Survey shows ‘voracious’ appetite for high-yield debt in EMEA region

first_imgInstitutional investors in Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) have a “more voracious” appetite for high-yield corporate debt than those on a global level, but they lag when it comes to alternatives, according to a survey by Allianz Global Investors (Allianz GI).For the fourth year, the asset manager has surveyed hundreds of institutional investors across the world on their attitudes to risk, portfolios and asset allocation.This year, the report covers 755 investors across 23 countries representing more than $26trn (€23trn) in assets under management.It is split by region, with 250 respondents in the Americas, 250 in the EMEA region and 255 in Asia-Pacific. One-third of the respondents for the EMEA were pension providers, with insurance companies the next biggest category (27%).According to AllianzGI, the study shows global investors have hardly changed their risk-management strategies since the financial crisis in 2008, yet investors in the EMEA have.The use of duration management in the EMEA increased by 15 percentage points compared with pre-crisis levels (43% to 58%).Diversification approaches – by geography and by asset class – remain prevalent, however.“This is understandable,” according to AllianzGI, “given that institutional investors in the EMEA region consider market volatility to be among the biggest investment concerns, along with monetary policy and the low-yield environment.”EMEA investors are less concerned about market volatility than institutional investors globally (36% versus 42%), but they view the low-yield environment as a greater challenge than do their global peers (29% versus 24%).In terms of asset allocation, equities are the preferred asset class for investors in the EMEA, as they are globally, although with a strong home-region bias.High-yield corporate debt is the second most attractive asset class among EMEA investors.“This highlights the thirst for yield in the region and hints at the increased risk EMEA investors are willing to stomach for performance,” AllianzGI said.“To further underline this trend, they have a larger appetite for private equity than their global counterparts (19% versus 12% globally).”The asset manager said that, despite this, investors in the EMEA region lagged the rest of the world when it came to investing in alternative assets.Corporate high-yield debt was one of the three top asset classes EMEA investors said they would go long on/buy, selected by 28% of respondents.The asset class did not make the top three list for investors globally.As concerns alternatives, 65% of institutional investors in the EMEA invest in this asset class compared with 74% worldwide.AllianzGI said it was interesting that fewer EMEA investors than globally believed alternatives could help as a source of diversification (18% versus 25%).Another finding of the survey was that institutional investors primarily incorporate ESG principles into the way they invest for ethical reasons.The desire to minimise risk was more of a driver for this for EMEA investors than worldwide (by 2%), while the “demand of corporate policy” was less of a factor.In terms of threats to portfolio performance, European institutional investors were most concerned about event risk, according to AllianzGI.It suggested this could be due to concerns about terrorist attacks, as well as the upcoming EU referendum in the UK.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to AllianzGI RiskMonitor reportlast_img read more

UWV pension fund ramps up risk with private equity, infrastructure

first_imgThe €6.3bn pension fund of insurance provider UWV has raised its risk profile by increasing exposure to private equity and infrastructure.According to its 2015 annual report, it also plans to increase real estate investments and holdings in commercial and residential mortgages at the expense of its euro-denominated government bond and equity allocations.The scheme said it had decided, based partly on a survey into the risk appetite of its participants, to allocate 10% of its portfolio to risk-bearing investments, adding that it had already reduced its strategic interest hedge from 60% to 50%.It estimates its policy change will increase its surplus return by 0.7 percentage points to 2.2%. The UWV scheme aims to raise the combined private equity and infrastructure allocation to 5%, with the help of asset manager Partners Group.Its property and mortgages portfolios are to account for 10% and 6% of overall assets, respectively.The scheme has placed the four asset classes in a separate portfolio that holds illiquid investments – next to its regular matching and return portfolios – specifically meant for generating returns for indexation.The Pensioenfonds UWV said it also wanted to focus on cost-saving via passive investment, pointing out that its developed-market equity, government bond, inflation-linked bond and commodities holdings were already under passive management.It said it would update its contracts with pensions provider TKP Pensioen and fiduciary asset manager Allianz Global Investors this year.Last year, it replaced Morgan Stanley as its active manager for local-currency emerging market debt (EMD) with Legal & General, which now manages the investments passively.It said it would review Aberdeen AM as active manager of its hard-currency EMD holdings after the manager underperformed last year by 4.1 percentage points. The UWV scheme posted a net return of -0.6% due largely to a 3.3% loss on its matching portfolio, as well as negative results on its interest and currency hedges.It said its strategy shift also reduced its return by 0.5 percentage points.The pension paid €152 per participant for pensions administration and spent 0.38% and 0.17% on asset management and transactions, respectively.Its funding stood at 95.7% as at the end of June.last_img read more

