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Denmark’s LD pension fund reported an investment return of 8.7% for 2014, and said strong returns on Danish shares and US investments in general had pushed profits higher.The return compares with 8.8% for the previous year.LD director Dorrit Vanglo said: “This is a really good result that we are very pleased with — seen both in the light of modest growth in the economy and the very low level of inflation.”While rising prices on the Danish equities market helped drive overall investment returns higher, the fall in interest rates over the year had increased profits on both general bonds and corporate bonds, LD said. “We have had positive returns in all funds, and when we look outside the country’s borders, it was particularly investments in the US that gave good results,” said Vanglo.She predicted that it would be the US that pulled the world economy forward in 2015 as well.At the same time, the stronger dollar meant goods produced in Europe would be relatively cheaper, thus making European business more competitive, she said.Assets under management rose by DKK1.2bn (€161m) in 2014 to end the year at DKK54.6bn, after payments made to members of DKK2.5bn.LD is a non-contributory pension scheme based on cost-of-living allowances granted to workers in 1980, and as such it receives no new contribution inflows.Vanglo said LD’s costs were being kept to an absolute minimum.“There are just 15 staff at LD and we have tight control over our suppliers, under which costs fall when overall assets and the number of members fall,” she said.For more on LD’s investment startegy, see investment editor Martin Steward’s interview with Dorrit Vanglo
The accusations came on a day when Inter Milan played down prospects of the striker leaving Liverpool to join them in January. Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti takes a different view to Taarabt – labelling Balotelli “a great player” – but the Italians believe recruiting the 24-year-old during the winter could be unrealistic. A return to the San Siro would see Balotelli reunited with Roberto Mancini, who coached Balotelli at Inter and Manchester City. Mancini, who took the reins at Inter last month for a second spell in charge, revealed after Monday’s 2-0 triumph at Chievo that he was keen to bolster his attack. “In certain roles in attack we are lacking,” Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “The club are aware of this but in January it will not be easy.” Balotelli came through the ranks at Inter before being sold to Manchester City in 2010. He joined Liverpool in a £16million move from AC Milan but as well as lacking form, he has missed a number of games with a groin injury and was recently charged by the Football Association over a controversial posting on Instagram. Balotelli has accepted the charge in relation to making racist and anti-Semitic comments on social media but has offered mitigation for his actions. He posted an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram which included the words ”jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”. Balotelli has struggled since moving to Anfield at the end of the summer transfer window and Inter are keen to strengthen their attacking line. However Zanetti told Sky Italia: “A Balotelli return? We all know Mario is a great player but I think it’s difficult because he only just arrived at Liverpool. “In any case, after our game against Lazio (on December 21) we will hold meetings to see what we can do and what is needed in terms of the (transfer) market.” Balotelli has scored only two goals in his 14 appearances for Liverpool, and QPR playmaker Taarabt, who played with him while on loan at AC Milan last season, does not see the Italy international as a top quality forward. Speaking to Italian TV channel Sky Italia, Taarabt said: “Balotelli? Everyone told me he was amazing and I played with him and I can say he is strong but he didn’t seem to me as though he was world class. “He is an ordinary player, not a phenomenon.” Taarabt added: “He is someone who has a strong shot but he doesn’t play for the team. And if he does, he doesn’t score as is the case right now at Liverpool. “He’s had so many chances, from (Manchester) City to Milan, and he’s thrown them away.” Mario Balotelli has been branded “ordinary” and a player who has repeatedly wasted great career opportunities by former team-mate Adel Taarabt. Press Association
(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.