Swiss postal scheme joins mortgage-lending trend

first_imgThe Pensionskasse is offering mortgages to scheme members and third parties. It is the first time that PK Post has invested in mortgage lending as an independent entity.It has mandated a fintech company called finovo with handling the loan business, the third pension institution to do so. On the same day that PK Post announced its decision, the Pensionskasse for the city of St Gallen said that it was expanding its mortgage business to third parties and had hired finovo.Not all Swiss pension funds in the mortgage lending business offer loans to non-members.PK Post’s move comes as Swiss pension funds have shown renewed interest in mortgage lending amid the low yield environment. They were once active in this area, but many abandoned the market several years ago. According to Credit Suisse’s Swiss pension fund index, the typical Swiss pension fund had a 2.12% allocation to mortgages in the second quarter of 2017, up 11 basis points from the third quarter of 2015.Dutch pension funds have also become more active in their domestic mortgage lending market, alongside insurance companies. The European Central Bank has highlighted this trend, seeing it as partly driven by a search for yield and changes in regulatory frameworks. It has highlighted the development as a potential concern from a financial stability perspective, but said it remained to be seen whether the role of insurance companies and pension funds in lending to householders would continue to grow. Switzerland’s CHF15.8bn (€14.7bn) pension fund for postal employees has joined several of its compatriot Pensionskassen in the mortgage lending business in a bid to obtain more yield.It described mortgages as an “interesting alternative to bonds”.Andres Haueter, head of investment management at Pensionskasse Post (PK Post), said:  “The yield is significantly higher than traditional investments and risk is limited because of the claim on the property.”The pension fund is targeting mortgage lending volume of around CHF500m over the coming years, a relatively small proportion of its total portfolio, according to a spokesperson.last_img read more

Asset management roundup: Goldman Sachs signs LGPS cost code

first_imgMacquarie was one of six transition managers appointed to the LGPS via its national framework at the start of this year. Of these six, Northern Trust and Russell Investments have yet to formally sign up to the cost code.Earlier this month the LGPS announced that most of its major asset management suppliers had signed the code, covering more than £150bn of assets.The current disclosure template caters for listed equities and bonds, but a private equity template is expected imminently.Brookfield buys private debt specialistBrookfield Asset Management, a $285bn (€232bn) alternatives manager, has acquired a 25% stake in the parent company of London-based private debt specialist LCM Partners.Under the terms of the agreement, announced this morning, Brookfield has purchased a 25% stake in Link Financial Group with the option of buying a further 24.9%. Link buys up distressed debt in several markets across Europe, and LCM is its investment management arm.The transaction is aimed at growing LCM’s asset management and credit servicing businesses, according to a joint statement from the companies.Paul Burdell, CEO of both LCM and Link Financial Group, said Brookfield was an “ideal strategic partner” to help the company develop new investment opportunities and access a larger client base.Ralf Rank, managing partner at Brookfield, added: “We look forward to working closely with LCM’s management team to support the growth of its platform via expansion into new markets, diversification of its product offering, and through pursuing investment opportunities leveraging the capabilities of both firms.” Link Financial Group will continue to operate independently following the transaction, the companies said. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.Lyxor’s ultra-low-cost ETFs Exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider Lyxor has today launched what it claims are the lowest cost ETFs available in Europe. It has launched UK and US equity index trackers priced at 4 basis points (0.04%). Two other new funds, tracking the MSCI Japan and MSCI World indices, are priced at 0.12%.The ETFs form part of Lyxor’s 16-strong “core” range. The company said it had cut prices for the 12 existing funds, bringing products tracking European equities, UK gilts and US treasury bond indices to 0.07%. The group’s US inflation-linked bond ETF now costs 0.09%, while products tracking the MSCI Japan, MSCI World and MSCI EMU indices cost 0.12%.The new ETFs launched on the German stock exchange today and will list in London tomorrow. Goldman Sachs Asset Management has agreed to follow the cost transparency code set up by the UK’s £261bn (€299bn) Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).In a statement published on the LGPS Advisory Board’s website, the company said it wanted to “encourage full and transparent reporting to clients”.According to 2016-17 annual reports, at the end of March last year Goldman Sachs ran mandates for at least eight LGPS funds in England and Wales.In addition, Australian financial giant Macquarie has signed up its transition management business to the code.last_img read more

