Government says delay in holding Donegal SW by-election cannot be repeated

first_img Pinterest Government says delay in holding Donegal SW by-election cannot be repeated Previous articleDonegal could lose as many as two TDs under new Government plansNext articlePatsy Brogan back in court on new ‘Shebeen’ charges News Highland Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Following on from the year long delay in holding a by-election in Donegal South West last year, the government has confirmed today it will introduce a six-month rule for Dáil by-elections.Sinn Fein took legal action against the government last year which eventually led to the by-election being held – Pearse Doherty went on to win the by-election.Today Environment Minister Phil Hogan said ‘The farcical situation where political parties are forced to take High Court challenges to ensure by-elections are held should never be repeated’. Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By News Highland – May 4, 2011 center_img 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic News WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

Market bounce boosts second-quarter gains for Portuguese funds

first_imgPerformance figures were submitted to WTW by around 75% of the pension funds in Portugal, the overwhelming majority of them occupational funds. Jose Marques, Willis Towers WatsonMarques said: “The bond market across Europe saw very strong returns in the second quarter, caused by falling interest rates, which increased capital values.” He continued: “The equity market also enjoyed very strong returns, in particular France and Germany, returning over 5%. However, this has had only a modest impact on the Portuguese market, as a typical Portuguese pension fund invests a much smaller amount in equities than, for example, other European pension funds.”However, he added that for most Portuguese pension schemes the strong overall return was not enough to compensate for the increase in liabilities caused by the fall in interest rates.Marques said: “As liabilities have typically longer durations than the bonds in pension scheme portfolios, we expect most pension schemes to be less well funded than they were at the end of Q1.“An exception to this is the pension schemes which have hedged their liability interest rate risk by investing in longer-term bonds.”Annualised returns for Portuguese pension fundsChart MakerAnnualised returns for the three years to 30 June rose to 2.5%, from 2.2% for the three years to end-March. However, annualised returns for the five years to end-June fell to 2.1%, from 2.5% for the five years to end-March. At end-June, Portuguese pension fund portfolios were still heavily dominated by debt, which made up 62% of portfolios (including direct and indirect holdings), a slight increase over the quarter, according to data from regulator ASF and from the Association of Investment Funds, Pension Funds and Asset Management.Equities made up 19% and real estate 13% of portfolios at that date. Average asset allocation of Portuguese pension fundsChart MakerMarques said some portfolios had seen a small reduction in the allocation to Portuguese government bonds and an increase in Italian government bonds. “This is mainly a result of the search for yield from investors – which is sometimes prioritised over risk analysis – as Italian yields have increased relative to Portuguese yields,” he said. Further readingPortugal: Scene set for broad changes The introduction of new rules affecting pension funds and proposals for further changes by the Portuguese government are expected to have a significant impact on the future shape and functioning of the country’s pensions industry. The first-half bounce in equity markets helped Portugal’s pension funds to an average 2.1% gain for the 12 months to 30 June 2019, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW).The return compared with a 1% gain for the 12 months to end-March 2019.“The stock market rebounded strongly during Q1 2019 and continued through Q2, though far behind the 4% returns of the first quarter,” said José Marques, director of retirement at WTW.Marques continued: “The 1.5% second-quarter return – equivalent to over 6% per year – is what we would consider very positive, given the conservative nature of portfolios in Portugal.”last_img read more