The unit-link product Skandia Basic similarly ended the quarter with higher returns than those posted in the first quarter – 2.5% to 4.4% versus 0.7% and 1.3% – but underperformed the benchmark in the second quarter.“This is because the reference index is denominated in US dollars, which rose significantly in value during the period,” Skandia Denmark said.Because of this, the Basic portfolio – although it was hedged against currency risk versus US dollars – lost ground against the reference index, it said.Skandia said its investment department had decided to overweight equities in the portfolio compared with bonds because financial markets had been hit in the second quarter by a series of measures from central banks to ease credit.But with Danish mortgage bonds making up the bulk of Skandia Denmark’s fixed income portfolio, fixed income returns had been boosted by a further reduction in interest rates, as well as the European Central Bank’s lending programme to the financial sector at the end of the quarter.“On top of this,” it added, “as a result of positive tendencies in emerging markets, we increased our exposure to government bonds from these countries.”In other news, PensionDanmark is investing DKK175m (€23.5m) in a commercial property in Copenhagen already let to a government agency.It is buying the asset from MP Pension, the Danish labour-market pension fund for academics run by Unipension.The building in the Østerbro district of the Danish capital is currently leased by the Danish Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet), and contains 14,273sqm of space.Torben Möger Pedersen, PensionDanmark’s chief executive, said: “We see this as a good real estate investment in an attractive location close to the S-train (urban rail network) and the coming metro station on the Cityring.”He said the pension fund had a very solid tenant in the Danish Working Environment Authority – and therefore the state – so the investment would give scheme members a good and stable return.PensionDanmark said, since it sold its entire residential property portfolio in June, it now had just under DKK10bn in overall real estate investments.In the next few years, the fund said it expected to make new investments in residential as well as commercial property of DKK2bn a year.At the moment, PensionDanmark is the developer of six large commercial construction projects, either alone or in cooperation with other investors.These include the Alfa Laval headquarters in Ålborg, Semco Maritime in Esbjerg, Nordea Bank Danmark in Ørestaden, NCC in Gladsaxe and, soon, MTH in Søborg, as well as the new psychiatric hospital in Vejle.Its next big residential project will be the construction on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen, which will include 550 new homes. Investment returns on unit-link pension products at Skandia Denmark undercut benchmarks in the second quarter of 2014, prompting the unit of Nordic financial group Skandia to sell shares in US companies.Reporting some results for the April to June period, Skandia Denmark said its Skandia Match unit-link pensions product had produced between 2.9% and 3.8%, up from the 2.6% to 3.1% range reported for the first quarter but lower than the reference index.The company said: “A significant reason for this are the falls partly on the Japanese stock market but particularly on the US market at the start of the quarter.“Skandia’s investment department has since reduced the exposure to both small and large US companies.”
A new project has been announced to reduce the potential environmental impact of future mining by making exploration for deep-seafloor mineral deposits much more effective. ‘Project ULTRA’ has been funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), and will be led by Professor Bramley Murton at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).Deep-seafloor mineral deposits can provide vital new metals for emerging technologies, including those that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many deposits were formed by hot springs on the seafloor and the vast majority of these now lie under a blanket of marine sediment. The big question facing geologists is whether these buried mineral deposits still contain valuable metals – have the minerals dissolved since they formed thousands of years ago beneath the Earth’s crust, or become even more concentrated?‘Project ULTRA’ will address these questions using a robotic drilling rig to drill the deposits – this will also generate the first three dimensional image of the deposits, using scientific instruments on the surrounding seafloor to listen to vibrations from the drill as it bores through the seafloor. The boreholes will then be sealed and returned to a year later, when fluids will be tapped-off from the plugs to test for reactions deep inside the deposit, NOC explained.The rock core taken by the drill, and these fluid samples, will reveal the composition and structure of these types of mineral deposit, their sub-seafloor fluid pathways, alteration of the host rock, and the preservation processes of their ore minerals.By using this information to identify where the most valuable metals are located in the deposit, Project ULTRA will help ensure any future exploitation would be able to minimize the disturbance to the seafloor and its surrounding environment.This project forms part of the NOC’s ongoing research into seafloor resources and is a collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS), the Universities of Southampton, Cardiff and Leeds, Memorial University in Canada, as well as Oxford Museum, GEOMAR, Nautilus Minerals, VNIIOkeangeologia from Russia, and SMD.