UK’s £29bn Railways Pension Scheme names new trustee chair

first_imgPrevious experience includes 12 years as head of pensions at Network Rail, where he was responsible for the management and operation of the UK rail network operator’s defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.Hannon’s appointment will be effective from next Tuesday, 19 March. Chris Hannon has been appointed chair of the trustee board for the UK railways sector’s £29bn (€33.5bn) pension provider.  He will replace John Chilman, who will become the new chief executive of RPMI Railpen, the in-house manager for the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS), in the summer.As the new chair of the trustee board, Hannon will oversee the stewardship of RPS, RPMI Railpen, and the scheme’s pension administration business.He has been a trustee director of the RPS since 2005 and is also pensions director for the UK and European region companies of Genesee & Wyoming, a US owner and operator of freight railroads. Chris HannonTrustee director John Mayfield, who oversaw the selection process, said: “Chris’ vast knowledge and experience of the RPS and the pensions industry in general is undoubted.“His contribution since 2005 as a trustee has been enormous and we’re delighted at his appointment. He has the full support of his fellow trustees and is committed to our mission of paying members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”Hannon said: “I’m delighted to be taking up the role as chair and thank my fellow trustees for their support and confidence.“I look forward to bringing continuity of support and focus for those members, developing strong partnerships to ensure we continue to deliver against our mission.”last_img read more

UK health insurer transfers £20m DB scheme to master trust

first_imgTPT Retirement Solutions runs a consolidation vehicle for DB and defined contribution (DC) schemes, with the vast majority of its £10bn assets in the DB master trust.The Medicash transfer comes after TPT took on the £220m DB scheme of Coventry Building Society, the UK’s second largest building society, in June.At the time Mike Ramsey, CEO of TPT Retirement Solutions, said a number of other schemes were looking to join.Commenting on the Medicash transfer, he said in the past year a “wide variety” of schemes had transferred to TPT.“Looking forward many more are expected to join TPT as increasing regulation, complexity and the need to run schemes more effectively, encourage scheme sponsors and trustees to review the best way to deliver on their financial obligations to members,” he added.In May Hinckley & Rugby Building Society completed the transfer of its closed £30m scheme to TPT’s DB master trust arrangement.Trustees and sponsors of UK DB pension schemes also have the option of pursuing consolidation via two new entities in the market, Clara Pensions and Pension SuperFund. The latter last month said it had signed up its second client, a £300m scheme, in its second deal since opening for business last year.Health cash plans are insurance packages that provide cash back towards policyholders’ healthcare bills as well as providing cover for medical treatment. Further readingPension SuperFund signs up second client in £300m dealUK regulator toughens stance on poorly performing pension schemesHow We Run Our Money: TPT Retirement Solutions Medicash, a UK not-for-profit health insurer, has transferred its £20m (€21.5m) defined benefit (DB) scheme to TPT Retirement Solutions’ DB master trust. The Medicash scheme has around 174 members.Sue Weir, CEO of the Liverpool-based health cash plan provider, said the benefits of a DB master trust “can be attractive for schemes with less than £1bn under management”.“The transfer will improve the security of our members’ benefits by enhancing the scheme’s governance, gain access to a more diversified range of assets […], reduce running costs and ensure our members will continue to be well looked after,” she said.last_img read more

