The pension fund’s 10% property allocation, which returned 26.5%, was the best performing investment category.Tactical asset holdings, consisting of listed property companies and funds, returned 31.1%.The pension fund cited the rise of the US dollar relative to the euro, creating “good conditions to list or sell companies”, in part for the 23.3% return on its 5% private equity portfolio.Equity returned 17.1%, with US equities producing the best results.The scheme’s fixed income holdings returned 13.9%, with government bonds returning 13.4%, outperforming their benchmark by 0.3 percentage points.ABP’s stake in hedge funds (5%) and infrastructure (2%) generated 17% each last year.The pension fund said the best-performing hedge funds strategies were Relative Value Arbitrage, Equity Driven and Corporate Distressed.Infrastructure benefited from the low-interest environment and increasing demand, with co-investments in ports and pipelines performing particularly well, according to the annual report.ABP lost 21.9% on its 3% commodities portfolio, citing “badly performing” oil markets, as well as metals and agricultural products.The pension fund’s board said it had decided to stick with its 25% interest hedge, “as it didn’t want to steer on current interest levels because of the scheme’s long-term focus”.It pointed out that a full hedge would hamper its indexation potential in the event of a sharp increase in inflation.ABP said that during the past 5 years, it had generated €12.4bn of net extra returns thanks to active management, adding that hedge funds had delivered a annual net result of 9.9% during this period.ABP has more than 2.8m participants in total, who are affiliated with 3.750 employers. ABP, the €373bn pension fund for Dutch civil servants, has credited its active investment policy for the 0.45-percentage-point outperformance of its investment portfolio last year. The pension fund reported a 2014 net return of 14.5% – with 3.9 percentage points from its interest hedge – and said nearly all asset classes contributed positively.However, the scheme’s official ‘policy funding’ – which dropped to 102.6% at the end of March due to falling interest rates – was too low for the scheme to grant inflation compensation.As a result, indexation in arrears increased to almost 10%, according to ABP, which added that the options for cost-of-living-allowance would be “very limited” in the coming years.
The €750m pension fund of Dutch agricultural company Royal Cosun has granted its active participants a 2.2% indexation.PSL, the sector-wide pension fund for the shoes, leather and leather goods industry, as well as the scheme of regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), have also raised pensions this year.Cosun increased the pensions of its workers following an agreement to come up with a 2% bonus if the 28% pension contribution proved insufficient for indexation.The pension fund, for its part, added 0.2 percentage points, derived from a combination of its coverage ratio of 113.8% at the end of November and a salary increase. The scheme’s funding was also the criterion for an inflation compensation of 0.16% for its deferred participants and pensioners.The pension fund said this percentage equated approximately to one-quarter of the consumer index.PSL said it would raise pensions for all participants by 0.1%, noting that this was the maximum possible given its coverage of 111.2% at year-end.This funding level was 1.8 percentage points short of the required coverage ratio.The €320m scheme for the leather industry said it did not expect any rights cuts.The €1.4bn DNB scheme allowed all participants a 0.27% indexation, based on the consumer index and adjusted for its funding of 111%.It said full inflation compensation would only be possible at a coverage of 125%.Earlier this year, SPW, the sector scheme for housing corporations, announced an indexation of 0.02%.It attributed the increase to the new financial assessment framework (nFTK), which only allows indexation if a pension fund’s financial position is sufficient to keep on granting it for years to come.SPW based its indexation decision on a funding of 110.4%, which allows for an inflation compensation of no more than 3% of the consumer index.Elsewhere, the €3bn pension fund of applied technical research institute TNO increased pensions by 0.05%, drawn on a coverage of 111.7% at the end of 2015.
