September 29

Dutch pension fund to invest in Actiam microfinance fund

first_imgPGB, the €18bn pension fund for the Dutch printing industry, has committed €20m to a microfinance fund launched by Actiam, the successor of SNS Asset Management. The fund – the Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund III – has been launched for six institutional investors, including the €13bn railways scheme SPF and the €3bn pension fund for public transport, SPOV.The asset manager said the duration of the fund would be eight years and that the target return would be approximately 6%.It added that total commitments were €130m to date. Rob Heerkens, board member for investments at PGB, said: “We consider microfinance as a deliberate choice for ESG investment.”The industry-wide scheme previously invested €8m in a predecessor of the Actiam fund.According to Jacques Kappé, SRI portfolio manager at SPF Beheer (the asset manager for SPF and SPOV), the new fund ties in with its clients’ desire to affect social and sustainable change against an acceptable return.“With a return of more than 5%, Actiam’s first microfinance fund fully met our expectations, and also demonstrated its social impact,” he said.However, Kappé declined to disclose the size of SPF and SPOV’s commitments to Actiam’s new fund.Theo Brouwers, director at Actiam Impact Investing, said the social and financial returns of these microfinance funds met market expectations.“Financially, the returns are at the same level as from regular funds with a similar risk profile,” he said.“However, in this case, both the investor and the investment target receive a social return.”Within Actiam, Actiam Impact Investing focuses on socially relevant corporate activities, such as microfinance, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries and clean energy.last_img read more

August 26

Rich Hill absorbs early HRs and leads Dodgers past Cubs

first_imgBryant took Hill deep to start the third inning, but the Dodgers matched that with Justin Turner’s 100th career home run.With the score tied 3-3 in the fourth, Hill poked a two-out, RBI single into left field off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. The RBI was the 13th of Hill’s 15-year career and had to feel like stumbling upon a $20 bill lying on the ground.“More like a $100 bill,” Roberts corrected, describing Hill as “a good trier at the plate.”“I’ll take any hits I can get,” said Hill, a career .109 hitter with just 25 hits to his credit who joked about checking records from “the early ’20s or ’30s” to find his last game-winning RBI.“Just stuck the bat out there and fortunately got a hit and got a run out of it.”Related Articles “The mark of a good pitcher is to keep us in the ballgame,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think if you look at tonight, he didn’t make too many mistakes. That’s a very good club over there offensively and he just kept making pitches.”The mistakes he made were clustered in the first three innings. The Cubs went 5 for their first 10 against Hill – then 2 for their last 17 against him.“No. I didn’t change anything. I just made some better pitches,” Hill said, crediting veteran catcher Russell Martin for not abandoning the gameplan after the early trouble. “The curveball definitely got better as the game went on. I think that was really the X-factor. I didn’t think my fastball was as good as it was my last two outings. But still, I was able to accelerate and decelerate it, use it in all four quadrants of the zone and use the curveball as a major weapon.”After a great play by Chris Taylor to get the first out of the game, Hill gave up a single to Kris Bryant and a drive into the right field corner by Anthony Rizzo. The ball just got over the glove of a leaping Cody Bellinger at the wall and bounced back on the field for what at first appeared to be a double. But a replay review showed the ball ricocheting off a fan and back onto the field, making it a two-run homer for Rizzo.The Dodgers matched that with a two-run home run of their own in the bottom of the second, Matt Beaty’s first major-league home run. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start With runners at the corners and one out, Max Muncy bounced a ball to Rizzo at first base. He checked Verdugo back toward third base before throwing to second for a forceout. That’s when Verdugo broke for home, just beating the throw with a hard slide between catcher Willson Contreras’ feet.There could have been more. Three walks loaded the bases with two outs. But Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. crashed into the wall to run down Taylor’s drive and end the threat.That left a two-run lead to protect. Hill’s ability to get through seven innings after the rough start minimized the bullpen exposure and allowed Roberts to skip over some of the potential potholes there and hand the ball to Pedro Baez for the eighth inning.But Baez came within a few feet of giving up a game-tying home run. After a leadoff single by Bryant, Javier Baez’s long fly ball to left field died on the warning track with Kiké Hernandez’s back to the wall.Kenley Jansen had to work around an error by Beaty that brought the tying run to the plate for the final two outs. But Jansen closed it out, striking out the side, and has now held opposing batters to a .114 average (4 for 35) with 16 strikeouts over 10-1/3 scoreless innings in his past 10 appearances.The save extended Jansen’s streak of 20 or more to eight consecutive seasons. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season PreviousDodgers Kenley Jansen, #74 celebrates the 5-3 win over the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Matt Beaty, #45, is greeted by Manager Dave Roberts and Bob Geren after he hit a two-run homer during 2nd inning action against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Matt Beaty, #45, is greeted Russell Martin, #55, after he hits a two-run homer driving in Max Muncy, #13, during 2nd inning action against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsDodgers Max Muncy, #13, is safe at second base as Cubs Addison Russell, #27, can’t make the play during 2nd inning action against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Max Muncy, #13, can’t get to this line drive by Cubs Kris Bryant during first inning action at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Rich Hill, #44, started against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Rich Hill, #44, can’t get the tag on Cubs Jason Heyward, #22, at first base during 2nd inning action against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Cubs Anthony Rizzo, #44, is greeted by Kris Bryant, #17, after he hit a two-run homer during 1st inning action at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Cubs Anthony Rizzo, #44, is greeted by teammates after hitting a two-run homer against the Dodgers during 1st inning action at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Cubs Kyle Hendricks, #28, started for the Cubs against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Matt Beaty, #45, scores as Cubs Willson Contreras, #40, can’t make the play on a single by Rich Hill during 4th inning action at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Beaty, bottom, slides into home plate umpire CB Bucknor as he scores on a single by Rich Hill during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Dodgers Alex Verdugo, #27, scores as Cubs Willson Contreras, #40, can’t make the play during 5th inning action at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo, left, looks to the home plate umpire after sliding in to score past Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 14: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs looks into the dugout after Alex Verdugo #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers scored a run in the fifth inning of the game Dodger Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 14: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers can’t come up with a ball hit by Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs for a two run home run in the first inning of the game at Dodger Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, right, celebrates his two-run home run with third base coach Brian Butterfield during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant smiles in the dugout after his solo home run during the third inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Beaty watches his two-run home run during the second inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Beaty, center, celebrates his two-run home run with Max Muncy, left, as Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras kneels at the plate during the second inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 14: Matt Beaty #45 is congratulated by manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning of the game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 14: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a one run home run, his 100th career HR, in the fourth inning of the game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 14: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a one run home run, his 100th career HR, in the fourth inning of the game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, left, and Cody Bellinger celebrate Turner’s solo home run during the third inning of the team’s baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Dodgers Justin Turner, #10, celebrates the win with teammates after defeating the Cubs 5-3 at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks walks off the field after being removed from the baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)Dodgers Kenley Jansen, #74 closed out the Cubs for a 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Kenley Jansen, #74 celebrates the 5-3 win over the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Dodgers Matt Beaty, #45, is greeted by Manager Dave Roberts and Bob Geren after he hit a two-run homer during 2nd inning action against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 29Dodgers Matt Beaty, #45, is greeted by Manager Dave Roberts and Bob Geren after he hit a two-run homer during 2nd inning action against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium Friday, June 14, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Three fans dressed in vintage Cubs uniforms, sporting zombie makeup and toting three-fingered gloves, watched Friday night’s game from Dugout Club seats.They must have been proud to see their old teammate still going strong.At 39, Rich Hill is the oldest active pitcher in the major leagues, and on his start day, he is active indeed. He fires off expletives with the intensity of a young man. His leg whipsaws on every follow-through and each at-bat is taken as if he slept in his uniform overnight waiting for the opportunity to swing.It all worked on Friday. Hill gave up two home runs in the first three innings, but righted the ship and even drove in the go-ahead run himself as the Dodgers absorbed the early blows and beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The Dodgers added another one in the fifth inning with Alex Verdugo’s heads-up baserunning.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

