CEE roundup: Hungarian National Bank, Pannónia Pension Fund

first_imgHungary’s private pension funds have assumed more investment risk over the last 12 months, according to the latest figures from the Hungarian National Bank (HNB).The allocation to directly held equities rose markedly over the period, from 11.6% at the end of June 2015 to 15.2% a year later.The second-quarter figures released by the HNB showed the funds’ portfolios had an aggregate market value of HUF223.4bn (€704m) at the end of June this year, up by 1.7% from HUF219.6bn at the end of June 2015.However, there was a slight dip from the end of March 2016 total of HUF225.8bn due to lacklustre investment returns over the second quarter. Specific returns figures, however, are not published.As of the end of June 2016, most of the assets (54.6%) of private pension funds were invested in debt, practically all in government bonds.A further 23.6% was held in investment fund units.Pension fund membership continued to decline, to 58,400 members at the end of June, down by 1% since the end of the second quarter this year, and by 2.5% year on year.Besides the four private pension funds, aggregate figures were published for 42 voluntary pension funds.There are also much smaller amounts invested in 29 health and mutual aid funds.Voluntary pension fund portfolios had an aggregate market value of HUF1,190.7bn as of the end of June 2016, up by 4.1% from HUF1,143.3bn year on year and slightly up on the end of March 2016 figure of HUF1,187.4bn.Most of the voluntary pension funds’ assets (65.3%) were invested in debt, with the vast majority in government bonds.A further 24.2% was held in investment fund units, and 5.1% directly in shares, a slight increase on the previous year.At the end of June, voluntary pension fund membership stood at 1.14m, down by 0.3% since the end of March, and by 1.4% year on year.In other news, Hungary’s Pannónia Pension Fund has completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in MKB Bank, the formerly state-owned bank put up for sale by the central bank earlier this year.The sale was completed in late June.The Hungarian National Bank had previously bought MKB from Bayerische Landesbank in 2014.The total sale price was HUF37bn.The other members of the winning consortium were Luxembourg-based Blue Robin Investments (BRI) and METIS Private Capital Fund, both private equity funds, which each purchased a 45% stake in MKB.Recent press reports, however, suggest BRI has since sold one-third of its holding (a 15% stake) to MKB’s employee stock-ownership programme.last_img read more

Lagos State Governor Welcomes Decision of the Appeal Court

first_imgLagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday expressed excitement on the ruling of the Appeal Court which authorizes the state to control inland waterways and dredging activities in the region.Previous judgment of the Federal High Court empowered the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to regulate transportation and sand dredging in the State.The Appellate Court of Lagos on July 18, 2017, allowed the Appeal of the State Government setting aside the judgment of the lower court.According to Governor Ambode, the judgment comes as a major success in the quest of the State Government to control its resources and enshrine the true spirit of Fiscal Federalism.“The era of uncontrolled dredging is over and this serves as a clear warning that the Lagos State Government will now take firm control over its inland waterways and the adjoining lands including all sand dredging activities. This will further aid our efforts in abating flood in the State,” Governor Ambode said.Earlier in his welcome address, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, said that the development confirms that democratic institution is strong and consolidating in the State, urging the new council chiefs “to build vigorously on the landmark achievements of Governor Ambode by ensuring that laudable developmental projects are also felt at the grassroots.”last_img read more

Sports Minister seeks partnership with MultiChoice

first_imgRelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria MultiChoice unveils sport channels, content line-up Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has declared his ministry’s readiness to partner with MultiChoice Nigeria in its bid to revamp the country’s sports sector. The minister made the declaration in Abuja on Thursday when John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit in his office. Dare stated that the ministry has, as its major agenda, a reset of the sports sector to ensure a vibrancy, a goal he believes MultiChoice is well positioned to help bring to fruition. Components of the envisaged reset, the minister said, include a revamp of infrastructure, deliberate talent development initiatives and drive for corporate sector involvement to accelerate financial growth of the sector. Responding, Ugbe thanked the minister for seeing MultiChoice as a partner in the bid to develop sports in the country. Ugbe noted that MultiChoice’s commitment to sports development, which began decades ago, will remain unwavering. He noted that the company is the biggest investor in Nigerian sports as well as preeminent supporter of Nigerian boxing through GOtv Boxing Night, GOtv Boxing Night NextGen Search and the recently introduced GOtv Boxing Night Mini, each of which has rescued the sport from the wretched state into which it fell for over two decades. The MultiChoice boss also used the opportunity to invite the minister to grace GOtv Boxing Night 20, which holds on 28 December at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, and will feature a World Boxing Federation Intercontinental heavyweight title bout among others. Ugbe listed the company’s other footprints in sports as including the company sponsored the Nigerian Basketball League for years, during which the Nigerian team qualified for the Olympic Games; years of officially broadcasting the Nigerian Professional Football League and continuous live-broadcast matches of the Super Eagles, Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets in addition to matches of the prestigious European football leagues as well as other major global sporting events. To build the capacity of the country’s sports administrators, Ugbe added, the company funded a training programme in conjunction with the University of Nigeria Nsukka and South Africa’s Wits University to raise sports administration standards. Responding, the minister expressed hope that the desired partnership has the potential to bring about the much-needed renaissance in the sector. He mandated staff of the ministry, led by Maria Wophill, a Deputy Director, to work with MultiChoice to bring the partnership to life. Ugbe was accompanied on the visit by Felix Awogu, Executive Head, OB and Studio, SuperSport; Caroline Oghuma, Executive Head, Corporate Affairs, MultiChoice Nigeria; and Gozie Onumonu, Head, Regulatory Affairs, MultiChoice.Tags: John UgbeMultiChoice NigeriaSunday Darelast_img read more