While the publication of an expectation document is not a foregone conclusion, the government has previously heeded unanimous recommendations by the finance committee.The committee previously called for NBIM to publish an expectation document on human rights, which it released in February.NBIM is not averse to examining tax affairs and last year analysed the corporate governance risk associated with a number of its holdings, including their tax affairs, according to the fund’s 2015 responsible investment report. The committee further called on the government to examine the holding structures used by NBIM to invest in real estate and report on the manager’s approach as part of the 2016 year-end annual report on the management of the sovereign fund, due to be published in the spring of 2017.MPs said it was important the “advantages and disadvantages” of different organisational structures be properly explored, noting the NBIM’s previous commitment to look at grouping its real estate holdings into regional Norwegian-owned holding companies.In a letter to the Ministry of Finance in November last year, NBIM chief executive Yngve Slyngstad and central bank governor Øystein Olsen explained the use of subsidiaries to manage its real estate exposure.Their letter states: “Investing through subsidiaries is the most common way of organising unlisted real estate investments and serves to make the investments more marketable.“The Bank is currently exploring the possibility of grouping its subsidiaries into regional holding structures for Europe, the US and Asia.“In this context, we are considering whether it would be appropriate to use Norwegian rather than foreign holding companies.”The letter also calls for the GPFG’s real estate allocation to be raised to 10% – a request unheeded by the government, which instead opted for a 7% upper limit. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund should encourage companies within its portfolio to be more transparent about their tax affairs, according to the country’s Parliament.In a report by the Storting’s cross-party finance committee, its 18 members unanimously backed a call for Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) to publish details of how it expects companies to conduct their tax affairs.In a chapter of the report examining the existence of tax havens, the committee said it believed improving reporting and tax transparency requirements for companies in which the NOK7.1trn (€763bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) invested would “counteract” the secrecy prevalent in some jurisdictions.It added that increased transparency would result in better-functioning financial markets and therefore urged the Norwegian government to have NBIM draft an expectation document on tax affairs.
Sweeping reforms of European pension regulation are set to be announced imminently, including a concession on funding for cross-border IORPs and new requirements to assess the environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks of holdings.After more than a year of negotiations between the European institutions, the European Commission has also dropped proposals for delegated acts on the proposed Pension Benefit Statement, while the risk evaluation for pensions (REP) is to be replaced by an own-risk assessment – details of which will be decided by national regulators.The draft of the revised IORP (Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision) Directive – dated 20 June and seen by IPE – is understood to be the finalised text, expected to be unveiled by the Commission on Monday (27 June) after protracted negotiations between the Commission, European Parliament and EU member states.A source who has seen the compromise text told IPE: “It’s not perfect, but there’s something for everyone.” No further comments or drafting suggestions are being allowed on the compromise text, according to a note sent by the Dutch presidency to those with access to the text.“The Presidency considers this as a final package, a balanced compromise and the best result that could be achieved,” it said. “There is no room to push the things any further.”Cross-border victoryIn possibly the biggest single victory for the industry, the compromise agreement acknowledges the possibility of cross-border IORPs being underfunded, although the overarching requirement is still that they be fully funded at all times.If this condition is not met, according to the text, the home member state’s regulator must “promptly” intervene and require the IORP to develop and implement measures “without delay” to protect beneficiaries and members.Speaking at the PensionsEurope conference in Brussels on 23 June, Janwillem Bouma, chair of the association, suggested that this compromise had been struck.