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Swedish government calls on AP funds to justify domestic investment bias

first_img“A Swedish investor would therefore theoretically be able to achieve better diversification (lower risk) with sustained yield by reducing the bias towards the domestic market,” it said.However, the government’s report said the counter-argument was that the Swedish stock market had produced a higher nominal return over longer periods than other major exchanges.Between 2001 to 2013, the Swedish stock exchange produced average annual returns of 8% compared with the MSCI World in euros, which returned an annual average of 1.6% over the period.The report also recommended reviewing and defining the funds’ investment rules on bonds, as well as strategies for unquoted assets.Several of the funds had come close to the 30% floor on investment in bonds in 2013, it said.Over the last few years, it noted, the funds increased their allocation to alternative assets to around 15% from 5%.Of around SEK150bn (€13.5bn) the funds had invested in alternatives, SEK30bn was invested in non-listed assets, the report said.It said this development indicated there was reason to look at the possibility of the buffer funds working together in the area of non-listed investments to build skills and create cost synergies. The AP funds performed well in comparison with similar funds in other countries.In comparison with seven other such institutional investors including ABP in the Netherlands and CalPERS in the US, over the period 2004 to 2013, only Denmark’s ATP produced a nominal return higher than that generated by the AP buffer fund system.ATP returned 8.7% over the period, while the AP funds returned 7.1%.The report said ATP had benefited from a high proportion of fixed income assets combined with falls in interest rates until 2013.Last year, the AP funds as a whole produced a stated return of 13.5%, up from 11.6% the year before. Over the period 2001 to 2013, the return was 4.7%, above the 3.3% increase in the Swedish income index over the same timespan.The income index shows average income and is the basis for adjustments of debt in the country’s income pension system.Total fund assets in the AP fund system rose to SEK1.06trn at the end of 2013, up from SEK958bn at the end of 2012.The report acknowledged that the AP funds pension system was set to change in the summer of 2016 according to measures agreed by the Pension Group.Under the agreement, five of the pension funds — excluding AP7 — are to be restructured into three funds, and a single principal is to be appointed to set targets for the funds’ asset management and design a reference portfolio. Sweden’s AP buffer funds should reconsider their heavy home investment bias in light of the theoretically higher risk the approach poses, the government has said.In its 2013 annual report on the six funds — AP1 to AP4, AP6 and AP7 — the government said that, like other pension funds, the buffer funds tended to be overweight domestic assets compared with foreign investments.The report said: “Funds should clearly disclose the reasons for this ratio and comment on this in terms of expected returns and risk, and how this benefits the Swedish pension system.”The first to fourth AP funds had about 14% of assets allocated to Swedish equities, it said, adding that this was significantly more than a global index would indicate.last_img read more

