Finland’s VER sees ultra-low ECB rates as positive for investments

first_imgThe European Central Bank’s policy of ultra-low and negative interest rates is generally positive for the investment prospects of Finland’s State Pension Fund (VER), according to the fund’s managing director, though he warned the central bank’s stance could become a major problem for some pension funds in the longer term.Timo Löyttyniemi, managing director of the €16.5bn pension fund, told IPE: “My approach is that, for a short period of time, it is OK to have low rates, as long as there are no negative shocks in the macroeconomy.“But in the longer term it could turn out to be a real challenge for pension funds’ fixed income investments.”Earlier this month, the ECB became the first major central bank to set negative interest rates. It cut its deposit rate for banks from 0% to -0.1% and its benchmark interest rate to 0.15% from 0.25%, as measures to stimulate the euro-zone economy.Half of VER’s assets are not directly invested in fixed income, Löyttyniemi said, because the fund has an equity weighting of 40%, while alternatives make up another 10%.So far this year, however, even though the ECB policy has weighed on interest rates for fixed income, VER’s fixed income portfolio has produced a return of 3-4% in the first five months of the year, which Loyttyniemi described as splendid.“This will become challenging for the future returns, especially on government bond and credit bond rates,” he said.Löyttyniemi said he very much understood the ECB’s efforts to get money moving from the banking system to the real economy.“That is why they have to take these various measures, and they have room to do that as long as inflation remains at a low level,” he said.However, he pointed to the sudden increase in 10-year US government bond yields seen in May 2013, which had strong side-effects for emerging markets, as an example of how a situation can change unexpectedly.“That’s a warning for the future, that the change could come quite quickly,” he said, but he added that, for the time being, the pressure was limited as long as inflation rates remained low.While he said a steady, low-yield environment would not be problem for pension funds that had enough equities in their portfolios – assuming there were no macroeconomic global shocks – Löyttyniemi warned that if it continued for too long there was a risk to the value of assets.“It is always the case that when a trend continues for too long – especially when it is affected by policy issues – it might become destabilising,” he said.However, right now, what is lacking in European and other economies is the momentum of growth, and precisely this aspect is being targeted by the ECB, he said.However, if time suggested the policy was proving ineffective, there would then be an expectation of additional measures, as sufficient growth is the ultimate goal, he said.last_img read more

Read More »

​Norges Bank bemoans lack of scale for developing nations’ infrastructure

first_imgThe manager for Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has bemoaned the smaller scale of infrastructure projects in developing nations after a report to the government called for it be allowed to invest in the asset class.Noting that infrastructure assets in emerging markets and developing economies present additional challenges not found in OECD countries, a discussion note released by Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) nevertheless emphasises that the less mature markets represent “interesting investment opportunities for investors willing and able to take on these additional risks”.The publication of the note, released alongside a complementary paper discussing the opportunities in renewable energy, comes after the Norwegian government was urged to allow the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to invest in unlisted clean energy and emerging market infrastructure.In a report co-written by Leo de Bever, former chief executive of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation and commissioned by the Ministry of Finance last year, the government was also urged to broaden the GPFG’s property mandate to allow it to benefit from urbanisation in emerging markets. The detailed report made a number of suggestions, although the three co-authors – de Bever, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh of New York University and Richard Stanton of University of California, Berkeley – could not agree whether the sovereign fund should opt for listed or unlisted infrastructure investments, with a 2-1 split in favour of a “substantial” direct infrastructure portfolio.Van Nieuwerburgh and Stanton were concerned with “myriad non-financial risks” stemming from unlisted holdings, including political and reputational risks, whereas de Bever argued that the sovereign fund’s peers were operating largely in the unlisted space.Outlining their reasons for investing in emerging market infrastructure, the co-authors cite a strong historical performance but also the “enormous” funding need in such countries, especially after traditional funding sources were in decline.“The main challenge lies in managing several incremental sources of risk such as political risk, regulatory risk and management and governance risk,” the report says.It also recommends a greater focus on emerging market property once NBIM has built up sufficient internal expertise.“Due to urbanisaton, a growing middle class and a rebalancing towards a larger service sector,” it says, “much of the world’s future demand for real estate will be in developing countries.”The recommendation that NBIM be allowed to grow clean energy holdings into the unlisted space comes after the fund’s environmental mandate – partially comprising stakes in listed clean energy – was doubled.The “opening up” to unlisted clean energy would allow NBIM to “explore” the sector, the report’s authors said, adding that clean energy would constitute “a majority” of energy investments over the coming 30 years.last_img read more

