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

(Updated 6 p.m., Friday) Spencer Weikal enters guilty plea to second degree murder

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Spencer Weikal, 25, of Wellington pled no contest which was essentially a guilty plea to second degree murder of 2-year-old Larrissa Foster at Sumner County District Court today.The guilty plea comes nearly two years after the death of Foster, who died at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita stemming from alleged abuse on Nov. 29, 2011.The motion resulted from a plea agreement between prosecuting attorney Lee Davidson of the Kansas Attorney’s General office and Weikal’s attorney Christopher Williams of Kansas City. Weikal could spend anywhere from 147 months to 653 months in prison for the second degree murder charge.Sumner County District Judge Scott McQuin has set Weikal’s sentencing date for Jan. 9, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.Officially, Weikal has pled no contest to three counts:•The alternative felony charge of second degree murder — “the unintentional but reckless under circumstances, and manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” That charge as mentioned above could result in Weikal being in prison for as little as 12.25 years or as long as 54.42 years.•The alternative felony charge of abuse of a child could result in 31 to 34 months of prison time.•The felony charge of endangering a child could result from 5 to 7 months of prison time.At the sentencing, McQuin will decide whether to make these charges consecutive – time served for each charge separately; or concurrently meaning that the three charges will be served at the same time.Weikal also must pay all court costs and medical expenses to the victim’s family. McQuin also raised the bond for Weikal from $250,000 to $500,000 at the hearing.Weikal was scheduled to go to a jury trial on Dec. 3, before a plea bargain agreement was reached. Davidson said afterwards this is not unusual. The original charge of first degree murder was reduced to second degree as part of the plea agreement.Friday’s court hearing was an emotional one for both families, who were in attendance. Weikal, who was wearing a gray jumpsuit with a black bead neckless, was stoic at the beginning of the hearing. But as McQuin asked him several questions about the understanding of the court pleas he was about to make, he became visibly more upset.Afterwards, Williams — his lawyer — would not say why his client pleaded no contest to the three charges instead of taking it to a jury trial – citing attorney-client privileges.Weikal’s family was unavailable for comment after the proceeding.Debbie Murphy the grandmother of Larrissa, expressed sorrow afterwards.“I’m not happy about sending a young man to prison,” Murphy said. “I’m OK with the prison time he will receive.”She said it was time for the family to heal.The court hearing did bring out some new details that had not been presented earlier in the preliminary hearings or in court documents.Davidson described the actions of Weikal during the night in question to the court to be inconsistent.According to earlier court documents submitted by Davidson, Weikal was the live-in boyfriend of Kayla Murphy, mother of Larrissa Foster. On Nov. 29, 2011, Murphy and Weikal spent most of the day together at his uncle Brian Brown’s house. In the late afternoon, Weikal drove Foster and Murphy to the Oak Tree Inn where Murphy was scheduled to work the evening shift. Weikal and Foster allegedly returned to Brown’s home. Murphy then talked to Foster on the phone at about 8 p.m.“It was the last time she would speak to her daughter,” the document said.Allegedly, at 10 p.m. the defendant drove Foster back to the Oak Tree Inn and had a co-worker find Murphy because Foster was having trouble breathing, according to the court document.On Friday in court, Davidson added that Weikal was angry with Larrissa around 9 p.m. and that was when the alleged abuse occurred. He said his cousin, Nick Weikal, had arrived at the house at 10 p.m. to see that Foster was not breathing correctly and moving in and out of consciousness. Yet, Davidson said, Weikal was sitting on a couch smoking a cigarette.“There is no guarantee that Larrissa would have survived,” Davidson said. “Yet there was no sense of urgency from Weikal. Perhaps, things could have been different had he sought immediate medical attention.”According to earlier testimony, Weikal and Murphy took the toddler to Sumner Regional Medical Center where the staff found the child to be unresponsive and in cardiopulmonary arrest at 10:51 p.m. The medical staff intubated the child and readied her for transport to Wesley.According to the document, Weikal and Murphy returned to the Oak Tree Inn to borrow money for gasoline for the trip to Wichita. After fueling up their vehicle, the two drove to Wichita and eventually located Wesley.At Wesley, medical workers questioned the two about Foster’s injuries and eventually called law enforcement. Before the Wichita Police officers could question him, Weikal allegedly left the hospital without telling Murphy. He returned to Wellington.Meanwhile, Sumner County E911 broadcasted a “be on the lookout” alert for Weikal, who reportedly was driving Murphy’s red Toyota Corolla.According to the document, Sumner County Sheriff Deputy Lee Patterson was parked in the SRMC parking lot visiting with Wellington police officer Kurt Vogel. He spotted the Corolla traveling southbound on A Street at a high rate of speed. By the time Patterson was at the corner of 15th and B Street, the car was traveling south on B Street just crossing 10th Street, still at a high rate of speed.Patterson tried to catch up to the vehicle as it turned east onto Lincoln Street then south on Ash Street then east on First Street then south onto Cherry Street where Weikal ran the stop sign and turned east on Mill Street before coming to a stop at 901 S. Cherry Street, the Brown residence.Weikal