Russian roundup: Non-state funds’ Q1 returns average 5%

first_imgRussian non-state pension funds (NPFs) returned an annual weighted average investment return of 5% in the first quarter of 2017, according to sector regulator Central Bank of Russia (CBR).The funds recorded a more modest 2.5% gain for pension reserves. Meanwhile, inflation for the period was 3.7%.The year-to-date returns of the 38 NPFs currently signed to the Deposit Insurance Agency’s guarantee scheme (a condition for continuing to participate in Russia’s compulsory second-pillar system) varied widely, from a gain of 12.2% to a loss of 5.4%.Regulator’s diversification push While the CBR has yet to publish the aggregate portfolio asset breakdown, it is likely to show a continuing increase in corporate bonds and shares, which accounted for 50.2% and 17.3% respectively at the end of 2016.The regulator has been encouraging this trend towards investment in the ‘real economy’ by lowering the cap on deposits and other bank instruments, and liberalising investment in the corporate sector.This February it published proposals to further shrink the current cap on banking sector investment, which is currently 40%.The bank also said it wanted the NPFs to start selling out of mortgage participation certificates, with only those securities holding a valuation from an independent appraiser being held to maturity.To boost investment in the technology sector, NPFs will be allowed to invest up to 5% of a portfolio in companies quoted on the Moscow Exchange’s IIM-Prime segment.Savings rate upDespite a continuing moratorium on the 6% contribution rate to NPFs, in place since 2014, since the start of the year pensions savings grew by 11.2% in Russian rouble terms, to RUB2.4trn (€38.2bn). Membership grew by 15.4% to 34.4m.This growth reflected the continuing success of NPFs attracting clients away from the State Management Trust Company, which runs the pensions system for state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB).A large share of VEB’s savers invested there by default.Second pillar reforms shelvedIn separate news, Russian daily newspaper Izvestia has reported that the individual pension capital account (IPC) system drafted by the CBR and finance ministry to replace the current second pillar in 2019 is set to be put on ice for a year.The IPC has been described as ‘quasi-voluntary’, meaning savers would be automatically enrolled unless they specified otherwise. This has been strongly opposed by the Russian labour ministry, and deemed by some experts to be illegal.According to Izvestia, the IPC project will be discussed as part of the reform of the entire pensions system after next year’s presidential election.The reform will have to tackle the politically explosive issue of raising the retirement age, which is currently 55 years for women and 60 years for men.last_img read more

BP and Reliance Authorize Second Stage of KG D6 Gas Fields Project

first_imgBP and Reliance have sanctioned the ‘Satellite cluster’ project in Block KG D6. The companies are moving forward to develop the Block’s discovered deep-water gas fields in an integrated series of projects, bringing new gas production for India.The ‘Satellite cluster’ is the second of three projects in the Block KG D6 integrated development.The first of the projects, development of the ‘R-Series’ deep-water gas fields, was sanctioned in June 2017.Together the three projects should develop a total of about 3 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas resources with a total investment of c. INR 40,000 crore (US$6 billion). They are expected to bring a total c. 30-35 million cubic meters (1 billion cubic feet) of gas a day new domestic gas production onstream, phased over 2020-2022.Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance, said: “In consonance with our announcements last year to raise domestic gas production, we are delighted to announce the on-schedule progress of the Satellite cluster in the east coast of India. This development supports the country’s imminent need of increasing domestic gas supply and is a firm step towards making India a gas-based economy.”“This latest investment is a further demonstration of BP’s commitment to India. Through our partnership, Reliance and BP are able to develop these discovered gas resources efficiently and economically, working closely with the Government of India. These new developments will produce much needed energy for India’s thriving economy.” Bob Dudley, group chief executive.Integrated field development of deep-water gas fieldsThe Satellites cluster is a dry gas development and comprises four discoveries with five well subsea development in approximately 1700 meters water depth, up to ~15 kilometers east and southeast of the producing D1D3 fields in KG D6.The first of the KG D6 projects to be sanctioned, the R-series project, is already in execution phase with all major contracts awarded. The Satellites cluster project will draw on execution synergies with the R-series project being developed concurrently.India today consumes over 5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas and aspires to double gas consumption by 2022. Gas production from the integrated development is expected to help reduce India’s import dependence and amount to over 10% of the country’s projected gas demand in 2022.last_img read more

