Fixed income dominates Geroa’s portfolio, with a 59.9% allocation as at end-2017. Its liquid fixed income investments (40.9% of the portfolio) gained 7.3%.Geroa said that active management had generated a 6% alpha outperformance.The pension fund stated: “Equity management was focused on countries, sectors and securities with potential. We prudently rotated shares in order to maintain a portfolio with properly valued holdings. Furthermore, to avoid surprises, a 50% hedge position was kept on equities all year long.”Geroa’s fixed income management followed the same pattern as in 2016, with the fund gradually reducing duration and exposure to ultra-long government bonds so as to move within an environment of normalised interest rates.Meanwhile, investments in the Basque Country and neighbouring Navarra rose to 12.6% of Geroa’s total portfolio during last year. This included its 50% stake in Orza, an asset manager set up to invest in Basque businesses. The investment amounted to 2.25% of Geroa’s portfolio.Geroa provides supplementary pension cover for medium and low-paid workers, and was crowned best Spanish multi-employer scheme in last year’s IPE awards.CaixaBank scheme return dragged down by fixed income lossesSpain’s biggest private sector pension scheme posted a 1.8% return for 2017, down from 4.2% for the previous year.It meant the three-year average annual return for Pensions Caixa 30 – the €5.8bn employees’ pension scheme of the Caixabank banking group – dropped to 3%. In the three years to the end of 2016 it had gained 5.4% a year on average.For the five years to 31 December 2017 it was 5.5%, compared with 7.3% for the five-year period to 31 December 2016.Equities returned 10.5% during the year, Pensions Caixa 30 reported. Within this, the best performers were frontier markets with a 20.4% return, followed by emerging markets with 19.9% and Pacific markets with 14.4%.Global equities made 12.4%, eurozone equities 10.2% but North American equities only 4.2%.In contrast, the scheme’s fixed income allocation lost 4.3%. Euro-zone bonds gained 1.8%, the only positive performance within the fixed income sub-sectors. Non-euro-zone fixed income lost 10.3%, while alternative fixed income lost 3.4% and high-yield fixed income lost 3.6%.The fund’s portfolio is managed by VidaCaixa, which is owned by CaixaBank.At end-2017, equities made up 38.1% of investments, with 37.6% in fixed income and 18.5% in alternatives.Pension Caixa 30’s control commission has decided to raise the scheme’s benchmark equity exposure for 2018 from 32% to 33%, lower the fixed income benchmark from 48% to 46%, and increase the benchmark exposure for alternatives from 20% to 21%.In February 2018, the control commission also approved measures to strengthen its commitment to socially responsible investing, including integrating sustainability in every stage of the investment process, and joining in shareholder actions with other institutional investors. Geroa Pentsioak EPSV, the multi-sector pension fund for workers in Gipuzkoa province in Spain’s Basque Country, returned nearly 10% in 2017, compared with a 4.4% return from its benchmark.This compared with a 5.8% return for 2016, and far outstripped the 3.2% average return from Spain’s occupational pension funds during 2017. It took Geroa’s average annual return since inception in 1996 to 6.6%.The return came despite a turbulent year for Spanish equity markets. In its annual report, Geroa said: “The situation in Catalonia, and the bankruptcy of Banco Popular, were the main reasons why – despite greater growth in Spain than in other European countries – Spanish company shares were penalised. However, market evolution in emerging countries was very positive.”The Basque pension fund’s equity allocation – 34.6% of the €2bn portfolio – gained 18.4%. CaixaBank’s headquarters in Barcelona, Spain
A project designed to encourage Dutch pension funds and insurers to invest in domestic assets is to close after demand for funding fell.The Dutch Investment Institution (NLII) was founded in 2014 as a response to the financial crisis, tasked with structuring local investments for institutional investors. It announced today it would cease its activities following improved market conditions.The funds have attracted €1.2bn of commitments from Dutch asset owners, but only €360m has been actually invested.The organisation said that a recent survey had made it clear that many projects could be properly financed by the market without the NLII’s support. It also found that institutional players often invested directly in large projects, whereas others turned out to be too small for institutional financing, even after being bundled together through the NLII’s funds.