UK roundup: PLSA ‘very disappointed’ over DWP general levy proposals

first_img“We have to question the planning and cost management”Nigel Peaple, director of policy and research at the PLSANigel Peaple, director of policy and research at the PLSA, said: “We have to question the planning and cost management that has resulted in DWP asking for a triple digit increase in the general levy. This is very disappointing given the high standards of transparency and governance the very same regulatory bodies it manages demand from pension schemes.“The most appropriate way forward now is to freeze the levy at current levels until such time as a full and thorough structural review can be conducted to ensure schemes are not hit by unfair or sharply rising costs.” The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a consultation on the general levy increase on 18 October, which ran until midday on Friday.In the consultation document the DWP said the balance of the levy was in deficit to the tune of more than £16m (€18.8m) in 2019, estimated to grow to more than £50m by 2020.The PLSA called for the government to conduct a full structural review of the general levy alongside the fraud compensation levy, provide greater transparency about the deficit and forecast costs, and develop greater accountability for costs and impacts. DB scheme health declines on LGIM metricA typical defined benefit (DB) pension scheme can expect to pay 93.7% of accrued pension benefits as at the end of September, on the basis of a measurement of DB pension schemes’ health by Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM).The value for the “expected proportion of benefits met” metric is down 1.3% on the previous quarter. The calculation takes into account different economic scenarios of the future.John Southall, head of solutions research at LGIM, said the 1.3% drop was mainly driven by a substantial fall in interest rates, which had a negative impact on schemes that had not fully hedged themselves against moves in bond yields.John Roe, head of multi-asset funds at the asset manager, added: “The collapse in global bond yields, driven by the Federal Reserve’s pivot to cut interest rates, is an unwelcome reminder that UK interest rates and inflation remain outsized risks for many UK defined benefit pension schemes.”center_img The UK’s Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has registered significant concern about the options proposed by the government for raising the general levy on pension schemes.It singled out the option that calls for a 45% increase in the levy in 2020 and a further hike of 245% in 2023.The levy funds activities by The Pensions Regulator, the Pensions Ombudsman and the Money and Pensions Service.The PLSA said it was a strong supporter of good, proportionate regulation but that it had concerns about the extent of the levy increase, the short notice given, the lack of transparency about how the deficit has built up and how costs were apportioned.last_img read more

Rentals disappearing as Brisbane moves towards landlord’s market

first_imgBrisbane’s rental vacancy rate has declined for a sixth straight month, according to SQM Research.BRISBANE is fast becoming a landlord’s market as rentals are snapped up by southerners fleeing Sydney and Melbourne for a taste of the sunshine state.New figures from property valuation firm SQM Research reveal rental vacancies in the Queensland capital fell for a sixth straight month in August to 2.8 per cent — down from 3.4 per cent a year ago. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours ago Brisbane’s rental vacancy rate fell to 2.8 per cent in August, according to SQM Research. Image: AAP/James Ross.Around 9500 residential rentals are sitting empty in the city, compared with more than 19,000 in Sydney, as rising demand eats up surplus stock. But in good news for tenants, rents in Brisbane are holding firm — for now.The asking rent for a three-bedroom house in the city slipped just 0.4 per cent over the past month to $450 a week, while unit rents rose slightly to $371 a week. NEWS PRESENTER’S PLACE TO LET OFF STEAM BRISBANE UNITS SAFE AS HOUSES Brisbane is becoming a landlord’s market, with more people moving to the city to rent.SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said Brisbane was experiencing a sustained reduction in its vacancy rate, driven by underlying demand sparked by a peak in housing completions and increased interstate migration.“The worst is definitely behind the Brisbane housing market, there is no question about that, and our expectation is vacancy rates will continue to fall from these levels,” Mr Christopher said.“There are more southerners moving from Sydney and Melbourne to southeast Queensland to take advantage of the standard of living and better housing affordability — both on the buyer front and the rental front.“Why this is happening now, as opposed to five years ago, is because job creation has increased in the Brisbane and southeast Queensland economy.”But Mr Christopher said the vacancy rate needed to get closer to 2 per cent before Brisbane could officially be declared a landlord’s market.He said asking rents would also likely start to rise as the vacancy rate continued to tighten.“When we do get close to that 2 per cent mark, that will put upward pressure on rents.” The national vacancy rate slipped to 2.1 per cent in August, according to SQM Research. The national residential vacancy rate dipped to 2.1 per cent in August, with 70,447 properties sitting empty across the country. Sydney’s vacancy rate is the highest in 13 years, with 2.8 per cent of the city’s units and houses unoccupied, yet the asking rent for a three-bedroom house in the city is still the highest in the country at $708 a week.last_img read more

