Historically, it said, AP7’s Såfa had been “a very good option”, with the balanced fund having returned an annual 9.6% on average since inception in 2000, while the corresponding return for pension savers with their own portfolio had been 6.5% over the same period.Some 48% of premium pension savers had their money in AP7’s Såfa at the end of 2016, and this capital amounted to 30% of the entire fund capital contained in the PPM, according to the report.Sustainable investments featured more heavily in the PPM as a whole last year than the year before, the agency reported, with a rising proportion of capital in unit-linked funds meeting the SWESIF (Swedish Forum for Sustainable Investments) criteria.The proportion of capital grew to 65% in 2016 from 57% in 2015, according to the report.Bengt Norrby, statistical director of the Swedish Pensions Agency, said: “This increase is mainly due to the fact that a number of funds with a lot of capital now meet SWESIF’s requirements for sustainable investments.”At the end of last year, 7.2m individuals participated in the PPM, including 5.8m pension savers and 1.4m pensioners, the agency said.Total assets under management in the system rose to SEK983.5bn (€101.7bn) at the end of last December, of which SEK960bn was in unit-linked insurance and SEK23.5bn in traditional insurance. Sweden’s default provider in the premium pension system (PPM) AP7 has beaten the average return of non-state premium pension providers in 2016 with a 13.9% on its Såfa balanced fund, against a 9.5% return on average from the other providers.In its report on the PPM for 2016, the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) described 2016 as a good year for the system in its entirety, although it said performance at a handful of non-state funds had been “doubtful”.The PPM is the funded part of the Swedish state pension that allows pension savers to make their own investment choices, investing their contributions either in products from a wide marketplace of private sector investment fund providers, or with state pension fund AP7 in its default Såfa option.For pension savers who opted for some kind of management service from their marketplace provider, the return in 2016 was 6.5%, the agency said.
Jonathan Walters blasted the Republic of Ireland into the finals of Euro 2016 as his double ended Bosnia-Herzegovina’s hopes of a trip to France next summer. Six years to the week after Irish hearts were broken by the unseen Thierry Henry handball which cost them a place at the 2010 World Cup finals, the Republic benefited from an equally suspect decision against unfortunate defender Ervin Zukanovic which allowed Walters to open the scoring from the spot. But the game remained in the balance until the Stoke frontman dispatched a volley past former team-mate Asmir Begovic 20 minutes from time to wrap up a 2-0 win on the night and a 3-1 aggregate victory. Ireland will take part in a second successive European finals tournament having qualified via the play-offs, an achievement which will extend manager Martin O’Neill’s existing contract and surely make the agreement of a longer-term deal which is understood to be on the table a formality. O’Neill was always likely to restore Walters to his starting line-up after suspension, but not risk either John O’Shea or Shane Long from the start after their battles for fitness, and that was the only change in personnel as full-back Stephen Ward made way from the XI which started in Zenica. However, it was his decision to employ Robbie Brady at left-back rather than in the midfield role he occupied in Bosnia which was to pay dividends before the break. Brady’s attacking instincts and pace helped to limit the influence of winger Edin Visca, who had led the Republic a merry dance at the Bilino Polje Stadium, although he was wasteful from a series of set-pieces in promising areas from which he too often managed to find only the first defender. Where Ireland had contained in Zenica, they set out looking to attack on home soil with Begovic blocking one Brady cross with his legs and Zukanovic heading another away as the home side prospered down the left. However, O’Neill’s men were handed a stroke of good fortune when Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers ruled that Zukanovic had handled Daryl Murphy’s cross to the defender’s horror and, it must be said, the surprise of most of those present. But Walters was not about to pass up the opportunity, sending former Stoke team-mate Begovic the wrong way to