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Investment returns at Oslo Pensjonsforsikring (OPF), the pension fund for city council staff in the Norwegian capital, slipped to 5.1% in 2015 from 7.5% the year before, but the organisation said it was able to increase its solvency coverage to 211%.Reporting its fourth quarter and full-year results, the pension fund, incorporated as an insurance company, blamed the fall in returns on members’ pension savings on lower interest rates, as well as weak equities markets.Åmund Lunde, chief executive at OPF, said: “Over many years, we have adjusted ourselves to lower interest rates by having strong solidity and a broad spread of investments.”In absolute terms, the pension fund doubled its profit on pension activities to NOK752m (€78.6m) in 2015, from NOK327m. The highest-performing asset sub-classes for OPF were infrastructure and private equity, producing returns of 13.2% and 16.2% for the full year, respectively, though it made a 6.1% loss on its holdings of high-yield bonds.The fixed income portfolio – which made up 51.5% of the overall collective portfolio at the end of the year – generated 2.8% overall during the year, while real assets produced 7%, and ended the year making up 22.8% of the collective portfolio.The equities portfolio returned 7.9%, and accounted for 25.6% of the collective portfolio.Noting that the new Solvency II regulatory regime had come into force on 1 January this year, OPF said that, at 211%, its solvency capital ratio ended last year at twice the minimum allowed, but it also pointed out that, under the transitional rules now in place, its coverage ratio was in fact 362%.Lunde said the pension fund had set itself the target of making the transition to the new solvency regime back in 2010.“Through good results and by building up capital systematically, we fulfil the capital requirements by a good margin,” he said.Total assets in OPF’s collective portfolio grew to NOK72bn by the end of December 2015 from NOK67.6bn a year before.
Ken MacKenzie (Image courtesy of BHP Billiton)Australian resource company, BHP Billiton, said Ken MacKenzie has been selected to succeed Jac Nasser as chairman, effective September 1, 2017. Nasser is retiring from both his positions as chairman and non-executive director, BHP Billiton said.MacKenzie joined the BHP board as a non-executive director in September 2016 and is a member of the board’s sustainability committee.He spent 23 years at Amcor, a global packaging company, serving as managing director and CEO for 10 of those 23 years.Senior independent director, Shriti Vadera, who led the formal succession process, said the board “undertook a rigorous search and assessment of potential external and internal candidates,” with the assistance of the international recruitment firm, Heidrick & Struggles.
Europe captain Paul McGinley believes next year’s Ryder Cup will be a heavyweight contest which will again be decided by the narrowest of margins. Europe have won seven of the last nine biennial contests, including the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ comeback from 10-6 down last year, causing the PGA of America to ask Tom Watson to reprise his role as captain at The Belfry in 1993, the last time the USA tasted success on European soil. But although McGinley accepts Watson’s assertion that the home side will be favourites at Gleneagles, he is not expecting a repeat of the record nine-point wins he was part of as a player in 2004 and 2006. “The margin between the two teams is so slight. It has been for a number of years,” said McGinley, who was a vice-captain to Jose Maria Olazabal at Medinah. “And Lady Luck, I can tell you right now, has shone on us at the right times in the last two Ryder Cups, there’s been no doubt about it and we have been fortunate to come out on the right side. “I’m well aware that the margin between the two teams is very slight, and I think it’s going to be a very closely-fought contest, and that’s what makes the Ryder Cup so special and that’s why everybody has such an interest. “We know it’s going to be in boxing terms a heavyweight contest from toe-to-toe, from start to finish.” Watson wants his players to hold onto their feelings of depression from Medinah and use it as motivation, while he also wants to see Tiger Woods continue to play a leadership role. “He became very much a part of the team last year, and we need him to be a leader. There’s not a question about that,” Watson said of the world number one, who has played on just one winning team from seven appearances and claimed only half a point from four matches at Medinah. “I don’t care who you are, if you don’t look up to Tiger Woods, what he’s accomplished in his career and say, I want to play like Tiger Woods, you don’t know what you’re talking about. “He’s had the most remarkable career probably of almost any professional golfer in the history of our game. To have him on your