Italy to extend COVID state of emergency to end of Jan: PM

first_imgItalian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday he would ask parliament to extend the country’s COVID-19 state of emergency to the end of January, as the government tries to avoid the surge in cases seen in other European countries.The state of emergency, due to expire in mid-October, gives greater powers to central government, making it easier for officials to bypass the bureaucracy that smothers much decision-making in Italy.”We will propose to parliament to extend the state of emergency, probably to the end of January 2021,” Conte told reporters during a visit to Caserta, in southern Italy. The government holds a majority in the legislature.Italy, the first European country to experience a major coronavirus outbreak during the spring, managed to curb infections after a strict lockdown that ran between March and May.However, it has the highest COVID-19 death toll in continental Europe, with 35,894 confirmed fatalities.Daily cases have picked up again over the past two months but they remain under 2,000, a fraction of the number in France and Spain, which have been forced to tighten restrictions again in some areas.”The situation remains critical, although the infections are under control,” Conte added.  Topics :last_img read more

Bonus finalises purchase of Victoria-Volksbanken funds in Austria

first_imgPeter Deutsch, chairman at Bonus, said he was pleased the transaction had been given regulatory approval.He added that the company’s share of the multi-employer pension market had increased from 2.5% to 6.7% as a result and that it now counted among the four largest Vorsorgekassen in Austria, claiming a 10% market share. Bonus revealed in November that Generali Group, a shareholder in Bonus, would transfer its company pension plan to the multi-employer provider, a decision that has also received regulatory approval.KPMG and law firm Schönherr advised Immigon on the sale of its stakes in the Pensionskasse and Vorsorgekasse.Co-owner Ergo insurance group also sold its stakes in the VVPK and VVVK to Bonus.The deal follows the sale of Victoria-Volksbanken’s KAG business, Volksbank Invest Kapitalanlagegesellschaft, to Germany’s Union Investment earlier this summer.The KAG’s sale to Union was approved by the FMA earlier this year. Bonus’s acquisition of Austria’s Victoria-Volksbanken Pensionskasse (VVPK) and its Vorsorgekasse (VVVK) has passed its final regulatory hurdle.In the wake of banking group Victoria-Volksbanken’s insolvency, Immigon, Austria’s bad bank, sought to offload the company’s non-core business.The Bonus Pensionskasse, one of the smallest players in the Austrian pension fund industry, eventually won the bidding contest for both the bank’s pension and its provident fund. With the purchase now approved by the Austrian financial supervisory authority (FMA), Bonus Pensionskasse will more than double its assets under management, while Bonus Vorsorgekasse will see assets increase by 50%.last_img read more

