first_img“In this turbulent environment,” it said, “long-term sovereign debt of the most solvent countries acted as a safe haven, which benefited most euro-zone countries, including Spain.”Although Spanish pension plans experienced corrections, they will recover all of the “adjustment” experienced in the second and third quarters if October’s performance continues, according to INVERCO.“The IBEX35 index for Spanish equities,” it said, “shows a return of more than 10% at the date of writing this report, with lower yields for sovereign debt indices over all maturities.”Average annualised returns for Spanish occupational funds were 5.95% for the three years to 30 September 2015, and 4.85% for the five years to that date.At end-September, total assets under management for the occupational pensions sector stood at €34.3bn, slightly lower than at end-June.Total pension assets, including those in individual plans, now amount to €100.8bn, slightly down over the quarter.The number of participants in the occupational system remains the same, at just over 2m.For pension funds as a whole, most assets are invested domestically – 64.8% of portfolios, up by 2.7 percentage points over the past three months.Non-domestic holdings remain at 19.4%.The shift from fixed income to equities has started to reverse, although some of this has been caused by increases in bond values.Fixed income investments make up 59.9% of portfolios, up 3.6 percentage points since end-June.This compares with 20.5% invested in equities, a slight decrease over June.Of this, 8.1% is in Spanish shares, 12.4% in non-domestic shares.The biggest single component of pension fund portfolios – 35.3% – is still invested in Spanish government bonds, with a further 17.6% in Spanish corporate bonds.Cash holdings decreased substantially over the past three months, by more than 2 percentage points to 7%.A separate survey by Mercer confirms third-quarter volatility in Spanish pension fund performance, with poor equity returns prompting a negative average return of 0.9% during September.Returns for the first three quarters of the year were 0.4%, and 1.7% for the 12 months to end-September, compared with 6.4% for the 12 months to end-June 2015, according to preliminary estimates.Mercer’s Pension Investment Performance Service (PIPS) covers a large sample of Spanish pension funds, most of them occupational schemes.The best-performing asset class during September was fixed income, with an average return of 0.3% (0.5% for the year to end-September).The worst performer was EU equities, which made an average loss of 5% in September – following a loss of 9.1% in August – taking the return for the year to date to 0.9%.Non-EU equities fared slightly better in September, with a 3% loss, and a year-to-date return of 0.2%.For the 12 months to end-September, however, non-EU equities were the best performers, returning 6%, compared with 1.9% for fixed income and a 1.1% loss for EU equities. A strong uptick in volatility on international markets damped down Spanish pension fund performance in the third quarter, according to the country’s Investment and Pension Fund Association (INVERCO).Occupational pension funds made average returns of 1.58% for the 12 months to end-September 2015, down from 5.57% for the 12 months to end-June 2015, and 8.58% for the 12 months to end-September 2014.Twelve-month returns for Spanish pension funds as a whole were 0.5% as at 30 September 2015, down from 3.8% for the 12 months to end-June.INVERCO said falls in indices were especially intense in emerging economies, following the uncertainty created over the scale and consequences of the slowdown in the Chinese economy.last_img read more

first_imgI always wanted to attend USC. Growing up in a family of USC alumni, I was born with cardinal and gold blood. I knew the Fight Song like my ABCs. I was destined to be a Trojan.Yes, I had always heard about the Trojan Family, the connections and everything my parents and relatives had lived, breathed and experienced during their time here. It had seemed like it was just a matter of time until this school would eventually be my home.The old cliché is to follow your dreams, and USC was my dream school. Of course, I always dreamed of playing in the NBA because I knew what it felt like to be “In The Zone” back in my childhood days. That dream, though, ended in high school. And now my college career is winding down.But for thousands of students around the world, it’s a crucial time of the year — finals are coming upon us, summer is around the corner and a new beginning awaits next fall for prospective college freshmen.For those of you graduating high school and for parents of high school seniors, I understand there is some uneasiness about choosing USC — especially with the recent events of the last two weeks.But before making a rash decision based on these incidents, think about all the great things the campus has to offer.What embodies the Trojan spirit, what embodies the Trojan Family can be found when looking to our football and basketball programs this last year for some guidance and inspiration.Winning on the gridiron is pretty much