‘Betrayed’: Jose Mourinho savages Chelsea players after Leicester defeat

first_imgJose Mourinho accused his Chelsea players of betraying his hard work after the club’s ninth Premier League defeat of the season at Leicester.Mourinho let rip on Sky Sports after the defending champions lost 2-1 to top-of-the-table Leicester, claiming last season’s success was down to his “phenomenal” work bringing his players “to a level they aren’t really at”. Highlights from his interview with Patrick Davidson:’I feel like my work was betrayed’ “We concede two goals that are unacceptable for me. I know my best quality is to read the opponents for my players and to identify every detail and these two goals – with the movement of (Jamie) Vardy between the two central defenders and then (Riyad) Mahrez one-against-one when I want one-against-two – are difficult to accept. “I feel my work was betrayed.”‘Last season I took them to a level that is not their level’ “When you have some players in crucial positions not playing at a normal level, it is difficult.  “All last season I did phenomenal work and I took them to a level that is not their level. It’s more than they really are. It’s not all of them, of course, but clearly for some of them it is more difficult (to reach that level again)”. Hazard went down injured in the first half, tried to continue but quickly concluded he could not play on. Mourinho said, appearing to border on sarcasm: “The only thing I know is in 10 seconds he made the decision himself. It must be a serious injury as he made the decision himself and just left the pitch.”Mourinho was critical of striker Diego Costa, specifically accusing him of failing to get into scoring positions inside the penalty area. “We put on an extra midfield player, then an extra striker, because clearly Diego (Costa) is in trouble in the box. Normally his movement is outside the box, so I tried to bring (Loic) Remy in to have another body there.” Mourinho accused Leicester of timewasting after Chelsea pulled a goal back to make it 2-1. “We scored a goal with 15 minutes to go, but it was almost five because of the ballboys, the injuries, the ball disappearing and all this stuff. It’s not nice, but they did it very well.” He later called the ball boys: “A disgrace to the Premier League.”–last_img read more

Liverpool’s Salah is the idol of his Egyptian village

first_imgWhile the house of the player’s father, Salah Ghali, resembles others in the village, it was quieter: no-one was looking out of an open window, and no clothes hung from the house.The village has been the focus of huge media interest as Salah has risen to stardom, but family members at his house in Nagrig refused to talk to reporters “out of respect for his wishes”.– Gruelling daily journey –Salah’s journey, figuratively as well as literally, was anything but easy.“His talent clearly showed from the beginning,” said Ghamri Abdel-Hameed el-Saadani, who was the juniors coach at the Nagrig Youth Centre, where Salah started training at the age of eight.Still, Salah’s success is not just due to his talent, “it’s also a product of a will of steel, effort, and determination”, said Saadani.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 On Wednesday his talent will be on show in the Champions League as Liverpool tackle Porto.Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, 12, gazes in admiration at the three-storey house where Salah was born and raised, which overlooks a narrow dirt road like most of the houses in the village, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Cairo.“I hope to be like Mohamed Salah when I grow up,” Abdel-Gawad told AFP.“Mohamed Salah has become a professional player because of his ethics and humbleness.”In Nagrig as well as in Basyoun, the closest town, the youth centres were renamed after the Egyptian star.Fully aware that his success has become an inspiration for children in Egypt and Africa more widely, Salah addressed them in his acceptance speech when he won the African player of the year accolade in January, telling them: “Never stop dreaming, never stop believing.” Mohamed SalahCairo, Egypt | AFP | Deep in Egypt’s Nile Delta region, the children of Nagrig village have a clear goal in life: they want to become football stars like Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer and Africa’s top player.Salah, who hails from their village, has been one of the sensations of the Premier League since joining Liverpool — his goal in the victory against Southampton on Sunday was his 29th of the season.Further enhancing his status as a national hero, Salah played a key role in leading Egypt to the World Cup finals in Russia later this year.last_img read more