“It seems the decision makers maintained the requirement for cross-border IORPs to be fully funded at all times, but that the possibility for a cross-border IORP to be underfunded is now mentioned,” he said. “PensionsEurope warmly welcomes this.”However, he warned that an interpretation of the compromise would be possible only once a final text were available, a comment in keeping with a general pretence among lobbyists and EU lawmakers in recent days that a compromise had not yet been reached on the revised IORP Directive. A formal announcement is understood to have been held back due to the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union, which has resulted in a vote to leave.Attempts to establish cross-border funds, or transfer assets from one member state to another, are also set to be eased.Detailed rules about how such transfers must progress have been drawn up, including rules for negotiations with pension scheme members.The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has also been given a non-binding role as mediator, should a home member state’s regulator object to a move to another country.As Bouma had also indicated at the conference in Brussels, the authorities in both the host and transferring countries must give their consent to cross-border transfers, based on a list of assessment criteria. While EIOPA has been granted a bigger role in overseeing cross-border transfers, member states have succeeded in their attempts to strip it of the ability to impose solvency requirements on the pensions sector.All mentions of delegated acts, which allow the Commission to impose new rules after the final Directive has been passed by Parliament, have been removed, requiring all details to be agreed during the trialogue.Still, Jonathan Hill, European commissioner for financial stability, had earlier reassured delegates at the PensionsEurope conference that the EU executive did not “have any more changes up our sleeve”.“Once this legislation is agreed, that will be it,” he said. “There are no plans to harmonise solvency rules for occupational pensions, and there are no plans to introduce a standardised risk-assessment process.”Meanwhile, the contentious Pension Benefit Statement – a matter of concern in the Netherlands, as the Commission proposal removed a member state’s ability to cater to its market – has been slimmed down, and national authorities have been given the ability to set the assumed rate of return in instances where benefits must be assessed.Stranded assetsThe responsible investment community also won a significant victory, and sees mention of stranded-asset risk included within the own-risk assessment, strengthening the references to environmental risks initially included in the Commission’s first draft.Instead, pension funds will now be expected to consider the risk of climate change, environmental and social risks and risks related to the depreciation of assets due to regulatory change – a direct reference to the impact of a carbon price on resources yet to be exploited by oil, gas and coal companies.The change is a victory for the responsible investment lobby, which has been calling on the institutions to include stricter assessment of climate risk.
Led by Julian Poulter, the AODP is probably best known for its rankings the world’s largest pension funds and asset owners, based on how they address climate risk.It included an assessment of asset managers for the first time in its most recent AODP Global Climate Index of the largest 500 asset owners. Last year it said it would also be assessing other actors in the investment chain, such as investment consultants and proxy/engagement advisers. Poulter, CEO of AODP, said the deal had come at a “critical juncture for climate disclosure”.“The responsible investment movement has already shifted billions of dollars away from high carbon investments and changed investors’ and regulators’ perspective on climate change from the ideological or partisan to one of risk management and long-term benefit calculations,” he added.Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, also said that many large investors already made climate-related disclosures under the AODP framework, meaning that the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures “have already, effectively, been adopted by market leaders”.“We now need the G20 members and associated institutions to drive disclosure in their own countries, and to move swiftly towards a globally consistent and mandatory disclosure platform,” she added. London-based responsible investment campaign organisation ShareAction is taking over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP).ShareAction said absorbing the AODP was part of its strategy to broaden its remit globally, and a “natural” next step after launching the European Responsible Investment Network in June 2016.The takeover would strengthen ShareAction’s focus on climate risk, it said.“This global vantage point, leveraging AODP’s strong US and Australian presence, will enhance ShareAction’s capacity to champion responsible investment at a time when more asset managers are realising the relevance of climate change risk to long-term value for the millions of citizen investors they serve,” it said.
