Emerging markets fuel 6.7% return at Switzerland’s Publica

first_imgThe average funding ratio for Swiss corporate pension schemes is at its highest since 2008.Source: Willis Towers Watson Overall, Publica’s developed market investments gained 2.9% in 2017.Equities were the best performing of the main asset classes Publica held in 2017, gaining 5.5%. Its European equity holdings returned 14% on a currency-hedged basis, while its emerging markets exposure made almost 30%.Publica’s bond holdings ended up making a positive contribution to the overall result for 2017, gaining 0.8%. Positive returns from emerging market government bonds, corporate bonds and private debt instruments offset losses on other government bonds.Publica is the multi-employer pension fund for the Swiss confederation and network of governmental universities and research institutions. It comprises open and closed pension plans, and runs different investment strategies for each.The investments for its open schemes, which account for the bulk of the institution’s total assets (CHF36bn), gained 7.1% in 2017. The investment strategy for its closed plans led to a return of 3.3% for 2017.The average funding level of all 20 pension plans within Publica was estimated at 107% at the end of 2017.Publica’s board of directors was due to make further decisions about its technical parameters this month after the Swiss federal parliament late last year rejected a request for funds from the government to cushion the impact on federal personnel from cuts to the parameters.Publica, which is also the pension fund for federal employees in Switzerland, announced the cuts last year, effectively reducing the pension promises to future retirees.Commenting on the federal parliament’s decision to reject the support measures for Publica, the trade union for federal employees (VGB) said the government and Publica’s decision-making bodies needed to come up with a solution.“Reducing the technical interest rate and consequently the conversion rate without accompanying measures is unthinkable,” said the VGB. “The benefit loss for federal employees would be enormous.” Publica came out as Switzerland’s largest pension fund in IPE’s 2017 Top 1000 Pension Funds ranking.  Swiss corporate plans on the upSwiss corporate pension schemes’ funding increased by around 1.5 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the latest Willis Towers Watson figures.The coverage ratio climbed from 102.5% to 104% over the period, it said.Positive investment returns had the most significant impact on the consultancy’s Swiss pension index, offsetting the impact of increasing pension obligations from a lower discount rate.The return on investments held by Swiss pension funds was 2.3% higher in the fourth quarter than the preceding quarter, based on the Pictet BVG-40 plus index.This took the return for the calendar year to “a very solid” 7.6% overall, the consultancy said.Adam Casey, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Companies should consider measures to reduce risk in their pension positions as IAS 19 balance sheet levels are close to 10-year highs. This can be done more easily if the pension funds are in a better funding position.” Publica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund, achieved a net return of 6.7% on its investments in 2017, buoyed in particular by the performance of its emerging markets holdings.Excluding currency hedging the 2017 result would have been 8.2%.In 2016 the CHF39bn (€36bn) public pension fund’s investments gained 5.1%.Publica’s emerging markets investments made the biggest contribution to the fund’s overall performance, gaining just less than 3%. Equities gained just under 30%, and US dollar and local currency denominated government bonds returned around 9%.last_img read more