Gouffran determined to prove worth

first_imgYoan Gouffran has vowed not to let Newcastle manager Alan Pardew forget about him after serving him with a reminder of his potency. But the former Bordeaux frontman’s winner from the bench at Aston Villa on September 14 and his League Cup contribution have come at the right time for him. Gouffran said: “That’s why I’m here – I came to play. “Last season I started every match. This season, it’s been a bit more difficult, but I’m not giving up. I will go out and give 100 per cent so I can play the next game.” However, the January arrival is not the only man trying to catch Pardew’s eye, and Wednesday evening’s events further promoted the cause of midfielder Sammy Ameobi. He and fellow academy graduate Paul Dummett formed a promising partnership down the left. It was they who combined with 31 minutes gone to set up striker Papiss Cisse for his first goal in 11 games, a powerful header which gave goalkeeper Paddy Kenny no chance. Ameobi’s cross was tailor-made for the Senegal international, and he later revealed he had been putting in extra work on the training ground with coach Steve Stone to hone his art. The 21-year-old said: “After training every day, Steve Stone has been keeping me back and making me do extra work, and I think it has paid off. “I’m happy he did and I’m going to continue to work on that.” Press Association Ameobi later turned provider for Gouffran, rolling the ball into his feet to allow him to turn defender Scott Wootton and dispatch an unstoppable drive past Kenny. The pair, as well as left-back Dummett, are likely to return to the bench for Monday evening’s Barclays Premier League trip to Everton, but Ameobi in particular is determined to push the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Remy all the way as he attempts to make the breakthrough. He said: “I think I’m knocking at the door. There are great players ahead of me so it is going to be tough to get into the team. “But I am willing to be patient until he [Pardew] gives me my opportunity, and when he does, I’ll take it.” In the meantime, the Magpies could be forgiven for allowing themselves to dream of Capital One Cup success and a possible end to the club’s wait for domestic silverware, which stretches back to 1955. However, their hopes of addressing that situation were done few favours by the fourth round draw, which pitched them into battle with big-spending Manchester City, although they at least came out of the hat first. Pardew, who saw his side trounced 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium of the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, said: “It’s a tough game. “They showed against us and against Manchester United that when they turn the heat up, they are difficult to live with. “When they are at home and it’s all going well, they look like a really good side, but we have got to cause them problems and our fans can make a difference. “Hopefully we will give them a tough night when it comes up.” For Gouffran, whose first few months in English football were spent fighting a desperate battle for top-flight survival, the competition represents an opportunity to secure glory, and he is relishing the prospect of an extended run. He said: “In France, the League Cup isn’t well thought of by fans or the teams or the players. Often a reserve team is put out in these competitions. “Here though, with the way the league is, we want to get out there and try to win some silverware. “That’s what we will do. We want to get as far as we can.” The 27-year-old Frenchman blasted home a superb 67th-minute strike to seal a 2-0 Capital One Cup third round victory over Leeds at St James’ Park on Wednesday night as the Magpies booked themselves a last-16 clash with Manchester City. Gouffran has had to take something of a back seat in recent weeks with loan signing Loic Remy having taking his place in Pardew’s starting line-up. last_img read more