Boskalis pens $120M deals for marine transport, including a record-breaking FPSO move

first_imgDutch marine contractor Boskalis has recently won a batch of marine transportation contracts including a record-breaking FPSO transport deal for its giant BOKA Vanguard semi-submersible vessel.For Illustration only: Boskalis’ BOKA Vanguard carrying an FPSO / Image source: BoskalisBoskalis said the recent contracts were awarded by a variety of clients and carry a combined value of approximately $120 million.While it didn’t name the clients, Boskalis said the execution of the majority of projects is scheduled to take place in 2021 and 2022. The company will see four of its heavy lift and transportation vessels employed for these projects – BOKA Vanguard, Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, and White Marlin.As mentioned earlier, Boskalis said that the contracts include a weight record-breaking FPSO transportation deal.“Following last year’s transportation of a sizable box-shaped FPSO, Boskalis secured a contract to transport a similar FPSO from China to Brazil. With a weight exceeding 91,000 tons this marks another record-breaking transport for the BOKA Vanguard, which is scheduled to commence at the end of 2019,” Boskalis said, without providing further details.As for the previous record, Boskalis in April 2018 said the Boka Vanguard – one of the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy lift vessels – was getting ready to load a 90,000-ton FPSO unit – equivalent to the weight of approximately 300 Boeing 747s  – the heaviest cargo ever to be transported by a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel.FPSO for North Sea, FPUs for GoMApart from the new record-breaking FPSO contract, Boskalis on Wednesday it had secured a contract for the transportation of various large LNG modules from a fabrication yard in China to Russia.The contract ties up the two high-end open-stern heavy transport vessels Blue Marlin and Black Marlin starting in the second quarter of 2021.Furthermore, Boskalis was awarded the contract for the transportation of an FPSO from the fabrication yard in China to the North Sea in 2021 and the transportation of two Floating Production Systems from Singapore to the Gulf of Mexico in the period 2021-2022.Boskalis said that those cargoes would be transported on the White Marlin and Blue Marlin heavy-lift and transportation vessels.These contracts were signed in the third and fourth quarter of 2019. Approximately 50% of the combined contract value was awarded in the fourth quarter, Boskalis said.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email.Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form, where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Frigid November: Energy Assistance can keep Indiana homes warm

INDIANAPOLIS – Inches of snow and temperatures below zero are making it an especially frigid November in Indiana, which translates to higher heating bills.The Energy Assistance Program might be able to help cushion the blow for those who struggle to keep their homes warm.The program provides utility assistance to families with incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, said Taura Edwards, director of community programs for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.“They can receive help with their regular utility bill,” she said. “If the family is in crisis or is up for disconnection, has been disconnected or out of deliverable fuel, they can receive a one-time benefit to support that utility cost.”The maximum benefit this year is $395, and last winter the program served more than 130,000 households. From Dec. 1 to March 15, natural gas utilities in the state do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in the program, known as “LIHEAP,” who fall behind on their bill.This is a good time of year for all homeowners to start thinking about energy conservation and ways to keep the cold air outside, Edwards said, adding that a few simple steps can make a difference.“Keep your curtains closed, create a barrier between your house and the window,” she said. “You’ll want to check your window to make sure that there’s no air seeping in within cracks. You’ll also want to look at your door sweeps to make sure there’s no air flowing in from a door.”For those with a fireplace, she suggested keeping the damper closed when not in use to prevent cold air from entering the house. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turning the thermostat down 15 degrees for eight hours while you are asleep or out of the house can save around 10 percent on heating and cooling bills.Mary Kuhlman read more

