US investments push Varma returns to 7.1%

first_imgThe average nominal return on investments over the past 10 years is now 5.5% per year.Varma said its investment returns developed strongly during the first half of the year, but uncertainty in investment markets caused the result to fluctuate considerably during the second half.The last quarter in particular was very turbulent.Reima Rytsölä, CIO at Varma, said: “The investment result was improved by a fairly strong focus on the US markets. Instead of a stagnant Europe, we were involved in a growing economy.”Returns were generated consistently across the different asset classes.Equities – which make up 41% of the portfolio, including 32% in listed stocks and 6% in private equity – were the best performers, with a 9.1% return (21.8% in 2013).The decline in interest rates ensured the return on fixed income investments was also good, at 5.5% (compared with 1.2% in 2013).At end-2014, fixed income made up 30% of investments.Returns were also boosted by hedge fund investments, which returned 7.8%, compared with 8.8% in 2013.The weighting had been increased early in 2014, taking the allocation to 17% by end-2014, compared with 13% the previous year.Real estate returned 3.8% over 2014, increasing from 3.1% the year before. The asset class made up 10% of the portfolio at end-2014.Rytsölä said: “It is realistic to expect lean times for investors. Interest rates are hovering around zero, and if economic growth does not pick up, the return on equities might also remain modest.”The company warned that the economic environment remained challenging for Finland.It said the change in the value of the euro and the drop in the price of oil would promote growth this year and next.But growth forecasts remain moderate with respect to recent history, and for investors, the interest rates especially are dramatically low.Risto Murto, president and chief executive at Varma, said: “We are used to a situation where low interest rates reflect a strong economy and stable currency, but that is not the case now. The record-low interest rate levels indicate economic problems, not strengths.”Meanwhile, during 2014, the company wrote premiums totalling €4.3bn and paid pensions of €5bn. Varma Mutual Pension Insurance, Finland’s largest earnings-related pension insurer and private investor, has announced a return on investments for calendar 2014 of 7.1% (€2.7bn), taking its solvency to a record high level.By the end of last year, its investment portfolio had reached €40bn – again, a record high – from €37.7bn the year before, while solvency capital was at €10.3bn, compared with €9.1bn at end-2013.This meant solvency capital amounted to 34% of technical provisions (31.6% in 2013).However, returns were lower than the previous year’s €3.2bn (9%).last_img read more

Randy Gregory reportedly will apply for reinstatement, hopes to be at Cowboys camp

first_imgRandy Gregory is hoping the NFL will end his latest suspension in time for him to participate in training camp. According to a Dallas Morning News report, the Cowboys defensive end plans to petition the league for reinstatement within the next 10 days. The Morning News cited an unidentified source saying Gregory hasn’t failed or missed a drug test during his current suspension, but that doesn’t mean he’ll automatically get a pass from the NFL. The report notes the league could allow the 26-year-old to participate in training camp and preseason games but force him to sit out a to-be-determined number of games once the regular season begins.Either way, the Cowboys clearly haven’t given up on the defensive end. They signed him to an extension through the 2020 season in April, more than a month after the NFL handed down his most recent disciplinary action.  Dolphins’ Kendrick Norton’s condition upgraded from critical to stable, report says Ezekiel Elliott won’t face NFL discipline over Las Vegas incident “I don’t think you can count on him right now,” coach Jason Garrett said of Gregory this spring. “Hopefully we’ve built our team up to the point where we don’t have these blatant needs. … There’s certainly a point [you cut ties] with different players. We don’t think we’re at that point with Randy right now.“He’ll continue to work and try to get professional help for his issues. I do believe he’s made great strides in this area and the way it’s been explained to me is sometimes, relapse is part of rehab. I think that’s something he’ll continue to work through.”The Cowboys’ first preseason practice is scheduled for July 27 in Oxnard, California. He is serving his fourth suspension since entering the league in 2015 after violating the terms of the conditional reinstatement that allowed him to return to the field in 2018 after missing all of the previous season. A second-round pick by Dallas in 2015, Gregory previously was suspended for 14 total games in 2016 after failing a pair of drug tests (four games the first time, 10 the second time). After a brief return to the field, he was then banned for the entire 2017 campaign as well. In 16 regular-season NFL games, he has seven sacks and 34 total tackles. Related News Eli Manning: ‘I’m not rushing into retirement’last_img read more