchmarks.Rabobank has targeted a 2.5% allocation to infrastructure, which it expects to achieve by 2020.The scheme attributed the 0.2% profit from its private equity holdings predominantly to the J-curve effect of the portfolio, which is still under construction, as well as the currency effects of the US dollar.Commodities and high yield credit returned 5.9% and 6.2%, respectively.The annual report showed that residential property had significantly contributed to the 8.7% gain on the scheme’s overall property portfolio, which made up 10% of its total assets. Portfolios managed by Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance and Bouwinvest Residential Fund delivered 19.5% and 15.6%, respectively.It added that it wanted to make 15% of its residential property energy-neutral by 2030.The Rabobank scheme also reported that it had divested its Dutch office and retail holdings, and that it was planning to gradually sell out of its international funds.The pension fund said its sponsoring employer had made an additional contribution of €160m to guarantee that annual pensions accrual could be maintained at 2%, as a consequence of an agreement with the trade unions when it switched to collective defined contribution arrangements in 2013.It granted its participants a 0.2% indexation last month. At June-end, its coverage ratio stood at 117.7%.Last year, the scheme saw a sharp decrease of the number of active members, which dropped by 4,600 to 27,924 in the wake of reshuffles within the business.As a result of the falling number of contributing employees, administration costs rose from €236 to €241 per participant and the number of pensioners’ representatives on the board and the accountability body had increased relative to workers’ delegates, the scheme said.last_img read more

first_img“Peroito po ay hindi nangangahulugan na ang aktibidad ng Taal Volcano ay tumigil na, o di kaya’y ang banta ng mapanganib na eruption ay nawala na po.Nandyan pa po,” he added. As of Sunday morning, Taal is stillemitting white steam-laden plumes after it spewed an increased amount of steamand sulfur dioxide that reached 100 to 800 meters high on Saturday.  Phivolcs director Renato Solidum saidthat the lowering of alert level was due to decreased tendency towardshazardous eruption of Taal. Phivolcs raised the alert level overTaal from Level 1 to 4 on January 12 due to magmatic unrest, promptingmandatory evacuation of residents in areas within its 14-kilometer radius. Solidum, however, stressed that therelease of steam and ash was not accompanied with volcanic earthquakes butresidents near the volcano cannot still be complacent. “Angpagbaba sa Alert Level 3 base sa mgaparametrong binabanatayan ay nagpapakita ng pagbaba ng tendency towardstowards hazardous eruption,” Solidum said in an interview with DZMM. Residents clear ash from their roof in Agoncillo, Batangas, days after Taal Volcano’s eruption on Jan. 12, 2020. ABS-CBN NEWS MANILA – From Alert Level 4, Taal Volcano has now beenplaced under Alert Level 3, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology andSeismology (Phivolcs) announced Sunday.  “Angimportanye ang mga tao na nasa paligid ng Taal Volcano ay dapat mabilis ang mga aksyon, dapat handa sa kanilang gagawin,maayos ang kanilang contingency measure,” Solidum said./PNlast_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria NSF 2020: Sports minister raises fresh hope The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will not shy away from exercising its oversight on sports federations as it pushes for reforms in the running of the sports industry.The Minister, Sunday Dare, stated this at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Monday while receiving the report of the Ministerial Committee on the Performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at the cecently concluded World Athletic Championships, in Doha, Qatar.The Minister thanked the committee members for the level of commitment and patriotism they have exhibited, while assuring that the Ministry would go through and come up with an action plan, which would ensure that the development of sports, with regards to athletics, does not continue to suffer the fate it has suffered in the recent past. Dare further assured that this time things will be done differently for a better result, noting: “When we talk of about the next level, this is what we mean, doing things the right way.”While appreciating the work of the sports federations in the country, he sounded a note of warning that no federation was bigger than the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, adding that in the interest of the country, sports and the athletes, the Ministry would not exchange its oversight powers when it feels any federation is going wrong.Dare said: “No federation is bigger than the Ministry. “We have oversight powers over them.”Drawing lessons from Doha 2019, he said: “Doha reminds us that you only go to a championship with your best so that your work will not go to waste.”Presenting 10 copies of the report to the Minister of Youth and Sports, the Chairman of the committee Prof. Ken Angwueje, said the committee had examined the facts, established the truths and suggested measures to prevent a re-occurrence of the less than impressive performance of team Nigeria at the 17th IAAF World Championship in Doha, while also suggesting ways forward.It would be recalled that the Minister inaugurated the committee a week ago to appraise the causes and factors responsible for team Nigeria’s performance at the just concluded World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar where Nigeria won only one bronze medal. Other members of the committee are Dr. Umar Bindir, Rotimi Obajimi, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Dr. Dare Esan, Ambassador Mary Onyali, Chief Falilat Ogunkoya and Maria Wophill as Secretary. Tags: MKO Abiola StadiumSunday Darelast_img read more

