Dutch schemes failing on mortgage investment policies

first_imgDutch pension funds lack clear policies for their investments in residential mortgages, according to regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).A survey of mortgage portfolios and risk management by the regulator suggested schemes usually adopted the policies of their providers. Instead, schemes should develop their own policies, including targets and limitations, DNB said.Currently there is no link between a scheme’s asset-liability management study and its investment beliefs, the regulator said. It added that pension funds often did not provide clarity about their risk attitude towards illiquid investments either. Residential mortgages as an asset class has gained in popularity during the past few years, as mortgages are considered a better-performing alternative to low-yielding government bonds.Dutch pension funds have invested 2.4% of their portfolio in residential mortgages on average, with some schemes having exposures of as much as 20% of their portfolios, according to DNB.The regulator said that it wanted pension funds to develop their own policy,In its opinion, schemes’ policies should also include the proportion of state-guaranteed mortgages (NHG) in their portfolio, the desired duration of the allocation and the types of mortgages owned.The watchdog also emphasised that pension funds must establish the risk and return criteria for mortgage investments and subsequently opt for a matching product, rather than the other way round.DNB added that pension funds must explain how their mortgage holdings fit with their policy on hedging liabilities.It found that many schemes had fully factored in mortgages into their interest rate hedging policy. Others had merely modestly underpinned this decision, in particular in case of a high debt-market value ratio of the portfolio.The supervisor also said pension funds should explain how they had valued their mortgage holdings, and how they assessed the risk of mortgages paid off early.It warned that just using mortgage providers’ quote could improperly affect the valuation of the holdings.During its survey, the regulator also assessed the outsourcing of asset management and visited a number of undisclosed providers of mortgage investments.last_img read more

In Lonestar Million-dollar Tax Evasion Appeal

first_imgThe Tax Court on Wednesday, January 15, reserved judgment in a US$19.197 million case against Lonestar Communications Corporation, (LSCC), one of the leading GSM Companies in the country.The case involved tax fraud—alleged against LSCC —following a re-audit and a re-assessment of Lonestar’s tax record, by the Finance Ministry. The Ministry had conducted a re-audit and a re-assessment of Lonestar’s tax record, alleging new discoveries of unreported income, indistinct expenses and unclear interconnectivity that led the Ministry of Finance to compute and claim a deficit (shortage) in the company’s past payment into government revenue, to the tune of US$19,197,903.44.Lonestar protested and filed an appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals.In its complaint to the Board of Tax Appeals, Lonestar argued that the Finance Ministry was wrong to assess said payment, based on an audited report and its re-assessment bill for “additional taxes, penalty, and interest for the taxable re-audited period 2007 to 2011.”The corporation further argued that it had already paid its taxes for the period 2007 to 2011 for which the Ministry had issued it a tax- clearance.Lonestar argued further there was no justification (excuse, good reason) for carrying out an additional re-assessment of the taxable period already assessed.The Board’s intervention left Lonestar no better off, considering the amount the Ministry of Finance had re-assessed the nation’s leading cell-network provider. The Board gave Lonestar 30 days to commence working with the Ministry, to determine the tax-basis for the new-found documents and the difference they represent.The Board also declared that if Lonestar failed to cooperate with the Ministry within a 30-days period, the previous determination of the Ministry’s 19 million wound be binding and enforceable against the company.It was in view of that ruling, that Lonestar had prayed the Tax Court for a “Judicial Review” of the Board’s decision.After lawyers representing the two parties on Wednesday rested from presentations of oral and documentary evidence, Presiding Judge, Mozart Chesson, announced he would reserve judgment.He told lawyers representing the two parties (Government and Lonestar) that through a notice-of-assignment, the Court would provide the date for final ruling in the case.The company had complained of the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Appeals Board, praying the Court to review the Board’s leaning.(With an assist from Keith Neville A. Best, Esq.)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Barca hit Real Madrid for five in El Clásico

first_imgAll the failures that have underlined their recent problems under Lopetegui were on show here, poor finishing, dreadful defending and key players performing well below par, let alone their best.Philippe Coutinho scored the first and Arturo Vidal the last but in between the game belonged to Suarez, who terrorised Madrid from start to finish and made light of Lionel Messi’s injury-enforced absence.For Lopetegui, it is now one win in six games, as Madrid fall seven points behind Barcelona, who return to the top of the table.This defeat was reminiscent of the 4-0 thrashing that spelt the end of Rafael Benitez’s time in charge two years ago but while Benitez survived two more months, Lopetegui may not last the week.Much was made of this being the first Clasico without either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in 11 years but Suarez’s masterclass will mean this contest lives long in the memory.Madrid looked dazed in possession and dizzy out of it as Barca repeatedly opened them up down the left early on.Sergio Busquets was allowed time to wait for Jordi Alba’s zooming run past both Gareth Bale and Nacho, with the full-back’s touch on the run perfectly pushed into the area.Suarez rushed past but Coutinho held his ground by the penalty spot, where Alba found him with the cut-back. It was the move’s 30th pass, the most for a goal in a La Liga Clasico in 13 seasons.– Lopetegui motionless –On the touchline, Lopetegui stood motionless. Varane clapped but his team-mates looked shell-shocked. Sergio Ramos thrashed a pass across his own box to Nacho, who hacked it to the feet of Arthur, his shot parried away by Courtois.Barcelona forward Luis Suarez goes down under a challenge from real madrid’s Raphael Varane during their Clasico on October 28, 2018. PHOTO/AFPStill, Barca needed the help of VAR for the second. Suarez was too quick to the ball at the near post and Varane bundled him over. It was a clear penalty, which Suarez converted for his seventh goal in 11 games against these opponents. His eighth and ninth were still to come.Gerard Pique should have headed in while a promising Madrid free-kick somehow ended with another Barca sprawl on the counter-attack. The visitors were fortunate to be only two down at half-time but the game was a mirror image after the restart.Varane had gone off, with a muscle problem the club said, for Lucas Vazquez, with Nacho moving to centre-back. Vazquez was key to Madrid’s goal, his disguised pass allowing Isco to pick out Marcelo, who finished for his third in three games.Suddenly, it was Barca making the mistakes. Sergio Ramos headed over, Luka Modric hit the inside of the post and Isco’s finish was blocked after Rafinha ran into trouble.Madrid were less transformed at the back, where Suarez acrobatically volleyed onto the post before Alba fired just wide. As Madrid’s momentum faded, Suarez landed the knock-out blow.Sergi Roberto chipped a cross into the box but the ball had neither the pace nor the angle to be headed in easily. Suarez, however, generated both himself to leave Courtois stranded.If that was a masterclass in adaptation, his third was a demonstration of finesse. Ramos was pushed off the ball by Sergi Roberto, who freed Suarez. Suarez feathered the ball over Courtois for his hat-trick.Madrid were finished but the humiliation was not over yet as Ousmane Dembele crossed for Vidal to head home a fifth. Suarez could even have had a fourth in injury-time but Courtois saved. Five was more than enough.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Barcelona forward Luis Suarez celebrates one of his three goals against Real Madrid on October 28, 2018. PHOTO/AFPBARCELONA, Spain, Oct 28 – Barcelona ran riot in the Clasico on Sunday as Luis Suarez scored the hat-trick that will surely spell the end of Julen Lopetegui’s spell as Real Madrid coach.Barcelona were 5-1 winners at the Camp Nou, dominant for all-but a 15-minute spell after half-time when the otherwise hapless Madrid briefly threatened a comeback.last_img read more