Poyet closing in on Bridcutt deal

first_img However, it is understood that there have been significant developments and that Bridcutt is now heading for Wearside to undergo a medical in a bid to push through a transfer before Friday night’s 11pm deadline. Poyet has already signed Marcos Alonso on loan from Fiorentina and Argentinian pair Oscar Ustari and Santiago Vergini this month, while compatriot Ignacio Scocco was in the crowd for Wednesday night’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Stoke which lifted Sunderland out of the bottom three for the first time since August. Bridcutt’s arrival could yet have implications for Lee Cattermole, who has been linked with a move to Stoke this month, although Potters boss Mark Hughes insisted after the game against Sunderland on Wednesday that no offer had been made. Press Association Sport understands the two clubs have agreed a fee in the region of £2.5million for the 24-year-old, weeks after the Black Cats initially tabled bids for both Bridcutt and winger Will Buckley. Poyet’s former employers have been holding out for their valuation of the Scotland international, who later handed in a transfer request and has not played since. Press Associationcenter_img Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is closing in on Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt after a lengthy pursuit.last_img read more

Scarlets edge out Treviso

first_img Press Association A try double by Frazier Climo and further touchdowns from Gareth Davies, Kristian Philips and a penatly try had put Simon Easterby’s team in control, a position enhanced by 11 points from the boot of fly-half Aled Thomas. But Robert Barbieri, Meyer Swanepoel and Ludovico Nitoglia pushed Treviso back into match with tries of their own. Home full-back Matt Berquist added 18 points as the Italians looked set to push Scarlets all the way in the closing stages. But just as they looked set to tip the game in their favour, Williams found his way to the line before Thomas converted to ensure victory for the Welsh side. Scarlets held off a determined Treviso fight back to claim a RaboDirect PRO12 bonus-point win as they moved up to sixth in the overall standings.center_img The Welsh outfit were 15 points up at one point early in the second period before the hosts closed the gap to a point as they trailed 33-34 with five minutes left. However, Jordan Williams’ late score for the visitors sealed a 41-33 victory. last_img read more

Remi Garde vows to guide bottom-of-the-table Villa back from the brink

first_img The boss insists he has to be the figurehead to inspire his beleaguered squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton. Villa have lost nine of their last 10 games and are winless in the Barclays Premier League since the opening day of the campaign. They have fewer points than Derby did at this stage of the season when the Rams were relegated with a record-low total of 11 in 2007-08. “Sometimes you can have a quite good collective game and then you make some individual mistakes or you are not playing at your best level. “They have a personal responsibility but until now I didn’t see any players who were not giving me a good answer of what I want.” Villa face a Saints side looking to bounce back from their 6-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final drubbing at home to Liverpool on Wednesday. Boss Remi Garde knows he must be the man to lead Aston Villa back from the brink. And Garde admits he must lead by example if they are to survive with Villa bottom of the league and seven points from safety after last week’s 3-2 defeat to Watford. “It’s my job to make them stronger and more committed and more involved,” he said. “I have to show the way, I’m a guide. “We need to improve and work as a team to defend but that’s not only the back four. It’s everywhere. “I’m not saying that everything is perfect with the tactics but if you look at the goals we concede, the desire to win the ball must be stronger.” Garde wants his players to be careful at Christmas and focus on their jobs. Jack Grealish has been exiled from the first team squad for this weekend after he was pictured partying following last month’s 4-0 defeat at Everton, although he is expected to return to first-team training on Monday. Either Joleon Lescott and Jores Okore are standing by to replace the banned Ciaran Clark while skipper Micah Richards is a doubt with a knee injury. Mistakes were costly against Watford, with Alan Hutton scoring an own goal, and while he has been happy with the effort Garde knows they are undermining their hard work with errors. He said: “It’s mainly about confidence but as individual players everyone has to improve the level we are playing at the moment. Press Associationlast_img read more

Kirui wins world marathon title after duel with Tola

first_imgKENYA’s Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui prevailed in a compelling east African duel with Ethiopian Tamirat Tola on the streets of London to win the men’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday.Kirui, victor at the Boston Marathon in April, finally broke Tola, the fastest man in the field, with five miles (8.05 km) of the 26.2-mile course left after they had gone head-to-head over the second half of the race.At the 19-mile mark, Tola, the fastest man in the field, had made his decisive effort and sped away from the 24-year-old Kenyan but within two miles Kirui had hauled back the lead before surging away immediately and emphatically.Kenya’s fifth men’s world champion at the distance eventually crossed the line at Tower Bridge in 2 hours 8 minutes 27 seconds, finishing one minute and 22 seconds ahead of Tola (2:09:49).The fading Ethiopian just held on for silver by two seconds from the fast-finishing Tanzanian Alphonce Simbu.Britain’s Callum Hawkins created the biggest cheers from the big crowds lining the streets when he came home in a remarkable fourth place in 2:10:17 amid familiar African domination. (Eurosport)last_img read more