ABS data show Mount Sheridan residents spend $825K on renos

first_imgMt SheridanSET in the hillsides of Cairns’ southern suburbs, Mount Sheridan has emerged as one of the city’s most affordable and family-friendly areas.While settlement of the area dates from the late 1800s, when the land was predominantly used for sugar cane farming, the population remained minimal until the 1990s, when rapid growth took place as large numbers of new dwellings were added to the area.With a population of 8271 and each home on average housing 2.8 people, Mount Sheridan is one of Cairns’ most popular suburbs.Mount Sheridan is an easy 10 minute drive from the Cairns City and has a variety of houses, from relaxed family homes to properties high on the hill with scenic views across the Far North landscape.The area is well-serviced by early childhood services and schools. Mount Sheridan is bounded by Bayview Heights in the north, White Rock to the east and Bentley Park to the south.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoIt is less than 15 minutes to the southern Cairns township of Gordonvale and the turn-off to the highway to the Atherton Tablelands.Australian Bureau of Statistics data this year showed Mount Sheridan residents were houseproud too, spending $825,100 on renovations.On Bernard Dr, the suburb’s residents are well serviced by Mount Sheridan Plaza, which includes Coles, Kmart, Woolworths, and an internal mall lined with specialty stores.On the periphery is a Red Rooster and Hungry Jacks.The multicultural area also make Mount Sheridan a great place to live with the Cook Islands Christian Church often hosting big celebrations.In Mount Sheridan, 173 homes were sold in the 12 months to October this year for a median price of $392,500. Values grew by 18.9 per cent over the past five years.Almost 90 per cent of properties in the suburb are detached houses but just under a quarter are owner occupied.last_img read more

Luxury emptynesters turn bedroom into wine cellar

first_img Queenslanders ‘most well off in nation’ What an amazing spot to watch Riverfire from! 32 Macrossan Street in Brisbane City is the prestigious Admiralty Quays building.Not to be outdone by famous neighbours like a former prime minister and two job queens, a pair of emptynesters converted one of their bedrooms into a lovely wine cellar.Mike and Rhonda O’Dwyer, whose children had long left the nest, had been keeping their spare bedrooms free for when the offspring visited.But, 12 months ago and almost 18 years since they’d bought the luxury apartment in prestigious Admiralty Quays, the couple decided to bite the bullet and turn one bedroom into their wine cellar. New look at Hemsworth’s mega mansion Admiralty Quays is one of the most tightly held residential buildings in the city.As outstanding as all that is, the most amazing part of the home, according to Ms Goodger, was its “floor-to-ceiling glass that encompasses the breathtaking views of the city, Story Bridge, and river”.The three bedroom, one wine cellar, three bathroom, double car park luxury apartment will go to auction at 6pm on March 20 at 33 Lytton Road, East Brisbane. And tuck into your own personal wine collection. Amy Shark sinks millions into home town The cellar and wine tasting room were created in a former bedroom. This brave move came after they’d successfully begun using another bedroom as an office in a building that’s home to the likes of former Australian PM Kevin Rudd, his wife jobs richlister Therese Rein and fellow employment queen Sarina Russo.“We decided we had so much space and said, you know what, this room would make a marvellous wine cellar,” Mr O’Dwyer told The Courier-Mail.“It holds 500 bottles. Outside the entrance of the wine cellar there’s a wine tasting room, where we have classic stools and tables.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago Place New Farm agent Judy Goodger is taking the property to auction next month.“It’s perfect for entertaining private, intimate numbers. You can get together with a couple of people, sit and chat just outside cellar and taste a variety of wines.”The rooms had been used for whenever their children or other guests came to stay over.“We have already converted one bedroom into an office. I’m not a wine expert, but I’ve always enjoyed a nice red. I’m more of a social person who enjoys the company of others, so the cellar has given my wife and I the opportunity to have friends drop in and share a glass of wine together.”They now have one bedroom which is theirs, one which they use as an office and another that’s a guest room. Residents have special facilities for group entertaining with stunning views across the water. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 The residents have a gym looking out to the Story Bridge.The property is not your average home, admittedly – by the riverfront in the Brisbane CBD.It’s a tightly held residential building, according to real estate agent Judy Goodger of Place Estate Agents.“This is the first time this stunning apartment in Admiralty Quays has been on the market in nearly two decades,” she said.“The wine cellar holds 500 bottles and we believe it’s the only apartment in the building that has one this large. It is the perfect home for those who want to entertain or simply relax and enjoy the priceless, panoramic views.” MORE: NRL star cuts Gold Coast ties FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Your might bump into a former PM or a richlister in the lobby. The apartment looks out over the twinkling lights of the city, the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge.last_img read more