Mandate roundup: FRR, ERAFP, Nutreco, SPT

first_imgFrance’s €36.3bn pension reserve fund, Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), has awarded up to €5bn in mandates for ESG-strengthened passive equities management.The pension fund last week announced that it had selected Amundi Asset Management, Candriam Luxembourg, and Robeco Institutional Asset Management.The mandates were tendered in September 2015 to renew existing contracts for passive equity management, with FRR wanting managers to more strongly reflect the development of its responsible investment strategy and topical environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.The mandates effectively cover FRR’s entire passive equity portfolio, the bulk of which is in smart beta indices. The asset managers are charged with running the pension funds’ index-tracking investments through ESG processes. This means continuing with the implementation of FRR’s decarbonisation strategy and other aspects of its responsible investment policy, but also applying new policies, such as excluding tobacco and certain coal assets.FRR had already been implementing a low carbon approach for its passive equity holdings, having committed to an MSCI Europe low-carbon index strategy developed with Amundi.Anne-Marie Jourdan, head of communications and legal affairs at FRR, told IPE that its previous passive equity management mandates were for investments tracking “optimised” indices, but these did not systematically involve ESG processes.“These mandates have a proper ESG stamp – they have to implement decarbonisation, exclusion, or other ESG policies,” she said. “We’re really asking the managers to pay attention to all ESG aspects.“The mandates were coming up for renewal and even though our index investments were already decarbonised we wanted to strengthen the ESG dimension even more.”At the end of December 2015, just shy of 41% of FRR’s equity investments were passively managed.Elsewhere in France, ERAFP, the €26bn pension fund for civil servants, has chosen five climate change research providers and consultancies for mandates it put out to tender in October 2016.The pension fund has hired Trucost, I Care & Consult, Grizzly Responsible Investment, and Beyond Ratings to measure ERAFP’s equity and bond portfolios’ exposure to “climate change-related risks and opportunities”. Carbone 4 has been engaged to provide “assistance with the design of a methodology to measure, analyse, and evaluate exposure to climate change related challenges in the real estate, infrastructure and private equity portfolios”.The companies’ work will help ERAFP to “continue to better understand the environmental issues of its portfolio and define its carbon strategy”, the pension fund said.In Italy, the newly consolidated defined contribution (DC) pension scheme for employees of the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group is seeking 13 managers for asset management mandates worth roughly €3.4bn.The scheme is the result of a recent merger of several smaller schemes for employees of the group’s subsidiaries. In September last year, the scheme’s board decided to divide it into five funds, known as “comparti”. There are two fixed income funds, each with different time horizons, two balanced funds with different risk profiles, and an equity fund.The scheme is seeking to award a total of 24 mandates. Managers have until midday on 17 February to respond. Further information on the mandates, including benchmarks and various requirements, can be found on www.mefop.it.Meanwhile, Fondo Byblos, Italy’s DC pension scheme for the paper and publishing industries, is seeking requests for proposals (RFPs) from managers of private debt funds.The scheme, which had €721m of assets at the end of 2015, plans to invest €30m in the asset class. Byblos is seeking one or more AIFMD-compliant funds of at least €150m to invest in corporate private debt, infrastructure debt and real estate debt. Funds investing in distressed debt and non-performing loans will not be considered.The €30m private debt allocation will be placed within the “bilanciato” (balanced) fund, which is the largest of Byblos three-fund structure. The two other funds within Byblos are “garantito” (guaranteed) and “dinamico” (dynamic).Interested managers have until midday on 28 February to submit RFPs. Further information on how to submit proposals is available on www.fondobyblos.it.In the Netherlands, animal feed company Nutreco has outsourced the future pension accrual for 750 employees to Nationale-Nederlanden.The contract involves an insured defined benefit (DB) plan as well as defined contribution arrangements any contributions above Nutreco’s DB ceiling.Nutreco said the switch was in line with pension arrangements of parent company SHV, which had already placed pensions accrual with Nationale-Nederlanden. Nutreco’s pension scheme was implemented by Aegon after the firm liquidated its original pension fund in 2011.The company stressed that the new contract involved future accrual and that no assets would be transferred. Nutreco has 1,600 employees in total, most of whom are participants in industry-wide pension funds.SPT, the €153m pension fund of Dutch panelling manufacturer Trespa, appointed BMO Global Asset Management – formerly F&C – as its fund manager.BMO replaced Delta Lloyd, as new legislation prevented the pension fund from extending its contract, SPT said. The asset manager’s relationship with SPT began in 2002.However, SPT is to keep its stake in Delta Lloyd’s Institutional Global Equity fund, “as the fund represented the correct implementation of the scheme’s investment strategy”.SPT had already announced that it would outsource its administration and annual reporting to consultancy Aon Hewitt. SPT has approximately 1,000 participants and pensioners in total.last_img read more

McDermott Secures Zama Project Off Mexico

first_imgMcDermott has been awarded a contract for concept and engineering services by Talos Energy for the Zama field development project offshore Mexico.The contract award is for engineering services, including concept selection and follow-on pre-FEED.McDermott will execute this contract award with io oil & gas consulting, a joint venture between McDermott and Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE).McDermott will manage all phases of the engineering services process and will workshare engineers and designers in Mexico City and will receive support from io and input from the customer. Based on the final concept solution identified by io, McDermott will provide the follow-on pre-FEED services for the Zama development.Work on the concept selection has begun with expected completion in the third quarter 2019.“The Zama discovery is a significant and historic project for Mexico, and our customer, Talos Energy,” said Richard Heo, senior vice president for North, Central and South America. “Early engagement during the conceptual and pre-FEED phases is a strategy that is proving beneficial to our customers. With high estimated oil production, designing an efficient concept solution, in combination with the integrated pre-FEED studies, allows us to help Talos maximize the value of this important greenfield project.”The Zama field is located in Block 7 of the Sureste Basin offshore Mexico in the Gulf of Mexico and has a water depth of approximately 165 meters. The field was discovered in July 2017, and Zama-1 was the first exploration well drilled offshore Mexico by a private sector operator. Talos estimates the field has 400-800 million recoverable barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE), with an estimated peak production of approximately 150 MBOE/day. Appraisal activities are planned for late 2018 with two additional wells and first oil is expected by 2022.The Zama field development project has shared participating interest among Talos Energy (35%), Sierra Oil and Gas (40%) and Premier Oil (25%).last_img read more

