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Two of Denmark’s largest commercial pension funds, PFA and Danica Pension, have reported steep investment losses for this year’s first quarter of 10.5% and 15.4% respectively, blaming the COVID-19 outbreak in their interim results statements.For mutual provider PFA, the 10.5% figure is the total return related to its PFA Plus market-rate product, while the number given by Danske Bank’s pensions subsidiary Danica Pension is the return on customer funds in its Danica Balance Mix product, for those with a medium risk profile and 20 years to retirement.At PFA, group CIO Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen said: “From mid-February, things began to turn, as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic began to make their mark on the financial markets.“When the virus appeared outside China in earnest, and Denmark, along with many other countries, shut down our society, the big falls quickly followed,” he added. PFA said its riskier assets such as listed equities had been hit the hardest, with that asset class ending the quarter with a 17.7% loss, while unlisted investments had remained more stable including the property portfolio, which was down 1.6%. Overall, alternatives suffered a 10.8% loss.“At these times, the goal is to minimise losses, and that is where our many investments in the unlisted area, e.g. in properties and offshore wind farms, show their strength, as they are more robust, and largely guarantee a fixed, regular income, even though financial markets are declining,” said Ahrndt Lorenzen.PFA said the negative returns seen in this year’s first quarter translated to losses of between 4.1% and 15.1% for its customers holding market-rate pension products, depending on their selected risk profiles.In absolute figures reported by the pensions firms in their interim reports, PFA said its total return on investment between January and March was minus DKK33bn (€4.42bn), compared with the DKK57.6bn it garnered for the whole of 2019.Danica Pension’s before-tax first quarter profit was reported as having fallen to DKK22m from DKK381m in Q1 2019, and it said it had managed to retain a solvency ratio of 189%, which was on a par with the level at the end of December 2019.Ole Krogh Petersen, Danica Pension chief executive, said: “We have a solid and robust investment strategy, which we are sticking to and which we believe will see our customers’ savings safely through to the other side of the corona crisis.”On the business side, the pensions subsidiary said premiums had increased at both its Danish and Norwegian operations in this year’s first quarter from the same period last year by 9% and 15% respectively.This came after it had gained around 200,000 new customers from its takeover of SEB Pension initiated two years ago, Danica Pension said.
(Letter to the Sports Editor)THE attention of the Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club M.S. has been drawn to an article in the Guyana Chronicle edition of Sunday May 14, under the headline ‘BCB launches Universal DVD 50 overs First Division Tournament’.The article is about the long-awaited launching of a First Division Cricket tournament which is welcome by the Management of the RHTY&SC M.S.What is of concern to all of us is a statement at the end of the article that the RHTY&SC was the only club that failed to attend the launching ceremony. This statement which has no meaning to the story is however false and incorrect.According to information no representative of Police, Upper Corentyne or Skeldon was present while the representative of Blairmont left before the start of the ceremony.The Management of the RHTY&SC M.S. is left to wonder what is the intention of the article’s author and would be grateful if he can inform us whether the presence of the RHTY&SC was necessary for the launching to be successful.As Secretary/CEO of the RHTY&SC, I was unaware of any launching. On Friday May 12, 2017 I was in Georgetown with several senior Club officials for meetings with Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Chief of Staff Brigadier Patrick West. After reading the article on Sunday, I enquired if any invitation was sent to the Club Office and was later told that someone had called the office on Friday at 16:30hrs.The call was received by an Under-15 player who forgot to pass on the message. In my 30 years’ experience as an Administrator, I have learnt that invitations are sent via email or in written format.The president (ag) of the BCB for some strange reason at the launching said that he informed our first division captain of the launching.The club office contacted our captain and he strongly denied the president’s (ag) statement. He stated that he was only informed of an upcoming cricket match on the 26th May at the Albion ground.The RHTY&SC is totally committed to the development of cricket and even donated to the said board when asked. What is sad is that people can visit the club office to bring in donation letters but cannot make sure that a proper invitation is sent to us.The author of the article owes the RHTY&SC M.S. a public apology and he could also let us know how the headline included the name Universal DVD, when no mention of the sponsorship was made at the launching. He should also let the general public know if he is still the PRO of the BCB as we understand that its “new management” has rejected his resignation.In a precious article of his, it was stated that cricket was played at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 levels in Berbice in 2017.The headline for the article was ‘Berbice Cricket in safe hands’. Personally, I would be very grateful if the author can inform me when the tournaments were played and the teams involved. I await the information.