team….when I played in the Ryder Cup, I stood on the tee and heard several times, ‘And now on the tee, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus’.” “You don’t think that was kind of a (taking deep breath) moment; God, I’ve got Jack Nicklaus on my six (watching my back).” McGinley’s reply to that was simply: “We’ve got Ian Poulter.” Poulter inspired the comeback in Chicago with five straight birdies to win his Saturday afternoon fourball with Rory McIlroy, but if Watson had his way, the Englishman would never have been chosen as a wild card. “If you really look at it, the purist form of Ryder Cup would be no captain’s picks, 12 players who qualify,” Watson said. “That’s the way I qualified. Maybe that’s the way it should go back to. “I reduced my picks this year from four to three, and was thinking actually two, because I wanted the players who are playing, to have getting on the Ryder Cup as a goal. If they got there, then they have earned something very, very special. And maybe we should go back to no picks.” McGinley effectively laughed off that suggestion, knowing that the current system could prove vital given the number of his potential team members who play in the United States. Press Association
Rickie Lambert and Rodriguez, the other Southampton players involved, were reduced to a watching brief at Wembley, returning to action as Saints won 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday. The latter netted the decisive goal in what was for large parts a frustrating match, latching onto a weak header by former Saints winger Jason Puncheon and then beating Julian Speroni in a 50-50 challenge to finish into an open goal. “I thought the goal showed exactly what Jay Rodriguez is made of,” Pochettino said of the 37th-minute strike. “It showed his quality, showed his speed, showed how brave he is, showed his technique. It also shows the fact that he fully deserved the England call-up as well.” Asked if Rodriguez had the talent to play at the World Cup, the former Argentina international said: “I think he has the talent, I think he has the skill to go with the English national side and play for the English national side. “I think the call-up to the English national side by Roy Hodgson of Jay Rodriguez was deserved, and to actually win your place you need to deserve you place to be going to the tournament. “To be scoring goals as he did here, he is definitely increasing his chances.” The triumph ended a run of three successive losses in all competitions for Southampton, and Pochettino believes highlighted the club’s exciting future. Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Jay Rodriguez’s match-winning display against Crystal Palace shows he is worthy of a World Cup spot. Saints had 18 players away on international duty in midweek, including four with Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the 1-0 friendly victory against Denmark. The match saw teenager Luke Shaw make an impressive international debut, while Saints captain Adam Lallana further boosted his chances of going to Brazil with a fine display off the bench, capped by the cross from which Daniel Sturridge scored. Press Association “I am well pleased with that win,” said the 42-year-old, for whom the only negative was an ankle injury to Jack Cork, which is expected to rule the midfielder out for six weeks. “We’re well balanced, doing well, building a project and we want to continue in this way. “I think we are showing the potential we have for the future at Southampton Football Club and we are very well pleased with the victory.” Palace managed just one shot on target at Selhurst Park, leaving manager Tony Pulis frustrated by his side’s toothless display. “I don’t think it was an off-day – I thought we did all right,” the Eagles boss said. “I thought we competed very well. “The disappointing thing was that we never created more chances and more opportunities. That was disappointing. “But they are a good side, they’ve got some good players and we’ve watched them the last three games they’ve played. “They played exceptionally at West Ham and got beat 3-1 so they’ve got some real quality. It was always going to be a tough game and those tough, tight games we need a break and we didn’t get one.” One of those breaks looked like it may come when Dejan Lovren brought down Yannick Bolasie when he was through on goal early in the second half. The Palace fans called for the Croatia international to be sent off, but referee Howard Webb did not deem him the last man so only produced a yellow card. “I will leave you to decide that,” Pulis said when asked for his thoughts on the decision. “We’ve just watched the video and the disappointing thing was the first two offsides as both Glenn Murray and Joe Ledley are onside. The linesman has given two offsides and both of them were on, through and past the back four onto goal. “That was very disappointing and they were in the first quarter of an hour.”
Academy graduate Lloyd Isgrove has signed a two-year contract extension at Southampton. Having joined Saints aged nine, the midfielder has this season gone onto make four first-team appearances for the club. Isgrove, now 22, has seen such progress rewarded by a contract extension until 2017, having previously penned successive one-year deals at St Mary’s. “It’s a bit of security,” the Welsh midfielder told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “I’m 22 now so obviously this takes me to 24. “It won’t stop me working hard and pushing in training. That’s a good age to be playing at a high level. “It shows that they believe in my abilities. They want me on a two-year instead of doing the one-years that I’ve previously done before, which is only positive for me. “It’s probably the biggest two years of my career so far. If I can get a run of games and stuff, I can really push on and really establish myself as a professional player.” Press Association
Stoke duo Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri tore Manchester City to shreds in a brilliant first-half display which made Manuel Pellegrini’s side look anything but Premier League leaders. They were beaten by a Stoke side unrecognisable from last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at struggling Sunderland as they oozed confidence – with no greater example set than by centre-back Philipp Wollscheid’s Cruyff turn on Kevin de Bruyne on the edge of his own penalty area in the first half. Playing five in midfield largely negated City’s chief threats of David Silva, Raheem Sterling and De Bruyne by denying them service. But it was not a defensive tactic as it allowed the hosts to establish an early dominance with Shaqiri dropping deep and Arnautovic roaming forward from a left-sided position. The pair linked up for both goals and the same combination could easily have contributed a couple more before the interval. City’s left side was an avenue of weakness Stoke exploited with regularity as Shaqiri showed as early as the seventh minute when he skipped past Fernando, easily beat Aleksandar Kolarov and crossed for Arnautovic to nip in front of Bacary Sagna and side-foot home. De Bruyne was denied by a good low save from Jack Butland, who also deflected a Kolarov effort onto the post late in the half. just moments before Shaqiri embarrassed the hapless Fernando with a turn of such brilliance the City midfielder was halfway towards his own bench before he realised what had happened. Fernando may as well have continued his run and taken a seat alongside Pellegrini so poor was his performance – although the same could not be said of Shaqiri who immediately laid on the perfect assist for Arnautovic’s second. City’s central defensive pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis, in for the suspended Eliaquim Mangala, were at sixes and sevens and that could easily have been the half-time scoreline as Arnautovic headed narrowly wide and hit the post after slipping as he shot from another pass from Shaqiri. While Mark Hughes may have added considerable style to what used to be a substantial Stoke team they have not lost any of their commitment – evidenced by the diminutive Bojan Krkic racing back to intercept a City counter-attack from Stoke’s corner on the edge of his own box. Stoke’s approach did not change with the strong wind at their backs in the second half as Hart saved from Bojan and Arnautovic clipped the rebound into the side-netting, before the Austrian attempted to return the earlier favours from Shaqiri with a pass across goal which required the slightest of touches to score only for the Swiss to get his feet in a tangle and fail to connect. City’s miserable afternoon continued when, 10 minutes after making their third substitution, Fernando went off with a hamstring injury leaving them one short for the final 15 minutes. TWEET OF THE MATCH “A warning to Stoke: if you carry on like this you might not be last on MOTD tonight. Ease up!” – Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has a cheeky message for Stoke. Jack Butland: 7 Glen Johnson: 7 Ryan Shawcross: 7 Philipp Wollscheid: 7 Erik Pieters: 7 Geoff Cameron: 7 Glenn Whelan: 7 Xherdan Shaqiri: 9 Ibrahim Afellay: 6 Marko Arnautovic: 9 Bojan Krkic: 8 Substitutes Joselu: 6 Marco van Ginkel: 6 Jonathan Walters: 6 Manchester City Joe Hart: 6 Bacary Sagna: 5 Nicolas Otamendi: 5 Martin Demichelis: 5 Aleksandar Kolarov: 6 Fernando: 4 Fernandinho: 5 Kevin De Bruyne: 5 David Silva: 5 Raheem Sterling: 5 Wilfried Bony: 4 Substitutes Fabian Delph: 6 Kelechi Iheanacho: 6 Jesus Navas: 6 STAR PLAYER Marko Arnautovic. A toss up between him and Shaqiri but the enigmatic Austrian’s double sees him shade it. Arnautovic can look disinterested at times but he was certainly up for this encounter as only the woodwork denied him a first-half hat-trick. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Shaqiri created both of the goals and his brilliance to create the second caught the eye. The ex-Bayern Munich man shrugged Fernando off with ease on the half-turn before piercing the visitors’ defence with a pinpoint pass to Arnautovic. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Manuel Pellegrini must solve the riddle of why City cannot appear to function when their captain Vincent Kompany is missing through injury or their title challenge will unravel. Hughes, meanwhile, has built an exciting, creative team that can take the next step in this division if Shaqiri settles and Arnautovic finds consistency. MOAN OF THE MATCH Any hopes of a grandstand finish being ruined by Fernando’s injury after City had already used all three substitutes. WHO’S UP NEXT? West Ham v Stoke (Barclays Premier League, Saturday, December 12) Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League, Tuesday, December, 8) After last week’s defeat at Sunderland, Stoke boss Mark Hughes lauded his team’s effort and energy. He told BT Sport: “It was a great performance by the guys, in fairness you can talk about formations and what we were looking to do in the game but first and foremost you’ve got to go out and do actually do it, and that’s what they did. “Each and every one of them put in a high quality performance and a consequence of that was winning a Premier League match against the top of the pile Man City.” Despite the return of creative midfielder David Silva to City’s line-up, the home side worked tirelessly to shut down the space and nullify the visitors’ threat. When asked if his side went into the game with the intent to crowd out Silva, Hughes said: “We just wanted that energy. Jeff (Cameron) gives us that, EP (Erik Pieters) gives us that as well. Glenn (Whelan) has that calming influence, he tells everyone where to go and understands that role completely.” The Potters showed plenty of glimpses of the fluent football Hughes has implemented since becoming manager. The former City boss fielded a new-look front three and felt they made the difference. “We went with something different today, pushing Bojan up front. We haven’t played that formation (4-3-3) before but there was a feeling in the back of my mind about today,” he added. “I’ve been close to doing it but today it worked perfect for us. We were up against a good team but we still needed to retain possession and with the three up top, we certainly had that. “We had pace and creativity. So I’m pleased with everyone’s performance but the front three and the midfield three were exceptional today.” The leaders had an afternoon to forget as City looked shaky at the back but manager Manuel Pellegrini lamented the fact that his side have been struck by injuries. He said: “The concern is that we are playing in all competitions with just 13 players. The players didn’t have the reaction of a fresh squad. “Today our legs weren’t there. We couldn’t attack or defend. I am so worried about the two goals we conceded and the lack of chances we created.” Press Association Austria international Arnautovic scored both goals – teed up by the drive and vision of man of the match Shaqiri – and could easily have finished the match with five to himself as the visitors were comprehensively outplayed in the Potters’ 2-0 victory. City, who finished the match with 10 men after midfielder Fernando limped off following his side’s third substitution, began the day top of the table on goal difference but a fourth away game without a win – and the third in a row without a goal – conceded the initiative to the chasing pack.
New Delhi: He may not be celebrating his 47th birthday this year as a mark of respect to the frontline workers leading India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, but wishes from the Indian cricket fraternity kept pouring in for batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on Friday.Former and current players thronged to Twitter to wish their ‘Little Master’ on his special day.While current skipper Virat Kohli and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly led the wishes in the morning, the likes of India’s pace ace Jasprit Bumrah, star batter K.L. Rahul and dashing opener Shikhar Dhawan joined the bandwagon as the day progressed.“To a true inspiration, on the cricket field and off it, happy birthday Sachin sir, I hope you have a great day,” Bumrah said in a tweet with a picture of him and Tendulkar having a conversation during their time spent at Mumbai Indians.Rahul, who has hit a purple patch of late, recalled the wonderful memories of Tendulkar and said he has learnt so much from the cricketing great rated as one of the best to have ever played the game.“Wishing the great @sachin_rt a very happy birthday. So many wonderful memories of watching you play, and so many great cricket lessons you’ve shared with all of us. Thank you and hope you have a great day,” Rahul added.“Happy birthday @sachin_rt paaji, wish you lots of happiness and good health in the years ahead Hugging face,” Dhawan said in a tweet.Earlier, Kohli tweeted saying Tendulkar’s passion for the game inspired many.“Happy birthday to the man whose passion for the game of cricket has inspired many. Wishing you an amazing year paaji,” he wrote.Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President and former India captain Ganguly wrote: “Wish Sachin a very happy birthday. Have a healthy and happy life.”Former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh never hid his admiration for Tendulkar and he too wished him on social media. His post read: “To the legend with an eternal sweet spot on the bat and in our hearts. Here’s wishing Master Blaster Sachin a very happy birthday. May your life continue to shine like your records and may you continue to inspire billions through your noble deeds. Loads of love and best wishes.One of the most stylish players ever to grace the game, VVS Laxman also had only good things to say about his former teammate. He wrote: “Birthday greetings for dear Sachin. You were and continue to remain an inspiration. Wish you ever more joy in success in all that you do.”Tendulkar’s former opening partner, Virender Sehwag, put up a collage of different pictures to illustrate his never say die spirit. He wrote: “True that the great man could stop time in India when batting. But the biggest inspiration Sachin paaji’s career is summed up in these two pictures. Much needed to remember especially in these difficult times that after every adversary comes victory.“Happy birthday sir thank you for inspiring many and making people believe that dreams do come true. May god bless you with great health and you continue to inspire and guide us always,” said India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.Suresh Raina said: “Happy birthday Sachin Tendulkar paji! Wishing you lots of health and happiness always. I have been so fortunate to share many memorable innings with you, specially my debut 100 & when you completed your 100th century.” IANSAlso Read: Need to identify windows: Sachin Tendulkar on fate of IPL & WT20Also Watch: Sellers take advantage of helplessness of panic stricken citizens by overpricing commodities
ZONE A in Antigua: Leeward Islands Hurricanes, West Indies Under-19, Kent Spitfires, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, Windward Islands Hurricanes.ZONE B in Barbados: Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions, Guyana Jaguars, Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners, International Cricket Council Americas.TUESDAY, January 24Scorpions vs Marooners – 3Ws Oval, Barbados (09:00hrs)Pride vs Jaguars – Kensington Oval, Barbados (13:30hrs)WEDNESDAY, January 25Volcanoes vs West Indies Under-19s – Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua (09:00hrs)Hurricanes vs Spitfire – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua (13:30hrs)THURSDAY, January 26Marooners vs ICC Americas – Windward, Barbados (09:00hrs)Jaguars vs Scorpions – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)FRIDAY, January 27Hurricanes vs West Indies Under-19s – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Red Force vs Volcanoes – CCG (13:30hrs)SATURDAY, January 28Pride vs ICC Americas – 3Ws Oval (09:00hrs)Marooners vs Jaguars – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)SUNDAY, January 29Red Force vs Spitfire – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Hurricanes vs Volcanoes – CCG (13:30hrs)MONDAY, January 30Jaguars vs ICC Americas – Windward (09:00hrs)Pride vs Scorpions – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)TUESDAY, January 31Red Force vs West Indies Under-19 – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Volcanoes vs Spitfire – CCG (13:30hrs)WEDNESDAY, February 1ICC Americas vs Scorpions – 3Ws Oval (09:00hrs)Pride vs Marooners – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)THURSDAY, February 2West Indies Under-19s vs Spitfire – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Hurricanes vs Red Force – CCG (13:30hrs)FRIDAY, February 3Pride vs ICC Americas – Windward (09:00hrs)Marooners vs Jaguars – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)SATURDAY, February 4Volcanoes vs West Indies Under-19s – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Hurricanes vs Spitfire – CCG (13:30hrs)SUNDAY, February 5Pride vs Jaguars – 3Ws Oval (09:00hrs)Marooners vs Scorpions – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)MONDAY, February 6Hurricanes vs West Indies Under-19s – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Red Force vs Volcanoes – CCG (13:30hrs)TUESDAY, February 7Marooners vs ICC Americas – Windward (09:00hrs)Jaguars vs Scorpions – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)WEDNESDAY, February 8Red Force vs Spitfire – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Hurricane vs Volcanoes – CCG (13:30hrs)THURSDAY, February 9Jaguars vs ICC Americas – 3Ws Oval (09:00hrs)Pride vs Scorpions – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)FRIDAY, February 10Red Force vs West Indies Under-19s – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Volcanoes vs Spitfire – CCG (13:30hrs)SATURDAY, February 11Scorpions vs ICC Americas – Windward (09:00hrs)Pride vs Marooners – Kensington Oval (13:30hrs)SUNDAY, February 12Spitfire vs West Indies Under-19s – SVRCG (09:00hrs)Hurricanes vs Red Force – CCG (13:30hrs)FINAL FOURSemi-finalsWEDNESDAY, February 15Zone A winners vs Zone B runners-up – CCG (13:30hrs)THURSDAY, February 16Zone B winners vs Zone A runners-up – CCG (13:30hrs)GRAND FINALSATURDAY, February 18Semi-final 1 winners vs Semi-final 2 winners – CCG (13:30hrs)