At the end of March, total assets under management for Spain’s occupational pension funds stood at €35.3bn, a 1% reduction over the year.Figures from Mercer’s Pension Investment Performance Service (PIPS) backed up INVERCO’s findings, showing that Spanish pension funds lost 1.4% over the first three months of 2018. The PIPS survey covered a large sample of pension funds, most of them occupational schemes.According to the survey, equities as a whole incurred losses, with euro-zone equities down 2.9% and non-euro-zone holdings losing 3.3%.Non-euro-zone fixed income lost 3%, but euro-denominated debt delivered a 0.3% gain over the quarter. Non-eurozone assets as a whole were hit by the strengthening euro, Mercer said.The survey also showed that alternatives made a median loss of 0.4% while real estate was down by 0.1% over the quarter.In terms of asset allocation, domestic assets continued their gradual decline to 53.2% of portfolios at the end of March, according to INVERCO. Non-domestic assets continued to rise, from 29.6% at end-December 2017 to 31.3% three months later.Over the same period, average allocations to fixed income decreased slightly to 47%, while equities weightings rose to 34.6% on average.Spanish government bonds still made up the biggest single component of pension portfolios at 23.9%, with a further 13.8% in domestic corporate bonds.Xavier Bellavista, principal at Mercer, said: “The equity allocation is generally similar to what it was at end-2017, but it is remarkable that it has reached its highest since the period before the financial crisis in 2008.”According to Bellavista, Spanish pension funds maintain a percentage allocation in equity assets similar to those of pension funds in other European countries, but weightings are significantly different for bonds and alternatives.He said that within the fixed income allocation there had been a shift from domestic towards non-domestic assets.Bellavista added that Spanish funds were “still at the discussion stage” when it came to allocating more to alternatives. Poor first-quarter equity performance in 2018 has squeezed average returns from Spain’s occupational pension funds to 0.5% for the 12 months to end-March 2018, according to the country’s Investment and Pension Fund Association (INVERCO).This compared with a 3.2% return for the calendar year 2017, and a 5.6% return for the 12 months to end-March 2017.INVERCO said that equity markets had experienced pronounced corrections in the first three months of this year, prompting losses on pension fund portfolios with bigger equity exposures.This caused the average annualised returns for Spanish occupational funds to drop to 0.8% for the three years to 31 March 2018, and 4% over five years.
After the Nigerian senior women’s team defeated South Africa in penalty shoot out to win the 2018 AWCON and grabbed a ticket as one of the few countries that have never missed the World Cup since inception in China in 1991, Dennerby is upbeat about his team.“We should have the mission to come here (France) and make an impact at the World Cup. Nigeria is ripe for that, but adequate preparation will be key,” observed the coach who was among the country’s delegation that inspected facilities where Falcons would abode during the group stage clashes next year.They also inspected the 21,000-capacity Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims.To achieve the aim of progressing beyond the group stage, Dennerby insisted Falcons must win the opening game against Norway.“Our objective would be to get three points off Norway. We would then go hard against Korea Republic and then take our chances against France. For me, coming to the World Cup next summer should not be about Nigeria just making up the number.“In the early editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Norway used to have outstanding teams. I am not saying they no longer have a strong team. But I believe that if we are able to use our power and pace to maximum effect, and we improve our marksmanship, we can get a good result against them.“Certainly, we would need a fitness coach to put the Super Falcons in great shape so that we can have that power and great pace to work for us. We would also need to play friendly matches and invitational tournaments to try various formations and combinations.”The inspection of the Stade Auguste Delaune was done alongside the delegations of Norway, United States of America and Thailand, who would also make use of the venue for matches during next summer’s World Cup.The stadium was opened as Stade Municipal in 1934, but brought down entirely and rebuilt in 2008. It is named after a former Sports Minister of France who died in a concentration camp during World War II.Nigeria and Norway go at each other’s jugular in the second match of Group A on 8th June 2019, a day after hosts France and Korea Republic would have opened the tournament at the Parc des Princes in Paris.Incidentally, Norway’s coach, youthful Martin Sjogren, is also Swedish and is a friend of Dennerby.The delegation, which included NFF Director of Communications Ademola Olajire and Team Administrator, Mary Oboduku, also inspected the Mercure Hotel Reims where the Super Falcons will stay, as well as the training pitch.After playing Norway on 8th June, the Super Falcons will move to Grenoble to play Korea Republic on 12th June before heading to Rennes to take on France on 17th June.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUPDuro IkhazuagbeSuper Falcons Swedish Coach, Thomas Dennerby, has warned other qualified countries for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that the African champions are not just going to France to make up the numbers but to make an impact in global women’s soccer. Thomas Dennerby