June 16 saw the start of 220 km/h Euromed service on the Barcelona – Alicante corridor (p447) and the introduction of a new fares structure by Renfe’s Long Distance business unit, to be extended to sleeping car and couchette travel in September. The previous pricing regime based on a calendar of ’white’ (peak) and ’blue’ (off-peak) days, where ticket prices increased according to demand, has been modified to abolish ’white’ days. Return tickets for travel at any time now enjoy a 20% discount; this reduction had only applied if both legs of the journey were to be made the same day, with other return tickets discounted by 10%. The price difference between first and second class travel has been reduced, with first class fares now some 30% more expensive than second class; this difference had been as large as 81% in some cases. o
Alex Struc, portfolio manager and co-head of the ESG initiative at PIMCO, said: “Historically, this type of strategy has been pursued by equity investors but we firmly believe that engagement as a debtholder is equally important. Across the vast fixed income universe, small change can have an enormous positive impact.”In a statement, Eric Moen, managing director of ESG research at MSCI, told IPE: “We believe we are seeing a tipping point for ESG integration with many of the world’s leading equities and fixed income investors realising the value of incorporating ESG signals into their investment processes to identify risks and opportunities not normally flagged by conventional financial analysis.”Also in fixed income, Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) today announced a partnership with Affirmative Investment Management (AIM), a fixed income manager dedicated to impact strategies.The aim of the partnership is to add to Lombard Odier’s impact investing capabilities and to launch a new fund “designed to help combat climate change in a verifiable way”, the Swiss firm said. No further information has been provided about the fund. In a statement, Carolina Minio-Paluello, global head of sales and solutions at LOIM, said that “a major shift in capital” was required to bridge the funding gap standing in the way of meeting the COP21 target of limiting the global temperature rise to two degrees.“Our investors are keen to understand how they can be involved,” she added. “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with the specialists at AIM and together with our own robust impact investing expertise, we are seeking to develop a compelling and competitive proposition for investors.”Stephen Fitzgerald, co-founder and chairman of AIM, said: “Responsible capitalism has often been perceived as coming at a cost; either lower returns or increased risk.“Our approach seeks to combine mainstream portfolio management and impact, without compromising either.”AIM describes itself as “the first dedicated green bond manager focusing solely on bond and cash investments that generate positive environmental and social externalities”.Its CEO, Stuart Kinnersley, created the first dedicated green bond fund at Nikko AM in 2010, and its head of sustainability Judith Moore originated the criteria for the creation of green bonds when she was head of the corporate responsibility team at the World Bank.Finally, Northern Trust Asset Management has teamed up with GRESB for the launch of a new sustainable real estate index incorporating ESG factors, with a Dutch-pooled fund tracking the index.The fund is designed to provide passive investors with exposure to the performance of listed real estate companies in developed markets whilst integrating responsible investment criteria.The index is being described as an “industry first”. It uses data from GRESB, an organisation based in Netherlands that assesses the ESG performance of real estate and infrastructure assets.Sander Paul van Tongeren, managing director of GRESB, said: “This new fund will, uniquely, allow investors to passively gain exposure to companies that are highly transparent about their ESG performance and reducing environmental and social impact while also incorporating broad geographic and sector diversification.”He also said the use of GRESB’s ESG data “further institutionalizes the important role of environmental, social and governance information in the financial market”. A flurry of ESG fund announcements from major asset managers yesterday underscores the mainstreaming of responsible investment, including through its integration in asset classes beyond equities. US fixed-income investment manager PIMCO announced that it had launched an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment platform that aimed to offer “a range of fixed income solutions to investors seeking attractive returns while making a positive social impact”.In a statement, the asset manager said it had launched a global bond ESG fund for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region as part of the move, and modified two of its socially responsible funds in the US to incorporate a wider range of ESG considerations into the investment process.The PIMCO GIS Global Bond ESG Fund invests in sovereign and investment grade corporate bonds, the company said. It aims to maximise total return while favouring bond issuers that are deemed “best-in-class” with respect to ESG practices, and those working to improve them.
LNG engineer TechnipFMC saw its 2019 profit drop further into the red reporting a net loss of $2.4 billion, impacted by a $2.7 billion after-tax charge and credits. The company’s revenue jumped 6.8 percent from $12.5 billion in 2018 to $13.4 billion in 2019, TechnipFMC said in its report.Commenting on the year, TechnipFMC chairman and CEO, Doug Pferdehirt, said, “We achieved an unprecedented level of inbound in 2019, including over 50 percent order growth in Subsea. With this success, our backlog now stands at $24 billion, an increase of 67 percent versus 2018. Backlog grew across all segments, with Onshore/Offshore increasing almost 90 percent when compared to the prior year.”He said that the company reported an 80 percent rise in Onshore/Offshore inbound orders when compared to 2018, driven by more than $8 billion in LNG awards.Onshore/Offshore reported fourth-quarter revenue of $1.83 billion. Revenue increased 9.6 percent from the prior-year quarter, primarily driven by higher activity in Europe, Asia and North America as well as in its Process Technology business.Lower activity on Yamal LNG driven by continued progress towards project completion was partially offset by the ramp-up of Arctic LNG 2.Speaking of the future Pferdehirt added that the Onshore/Offshore business is expected to benefit from additional LNG projects that will be sanctioned in the near-to-intermediate-term despite current weakness in the commodity price.“The growth outlook for long-term demand requires this additional capacity,” he said.
LETHBRIDGE, A.B. – Four fighters from the Fivestar Mixed Martial Arts & Crossfit gym in Fort St. John are competing for a spot on the 2016 IMMAF Canadian National Team in Lethbridge over the weekend.28 year-old Kyle Baryluk (2-0), 32 year-old Dylan Lielke (10-1), 33 year-old Matt Kertesz (4-1), and31 year-old Travis Lussier (5-1) are each competing for one of eight spots on the national team in the Bantamweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, and Middleweight weight classes respectively. Each of the fighters’ bouts are a total of 3 rounds that are each three minutes in length.The quartet each boasts impressive stats as amateur mixed martial artists, helped by an impressive coaching staff. Brad Stewart leads the team as the gym’s current head MMA coach. Shawn Albrecht is the gym’s former head coach and current head jiu-jitsu coach, a martial art in which he possesses a blackbelt, and is helped by Lee Coogan, the squad’s other jiu-jitsu coach. In addition to acting as boxing coach, Justin Donally is also the owner of Fivestar MMA & Crossfit, as well as the President of the Fivestar Fight League. All four coaches are helped by training partner Chuck Grace. Kertesz has already set the tone with a win via TKO against Richie Hall 52 seconds into Round 2. Lielke, having fought the most, is going into this weekend’s tournament as the defending Canadian National Lightweight Champion, earning him a bye in yesterday’s fight card.- Advertisement -In action today, Baryluk will be taking to the octagon against Alex Slicer in the second fight of the day. Lielke will be going up against Oliver Nadaud in bout #5. Kertesz’s second match of the weekend is immediately after Lielke’s, and will see him square off against Alex Martinez. Lussier will be fighting Filip Laporcak in the second-to-last fight of the afternoon.The first fight starts at 12:00 P.M. Pacific Time at the Servus Soccer Centre in Lethbridge. For updates, head to the Fivestar MMA & Crossfit Facebook page. Matt Kertesz declared the winner of his first bout this weekend via TKO on Friday. Photo credit: Justin Donally Justin Donally, Matt Kertesz, Brad Stewart, and Shawn Albrecht after Kertesz was declared the winner of his first bout this weekend via TKO on Friday. Photo credit: Justin Donally