Humble Mourinho vows to bring success to Spurs

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Son fires four past Southampton Tottenham sign £25m Sergio Reguilon Tottenham re-signs Bale on loan New Tottenham Hotspur manager, Jose Mourinho, who described himself as happy and humble, has vowed to bring success to the struggling north London club and said they could even win the Premier League next season.Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against West Ham United, a smiling Mourinho told a packed news conference at the club’s training ground that he wanted to bring stability to the team and would make few big changes.Mourinho, who took charge of Tottenham on Wednesday, has inherited a squad that finished in the Premier League’s top four in four consecutive seasons, but is currently languishing in 14th after a poor start to the campaign.Asked if he had a Christmas transfer market wish list he declared himself happy with the squad, but added that he would be making some tweaks to improve their performances.He said: “The best gift is the ones (players) that are here. I don’t need players. I am happy with the ones that we have.”The Portuguese returns to club management 11 months after being sacked by Manchester United, where he made a poor start to last season and was criticised by fans and pundits for playing dull, defence-minded football.“I’m not going to make the same mistakes. I’m going to make new mistakes. I’m going to be stronger,” said 56-year-old Mourinho, who cracked jokes and seemed completely at ease unlike the grumpy manager who left Old Trafford under a cloud.He added: “From an emotional point of view I’m relaxed, motivated and ready and I think the players felt that these two days. I’m ready and I’m here to support them.“In life you go through periods like this, where it’s not about myself, it’s about my players and my club.”He also paid tribute to his predecessor Pochettino and backed the Argentine to find happiness at a different club.Mourinho said the club’s door will always be open for Pochettino, who guided Spurs to the Champions League final last season where they lost to Liverpool in Madrid.“I have to congratulate him (Pochettino) on the incredible job he did,” Mourinho said.He added: “This club will always be his home, this training ground his training ground. He is always welcome here.“Tomorrow is another day. He will find happiness soon. He will give everything like he did at this club. He will leave with sadness with the feeling that he did great work. It is what everyone at the club felt.”Mourinho will be looking to end Tottenham’s run of 12 league away matches without victory when they visit 16th-placed West Ham, who are bidding for a first win in seven league matches.Tags: Jose MourinhoTottenham Hotspurlast_img read more

Jozy Altidore told me Sunderland was a great club, says DeAndre Yedlin

first_imgSunderland new boy DeAndre Yedlin has revealed he spoke to United States team-mate Jozy Altidore about the club before signing – and still headed for the Stadium of Light. However, he had only good things to say about the club and the area when defender Yedlin, who signed a season-long loan deal from Tottenham on September 1, sought his counsel. Asked if he had spoken to Altidore before making his move,the 22-year-old told SAFSee: “I did, yes. He just mentioned it’s a great club. “Obviously his time football-wise up here, he didn’t have the best time, but he said it’s a great club, great people. “The weather isn’t the best, but I’m used to that from where I’m from in Seattle, so it’s not a big deal for me.” Yedlin was in the crowd for Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by parent club Spurs as he was ineligible under the terms of the loan agreement, but saw enough from his new team-mates to be excited about forcing his way into head coach Dick Advocaat’s plans. He said: “It was great. I didn’t really know exactly what to expect and when I saw the atmosphere and just saw how hard the team competed and how well they did, it was great for me to watch. “It just made me want to get on to the field even more, and I am excited for whenever my chance comes.” Press Associationcenter_img Altidore endured a nightmare 18 months on Wearside after making a £6.5million switch from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. The striker managed just a single Barclays Premier League goal in 42 appearances and three in total before heading back across the Atlantic as part of the deal which saw Jermain Defoe return to England from Toronto in January. last_img read more

PBC Resident Charged in Weapons Smuggling Case

first_imgA Palm Beach County resident has been charged with participating in a massive weapons smuggling operation to Argentina and other parts of South America.According to federal court records filed in Miami, 47-year-old Cristian German Barrera is charged with violating arms export laws. He allegedly helped ship thousands of AR-15 rifle parts to Argentina.A criminal complaint has already charged 60-year-old John James Peterson and 67-year-old Brunella Zuppone, both of Miami, with having key roles in the smuggling scheme.Barrera has a bail hearing set for this week in Miami federal court.Homeland Security Investigations officials say the probe led them to seize 52 AR-15 assault rifles, 189 other long weapons, 156 handguns, 30,000 rounds of ammunition and $110,000 in cash.last_img read more