After AZ StateSanctioned Discrimination Bills Still Pending Elsewhere

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 27, 2014; TIME MagazineYou can just feel the ripples of deep breathing from Arizonans now that Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed the state-sanctioned discrimination bill that would have made Arizona a radioactive state for economic development—and potentially the first from which the National Football League might have removed its scheduled Super Bowl.But as Arizona goes, will other states follow? Several states have pending legislation that would do much the same as Arizona’s vetoed bill to allow for discrimination against gays, lesbians, and others based on sincere religious belief. Although a bill that would do this in Kansas was nixed in the legislature, one in neighboring Missouri is still waiting a vote from legislators. Note that the bill in Kansas would have even allowed state workers to cite their religious beliefs for choosing not to deliver state government programs.A bill in Tennessee tracks the Arizona and Missouri bills, but without the Kansas addition of allowing government employees to cite religious belief in the denial of services. The pending bill in the Illinois legislature is narrower than Arizona’s vetoed law and the Missouri bill, basically introduced as a countermeasure to a law passed last year that gives the same rights, benefits, and protections to same-sex and opposite-sex parents and their children. The Illinois bill would exempt religious institutions, including religious schools, from providing their facilities for “marriage solemnization ceremonies” if they violate their religious beliefs. In South Dakota, a pending bill looks like the one in Illinois regarding marriage, though its sponsor had introduced and then withdrawn a bill that resembled Arizona’s state-sanctioned discrimination.Typically, the Arizona-type laws don’t specify LGBT issues as the reason for allowing and sanctioning discrimination based on “sincere religious belief,” but a pending Oregon bill, meant to counter that state’s existing law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, would protect people who discriminate when their actions are “based on religious beliefs against same-sex marriage/civil union/domestic partnership ceremonies.” Hawaii’s too has LGBT code words, promising to protect nonprofits and religious organizations when they deny service “related to any refusal to provide goods, services, or facilities for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage that is in violation of the organization’s religious beliefs or faith.” The Arizona legislator who held up a big, visible anti-LGBT sign on the floor of the House to remind people who the bill was really targeting wouldn’t have needed to do so in Oregon or Hawaii, given the legislative language.These aren’t the only ones. Despite the scotched Kansas bill, other “religious freedom” bills have popped up in Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Idaho, just to name a few. Reportedly, a bill is being prepared for introduction in Georgia.Even if other legislatures do follow Arizona’s lead to pass this kind of silly legislation, our guess is that governors will follow Brewer’s path of laying down a veto so that their states don’t turn into laughingstocks. Nonetheless, these bills aren’t appearing sui generis; someone—or some institution—is doing some of the conceptualizing and even drafting. In Arizona, it was the Center for Arizona Policy. The array of supporters of these bills in other states is difficult to track down, but there are organizations from the religious right that have long been opposing equal rights for same-sex marriages. The Kansas bill was apparently drafted by the Washington-based American Religious Freedom Program, which admits to also drafting the Tennessee bill. Mother Jones also reports that the Idaho bill had the drafting input of the Cornerstone Family Council in Idaho, which is a member of Focus on the Family’s Citizen Link, which also includes the Center for Arizona Policy as a member.We received suggestions that these religious discrimination bills might have emanated from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) or might have been connected to groups with the State Policy Network, and perhaps there are some overlaps, but these bills really are “religious right” bills. After ALEC’s disastrous foray into stand-your-ground and voter ID laws, one has to suspect that these free-market think tank networks are going to steer clear of religious issues in order to avoid upsetting their business partners and backers, especially with the opposition of American Airlines and the NFL to the Arizona law and the track record of Atlanta-based Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola being visibly connected to gay pride events in Georgia.Congratulate Governor Brewer for standing up against the political pressure of the religious right wing, but there are more of these laws percolating in other states in need of attention from civil rights activists.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more