Great Portland joins chase to buy back expensive bonds

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PFA ups exposure to local enterprise

first_imgDanish pension fund PFA said it is increasing its exposure to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Denmark by raising its stake in Kirk & Thoresen Invest.PFA — the country’s largest commercial pensions provider — said it decided to boost its ownership stake in the private equity firm to 30% from 16%. A PFA spokesman declined to say how much the investment would cost.Henrik Heideby, managing director of the £417bn pensions company, said: “For a long time we have wanted to support small and medium-sized businesses more and therefore the thousands of Danish jobs that are a part of Danish economic life.” Heideby already sits on the board of Kirk & Thoresen Invest, which has holdings in library supplier Biblioeksmedier, air purifier, Lesni, and supplier of native and exotic meats, Dencon, amongst others.Apart from increasing its stake in the firm, PFA said it was also making a loan facility available to Kirk & Thoresen. “We don’t have the set up internally in PFA to screen the market to see which of these smaller companies have the necessary potential,” Heideby said.“Apart from that, these types of investment often require you as the investor to give concrete leadership and economic advice to the businesses concerned,” he said.PFA did not have the set up to act as a business doctor, he said.Heideby said the pension company’s desire to support SMEs was not driven by idealism.“We are not philanthropists, we will invest in companies we believe will give a good return,” he said.Heideby said PFA would like to make more investments of this type.“With this model I believe we, as a very big institutional investor, will also have the opportunity to work on projects that are so small that we would normally not get involved in them,” he said. PFA said it also had investments in Erhvervsinvest and SE Blue Equity, which invested in SMEs in Denmark.The Danish government has made moves to encourage the country’s pension funds to lend to SMEs since bank lending has become harder for the companies to come by as a knock-on effect of the financial crisis.At the end of last year, it extracted a pledge from the pensions industry to to promote pension fund lending to SMEs as well as working to bolster their access to capital resources.This was part of larger deal to ease the pressure on the level of reserves pension funds needed by extending a previously altered discount yield curve.last_img read more

Miami defense limits Christmas enough in 1st half to hold off big man’s strong finish

first_img Published on January 24, 2015 at 10:28 pm Contact Phil: | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+ For one half, Rakeem Christmas looked like the unproductive Rakeem Christmas of old.It was, truly, a tale of two halves for the senior. Miami’s trapping strategy and tough interior defense led to an inefficient first half for the Syracuse big man while forward Tyler Roberson reaped the benefits. But Christmas’ more aggressive second half filled out the stat line — 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting — the SU senior is more accustomed to generating.Still, his resurgence wasn’t enough Saturday, as the Orange (14-6, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) fell to the Hurricanes (14-5, 4-2), 66-62, in the Carrier Dome.“If we want to win, we’ve definitely got to have him the ball,” Syracuse forward Michael Gbinije said. “We needed him the ball at all times, not just the end.”Instead of assigning their biggest interior defender to the Syracuse offense’s focal point, the Hurricanes had 7-foot, 244-pound center Tonye Jekiri defend Roberson loosely with the freedom to roam the paint as a help defender and guard the rim.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat opened up chances for Roberson to be the Orange’s leading scorer with eight points at halftime, while also grabbing eight boards en route to his fourth double-double of the year.Although Christmas was often able to cleanly pass out of Miami’s 4-5 trap — which limited Duke phenom Jahlil Okafor in UM’s win on Jan. 13 — the Hurricanes’ physicality distanced him from the basket. By the time Christmas made his first field goal of the game with 2:21 remaining in the first half, he had committed a turnover and missed three jumpers and a layup— plus three foul shots.“He was making his moves in the first half,” SU guard Trevor Cooney said. “I don’t know what was happening. They just seemed not to go in, really.”But to counter Roberson’s production and UM forward Omar Sherman’s foul trouble, the Hurricanes switched to a 1-5 trap after halftime and sent point guard Angel Rodriguez to double team Christmas and leave SU guard Ron Patterson — who scored just three points all game — unattended.The change helped hold Roberson to just two second-half points, but sending Rodriguez, a smaller defender, didn’t stop Christmas from being the scoring machine he’d been all season — even as the Hurricanes switched the bigger Jekiri on him.“I was starting to get shots I was normally taking,” he said.After netting just five points in the first half and missing three of his first four attempts of the second, Christmas went right at Miami’s Ivan Cruz Uceda for an and-one with 12:06 left and didn’t miss again from the field. The bucket started a run of 13 Christmas points that carried the Orange out of a 12-point deficit and brought the game to a 56-54 Hurricanes lead.Instead of flipping up hook shots from the middle of the paint, the big man was instead maneuvering around Miami defenders and attacking the basket head-on.The Orange again turned to Christmas for a basket in the final minute to cut UM’s lead to one, but Syracuse’s free-throw struggles — highlighted by Christmas’ 5-for-11 showing from the line — were too much to overcome in the end.Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said the SU senior should be in serious consideration for ACC player of the year. Christmas’ final stat line from Saturday would support that.Larranaga was being sarcastic when he said his Hurricanes did “a hell of a job” defending Christmas, but the fact that Miami’s now beaten two of the ACC’s premier big men — despite what their final stat lines were — wouldn’t refute that statement, either.Said Larranaga: “We decided the team probably has some confidence in that strategy and we’ll do it again and see if it works, and it did in the first half.” Commentslast_img read more

