Performance figures were submitted by so-called ‘closed’ funds, which are generally pension plans for a single employer or group of companies, and which make up the vast bulk of occupational plans.The WTW universe covers around €13bn in assets, which is 80% of the closed pension fund market in Portugal. It incorporates more than 100 pension funds within the figures to end-December 2016, including the five biggest pension fund managers in Portugal.The figures are based on median performance over each timeframe.The final quarter of the year had produced returns which – at 0.6% – dipped below the previous quarter’s, of 1.4%.Guedes said: “The Portuguese pension fund market has a euro bond exposure of roughly 60%. The fourth quarter was poor for euro bonds in general, and slightly worse for eurozone government aggregate bonds. Another factor in these low returns was probably the high exposure to direct real estate and liquidity, giving a significant ‘cash drag’ effect.”He also highlighted the bias normally found in using local asset managers for local assets: “It’s probably worth noting that the PSI 20 [the top 20 stocks on the Lisbon Stock Exchange] had a painful performance, losing 12% over 2016.”According to regulator ASF, debt was still the single biggest asset in Portuguese pension fund portfolios, with 49% invested directly in the asset class as at end-December 2016. Of this, 31% was in public and 18% in private debt.Direct equity holdings were 8% of portfolios, while direct real estate made up 8%. A further 7% was in cash.In addition, investment funds formed 29% of portfolios, but the split between asset classes was not published.However, estimates from the Portuguese Association of Investment Funds, Pension Funds and Asset Management (APFIPP) broke down the investment fund figures to give an overall asset allocation of 57% in debt, 21% in equities and 13% in real estate.The APFIPP sample covered 87% of the Portuguese pension fund market.Guedes said: “The star of 2016 was definitely the US stock market, mostly due to the ‘Trump effect’ which pushed stock prices through the roof during the fourth quarter of 2016. Given the relatively conservative allocation of the closed pension funds market, the gains arising from the strong performers for 2016 (US, China and oil-driven commodities), were somewhat limited in Portuguese portfolios.” Occupational pension funds in Portugal made an average 1.8% investment return for the 2016 calendar year, down from 3.3% for 2015, according to Willis Towers Watson (WTW).The figures brought average annualised returns for the three years to 31 December 2016 to 4.3%, and for the five years to that date, to 5.8%.Gaudêncio Guedes, an investment consultant at WTW, said: “From the general performance indices, we would have expected around a 4% return overall – excluding real estate – for 2016, if we consider the actual asset allocation of the closed pension funds.“However, the first quarter of 2016 was a tough one for financial markets and it may well have triggered a number of difficult decisions by managers regarding the investment strategies to be adopted that set the path for the rest of the year.”
By Clifton RossWEST Indies Under-19 spinner, Ashmead Nedd, said he’s passing the time watching tapes while working out indoors as he patiently awaits the return of cricket, whenever Covid-19 allows the world to return to near normalcy.The Guyanese spin ace, in an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sports, touched on a number of topics surrounding the recent state of lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, as well as post-pandemic plans for athletes.Sportsmen have been turning their abodes into places of training and practice since the global lockdown came into effect almost two months now.Nedd, enjoyed a phenomenal 2020 with the West Indies U-19 team in the World Cup, ending with 11 wickets as their leading wicket taker. Prior to that, he made his debut for the strung- together West Indies Emerging Players (WIEP) who shocked the region by winning their maiden Super50 title.Now, with time home due to the quarantine and lockdown, the 19 year-old said he has been pushing in some hard work while enjoying his down time at home.“Since this lockdown started, it just gave me some time to do extra fitness work even though there’s no gym around and so on. There’s some work you can do to keep your body fit, although I haven’t gotten the chance to do much in my skills such as bowling/batting and fielding”, said the Windies youth spinner.Although a sportsman’s career revolves around physical fitness coupled with the ongoing process of sharpening one’s skill sets, the left-arm spinner said it was equally important to have adequate rest and, as such, is cherishing this rare, prolonged time home.“Time off is pretty good, it gives you time to look back on your performances and watch video clips of yourself and see where you went wrong. It also gives you some time, if you do have the opportunity to work on correcting those errors”, Nedd pointed out.Looking ahead, possibly to a newer era of sports due to the virus, which continues to spread globally, Nedd added that the future for athletes could be a bit different from what it was before, adding that being away from cricket is tough.“It’s difficult throughout the world with the covid-19 pandemic. As a sports person knowing you’re away from something you love doing, I think of it also as a kind of set back”, He ended.
Portugal will edge closer to the knockouts should they beat Morocco in their second Group B game in Moscow.Portugal defender Pepe said it was a “privilege” for the country to have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid star’s dazzling display against Spain on Friday.Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, including an 88th-minute free-kick, as the European champions rescued a point late on in a pulsating 3-3 draw in their opening Group B match last weekend.”The most important thing for our team is for Cristiano Ronaldo to be well,” Pepe told reporters at the Luzhniki Stadium ahead of Wednesday’s clash. “He’s very happy to be here with us and every match it’s a privilege for us Portuguese to have a player such as him.”Morocco manager Herve Renard admits it could be difficult for his side to contain Ronaldo as the North African nation look to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Iran. He said: “Even if you want to draw up plans for Ronaldo, he always finds a way out or makes a difference or puts his team back on the right track.”He’s absolutely exceptional. Perhaps that word isn’t even strong enough but you have to do everything to stop him.”Team newsAll 23 players took part in Portugal’s final training session ahead of their clash at the Luzhniki Stadium. Andre Silva is expected to take the place of Goncalo Guedes up front, while Joao Mario could be in line to start.Morocco boss Renard is expected to name an unchanged side to the one that faced Iran on Friday.Match stats Morocco beat Portugal 3-1 in their only previous encounter, in the group stages of the 1986 World Cup. It was Morocco’s first win at the tournament.Portugal’s only defeat against African opposition at the World Cup came against Morocco in 1986 (1-3) – they’ve won two and drawn one of their subsequent three games against them.Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Spain in their opening match, making him just the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments, after Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose.Cristiano Ronaldo has also scored in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships, Copa America) for Portugal, the first player in history to do this – the previous record holder was Zizinho, who scored in seven consecutively.Morocco’s Aziz Bouhaddouz scored an own-goal against Iran in their opening match, becoming just the third substitute to score an own-goal in a World Cup match, after Laszlo Dajka in 1986 (Hungary v USSR) and Petit in 2006 (Portugal v Germany).