The fund is split into a return-seeking pool, worth £1.8bn at 31 December 2016, a liability-matching pool (£71.6m), and separate holdings in index-linked gilts (£322m).In May 2016, the broadly-based index-linked gilt portfolio – previously held within the liability-matching pool – was sold, and the proceeds invested separately by each pension scheme.Pierre Jameson, CIO of the CEPB pension funds, told IPE: “For risk management rather than fund management reasons, we adopted a liability-driven investment overlay in early 2016. The result was that the actively-managed gilt investment in a spread of maturities was taken out of the liability-matching pool and invested separately on behalf of each scheme into a more tactical gilt allocation.”The Church of England Funded Pension Scheme (CEFPS) – the largest of the four schemes – bought two long-dated index-linked gilts, which returned 40.6% from May to December, making a total return of 45.9% for the year.Two other schemes enjoyed a 22.5% return from a BlackRock index-linked gilt tracker fund.Jameson said: “We decided that super-long issues with UK index-linked gilts were a better hedge against inflation and interest rates. It was great timing, because it was then that long-dated gilts started to take off.” Meanwhile, during 2016 the return-seeking investment pool delivered 19%, compared with 21.4% for its benchmark.The CEPB report said: “Markets tend to perform very strongly, as they did in 2016, when riskier stocks do well. For 2016, this was profit-free internet companies, and oil and commodity stocks. Institutional-quality fund managers and their strategies tend to be exposed to less risky stocks.”Within the return-seeking pool, global equities returned 20.8% compared with the benchmark’s 25.4%, while property returned 11.2% compared with a benchmark return of 2.8%. Infrastructure made 26.1%, US private debt 16.1%, and emerging market sovereign debt 32%.The CEPB estimated that the weakening of sterling against other major currencies added around 3% over 2016, after taking into account the effect of hedging half its US dollar, euro and yen exposures.During the year, a new asset allocation was agreed for the return-seeking pool, with a reduced allocation to listed equities, and a removal of the equity portfolio’s UK bias.The CEPB said: “We increased our exposure to investments that rely more on contractual income and that are less liquid; these include infrastructure and private debt. This move was made to increase the diversity of the assets and reduce the volatility of the pool’s valuation.”As of end-2016, the return-seeking pool was 55% invested in global developed market equities and 6% in emerging market equities, with a further 10% in small cap equities. There was 11% in property and 5% in infrastructure, 4% in emerging market debt and 3% in private loans.The liability-matching pool returned 11.2% for 2016, compared with 12.2% for its benchmark. At end-2016, 100% of its assets were held in corporate bonds. The £2.3bn portfolio of the Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) returned 21.2% during 2016, the strongest return since performance records began in 2003.The result was boosted by returns from index-linked gilts, while other strong performers were the allocations to global equities, infrastructure, and emerging market sovereign debt.The result compares to the board’s overall return in 2015 of 2%.The CEPB runs four pension schemes, with over 38,000 current or future beneficiaries, including clergy and church workers. It invests ethically, with its policy and practice shaped by the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG).
PASSED IN: The price was not right for this modern Teneriffe home.BRISBANE’S auction clearance rates have remained around a steady 50 per cent while CoreLogic figures reveal other states have cooled.In Teneriffe a recently renovated two-storey home at 300 Kent St failed to attract a single bid from the handful of registered bidders.After auctioneer Haesley Cush asked for bidding to start at $1.55 million, there were a few quiet minutes before it was passed in. What it looked like before renovation.“They renovated it for themselves, but then they found another property that they liked,” Mr Cush said. “It is an area that is in such high demand and affordability can be restrictive so often people want to buy them when they are smaller so they are more affordable.”He said there were still a number of unrenovated older homes in the area and they were always popular when they came on the market. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:28Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p480p480p256p256p228p228pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenPrestige property with Liz Tilley07:29 More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoOut the front of 300 Kent StThe home was like many in the streets, an older pre-war house that had been recently splashed with cash in a modern renovation as the value of the land increased.Originally built in 1926, the current vendors spent big on updating the original workers cottage to a very up-market home after they bought it in 2012.