Searcher Completes PNG 3D Reprocessing Project

first_imgSearcher Seismic has completed the Laurabada Ultracube 3D reprocessing project offshore Papua New Guinea.The Laurabada Ultracube project entailed the reprocessing of two open-file 3D datasets with a broadband deghosting and pre-stack depth migration sequence over what is highly sought-after acreage.The Ultracube is split into two cubes: The Eastern cube is near-shore, shallow water whilst the Western cube is deep-water in the Gulf of Papua.Joshua Thorp, geoscience manager for Searcher Seismic, said: “Source and receiver deghosting was applied in the reprocessing which significantly improves the low frequency content. For Laurabada East, this helps with the imaging below the fold belt as that is quite dispersive and attenuative with the seismic source. Similarly, on Laurabada West, there is multiple large carbonate bodies that are highly absorptive which is only penetrated by the low frequency signal.”“The legacy processing only applied 2D SRME for the demultiple, whereas the reprocessing has used 3D GSMP/SRME from Western Geco. In the fold belt on Laurabada East this in particular helped with the complex diffracted multiples from the seabed that were contaminating the pre-Tertiary grabens. On Laurabada West there were complex peg leg multiples from the top carbonates which were modelled and subtracted effectively.”“The legacy processing only used an isotropic PSTM workflow, whereas the reprocessing used an anisotropic TTI pre-stack depth migration. In Laurabada East, the PSDM workflow allowed for high resolution velocity modelling in the fold belt which improved the pre-Tertiary graben imaging and depthing. In Laurabada West, there was detailed carbonate velocity modelling which combined with the deghosting allowed for much improved resolution on the flanks and base of the carbonate pinnacles,” Thorp added.The Laurabada West Ultracube 3D Reprocessing Survey comprises of approximately 770 km2 whilst the Laurabada East Ultracube 3D Reprocessing Survey covers some 1,020 km2. The Laurabada 3D reprocessing project complements Searcher’s existing 2D seismic coverage which currently stands at over 80,000 km, offshore Papua New Guinea.last_img read more

Single Vehicle Accident in Ohio Co.

first_imgRising Sun, IN—Thursday Morning, Ohio County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to Nelson Road for a single-vehicle accident. When Deputies arrived they found a 1993 Ford Ranger overturned and over an embankment.The driver, Robert Marksberry, of Florence, IN, was traveling eastbound on Nelson Road when he stated his front wheels started to slide and the back of the truck came around.  Marksberry stated that the vehicle rolled three times before coming to rest on its top. Marksberry and his passenger, Julienne Strickling, of Vevay, were uninjured in the crash. The Rising Sun Volunteer Fire Department was on scene to assist with traffic control. Based on the facts from the investigation, deputies believe the primary cause of this crash is traveling too fast for road conditions.last_img read more

O’Neill: Romania game “massive”

first_imgMichael O’Neill believes his Northern Ireland side are one win away from turning their Euro 2016 dream into a reality. O’Neill’s men have been one of the surprise packages of the qualifying campaign, with Sunday’s 2-1 defeat of Finland making it four wins from five matches. That leaves them second in Group F, four points clear of Hungary and just a point shy of table-topping Romania. Anghel Iordanescu’s side come to Windsor Park on June 13 and O’Neill believes success then would go a long way to ensuring a first major tournament in 30 years. “The message is simple. We have given ourselves a fantastic chance, and we have to make sure we take our chance again in June,” he said, after Kyle Lafferty’s brilliant brace in Belfast. “The Romania game becomes massive now. If you can win that game, then it would be hard to think we won’t get to the Euros. “It takes on extra significance. Do we feel 18 points will be enough? Possibly. “If we can get to 15 points with four games to go, that has to be our target at this moment in time. We will have the chance to go top of the group against Romania.” The game comes at an awkward time, with the English and Scottish seasons having broken up for the summer, but O’Neill hopes that does not have a major impact. He is relying on dedication from his players and two friendlies – one against Qatar on May 31 and another against Wales – to get his side in shape. The Wales game has yet to be confirmed by the two associations, but O’Neill is already treating it as a done deal. “We have two good warm-up games before that so preparation will be excellent,” he said. “Our preparation in June will be vital, and the warm-up games against Qatar and Wales will be crucial. “But players finish their seasons in May, and there is an onus on certain players to maintain their own fitness.” If fit Aaron Hughes is sure to become his country’s most capped outfield player in that run of fixtures, with his current tally of 95 leaving him level with David Healy. He had to make do with bench duty against Finland, with O’Neill making the tough choice to pair Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley in the middle while favouring Conor McLaughlin at right-back. “Leaving out Aaron was maybe the most difficult decision I have had to make in my three years, in terms of team selection,” the manager confessed. “Everyone knows what Aaron Hughes is about and what his qualities are as a player and individual. I sat with Aaron a few nights ago and talked about his situation at Brighton. “He hasn’t played much club football in recent tines, and he fully understood where I was coming from. “And Aaron being Aaron, he took it in his professional style. He is still a huge part of this squad, but now we have competition for places which is good. “Jonny (Evans) showed what a top class player he is, and he showed it at Hampden against Scotland the other night. So it is good. “But it is only a matter of time before Aaron gets his 96th cap and goes on to win 100.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Hennessey howler gifts Garde first win as Aston Villa boss

