Lithuanian schemes generate positive returns despite ‘erratic’ markets

first_imgDespite what BoL termed this year’s “erratic” markets, however, 11 of the 21 funds – all the conservative ones, two low-risk and three medium-risk structures – managed to produce positive returns.Audrius Šilgalis, chief specialist of BoL’s financial services and market analysis division, noted on the Bank’s website: “Good pension fund performance for the second quarter, even after the Brexit referendum, which shocked financial markets, offset the influence of negative trends that prevailed at the beginning of the year.”Second-pillar assets grew by 9.9% to €2,246m and membership by 4.2% to 1.19m.The asset growth was boosted by this year’s increase in the additional members’ and state budget contribution rates from 1% to 2%.These accounted, respectively, for 22.6% and 24.6% of the €128.3m asset increase since the end of 2015.Returns for the substantially smaller third pillar showed a similar pattern to that of the second, with the average plunging from 6.06% as of the end of June 2015 to minus 1.22% by the end of the following March, then recovering to minus 0.02% three months later.The conservative funds averaged 2.3%, with all three in positive territory.While the four medium-risk funds averaged minus 0.72% and the five high-risk plans minus 0.83%, one fund in each category managed to buck the trend.The number of members increased year on year by 10.3% to 48,951, while assets grew by 23.4% to €66.1m because of higher contributions from participants. The six-month year-to-date nominal returns for the voluntary second-pillar pension system averaged minus 0.10%, according to the Bank of Lithuania (BoL), the country’s pension regulator.This marked a significant deterioration compared with the 4.7% generated 12 months earlier but was an improvement on the first quarter’s return of minus 0.18%.The best results as of the end of June were generated by the six conservative bond funds, at 0.77%, followed by the four low-risk funds with 25-30% equity investment (minus 0.01%), the seven medium-risk funds with equity limits of 50-70% (minus 0.02%), and the four high-risk funds, with up to 100% invested in equities (minus 1.32%).This is a reversal of last year’s trend when high equity levels generated the best results.last_img read more

Best NFL Week 11 picks against the spread: Patriots, Cardinals, Raiders all safe bets to cover