“As a consequence, we no longer see any additional investment issues in which we could play a role,” the organisation said in a statement.The NLII said it would transfer its expertise on issues such as financing climate investments to its shareholders and partners, which include the large Dutch pension funds ABP, PFZW, PMT and PME as well as pension providers MN and Achmea, and insurers Aegon, ASR and Vivat.Loek Sibbing, the NLII’s director, said he was convinced that these players would continue the organisation’s mission and that local institutional investments would continue to increase.Since 2014, the NLII set up investment funds for corporate loans, subordinated loans and care homes, run by asset managers. During the past four years, the organisation had looked into more than 200 public and private financing issues.At the NLII’s inception, the expectation was that institutional investors would invest €3bn through the organisation, in particular in loans to small and medium-sized companies as well as projects for sustainability and energy transition as the Netherlands sought to recover from the economic recession it suffered in 2008-09. Rotterdam, NetherlandsSpeaking to Dutch financial newspaper FD, Sibbing said that the lack of suitable projects had been “the greatest disappointment”.He said financing usually involved uneconomic or too small projects, such as a thermal grid in the Port of Rotterdam area, which would cost €600m while returns were estimated at €400m.Sibbing added that the NLII had been keen to invest in the local power grid and in airports – currently owned by the Dutch state – but that Dutch investors weren’t welcome in those sectors.The NLII director also said that planned investments to increase the sustainability of schools turned out to be not attractive, as arrangements had to be made with individual schools.Currently, Dutch pensions funds have invested 12% of their combined assets of €1.3trn locally, while insurers have invested 40% of their assets in the Netherlands.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today set out its initial thinking about new UK prudential rules for investment firms, with its interim chief executive officer saying the regulator was proposing to introduce a regime that would achieve similar intended outcomes as the EU’s new regime, while taking into consideration the specifics of the UK market.While the UK was a member of the EU, the FCA was heavily involved in policy discussions about the bloc’s new regime, which will be introduced after the scheduled end of the UK’s transition period to exit the EU.Commenting on the launch of the FCA’s discussion paper on a UK regime today, Christopher Woolard, the regulator’s interim CEO, said: “A new UK regime would represent a significant improvement in the prudential regulation of investment firms.“For the first time, it would deliver a regime that has been designed with investment firms in mind, replacing many rules that were largely designed for deposit-taking credit institutions.” The FCA has said it believed asset managers would benefit from a domestic version of such a regime, for example because of lower ongoing regulatory costs and better alignment of capital requirements to business models.However, it said it did not want to provide specific numbers on the expected impact of a new UK regime on investment firm-types, because the scope of its rule-making powers was not yet settled and the details of certain requirements in EU “level 2” legislation, to be fleshed out by the European Banking Authority (EBA), had not yet been finalised.“While we have left the EU and would no longer bound by such future standards and guidance, we consider it might be appropriate to take them into account when designing our UK regime,” said the FCA, noting it would include a cost benefit analysis in a subsequent consultation paper.“Investment firms should be aware of the scale of the change the IFD/IFR represents”Financial Conduct AuthorityReferring to the new overall EU regime, the Investment Firm Directive and Regulation (IFD/IFR), the FCA said firms “should be aware of the scale of the change” they represented.Major changes include that liquidity requirements would apply to all investment firms, the levels of initial capital would be required for authorisation would be updated, a brand new methodology – the “K-factor” – would be used for calculating capital requirements, and there would be new remuneration and disclosure requirements.One of the areas the EBA is due to investigate is in relation to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.According to the FCA, this includes whether any ESG-specific adjustments to the K-factors or their co-efficients should be developed “to ensure the appropriate prudential treatment of ESG-exposed assets”.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