Cairns units give strongest investor returns in Queensland

first_img57-59 Fig Tree Drive, Caravonica. The quarterly median house price increased marginally over the December 2018 quarter, up 0.1 per cent to $400,500 — however it was an improvement on the previous quarter when the median reduced by 4.3 per cent.The result is somewhat surprising given the volume of sales was down on the previous quarter.In fact, the volume of sales in Cairns has reduced about 12 per cent over the year ending December 2018.Caravonica, nestled at the foot of rainforest, posted Cairns’ best price growth over the year with its median house price increasing an impressive 26.3 per cent to $499,000 — a price uplift of more than $100,000 in 12 months.Over the past year, the median days on market and median vendor discounts have remained relatively static.A house in Cairns required about 56 days to achieve a sale with the median negotiated discount sitting at around 5.8 per cent. CAIRNS has proved itself a standout among the state posting one of the strongest returns for units in Queensland according to the recent Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s Queensland Market Monitor report.Townsville, the Far North and Bundaberg recorded the strongest performance for the December 2018 quarter with gains of 15.9, 8.4 and 6.9 per cent.In Cairns 218 units sold at a median price of $238,500.The report authors commented that Cairns property prices were “relatively steady compared to a year ago”.The Cairns median house price reduced 1.2 per cent over the year ending December to finish 2018 on $405,000. The Whitehaven unit complex on Wattle Street, Yorkeys Knob. Picture: BRENDAN RADKE Its unit market posted similar yearly results with its median price flat at $230,000.“Over the December quarter, however, this sector was the second-best unit performer in the state,” the report read.“The rental market continues to be tight, which has resulted in weekly rents increasing from $10 to about $45 per week over the past year depending on the dwelling type.“Yields in Cairns are also very healthy, which means that the investment sector is enjoying good cash flow even if the capital growth equation continues to be mostly benign.“Only time will tell if the most recent median unit price increases are a sign of more growth on the horizon.“The volume of sales for both dwelling types is continuing to fall, however, theMore from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agonumber of unit listings has contracted over the past year.”The most affordable suburbs for houses for the year ending December 2018 were White Rock ($287,500), Woree ($306,500) and Gordonvale ($310,000).The most affordable suburbs for units for the year ending December 2018 were in Woree ($132,250), Bungalow ($150,000) and Edmonton ($150,000).last_img read more

Queensland architect Chris Beckingham’s island masterpiece hits the market

first_imgThe only home on Hamilton Island with direct access to Pebble Beach has hit the market.An island masterpiece designed by the man behind one of the world’s most luxurious resorts has hit the market with a multimillion-dollar price tag.It’s the only home on Queensland’s famous Hamilton Island, with direct access to Pebble Beach. SUSTAINABLE HOMES A BUYER DESIRE MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS: HOW TO DESIGN A $8M PENTHOUSE FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK Absolutely stunning property.The three-bedroom property is one of the original homes on Melaleuca Drive, designed by Queensland architect Chris Beckingham, the man behind world-renowned Qualia. Located at 10 Melaleuca Drive, the home is expected to sell for more than $4 million and has been used as a private residence and holiday rental.Hamilton Island Real Estate agent Liam Kearney said the owners were selling due to a change of circumstances. The home has been “beautifully done”.“They don’t get up here as much as they used to,” Mr Kearney said.The home has carved timber doors at the main entrance and the open-plan layout would suit a buyer who enjoys an indoor-outdoor Balinese-style of living, Mr Kearney said.“It’s an original piece on the island, it’s beautifully done.” Water views for miles.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago“There’s nothing compared to it — it’s a standout.”He said the eastern view lines provided one of the world’s best sunrise views.The property is on a 2365sq m block, with complete privacy.Mr Kearney said he had buyer interest from Sydney and Melbourne. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:27Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:27 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy Spring 2019 is a good time to sell01:27last_img read more