Jouko Pölönen, Ilmarinen’s chief executive officer, said: “In the second quarter, Ilmarinen’s investment portfolio yielded 5.9% and solvency strengthened to 124% as the equity markets recovered rapidly from the dramatic stock price plummet caused by the corona pandemic earlier in the year.”Equity investments ended the six-month period with a -4.2% return and fixed income investments finished with a -2.9% return, he said, while alternative assets turned out to be the best performers generating a positive result of 10.6%, and real estate returned 1.8%.The total result for the pension fund – which is the largest of the four mutual pension insurance companies in Finland’s earnings-related pension scheme – was -€1.1bn, compared with the €931m profit registered at last year’s halfway point.Total assets fell to €48.8bn at the end of June from €50.5bn the end of last year.Pölönen said “strong development” in cost-effectiveness had continued in the first half and operating expenses financed using loading income declined by €7m from the corresponding period last year.Commenting on the pandemic, Pölönen said Finland had been successful in limiting human suffering during the first wave of the pandemic, but acknowledged that the virus continued to spread globally, with a “worrying growth trend” in infection figures in some European countries.“A key factor in terms of future development is how well a resurgence of the virus can be prevented without extensive lockdown measures, which would exacerbate the economic crisis and unemployment,” said Pölönen.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Ilmarinen reported a 2% loss on its investment portfolio in the first half of this year, and the Finnish pensions insurance company warned full-year contribution inflows would be much lower than last year because of effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.Releasing its January-to-June financial report, Ilmarinen said premiums written fell to €2.7bn from €2.9bn in the same period last year, as a result of an increase in temporary layoffs and a temporary discount to the statutory TyEL contributions from employers.Commenting on the outlook for the full year, the pension provider said: “Owing to growing unemployment and the temporary discount on employers’ TyEL contributions, premiums written will fall considerably year-on-year.”Investment returns ended the first half in the red for the Helsinki-based institution, despite having rebounded between April and June.
A visiting two-man Bangladeshi business delegation has been urged to invest in Liberia, especially in the agriculture sector. Welcoming the men to Liberia, Acting Foreign Minister B. Elias Shoniyin told the Bangladeshis that there is vast “untapped” opportunity in the nation’s fisheries sector. “Our waters are basically untapped. We have a longer costal line than Ghana; however, Ghana raises about US$600 million per annum just from fisheries and we actually raise less than one million,” Mr. Shoniyin disclosed. He said even though the Bangladeshis are in the country to explore investment opportunities, they also saw the need within the Foreign Ministry and decided to make the donations in those directions.The Acting Foreign Min. further told Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Sakib M. Rahman, and his associate, Mr. R. B. Thakur, of the Agrani Holdings Group Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh, that most of the fishing that is ongoing in Liberia is artisanal fishing, which is being done right along the main coast; adding: “There is significant potential in the fishery industry.”Touching on another potential business area, he told the Bangladeshis how Liberia used to be the largest producer of natural rubber in the 1970s before other countries took over that role. “What is happening currently, we have tremendous old rubber trees; there is business opportunity in them. People want to cut the old trees and plant new ones.” He further stated that the old rubber trees, which are all across the nation, are very good for furniture making or for biofuel production. As he thanked the delegation for the donation of items, Mr. Shoniyin urged them to encourage other entrepreneurs to venture into furniture or biofuel business if they can’t do it themselves.Also speaking, Mr. Sakib M. Rahman, head of the delegation, said that they have had separate investment discussions with authorities of the Ministries of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture and authorities at the National Investment Commission (NIC). They also visited the International Bank (IB) on Broad Street.Mr. Rahman stated that at the Agriculture Ministry, authorities advised them that sugar was one of Liberia’s export commodities before the civil conflict; but is no longer the case as the world sugar market has now been overtaken by Brazil. “We talked about sugar cane, which is now largely grown in Liberia for domestic purposes but which can be processed into finished products like sugar. We will be exploring possibilities in the agricultural sector,” the head