USC dominates Oregon for fifth straight win

first_imgWhether it was powering through defenders, spinning off of tackles or sprinting away into the open field — sophomore running back Ronald Jones II did it all for USC in a 45-20 win over Oregon at the Coliseum on Saturday night.Jones ran for four touchdowns and 171 yards as the Trojans won their fifth straight game and claimed their first win over the Ducks at home since 2008. The sophomore became just the 14th player in USC history to rush for four touchdowns in a game — tying a school record — and the first to do so since LenDale White in 2005.“It means a lot to me,” Jones said on tying the record for touchdowns in a game. “There are a lot of great running backs that came before me. To be in a category with those running backs means a lot.” Of his scores, the longest was a 66-yard run on the opening drive of the second half. Jones went up the middle through a gaping hole and made a cut to elude the final defender before taking it the rest of the way with open field in front of him.Ronald Jones II scores from 23 yards out, his first of four rushing touchdowns – Trevor Sochocki | Daily Trojan“I hold my breath every time he touches it because I know there’s a chance he could go all the way,” head coach Clay Helton said.USC outgained Oregon 270-85 yards on the ground, with the offensive line blocking effectively and the defense holding its ground against a Ducks squad that averaged a Pac-12 leading 248 yards a game coming into the night.“I think my offensive line did a great job of making it look easy,” Jones said. “They were getting a great push off the blocks and I was just following their reads.”It wasn’t just stopping the run; USC’s defense stood tall and limited Oregon well below its average of 40.5 points per game. The Trojans forced five three-and-outs and had one fourth down stop.“We just came out and established what we were doing,” sophomore defensive end Porter Gustin said. “We challenged ourselves all week to stop the run game. We made it a goal of ours to come out and stop the run … and I think we did that pretty well.”Jones’ third rushing touchdown gave the Trojans a 31-6 lead early in the third quarter. The Ducks, led by true freshman quarterback Justin Herbert, answered with a touchdown on the ensuing drive and had a chance to draw closer after defensive back Brenden Schooler intercepted Darnold near midfield. But Oregon’s drive stalled at the 11-yard line when Herbert’s pass attempt on fourth down was knocked down by Porter Gustin. Darnold put the game away on USC’s next possession, finding redshirt senior tight end Taylor McNamara in the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown. The score was set up by a classic Darnold play — the quarterback scrambled and turned away from pressure before launching a deep pass to redshirt freshman tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe for a 37-yard reception.Daniel Imatorbhebhe pulls down a catch from Sam Darnold – Nick Entin | Daily Trojan“It’s like playing with a Steve Nash-type player,” Imatorbhebhe said on Darnold. “You’ve always got to be ready for the ball, even when he’s not looking at you. I’m super grateful to have him as my quarterback.”Darnold finished with 309 yards on 28-of-40 passing and two touchdowns. Jones scored once more early in the fourth quarter, pounding it in from a yard out after a 31-yard run set up first and goal at the 1-yard line.“When he electrifies the Coliseum, there’s nothing like it,” Darnold said on Jones. “Just sit back and watch those holes open up and watch him do his thing. He’s hard to tackle in the open field and he’s super fast. Whenever you’ve got a guy like that, you’ve got to utilize him as much as possible and we definitely did that tonight.”After settling for a field goal on their first drive, the Trojans scored touchdowns on their next two drives in the first quarter. Jones blasted through the Oregon defense for USC’s first touchdown, barreling up the middle at full speed from 23 yards out.Tyler Petite reaches for a pass from Sam Darnold – Trevor Sochocki | Daily TrojanOn the next drive, Darnold was perfect on all three pass attempts to set up first and goal. From the three-yard line, Jones appeared to be in the grasp of two Oregon defenders, but spun free and ran around the right side for his second touchdown of the night to give USC a 17-0 lead.Oregon got on the board before the end of the first quarter. After redshirt sophomore punter Chris Tilbey’s punt from the back of his end zone went just 24 yards, Ducks wide receiver Charles Nelson took an end-around on the first play of the drive for a 25-yard touchdown. A slow second quarter featured two punts for each team — until USC broke through before the end of the half on a 10-play drive that took under two minutes. Darnold hit sophomore wide receiver Deontay Burnett four times in the drive, including a 15-yard completion to the goal line. The pair finished the drive off on first and goal, with Darnold rolling to his left and finding Burnett for a two-yard touchdown.Darnold said he and Burnett have “great chemistry,” but it also applies to the entire receiving corps. Nine different players caught passes for USC on Saturday.“It’s a testament to all of our guys,” Darnold said. “All of our guys do a great job of running the routes and expecting the ball on every single play. Everyone is taking advantage of their opportunities.” The Trojans took a 24-6 lead into halftime and wound up holding the Ducks to a season-low 288 yards. “They’re very talented and very well coached,” Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said on USC’s defense.Herbert added that USC’s defense “brought a lot of stuff” that Oregon didn’t prepare for. The Trojans recorded three sacks and seven tackles for losses.“Probably the different blitzes, coming from just about everywhere,” Herbert said on what gave Oregon problems.USC is now 6-3 and will bring a five-game win streak into Seattle against the No. 5 Huskies next week in a game that could make or break their hopes in the Pac-12 South race. Washington is unbeaten this season and will be a test for the Trojans on the road.“They’re a great team, a playoff contender,” Darnold said. “We’ve just got to look at them as another opponent [and] go in with the mindset that we’re able to beat them.”last_img read more