first_img And the defender gave Villa much to chew over, even if their first home league win of the campaign failed to lift them off the bottom of the table. It closed the gap to safety to eight points and was just their second league victory of the season, coming 156 days after the first, but it was deserved after a brave performance. The claret and blues require a monumental effort to survive but, on this evidence, at least they will go down fighting. Wilfried Zaha hit a post for Palace inside the first minute, but the Eagles deserved nothing from a limp performance. Libor Kozak made his first league start for Villa since Boxing Day 2013 – when he also faced Palace – while returning goalkeeper Mark Bunn’s last league start came against Villa for Norwich in May 2013. That Villa were now relying on striker Kozak – whom Garde had stated could leave this month – showed the depth of their problems. And they almost got worse after just 44 seconds as Villa survived a massive scare. They were carved apart on the right as Jason Puncheon and Zaha swapped passes to leave Zaha free in the area and he curled a shot against the outside of a post. Press Association But Palace never got as close again as the let-off woke Villa up and they tried to force the issue without breaking the visitors down. Without a recognised front man Palace were still dangerous on the break as Zaha, Puncheon and Bakary Sako – one of three Palace changes – threatened to find the gaps in Villa’s creaking defence. But it was Damien Delaney who came the closest after half-an-hour when he directed Yohan Cabaye’s free-kick inches wide. Jordan Ayew had already hit the side-netting with Villa’s best opening, but they were too tempted to shoot from distance, often wasting any openings. Palace brought on Connor Wickham to spearhead their attack at the break, but they almost fell behind six minutes later. Hennessey had little to do previously, but he was forced to turn Kozak’s deflected effort wide as Villa threatened to draw first blood. And the goalkeeper then handed them the winner on 58 minutes with a monumental error. Villa had been pressing and won a corner and, despite Lescott’s header flying straight at Hennessey, he spilled it through his legs and over the line. The hosts deserved the lead and Alan Pardew threw on Marouane Chamakh in response, but Palace lacked punch. The Eagles had the third best away record in the division coming into the game, but offered little evidence of their prowess on the road. Ayew fired over for Villa before Scott Dann headed well over with four minutes left. Surprisingly, though, there were few nerves in the final moments, even as Dann missed his kick in stoppage time as Villa hung on. TWEET OF THE MATCH “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssss!!!!!!! #VTID!!!!!!!!” – former Aston Villa midfielder Ian Taylor was as delighted as he was relieved by Tuesday’s result RATINGS Aston Villa Mark Bunn: 7 Leandro Bacuna: 7 Jores Okore: 6 Joleon Lescott: 7 Aly Cissokho: 6 Ashley Westwood: 6 Idrissa Gana: 6 Carles Gil: 6 Jordan Veretout: 6 Jordan Ayew: 7 Libor Kozak: 6 Subs: Ciaran Clark: 6 Crystal Palace Wayne Hennessey: 5 Joel Ward: 6 Damien Delaney: 6 Scott Dann: 6 Papa Souare: 6 James McArthur: 6 Joe Ledley: 6 Bakary Sako: 6 Yohan Cabaye: 7 Jason Puncheon: 6 Wilfried Zaha: 6 Subs: Connor Wickham: 6 Marouane Chamakh: 6 Mile Jedinak: 6 STAR MAN Jordan Ayew – The striker is rapidly becoming a fans’ favourite at Aston Villa for his work rate and quality. It took the 24-year-old time to adapt to the Barclays Premier League but he looks the pick of Villa’s summer buys. While he did not score, Ayew forever looked Villa’s most dangerous player and they need him to keep performing to give them a hope of survival. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Wayne Hennessey’s awful gaffe handed Villa the point and it is a moment the Wales international will want to forget. Joleon Lescott’s header was powerful but lacked direction and was straight at the goalkeeper. It should have been a routine save but Hennessey somehow managed to spill the ball through his arms, allowing it to bounce off his legs and over the line. MOAN OF THE MATCH Palace had one of the best away records in the division but rarely showed they were worthy of the title. Wilfried Zaha hit the post after just 44 seconds but the Eagles wilted and never put Villa under serious pressure, despite the claret and blues’ failing this season. Palace must pick themselves up for the visit of Manchester City on Saturday as they try to keep pace with the top five. VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT: Remi Garde rang the changes and recalled forgotten man Libor Kozak for his first league start since suffering a bad leg break in January 2014. It underlined Villa’s desperation but Garde should be commended for being brave with his selection – which ultimately paid off. Alan Pardew started with no recognised striker but threw on Connor Wickham and Marouane Chamakh as poor Palace struggled against rock-bottom Villa and the Palace boss admitted afterwards the hosts deserved their win. NEXT UP Aston Villa v Leicester (Barclays Premier League, Saturday, January 16) Manchester City v Crystal Palace (Barclays Premier League, Saturday, January 16) Wayne Hennessey’s howler gifted Aston Villa their first Premier League win since August as they edged out Crystal Palace 1-0. The goalkeeper fumbled Joleon Lescott’s second-half header into his own net as Remi Garde claimed his first victory at the 11th attempt. It was also redemption for Lescott, who was accused of playing a game with chewing gum – to the fury of fans – while a substitute during Saturday’s 1-1 FA Cup draw at Wycombe. last_img read more