Source: Winmark-Barnett Waddingham PensionChair Remuneration Report 2020Female chairs paid moreFemale chairs continued to receive a higher average remuneration than male chairpersons, which the report authors suggested was likely a function of the types of role they occupied, with a higher proportion of female chairs for example being professional trustees.Among a wealth of other data points, the survey also captured expectations for an increase in pay. Most chairperson respondents (61%) indicated they expected remuneration to remain the same, although a third expect an increase and 7% a decrease.The survey revealed an increase in sentiment that trustee chairs were underpaid – just over a third (34%) said that pay levels were too low to attract sufficiently skilled chairs and trustees, up from 24% last year.A bit more than a third again each said that remuneration did not adequately reflect the complexity of their role (39%), and did not adequately reflect the pressures of their role (36%).Although most chairs reported they had enough time to meet their responsibilities, the proportion that felt they did not have time to adequately meet the demands placed upon them increased to 10% from 5% in last year’s survey.Among trustees that are paid, the average remuneration was £22,417 in 2019, up from £20,348 in 2018.This is across different types of trustee, with professional trustees being paid more on average than employer-nominated and member-nominated trustees.Presenting the main findings of the survey during a webinar, John Madden, research director at Winmark, noted that 69% of respondents indicated feeling that an increase in the number of professional trustees on boards had a positive impact on governance standards and member outcomes.Law firm Squire Patton Boggs has said it is likely that the trend for appointing professional/independent trustees will continue, particularly as accreditation for professional trustees becomes a reality and evidences continued increase of standards.Diversity challengesIncreased diversity on trustee boards remains elusive, according to the survey report. Almost 80% of respondents indicated trusteeship was not diverse enough, in particular in terms of age and gender.At the same time, only 40% of respondents agreed that their schemes had taken steps to increase diversity, which the survey report authors said indicated that some schemes had not been able to prioritise or address the issue.“The issue is not around selection processes or any lack of will or motivation to achieve diversity in trusteeship [but] in terms of attraction – availability of candidates”John Madden, research director at WinmarkWinmark’s Madden said there was “a very clear message that the issue is not around selection processes or any lack of will or motivation to achieve diversity in trusteeship [but] in terms of attraction – availability of candidates”.Almost half of respondents (47%) said the pool of candidates to recruit from was too small, and where candidates were available 20% said they were not interested in trusteeship and 11% said they lacked the necessary skills for the role.“One of the messages coming out of this is that if there is a will to increase diversity in trusteeship many of the issues may be somewhat upstream of the pension schemes themselves, and that encouraging a broader interest, engagement and involvement with the sector as a whole from an early stage will be key in terms of addressing this issue,” said Madden.The survey report can be found here.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Chairs of UK pension scheme trustee boards were paid on average £47,305 (€51,475) in 2019, the first year since 2015 that did not see a salary increase in real terms, according to a survey.Last year the average remuneration for a chair was £47,004. Between 2015 and 2018 a pension scheme chair’s remuneration increased at around 3.3% per year adjusted for inflation. For both 2018 and 2019 there is very little difference between the median and the average.Carried out by Winmark in partnership with Barnett Waddingham, the new survey drew the highest response rate in its history, with 120 chairs and trustees contributing, representing funds with a combined value of more than £325bn. The survey was instigated in 2011.In 2019, chairs’ salaries ranged from £7,000 to £120,00. By days worked per month, average remuneration was £34,464 for chairs working one or two days, £45,423 for three to four days, and £55,680 for chairs working five days or more. In the UK, not all pension scheme chairs are paid; 83% of the schemes participating in the Winmark-Barnett Waddingham survey paid their chairs a salary, a similar proportion as in 2018.By professional background, the highest average salaries were earned by those from pensions consultancy and actuarial backgrounds.