Read More »

European equities pushing down returns at Portuguese pension funds

first_imgSecond-quarter returns of 0.17% by occupational pension funds in Portugal helped pare down their negative performance earlier in 2016, giving average returns of -0.16% for the first half of the year, according to figures from Willis Towers Watson (WTW).Returns for the 12 months to 30 June were 1.02%, with annualised returns of 4.74% for the three years, and 5.12% for the five years, to that date.This compared with a 2.39% return for the first half of 2015 and a 4.09% return for the 12 months to 30 June 2015.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 includes more than 100 pension funds for the six-month and 12-month figures to end June 2016.It also includes the five biggest pension fund managers in Portugal.The figures are based on median performance over each time-frame. Gaudêncio Guedes, an investment consultant at WTW, said: “As with all euro-zone investors, euro bonds are contributing the most in pushing returns up, since a large part is invested in core euro government bonds. European equities, on the other hand, are the ones pushing returns down.” According to the Portuguese Association of Investment Funds, Pension Funds and Asset Management (APFIPP), debt dominates the portfolios of Portuguese pension funds, with 54.9% invested in the asset class as at 31 March.Of this, 29.4% was in public and 18.4% in private debt (both as direct investments), with a further 7.1% in bond funds.Total equity holdings were 20.3%, with 8.6% held directly and 11.7% through funds.Direct real estate made up 8.8% of portfolios, with a further 5% through funds.Turning to the next 12 months, Guedes said: “We believe low yields within the euro-zone will continue. Restrictions for Portuguese pension funds under safety and prudential rules, as well as the relatively less dynamic structure of the asset management industry, are not conducive to immediate changes in investment portfolios.“So it is highly likely the pension fund market as a whole will maintain its tendency for low returns, as seen for the past year.”He added that it was likely in the near future that pension funds would look beyond traditional investments for sources of returns – for example, to non-European credit and, eventually, alternative assets.last_img read more

Read More »

Denmark’s PKA makes ‘ambitious’ move to win private sector schemes

first_imgThese could be private clinics servicing the public sector, for example. “It’s a very big move and very ambitious, and we are launching the products so we are ready for these different groups,” Frydenberg said.The rationale for the new strategy, which PKA had been working on for some time, was partly to cater for the changing needs of existing members, he said, and partly because the prevailing trend towards consolidation in the Danish pensions sector means providers must compete actively for customers – or risk eventual extinction.“What we are seeing in the labour market is an increasing tendency for people to move between the public and private sector in their careers,” Frydenberg said, adding that if PKA were unable to take that on board, it would have a problem with existing members.The gradual development of the pensions provision sector in Denmark is towards economies of scale, he added, and PKA wants to be part of this.“We want to be the ones eating the others and not the other way around,” he said.Fellow labour-market pension provider Sampension began targeting corporate pension scheme contracts at the end of last year.It announced its first big company scheme win earlier this month, taking the contract to manage pensions for the 1,000-plus staff of retail chain Sportsmaster away from Nordea Life & Pensions. Frydenberg said PKA was also opening up to the commercial sector like this but, at the moment, was only aiming at schemes and individuals in the heath and social care sector.He said there were around 10,000 potential individuals such as nurses, midwives and social workers that PKA could win as members with the new product push.But the possible expansion of PKA’s current membership of 275,000 far exceeds 10,000 because of its plan to target new employer and group schemes, he said.Frydenberg said PKA may be competing for new business against the likes of PFA and Danica as the current providers for such schemes.The new product treats elements of the standard PKA pension product as building blocks, allowing for these to be combined in various ways.For instance, customers can forgo the insurance element, or include a different type of insurance such as income-protection insurance, which is not generally necessary in the public sector.While PKA’s standard product is invested on a with-profits or average rate (gennemsnitsrente) basis, through its administrator Forca, Frydenberg said PKA would also offer market rate (markedsrente) investment as an option. Danish labour-market pension provider PKA is making a “big, ambitious move” to take on thousands of new members in its home sector and win private-sector pension schemes from the hands of commercial providers such as Danica and PFA.The DKK250bn (€33.6bn) pensions provider, which runs three social and healthcare sector pension funds, has announced a new pension product called PKA Private, which can be tailored to suit different requirements to appeal to a wider range of potential customers.Tomas Frydenberg, executive director in charge of membership matters, told IPE: “This is part of a two-step approach, and what we are saying is that we now want to take on private individual self-employed people and others who are not working as part of a collective agreement.“The second step on top of that is that we have now entered the market to win larger schemes or groups somehow affiliated with the health and social care sector.”last_img read more

