For the first half of this year alone, Industriens reported a 2.7% return on investments before pensions tax. Apart from Brexit-related speculation in the third quarter, financial markets were also marked by concerns about economic growth in general, the pension fund said.But strong liquidity support from central banks and a stabilisation of oil prices provided support to the markets, it said.Industriens said accommodative monetary policy and falling interest rates had shown through particularly in the form of high returns in the pension fund’s nearly DKK35bn portfolio of corporate bonds.Traditional government and mortgage bonds also did well over the period.Mortensen said the fund was in a situation where the assets that had produced the most this year were opposite of those that had returned well last year.“This year, it has been the different types of bond that have really pushed the return up, while it was equities in particular that did this last year,” she said.Mortensen said this showed how important it was to have the right spread and composition of investments in an unpredictable market.Corporate bonds produced a return of 10.4% in the nine-month period, having made a 1.8% loss in January to September 2015.Non-listed investments, which make up DKK35.9bn of the pension fund’s investment portfolio, produced a return of 3.9%, down from 13% in the same period last year.Foreign equities, which account for DKK29.7bn of the portfolio, returned 2%, up from a 0.8% loss in the comparable year-earlier period. Denmark’s Industriens Pension has said all its asset classes made positive returns over the third quarter, bringing the return for the first nine months of the year to 5.6%, or DKK7.7bn (€1.04bn), doubling the gains made in the first two quarters of 2016.Laila Mortensen, the pension fund’s chief executive, said: “After the British voted themselves out of the EU on 23 June, we were worried about how the financial markets would react.”But, seen in that light, the pension fund was very pleased it managed to increase returns for all asset classes and doubled the year-to-date return to 5.6%, she said.In January to September 2015, the DKK146.4bn labour-market pension fund for industrial sector workers made a 3.8% return before tax.
Facebook248Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Olympia School DistrictCondee Wood has been named Principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle SchoolCondee Wood has been named principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle School in the Olympia School District. The position became open with the announcement that current Marshall principal John Hitchman has decided to return to a teaching position within the school district. Wood will assume her new responsibilities July 1 pending school board approval.Since 2011 Wood has served as Assistant Principal at Washington Middle School. Prior to joining the Olympia School District, Wood served as Assistant Principal for five years at Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus and one year at Pacific Cascade Middle School in the Issaquah School District. She became a school administrator after having taught high school Language Arts for six years in the Puyallup School District.“I am so excited to continue my professional journey with the students, staff and families of Marshall Middle School,” Wood said. “Although I will deeply miss the Washington Middle School community, I am thrilled to be able to stay in Olympia and to work with such a nurturing, talented staff at Marshall. Having grown up in Olympia, I care greatly about this community and the success of every student who grows up here. I look forward to getting to know each and every student and working hard to ensure the very best educational program for them academically, socially and emotionally. I can’t wait to get started!”Wood earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education with Language Arts and Speech Endorsements from Western Washington University in 1997. She earned her Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington in 2004 and her Administrative Credentials from the University of Washington in 2005.Marshall Middle School, located on Olympia’s west side, serves about 400 students in grades 6 through 8.
…says move ill-advised, counterproductiveJust a few days after Finance Minister Winston Jordan denied that Government was seriously considering having zero rating of exports for Value Added Tax (VAT) purposes removed, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has come out confirming that such a move was intended and has expressed its deep dissatisfaction.The PSC said it considered the decision by the Government and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) ill-advised and counterproductive to the interests of businesses and to the economy of the country.“We wish to place on the public record our dissatisfaction over the decision by the Government to disallow exporters the right to reclaim the VAT paid on inputs used to produce goods and services to be exported from Guyana. Such refund claims were allowed since 2007 when the VAT was introduced,” the entity said on Monday.While the Government, through Minister Jordan, has advised that the export of rice is an exempt item, that exempted goods and services are not considered taxable goods and services, and that the provisions of the VAT Act which provide for the zero-rating of exports do not apply, the PSC had a different opinion.“We respectfully point out that it appears the Minister is misled on the chronology of amendments he has made to the VAT Tax Act since 2017 and on the specific provisions of the Act. Nevertheless, the Minister must be held responsible for the amendments which he piloted in the National Assembly,” the PSC said.Jordan’s response was in relation to concerns raised by the President of the Guyana Rice Exporters and Millers Association, that the action by the Government was negatively affecting the competitiveness of the rice exporters. His justification was that he consulted with the Commissioner General of the GRA.The Private Sector body strongly believes that the GRA is fusing two amendments, neither of which supports the interpretation and advice offered by the GRA to the Minister.The PSC said the GRA is causing the Minister to reverse an undertaking given to the National Assembly in January 2018 that “none of these proposed amendments will negatively affect any individual or business”.The first amendment, which became effective on February 1, 2017, resulted in a significant shift of items from the zero-rated list to the exempt list, the PSC stated. But, exports remained on the list of zero-rated items. The second amendment, which became effective on January 24, 2018, resulted in a deletion of guidance from the VAT Act on how to treat with an item appearing on both lists.It was observed by the PSC that no changes were made to the zero-rated list in respect of exports, but the Minister and the GRA were advising that exports of goods and services listed in the exempt schedule were not zero-rated even if they were listed in the zero-rated schedule.“The consequence of denying VAT refunds is that the exporter must either absorb the VAT, which can make their operations lossmaking, or seek to recover these losses by increasing prices for their exports of the goods and services, making them uncompetitive,” the PSC noted.Speaking on behalf of other organisations such as the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Guyana Rice Exporters and Millers Association, the PSC said while the margin in trade for their goods and services internationally was often small, it allowed local exporters the opportunity to offer competitive prices on the domestic market. “We, therefore, consider that should the Government proceed with this policy, the country, the economy, the exporters and consumers will suffer,” the statement from the PSC added.The PSC maintained that Government should encourage the export of products to earn foreign exchange and to avert the Dutch Disease and the creation of a “one-horse economy” referring to the impending oil sector.The new measure has the potential to negatively affect the following products: raw brown, white and parboiled rice; paddy; raw brown sugar; vegetable, corn or coconut cooking oil; fresh fruits and vegetables; plywood, logs and construction lumber; raw gold or diamonds; sanitary napkins; and bleach, among others.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has described the initiative as a misguided approach aimed only towards collecting more taxes. He said it could destroy the entire local export sector reducing its competitiveness; factories would have to close and more people could lose their jobs.