France’s Chamber of Deputies set to embrace pensions reform

first_imgAdditionally, employers and employees will see their social contributions increase over the next four years – by 0.15 percentage points in 2014 and 0.05 percentage points in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – to reach an overall increase of 0.3 percentage points by 2017.The government will also ask companies to finance special accounts for “hardship conditions” at work.Hollande’s government announced a new set of measures to reform the French first-pillar pension system at the end of August, after it received a report from a pensions advisory panel.This government convened the panel after a report from the pension steering committee, the Conseil d’Orientation des Retraites (COR), argued in December last year that the previous pension reform introduced in 2010 would fail to tackle France’s deficit by 2018, as previously expected.In its final report sent to the government in June, the pensions advisory panel recommended a further increase in the period of contributions, tax rises for pensioners and an increase in the level of contributions.Additionally, the panel recommended a limit on the indexation of pensions, which would lead the most wealthy retirees, already paying as much as 6.8% of general social contribution (CSG) in tax, see their pensions fall by 1 percentage point compared with inflation.The CSG, introduced in 1990, aims to fund health insurance family benefits and the Retirement Solidarity Fund (FSV).In May, the European Commission called on France to introduce pensions reform after granting the country a further reprieve in correcting its “excessive” budget deficit.At the time, it said: “New policy measures are urgently needed to remedy this situation while preserving the adequacy of the system.”According to Brussels, such measures could include a further increase in the minimum and the full-pension retirement ages, as well as the contribution period, to obtain a full pension.Additionally, France could adapt indexation rules and review the currently “numerous exemptions” to the general scheme for specific categories of workers.However, the Commission warned against increasing the level of social security contributions, given its negative impact on the cost of labour.After further consideration, the French government decided to ignore all the recommendations made by Brussels. French MPs will vote today on the country’s new pensions reform, which seeks to further extend the length of contributions, increase social contributions and introduce special accounts for “hardship conditions” at work.The new reform – part of president François Hollande’s plan to tackle the budget deficit, which could reach up to €20.7bn by 2020, according to official data – is to be adopted by the Chamber of Deputies today before the pension act is sent to the Senate for final approval.Last week, a minority of deputies already pre-approved the measures announced by the government before the official vote took place this afternoon.Among the measures agreed, one aims to extend the length of contributions from the current 41.5 years to 43 years by 2035.last_img read more

French public sector funds tender small cap, EM credit mandates

first_imgFonds de réserve pour les retraites (FRR) has launched a public tender for two small-cap equity mandates incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.The €36bn French pension reserve fund plans to allocate €1.1bn to European small cap companies, and €600m to the shares of listed French small-caps.It said it wanted to “underline its role as a long-term responsible investor at the service of the real economy and increase its impact on the latter”. Companies should have a market capitalisation of no more than €7bn at the time of investment, FRR said. Performance would be measured against the FTSE Small Cap or MSCI Small Cap indices for the respective regions – developed Europe and France – over a complete market cycle, on a three-year rolling basis.Managers would be allowed a tracking error of up to 10% per year.They should demonstrate that their management process integrated ESG considerations, FRR said. Specifically, managers should take into account ESG criteria when evaluating investments, engage with investee companies, and factor in climate change.Managers would need to report both quantitatively and qualitatively on developments at and progress made by investee companies.Up to five individual mandates could be awarded for European small cap investments, and up to six for the allocation to French small caps.ERAFP targets emerging market creditERAFP, the €30bn pension fund for French public servants, has launched a search for emerging market credit managers. The initial allocation was likely to be around €160m, with an objective of increasing this to €300m over three years. The mandate should be managed in accordance with ERAFP’s socially responsible investment policies, it said.ERAFP said it would appoint three managers, two of which would be on standby.The pension fund said it wanted managers to run a portfolio of non-benchmarked conviction holdings and to pursue a buy-and-hold strategy with a view to limiting turnover. The investment universe would be investment grade and good quality high-yield debt, primarily in hard currency. Performance will be compared with the JP Morgan CEMBI Broad Diversified index or another index chosen at ERAFP’s discretion.The pension fund said it would not set a specific tracking error limit.last_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: Big decisions over China for Europe and the UK