Read More »

Lithuania plans major overhaul of second-pillar pensions

first_imgLinas Kukuraitis, Lithuanian minister for social security and labourIn the government’s presentation of the reforms, Linas Kukuraitis, minister for social security and labour, said the changes were essential to tackle the country’s deteriorating demographics and the low level of pensions for the poorest retirees.As a result of a falling birth rate and high emigration, Lithuania’s population has fallen by more than 23% since the start of the 1990s to an estimated 2.9m. It is expected to decline by a further 1% a year for the foreseeable future, reducing the number of workers supporting a single pensioner from 3.5 to 1.7 by middle of the century.Meanwhile, without reforms, the wage replacement ratio of current pensions was expected to fall from 42% to 34%.Contribution changesUnder Lithuania’s current “maximum accumulation” scenario, second-pillar savings in 2016-19 are funded by the so-called ‘2+2+2’ system: 2% of social security system contributions, with an additional 2% of additional payment from a salary, matched by a state contribution based on the previous year’s average state wages.  The government has proposed to change this over the coming five years to a ‘4+2’ formula, with transfers from the social security system ceasing and salary contributions doubling.For those currently paying the maximum contribution, proposed tax changes would in effect reduce the overall social security contribution, making it cost-neutral for these contributors, the government said.Employers and employees can voluntarily make contributions above 4%, qualifying for further tax relief.Alternative solutions were not deemed acceptable or feasible by the government, including raising the retirement age by eight years, increasing social security contributions by 12 percentage points, or increasing the working population by some 600,000.The reforms, if passed by the Seimas (parliament), would come into effect next year. However, the reforms include a 50% cut in pension fees, as well as a reduction in the minimum amount currently required to purchase an annuity. Pension funds will also be obliged to introduce life-cycle investment strategies.This policy has long been advocated by Bank of Lithuania, the sector regulator, which has argued that the majority of fund members were assuming either too much or too little risk for their age group. Lithuania plans to introduce auto-enrolment for younger workers as part of long-awaited major reforms to its voluntary second-pillar pensions system.The government in Vilnius yesterday announced the most radical pension system overhaul since 2013. The most significant proposal is the introduction of second-pillar auto-enrolment for workers under 40 years of age, with the right to opt out, delay or temporarily suspend payments.For the pensions industry, auto-enrolment is expected to save asset managers substantial sums in sales and marketing costs.last_img read more

Read More »

