Equity performance squeezes Spanish pension fund returns in Q1

first_imgAt 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.last_img read more

Perfect U.S. beat Sweden 2-0 to top Group F

first_imgLE HAVRE, France (Reuters) – Holders United States beat Sweden 2-0 on Thursday to maintain their perfect women’s World Cup record and top Group F, setting up a last-16 clash with Spain.Lindsey Horan netted the tournament’s fastest goal after three minutes and Jonna Andersson scored an own goal as the U.S. beat the record for most goals (18) in the Women’s World Cup group stage.Sweden, who had also qualified before kickoff, finished second in the group with six points and will face Canada for a place in the quarter-finals.“It’s a good performance and we wanted to continue to build momentum,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis told a news conference.“We have things to work on to make sure we’re sharper next game, and the players know that. It was a rival game and I thought the players showed a great mentality.”The U.S. did not concede a goal in the group phase.“It’s huge and a big part of what we’re trying to do both offensively and defensively. We talk about the idea of 360-degree defending where everyone is defending,” said midfielder Tobin Heath.The U.S. made a fast start when Horan tapped in the opening goal from close range from Megan Rapinoe’s corner.That equalled Norway’s record group-stage tally of 17, set in 1995, but despite Sweden’s determined resistance, the mark seemed destined to be beaten at the Stade Oceane.Five minutes into the second half, Heath’s header took a deflection off Andersson as the U.S. doubled their lead.The goal was confirmed after a VAR review which ruled that Heath was not offside.Chile beat Thailand 2-0 to finish third in the group, but were eliminated from the tournament. Thailand ended without a point.last_img read more

Organization creates, screens films by cancer patients

first_img“Film can change people’s lives,” said Eleanor Cho, who started the club Spotlight On Hope at USC because of her conviction in the power of film. Through various workshops, the club teaches cancer pediatric patients and their families how to create stop motion animation.Maansi Manchanda | Daily TrojanOn Thursday, Cho and the club screened 10 films, which were all produced by workshops from the organization. They were screened on Thursday at the School of Cinematic Arts. The filmmakers watched their own movies on the big screen and participated in a Q & A session afterward.Spotlight On Hope Film Camp was originally founded at UC Riverside. Cho, a senior majoring in film and television production, brought the organization with her when she transferred from UC Riverside to USC.“I remembered how Spotlight on Hope provides free film workshops for pediatric cancer patients and their siblings,” Cho said. “I really wanted to bring that to USC.”Spotlight on Hope launched its first workshop at UCLA back in 2013 when the organization’s original founder Cassie Nguyen, a pediatric brain cancer survivor, brought the idea to Think Ten Media group, an organization that aims to create media projects that inspire change.Nguyen said she initially started the organization because she knew how important it was for cancer pediatric patients to have opportunities to be social with family and friends. “I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 16,” Nguyen said. “Having friends, going shopping and going to the movies are so important to you as a teenager. When I was just in the hospital, I couldn’t be around my friends because I was fighting for my life.”When Nguyen recovered, she said she was motivated by her experience to start Spotlight On Hope. At first, the program focused on giving pediatric cancer patients a place to socialize. But as she continued conducting workshops, she realized the workshops improved participants’ mental wellness as well. “Spotlight On Hope gives kids the opportunity to explore their imaginations,” Nguyen said. “The program offered me a way to escape into the make-believe world.” Currently Spotlight On Hope at USC is trying to expand so that it can host workshops in hospitals, Cho said. The organization wants to help all children with chronic illnesses, not just those with cancer diagnoses. “I think art in general can change people’s lives for the better,” Cho said. “Just the process of imagining something and bringing it into reality is transformative. Knowing that you have the ability to bring things to life is really amazing.”last_img read more