give the Irish a 24th-minute lead. Bosnia responded in positive fashion and Edin Dzeko drilled a low effort into the side-netting two minutes later and midfielder Haris Medunjanin might have done better 13 minutes before the break when he skied his shot from Dzeko’s knock-down. Mehmed Bazdarevic made a change at the break when he replaced midfielder Edin Cocalic with the more attack-minded Muhamed Besic, and Ireland found themselves under genuine pressure as the second half unfolded. Medunjanin shot straight at Randolph from distance and Dzeko unwittingly blocked a Visca effort on its way towards goal before defender Ciaran Clark was relieved to see his header from a curling Medunjanin free-kick only just clear his own crossbar. Senad Lulic miskicked in front of goal after Visca had escaped Brady’s attentions with 54 minutes gone, and O’Neill moved to arrest the slump by replacing Wes Hoolahan and Murphy with James McClean and Long. Play moved swiftly from end to end, but Bosnia were looking the more threatening and Miralem Pjanic saw a 60th-minute snapshot blocked at source after Medunjanin had picked him out with a clever free-kick. But the Republic extended their lead with 20 minutes remaining when, after he had been felled agriculturally by defender Emir Spahic, Walters was on hand to volley home from beyond the far post after Ognjen Vranjes could only help on Brady’s swinging free-kick. Substitute Vedad Ibisevic rattled the bar with a flying injury-time volley, but Ireland had done enough. Press Association
THE Leeward Islands Hurricanes would have done a lot to boost their confidence after a rare victory over the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day tournamnet at the Queen’s Park Oval on Saturday.The Hurricanes got home by the skin of their teeth, claiming a one-wicket victory, probably the closest this season.The game had been close throughout, with the Hurricanes restricting the Red Force to 222 in their first innings thanks to Sheno Berridge’s 4-72, and Jeremiah Louis’, 4-45.Mervin Matthew chipped in with 1-26 and Jason Campbell ended the innings with 1-23.The Hurricanes’ response was underwhelming, as skipper Kieran Powell, could only manage 15 at the top of the order, and Montcin Hodge, who has been in good form of late, only managed 11.It was the lower-order who showed some fight, taking the total to 163, with Akeem Saunders’ 49, the highlight.The difference-maker in that Hurricanes first innings was the bowling of Imran Khan, whose 5-25 was devastating.Khary Pierre chipped in with 2-26, while Tion Webster, 1-44, Daniel St Clair, 1-27, and Anderson Phillip, 1-38, also made inroads.Though the Red Force now had a 59-run lead, they were by no means comfortable.The situation got even tighter when Berridge, 4-40, led an attack that reduced the Red Force to just 162.Berridge received great support from the bowling of Matthew, who ended with 2-27, Louis, 2-49, and newcomer, Chaim Holder, who bagged 2-19.A lead of 221, took the game to where it had started, the Hurricanes staring at a small lead but unsure of what to do with it.Coach Winston Benjamin had said the team was suffering from a crisis of confidence, and their approach to the small total suggests he was right.RED FORCE 1st Innings 222Hurricanes 1st Innings 163Red Force 2nd Innings(overnight 143 for eight)A Jangoo c Matthew b Berridge 38J Solozano lbw b Holder 10Y Cariah c wkp Hamilton b Holder 7E Nicholson c Saunders b Mathew 5*D Ramdin c Mathew b Berridge 28T Webster c wkp Hamilton b Louis 10+S Katwaroo b Louis 14Imran Khan lbw b Berridge 1K Pierre lbw b Mathew 10D St Clair not out 12A Phillip lbw b Berridge 9Extras (lb12, w1, nb4) 17TOTAL (all out, 58.4 overs) 162Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-55, 3-66, 4-67, 5-86, 6-116, 7-119, 8-131, 9-147, 10-162.Bowling: Mathew 14-4-27-2, Louis 16-4-49-2, Berridge 14.2-4-40-4, Holder 11-1-19-2, Campbell 3-0-15-0.HURRICANES 2nd Innings (target: 222 runs)M Hodge c Webster b Phillip 5*K Powell c Webster b Imran Khan 41K Carty c Pierre b Phillip 2D Thomas lbw b Pierre 65A Saunders c St Clair b Imran Khan 38+J Hamilton c wkp Katwaroo b Imran Khan 13J Louis b Imran Khan 13M Mathew b St Clair 3C Holder lbw b Imran Khan 7J Campbell not out 30S Berridge not out 0Extras (b3, lb4, nb2) 9TOTAL (9 wkts, 70.3 overs) 226Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-14, 3-107, 4-123, 5-150, 6-182, 7-187, 8-193, 9-205.Bowling: Phillip 7-2-23-2, St Clair 12-2-29-1, Pierre 23-2-64-1, Webster 3-0-16-0, Imran Khan 25.3-4-87-5.