IPE Conference: Veritas CIO on ‘beautiful’ Finnish pension system

first_imgCredit: Patrick FrostNiina Bergring addresses delegates in Dublin“We are actually co-insured, and that is why the integrity is so high because the beneficiary faces no risks whatsoever. The system is carrying the risk,” she said. “These pension assets are also guaranteeing the Finnish AAA [credit] rating, so it is of national importance that we are shipshape.”The pension insurers compete against each other for their employer clients, who can theoretically change provider every quarter, she added.This competitive situation, according to Bergring, led to insurers having to make sure that their quarterly returns were as attractive as possible.Because of extremely low solvency levels in the first quarter of 2009, the Finnish pension insurers were only able to tolerate equity weightings of between 11% and 19%, while other pension providers and funds in neighbouring Sweden had been free to hold more than 30% of their assets in shares at that point.This forced short-termism showed up as a slight inefficiency over a 10-year timescale, Bergring said, but added that nevertheless, as a whole the system had succeeded.
“There are lots of beautiful things in the system which we don’t have time to go into, but it does require this solvency system that unfortunately is pro-cyclical,” she said.“The actuaries have done a good job optimising the parameters of the solvency system, I believe, and in the really long term, I believe we can provide the returns the system needs.” The CIO of Finnish pension insurer Veritas has praised her country’s unique earnings-related pension system – despite its short-term pro-cyclical tilt.Niina Bergring, CIO and deputy chief executive of the €3.2bn provider, told IPE’s conference in Dublin last week that Finland’s system experienced “suboptimal” periods but, over the long term, it was “optimally crafted”.Bergring was responding to a question from IPE editorial director Liam Kennedy in a panel discussion about regulatory action taken during the last financial crisis to relax pressure on Finland’s pension insurers – the largest of which are Ilmarinen and Varma.“The Finnish regulator did change the solvency rules in the deepest dip of the crisis, because all of the companies were near regulatory limits,” she said.
 Finland’s competing insurers are effectively forced to stay close to each other in terms of their asset allocation, she explained, because of the way solvency requirements are calculated.last_img read more

€1.3bn engineering scheme outsources fixed income to BMO

first_imgThis also applied to monitoring and reporting. The latter task had been carried out in part by the pension fund and in part by consultancy Sprenkels & Verschuren.Marsha van Beusekom, board member of Waterbouw tasked with investments, said that the scheme had recently outsourced its pensions administration to IT firm Centric and that it expected cost savings as a result.Waterbouw previously carried out administration in-house. In 2017, it reported costs per participant of €220.Van Beusekom said that the pension fund had already outsourced management of its 40% equity holdings to Vanguard.The scheme’s 10% stake in property was invested in real estate funds and monitored by engineering firm Sweco.Van Beusekom added that Waterbouw would continue to carry out board support itself, and had hired two extra staff for the job.The industry-wide pension fund has approximately 2,740 active participants, 3,300 deferred members and 5,720 pensioners, affiliated with 74 employers.At November-end, its funding stood at 117%. Waterbouw, the €1.3bn Dutch sector scheme for hydraulic engineering, has outsourced management of its €600m fixed income portfolio to BMO Global Asset Management.The scheme said BMO would also be tasked with monitoring and reporting on its entire investment portfolio.The decision comes in the wake of the scheme’s decision in 2017 to continue independently.According to Kitty Roozemond, Waterbouw’s independent chair, a survey of the robustness and cost efficiency of pension provision had made it clear that the in-house management of fixed income holdings had to be contracted out.last_img read more