Guard scoring, strong defense helps Syracuse to uninspiring 70-37 win over Loyola

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Ten minutes had gone by and Loyola had yet to score a point. Then B.J. Johnson, making his first career start in place of the injured Tyler Roberson, threw away an in-bounds pass and Greyhound guard Eric Laster charged down the lane to earn two free throws.“B.J.!” SU head coach Jim Boeheim yelled, with his defense controlling every Loyola possession and the scoreboard fully tilted in the Orange’s favor. The head coach didn’t get comfortable because his team gave him no reason to — letting the Greyhounds hang around in a game that could have been decided by halftime. But Syracuse (4-1) managed to pull away in the second half — thanks to better guard play and a continuation of its first-half defense — for an uninspiring 70-37 win over Loyola (2-3) in front of 17,691 fans in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night.“Our energy was higher, we just came more ready to play in the second half,” SU guard Trevor Cooney said. “Our defense was good in the first half but wasn’t as good as it could be. And then in the second half it was that and our offense was much better in the second half.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDespite holding the Greyhounds scoreless for the first 10:04 and to four makes on 26 shots in the first half, SU couldn’t find the offensive touch to bury Loyola early on. The Orange shot 11-of-26 in the opening frame, and missed all seven of its 3-point attempts.Syracuse was also out-rebounded, 21-20, by Loyola in the first half, which didn’t amount to offense for the Greyhounds but did keep them within striking distance.“We can’t be out there lackadaisical,” SU point guard Kaleb Joseph said. But a more efficient offense came out of the locker room and Loyola never found an offensive rhythm of its own. Joseph opened the second half with a midrange jumper, which kickstarted a 14-1 run. The Orange worked the ball to Rakeem Christmas in the half-court offense, and the senior forward bullied the Loyola big men before finishing with 18 points and six blocks on the other end. Syracuse also did a better job on the defensive glass, turning long rebounds into fast-break points at the rim while the Greyhounds’ shooting struggles persisted. Loyola finished the game shooting a 19.2 percent clip, 10 makes in 52 tries. And with the Orange leading 45-26 with less than 11 minutes to play, Cooney, who finished with 13 points, went on a personal 8-0 run to permanently separate the two sides. He hit two free throws after drawing a foul on a fast break, then hit a 3 — SU’s first after starting 0-for-8 — before finishing a three-point play that bumped Syracuse’s lead to 27. “Kaleb was able to get a couple of easy shots and he’s got to just play like that, knock them down, knock those shots down and loosen up a little bit,” Boeheim said. “Trevor got to the basket better and that was a good thing.”Boeheim spent the first 20 minutes of the game yelling at ill-advised fouls and cycling eight players on and off the court, looking for a lineup that could turn defense into offense and stomp on the inferior Greyhounds.That didn’t come until the second half, as Loyola failed to score or stop the Orange. It was a team Syracuse should have beaten in convincing fashion, but the squad that lost to California and dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2009 was on display for most of the night.The Greyhounds were just a far less talented opponent, which left Boeheim with only so much to scratch his head about after the pedestrian win. “We got a lot of things to work on,” Boeheim said. “ … Hopefully we’ll eventually get there. This team is — we need time.” Comments Published on November 25, 2014 at 9:02 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesselast_img read more

