Italian railways scheme launches search for private debt managers

first_imgEurofer, the Italian railway workers’ pension scheme, has launched a search for private debt fund managers.The €1bn second-pillar scheme will select one or more closed-end private debt funds, aiming to invest up to €25m, according to a document published on Eurofer’s website.The investment will be allocated to the ‘Bilanciato’ fund, the largest of its three funds (Garantito, Bilanciato and Dinamico) that the scheme offers. The Bilanciato fund had around €886m in assets as of June this year.Eurofer said it wanted funds investing mainly in the European Union or the European Economic Area. Successful bidders would invest primarily in debt financing for infrastructure projects, real estate projects or unlisted real estate companies, the pension fund said.It expressed a preference for medium-term loans to be held to maturity. The scheme intends to evaluate the risk profile and seniority level of the underlying investments. It aims to obtain a net return of between 5% and 8%.The funds must comply with AIFMD rules and have a target size of at least €250m.Consultancy firm Bfinance is assisting Eurofer in the selection process. More information can be found on its website.Eurofer, an industry-wide scheme, was among the first Italian schemes in its category to invest in real estate when it backed a pan-European real estate fund in 2012.In 2016, the scheme added to its alternatives portfolio with an investment in a core infrastructure equity fund.Italian pension funds increased their allocation to alternative assets in general throughout 2017 and managers expect the trend to continue this year.Private debt investments in Italy grew 35% in 2017, according to AIFI, the Italian private equity, venture capital and private debt association. Last year managers invested €641m, bringing the size of the market to over €1.5bn.last_img read more

Pirates Fire Upon LPG Tanker off Congo

first_imgA group of armed pirates attacked an LPG tanker carrying out bunkering operations on October 29, around 101 nautical miles West of Pointe Noire, the Republic of the Congo. IMB Piracy Reporting Centre said that pirates in a speed boat chased and fired upon the LPG tanker causing the ship to trigger emergency bunker stop procedure and cast off.The master employed evasive manoeuvres and increased speed, managing to escape the pirates.All crew members are reported to be safe.The attack is being reported two days after 11 crew members of MV Pomerenia Sky, a containership operated by Germany’s Peter Dohle Schiffahrts, were kidnapped off Nigeria.Midocean (IOM) Ltd informed that nine crew members remained on board the containership and were unharmed, according to Reuters. The company added that the vessel proceeded to safe waters.A total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 57 of the 156 reported incidents, with the majority of these incidents, 41, reported in and around Nigeria.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Cricket News Kane Williamson’s Facebook message on Christchurch shootings makes fans emotional

first_imghighlights The third and final Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, which was scheduled to be played on Saturday, was cancelled after multiple shootings in mosques in the city. The official Twitter handle of the New Zealand cricket team, @BLACKCAPS, tweeted that a joint decision was made. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the Bangladesh Cricket Board has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe.”A video tweeted by Bangladesh’s ESPNCricinfo correspondent Mohammad Isam showed the Bangladesh cricketers Tamim Iqbal and Taijul Islam running back from Hagley Park back to the cricket ground. The incident took place around 1.45pm local time when the team had gone to pray when the incident took place.”It will certainly take some time for us to get out of it (the state of shock) after the experience we had here,” Tamim told reporters at Christchurch airport moments before the team left for Bangladesh on Saturday. At least 17 members of the Bangladesh cricket team, including Tamim, drove up to the Masjid al Noor in a bus to join Friday prayers when the mosque came under attack by a gunman. Team manager Khaled Mashud said the players and staff on the bus watched as blood-soaked victims staggered from the building. They stayed in the bus for eight to 10 minutes before leaving it sensing danger, according to Mashud. New Delhi: The Christchurch shootings has been described as the ‘worst terror attack’ on New Zealand. The incident left 49 people dead and 30 were injured. The shootings resulted in the cancellation of the third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh at the Hagley Oval which was to begin on March 16. It also resulted in Canterbury not playing their final league game of the Plunket Shield, giving the title to Central Districts. The Rugby Super League games were also not held over the weekend. Cricketers from all across the globe and even the All Blacks rugby team players expressed their shock and horror of the incident on social media. Recently, Kane Williamson, the skipper of the New Zealand, has posted an emotional message on his Facebook page that has warmed the hearts of the fans.Williamson posted a message stating, “Like the rest of New Zealand, I am struggling to understand what has happened today. The need for love in our country has never been higher and I send all of mine to the victims, their family and friends, the Muslim community and every other heartbroken New Zealander. Let’s come together.” The New Zealand skipper then posted an image with the hashtag #HelloBrother with the message ‘Standing in solidarity’. The silver fern cricket crest, which is seen in the Blackcaps cap during limited-overs cricket, was depicted with people bowing and paying their respect to the dead. Christchurch shootings left 50 people dead.New Zealand vs Bangladesh Test match at Hagley Oval was cancelled.Bangladesh cricket team survived a close shave in the attack. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Journalism start-up site comes to LA