Home cut in half, put on a truck and taken to a rural hideaway

first_img More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoThe kitchen before the renos.Other original features of the home include soaring ceilings, wide verandas, gleaming floorboards, and ornate fretwork. There is an airconditioned wine cellar with capacity for 490 bottles and an in-ground Quartzon saltwater swimming pool.Set across two levels, the circa 1904 home also features doors from Mrs Walsh’s late grandparents’ home at Chermside. The kitchen area is spacious and sleek. Triple-storey ‘manor’ for sale Is your yard a honey pot? 114 Ratcliffe Rd, Hunchy after the renovation. Brisbane Lions halfback on why he loves Camp Hill The property is positioned between Palmwoods and Montville and being sold by Property Lane Realty Woombye, selling agent Athena Law. Phone 0408 884 104.center_img Wine and dine your friends at 114 Ratcliffe Rd, Hunchy. “My grandparents had an old Queenslander at Chermside and when they passed the house was demolished but I laid claim to their French doors,” she said.“We had them sent to Cairns where we were living at the time but then had to get them sent back to Hunchy where we were moving to due to work.”With Mr Walsh now working in Brisbane, the couple have decided to sell their sprawling property and downsize.“It’s only a few years until retirement so Brisbane is a stepping stone for us,” Mrs Walsh said. What a stunner, check out this home at 114 Ratcliffe Rd, Hunchy.While it took 14 years and more than $1 million to renovate the home known as Raincourt, it was cut in half on site at Cardross St, Yeerongpilly and later relocated to 114 Ratcliffe Rd, Hunchy.Mrs Walsh said she bought the home without her husband having laid eyes on it.“He was a pilot with Virgin and I just made the decision,” Mrs Walsh said. “I bought him a ute and a house, and he really loved it. He was in Melbourne for a course”.When Mrs Walsh decided the home needed a bit of work she turned the front bedroom into a dining room. “We closed it back off and made something out of it,” she said.“The nursery ended up being turned into an ensuite. We opened up the wall between the lounge and dining area and we moved the fireplace a number of times.“There were beams where we kept wanting to put it, hence the constant move.“We put in casement windows and French doors leading onto the veranda. Those doors came from the Gympie Police Station. And we also extended the kitchen upstairs”. One of the bathrooms at 114 Ratcliffe Rd, Hunchy. The bathroom had a massive makeover. 114 Ratcliffe Rd, Hunchy before renovations.Historic French doors from a country police station have been incorporated into the renovation of this beautiful hinterland homestead, which once sat on a block of land in Brisbane.The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is now on a 0.49ha site at the Sunshine Coast having undergone an extensive renovation by Ruth and Tony Walsh. MORE:last_img read more

Best Gold Coast suburbs to buy an investment unit

first_img1. Nerang 7.2% 2. Ashmore, Highland Park, Merrimac, Upper Coomera 6.9% 3. Arundel, Pacific Pines, Reedy Creek 6.8% 4. Coombabah, Oxenford 6.7% 5. Bundall, Molendinar, Surfers Paradise 6.6% 6. Biggera Waters, Coomera, Mudgeeraba, Southport 6.5% The data shows that more demand than rental supply on the Gold Coast is resulting in rising rents. The annual rent for two-bedroom units saw a 2019 median of $450 per week compared with $440 per week in 2018. Beachside unit 10/80 Pacific Parade, Bilinga is under offer with an asking price of $685,000.Southern suburbs filled out the Top 3 podium, with median values in Currumbin Waters gaining by 47.7 per cent while values in Miami rose by 44.5 per cent. Return on investment The rise of the online auction army REIQ: Top median unit/townhouse value gains (5 years) CoreLogic: Top median rental yields (12 months)center_img In their analysis, the REIQ noted that medium-term price performance had been positive, with units recording a price rise of 18.5 per cent on the $367,000 figure from five years ago. Suburbs which saw a double-digit percentage rise in their annual median unit price over the past year were Arundel (20.1 per cent), Bundall (14.0 per cent), Clear Island Waters (12.1 per cent) and Currumbin Waters (11.7 per cent).More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago 1. Bilinga 68.1% 2. Currumbin Waters 47.7%3. Miami 44.5%4. Hope Island 43.5%5. Coomera 40.9%6. Burleigh Heads 40.7%7. Coolangatta 40%8. Palm Beach 39.9%9. Bundall 38.4%10. Mudgeeraba 38.3%And while there is significant concern about how COVID-19 will impact the economy, REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said it was important to remember how property markets have responded in the past.“The illiquid nature of property as well as the tendency for homeowners and investors to hold for the long-term means this asset class can withstand short-term financial upheavals better than most, which is likely to be the situation following the coronavirus pandemic as well,” she said. “There is a reason why the adage ‘as safe as houses’ has been around for so long.” MORE NEWS: ‘Isolated property’ demand surges after coronavirus escalation And when it comes to return on investment, CoreLogic’s Quarterly Rental Review for March 2020 identified the top median rental yields for units over the past 12 months.Across the city, units in Nerang recorded the best result with rents increasing by 7.2 per cent with a median rental value of $412 per week.In second place, median rental yields in Ashmore, Highland Park, Merrimac and Upper Coomera rose 6.9 per cent while at number three, values in Arundel, Pacific Pines and Reedy Creek rose by 6.8 per cent. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 3:08Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -3:08 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, 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 Rate1xFullscreenHow will COVID-19 compare to other market downturns03:08Record low interest rates, stock market volatility and forced sales due to the coronavirus are expected to fuel a surge in interest in investment properties on the Gold Coast.Despite Federal Government restrictions suspending on-site and in-room auctions and group open homes, agents are reporting strong interest from investors ready to do business. “Buyers from Sydney and Melbourne are starting to put their feelers out,” said Amir Prestige Paradise Point agent Charlon Delos Angeles. “There are a lot of people who are in the fortunate position to purchase in this situation.”And for those hunting an investment opportunity, the latest property data reveals the best suburbs to own an investment unit in terms of both capital gain and rental yield.The REIQ Queensland Market Monitor revealed median value gains for units and townhouses over five years to December 2019.On the Gold Coast, Bilinga recorded the highest median gain, with units and townhouse values jumping by a whopping 68.1 per cent in five years.last_img read more

Marshall Islands Court Denies Frontline’s DHT Injunction

first_imgThe High Court of the Marshall Islands has denied Frontline’s request for a preliminary injunction relating to the vessel acquisition agreement between DHT Holdings and BW Group Limited.On June 7, 2017, the court rejected Frontline’s arguments and issued an order denying the company’s motion for a preliminary injunction, according to the information provided by DHT Holdings.The court cited Frontline’s failure “to demonstrate a probability of success on the merits of its claims.”In particular, the court noted that the acquisition of BW’s fleet fell within the sound discretion of the DHT board of directors’ business judgment, and that Frontline “has no likelihood of success” on any challenge to the rights plan implemented by the DHT Board, as the rights plan was a reasonable response to Frontline’s actions.Both the High Court of the Marshall Islands and the Supreme Court of the State of New York have now rejected Frontline’s attempt to interfere with DHT’s acquisition of BW’s fleet.last_img read more

BRTP delays Triton deployment for 2018

first_imgBlack Rock Tidal Power (BRTP), a Schottel Hydro company, has once again pushed back the deployment of its Triton tidal energy platform in the Bay of Fundy for another year.The decision to hold up the installation of semi-submersible Triton platform for another year was confirmed by BRTP’s spokesperson Donalee Multon.The news comes amid the comprehensive design review of the platform which is expected to be completed by the end of this summer, as reported earlier on Tidal Energy Today.The Triton platform was originally planned for deployment in the fall of 2016 at BRTP’s test berth, located at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, but the deployment schedule was later delayed for this year.BRTP was awarded the developmental feed-in tariff (FIT) and a 15-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power back in 2015 for the electricity that will be produced by its 2.5MW platform, featuring 40 Schottel Hydro’s SIT turbines.The same year in October, BRTP secured C$15 million ($12 million) for the realization of the Bay of Fundy project.The build contract for the platform was awarded to Aecon Atlantic Industrial in May 2016.The platform has two spar buoys that provide buoyancy and house both electrical and mechanical equipment for the installation.It is attached to a gravity base with a universal joint, allowing the array to align to the direction of the flow for greater energy extraction. BRTP’s Triton tidal energy platform (Image: Vimeo/Screenshot)last_img read more

SeaBird in urgent need of capital boost as black turns to red

first_img‘Going concern’  Norwegian marine seismic data provider SeaBird Exploration sank from a profit to a loss during the second quarter of the year amid weak seismic market demand. SeaBird is in urgent need of capital, otherwise it might be facing liquidation.During what the company says was a challenging quarter, SeaBird recorded a loss of $11 million compared to a profit of $0.1 million in the second quarter of 2016.Impacted by lower utilization, SeaBird’s revenues decreased during the second quarter of the year to $2.6 million compared to $22.2 million in the corresponding period of 2016.Namely, SeaBird recorded a 18.4% active vessel utilization during the second quarter of 2017 with one vessel working in the Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) region and one vessel completing a project in the North and South America (NSA) region early in the quarter. The seismic player explained that the low utilization was due to delayed discussions on a number of surveys under review. This compares to 36.4% in the first quarter of the year. Year over year, this compares to 75% contract utilization and 7% multi-client.Seismic tender activity has picked up in 2017 relative to 2016, but contracting lead-time remains long with substantial competition and high market uncertainty.During quarter two, the company implemented a further reduction in onshore headcount and a complete conversion of all offshore crew contracts to flexible voyage contracts. SeaBird continues to evaluate and execute savings initiatives to reduce the its overall cost level and this may include temporary stacking of additional vessels.“We observed a significant pick-up in requests for quotes in the beginning of the year. Still, the third and fourth quarter 2017 revenues are expected to be negatively impacted by slow contract award lead times resulting in idle periods as well as the potential re-positioning of vessels before start-up of new projects,” the company said. Several factors, including the continued very challenging market conditions, low cash balance, limited working capital, low level of firm contract backlog and negative cash flow development for the second half of the year, create a material risk to a going concern assumption. SeaBird said it is in urgent need of equity financing in order to enable the company to continue trading as a going concern and avoid initiating voluntary liquidation procedures in Cyprus. In the event that new financing cannot be raised, new backlog cannot be secured on satisfactory rates or at all, project performance is significantly worse than expected or contracts and other arrangements in respect of the employment of SeaBird’s vessels are cancelled, or significantly delayed, the company would need to sell assets or raise additional financing, which may not be available at that time.SeaBird is working with its financial advisors to raise additional capital. Still, no firm commitments are currently in place. Alternatives may exist to sell or otherwise monetize certain assets, but the ability to sell or otherwise monetize assets, being primarily made up of owned vessels, would require consent from lenders as all such assets are held as security for loan arrangements, and may therefore not be available within a short time frame or at all.Should none of these financing arrangements be available at that time, such circumstance would have a significant negative effect on SeaBird’s financing situation and its ability to continue operations. In such a scenario, the company would be unable to meet its liabilities as they fall due and to continue as a going concern. In such event, SeaBird would be unable to realize the carrying value of its property, plant and equipment, whose values on a forced sale basis would be significantly lower than their carrying values. Furthermore, goodwill and intangibles would be written off as their carrying values largely represent their values in use.The company emphasized it is working closely with its financial advisors to evaluate financial alternatives and raise additional capital. The restructuring of the company’s debt and lease obligations has been completed subsequent to quarter end. Any issue of further equity capital is likely to result in substantial dilution to existing shareholders. There can be no guarantee that sufficient additional financing is available in a timely manner, and the absence of additional financing would have the effect that the company will be unable to continue operations.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Former Fastjet chief financial officer joins Lekoil