of the Bangladeshi business delegation said. He also mentioned that they intend to have some of their finished products in chocolates and mango and also noted that in their discussions, the Minister of Agriculture did encourage them to consider including livestock in their plans. Though the Bangladeshis are yet to meet with authorities of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Mr. Rahman stated that they also had discussions on the energy sector of Liberia. “I told the Minister that for all these things especially the livestock, we will need cold storage and it requires power,” he stated. On the energy sector, he indicated their focus would be on the transmission system of the national grid and how much transmission wires can be installed throughout the nation. He added that they are looking into all of this so that they might just develop investment interest in this sector. Mr. Rahman added: “Anything we will decide to do here [in Liberia], power is the first thing we need to look into.”The Bangladeshis donated needed items, valued at US$70,000, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for use by the Bureau of Protocol.The items presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs included one mini-bus, four motorbikes with accessories, one modern printing machine and 15 pieces of video conference units.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
0Shares0000Monaco’s narrow street circuit gives little opportunity for overtaking © AFP/File / Andrej ISAKOVICMONACO, Monaco, May 28 – The Monaco Grand Prix faced a growing barrage of criticism on Monday after Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton described it as “probably the most boring race ever”.Daniel Ricciardo’s winning performance on Sunday in his power-reduced Red Bull may have boosted his value in the drivers’ market and given him an outside tilt at the title, but the dull procession behind him was widely condemned as a spectacle. Two-time world champion Alonso, twice a winner on the narrow street circuit in the Mediterranean principality, was not the first or only driver to complain after a contest lacking incident and excitement.It was the first Monaco race without the deployment of a safety car since 2009.That Ricciardo could win from pole position in a car that had had its power reduced by 25 percent confirmed both his maturing talent and the enforced tedious mediocrity of the racing.Alonso, of McLaren, was only echoing what championship leader and defending champion Hamilton had said after finishing third behind Ricciardo and fellow four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.“Extremely boring. I mean, this is probably the most boring race ever,” said Alonso. “Without a safety car, without yellow flags, I think the sport needs to think a little bit about the show because this is very disappointing.Daniel Ricciardo’s victory in Monaco proved he is a growing force © AFP / Andrej ISAKOVIC“So I think we probably need to give something to the fans at the end of the race just to pay the ticket back a little. I think it is Monaco -– the way it is. It think it is quite boring. We just start in our qualifying position and we run to the flag in that position.”Finn Kimi Raikkonen, in the second Ferrari, started and finished fourth.“Qualifying decides everthing here,” he said. “Not a lot happens. Everyone drives around behind each other and whoever is in front dictates the speed.”Hamilton had set the tone among the senior drivers when he said: “The tyres were not great, but we were all driving so slow… it was not an attacking race — we were just cruising. It was not racing.“I will be shocked if anyone was awake at home while it was on, because I would have been asleep on the couch.”– Headache for Liberty Media –The predictability of the Monaco race is normally forgiven if there is some incident to enliven the glamorised choreography of what is a largely corporate festival, but this year’s contest plumbed new depths of mediocrity.It has presented F1’s new American owners Liberty Media with a major problem as they grapple with the task of brightening up the show without losing its traditional values.Hamilton suggested looking over the Atlantic for inspiration to create a closer race.“You look at NASCAR, they put in a bunch of safety cars for no reason at all to bunch the pack up. There’s like 100 yellow flags in the race to bring them all together.”The main problem, this time, appeared to be the new “hyper-soft” Pirelli tyres.They produced stunning one lap speed, but lacked durability and, as a result, in a one-stop race on a tight street track where overtaking is virtually impossible, drivers were instructed to be conservative and make their alternative “ultra-soft” tyres last the distance.“We must decide what we want… If they want to push, we must produce more consistent tyres, less sensitive to over-heating,” Pirelli racing chief Mario Isola said.“But if we go softer, it is the other way and there is overheating and then they have to cruise.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)