Germany seeks to simplify infrastructure investments for pension funds

first_imgBut he stressed that any instruments financing infrastructure should serve merely as a means to the end of financing occupational pensions – not the other way around.“We would love to take on our share of responsibility for the further development of infrastructure, but only if it is in the interest of employees and employers, as they are focusing on security and sufficient returns in occupational pension plans,” he added.Stiefermann agreed there were “too tight shackles” for pension funds with respect to institutional investment in infrastructure and said greater regulatory flexibility would be welcomed.Similarly, the German insurance association GDV said it was willing and able to help the government finance infrastructure projects, but, as with the aba, it said it required security and sufficient returns for these investments.According to GDV figures, approximately €3bn of the €1.4trn in the portfolios of German insurers is currently invested in infrastructure.Alexander Erdland, president at the GDV, argued that infrastructure should get its own regulatory risk category, to preserve “room for manoeuvring”.A commission installed by the government in late August – which also includes insurer representatives – estimated that Germany would need around €7.2bn annually over the next 15 years for infrastructure investments, in addition to funds already earmarked.Meanwhile, a survey by infrastructure specialist Yielco has found that most German institutions (70%) already have plans “in a drawer” to increase infrastructure investments and want eventually to achieve an allocation of about 3%.The three-year analysis (2011-14) of 350 German institutional investors also found that 50% of the already invested assets came from insurers, followed by Versorgungswerke as the second largest group of investors.According to the survey, all institutions planned to widen their focus globally, yet felt hindered by regulatory challenges.For more on German institutional investors’ thirst for infrastructure, see the October issue of IPE German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has announced he will check whether there are “unnecessary regulatory hurdles” for institutional investors when it comes to infrastructure investments.At the same time, transport minister Alexander Dobrindt confirmed that he aims to increase public/private partnerships for public infrastructure to avoid having to take on more loans.The country’s institutional investors, meanwhile, largely welcomed the announcements, albeit with some reservations.Klaus Stiefermann, managing director at the pension fund association aba, told IPE: “We always welcome considerations around investment opportunities for occupational pension plans to find new ways of financing occupational pensions in the interest of all stakeholders.”last_img read more

Increased fan support powers WNIT run

first_imgBy the time the 2009-10 season ended for the USC women’s basketball team, the coaching staff noticed a startling trend during its team’s home games.“[The coaches] used to look in the stands and there were maybe 100 people there for games,” said team manager Saphia Raymond. “They didn’t like that.”Fandom · The Galen Groupies are the women’s basketball team’s fan base. The group hopes to inspire more attendance at the team’s games. – Courtesy of the Galen Groupies So they did something about it. In an age when every university and athletics office has a marketing department that takes care of promoting their teams, the coaches of USC’s women’s basketball team decided to take matters into their own hands.“It started last year, when the new coaching staff came in,” Raymond said. “USC coach [Michael] Cooper, [assistant] coach [Kelley] Gibson, and [associate head] coach [Ervin] Monier … When they came in, they said they wanted to take USC basketball to where it had been in the past.”And to do that, they figured they would have to build fan support for home games.“[The coaches] thought ‘We want to do something new, we want to bring more students in [to games],’” Raymond said. “They wanted to be proactive with marketing.”Soon enough, an idea was hatched to create a Facebook page for fans attending the women’s basketball games.Similar to how Trojan Fever represents fans of the men’s basketball team, they wanted a group that would represent supporters of the women’s basketball team.They planned a Facebook page to provide news about the Women of Troy, and women’s basketball in general, including behind-the-scenes interviews with players from the squad, clips from the team’s road trips and exclusive coverage of the team.All the fan organization needed was a name.“The coaches came up with it,” said Raymond, who acts as the webpage’s main administrator. “I left work and they were like ‘We need to come up with a name for the group.’ I came in the next day and they were like ‘Galen Groupies!’ and I was like ‘Okay! That works!’”After the webpage was deemed appropriate — that it avoided any NCAA compliance issues — Raymond and the coaches created the Facebook page and made their first post in October — just in time for basketball season.Thus, the Galen Groupies were born.Word spread quickly about the new fan base for the team. Friend requests were sent out to hundreds of USC students. Currently, the page has more than 500 friends.Unfortunately, even though the program has pushed for increased attendance, the Galen Center’s seats remain mostly empty during the Women of Troy’s games. A large portion of the students who come are other athletes there to support their peers.“[The Facebook page] helps some with all of the updates,” said junior guard Ashley Corral. “But there’s a big difference between getting on the computer and reading about us, and actually showing up to games. I don’t know what it’s going to take, but getting more fans is definitely something I think we should focus on.”Before advancing to this year’s WNIT championship, no USC player had experienced the intense atmosphere of postseason play.“Playing in the WNIT and seeing how much support each one of those schools had at home was eye-opening,” Corral said. “Toledo had over 7,000 fans there [for the WNIT championship game]. Here at USC, you would think we’d have a lot of fans at every single game … [But] we only get a handful of students [at our games].”The apathy for women’s basketball at USC was especially evident during a home game against UCLA on Feb. 6.Hundreds of UCLA students followed their team into the Galen Center, forming their own make-shift student section. Throughout the game, the Bruin faithful cheered and chanted with no USC student section to counter their spirit.USC ended up losing a close game, 74-67.It might have been listed as a home game for the Women of Troy, but the atmosphere didn’t reflect that. The Associated Press noted that UCLA “enjoyed a clear advantage in fan support among the 2,812 in attendance.”Such a strong pro-UCLA fanbase likely provided the Bruins with a decisive advantage.“Having a big home crowd would help us a lot,” Corral said. “When we play at Galen, it’s almost like we’re not even playing at home. Because no matter who we’re playing, it seems like they have more fans.”In both of the last two seasons, the Women of Troy finished with a 19-12 mark during the regular season, but were not invited to the NCAA tournament.But in their WNIT run this March, the Women of Troy showed promise for next season, marching all the way to the championship game before falling to Toledo 76-68 in front of its home court.With four starters and nine of its top-10 scorers returning next season, the team will have a chance to make another deep postseason run. Perhaps the only missing piece is a wealth of support from fans.last_img read more