first_imgLekoil, an oil company focused on Africa, has appointed the company’s new chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately.The company said on Monday that Lisa Mitchell was appointed as the new CFO following the resignation of Bruce Burrows who decided to pursue another opportunity to better fit family circumstances.Following a one-month handover period, Burrows will be leaving the company at the end of October.Apart from Mitchell, Lekoil appointed Tom Schmitt as a non-executive director, also with immediate effect.Lisa Mitchell is a certified practicing accountant who was most recently the CFO and executive director of Fastjet, a low-cost airline based at Gatwick Airport. Before that, she was the CFO at Ophir Energy where she was responsible for contributing to the overall business strategy of the company, leading the finance function – including all financial, taxation, treasury and funding issues, IR, and providing financial support for all M&A activity. She also worked with Pan Pacific Petroleum NL, GCM Resources, CSL Limited, and Mobil Oil.Tom Schmitt is the president of Hunt Refining in Alabama. Before this, he was a senior vice president with Hunt Oil Company for Hunt’s development in Kurdistan, Iraq. He began his career as a petroleum engineer with the Atlantic Richfield Corporation and also worked with Alliance-Bernstein, and the Global Research Growth Fund.Samuel Adegboyega, chairman of Lekoil, said: “Lisa and Tom are both oil and gas industry professionals with significant experience. Lisa’s knowledge of investment and capital markets, together with Tom’s mix of upstream, downstream and finance experience will benefit our board and company. The entire board would also like to wish Bruce well in his future career and thank him for his contribution to date.”Lekoil’s main revenue driver is the Otakikpo field in oil mining lease (OML) 11 off Nigeria.The Otakikpo field is adjacent to the shoreline in the south-eastern part of the Niger Delta. Production in the OML 11 is jointly developed by Green Energy International as the operator and Lekoil as a technical and financial partner.Since starting production in February 2017 at an initial rate of 5,000 bopd, production has averaged approximately 5,500 bopd through July 31, 2017.Lekoil said on mid-September that the production at Otakikpo had been raised to approximately 7,000 bopd.Offshore Energy Today stafflast_img read more

Unique Group Adds New Equipment to Its Rental Pool

first_imgUnique Group has taken delivery from Teledyne Marine of two 110VAC HydroPACT 660 pipe tracking systems for its pool of rental equipment.The HydroPACT 660 is a small form factor pipe and cable tracking system.The HydroPACT 660 brings pipe tracking capabilities to smaller classes of ROV, for applications that were only previously available on larger vehicles such as work class ROVs and trenchers.“The HydroPACT 660 is an exciting addition to our inventory, and we are delighted to help our clients access this latest technology,” said Andy Doggett, Survey Division director, “The product complements our existing fleet and means that we can offer the most wide-ranging suite of solutions for our clients’ cable and pipeline detection requirements.”“We are delighted to be able to supply our new HydroPACT 660 pipe tracker to Unique System (UK). The Unique System (UK) rental pool is stacked with HydroPACT 440s, and we are pleased to enable Unique to now service their customers with our newest product,” Ed Cheesman, senior manager, Sales & BD, Instruments & Imaging, Teledyne Marine added.last_img read more

Nigerian Dredging Summit Takes Place in Abuja

first_imgThe 12th Nigerian Dredging Summit and Exhibition is set to take place from September 24 – 28, 2018, in the Rockview Hotel in Abuja.Nigerian seaport operations have made tremendous strides in recent years although the main challenge now includes adaptations for pre-eminence amongst rival West Africa ports.Since 2017, problems arising from traffic gridlock at Apapa – the major port gateway city of Nigeria – have beset the promising future of Nigeria’s maritime trade.If not well-handled, this could truncate the natural position of Nigerian ports, in the long-run, as the preferred ports for the huge Nigerian market, in favor of competitors such as ports in Cotonou, Lome, Tema and Abidjan.This problem is the main theme of the 12th Nigerian Dredging Summit and Exhibition.last_img