DB and DC assets (%)Chart MakerIn the Netherlands, the proportion of DC assets remained at 6%, the same as in the 2017 report. DC assets in the UK decreased from 19% to 18% last year, largely as a result of a recalculation by the country’s Office for National Statistics.Total assetsDC capital grew by 7.6% a year on average over the past 20 years, while DB assets averaged just 3.2% a year.Combined pension assets of the world’s 22 largest markets dropped 3.3% to €35.6trn last year, the report said.Dutch assets fell from €1.42trn to €1.35trn, while the UK’s combined assets declined from €3.11trn to €2.53trn.Although Dutch pension assets as a proportion of GDP fell from 193.8% to 167%, this was still the highest ratio of the 22 surveyed countries.The UK saw its pension assets relative to GDP decrease from 121.3% to 101.7% last year, while Switzerland’s ratio was 126%.At €21.9trn, the US was the largest of the surveyed pension markets.Asset allocationThe study also showed that the Netherlands, the UK and Japan had an above-average allocation to bonds.Dutch and UK fixed income investments amounted to 54% and 53% of assets, respectively, while Japan’s bond allocation was 60%.Swiss pension funds had the highest exposure to alternatives, with 31%.Top seven markets’ averageasset allocation (%)Chart MakerCommenting the study results last year, Jacco Heemskerk, Willis Towers Watson’s head of investment in the Netherlands, argued that the conservative investment policy of Dutch pensions funds was eroding the purchasing power of their participants. Defined contribution (DC) pension funds have more assets than defined benefit (DB) funds across the world’s seven biggest pension markets, according to Willis Towers Watson’s Thinking Ahead Institute.The institute’s Global Pension Assets Study analysed data from 22 of the largest pension markets. The top seven – Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US – accounted for 91% of assets covered by the report.Across those seven countries, DC assets were estimated to be “slightly over 50%” of total pension assets, the Thinking Ahead Institute reported – although this was primarily as a result of the dominance of DC in the US, the world’s biggest pension market by assets.Australia and the US were predominantly DC markets, but Japan and Canada were “showing an increasing allocation towards DC”, the institute said.
(BBC) – The Premier League (PL) is set to restart on June 17 with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, subject to government approval.A full round of fixtures would then be played on the weekend of June 19-21.There are 92 matches still to play, and the first to take place will be those the four teams involved have in hand.All matches will take place behind closed doors and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport or Amazon Prime.BBC Sport will air four live matches for the first time since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.Meanwhile, Sky Sports will show 64 matches live and make 25 available free to air.Safety guidelines are yet to be issued by the government and decisions will remain subject to the continuing fight against coronavirus.BBC Sport understands that clubs have agreed to a provisional end date of Saturday, July 25.It is also understood that finishing the season would require six weekends and three midweek rounds.“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters,” PL chief executive Richard Masters said.“It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.”Masters added that the resumption date would not be confirmed “until we have met all the safety requirements needed”.WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND?The PL was suspended on March 13 because of the pandemic and it will be 100 days after Leicester City’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9 that competition will – prospectively – resume.Manchester City v Arsenal was already scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports, while Aston Villa v Sheffield United was not listed for live coverage when selections were announced in February.Home and away matches look most likely for the vast majority of games – with a few high-profile games at neutral venues at the request of the police.A number of clubs have expressed their opposition to the concept of using neutral grounds, including Brighton, West Ham and Crystal Palace.On Wednesday, clubs unanimously voted to resume contact training, having started non-contact training last week.So far 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2 752 tests across the league.PL players and staff will continue to be tested twice a week, with the capacity increased from 50 to 60 tests per club for the fourth round of testing.Any players or staff to test positive must self-isolate for a period of seven days.Plans for the third phase of Project Restart include a step towards normal training and build-up to competitive games.Liverpool currently sit 25 points clear at the top of the table while Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places.The Reds, chasing a first league title in 30 years, could clinch it with victory in their first game back should second-placed Manchester City lose to Arsenal.
Brand new airport opens in OmanSalalah Airport – Oman’s newest – opens in Oman’s southern Dhofar region in time to service the Salalah Tourism Festival. The airport will cater to the two million annual local, regional & international visitors.Known as the ‘Eden at the edge of the desert’, Salalah is one of Oman’s best kept secrets. The charming and historic coastal city is famed for its mild temperatures, untouched beaches and the finest frankincense in the world.From June to August the Summer ‘Khareef’ (monsoon) season cools the air and turns the countryside a lush, emerald green – a phenomenon totally unique across all of Arabia – bringing thousands of visitors to the region seeking the lush coolness of this ancient city.The Salalah Tourism Festival takes place during the Khareef from 23 July to 31 August. The festival attracts local and foreign tourists seeking milder summer weather with average daytime temperatures of only 29 degrees.“Salalah’s vibrant culture reflects an historical association with Zanzibar – once a colony of Oman. Beautiful hotels, colourful souks, and a stunning natural backdrop make Salalah one of Oman’s favourite cities for travellers”, says Sultanate of Oman Tourism Country Manager Australia & New Zealand, Mona Tannous.“Tourism infrastructure development in Oman continues to surprise and delight visitors looking to explore the country beyond the traditionally popular places within easy reach of Muscat. We are thrilled about this brand new airport from where visitors will discover a treasured corner of Oman. Facing south over the Arabian sea, well known hotel chains such as Alila, Anantara, Club Med and several others have earmarked their slice of heaven in this southern region”, concluded Ms Tannous.Oman Air operates eight services a day between Muscat and Salalah, increasing to 13 a day during the Khareef season. There are also daily, direct Oman Air services to/from neighbouring Dubai.Qatar Airways flies directly from Doha to Salalah daily which can be booked as part of the affordable oneworld Visit Middle East airpass. Tourism OmanSource = Oman Tourism