Hamburg Port: Record Fine for Tanker Violating Open-Loop Scrubber Ban

first_imgAuthorities in Germany have imposed a record fine to a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker for breaching an open-loop scrubber ban in the Port of Hamburg. On November 18, 2019, local water police conducted a routine check of an unnamed vessel and determined environmental breaches.As a result, the ship has received a fine of EUR 50,000 (about USD 55,400) by the Department of Environment and Energy.As informed, officers found that the vessel was equipped with an open-loop scrubber. Such systems use sea water as the process fluid and discharge the treated water overboard.Under the relevant CDNI convention, the discharge of wash water from a scrubber into the river Elbe and in the Port of Hamburg is strictly prohibited. Ships equipped with open-loop scrubbers are required to timely switch to low sulphur fuel oil. It is only possible to dispose of closed-loop wash water and solid scrubber waste for a fee at the port reception facilities in Hamburg.Despite this prohibition, the ship already discharged 2,300 tons in the port water at the time of the inspection.A 43-year-old Philippine Chief Officer is held responsible for the incident.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Anderlecht fined as firework explodes near ‘keeper Mignolet

first_img Loading… Belgian football club Anderlecht have been sanctioned after a firework thrown by a fan exploded next to the visiting ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, who joined Anderlecht in June as player-manager, appealed to a rowdy section of home fans after the incident as the home side went down 2-1 on the day in a local derby against Club Brugge. Club Brugge’s Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after a recent defeat to Real Madrid Part of a stand will be closed for one game and the Brussels outfit must pay a fine of 5,000 euros after the incident. “We have zero tolerance when a firework is thrown at a goalkeeper, strict measures must be taken,” the Belgian Football League said.Advertisement Read Also: Shocking! as Man Utd scouts watch £30m striker earmarked to replace Odion Ighalo Runaway league leaders Club Brugge top the First Division with 57 points after 24 games while Anderlecht are in 9th on 34 points. Mignolet joined Brugge from Liverpool in July signing a five-year deal, FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?20 Facts That’ll Change Your Perception Of “The Big Bang Theory”6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesThe Untold Truth Of Sasha ObamaCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe8 Shows That Overstayed Their WelcomeA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombslast_img read more

MMH presents dangers of tobacco to St. Louis

first_imgBATESVILLE, Ind. — Margaret Mary Health employees recently presented “Get Real About Tobacco” to the 6th grade students at St. Louis School.Kim Linkel and Meg Applegate spoke on behalf of the Coalition for a Drug Free Batesville.They talked about what tobacco is, the multitude of chemicals contained in tobacco, and the effects it has on the body.Real life examples were used in the presentation to show the real life effects of tobacco use.One example was students calculated how much money they would save in a year if they did not smoke.Making good life choices was a main focus of the presentation.last_img

Reds gain revenge at Stoke

first_img Press Association Brendan Rodgers’ side lost 6-1 at the Britannia Stadium at the end of May to leave the Liverpool manager’s job hanging by a thread. A quirk of the fixture list sent Liverpool back to Stoke just 11 weeks after that embarrassment, but Rodgers was smiling this time as Phillipe Coutinho produced a brilliant late strike. But Graziano Pelle needed only 24 minutes to grab his first of this campaign when he headed home new boy Cedric Soares’ cross. Papiss Cisse levelled three minutes before the break when he bundled home from close range and summer signing Gini Wijnaldum put Newcastle ahead soon after the re-start, the Dutchman slotting in Gabriel Obertan’s cross. But Saints substitute Long gave the visitors a share of the spoils when he powered home Dusan Tadic’s cross with 11 minutes remaining. The Brazilian picked the ball up from deep and advanced with four minutes remaining to unleash a thunderous 25-yard shot past Jack Butland in the Stoke goal to hand Mark Hughes’ side an unfortunate home defeat. Stoke’s best opportunity came when Marco van Ginkel tested Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after the break. Petr Cech made an inauspicious Arsenal league debut as West Ham pulled off a surprise 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium – their first over the Gunners since April 2007. The former Chelsea goalkeeper, who moved across London in a £10million summer deal, was culpable for both goals as West Ham manager Slaven Bilic enjoyed a memorable first afternoon in a Premier League dug-out. Cech misjudged Dimitri Payet’s free-kick two minutes before the break to allow Cheikhou Kouyate to nod the Hammers into a half-time lead. And it got even worse for the Czech international when he was caught flat-footed by Mauro Zarate’s 57th minute shot and was beaten inside his near post. Newcastle manager Steve McClaren was prevented from making a winning start on Tyneside as Southampton substitute Shane Long headed a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park. Southampton were without manager Ronald Koeman who was at home nursing an Achilles injury, the Dutchman’s brother and his assistant Erwin taking charge of team affairs. Liverpool avenged their humiliation on the final day of last season at Stoke by opening their Barclays Premier League campaign with a 1-0 victory in the Potteries. last_img read more