Mayweather dominates Mosley, stays unbeaten

first_imgMASTERFUL PERFORMANCE—“Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, connects against “Sugar” Shane Mosley during their WBA welterweight boxing match May 1, in Las Vegas. by Tim DahlbergAssociate Press Writer LAS VEGAS (AP)—Floyd Mayweather Jr. is usually content to just win a fight. This time, though, Money Mayweather wanted to earn his cash.Fighting more aggressively than usual, Mayweather overcame a near knockdown in the second round Saturday night to dominate the rest of the way and win a lopsided 12-round decision over Shane Mosley in their welterweight showdown.“I wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see, a toe-to-toe battle,” Mayweather said. “It wasn’t the same style for me but I wanted to be aggressive and I knew I could do it.” Boxing’s biggest box office draw remained undefeated in 41 fights, but not before giving his fans and his corner a scare when a right hand to the side of his head buckled his knees a minute into the second, and he had to grab Mosley to avoid going down. Mosley landed another right later in the round, but the rest of the night belonged to Mayweather.If he didn’t please everyone, it was because he couldn’t knock out Mosley. But Mayweather won every minute of every round after the second and the normally defensive-minded fighter kept after Mosley until the final bell in a masterful performance that earned him every dollar of his guaranteed $22.5 million payday.“I think we could have pressed the attack a lot earlier, and then we could have got the knockout,” Mayweather said.Fighting before a star-studded crowd that included Muhammad Ali, Mayweather never came close to dropping Mosley, but landed so many more punches that the outcome wasn’t in doubt past the middle rounds. He had an answer for everything Mosley tried to do, landing right hands to the head seemingly at will as the fight progressed.By the end of the night, Mayweather had put so many rounds in the bank that the only question was whether he would stop Mosley or be content to win a lopsided decision. Mayweather kept moving forward and continued to press the issue in a fight that wasn’t in doubt.Two ringside judges scored it 119-109 for Mayweather, while the third had it 118-110. All had him winning every round past the second.The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 117-110.Ringside punch statistics were as one-sided as the scorecards. They showed Mayweather landing 208 of 477 punches to 92 of 452 for Mosley.Mayweather made Mosley look every bit his 38 years as he landed sharp punches to his head, dominating a fighter who had vowed to turn the bout into the fight of the decade. Mosley tried his best, but couldn’t match the speed of the 33-year-old Mayweather, who grew more comfortable with each passing round.Mosley was a substitute for Manny Pacquiao, who was all but signed to meet Mayweather until a dispute over drug testing derailed the megafight. Instead, Pacquiao beat Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Dallas and is campaigning for a seat in Congress in his native Philippines.“If Manny Pacquiao can take a blood and urine test then we have a fight,” Mayweather said. “If not, no fight.”Pacquiao, who watched the fight in the Philippines, told Manilla radio station DZBB that he would agree to blood testing, but only if it is not taken within 24 days of the fight. That is basically the same stance that derailed the fight the first time around.“For me, as long as the drug test is not done close to the match, I’ll agree because if they’ll get blood from me close to the match, it will be a disadvantage for me because I’m smaller and he’s big,” Pacquiao said.Mosley almost ruined a lot of Mayweather’s best-laid plans when he landed the big right hand in the second that brought the fans at the MGM Grand Arena to their feet. They chanted “Mosley! Mosley!” as he followed Mayweather around the ring, landing another good right hand before the bell rang to end the round.“It’s a contact sport, and you’re going to get hit,” Mayweather said. “But when you get hit, you suck it up and keep on fighting. That’s what I did. I’m happy we finally had a chance to fight. This is a fight the fans have been looking forward to for a long time, and they deserve it.”Mosley’s second-round flourish was his last hurrah. Mayweather came out in the third and began landing some shots of his own, while Mosley couldn’t find his mark.“I caught him with my big right hand and I tried to move around but by that time he was too quick and I was too tight,” Mosley said. “After the right hand I thought I needed to knock him out and I needed to do it sooner than later. But I couldn’t adjust and he did.”Mosley said he thought the 15-month layoff since his last fight hurt him, as did a stiff neck. But Mayweather had a lot to do with his ineffectiveness, too, fighting his fight and refusing to allow Mosley to dictate the pace.Mosley’s corner kept imploring the fighter to throw his jab more and fight his way inside, but Mosley was content to try to load up to hurt Mayweather with a big punch that didn’t come.“You can’t wait for one big shot, you’ve got to wake up,” Mosley’s trainer told him after the seventh round.By the 10th round, Naazim Richardson was even more frantic, telling Mosley he needed a knockout.Mayweather, who earned $2,500 in his pro debut 14 years ago, was guaranteed $22.5 million but probably will end up with much more once the final pay-per-view buys are added up. Mosley was guaranteed $7 million, and also had a share in the television revenues.last_img read more