first_imgThe non-profit journalism website Spot.Us, which allows community members to choose and fund news stories, branched out to Los Angeles last week through a partnership with USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.Spot.Us, which is attempting to implement a new business model for journalism, allows community members to donate money to fund stories that will be written by freelance reporters. The website also lets members of the public give reporters “tips” for ideas that could potentially turn into stories.Once the stories are complete, outside media outlets can also pick up the stories for publication if they donate an amount equal to 50 percent of what community members donated for the story.“We need to experiment in different ways of doing and supporting journalism,” said David Cohn, founder of Spot.Us. “It’s an important part of our democracy; you need citizens to make informed decisions and journalism is what helps them stay informed.”Spot.Us has partnered with Annenberg to take advantage of its connections to the local journalism community. The school will assist in hiring of a project managing editor for Spot.Us Los Angeles and will provide funds to help the site succeed.“The economic model is broken; we’re at a time of reinvention and I think Spot.Us is a piece of the reinvention,” said Geneva Overholser, director of the Annenberg School of Journalism.It can become an important contributor to meeting the public information needs and as a new economic model for news — one of many.”Cohn originally pitched the idea of expanding Spot.Us to Los Angeles to Overholser at a conference in New York last year, and Overholser proposed a partnership with Annenberg.About three or four months ago, Cohn proposed the expansion of Spot.Us to the Knight Foundation, a journalism organization based in Miami which funds a number of promising journalism projects.After the proposal, the Knight Foundation gave Annenberg a $250,000 grant to roll out Spot.Us in Los Angeles.The grant will fund Spot.Us LA for 18 months, after which Overholser said they will have hopefully figured out a way for the branch to support itself, as the original site does.Cohn said he has high hopes for the partnership with Annenberg.“The Annenberg School of Journalism is a very well respected institution and also Geneva Overholser is someone I know and trust,” Cohn said.I think Annenberg can use Spot.Us in a very positive way; they can help be the on-ground hub for Los Angeles investigation.”Overholser said she believes non-profits will become increasingly important in the media landscape because the economic model is increasingly untenable. Projects likeSpot.Us, she added, could eventually support a new model for journalism.“This is a way for [everyone] to help shape journalism because they get a voice in deciding what stories are covered,” she said. “That’s big because in the past with commercial journalism, the public didn’t have much a say and now this model can help change it.”According to Annenberg Digital News Director Marc Cooper, although Spot.Us has been successful in the Bay Area, it is still too early to know if the model will prevail everywhere.“It’s still unproven in other areas and as it grows in LA we will be able to evaluate whether in the long run it is a reliable model,” Cooper said. “It is too early to have a definitive judgment but it’s worth trying.”The model also comes with a setback, according to Cooper, especially for certain types of stories that will lose their “element of surprise” by publicly displaying information about the story online.“The transparent nature of Spot.Us could make certain types of investigative journalism difficult because it gives the target of investigation a heads up that they are being investigated,” Cooper said.Maybe one solution is that they won’t put up those types of stories and that’s fine.”Cohn said the expansion to LA will be just one step for Spot.Us, which he hopes to bring to a number of other metropolitan cities in the United States within the next few years.last_img read more