Sundowns reward Africa’s best Onyango with new deal

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Uganda’s goalkeeper Denis Onyango saves a shot on goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Ghana and Uganda in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017. AFP PHOTOONYANGO: After a historic year in which he led his South African club to African glory and national team Uganda Cranes to a first Nations Cup finals since 1978, Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed another long-term contract for their 31-year-old goalkeeper Denis Onyango.“Sundowns have also tied down goalkeeper Denis Onyango, who signed a four year contract extension,” Sundowns said on their website.Onyango has been at Sundowns since June 2011 when he first signed a three-year deal.Shot-stopper Onyango was a constant factor as Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned CAF Champions League winners, and was eventually voted CAF African Based Player of the Year – both a first for a Ugandan player.Onyango was also in goal as Uganda qualified for the Nations Cup final for the first time in 39 years, by beating Comoros 1-0 and featured in two of their games in the Nations Cup final in Gabon. Uganda drew one game, 1-1 against Mali, but fell 1-0 to both Egypt and Ghana.last_img read more

Final day singles success tips balance England’s way

first_img19 May 2014 Final day singles success tips balance England’s way England completed a narrow but thrilling 13-11 victory over France in the biennial contest at Fontainebleau over the weekend, erasing the memory of the same scoreline in favour of the French at Chantilly four years ago.After three series of intense rivalry the teams were level at 8-8, so it all came down to the final day singles which England secured 5-3 to complete their 28th victory in the event.“This was an excellent victory over a young French team,” said Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s Performance Director. “Although we were tied 8-8 going into the final series of singles I was confident because of the way the players performed the previous day, but the foursomes results were not what we were looking for.“However, our form in the singles was excellent and I’m looking forward to seeing more from these players in the lead up to selection for the European Team Championships.”It was fortunate that the English players showed their true form in the singles as the French won both series of foursomes 2½-1½, a format England usually control as they did in the previous meeting at Rochester & Cobham two years ago.England also took the opening series of singles 5-3 to lead 6½-5½ at the end of day one but the French repeated the performance in the Sunday foursomes to draw level with everything to play for in the Sunday singles.Ryan Evans gave England momentum by winning the top single 3&2 over Ugo Coussaud, claiming five consecutive birdies from the fifth to take control.Ashley Chesters, the European champion, did further damage with four birdies to defeat Paul Elissalde 4&3, while Paul Howard romped home 5&4 against Mathieu Decottignies-Lafon.It was left to Jimmy Mullen (image copyright Leaderboard Photography), winning 4&3 over Antoine Kuoch, to see England over the line and retaining the trophy.Two birdies on the final three holes saw Romain Langasque secure a half against Jordan Smith while the French claimed their two victories through Leonardo Bem, 4&3 over Nick Marsh, and 3 &1 by Augustin Holé, against Toby Tree.Never up in his game with Harry Casey, Thomas Le Berre secured a half with a birdie on the last hole.Chesters was the pick of the England team, winning all four of his games, while Smith was also unbeaten with three wins and a half.“My team fought well,” said Renaud Gray, the French coach. “But against some of the English players, Ryan Evans in particular, there wasn’t much they could do. England was a little stronger than us this afternoon. We are obviously disappointed with the result. We believed we could do it after this morning’s foursomes but this afternoon we were not offered a lot of points. You really had to go and get them.”last_img read more