​AP7 illiquids scheme fails to convince Swedish buffer funds

first_imgA plan for radical changes to the asset allocation behind the AP7-run default option in Sweden’s premium pension system has met with scepticism from two of the country’s national pension funds.In responses to the consultation on a package of reform proposals commissioned from pensions expert Mats Langensjö, AP1 and AP6 – buffer funds backing the main part of the state pension – have expressed doubts about the plan’s idea of allowing AP7 to invest heavily in illiquid assets.AP7 is the largest of Sweden’s national pension funds, and is the only one operating in the premium pension system – the individual accounts segment of the state pension, where it runs the balanced Såfa product for people who make no active choice from the private funds available.AP6, which differs from Sweden’s main four pension buffer funds in that it invests solely in private equity, said the proposal to allow the default option to invest up to 40% of managed funds in illiquid and alternative assets – including venture capital funds, unlisted real estate companies – would turn AP7 into a large and influential private equity investor even from an international perspective, considering its assets may grow to between SEK2trn and SEK3trn under the reform. “Such a position creates opportunities from an investment point of view, but is also resource intensive,” AP6 said, in response to the consultation on the proposal entitled “Promemorian Förvalsalternativet inom premiepensionen (Fi2020/00584/FPM)”.A role like that would involve a responsibility to actively influence business conditions and governance, AP6 said.There was a need for clearer impact assessment of the resources that the newly-styled default fund would need, it said, based on a comparative analysis of corresponding international players.The fund also took issue with the proposal’s idea that the default option should allow redemption of unit shares at least monthly – even though this infrequency was meant to account for difficulty of ongoing valuations when illiquid assets were involved.“Investors in private equity funds receive normal reporting on a quarterly basis (and then with a number of weeks lag), but assessments of the values of existing underlying assets are usually made only semi-annually or even annually,” AP6 said.On top of this, the Gothenburg-based buffer fund said that in its experience, the most accurate pricing of an underlying private equity asset only happened when it was sold.“This does not pose a problem for a long-term investor, but creates difficulties when the intention is to provide regular trading of a default alternative where such assets (or other illiquid assets with corresponding valuation problems) are an essential part of the portfolio,” it said.Separately, Stockholm-based AP1 spoke against the idea of shifting AP7 into the scope of the newly-reformed investment rules that apply to the big four buffer funds, saying AP7 had a very different task from AP1-4.Noting that Langensjö’s proposal meant AP7’s investment rules would refer to the National Pension Funds (AP Funds) Act (2000:192) – or APL – rather than to the the Swedish Mutual Funds Act (2004:46) as they do now,  AP1 said there were reasons why AP7 should stick with its special regulation.“The Seventh AP Fund has an assignment that differs significantly from the other AP funds,” it said.“The Seventh AP Fund has an assignment that differs significantly from the other AP funds” AP-Fund 1“Therefore, referring to the APL investment rules may in time lead to necessary changes to the APL not being implemented, if such changes would have consequences for the Seventh AP Fund, or that the necessary changes for the Seventh AP Fund would not be made if such changes would have consequences for other AP funds,” the buffer fund said.However, AP1 said it welcomed the introduction of targets for the default and the extension of AP7’s management mandate.But it was doubtful about the plan to create a separate savings portfolio for the default option’s savings phase, and a payment solution for the payment phase, saying this could lead to fragmentation which would make the necessary overall and long-term view difficult.“The First AP Fund, therefore, shares the assessment that the issue of a transitional solution between the savings phase and the disbursement phase should be specifically investigated,” it said, adding that this also applied to the conditions for the payment phase.The deadline for responses to the consultation was yesterday.Langensjö’s memorandum on the future shape of the default option in the premium pension system is part of a broader reform of the whole SEK1.5trn system.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

Read More »

‘Largest ever’ asset manager ESG evaluation launched

first_img“The aggregate data will be used to present those asset managers that demonstrate a commitment to ESG-focused competencies and capabilities to UK pension trustees and asset owners, highlighting expertise and innovation in the investment process,” it said.A report is also to be published to all key industry policymakers and stakeholders “as a mechanism to drive change and greater engagement across the industry”.UK pension schemes and their trustees are to be granted access to the asset manager responses at no cost.“This results of this work has the potential to create unprecedented transparency in the industry,” Joe Dabrowski, head of DB, LGPS and standards at the PLSAJoe Dabrowski, head of DB, LGPS and standards at the PLSA, said pension schemes were “keenly aware” of the impact of climate change on their investments and on saver outcomes but needed the services and support of asset managers to investor accordingly and adapt to a fast-changing regulatory environment.“This results of this work has the potential to create unprecedented transparency in the industry,” he said. “I know pension funds and key industry policymakers will be interested to see the report of findings.”Keith Phillips, CEO of TISAtech, said: “This evaluation, which we hope will become an annual exercise, will support the pensions and wider financial services industry to navigate new risks and will ensure transparency.“It will soon become very clear who is adapting and performing well and who is not.”TISAtech describes itself as “a digital marketplace that brings together financial institutions and fintechs for greater collaboration and innovation. Currently, ESG technologies are highly fragmented, so TISAtech provides a place for these technologies to convene.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. More than 1,700 asset managers globally have been sent a request for information about environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues facing investors and their ESG-centric investing strategies, according to the UK industry bodies behind the move.TISAtech, a new digital platform launched by The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA), sent the request for information to the asset managers. The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is collaborating with TISAtech on the initiative as part of its ‘Investing for Good’ programme.The deadline for response is 22 October. IPE was told that 25 asset managers registered to respond within the first hour of the request for information being posted via investRFP.com.The latter said a primary objective of the request was to support UK pension schemes’ active management of their exposure to climate change (risk), in line with Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures recommendations.last_img read more