Syracuse falls short in singles play during home loss to GT

first_img Published on April 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm Contact Kevin: kjpacell@syr.edu In the middle of her third set, Valeria Salazar let out a scream that could have been heard throughout Drumlins Tennis Center.She had just botched a volley into the net, adding to her woes in a set that had turned sour from the start.“I think she gained a lot of confidence when she broke me in the first game of the third set,” Salazar said.The game she was referring to was one in which Salazar had won the first two points.Both Salazar and senior Breanna Bachini failed to secure points for Syracuse (8-12, 3-11 Atlantic Coast) in singles play on Sunday afternoon despite each taking a set. Their losses contributed to the team’s 5-2 loss against No. 25 Georgia Tech (13-8, 9-5) in its final regular-season match.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSalazar and Bachini both showed promise early on in their matches. For Bachini, it was in the scorecard.She won her first set 6-1 and took a commanding lead in the second when she held serve to go up 5-1, but then things took a turn for the worse.Georgia Tech’s Natasha Prokhnevska held serve, and while Bachini fired some strong serves throughout the next game, she was broken to make the score 5-3. The final point of that game came off of a Bachini double fault.Her opponent held serve again, and Bachini couldn’t capitalize on her second opportunity to serve for the match. Instead, she lost the game despite a 30-0 lead to start.Bachini said her struggle to close out the match was because some of her shots weren’t the way she wanted them to be, and also because of the emotions of Senior Day.“(Today) was about tennis but it was also pretty emotional for me out there,” Bachini said. “There was some points where I was thinking during a serve, ‘This is the last serve I’m going to serve in Drumlins.’“I shouldn’t have let those kind of thoughts get to me, but unfortunately I did.”Prokhnevska continued a winning streak that extended to six games with her 7-5 victory in the set. She then went on to beat Bachini easily in the third, 6-0.Bachini said while she felt her play was solid, the problems in the later stages were in her ability to finish points.“I had the same game plan,” Bachini said, “just certain things weren’t executing the right way.”Salazar’s lone set victory was her second set. She played well early in the first set with strong groundstrokes, and her opponent, No. 55 Paige Hourigan, became visibly frustrated, at one point dropping her racket after losing a long point.Salazar wasn’t able to pull out the win as Hourigan won 6-4. But the SU sophomore found more success in the second set, which she won 6-1.“I was hitting pretty deep,” Salazar said, “…I was basically making everything in.”Hourigan came out strong as the third set began, taking a 4-1 lead. Now it was Salazar’s frustration that was showing, with vocalizations and the tapping of her racket into the ground after one particular lost point.Salazar said a lower first-serve percentage and missed returns caused her trouble in the third set.Head coach Younes Limam said Salazar and Bachini’s situations were not uncommon because of the inconsistent nature of the sport.“That’s the hard thing about tennis sometimes,” Limam said. “There are so many highs and lows… In a tennis match you always have times where you’re not playing your best and your opponent is stepping up a little bit.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Italian Serie A Review (Sunday): 10-man Juventus Thrash Udinese; Milan Falter While Capital Clubs…