The ensuite for one of the bedrooms in the house at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo. One of the bathrooms in the house at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.Records show the last sale price record set by a home in Coorparoo was $4.5 million in 2016 for 103 Buena Vista Avenue. One of the bedrooms in the house at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.Its location on a massive 1200 sqm block offers views of the entire Brisbane city skyline.The impressive list of features include a 5000-bottle climate-controlled wine cellar, built-in coffee bar, gymnasium, library, heated lap pool and children’s outdoor play area. The formal sitting room in the house at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.Selling agent Jack Dixon of Dixon Family Estate Agents sealed the deal after making a call to Meighan Hetherington of Property Pursuit Buyers’ Agents.Ms Hetherington had been keeping in touch with a local Coorparoo family that had previously tried unsuccessfully to buy the much-admired property. AUSSIE HOME VALUES HIT 7 YEAR LOW This home at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo, has sold for more than $5m.ONE of Brisbane’s grandest inner-city homes has sold for more than $5 million — setting a new sale price record for the suburb of Coorparoo. Just one phone call is all it took for the English-inspired hilltop estate at 4 Welwyn Crescent to be snapped up by a local family. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE The dressing room in the house at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.The seven-bedroom, three-bathroom house, features a gabled roof, sold brickwork, original bay windows, tulip oak floors, high ceilings, decorative plasterwork, Silky Oak joinery, an elegant library, and expansive terraces. Another sitting room in the house at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.“I had taken my clients through the property quite some time ago when they were first drawn to what is certainly a unique landmark in the area,” she said.“Actually, they were no longer really active buyers, but when Jack called to say he was listing it, I got back in touch. INCREDIBLE PROFIT FOR PENTHOUSE PARADISE More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago The kitchen in the home at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.“Knowing this might be their last opportunity to acquire the magnificent estate, they confirmed they were still interested and the process of negotiation began.”Mr Dixon said the number of buyers at the very top end of the market was limited, but premium properties were achieving strong prices. TOP 10 SUBURBS FOR UPGRADERS The 5000 bottle wine cellar in the home at 4 Welwyn Cres, Coorparoo.Designed by architect Eric Trewern, famed for his English-inspired homes throughout Hamilton, Ascot, Coorparoo and Greenslopes, “Thongabel” has a rich history and has been extensively restored since its construction in the 1930s.
A family inspects a home.WHEN visiting an open home and you are asked to register your details, you should oblige the agent as they are the custodian of the home in the sellers absence, and need to be able to tell the seller who was in their property. Some buyers are reluctant to give their details for fear that they will be “hounded” by the agent. In today’s world of technology, most agents will register their visitors via a software which does a couple of things immediately. Firstly it saves our trees. Secondly it will instantly send you a text to your mobile phone acknowledging your visitation and automatically provide you with the link to show you photos, information and a floor plan of the house. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Thirdly, specifically for the buyers who do not want to be “hounded”, there is a box we tick while you are standing there which says you do not want to be contacted regarding the property. Only a fool of an agent would not honour that instruction from the buyers.In the case of an auction, when buyers register to bid they must show proof of identity, such as a driver’s licence. I firmly believe it won’t be long before open homes have the same government requirement. I personally have no problem with supplying some form of ID to view an open home, and do so quite often.I am certain that when – and if – the agent is fortunate enough to list one of the visitors homes for sale (which happens regularly after an open home) the new seller would want to know exactly who had gone through their property. So the next time an agent asks you to register when you visit an open home please remember that they are just doing their job.Be sure to let them know if you don’t want to be contacted concerning the property when you leave.