SPSCC Accreditation Visit Scheduled for October 31, 2018

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by South Puget Sound Community CollegeSouth Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) will host the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) from October 31 to November 2, 2018, for a comprehensive evaluation during its accreditation process. Comments from the public are invited and considered with regard to the institution’s qualification for accreditation.Public comments should be submitted in writing and with an original signature by Sept. 30, 2018, to the NWCCU. Signed comments are forwarded, as received, to the institution, evaluation committee, and the NWCCU.Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities8060 165th Ave. NE, Ste. 100Redmond, WA 98052www.nwccu.org425-376-0596SPSCC is currently accredited through the NWCCU and completed its most recent accreditation in 2010. SPSCC provided to the NWCCU its Year-One Self-Evaluation Report in 2011, its Year-Three Mid-Cycle Evaluation Report in 2014, and its Year-Seven Self-Evaluation Report in Sept. 2018.To obtain a copy of Commission Policy A-5, Public Notification and Third Party Comments Regarding Full-Scale Evaluations, contact the NWCCU office or visit their website at www.nwccu.org.last_img read more

Tough Year For Impatiens

first_imgFavorite summer flowering plant hit by disease Lush, beautiful impatiens in pinks, purples, brilliant white and deep oranges are a favorite annual of almost any gardener with a shady growing area. But this year, nurserymen, garden centers and growers are advising against planting them.Impatiens walleriana has been hit with an emerging disease called downy mildew that infects the plants and results in leafless stems that then collapse. The disease was first seen in Florida a number of years ago and has been on the move ever since and is now in more than 30 states, including the Garden State.The good news is that there are lots of other showy plants that do well in the shade that garden centers and landscapers in the area are stocking this growing season.Paul Molzon of Molzon Garden Center in Lincroft, called impatiens downy mildew “a terrible thing.“There’s no actual cure for it,” he said. “Most of the growers just aren’t growing it because people aren’t going to buy it. Most of the landscapers are just going to switch to using other plants.”Impatiens downy mildew only infects the Impatiens walleriana, not New Guinea impatiens or sunpatiens, which look remarkably like the impacted variety of impatiens, or other plants.Plants that are infected will get a fuzzy, white growth on the underside of the leaf.“That’s the first sign,” Molzon said. “The next step is a lot of the foliage will fall off. There might be just a few small leaves left with a few flowers on the top. The next step is … the stems will just fall down as if they had melted,” he said.“The big problem is (growers and experts) don’t know how long this will last in the soil. It’s out there. It handles the cold; it overwinters in the soil. So, if you had a problem, you don’t want to plant impatiens there again because you’ll definitely have the problem again.”The Master Gardeners at Sickles Market in Little Silver have assembled a collection of hearty, colorful alternatives to impatiens, making selections that are particularly suited to conditions at the Shore. The easy-to-grow, shade tolerant and fungus-resistant plants include New Guinea impatiens, sunpatiens, angel wing begonias, torenia, angelonia, ivy geraniums, caladium and coleus, and they will prove a worthy replacement to the fungus-prone impatiens.“These substitute plants are so easy to care for and give a wider range of colors and textures that were lacking with impatiens,” said Natale Siclare, garden center manager.Molzon also is recommending substituting impatiens with such plants as begonias.“There are tons of great begonias that will handle the shade … They come in all different colors” and varieties, including common garden begonia that come in flats, the dragon wing begonias and a variety called “Big” that grow to about 24-inches tall, he said.Coleus, which come in a variety of vivid colors, lobelia and New Guinea impatiens and sunpatiens are also recommended to take the place of the annual favorite.Molzon has been proactive about letting his clients know about the problem by sending information weeks ago in his newsletter and putting it on his Facebook page. “I’m going to have a few impatiens in but have a big sign on them to educate people,” Molzon said.“All the large seed companies are working on this like crazy because it will be a big hit,” he said.last_img read more