first_imgPicking a side in the trade war should be easy, argues Ashmore’s Jan Dehn“It should be an easy decision,” argues Dehn. His prognosis for the US economy is dire, likening it to Argentina in the 2000s under the presidencies of Néstor Carlos Kirchner and then his wife Cristina Kirchner.  Dehn sees Trump’s fiscal stimulus, amounting to 7-8% of GDP, as likely to lead to inflation, twin deficits and a real exchange rate overvaluation. As a result, the US will become less competitive, with Trump responding by increasing protectionism.In sharp contrast, Xi Jinping gave a robust defence of free trade and globalisation at the 2017 Davos meeting. For the euro-zone, China could – and perhaps should – become a more important trading partner than the US.“It will be the world’s global hegemon by the middle of this century,” declares Dehn. Its economy will be two or three times the size of the US by then, he believes, and driven mainly by the growth of domestic consumption.Post-Brexit dealsThe UK needs global customers and a new set of opportunities after exiting the EU in March 2019. China may well be the most important country in the world on which to focus its attention – and it is perhaps fortunate timing in that regard.The US has lost some international credibility under the president’s “America First” approach to international negotiations. China, meanwhile, is seeking to find reliable allies. It has a good relationship with Germany, France and Italy, but none of these are close, and Germany was reportedly upset after Chinese car company Geely bought a 10% stake in Daimler at the start of this year.If China liberalises market access to foreign companies it will benefit everybody, not just the UK or the EU. President Xi has said that China intends to continue to liberalise and open up, and he wants to see more exports from western countries of products that Chinese people want to buy, in an effort to reduce China’s trade surplus with the west. That is a particular issue for president Trump.What Europe will see is an increasing flow of Chinese tourists eager to explore the continent’s major centres of culture and history. However, as Venice has begun limiting its tourists and Cambridge has found ways to regulate the flow of Chinese tour groups, the UK and continental Europe must recognise they cannot just become theme parks for affluent Chinese visitors. They need to embrace their respective relationships with China with gusto – and perhaps recognise Jan Dehn’s warnings of the dangers of sticking too closely to the US.Any closer relationship with China has to deal with key areas of political controversy, such as its relationship with Taiwan, its activities in the South China Sea, and western support for the Dalai Lama and Tibet.None of these issues are sufficiently serious to disrupt future trading relationships. The China-UK relationship has certainly not suffered any strong disagreements recently that would tarnish its mutually proclaimed ‘golden era’, so the omens look good.For the UK post-Brexit, China is the poster child of what it hopes to achieve. The US trade dispute with China leaves the UK in a better competitive position to trade with China – but it may mean that Mandarin language classes should be replacing French and German in UK schools. Emerging markets, including Asia, have had a torrid time over the last few months. However, there has been little news of real substance outside of two key areas: the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates at the end of September, and the escalating trade dispute between the US and China.Issues emerging regarding specific countries, such as Turkey and Argentina, are relatively minor in terms of global impact. Clearly it is the trade dispute involving China, and not interest rate moves, that are unnerving emerging market investors.Europe and the UK are standing on the sidelines in the escalating war of words between the Donald Trump-led US administration and Xi Jinping’s China.Trump’s strategy in dealmaking appears always to start off with extreme – and at times almost outrageous – positions and then strike a compromise that achieves the real goal. That may well be the case with China, although many in Europe have some sympathy with Trump’s complaints over Chinese behaviour post-accession to the World Trade Organisation. The danger is that Trump achieves a Pyrrhic victory by tipping the world into recession through disrupting global trade flows with China. Jan Dehn, global head of research at Ashmore Investment Management, says Europe has to make a key decision: should it continue to have a heavy exposure to the US, or should it diversify away from the US towards a less familiar but approachable China?last_img read more

DIGICEL Regional 4-Day … Pride, Jaguars start key eighth-round clash today at Kensington Oval

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua – As has been the case in each of the last three seasons, the longest rivalry in the game in the West Indies will again take centre stage in the eighth round of the DIGICEL Regional 4-Day Tournament.Strong second-placed contenders Barbados Pride face current leaders and reigning champions Guyana Jaguars, starting today at Kensington Oval, under a unique set of playing conditions.A day later, Leeward Islands Hurricanes will look to use the boost of confidence they gained from a win last weekend to try and topple Windward Islands Volcanoes at Warner Park.At the same time, the round gets into full swing, when Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Jamaica Scorpions meet at Queen’s Park Oval, trying to recover from demoralising defeats in their previous matches.In Bridgetown, Barbados: This match between the Pride and the Jaguars could be the primary decider this season in the destination of the Headley/Weekes Trophy, symbol of R4-Day supremacy.A comfortable victory over the Volcanoes in the previous round have left the Pride 15.8 points adrift of the Jags, whose equally convincing win over the Red Force made them the first team to crack the 100-point ceiling this season.These two teams have more or less been the most consistent over the last three seasons and another absorbing contest between two sides that seem evenly balanced on paper.The teams will have to play smartly however, considering that the first three days will be contested consecutively before a rest day on Sunday to accommodate the first Twenty20 International between West Indies and Pakistan at the same venue, and return to conclude the match on Monday, March 27.The pitch will be protected from damage by a rubberised matting cover and neither side may want to face the prospect of batting last on it, so the toss could be very crucial.Statistics too, bear out how competitive it could become between the two sides: In the last nine matches between them since the start of this decade, they have each won three times and the other three matches have ended in compelling draws.The Pride, however, should be cautious, considering that of the three Jaguars’ wins, two have been at the venue for this weekend’s match, so they should not expect an easy ride from the visitors.In Basseterre, St Kitts: the Hurricanes will be hoping that the green grass of home will breed success against the Volcanoes in the all-Islands classic.The home team came away from their encounter with the Scorpions last weekend unscathed and a bag of points, following a sensational victory in a low-scoring affair, but the visitors suffered a huge dent in confidence when their batting collapsed in the second innings and they suffered defeat.For the Hurricanes though, this appears to be their bogey side, having lost six of the last seven matches against the Volcanoes, including a forgettable 94-run loss last December in the first half of this season.In Port of Spain, Trinidad: Two teams that had their egos crushed in the previous round will be looking to regain ground, as the Red Force and the Scorpions strive for consistency, especially from their batting.Both teams surrendered meekly after promising much against the Jaguars and Hurricanes respectively, eroding gains they had made in the earlier part of the season.Oddly enough, however, both teams in the last three seasons have found it easier to win against each other when they are playing on the road, although the Scorpions bucked the trend in the first-leg match last December in Kingston.So the Red Force will hope this trend will continue and this weekend will end in redemption for their side on home soil.Teams:BARBADOS PRIDE (from): Kevin Stoute (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Jomel Warrican, Kenroy Williams.IN – Brathwaite, Harding, Williams; OUT – Jonathan Carter, Omar Phillips, Kemar Roach.GUYANA JAGUARS (from): Leon Johnson (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Anthony Bramble, Shivanrine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Assad Fudadin, Shimron Hetmyer, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Clinton Pestano, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul SinghIN – Chanderpaul, Pestano; OUT – Veerasammy Permaul, Keon Joseph.last_img read more

Ex-Stanford two-sport star Zach Hoffpauir dies at 26

first_imgEx-Stanford two-sport star Zach Hoffpauir dies at 26 Hoffpauir, who was from Glendale, Arizona, was close friends with McCaffrey’s son, Christian, who’s now an All-Pro running back for the Carolina Panthers, when they both attended Stanford.C hristian McCaffrey posted a photo of Hoffpauir on his Instagram account Friday which began, “Yesterday Heaven gained an angel, and I lost one of my best friends in the world.” He called Hoffpauir “a true friend and great brother to anyone he knew. He was a walking example of how to care for people, a rare soul.”Hoffpauir was a safety for four seasons on the Cardinal football team, winning three Pac-12 titles and two Rose Bowls. He also starred as an outfielder on Stanford’s baseball team and was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2015. Hoffpauir played two seasons of minor league ball, in 2015 and 2018, hitting .224 with three homers and nine RBIs in 107 at-bats in rookie and Class-A ball. At Stanford, his three-year totals were 11 homers, 58 RBIs and a career .295 batting average.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditZach Hoffpauir, a two-sport standout at Stanford who earned All-Pac 12 honors as a safety in football and played two seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system, has died at age 26.The University of Northern Colorado, where Hoffpauir was hired in February as an assistant football coach in charge of the safeties, said Hoffpauir died in his sleep Thursday. The school provided no further details.“I am devastated by the loss of Zach Hoffpauir, a friend to me and my family since his playing days with my son Christian at Stanford,” Bears new head football coach Ed McCaffrey wrote on Instagram on Friday. “He was like a brother to our boys and recently found his calling as our safeties coach at Northern Colorado. He was a young, intelligent coach with limitless potential.” May 16, 2020 Associated Press last_img read more

The Latest: 6 Premier League players test positive for virus

first_imgThe Latest: 6 Premier League players test positive for virus Tests were conducted on 748 players and club staff on Sunday and Monday.The league has not disclosed the names of the individuals who tested positive. They must self-isolate for seven days.___Spanish soccer club Málaga says it plans to fire some employees to improve its financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic.The second-division club’s finances have been overseen by a public administrator since a judge replaced Qatari club owner Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani in February. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Premier League says six players on three clubs have tested positive for the coronavirus following the first round of checks. More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Each team will be allowed to bring 22 people to live in hotels closed to the public. Games will be played at the venue which hosted the basketball tournament at the 1972 Olympics.The plan was approved by the government of the state of Bavaria.League president Alexander Reil says the tournament offers “a certain return to normality” with strong health safeguards amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league has not played since March 8.___French soccer’s awards ceremony has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Málaga says the measure is one of many being taken to “ease the difficult economic situation it is experiencing.” It says the “restructuring” is needed to ensure its sustainability.The club did not say which employees will be fired. The team is in 15th place in the second-division standings.___The German basketball league plans to finish its season next month in a closed three-week tournament.Ten teams will live in Munich and play at the Audi Dome without fans or contact with the outside world. The league’s seven other teams will not take part and their season will be declared finished. Associated Press center_img The country’s players’ union says it will not be presenting trophies for the best players and coaches in the top two divisions of men’s soccer and the women’s first division.The union says the time is not right for “individual awards during this crisis period” and that the winners’s list will be left blank for 2020 in tribute to the medical staff “at the service of our society.”The awards were initially scheduled to be held last weekend.___Manchester United says it will refund fans with season tickets for the games they won’t be able to attend during the coronavirus pandemic. May 19, 2020 Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan will play a series of friendlies next year to raise money for medical facilities in Italy and Spain.The three round-robin games have been dubbed the “European Solidarity Cup” and thousands of medical staff and carers will get tickets for their work fighting the coronavirus pandemic.Dates for the games will be set when the calendar for 2021 is clear and fans are allowed back into stadiums.___Cristiano Ronaldo has reported back to Juventus’ training center after a 10-week absence. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed up for medical tests with the Serie A leaders.Ronaldo observed a two-week isolation period at his home in Turin after spending the lockdown period in his native Portugal.Ronaldo has not been alongside his teammates since helping Juventus to a 2-0 win over Inter Milan on March 8. He flew to his home island of Madeira, Portugal, after that.Serie A was suspended a day later when the Italian government ordered a nationwide lockdown. The league is hoping to resume playing on June 13.___ The Premier League season was suspended in March with United fifth in the standings. United has four home games left.The club wrote to season ticket holders to say “we share your disappointment that you will not be able to watch United in person from within the stadium, but we would encourage you to give your continued loyal support from the comfort and safety of your home.”Clubs are pushing to be allowed to play at their usual stadiums rather than in neutral venues as the police wanted.United is asking fans for their “co-operation not to travel to any stadiums at which we are playing on matchdays.”___last_img read more

Mike Hopkins will coach his 1st game ever on Saturday against Georgetown

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The NCAA released its decision on Jim Boeheim’s appeal on Thursday afternoon, deciding that the “NCAA Committee on Infractions ‘abused its discretion’ by directing the suspension be served during conference play.”As a result, the Syracuse head coach will begin his suspension on Saturday when the Orange faces Georgetown. Boeheim will miss the first three conference games as well. Boeheim will not be allowed to have contact with any of his players or coaches during the 37-day suspension.Here’s a list of the games that Mike Hopkins will coach in Boeheim’s absence:Dec. 5 at GeorgetownDec. 8 vs. ColgateDec. 13 at St. John’sDec. 19 vs. CornellDec. 22 vs. Montana StateDec. 27 vs. Texas SouthernDec. 30 at PittsburghJan. 2 at MiamiJan 5 vs. Clemson Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Published on December 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm Contact Sam: | @SamBlum3last_img read more

Photos: Wisconsin rolls over Baylor in Sweet 16

first_imgANAHEIM, Calif. — Wisconsin advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2005 after beating No. 6 seed Baylor 69-52 in the Sweet 16 Thursday. The Badgers will take on Arizona Saturday at 7:49 p.m. CT in the Honda Center. [Photos by Joey Reuteman]last_img

‘Biggest job interview of our lives:’ Takeaways from Syracuse’s pro day

first_imgOver five weeks out from the NFL Draft, Syracuse football hosted its pro day on Monday, featuring 13 former SU football players.With 26 NFL teams represented, players worked through a day of combine drills. Two players in attendance — wide receiver Jamal Custis and defensive tackle Chris Slayton — received invites to the NFL combine earlier this month.Here are three takeaways from the day.Eric Dungey throwsDungey said he was mad he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine. He told reporters that after he turned in a consistent, albeit ordinary throwing workout. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think I could’ve gone there and done really well,” he said about his absence from the NFL combine.Dungey attempted 42 throws to receivers running routes, completing 36 of them. He feasted on intermediate routes, displaying the refined footwork he and his quarterback coach Jake Heaps spent the past 10 weeks working on. Heaps came away from Dungey’s work out pleased, he said. They had a script of throws intended to display Dungey’s known skillset and beyond, including “NFL” throws like 20-yard outs to the far sideline, sluggos and fly routes down the sideline. Dungey did struggle with his deep accuracy, pushing a few throws beyond his receivers. He also hit some timing routes from 10 yards out late.Custis noted Dungey looked “sharp” after working out with him for the first time since Syracuse’s season ended.Dungey’s received interest from a handful of teams, including three that have gauged the quarterback’s interest in adapting to a Taysom Hill-like role, according to Heaps. The New Orleans Saints use Hill, the former Brigham Young quarterback, as a utility player in special packages.Speaking to reporters, Dungey praised Heaps for polishing his throwing motion which was “all messed up.” He’s still fine tuning it, he said.“The potential is there,” Dungey said. Ryan Guthrie shinesGuthrie dominated the final six weeks of the 2018 season from his middle linebacker position, and he tore up the drills relative to his competition Monday.He finished atop five of the seven drills: vertical leap (34 inches), broad jump (10 feet, three inches), three-cone drill (6.96 seconds), 20-yard shuttle (4.22 seconds) and 60-yard shuttle (11.62 seconds). His broad jump would have been fifth among all linebackers invited to the combine. Facebook Twitter Google+ After the Camping World Bowl, Guthrie said he felt lost after graduating. He didn’t have any clue about what to do or how to proceed. He only recently got an agent, he said. The only thing he had control over was his effort and his work, he said. So he kept his head down, woke up at 5 a.m. every day and worked out at U48 Fitness in Lawrenceville, Georgia, near his hometown of Cummings. After moving to defensive end and back to linebacker at SU before seeing the field, Guthrie hopes NFL teams will see he’s willing to adapt to any situation.“I can eat dirt,” Guthrie said. “I’ll do whatever they want me to do to get on the field.”Custis trusts combine numbers, to work out with Tennessee TitansNeither Custis nor Slayton ran the 40-yard dash on Monday. Custis, who ran a 4.5 at the NFL combine, said he didn’t feel he had enough time between the combine and Monday to prepare fully. Custis did run routes and catch passes during Dungey’s workout. He noted some of the feedback he received at the combine centered around his footwork and route running, so he was eager to display some refinement on Monday.“I tried to use pro day to clean up a lot of little things,” Custis said. “Show them my route running, my speed. Just get the kinks out of things they (scouts) saw at the combine.”As of Monday, Custis said, there are two teams he has workouts scheduled with — one being the Titans. Published on March 18, 2019 at 9:02 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Graham Commentslast_img read more

Jamaica clamps down on inmates recording songs

first_imgToday is March 1. We’re taking a look at some of the top stories that are making the news across your Caribbean-American community.Palm Beach County has taken another step to regulate the services provided to residents by certified nursing aides, CNAs, usually referred to as caregivers. Based on the new regulations, effective today –  caregivers who are not licensed by the county will be subject to a hefty fine, and could face the possibility a 60-day prison sentence.Measures aimed at strengthening security in correctional institutions across Jamaica, have been outlined by the Junior Minister of National Security, Pearnel Charles Jr. The stance taken by the Ministry will also stamp out the practice of inmates recording songs and smuggling them into the public space. The ministry says measures are  also being implemented to eliminate the smuggling of cell phones and other contraband.On Wednesday, March 1, a training exercise will take place at Okeeheelee Park in Palm Beach County. The annual exercise will involve simulated response actions and the simulated emergency protective measures that would be implemented if an emergency at the St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant were to occur.In SportsJamaica‘s gymnastics team took top honors in two classes at the Caribbean Fest Gymnastics tournament in Virginia at the weekend. Jamaica’s 11-member team topped both level one and two while finishing runners-up in level three.Here’s What’s TrendingPresident Donald Trump struck on conciliatory tone when delivered his first address to congress yesterday. The president defended several controversial policies while outlining a bold agenda.For tomorrows weather forecastIt will be partly cloudy in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties with a High of 84 degrees and a low of 72.  For more information on these and other stories, visit us online at Make Sure to pick up your copy of the National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean American outlet.Today’s coverage was brought to you by Grace Soups: Spice up your kitchen with Grace Soups today.  Genuine Caribbean taste enjoyed worldwide!”last_img read more