Aizawl FC to host Neroca FC in I-League tie

first_imgAizawl: Aizawl FC is all set to take on neighbours Neroca FC in the I-Leagues second Northeastern derby at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium here on Wednesday.Both sides are languishing at the bottom of the table with identical returns of a draw and a loss so in their two previous games so far.This will be Aizawl’s first home game of the season while contrastingly for Neroca, it will be their first away encounter.In the previous I-League edition, which was also Neroca’s debut in India’s top-flight football league, the two neighbours met twice and it was the side from Manipur which managed to edge out the 10th edition champions in one encounter while the other ended goalless.Aizawl did exceedingly well to salvage a point from their last game away at Kolkata against Mohun Bagan, thanks to a stunning free-kick by ‘super sub’ David Lalrinmuana in the dying minutes. Neroca, on the other hand, will be smarting from the fact that their two opening games at home could deliver only a point.Both coaches, however, Aizawl’s Gift Raikhan and Neroca’s Spanish recruit Manuel Fraile, will be desperately hoping that their forwards begin to fire.Besides Mapuia’s strike against Bagan and David’s free-kick, Aizawl’s foreign strikers Ansumanah Kromah and Zikahi Dodoz have not been in the best of form.Kromah scored off a penalty in their first game against Shillong while Dodoz has failed to open his account and even lost his place in the starting eleven against Mohun Bagan.Gift Raikhan, who incidentally will be coaching against his former side, reflected the confidence gained from the Bagan outing in the pre-match presser stating: “Our preparation is going good, we are ready to face Neroca FC tomorrow. I know them very closely and I respect them as a team. We haven’t started the season very well but after the game against Mohun Bagan, we feel very confident.”“When quizzed on David getting a start he said: “ David is a good player but I focus on every player in our team. Not only David but there are many players who will be my key players this time.” IANS Also Read: Sports Newslast_img read more

Late order batting rally West Berbice

first_imgFROM a position of 86-6, West Berbice closed on 179-9, responding to East Coast first-innings total of 143, on the opening day in their Round four fixture in the Jaguars Franchise League three-day cricket tournament at Bush Lot, Berbice.Keon Joseph and Steven Harris will resume today on 27 and 2 respectively, with the hosts leading by 36 runs.Earlier, it was a superb bowling effort by the hosts, as the visitors’ batsmen fell to careless strokes after they were put into bat. Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie (4-25) and fastbowler Joseph (3-32), were the main destroyers.The visitors managed a decent 31-run opening stand between Test reject Rajandra Chandrika and Brian Sattuar, but after the partnership was broken, their batsmen formed a procession back to the dressing-room, despite a few of them getting starts.New-ball bowlers Joseph and Harris (1-28) provided the first two breakthroughs before the spinners got in on the act on a lively wicket. The East Coast Franchise were reduced to 134-8 at lunch, a position from which they never recovered.Harris removed Sattuar (13), before Joseph claimed the wicket of Chandrika (14), four runs later.Keon JosephBhaskar Yadram and Chanderpaul Hemraj made 21 and 19 respectively before Motie picked up both batsmen in quick succession.Things went further downhill for the visitors when Andrew Dutchin (2-49) removed Joshua Persaud (10), but at that point former national youth batsman Kamesh Yadram showed significant resilience, hitting five fours in his 36 before he, along with Ramnarine Chaturia (1), and Ameer Khan (16), were dismissed before the interval.Motie removed Chaturia while Dutchin and Joseph claimed the wickets of Yadram and Khan.Upon resumption, Joseph and Motie quickly wrapped up the innings in 35 overs.In reply, Test batsman Shimron Hetmyer (24), Aviskhar Sewkarran (29), and Javid Karim (13) were the only batsmen of the first six to reach double figures, as fast bowler Royston Simon and Rudolph Singh created the problems, sharing the first six wickets.However, Motie (26), and Dutchin (33) then combined and in the process frustrated the visitors.But just when it seemed like the duo had settled down nicely, the young Yadram removed Motie before Singh claimed his third wicket, that of Dutchin.Fast bowler Cordel Mars had the other wicket of Quacy McPherson for six.Meanwhile, Georgetown recorded a mere 117 in 39 overs in their battle against Essequibo at Tuschen. Robin Bacchus made 34, Steven Sankar 22 and Gajanan Suknanan 12.Anthony Adams took 4-33, Keemo Paul and Ricardo Adams both claimed three wickets for 29 and 38 respectively.In reply, Essequibo were bowled out for 170 in 51.4 overs, with Paul hitting 43, Kemol Savory 33, Ricardo Adams 44 and Kevin Boodie 22.Bowling for Georgetown, Gajnanan Suknanan picked up 6-27, while Ramaal Lewis, Kellon Carmichael, Steven Sankar, and Christopher Barnwell picked up a wicket apiece.Upper Corentyne closed the day on 267-7 against West Demerara at Port Mourant.At Young Warriors, Lower Corentyne made 148 batting first. East Bank in reply were 132-8.Play resumes at 09:30hrs today at all four venues.last_img read more