Opening in Sarajevo Tomorrow of Manifestation ‘Sports Games Oaza and Special Olympics in B&H’

first_imgThe Association to support people with special needs in the area of Canton Sarajevo ‘Oaza’, in partnership with the Special Olympics B&H is the organizer of the international sports competition for people with special needs called ‘Sports Games Oaza and Special Olympics in B&H’. It will be held from 3 to 6 October in Sarajevo.This will be the third major competition organized by the Association ‘Oaza’ and 41 teams with more than 700 competitors registered. They come from Sweden, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and B&H.In the three days of competition, people with disabilities will compete for the gold, silver and bronze medals in eight sports (football, basketball, athletics, swimming, table tennis, bowling and the MATP program for people with multiple disabilities).(Source: Fena)last_img read more

How Hollywood star Chris couldn’t get enough of Donegal man’s red chair story!

first_imgThe Co Donegal man who left Graham Norton speechless has revealed how actor Chris O’Dowd begged him to tell him the rest of his hilarious red chair story!Sean McInerney hit the headlines when he appeared on Norton’s chat show.The Letterkenny man told the story of how a wedding groom revealed how eight of the male guests at his wedding had slept with his new bride while they were engaged. He then left the wedding and annulled his marriage.Now Sean has revealed how he has been inundated with calls and texts since his surprise appearance on the show.“It’s been mad. I didn’t tell anyone after it was filmed and then my phone went mental after the show aired.“I wasn’t even sure if it would be on the show, as they leave several out apparently. “It was funny though. After I walked off Chris O’Dowd went mad, he wanted to ask me more questions about it. But they edited that all out sadly,” revealed Sean.Sean said the wedding was bizarre but he graciously declined to give any clue as to the identification of the unfortunate couple.He added “In regards to the bride and groom it was crazy, it was in front of all their family and friends. Everyone was in shock and I felt mega awkward as I didn’t really know any of them. I was there as a guest with my ex. We all left pretty quickly after the reception.“It has been a pretty bizarre day so far, been gettin loads of FB messages, posts and texts. Great craic though.”How Hollywood star Chris couldn’t get enough of Donegal man’s red chair story! was last modified: October 15th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Kevon Looney re-aggravates chest injury in Game 5

first_imgThe Warriors are losing a war of attrition Monday night.Not only did Golden State lose Kevin Durant early in the second quarter, but center Kevon Looney re-injured his chest in the third quarter of Game 5. The Warriors announced he would not return to Monday’s game.Looney initially suffered a cartilage fracture in Game 2 of the NBA Finals and was ruled out for the rest of the postseason. But he returned in Game 4, wearing a compression shirt.Kevon Looney reaggravated his right 1st costal …last_img

