ATP eschews backup plan for failure of euro-krone peg

first_imgDenmark’s ATP has no contingency plan to resort to should the krone’s peg to the euro fail to hold, despite market turmoil, as it has “full and firm confidence” the country’s central bank will win the battle. ATP’s chief executive Carsten Stendevad told IPE: “We have full and firm confidence in the peg – it is the centre point of the Danish economic policy, and it has been for several decades.”The DKK823bn (€110.5bn) statutory pension fund had no contingency plans ready for the eventuality that the Danish krone’s peg to the euro could break, he said.“We all have an interest in the peg holding,” he said. “Thankfully, we have a central bank with a clear mandate, instruments at its disposal and a strong will to maintain our 30-year policy.” The Danish central bank said this week it had spent DKK106bn intervening in the currency markets in January – a record high since Denmark first pegged its currency to the euro.The Danish currency has been pushed higher on the foreign exchanges particularly since the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a fortnight ago it would start large-scale quantitative easing (QE) to boost economic growth in the euro-zone.At the end of last week, the Danish Ministry of Finance decided to stop bond issuance until further notice, at the central bank’s recommendation, in a bid to limit the inflow of foreign exchange.However, Stendevad said the current market situation was very challenging for ATP.“We have absolute-return targets that are quite ambitious, and it’s a uphill battle,” he said.Yields on 30-year Danish government bonds fell last year to around 1.4% from about 2.7% at the start of the year.“Bond yields have fallen, and we are in the business of providing guaranteed pension incomes, so, when interest rates drop, it becomes much harder to provide these future incomes,” Stendevad said.The pension fund produced a return of 23% in 2014 including DKK132bn from its huge hedge portfolio and around DKK6bn in its smaller return-seeking portfolio, he said.“What that story doesn’t tell is that our liabilities have increased dramatically, so that return was needed just so we could meet those,” he said.“The story continues in 2015, when it has become even more difficult to meet our liabilities. But, thankfully, we have our hedge portfolio, which protects our annuities.”ATP has weathered the difficult market situation well though, he said, and is overfunded with a solvency ratio of 115%.“Despite the massive falls in interest rates, that shows our guarantees are very well protected,” he said, adding that the institution had even increased pensions by 1.5% for 2015.Over the last 4-5 years, the return-seeking portfolio has changed significantly, he said, particularly regarding its investment in property and infrastructure.“The purpose is to produce a return that enables us to increase pensions,” he said.last_img read more

NBA sets guidelines and timeline for reopening facilities

first_img(REUTERS) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Monday it is modifying guidance on player training, which could allow team facilities to open as early as May 8 in U.S. states easing stay-at-home orders put in place to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.The opening of facilities would be the first step towards restarting the league, which has been shuttered since March 11 after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.“The purpose of these changes is to allow for safe and controlled environments for players to train in states that allow them to do so, and to create a process for identifying safe training options for players located in other states,” the NBA said in a statement.The changes would allow teams to make facilities available to players for workouts or injury treatment on a voluntary basis.For teams based in states or cities where government restrictions remain in place, the NBA will work with them to find alternative arrangement.As part of the guidelines no more than four players will be permitted at a facility at any one time and no coaches can participate.Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages. Players are also prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers or gyms.last_img read more

Irish secure medal at European Games

first_imgThe Belfast boxer beat the number one seed Salman Alizada of host nation Azerbaijan in this morning’s quarter final.The 19 year old lost the first round but won the next two.Clonmel’s Dean Gardiner is up against France’s Tony Yoko in the Men’s super heavyweight last 8 at 5.30 following his . Ceire Smith faces Russian Saiana Sagataeva in the Women’s flyweight quarter-finals at 2.15.last_img