January 18

‘Gays Increasing HIV Prevalence in Liberia’

first_imgLiberia is experiencing a high prevalence rate of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) amongst its male population, a new report reveals.According to the new 2013 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS), that is the a result of a “man going out with men”, or high increase in homosexual (gay) activities in the country.The LDHS report said HIV prevalence amongst men has increased from 1.2 in 2007 to 1.7 in 2013; a staggering five-digit difference in just six years. This is the result of homosexual activities increasing at an alarming rate, especially among men, the report said.The survey was conducted by the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the National AIDS Control Program (NACP).At the National AIDS Commission of Liberia (NACL) Board of Directors’ Meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  LISGIS Project Director Girmue Gbawoquiya said HIV victims are predominantly located in urban areas.The NACL board meeting was chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is the head of the Board of Directors. Other board members include Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, who is the Co-chair of the Board.Mr. Gbawoquiya also said that other segments of the general population also experiencing high HIV prevalence rate include female commercial sex workers, injected drugs users, uniform service personnel, miners, transport workers and mobile traders.The LDHS shows that Greater Monrovia and other urban cities, where most homosexual activities are concentrated, have the highest prevalence burden of 3.2 percent and 2.6 percent respectively as compared to rural Liberia with a lesser prevalence of 0.8 percent.The survey also named Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa, as the hardest hit counties with a total prevalence rate of 2.7 percent.By comparison, Mr. Gbawoquiya said, there is only a slight increase on the overall population for the past six years from 1.5 percent to 1.9 in regards to the low level generalized HIV epidemic prevalence rate.Although the prevalence of HIV/AIDS still higher among women as reported in the 2007 LDHS survey, it is amongst the men that there has is a significant surge in recent years, the latest report says.“Studies on key and most at risk populations conducted in 2013 show high HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men, female commercial sex workers, injected drugs users, uniform service personnel, miners, transport workers and mobile traders.”The HIV prevalence rate in Liberia according to the LDHS statistic of 2007 is 1.5 percent. Women were the highest infected with a prevalence rate of 1.8 percent while the rate among men is 1.2 percent.“The national prevalence rate has increased to 1.9 percent newest LDHS (2013) report shows a steady increase in the prevalence rate. Though more women still fall victims to this deadly virus with a prevalence rate of 2.0, but there is a high increment in incidences of men from 1.2 in 2007 to 1.7 in 2013 a staggering five digit difference in just seven years.”The LIGIS Project Director also indicated that sexual transmission and mother to child transmission still remains the main routes of transmission. He noted that co-infection with tuberculosis is a major complication as some 22 percent of TB patients also have HIV infection.“The TB and HIV programs have on-going collaborative efforts to address the co-infections through the provision of HIV testing and treatment services.”HIV prevalence distribution by regions shows that the South Central region, which includes Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa Counties, bears the highest burden of 2.7 percent. This is followed by the South Eastern B region, including River Cess, Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties with 1.8 percent.The South Eastern A region, including Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland Counties, has a prevalence rate of 1.3 percent. And Both North Western region, Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu;  and North Central, Bong, Nimba and Lofa counties, regions shows low prevalence of 0.9 and 0.7 percents respectively.Meanwhile, Mr. D. Maxwell Kemayah, who is one of the board members, said that the issue of homosexuality must be tackled strongly by the country’s leadership in order to put a stop to this rapid spread of the virus.Mr. Kemayah, who is the president of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), added: “There needs to be a harsh decision taken in order to deter people from the act.”He said if Liberians are to preserve their African heritage, this kind of act should be discouraged completely.The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, for his part said that Liberians should not pretend that the act of homosexuality is not going on in the country. “Men are going out with men in this country; so let us not pretend that these things are not happening. This is Liberia.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