first_imgRelated Italian champions Juventus gave one of the best performances of the new Italian Serie A season as they thrashed Udinese 6-2 at the Stadio Fruili despite playing the majority of the game with 10 men after Mario Mandzukic was sent off in the first half for two quickfire yellow cards.Germany international midfielder was surprisingly the hero for the Turin giants as he netted a hattrick in addition to further goals from Daniele Rugani, Miralem Pjanic and an own goal from Udinese player Samir.AC Milan’s wretched start to the season continued after they played a goalless draw at home to Genoa. They finished the game with 10 men after club captain Leonardo Bonucci was sent off.The capital clubs namely Lazio and AS Roma have had a good start to the season and that continued on Sunday after respective wins over Cagliari and Torino.Ciro Immobile (2) and Bastos got the goals for Lazio in a 3-0 home win over Cagliari while former Manchester City defender Alexander Kolarov netted the only foal of the game in a 1-0 win at Torino. Results:Chievo Verona 3-2 Hellas VeronaAtalanta 1-0 BolognaAC Milan 0-0 GenoaLazio 3-0 CagliariTorino 0-1 AS RomaUdinese 2-6 JuventusBenevento 0-3 FiorentinaSPAL 2013 0-1 SassuoloTop Four:Napoli 25 pointsInter Milan 23 pointsJuventus 22 pointsLazio 22 pointslast_img read more

Fifa can’t verify Messi record

first_imgWorld football’s governing body on Friday said that they were unable to check whether claims that an African footballer and not Argentina star Lionel Messi was the record holder for the most goals scored in a calendar year.“Thanks for the questions about Godfrey Chitalu. Our official stats are limited to Fifa competitions, so we cannot verify this ‘record’,” Fifa’s communications department said on its Twitter account @fifamedia.“We keep records for all Fifa competitions,” it added.Barcelona forward Messi was hailed by many as the greatest player ever in the game after he scored twice on Sunday to beat the 40-year-old record of Germany’s Gerd Mueller and take his tally to 86 for 2012.But claims emerged on Thursday that he may still in fact be well short of Zambia legend Chitalu, who netted 107 times – 49 in league matches for Kabwe Warriors and 58 in cup and internationals – between January 23 and December 10, 1972.A black and white photograph of a smiling Chitalu, dressed in a suit and holding a ball inscribed with “1972 Godfrey Chitalu 107 goals” has been widely circulated on the Internet. Yet there have also been claims that his name was raised by jealous supporters of Barca rivals Real Madrid to prevent the record going to a Barcelona player.Zambian commentator Musonda Chibulu and fellow researcher Jerry Muchimba, who compiled their data from daily newspapers and the southern African country’s national archives, had said they would try to get Chitalu’s tally ratified by Fifa.The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) also said it wants recognition for the player, who is considered one of the best to have played for The Copper Bullets, who are the current holders of the Africa Cup of Nations.“Kabwe Warriors, for whom Godfrey Chitalu played, is a legendary team in our country,” FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya was quoted as saying on the BBC Sport website.“Their front line had Godfrey Chitalu scoring all the goals – and even for the national team, this man did a lot. So I think it would be important for people to recognise his feats.” Chitalu died with the whole national football team when their airplane crashed off the coast of Gabon in 1993 on the way to a World Cup qualifier in Senegal. He was head coach at the time.A similar challenge had already been contested on Wednesday by Brazilian club Flamengo, who insisted that their former player, Zico, scored 89 times in the 1979 season.last_img read more