then, allegedly, fled the Corolla and hid near a parked vehicle. Patterson found him hiding a short time later and placed him under arrest. Patterson had E911 search for Weikal’s driving record and learned that his license was suspended.Patterson read Weikal his Miranda Rights and briefly questioned him at the scene, according to the document. In the process, Patterson recounted Weikal’s driving violations. Patterson then transported Weikal to the Wellington Police Department for further questioning.Later that morning, Wellington Police Department Detective John Defore and Sumner County Sheriff’s Detective Frances Stevenson interviewed Weikal. They asked him about his departure and he explained he was traveling to Wellington to pick up his mother for emotional support and getting some clothes before returning to Wesley.Davidson told the court Friday that his interviews with law enforcement about the circumstances of the evening had changed throughout the questioning, and in the end was inconsistent with the injuries Foster incurred.Davidson told Judge McQuin because of Weikal’s actions throughout the evening that a guilty plea is justified. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (15) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… Commenting Disabled Further commenting on this page has been disabled by the blog admin. You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +19 Vote up Vote down mom2mykids · 350 weeks ago He will never serve enough time, to make up for the loss of such a precious lil girl…who was put through such horrible pain. I believe an eye for an eye…sorry for his family but never did a innocent child deserve this kind of treatment. If it was my grandbaby…he would of never made it to jail…just saying… Report Reply 1 reply · active 350 weeks ago -20 Vote up Vote down Effyou · 350 weeks ago Actually you didnt evem TRY to speak to the Weikal family. I was there. You were trying to take pictures of spencer with your phone and got told no pics were allowed to be taken in the courtroom. Also he did not say weikal had no urgency to get here there. He said it was unlikely that she would have made it had he sought immediate medical attention but that her chances would have been higher. Report Reply 1 reply · active 350 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down good by spencer · 350 weeks ago throw away the key when the door slams shut Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago -7 Vote up Vote down Nosleeptilbrooklyn · 350 weeks ago I do feel bad for the guy though. It is just an unfortunate event that occured. The mom should get some sort of punishment in my opinion as well. Who is to say she wasn’t abusing her child or that she made a bad decision to leave her daughter with him. She is just as at fault in my opinion as he is. Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down AngerManagement · 350 weeks ago There has been very good coverage here, that I have appreciated. I wouldn’t blame Tracy if he did skip asking you for an interview. All you’ve done since this began is spew hatred and profess Spencer’s innocence. Not sure what the point of the pricey attorney was, maybe he finally talked sense into you all. Spencer told the police he was angry, he told the police he banged the girls head on the wall “pretty hard” then dropped her the rest of the way down the stairs. I don’t know that there’s much left for you folks to say. Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down big papi · 350 weeks ago Effyou…your using deflection to try and take away the fact that a human life was lost. Why because of tbe gross negligent actions of one person. You can try and blame a reporter for doing his job. But this story is not about the reporter or weikals family. This story is about guilt and a life lost.. no amount of time can change that. So effyou please set your anger aside. He took a plea. That means his attorney knew he could not win. Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago -6 Vote up Vote down friend · 350 weeks ago I know both families sorry for what they are going thur but where is kayla where does she come in on all this the little girl was staying with aunt uncle why did they let her go back.they knew what was going on with abuse everybody wants to point a finger at spencer why not point else where.i don’t think spencer would hurt anybody.Lets get everyone that knew abuse was going on iy start way berfore that right I wont mention names at this time but they all know who iam talking about bring piuters out you have while she was with her mother Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Clyde J · 350 weeks ago I hope that both families can gain some closure with the plea. I will have to give Spencer a little credit because now both families don’t have to go through the pain of a trial. Remember our prayers are with everybody. Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago +12 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 350 weeks ago OK, I’m going to clamp down on this pretty quick. No more back and forth between the families. If you want to yell at me or write about the trial itself, I’ll allow that. Effyou I tried to get hold of you afterwards. I did get hold of your lawyer but you were gone. If you want to talk, I’ll let you have your say. You can call me at 620-326-0717 if you promise not to be mean. Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down concerned aunt · 350 weeks ago I think everyone should remember that a little girls life was lost in this situation and that Weikal caused this tragedy. He should pay for this loss of life. I can’t imagine what this little girl went thru and I don’t want to know. Yes he should be put behind bars and it is no ones fault but his OWN!!! No I don’t and won’t feel sorry for him. Glad he is behind bars and he needs to STAY there!!!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 350 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more