January 12

Another week, another scandal – Nandlall

first_img…more contracts unlawfully awarded under APNU/AFCFormer Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, in his weekly feature “Unruly Horse”, has posited that in the 22 months of its being in office, the Coalition Government has violated the country’s procurement laws in regard to the award of State contracts more times than it had accused the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) of doing in over a decade.Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall“I will argue – and if necessary provide the evidence to demonstrate – that there have been more contracts awarded ultra vires and in violation of the Procurement Act (2003) between May 2015 (and) March 2017, (22 months) than from 2003 to May 2015 (over 12 years)!” Nandlall posited.ViolationsAmong the violations to which he alluded were: handpicking an awardee for the Fedders Lloyd contract for construction of the Specialty Hospital; the hundreds of millions awarded for the clean-up of Georgetown; the billions spent on construction of the D’Urban Park; the Parking Meter contract; the Wind Farm project; the $400 million fertilizer deal; contracts for drilling of several deep-water wells, given out by Guyana Water Inc (GWI); the hundreds of contracts being gifted in the Regions in due disregard of the regional tendering system; the rental of the Drug Bond at Sussex Street Charlestown for $14 million per month, and the more-than-$3 billion GPL meter contract.Public Health Minister Volda LawrenceNandlall charged that none of these contracts was executed within the public tendering system, and all were given in violation of the Procurement Act. This despite transparency and accountability in the public procurement process having been the most fundamental issues on the APNU/AFC political platform while they were in opposition, and the greater scrutiny they had been placed on contracts awarded in the public health system, especially those awarded to the NEWGPC.“With the barrage of allegations made of irregularities (in regard to the awarding of contracts to the NEW GPC) over the years, not a scintilla of credible evidence was every presented to support the avalanche of allegations. Significantly, one can hardly recall even a protest being lodged against any of the awards (being granted under the former regime, even though lodging a protest was) a facility available under the Procurement Act. Neither was any of these awards ever challenged in the courts on the ground that they were infected with bias, (were) capriciously done, or (were) done in a manner contrary to/and in contravention of the Procurement Act or any other law,” he posited.The only such challenge the former Attorney General recalled was one filed by a competitor of NEW GPC, alleging that the Ministry of Health’s public procurement process and that of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) were designed and skewed to create an unfair advantage in favour of NEW GPC, and thus were discriminatory against the applicant. However, Nandlall related that after the applicant had presented to the court all the requisite procedures, manuals and guidelines, including those from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Procurement Act – all of which had formed the amalgam of the Ministry’s procurement methodology – the case was dismissed because the applicant abysmally failed to prove the allegations. The former Attorney General outlined that while such pronouncement from a High Court should have put such a matter to rest, the selfsame allegations continue to abound unabated. This, he noted, comes on the heels of the Government finding itself in the midst of widespread scrutiny and criticism following the $605 million sole-sourced contract handed to a foreign company for the acquisition of pharmaceuticals for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The contract was awarded by Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence.“It is uncontroverted that this humongous procurement was done ultra vires and in contravention of the Procurement Act, and is therefore illegal and unlawful. Indeed, NPTAB was informed after the fact. A week after the matter was made public, the Minister offered her explanations in a statement,” Nandlall explained.Drug shortageNandlall contends that the Public Health Minister’s statement raises more questions than it provided answers.last_img read more