Liverpool v Man Utd – Talking Points

first_imgLiverpool host Manchester United on Sunday as one of the Barclays Premier League’s fiercest rivalries is renewed. Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the issues surrounding the game. THE TWO TEAMS ARE NOT IN THE BEST FORM SO SHOULD WE NOT GET OUR HOPES UP? Hardly. There has not been a goalless draw for over 10 years and the intensity of the contest means there have been 16 red cards during the Premier League era. The rivalry between England’s two most decorated clubs goes beyond north-west bragging rights and what it occasionally lacks in quality it usually makes up for in entertainment. BUT LIVERPOOL ARE STRUGGLING FOR GOALS AND UNITED HAVE A TIGHT DEFENCE? That had been the case but after they were involved in 3-3 draws this week – at home to Arsenal and away to Newcastle respectively – the hope is both teams may have found some freedom. Considering the intensity of the game mistakes are more likely than not so expect goals. ARE UNITED ‘BORING’ UNDER LOUIS VAN GAAL? Sixth-placed United have scored 27 goals in 21 league matches, which is only the ninth best in the top-flight, and nine of their 10 home matches have been goalless at half-time. Van Gaal has blamed the issue on massed opposition defences but other big sides Manchester City (39) and Arsenal (37) have not had any problems. The difference is they have plenty of creative players and attacking intent, Van Gaal’s side have been criticised for their safety-first policy and preferring to pass sideways rather than forwards. CAN THIS ENCOUNTER SPARK WAYNE ROONEY INTO LIFE? United’s captain has 11 goals this season, although four of those have come in the last three matches, with just five in the league. The England skipper has definitely lost some of his spark but Van Gaal’s tactics have not helped him and he needs some creative help behind him. He is within eight of Sir Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249 but his record against Liverpool is poor with just five in 22 appearances for both Everton and United. WHY ARE LIVERPOOL SO INCONSISTENT? The arrival of Jurgen Klopp in October resulted in a significant change of tactics and style and players are still adjusting to that. A considerable injury list has contributed to a chopping and changing of the line-up from week to week. However, by far their biggest two problems is their lack of penetration up front and a vulnerability at the back, mainly from crosses and set-pieces. Until both improve markedly results will continue to be up and down. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Over 1.5 million Fan IDs issued as World Cup’s group stage ends

first_imgMoscow, June 29: More than 1.5 million Fan IDs have been issued for the spectators by the end of the FIFA World Cup Russia group stage, CEO of the 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Alexei Sorokin said on Friday.”Even we, the organisers, are surprised by the figures. Some 1.5 million Fan IDs have been issued out of 1.627 million confirmed ones,” Sorokin said, reports Tass news agency.According to the LOC, Russian citizens received the biggest number of Fan IDs (874,000), followed by Chinese nationals (61,000) and US citizens (50,000), whose teams are not participating in the World Cup in Russia. Mexico ranks fourth (43,000), followed by Argentina (36,000), Brazil (32,000), Colombia and Germany (29,000), Peru (26,000) and Egypt (23,000).Some 428,000 Fan IDs have been delivered abroad by mail, and among the most popular destinations were Lima (12,000), Buenos Aires (10,000), London (9,000), Sao Paulo (8,000), Dubai and Beijing (7,000). IANSlast_img read more