expected for Trojan football. It seemed like an eternity that former coach Pete Carroll’s squads ruled the collegiate football landscape. Fast-forward to summer 2009 when the NCAA laid down the law. That destroyed my hopes of ever attending a bowl game as a student.And there was certainly disappointment. But last season, experiencing and watching a team bond was something special. Who can ever forget the Oregon game that capped off the season?As for our basketball program, it’s been a little different. There would be no postseason during my first year at this school because of self-imposed sanctions. There was a swift exit from the NCAA tournament the following year.Last season was arguably one of the most frustrating sights to watch. Players kept getting injured. The losses kept coming. But if there’s anything to take away from the group of young men competing on the hardwood night in and night out, it’s their heart and character.These two athletic programs made the most of what they had. They were dealt a hand that certainly wasn’t too favorable. There was overreaction from even the most loyal fans and probably unjustified scrutiny. Nobody thought the football team would emerge as one of the top teams in the nation last fall. On the other end of the spectrum, nobody believed the basketball team would suffer as tough a season this year. But it never mattered — not to the players, at least. They fought, they clawed and they battled.In spite of hardships, there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. The Trojan Family and the Trojan bond are stronger than whatever else might try tearing us down.If there is one thing that can be gleaned from my time as a USC student, it’s this: Always remember to fight on. “In the Zone” runs Fridays. If you would like to comment on this story, email Trevor at [email protected] or comment below.last_img read more

first_imgDefensive Player of the Week: Ferlando Jordan, Southeastern Louisiana – R-So. – Defensive Back – Atlanta, Ga.Jordan intercepted a pair of passes and led the team with four pass breakups in a dominating upset of Central Arkansas. His assignment was freshman standout Tyler Hudson, who entered the day with eight touchdown catches but finished with just one grab. Jordan shares the Southland lead with five interceptions and has returned three of his picks for touchdowns. Fellow Lion and sophomore defensive back Jordan is also a first-time weekly honoree. He intercepted a pair of passes and led SLU with four pass breakups as the Lions limited two-time defending Offensive Player of the Week Breylin Smith to just 193 yards and three interceptions. Tied for the league lead with five interceptions, Jordan contained standout receiver Tyler Hudson to just one catch as SLU handed UCA their first shutout in the Bears’ Division I era. Kelley picks up his first Offensive Player of the Week award after rushing for 39 yards and tying a program record with four scores on the ground in a 34-0 shutout of No. 6/7 Central Arkansas that moved the Lions (6-3, 5-2 SLC) into a share of the Southland Conference lead. He also completed 20 of his 24 pass attempts for 273 yards and another score. SLU begins a two-game road stretch to end the season against Abilene Christian at 1 p.m. CT Saturday. FRISCO, Texas – Southeastern Louisiana’s Cole Kelley and Ferlando Jordan, along with Northwestern State’s Parker Pastorello, are the Southland Football Players of the Week, the league announced Monday. Special Teams Player of the Week: Parker Pastorello – Sr. – Punter – Mandeville, La.Pastorello averaged 47.2 yards on five punts in a win over Lamar. He dropped three of his five punts inside the 20-yard line, including two that pinned the Cardinals at their three-yard line. Lamar’s average starting field position following Pastorello’s punts was the 15-yard line. Pastorello played a vital role in flipping the field on Lamar’s offense in a 34-13 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday. He booted five punts for 236 yards, an average of 47.2 yards per attempt. Three of his five punts were downed inside the 20, including two that pinned the Cardinals at their three-yard line. Winners of two of their last three, the Demons (2-8, 2-5 SLC) look to carry that momentum into a tough road test against Sam Houston State at noon Saturday. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots. Honorable Mention: Ife Adeyi, Sam Houston State; Shelton Eppler, Northwestern State; Julien Gums, Nicholls Honorable Mention: Sully Laiche, Nicholls; Will Lockett, Sam Houston State; Jomard Valsin, Northwestern State Honorable Mention: Gamar Girdy Brito, Houston Baptist; Matt McRobert, Sam Houston St.; Max Quick, Stephen F. Austin Offensive Player of the Week: Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana – Jr. – Quarterback – Lafayette, La.Kelley tied a single-game school record with four rushing touchdowns and completed 20-of-24 passes for 273 yards and another score. Kelley was the catalyst for a Lion offense that racked up 490 total yards and helped Southeastern Louisiana earn its second win over a top-10 FCS team this season.last_img read more