Read More »

Clifton Beach esplanade the perfect mix of luxury and escape

first_img53 Upolu Esplanade Clifton BeachEach side is enclosed with high walls and enahnced with landscaping to provide privacy and encompass much wanted indoor/outdoor living.“We made sure with the fences, as soon as you walked in you escaped from what I call ‘reality’ and into an oasis,” she said.“It has complete privacy. “Even through there are no curtains in the bedrooms, the windows are designed so you have privacy.” The kitchen is just one of the highlights of this tropical delight.Built on a grand scale, it has a mirror star splashback reflecting the light and boasting a concealed butler’s pantry with convention oven and dishwasher.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago 53 Upolu Esplanade Clifton Beach“We decided to take up the whole block (when building) so didn’t have too much maintenence,” she explained. “It’s really a lock-up an leave home. Perfect if you want to use it for Airbnb.”Behind the entrance you are greeted with seamless porcelain tiles, high ceilings with LED downlights, corner bifolds that bring the outside in, complemented by the built in SMEG barbecue with stone bench tops and a bar overlooking the lap pool. The deisgn includes a discreet powder room and outdoor shower. “It was all about entertaining with the outdoor alfresco area over looking the pool which can be accessed through bifold doors,” she said. “We really designed it to make entertaining easy.On the beach front esplanade of Clifton Beach, the property shares two access points on a corner block. 53 Upolu Esplanade, Clifton Beach“There is audio throughout, using bluetooth you can choose which rooms to have music playing.”This end of the home also houses three additional oversized bedrooms each with built-in robes, three-way main bathroom with wet room features, double vanity and separate powder room.The laundry has excess storage and there is a double car garage.The positioning of this part of the property allows the home to flow seamlessly while also maintaining privacy and functionality for all members of your family and/or guests. Finally, the location was another attraction for the owners. 53 Upolu Esplanade, Clifton Beach“You can walk over to Palm Cove and take the kids to Clifton Beach and to the shops,” Ms Terrens said. A property for the discerning buyer, whether for the ideal holiday home or a great entertainer that appreciates a level of luxury and privacy that is so hard to find.center_img 53 Upolu Esplanade, Clifton BeachIt is complete with stainless SMEG appliances, under mount sinks and high quality tapware. The oversized master suite entices you to relax in style in your private space, or step effortlessly out to the entertaining area through bifold doors and take a dip. The ensuite has wet room finishes, double shower, twin vanity, and a freestanding bathtub with separate powder room. The master suite is completed with an oversized walk-in robe. In addition to the entertainment space, this home boasts a separate open plan media room.“With the kids, we had the media room, which can shut off from the main entertaining area – the idea was kids back there and adults in the alfresco area,” she said. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58COMBINING appreciable luxury and desirable levels of privacy, this beachside paradise was designed to provide an escape from “reality” while making the most of the Far North’s tropical lifestyle.Built just three years ago, and more than 360sq m, the home is an entertainer’s delight with alfresco area, pool, a media room and fully wired for music..Owner Elizabeth Terrens said from the outset it was designed with entertainment in mind, as well as being low maintenance and maintaining a sense of privacy.The result certainly meets those key areas.last_img read more

Read More »

Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life

first_img So the couple set about transforming the dark and dusty abode, with tacky 1970s renovations, into a light, bright and open family home, oozing with character once again.A combination of wood and white has become the couple’s signature look when it comes to renovating, as documented through their Instagram account @woodandwhiterenovations, so it’s no surprise they painted the entire house white – inside and out.They kept the configuration of the house almost exactly the same, except for moving the kitchen from a back corner to what was previously an enclosed sun room and knocking a few walls out to open up the living and dining area. BEFORE: The dining area before the renovation of 1 Law St, Bundamba.AFTER: The dining area after the renovation.They converted the former kitchen into a second living area/study, featuring a custom-made, built-in daybed and a panoramic window looking out to the landscaped backyard and giant sandpit.A custom-made daybed and panoramic window.They removed the built-in wardrobe in one of the bedrooms to make it big enough to fit two single beds for children.The closed-in veranda was opened up to its original state and the aluminium windows removed. BEFORE: The back of the house at 1 Law St, Bundamba before the renovation.AFTER: The back of the house after the renovation.“We wanted to try and return it to what it looked like originally,” Mrs Campbell said.She spent months searching for old photos of the house and had almost given up when she was contacted by a former resident of the home on a Facebook page called Lost Ipswich.“She came around just before we finished and told us her stories of living there for 30 years,” Mrs Campbell said. BEFORE: The kitchen in the house at 1 Law St, Bundamba before the renovation.AFTER: The kitchen after the renovation.“She absolutely loved the house and obviously had so many memories. She got married there, had her wedding pictures taken there.” More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Manly property has gone from shack to chic12 Sep 2019It was a touch of nostalgia that made restoring the house even more special.The rest of the renovation was tedious, but relatively hassle-free, with the hardest part being living through it with a two-year-old son.“There were a lot of late nights, because we had to do it while he was sleeping. We’ve done everything ourselves,” Mrs Campbell said.BEFORE: The bathroom at the house at 1 Law St, Bundamba, before the renovation.AFTER: The bathroom after the renovation.That’s mostly why the couple was able to keep costs down, although being resourceful helped.“Not a lot has changed, even though it looks like it has,” Mrs Campbell said. “The biggest cost was the kitchen, and even that was a flatpack from Bunnings.”BEFORE: The front of the house at 1 Law St, Bundamba, before the renovation.AFTER: The front of the house after the renovation.A “barn-style”door used in the house is actually an old toilet door from the couple’s previous renovation. A mock cast-iron fireplace in the living room.It’s a shame the Campbells won’t get to enjoy the fruits of their labour, as they have to move to north Queensland unexpectedly. The property is being marketed by Jason McNamara of Ipswich Real Estate and is for sale for offers under $399,000. Tiffany Campbell and her builder husband Chris recently finished their third renovation project – a 1920s classic Queenslander in the Ipswich suburb of Bundamba.The three-bedroom, one-bathroom house at 1 Law St was in reasonable condition when the couple bought it in late 2018, but they knew they could inject new life into it with a cosmetic renovation.Details of the renovation of an old Queenslander at 1 Law St, Bundamba.“It was large and with three, genuine-sized bedrooms, which is quite hard to find,” Mrs Campbell said. “The main thing we were looking for was for the floorboards to be intact. With our last one, they were all eaten out by termites!” But under the dusty old carpet were perfectly good timber boards, which have come up beautifully. BEFORE: The outdoor entertaining area at 1 Law St, Bundamba, before the recent renovation AFTER: The outdoor entertaining area after the renovation. The front of the house at 1 Law St, Bundamba, after the renovation. T HEY may have stuck to a tight budget, but there’s nothing cheap about this home makeover.last_img read more

Read More »

Boston Carriers Inks Bareboat Charter Deal to Buy Bulker

first_imgGreece-based shipping company Boston Carriers has entered into a contract to acquire a secondhand dry bulk carrier.The company has not disclosed the name or the owner of the 46,000 dwt, 1996-built vessel which will become the only owned ship in the company’s fleet.As informed, the company will provide a down payment of USD 500,000 together with the issuance of 10 million shares of common stock restricted for four years at a price of USD 0.05 per share prior to delivery of the vessel.Boston said it will pay USD 2,191 per day for a period of five years during for having full use of the vessel. After the end the payment schedule, the bulker will be fully owned by Boston without any further payment.Antonios Bertsos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated that “Boston’s short-term employment strategy allows the company to capture any potential upside that arise in the dry bulk market.”“We believe in the dry bulk sector and will attempt to continue to grow our fleet with additional dry bulk Handysize-Handymax vessels,” he added.In 2017, Boston Carriers chartered several times the Handymax bulker Nikiforos from compatriot Marine Spirit. It is understood that the newly purchased vessel is the 45,700 dwt Nikiforos, previously named Go Trader.last_img read more

Read More »