Area Baseball Sectional ScoresWednesday (5-22)Class 1A-Sectional 60 @ Jac-Cen-Del.Oldenburg 8 Jac-Cen-Del 2Hauser 7 North Decatur 5Class 2A-Sectional 45 @ South Ripley.Austin 8 Switzerland County 2Class 3A-Sectional 29 @ South Dearborn.Greensburg 8 Lawrenceburg 5Class 4A-Sectional 14 @ East Central.Bloomington South 1 Bloomington North 0Columbus East 1 Shelbyville 0
Syracuse broke its two-game slide with an 81-48 upset victory over No. 14 Miami on Sunday afternoon. Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson led the way for the Orange, combining to outscore Miami 53-48. SU plays next on Jan. 29 at Virginia Tech.Here are the best sights from Syracuse’s biggest win of the year. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm
ANAHEIM — For a few years, the biggest decision hanging over the Angels’ front office was whether they would be able to sign Mike Trout to an extension. Now, it’s whether they’ll be able to lure one or two marquee pitchers this winter.But looming just in the background, there is Andrelton Simmons.As he finishes what he called a “disappointing” season, Simmons is approaching the end of the seven-year extension he signed with the Atlanta Braves before the Angels acquired him.Simmons is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. Historically, elite defensive shortstops like Omar Vizquel, Barry Larkin and Ozzie Smith all played the position until they were 40. Cal Ripken Jr. made it until 35 before moving to third base.Simmons, a four-time Gold Glove winner, might be in that group.“I don’t see why not,” he said. “I don’t feel like I lost any steps. This year I kind of did (because of the ankle injury), but right now I feel really good about the ankle situation. I feel pretty good about moving around. I don’t see why not. I feel good at shortstop right now.”Angels general manager Billy Eppler, who worked for the Yankees throughout most of Jeter’s career, said a player’s mind can counter the effects of age.“I compare him to an elite point guard who has high court awareness and and anticipates the ball really well,” Eppler said. “Your overall baseball intelligence can help you continue to be impactful at a position as perhaps your sprint speed or overall foot speed or agility might start to regress.”This season, perhaps because of the ankle injury he first suffered lunging for first base on May 20, Simmons has sprung some holes in his game.Simmons’ Ultimate Zone Rating is the lowest of his career, pro-rated by playing time. His Defensive Runs Saved, however, are about the same as last year, on a per-game basis. Fielding percentage is considered an incomplete measure of defense, but Simmons’ right now has a career-worst .969 mark.“It’s hard for me to critique myself,” Simmons said. “I only see what I didn’t do well. I don’t know what the numbers say I’ve been doing. I know I’ve made some mistakes here and there. Everybody does, except Omar Vizquel. I feel like I could have done better overall. Not terrible, but not as good as I would want.”Manager Brad Ausmus said Simmons is “still the best defensive shortstop in the game.”At the plate, the decline has been more dramatic. All three elements of Simmons’ slash line – a .256 batting average, .301 on-base percentage and .355 slugging percentage – are worsts in his four seasons with the Angels.Statcast metrics that grade hitters on the quality of contact, not just the results, also rate Simmons in the bottom 2 percent in the league in expected slugging percentage and expected weighted on-base percentage.The injuries are likely responsible for much of that. Simmons was out for about five weeks with the first ankle injury. Then he came back – quicker than expected – and played for about a month before getting hurt again, missing three more weeks.“It’s been kind of a chopped-up season for him,” Ausmus said.Simmons and Eppler said rhythm at the plate is tough to establish with significant gaps in playing time.“I think that had a big impact,” Simmons said. “It’s not the only thing. I remember seeing Chipper Jones going through a little procedure with knee stuff and picking up right where he left off. It doesn’t happen in every case. This year has been a little tougher for me getting back into a rhythm and feeling comfortable.”Considering the way Simmons’ season has gone, it would be no surprise if the Angels waited until at least the middle of next season before deciding if they want to sign him to an extension.They can also further evaluate David Fletcher and Luís Rengifo, either of whom could become the everyday shortstop if Simmons isn’t around beyond 2020.Related Articles “It’s crossed my mind,” Simmons said, “but not seriously. I’m just trying to get back in good shape and start swinging the bat as well as I know I can.”The situation with Simmons is tricky because this year has been one of his worst, which he and the Angels attribute to a pair of ankle injuries that cost him two trips to the injured list.Also, Simmons just turned 30. His next contract will start with his age-31 season, which is approaching dangerous territory in shortstop years.Over the past 10 seasons, just 18.4 percent of the players who played at least 50 games in a season at shortstop have been 31 or older. Only 13.3 percent were 32 or older, and 9.5 percent 33 or older.The exceptions to the rule have been players such as Derek Jeter, who played shortstop until he was 40. Jimmy Rollins played shortstop until he was 36, and José Reyes until he was 34. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Or, the Angels could sign Simmons to an extension this winter, reworking his deal to lower his 2020 salary from $15 million, which would create more payroll space to add pitching. When the Angels signed Justin Upton to an extension in November 2017, they reduced his 2018 salary by more than $6 million to create payroll flexibility.A much more radical scenario is that the Angels could trade Simmons this winter, which would clear the entire $15 million to make upgrades elsewhere.That seems unlikely, though, considering how highly the Angels still think of him, even after an injury-marred season.“We understand what Andrelton brings,” Eppler said, “and value him playing in the middle of the diamond.”UP NEXTAngels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 4-4, 4.30 ERA) vs. Rays (TBD), Friday, 7:07 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter