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Bacary Sagna defends ‘amazing’ Alexandre Lacazette after criticism from Arsenal fans Comment Metro Sport ReporterMonday 6 Apr 2020 1:46 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.9kShares Advertisement The French forward has endured a mixed season (Picture: Getty)The former Arsenal defender added: ‘He is getting kicked for his team-mates and this is why, for me, he is vital to the team’s system.‘He is running a lot. You know how tiring it is to run all the time and press from the front? It’s very tiring, people don’t realise how difficult it is.‘On top of this, yes you have to score goals. People will ask to score goals because we only remember goalscorers, but he is doing a lot.’MORE: Jesse Lingard desperate to stay at Man Utd despite Arsenal interestMORE: Troy Deeney singles out Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka for special praise Advertisement Bacary Sagna has defended Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette (Picture: Getty)Bacary Sagna has defended ‘amazing’ Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette after he received criticism from the club’s fans.Frenchman Lacazette was named Arsenal’s player of the year for the 2018-19 season but has been criticised for his contributions during the current campaign.The 28-year-old has netted seven goals in 20 Premier League appearances, with Arsenal only ninth in the English top-flight and already out of the Europa League.But Sagna insists Arsenal fans should not judge Lacazette purely on his goals tally and says his compatriot is an ‘amazing’ and ‘vital’ member of Mikel Arteta’s squad.ADVERTISEMENT‘Laca is vital. He is the type of player who gives everything for the team,’ Sagna told Goal.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Of course you always see the one scoring the goals, like Aubameyang – who is a goalscoring machine – but the amount of work Laca puts in is amazing.‘The way he holds the ball, the way he fights for the ball, the way he presses the defence.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘This is invisible work that not everyone will see. But for Arsenal’s system and the way they want to play, he is amazing.‘He can score many goals, in front of the goal he is clinical. But most of the time he has his back to the goal.‘When he receives the ball, he is trying to protect and defend the ball for other players.’
Elements Retirement Living in Springwood is well underway with its latest stage of 16 three-bedroom and four two-bedroom homes due to be finished by November.BABY Boomers are getting the size of their retirement home “right” without sacrificing quality. Elements Retirement Living managing director Chiou See Anderson said retirees aged 53 to 71 were leading a trend to “right size” their home, wanting a single level home with a guest bedroom, private courtyard and good security.“A Queensland survey of 750 people shows they want to enjoy a beautiful, comfortable home with all of the mod-cons, but also expect to be able to just lock the door and hit the road,” Ms Anderson said. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoElements Retirement Living in Springwood“Larger-than-average showers with an integrated bench seat and no step or door make iteasier and safer for people who may develop mobility issues in the future.“There is also plenty of storage, so residents can hang on to a lifetime of possessions theyhave an emotional connection with. Downsizing shouldn’t mean giving up things you love.”Priced from $480,000 the homes have been designed to capture the breeze, with patios and outdoor entertaining. Elements Retirement Living in SpringwoodShe said the results were reflected in the latest stage of construction at the $60 million Elements village, at Springwood south of Brisbane, with 16 three-bedroom and four two-bedroom homes set to be completed by November.“The home design has been steered by the very specific needs of our residents,” Ms Anderson said.“Every consideration has been given to modern retirees’ busy lives, accessibility andcomfort, for example, we’ve used bamboo floors in the living and dining areas — they are easy to clean but they also have some ‘give’ which means they are more forgiving on backs, kneesand hips. Elements Retirement Living in SpringwoodConnectivity has also been thought of, with Elements boasting its own private fibre opticnetwork in partnership with an Australian owned telco company.“Almost all our residents are technologically savvy and they happily go online to researchinformation, pay bills, book trips, shop or keep up with friends and relatives,” Ms Andersonsaid.“Having our own fibre optic network means our residents have access to the fastest possibleupload and download speeds.”The community also has a recently built Club Elements, a clubhouse designed for socialising, a wellness retreat, gym and pool and an authentic Zen garden for the ultimate relaxation.
Eva Halvarsson, chief executive of AP2, said: “Our long-term strategy of increasing exposure to emerging markets and other investments — as to manage as large a proportion as possible of assets internally — contributed to a good net return and continued low costs in relation to managed capital.”Its sister fund, AP3, recorded a 5.4% return after expenses in the first half of the year, beating its benchmark by 2 percentage points. Over the past five years the fund’s annual average return was 11.1%.CEO Kerstin Hessius said the “strong performance” was a result of returns from equity and domestic real estate allocations in particular.Meanwhile, Sweden’s largest pension fund Alecta reported increased returns on both its defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension products, compared to the same period last year.The DC product, Alecta Optimal Pension, recorded a 5.8% return between January and June, beating its benchmark by 1.5 percentage points. This compared to a loss of 1.6% in the first half of 2016. The DB pensions insurance product gained 4%, up from 0.4% in H1 2016, the firm said in its interim report.The group’s solvency level rose to 173% at the end of June from 154% at the same point in 2016, and total assets grew to SEK830.7bn (€87.3bn), from SEK793.2bn at the end of December 2016.Elsewhere, AMF reported a 4.2% total return for the first half, up from 1.1% in the same period last year. Total assets under management grew to SEK588bn at the end of June, from SEK563bn at the end of December.Javiera Ragnartz, CIO at AMF, said: “We have been given our savers a good return over these six months, which has not least been driven by strong progress on the Swedish stock exchange during the spring.”But she warned that despite the brighter economic situation, political uncertainty could have an impact. This, combined with current low interest rates, underlined the need for a good spread of investment risk, she said.DenmarkDenmark’s largest commercial pension fund PFA said returns on its market-rate pensions rose to between 2.6% and 6% in the first half of this year, including the addition of the customer capital supplement which arises from the provider’s mutual status.This compared to returns of between zero and 3.9% on market-rate pensions in the same period last year.Listed equities was the strongest performing asset class, producing a 5.4% return in the period, it said in its interim report. Including US dollar hedging, that return was 7.2%, which was more than double the MSCI All Country return of 3.1% in Danish kroner terms.Alternative investments, meanwhile, produced 0.6% in the period, PFA said. The alternatives return was affected by a significant increase in new fund commitments, where the long-term expected return was high, but would only materialise after a few years, PFA added.Real estate returned 2.2% and bonds lost 0.3% in the period.NorwayMunicipal pensions provider KLP posted a 3% return on customer assets for the first half, up from 2.7% in the same period last year. KLP said returns from equity and property had been the biggest contributors to the result.Sverre Thornes, KLP’s chief executive, said: “The return on our customer pension funds are significantly greater than the return we guaranteed, and forms the basis for the profits we can share with our customers and owners.”In the corporate segment there was continued interest in the transition to DC pensions, the provider said. During the first half of the year, 146 new corporate customers signed pensions deals with its KLP Bedriftspensjon division.KLP’s group total assets rose to NOK628bn (€67.8bn) at the end of June, from NOK596bn at the end of December. Some of the Nordic region’s largest funds have reported their financial results for the first six months of the year in recent days.SwedenSweden’s AP2, the second national pensions buffer fund, said its strategy of boosting exposure to emerging markets and internal management paid off in the first half of this year. It reported a 4.8% investment return for the period.The return was 0.1 percentage points above the fund’s benchmark, and was achieved in spite of turbulent markets in the January-to-June reporting period, the fund said.
Economic gains from digitisation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) should be shared with working people, for example by stopping planned increases to the state pension age, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).It said the income gains from higher productivity could be used to make such a shift possible.In July, the UK government announced the state pension age will increase to 68 between 2037 and 2039. This is seven years earlier than was planned.In a report, ‘Shaping Our Digital Future’, the TUC said the government was suggesting it would save 0.3% of GDP by 2066/67 by bringing forward increases in the state pension age to 68 for those now in their forties. “Estimate of the productivity gain from artificial intelligence dwarf that figure, with PwC suggesting a 10% boost to GDP by 2030 as a result of AI,” added the TUC.“If we do see those benefits arrive, reversing increases in the state pension age and enabling more people to enjoy a decent retirement should be a priority.”Government, business and trade unions must work together to mitigate disruption to working people’s lives from technological innovation, said the TUC.It estimated that two-thirds of the 2030 workforce was already in work today. More backing for LGPS cost codeRoyal London has become the latest asset manager to sign up to the local government pension scheme’s (LGPS) cost disclosure code.Royal London Asset Management said it manages over £3.6bn on behalf of 50 local authorities, including 14 LGPS funds.Some 15 asset managers have signed up to the voluntary code, according to the LGPS Advisory Board website.The code provides a template for asset managers to break down their fees and disclose aspects such as transaction costs.The LGPS Advisory Board is searching for a provider to collect and analyse data it receives via use of the costs template. For more on UK institutional investors’ costs, see the September issue of IPE MagazineUK companies scale back quarterly reportingThe number of FTSE 100 companies issuing quarterly reports since October 2016 has fallen by 19%, with a drop of 25% among FTSE 250 mid-cap companies, according to the Investment Management Association (IA).Over 40% of the 100 largest UK-listed companies no longer issue quarterly reports to shareholders, and over 60% of FTSE 250 companies, it said.The IA issued a call for companies to stop quarterly reporting last October, to discourage them from engaging in short-term behaviour and instead “refocus their reporting on the long-term strategic drivers of value creation in their businesses”.Commenting on the drop in quarterly reporting, the IA said its call was being heeded.The call was in line with the trade body’s March 2016 action plan to boost productivity in the UK.The IA said it had completed over half of the recommendations it had set out in the action plan and that it is on track to complete the remaining actions by 2019.Jobs still on its agenda include working with the Pensions Regulator, the Pensions Lifetime & Savings Association and investment consultants to develop best-practice guidance on how stewardship and long-term incentives can be better incorporated into mandate design and statements of investment principles.In connection with this another action still to be completed, according to an update on its plan, is to encourage investment consultants to issue public position statements describing how their activities support the provision of long-term investment approaches and stewardship in mandate design and performance evaluation.The IA also plans to continue working with the International Accounting Standards Board to expedite research on accounting for intangibles, and examine methodologies for calculating average holding periods with a view to developing a standard approach across the industry.
The €28bn Dutch industry-wide scheme PGB has started a co-operation with US private equity investment firm RCP Advisors for a €460m ($500m) investment, it has announced.In a joint statement, the multi-sector scheme said the investment in North American private equity funds – representing approximately 1.5% of its assets – will focus on the lower mid market segment.The pension fund said that RCP will be responsible for the selection and monitoring of the programme, and will also be involved in the investments by taking a “significant” additional stake.Rob Heerkens, the scheme’s trustee for balance and asset management, said that the five-year programme is aimed at value creation, not only through operational improvements, but also through job creation and environmental and social governance (ESG). “The programme is an attractive addition to our European private equity platform, which started in 2019 and is run by Aberdeen Standard with commitments totalling €150m,” he said.According to the trustee, PGB aims to expand its combined private equity portfolio to 2.5%.He added that the US investments will be made in close co-operation with a dedicated team of its own fiduciary manager PGB Pension Services.Heerkens further explained that the pension fund’s strategy included guiding international expansion, recruitment of external management to assist growth as well as expanding the range of products and services offered.The pension fund said the targeted surplus return of the North American investments is 2 percentage points relative to listed equity. It said the investment comes at the expense of its equity holdings.Dick Tol, senior portfolio manager for private equity at PGB Pension Services, highlighted that most of the returns are expected to be generated through growth rather than financial leverage.He said his team will closely monitor developments on job creation as well as environmental aspects at the companies involved, adding that ESG, including climate criteria, will be part of every investment decision.Jeff Gehl, founding and managing partner at RCP, said his “experienced team and extensive network across North America will provide PGB with the capacity and experience to assess a wide range of investment opportunities for a broadly diversified portfolio”.PGB and RCP said both entities will judge whether the costs structure in any fund commitment is appropriate for the targeted return and delivered services.They will also ensure that companies in the portfolio report on energy use, emissions, environmental policies, anti-corruption measures as well as diversity, the statement disclosed.“Every firm will be assessed for its contribution to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).”Chicago-headquartered RCP Advisors provides access to North America’s lower middle market fund managers, primarily through fund of funds, but also through secondary funds, co-investment funds as well as private credit solutions through its affiliate Five Points Credit.It also provides advisory and research services. Currently it has more than €7.1bn of committed capital, it said.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
Tango FLNG (Image courtesy of Exmar)Rising natural gas production in Argentina, coupled with competitive global LNG transportation costs, is expected to position the country as an emerging source of gas supply to Asia during peak demand periods.Global LNG demand is showing increasing seasonality, and peak potential LNG production in Argentina during the summer months coincides with strong winter demand from utilities in Asia, research by the consultancy Wood Mackenzie shows.This seasonal dynamic could attract Asian buyers and present a strong economic case for Argentinian LNG.In addition, Argentinian LNG liquefaction plants have lower shipping costs to reach Asian markets than US Gulf Coast facilities, avoiding potential Panama Canal congestions and presenting an overall cheaper alternative to US exports.Supported by the Vaca Muerta, Argentina’s production in the Neuquén basin will ramp up over the next few years, with major scale LNG production expected to begin in 2024.Based on the new research, Wood Mackenzie anticipates that LNG production volumes could potentially reach 6 million tonnes per annum (mmtpa) in that year, which could then grow to 10 mmtpa by 2030.Associated gas from Vaca Muerta will also represent 15 percent of Argentina gas production by 2024, and other projects in the condensate and dry gas window with breakevens below $3 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) will enter into full development in the upcoming years.A lack of underground natural gas storage facilities close to demand centers in Argentina means that gas flow to potential LNG export terminals will also be seasonal.Despite other price challenges posed by the seasonal utilization of LNG plants, Wood Mackenzie estimates breakevens for Argentina LNG of $8/mmbtu at delivery ex. ship for Japan.Mauro Chavez Rodriguez, principal analyst, Latin America Gas & LNG, said, “Vaca Muerta’s gas production has dramatically changed the outlook for Argentinian gas. It is already bringing cheap gas for local industry and also supporting the construction of new major gas pipelines.“Nevertheless, not even the domestic demand and exports to neighboring countries such as Chile and Brazil are enough for Vaca Muerta’s gas potential. LNG exports could be a solution that enables Vaca Muerta’s production to continue the growth story.“Argentina’s LNG could be interesting to players who want to diversify supply outside North America. The seasonality of its output could be also seen as a virtue for Asian utilities that are looking to contract just for their peaking demand months in the northern hemisphere.”He added that some Asian players are already active in the Argentinian shale. Petronas is participating with YPF in the joint venture of La Amarga Chica, while CNOOC participates indirectly through its unit, Pan American Energy, in the Aguada Pichana Oeste.“Meanwhile, Qatar Petroleum recently has shown interest in Argentina, buying a stake of ExxonMobil’s business unit in that country, and also partnering for exploration offshore,” he said.WoodMac sees further opportunities for Asian players looking for foreign investment, not only in upstream but also for major midstream infrastructure, such as gas processing plants, pipelines, petrochemicals, and LNG export plants.
Oldenburg, IN—Oldenburg Academy congratulates the following Juniors who were recently inducted into the National Honor Society. Admittance to this group requires the highest standards of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. At this ceremony, Senior Elizabeth (Biz) Mullen was also honored as a National Merit Commended student.Inductees:Emma BeckmanBlake BorgmanHannah FultonMargaret GeersChristopher HautmanAbigail HaverkosPeter HeileMolly HeuerMadeline HoogMia KellerHenry KrausTyler KuntzPeter LewisLana LischkgePamela MenesesAnnaliese NobbeZoie PflumJessica ReesLeila SavageRiley ScheblerColton SchuckmannHunter SchuckmannSarah SchumanJacob SheetsPatrick ThompsonKylee WesselerSteven Zigan
… Cyclists do not have to fear discriminationMERELY a day after attaining the presidency of the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF), former National cyclist Linden Dowridge has pledged that under him and his executives, cycling will be revived locally as they will now focus on development of the young athletes. Transparency at every level will also be paramount, according to Dowridge.In a discussion with Chronicle Sport, Dowridge underscored the importance of beginning with a clean slate and sorting out the cycling fraternity from the ground upwards. This he pointed out will begin at the club level.“Our immediate aim is to make the GCF more functional at every level and to keep the body viable throughout our tenure. As a federation it is our duty to encourage and support the various clubs, this is why we, at the GCF, have pledged our support and every resource available towards helping clubs countrywide in any way possible.”On another note, Dowridge noted that there are too many dormant clubs across the country. This, he explained, will be addressed as soon as possible; “If we have to revive those clubs we will, if not, we will look at having them merge with larger clubs if they are in agreement.”Meanwhile; Malcolm Sonoram who is now the Racing Secretary revealed that the Racing Committee will now be renamed and changed to the Racing and Development Committee.Under Sonoram, that committee will move to establish an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ team of National cyclists picked from the current crop across Guyana.To this end he highlighted; “We will be looking at cyclists based on their performance. We will not be tolerating any favours, this will no longer be a friends-and-family affair, and cyclists will have to earn their spots through performances.There will be absolutely no discrimination against anyone, so cyclists have nothing to fear; we will work tirelessly on bringing back cycling to the fore of Guyanese sports.”“We will be running the GCF in a professional and businesslike manner. Through this we hope to build partnerships with corporate Guyana to achieve our goals of developing our young cyclists and at the same time, moving the sport of cycling in the right direction,” Sonoram stated.Both Dowridge and Sonoram shared that the GCF will not be a one-man show but it will be all-inclusive and transparent in all its dealings.Another main objective of the newly elected executive is the revival of National cycling coach, Hassan Mohamed’s nursery of young budding cyclists.“Coach Hassan’s nursery is on the brink of dying and without the introduction of new blood to the sport, it will slowly wane away. To this end we are looking to have former athletes and coaches go to schools across the country to try and attract young cyclists.”In response to the question of more GCF-organised races, Dowridge revealed that the classification system might undergo some tweaks while at least three additional races, inclusive of stage races, will be added to the GCF calendar,Asked about fielding a National cycling team in the near future, Sonoram and Dowridge said that it is very possible that Guyana will be represented by a 5-member team as soon as October, at the Tobago Cycling Classic in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.Among the names up for consideration are Michael Anthony, Team Coco’s wheelsman Jamual John, United We Stand’s Briton John and Andrew Hicks along with Trojan PSL’s Curtis Dey and Romello Crawford.The GCF has already begun their process of professionalism with creating a Facebook page, acquiring a domain on the World Wide Web which means that the federation’s executives can have their own email addresses @gcf.com; also in the future a website is envisioned.After the GCF’s elections on Tuesday afternoon at the Guyana Olympic Association’s head office in Liliendaal, the following is the list of executives:President – Linden Dowridge1st Vice-president – Paul Cho Wee Nam2nd Vice-president – Oneika D’Agrella Ramsuchit3rd Vice-president – Enzo MatthewsSecretary – Marc SonoramTreasurer – Inga PetersRace Secretary – Malcolm SonoramAssistant Racing Secretary – Steve Ramsuchit
Chikwelu, Oparanozie to lead team eight-time African championsSuper Falcons have left out top star Asisat Oshoala, but Desire Oparanozie and Rita Chikwelu, who led the team to win the last womenâ€™s AFCON, have been picked for next monthâ€™s high-profile friendly against France.The eight â€“time African champions are up against their French counterparts at the Stade MMArena in the city of Le Mans, France on Friday, April 6, 2018.Coach Thomas Dennerby, whose maidens composed entirely of home-based professionals took third place at the WAFU Women Cup of Nations in Abidjan in February following penalty shoot-out defeat by Ghana in the semi finals, will have the complement of foreign â€“based gladiators as well when they pitch battle with France as from 9pm on Friday next week. Nigeriaâ€™s 17-woman list includes Rita Chikwelu, who captained the team to win an eighth continental title in Cameroon in December 2016, as well as big forward Desire Oparanozie, the effervescent Francisca Ordega, nimble â€“footed midfielder Ngozi Okobi and home-based goalkeepers Onyinyechukwu Okeke and Chiamaka Nnadozie.U.S-based forward Courtney Dike and Ordega would be first arrivals in Le Mans on Tuesday, 3rd April â€“ the same day the delegation from Nigeria will depart from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The Super Falcons will lodge at the Mercure Le Mans Centre.THE FULL LISTGoalkeepers: Onyinyechukwu Okeke; Chiamaka NnadozieDefenders: Josephine Chukwunonye; Ngozi Ebere; Faith Ikidi; Ugo Njoku; Osinachi Ohale; Glory OgbonnaMidfielders: Rita Chikwelu; Ngozi Okobi; Ini-Abasi Umotong; Ogonna ChukwudiForwards: Francisca Ordega; Desire Oparanozie; Courtney Dike; Esther Sunday; Anam ImoShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram