The average coverage ratio for the largest pension funds in the Netherlands now stands at about 80% in real terms, according to recent statistics compiled by the financial regulator (DNB). BpfBouw, the €54bn scheme for the Dutch building sector, is the exception among the five largest schemes, with a real funding of 90%.The coverage ratio relative to inflation at the €372bn civil service scheme ABP stands at 80.6%, while the ratio at the €179bn healthcare fund PFZW is slightly worse at 78%.Real funding at the large metal schemes PMT and PME was estimated at 79.5% and 79.3%, respectively. The Dutch regulator has started publishing real-funding figures for the first time, as well as statistics on the costs pension funds incur for administration, asset management and transactions.It said this was part of its aim to improve transparency with respect to its supervisory work and increase information regarding pension funds’ financial positions.Last year, the regulator began publishing data on schemes’ premiums, indexation and official ‘policy funding’ – the 12-month average of actual funding, and the criterion for rights cuts and indexation.Of the approximately 250 pension funds in the Netherlands, 19 boast a real funding of more than 100%.With real funding of about 166%, SPMS, the €10bn occupational scheme for medical consultants, is in the best position.The pension funds HAL, Forward (Unilever) and Provisum (C&A) also enjoy relatively high real coverage, of 156%, 134.5% and 127.3%, respectively.With a funding in real terms of 71.7%, the pension funds for dental technicians, Tandtechniek, and Hoop Terneuzen are at the lowest end of the scale.The five largest pension funds reported asset management costs of between 0.61% (ABP) and 0.32% (PME), with the Alliance (Nestlé) and Mars schemes incurring the highest costs, of 1.14% and 1.5%, respectively.Positive exceptions are the pension funds of Ford Netherlands and GPs in training, which both spent 0.13% on asset management.Transaction costs at the five largest schemes ranged between 0.06% (ABP) and 0.10% (PMT and BpfBouw).Several pension funds, including Nielsen AC, Norit and Cosun, have kept the cost of their deals limited to 0.01%, according to DNB.The €67m Pensioenfonds Calpam, which received the Pensioen Pro award for best pension fund in the Netherlands last year, paid 0.02% for transactions and 0.17% for asset management.Despite administration costs of €1,383 per participant, its real funding came in at 133%.Meanwhile, in other news, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, said she would assess the possible effect of a longer recovery period on pension funds’ financial positions.The new financial assessment framework (nFTK) allows for a recovery term of 10 years.During a debate in Parliament, Klijnsma said she would look into whether this option could offer respite to pension funds facing rights cuts.
Black Stars Head Coach Kwesi Appiah has included seven debutants in his 23-man squad for Ghana’s upcoming AFCON 2021 Qualifiers against South Africa and São Tomé and Príncipe.Ashanti Gold forward Shafiu Mumuni’s brilliant form in recent months has earned him a call up along with former Hearts of Oak ace Torric Jibril, with Denmark based Mohammed Kudus also receiving his first call up after his fine form this season.The seven debutants are:Torric JibrilHe currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Congolese side, TP Mazembe, he began his career as an attacker for premier league side, Accra Hearts of Oak. In January 2011, Jibril signed a two and half year deal with Turkish side Bucaspor. He played for the club 26 times, scoring three goals.Iddrisu BabaIddrisu Baba plays for Spanish club RCD Mallorca as a midfielder. He has made ten La Liga appearances for Real Mallorca so far this season. Baba moved to Spain at an early age and joined RCD Mallorca’s youth setup in January 2014, from CD Leganés.Christopher Antwi-AdjeiHe is a German-Ghanaian footballer who plays as a midfielder for German Bundesliga side SC Paderborn. Since joining Paderborn in 2017, he has scored 8 league goals after making 38 appearances. Mohammed SalisuThe robust central defender joined Real Valladolid’s youth setup in October 2017 from Nsawam based African Talent Football Academy. He made his first senior appearance for the side in August 2019 and scored his first ever La Liga goal two months later in a 2-0 win for Real Valladolid against Eibar.Razak AbaloraRazak Abalora is a former West African Football Academy shot stopper who plays for Tanzanian side, Azam FC. He was a member of the Black Stars B team before leaving the shores of the country three years ago.Shafiu Mumuni The AshantiGold goal machine bagged four goals in four games for his side in the CAF Confederation Cup qualifiers, and also emerged top goal scorer at the just ended 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations where he scored four goals in four games for the Black Stars team B on their way to a second place finish at the competition.Mohammed KudusKudus Mohammed plays as a forward for Danish side FC Nordsjælland. Kudus got his official debut for FCN only 3 days after his 18th birthday, in a 0-2 defeat against Brøndby IF. With his debut, he became the 9th youngest debutant in the history of FC Nordsjælland. He also represented Ghana at Under 17 level at the World Cup back in 2017.Ghana will face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on November 14 at the Cape Coast Stadium, before travelling to São Tomé and Príncipe four days later to take on the Seleção dos Falcões e Papagaios. Source: Rita Mensah/CitiSports/Ghana
Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum (5th from left) joins LEDFC, GN Bank representatives in calling on Liberian SMEs to be hopefulThe Liberian Enterprise Development Finance Company (LEDFC) has received another boost in its efforts to support small and medium enterprises in the country through a loan of US$20 million.The signing ceremony of the loan agreement was chaired by Groupe Ndoum, a Ghanian finance company operating in partnership with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).OPIC is a self-sustaining U.S. government agency that helps American business invest in emerging markets.The Liberian Enterprise Development Finance Company (LEDFC), following a performance assessment of its operations by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), has won a chance, for the second time in row to receive US$20 million for lending. The announcement was made by Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum, President and chief executive officer (CEO) of Groupe Ndoum, parent company of LEDFC.According to Dr. Ndoum, the money will be used to lend to Liberian-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and it is hoped that an additional US$16 million will come from other sources (not named) to increase the lending pot to US$36 million.Dr. Ndoum added that the signing ceremony was to announce the availability of the second US$20 million so as to provide the space for qualified Liberian SMEs to apply for funding from the LEDFC.LEDFC is the only Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) licensed development finance company in Liberia and is a member of Groupe Ndoum, a multinational company that has investments in Liberia.“It is because of OPIC the first US$20 million came. This second US$20 million demonstrates, on the part of OPIC, not just a common support to the SMEs, but commitment to the revival of the Liberian economy,” Dr. Ndoum said.OPIC was established in 1971 and, since then, it has and continues to provide businesses the needed tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances the United Staes foreign policy and national security priorities.“OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad,” Ndoum said. He added that OPIC also fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum affixes his signature to the US$20 million OPIC loan to LEDFC for onward lending to SMEs.For those seeking loans from the LEDFC, the general manager, Ambrose Houphouet, said an applicant must be a Liberian and running a business through which a few or some other Liberians are earning their daily bread and improving their lives through the acquisition of skills in order for them to provide help for others in need.Houphouet said every applicant must be willing to pay back the full amount given him or her.“The interest rate ranges between 11 percent to 15 percent per annum and it is the uncompromising expectation of LEDFC that applicants pay according to the interest rate agreed upon, so as to enable his company return the money to the companies that provide it. Other people, too, need the same money to expand and improve their businesses,” he said.He said applicants, depending on each one’s business case, are encouraged to apply for at least US$10,000 or even up to US$1 million.“LEDFC was founded in 2007 and as of that time, over 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from the loan program and over 5000 jobs have also been created in the Liberian struggling economy,” Houphouet said. According to him, the initial money for the LEDFC to begin administering its loans was provided by the Robert L. Johnson (RLJ) Foundation.“LEDFC has financial inclusion as a priority and, for this fact, three additional offices of LEDFC are now operating outside of Monrovia,” he noted.He pointed out that in 2013 there were concerns that LEDFC could not have survived the tough business conditions in the Liberian economy but, having interest in ensuring that Liberian businesses keep up and running, his company got in touch with Groupe Ndoum for assistance and advice.“Due to Groupe Ndoum’s in-depth experience and knowledge in financial matters in the sub-region, LEDFC accepted that it (Groupe Ndoum) take over the management of our company. This was in 2011,” he said.Houphouet explained further that given Groupe Ndoum’s successful management of LEDFC, GN Bank went ahead to acquire the entity for an ownership transfer consideration of US$2,000. GN Bank also assumed the existing OPIC loan liability of US$20 million.“GN quickly restructured LEDFC’s management and operations. It is significant to note that GN kept all employees of LEDFC as members of its employees. I mean, this was after it took over LEDFC,” he said.He said the SMEs will soon be informed of when the disbursement of loans will begin at LEDFC for the second US$20 million.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)