Coutinho Paints Barca Account Red!

first_imgBarcelona still owe Liverpool £84m for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho in January, 2018However, Spanish outlet AS have reported Barcelona’s annual accounts which show how much the club owes others within football, and it’s Liverpool which stands out.From the original Coutinho fee, it’s stated £84m is still to be paid. There is also no suggestion that this outstanding debt is related to bonuses.£24m of that amount is considered to be due in the ‘short term’, although the accounts provide no precise time-frame.The new information will be of concern to Barca fans, the club owing £232m to clubs in total. In turn they are owed £67m, £22m of which Everton are responsible for.Coutinho made contributed 21 goals and 11 assists in 76 appearances for Barcelona but never quite managed to win over the club’s supporters.He has returned to form since joining Bayern on loan at the end of the summer with two goals and three assists in eight appearances.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram It may have been nearly two years since Philippe Coutinho made his big money move from Liverpool to Barcelona but the Spanish club still owe a lot that money to the banks.Coutinho ended months of speculation when he joined the Catalan outfit in a deal believed to be worth up to £142m in January, 2018.Things didn’t quite work out for the Brazilian at the Nou Camp and he now finds himself on loan at Bayern Munich.last_img read more

Trojans fall in first round of conference tournament

first_imgUSC’s No. 8-ranked men’s volleyball team ended its 2014 season in the quarterfinals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament this weekend, falling in three sets to No. 4 BYU, 25-13, 25-18 and 25-17. USC finishes the season 16-11 overall and 14-10 in conference play.Cold-blooded killer · MPSF Freshman of the Year Lucas Yoder led the Trojans with 10 kills and six digs in USC’s season-ending loss to BYU. – Nick Entin | Daily Trojan The Trojans faltered early in the first set as top-seeded BYU forced errors from USC’s defense. The team fell to an early 5-0 deficit, forcing head coach Bill Ferguson to call a time out. After the timeout, freshman outside hitter Lucas Yoder put USC on the board with a kill, and senior outside hitter Maddison McKibbin added two consecutive kills to bring the score to 8-3 in BYU’s favor.Back-to-back errors by the Cougars cut the lead to 9-5, though more USC errors lengthened BYU’s lead to 12-5 and forced another USC timeout. Despite kills by McKibbin and junior setter Micah Christenson, BYU continued its offensive success coming out of the timeout, while USC continued to struggle, and the Cougars took the first set, 25-13.USC’s 13 points were the fewest the team has seen in a 25-point set since getting 13 against Hawai’i in 2002.Kills by freshman middle blocker Andy Benesh, senior opposite hitter Tanner Jansen and McKibbin kept the Trojans in the game to start the second set. Junior outside hitter Chris Lischke added a kill of his own to make the score 8-6 in BYU’s favor. BYU had an answer for every offensive surge USC tried to muster, and three consecutive service aces by the Cougars combined with more errors by USC allowed BYU to advance its lead to 12-6.Kills by Yoder, Benesh and Jansen punctuated a spree of BYU blocks and kills to bring the score to 18-12. Yoder finally found his groove and added more kills, though it was not enough to stop BYU from taking the second set, 25-18.Junior outside hitter Cristian Rivera and redshirt junior outside hitter Joey Booth each had a kill to give the Trojans their first lead of the night, taking a 2-1 lead in the third set. Booth had another kill, as did Benesh, and a service ace by Rivera kept the score at eight apiece.Errors by the Trojans allowed BYU to take a 12-10 lead. USC continued to trail by two until the Cougars took a 20-16 lead. A kill by Benesh was offset by two consecutive blocks by the cougars, who took a 23-17 lead and went on to win the third and final set, 25-17.Yoder, the MPSF freshman of the year, led the team with 10 kills, while Benesh added six. USC had 20 attack errors to BYU’s four. The Trojans also trailed the cougars in hitting percentage, hitting .211 while BYU hit .519. The Cougars also dominated the Trojans in blocks, outnumbering them 12 to two.Though the Trojans were surely disappointed with their performance in Provo, they shouldn’t be surprised at the result, as no team has beaten BYU on its home court since February 2013.USC’s 16-11 record marks a sharp improvement from last season, when the Trojans went a dismal 6-18, but the Trojans still haven’t been able to replicate the success of the 2011-2012 season, in which the team fell in the national championship and ended up with a 26-7 overall record.Yoder finished the season with a team-leading 4.02 kills per set, while Christenson led the team with 11.62 assists per set. These two also led the team in service aces, with 13 and 25, respectively.Senior libero Henry Cassiday finished his USC career leading the team in sets played this season, with 100 out of 102.last_img read more