Ridiculous offer: Free car with house Meet the couple that bought an entire town Beach party shot from the 2012 Schoolies at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast — considered a rite of passage by many Aussie Year 12s.Thousands of teens face fines of up to $1,300 with property owners adopting “zero tolerance” for misbehaviour during 2018 Schoolies celebrations which kick off this Saturday. Owners and property managers across the country have been bracing for two weeks of Year 12 partying, which begins with Queensland Schoolies this Saturday for a week and in Western Australia from Sunday.New South Wales and Victorian Schoolies begin the following Saturday on November 24 for week two, and there is also another weeklong set of bookings being taken for week three, according to Schoolies.com.Grant Mifsud, partner with property management experts Archers the Strata Professionals, expects holiday rental managers to adopt new house rules across the country to deal with the onslaught of rowdy teenagers. Late night balcony party at Schoolies. Picture: Marc Robertson.“People setting off fire alarms can be a big problem, particularly as fire safety is such a major concern at all times and something we take very seriously.”He said a hefty $1,298 fine issued for false call-outs by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crew would be passed on to Schoolies in the wrong, thanks to “technology enabling identification of which room and building level an alarm has been activated”.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:39Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:39 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenPreparing your home for schoolies week00:39“Schoolies who set off fire alarms are not only risking lives, they could find themselves facing a fine of almost $1300. Building management are able to recover the QFES charge once they identify the perpetrator. These charges are a big cost for a strata scheme and they have to be recovered from those responsible.”Among the fears of property managers were that false alarms could lead occupants to be complacent when a real alarm goes off, and also business interruption.“School leavers wouldn’t want to face the double whammy of also paying a fine for setting off a fire alarm,” he said. Property managers and owners want to prevent balcony hopping and misbehaviour in high rises this Schoolies season. Schoolies Dates for 2018: MORE: Good news for first home buyers Fines, bond loss and even prosecution are in the arsenal of property managers “trying to ensure school leavers behave responsibly during their apartment stays and to avoid incidents”.According to Archers, these are the rules that property managers and owners have been advised to apply:1. Bag checks can be carried out by onsite security.2. No glass bottles in the room or pool area.3. A maximum of two external guests permitted to a room at any time to restrict the potential for parties.4. Secure rooftops to prohibit skylarking and dangerous stunts.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours ago5. Zero tolerance policy for misbehaviour on apartment balconies.6. Noise must be kept to a minimum.7. Dangerous behaviour will be dealt with by police.“Any damage to the room or contents during Schoolies Week will come out of the bond,” Mr Mifsud said, with the biggest issue every year being false fire alarms. Week 1 (17 Nov — 24 Nov) — QLD SchooliesWeek 1 (18 Nov — 24 Nov) — WA LeaversWeek 2 (24 Nov — 2 Dec) — NSW & VIC SchooliesWeek 3 (1 Dec — 9 Dec) — NSW & VIC Schoolies (Source: Schoolies.com)
Towage operator PSA Marine Bangladesh, a subsidiary of PSA Marine, is to provide support services to LNG ships calling at Summit LNG FSRU Terminal in Bangladesh. The company has been awarded a 15-year contract from Summit LNG Terminal, part of Summit Power International (SPI).Under the deal, PSA Marine Bangladesh will provide berthing, mooring, pilot and personnel transfer services with its three escort tugboats, one fast crew boat and one offshore supply vessel.Together with Summit LNG, PSA Marine Bangladesh targets to commence operations in early 2019.“Bangladesh requires 15 million tons of LNG and Summit will provide infrastructure for that. For our first project of LNG, we are pleased to bring on board PSA Marine … to support our venture to develop region’s fast growing LNG market,” Muhammed Aziz Khan, Chairman of SPI, said.In 2017, Summit LNG has received a concession from Petrobangla, Bangladesh’s state-owned company, to develop a floating LNG terminal facility comprising of a storage and regasification unit connected to shore by a six-kilometer subsea pipeline. This project is part of SPI’s USD 1 billion investment program to deliver 1,000 MW of power and gas in Bangladesh.PSA Marine has been providing towage services to Singapore LNG terminal in Jurong Island and the Oman LNG terminal at Sur. The company owns and operates more than 60 tugs.
Illustration purposes only (Image courtesy of Prima Strategic Group)Prima Strategic Group has been awarded a five-year contract by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to provide support to perform post authorization compliance inspections of LNG projects being constructed in the United States of America.The contract scope includes performing LNG post authorization compliance inspections of all the LNG projects currently being constructed in the United States.The first contract period started in February this year, Prima Strategic Group said in a statement.“It is our highly important association with FERC, as these projects are very critical to the American energy industry and our LNG experts will play an important role in minimizing the risks associated with these projects to the communities these will be operated,” said Mohan Sharma, CEO and managing director of Prima Strategic Group.Sharma noted the LNG inspection company has been working with FERC for the past several months, making inspections visits to LNG projects.