Grand Slams planning to cut seeds from 32 back to 16 in 2019

first_imgSpain’s Rafael Nadal poses with his winning trophy after defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson during their 2017 US Open Men’s Singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 10, 2017.Rafael Nadal raced to a third US Open title and 16th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 rout of South African giant Kevin Anderson. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADGrand Slam tournaments are planning to return to seeding only 16 players, instead of 32, as of 2019, and now will give a player who is a late withdrawal because of an injury 50 percent of the first-round prize money.Also among the announcements by the Grand Slam Board on Tuesday after two days of meetings in London last week:ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Going back to 16 seeds in 2019 would, in theory anyway, make early upsets more likely. That’s because if all of the highest-ranked players enter the field, whoever is No. 1 could wind up facing whoever is No. 17 in the opening round.With 32 seeds, none was forced to play someone ranked higher than No. 33 before the third round.The changes with regard to first-round withdrawals, retirements and lack of full effort appear to be in response to what happened at Wimbledon this year. Novak Djokovic’s first-round match at Centre Court lasted all of 40 minutes, and Roger Federer’s went 43, before their opponents stopped playing because of pre-existing injuries. Two other men also stopped mid-match that day, bringing the first-round retirement total to seven and sparking discussion about whether spectators were being shortchanged.The rule changes issued Tuesday, and taking effect next year, let players collect half of the first-round prize money at a Grand Slam tournament if they are “unfit to play” and withdraw onsite after noon on Thursday but before the main draw begins. The person replacing them in the field — a “lucky loser” who failed to advance out of the qualifying rounds — will get the other half of that money, plus whatever they might accumulate by winning matches.The reasoning: Injured or ill players won’t start a match simply to collect their prize money before quitting.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ UE sacks Derrick Pumaren Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments — A player who retires from a first-round match or “performs below professional standards” could face a fine as high as the entire prize money due a loser in that round.— A 25-second serve clock will be tried out at the Australian Open in January, but like at this year’s U.S. Open, not during main-draw matches.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout— Players could be fined up to $20,000 for violating “strictly enforced” prematch timing, which will give them one minute to meet at the net after walking on the court, five minutes for warming up, followed by one minute to be ready for play to begin.The four Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open — doubled the number of seeded players to 32 in June 2001. That decision was made partly in response to complaints from clay-court specialists that they wanted more draw protection at Wimbledon, the only major tournament played on grass. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa The 25-second serve clock gives players 5 more seconds than ATP rules currently allow on the men’s tour.But Grand Slam Board Director Bill Babcock said the clock will be used at the 2018 Australian Open on a trial basis the way it was at the U.S. Open, which tested it only for events such as qualifying and junior matches. Read Next LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’last_img read more

10 months ago​DONE DEAL: Cardiff winger Pilkington joins Wigan

first_img​DONE DEAL: Cardiff winger Pilkington joins Wiganby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff star Anthony Pilkington has signed for Wigan on an 18-month deal.The 30-year-old has not played a single game this season and is now leaving the Welsh side after being there for the past four and a half years.He managed 23 goals in 111 appearances for the team.But he will be at Wigan for the next 18 months, where he hopes to get back into regular first team contention.Wigan boss Paul Cook said in a statement: “Anthony has good experience in the Championship and Premier League, I am delighted to bring him to Wigan Athletic.”He won promotion with Cardiff City last season so he knows what it takes to do well at this level and I am sure he will be a big asset to us for the rest of this campaign and beyond.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

A Tribe Called Red readies for European tour

first_imgAPTN National NewsA Tribe Called Red continues to make waves.The group’s unique blend of pow wow and electronic music, which they’’e dubbed pow wow step, is packing clubs across the country.The group is recently finishing up a successful week in Montreal where they played a sold-out show.The trio took some time out of their hectic schedule to talk to APTN about their success on the eve of their first European tour.last_img

EU proposes to ban plastic straws stirs and cotton buds

first_imgBRUSSELS – The European Union has proposed banning plastic products like cotton buds, straws, stirs and balloon sticks when alternatives are easily available in an attempt to reduce litter spoiling beaches and ocean beds.The European Commission said its proposal would seek to cut marine litter in half for the ten most prominent items and avoid environmental damage estimated at over $250 billion over the next dozen years.EU Vice-President Frans Timmermans said that utensils would not be banned completely, but steps would be taken to have them made out of sustainable materials when possible.“You can still organize a pick-nick, drink a cocktail and clean your ears just like before,” Timmermans said.He also made new proposals to ensure that it is the polluter that pays.The proposal will be assessed by the EU parliament and member states but Timmermans hopes to see results before May 2019.And unlike so many EU proposals that are immediately criticized by consumer and environmental groups as too little too late, the reaction was largely positive on Monday.“The only way to stop plastics pouring into our oceans is to turn off the flow at its source: production,” said Lasse Gustavsson, the European executive director of the environmental group Oceana, as he lauded the initiative.European Green Party lawmaker Monica Frassoni also welcomed the initiative and added that “the scale of the problem means that we cannot rely on individual European countries to take action and must instead find a Europe-wide response.”The European Parliament has said that plastics production is now 20 times higher than in 1960s. The EU has also been spurred into action by China’s decision to no longer import part of the bloc’s waste.last_img read more

Fraser Basin Council to help Peace Region Municipalities with Climate Change

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fraser Basin Council announced Friday it would work with six municipalities in Northeast British Columbia to strengthen their resilience to the effects of a changing climate through the recently formed Northeast Climate Risk Network.The network’s participating communities include the City of Fort St. John, City of Dawson Creek, District of Tumbler Ridge, District of Chetwynd, Village of Pouce Coupe and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.The Fraser Basin Council was chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to help these communities prepare for a changing climate, understand the associated risks and vulnerabilities, and increase public awareness. The project will develop a regional climate projections report for Northeast BC and will develop community-based vulnerability assessments according to individual community context and needs. Through the Northeast Climate Risk Network, local leaders will help each other work on innovative approaches and solutions to common challenges and explore ways to integrate climate adaptation into new or existing plans and systems.“BC’s municipalities are on the front lines,” said Fraser Basin Council Executive Director David Marshall. “They want to understand the impacts of a changing climate, such as more extreme weather events, drought and flood, and to manage in a way that minimizes disruption and increases community resilience.”last_img read more