first_imgA rip-roaring Week 10 of NFL betting, chock full of upsets and complete and utter stunners that sent seismic shockwaves through NFL betting markets is in the books, from Titans upsetting Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to Matt Ryan showing up Drew Brees and the Saints in the Superdome. Oh, and the Dolphins knocking off the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium was something else.  All in all, it was an unforgettable week for many NFL betting fans particularly those that banked on the upsets. Importantly, it proves there are no easy picks in the NFL.   So, with another week of NFL betting looming on the horizon, we look ahead to the current slate on offer in the market and serve up choice bets against the spread for some of the standout games that will feature. Let’s get cracking with our NFL picks for Week 11.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting advice at Sportsbook ReviewDenver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings Sunday, November 17, 2019, 1:00 PM EST U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis TV Broadcast: CBS The Denver Broncos are coming off a bye week, which will give them the added advantage of rest and preparation for what is sure to be a tough road assignment for backup Brandon Allen. The rookie starter won his first-ever NFL start in week 9 when he led the Broncos to a win over the Browns at Mile High. Expecting him to back it up against a Minnesota Vikings side that is largely dominant at home might be expecting a lot.  As such, it’s no surprise the Vikings are giving a truckload of points to the Broncos on the NFL odds board. The Vikings are laying anywhere from -10.5 to (in some cases) as high as -11.5. That’s a whole lot of points in favor of the Vikings that could be exploitable.  Unfortunately, one win over an underwhelming Browns team is a small sample size for NFL bettors to hang their hats on. The Vikings are 6-4 ATS with an 8-point winning margin on average and a +4-point differential versus the spread on average. At home, those numbers double with the Vikings sporting a 3-1 ATS mark that includes a 16-point winning margin on average and a +8-point differential against the spread on average. NFL pick: Vikings -10.5 (-105)Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens Sunday, November 17, 2019, 1:00 PM EST M&T Stadium, Baltimore TV Broadcast: CBS The clash between young guns Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson should be the game of the week and a right cracker to spot on week 11 NFL picks. It’s quite likely the hottest young quarterbacks will showcase their combined talent in a game that could technically go either way.  The Ravens have home advantage and after what they’ve done in the last few weeks it’s no surprise they’re laying a handful of points on the NFL odds board. Beating the Patriots is nothing to scoff at, nor is backing up that win with a ruthless beatdown over the Bengals. It just adds to their clout. The Texans are no slouches though and Deshaun Watson has had his fair share of plays make the highlight reel this season. If there’s one advantage Watson and the Texans might capitalise on, it’s being the fresher team coming off a bye week. It’s not much but it’s something that could prove the edge in what is expected to be a close and hard fought battle between two AFC playoff hopefuls. NFL pick: Texans +4.5 (-110)Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers Sunday, November 17, 2019, 4:05 PM EST Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara TV Broadcast: FOX The Niners suffered their first loss of the season and it was a doozie to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners had their chances to clinch a ninth-straight “W” but opportunities came and went, including a botched field goal that summed up their rather unfortunate night where nothing seemed to go their way after Emmanuel Sanders left the game with a rib injury.It’s a short week but the Niners have a winnable game ahead and a chance to sweep a divisional foe for the first time in years. The Niners beat the Cardinals 28-25 on Halloween night a few weeks back. It was a closer affair and Kyler Murray and the Cardinals did give the Niners a run for their money, more so than the NFL markets tipped at the time.  Having seen first hand what Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals bring to the table should make the Niners better prepared for this divisional rematch at Levi’s Stadium. Plus, being a bit ornery after a frustrating loss to another divisional foe should give the Niners that extra umph to come through for their backers.  Whether the Niners can cover the massive spread on offer is another matter entirely however. It’s a lot of points by any standard and more so given Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle along with a few other offensive weapons are questionable to start on Sunday.  NFL pick: Cardinals +13.5 (-110) Cincinnati Bengals vs. Oakland Raiders Sunday, November 17, 2019, 4:25 PM EST RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland TV Broadcast: CBS Ryan Finley may have his first start in the NFL out of his way but it was an unforgettable beatdown that could stay with him for a while. It remains to be seen how the young hopeful bounces back but it’s hard to hold out much hope for his chances when the Bengals as a whole are just terrible. Not to mention, a date with the soaring Oakland Raiders on the road is a tall order.The Raiders are in the thick of the AFC playoff race, which puts a premium on the win in week 11. On paper, this is a mismatch that should serve Jon Gruden’s side perfectly as they look to close the gap in the AFC West on the suddenly wavering Kansas City Chiefs. Josh Jacobs is a real find for the Raiders and he’s enthralling the Oakland faithful no end. Gruden is only too happy to lap it all up and Derek Carr is reaping the rewards on the field with one of his best seasons in a long time. This should be a straightforward victory for the Raiders against a team that’s done and done for 2019. NFL pick: Raiders -10 (-105)New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, November 17, 2019, 4:25 PM EST Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia TV Broadcast: CBS The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are set to reprise hostilities for the first time since the Eagles stunned the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Of course, with several notable absences – namely Saint Nick, who was shipped off to Jacksonville earlier this season.   One has to think that 41-33 loss to the Eagles still irks Bill Belichick and a chance for redemption against his counterpart Doug Pederson is right up his street. He won’t mind the absence of Nick Foles; in fact he might prefer it given how Carson Wentz has been up and down this season.  Both teams are coming off a bye week, so the playing field is level as far as the advantage of rest goes. The Patriots are coming off a loss in week 9 to the Ravens but they’re a healthy 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS on the season, which includes a 19.1 winning margin on average and a +7.4 differential versus the spread on average. The Eagles won back-to-back games over the Bills and Bears to improve to 5-4 SU and 4-5 ATS, underscored by a 1.2 winning margin on average and a  -1.4 differential versus the spread on average. By all accounts, the Patriots enter week 11 as the road faves but they’re only laying a field goal or thereabouts on the NFL odds board. Patriots at -3.5 (available with most sportsbooks) is the lowest point spread this season Tom Brady and Co. have faced. Not sure why they’re such notional road faves when the Eagles haven’t been consistent at all. This must be the bargain NFL pick of the week.  NFL pick: Patriots -3.5 (-105)Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams Sunday, November 17, 2019, 8:20 p.m. ET Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles TV Broadcast: NBC The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams are two of the most frustrating teams of the 2019 season, two sides that entered with boatloads of expectations that have gone to the wayside, leaving them bobbing along aimlessly in a sea of NFC competitors. The Bears did finally snap the negative trend with a win over the Lions but with Matthew Stafford on the side lines (back injury). The Rams, meanwhile, had their butts whooped by Mike Tomlin and the Steelers at Heinz Field. If there’s one thing both teams have in common, it’s questionable play from their starting quarterbacks. Another is the lack of trust each coach has in his starter – McVay more so than Nagy, surprisingly.Pulling Goff out to field Bortles ever so briefly and then electing to go with a special team play instead of Goff only for it to go spectacularly awry is very worrying and not a good look for the McVay-Goff relationship. All in all, Trubisky and Goff have regressed in 2019, a fact that makes it hard to feel confident about either side’s chances when this pair collides in primetime Sunday Night Football. How the Rams are favored by almost a touchdown is incomprehensible.  The Rams are 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS  overall, but just 1-2 SU and ATS as home favorites this season, the latter of which includes a -3.3 losing margin on average. Chicago is  2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS on the road with a 3.3 winning margin on average. In short, this is a tossup for week 11 NFL picks. As such, hedging bets by taking the points with the Bears is probably the most viable option.  NFL pick: Bears +7 (-115)Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles ChargersMonday, November 18, 2019, 8:15 PM EST Estadio Azteca, Mexico City TV Broadcast: ESPN Ryan Tannehill rained down on Patrick Mahomes’ return to the line-up last week by serving up the upset over Kansas City. It was a worrying result that has carried over into the NFL betting market for week 11 and the showdown between the Chiefs and Chargers in Mexico.  Oddsmakers peg the Chiefs as the nominal -4 favorites in spread betting, their lowest point spread with Mahomes in the line up since week 1 when the Chiefs closed as the -3.5 road favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Of course, recent form has a lot to do with this watered down market. The Chiefs have lost three of their last six games and slip to a 6-4 SU mark. The lowly number also falls into their current wheelhouse as the Chiefs are 5-5 ATS with a 4.5 winning margin on average and a +1.1 differential versus the spread.  The Chargers, however, strike a less than inspiring pose in 2019 behind a 4-6 SU and 3-5-2 ATS mark that includes a 1.3 winning margin on average and a -1.2 differential versus the spread on average. In their last six games, the Chargers are 2-4 SU and ATS. The most concerning part for the Chargers is the fact that Philip Rivers has yet to show up in 2019, he’s a far cry from his lofty standards. While both teams have endured their fair share of struggles this season, the balance tips in favor of the Chiefs. So much so that this game may not even be as close as the NFL odds would have it.  NFL pick: Chiefs -4 (-105)last_img read more