The bathroom in the house at 31 Brisbane St, Bulimba, before the renovation. A photo from 1920 of bullocks hauling logs during the transfer of the property from Norman Park to Bulimba.Fortunately, the Hills were no strangers to renovating, having done it eight times before.“It needed a fair bit of work,” Mrs Hill said.But that’s what she loved about it — and the fact Bulimba was such a desirable suburb.“The children were both going to school in Bulimba, and we really love the area,” Mrs Hill said.“I think Tehgan and Kuhpar have lived through every renovation we’ve done!“We absolutely love it.” The front of the house at 31 Brisbane St, Bulimba, before the renovation. The kitchen in the house at 31 Brisbane St, Bulimba, before the renovation. The back of the house after the renovation.Despite undergoing a major renovation, certain features of the original build have been retained so that it remains an authentic Queenslander.Many of the materials used in the renovation were sourced from across Australia or from the original house, such as exposed bricks saved from a South Australian warehouse facing demolition and timber beams from an old bridge near Ballarat.“This time we afforded ourselves the luxury of spending that bit of extra money on materials,” Mrs Hill said.The stained glass windows in the pool room, master walk-in wardrobes and at the entrance to the home were all designed and made by the now deceased previous owner, Nola Warry. “We’ve reused these throughout the home to ensure her history lives on,” Mrs Hill said. The kitchen is unrecognisable after the renovation.Mrs Hill’s favourite feature of the home is how the sliding bi-fold doors in the living area blend the inside with the outside, providing access to the outdoor entertaining area. “You don’t realise when you’re inside or outside because its so open,” she said.The doors lead to a timber deck and grassed alfresco area bordered by landscaped gardens, where you can sit back and watch your favourite TV shows on the remote-controlled projector screen overlooking the pool.The pool also has water jets around the seated area and remote-controlled lights.When the projector isn’t in use, a fireplace takes its place, which can be turned on with the press of a button. IT was 1976 when Nola Warry bought the house at 31 Brisbane St, Bulimba for just $18,000.The property had been dragged there by bullocks from Norman Park and was one of the very first homes on the street.Nola and her partner, Ian, were both married to other people at the time, but wanted a fresh start in a home of their own, so they moved in with their six cats and a Poinciana tree, which still stands proudly in the yard.Nearly 40 years later, Graeme and Kelly Hill became the third owners of the property, which was built in 1907. The front of the house after the renovation.The renovation has been their largest, and most expensive, to date.And the transformation from a workers cottage to a two-level five-bedroom, four-bathroom home is quite incredible — especially the kitchen.“There was literally a kitchen sink and a stove — that was the kitchen,” Mrs Hill said. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours ago“There were no benches, no cupboards, and a built-in pantry off the side of the house that was aqua.”The pantry was one of the first things that went, but that was when the Hills stumbled across a handwritten letter that had been left to them by the previous owners telling them about the property’s history.“I took the letter and framed it along with photos of what the house looked like back then,” Mrs Hill said.“We’ll sell the house with it.” The property has been completely transformed.And while most people think they’re crazy, the Hills lived through the renovation process, which took place in three parts — and did most of it themselves.In 2010, they painted the entire house, installed a new bathroom and knocked down some internal walls.The next stage involved reconfiguring the house by moving around some bedrooms and the kitchen and installing an extra bathroom and office.It wasn’t until 2015 that they decided to engage a builder.This stage involved lifting the house and building underneath.“Everything else before that we did ourselves,” Mrs Hill said.“I do most of the design work and then don the boots to do some painting, and he’ll (her husband) do the rest.” One of the bathrooms after the renovation.Sharing access to the timber pool deck is the master bedroom, which features a Balinese style ensuite, dressing room and remote blinds.On this level, there is also a media room, a pool room with billiards table and bar, a second bathroom, a laundry, a wine cellar and a gym, as well as a guest bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and study nook.Upstairs in the original workers cottage part of the house, there’s a second living area with a kitchenette, fireplace and a Juliet balcony adjoining another master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite and two further bedrooms. Other features include an integrated sound system, fireplace with side seat in the kitchen, ducted airconditioning throughout, Vintec wine cooler, garage for two vehicles, store room and additional off-street parking for three cars.“Whoever does end up buying this house is going to have the best time,” Mrs Hill said.“Graeme and I are going to miss it.“Our children and friends hope it doesn’t sell because it’s an awesome entertainment house. “The amount of parties we’ve had there!”But the Hills are already looking ahead to their next renovation project.“We’ll have a rest from this one once we sell, but we’re already actively looking for the next project,” Mrs Hill said.“It’s in our blood!”The property is scheduled for auction through Joanna Gianniotis at Place – Bulimba on Saturday, November 3, at 10am.RENO FACT CHECKTime taken: 4 months plus 3 months plus 1 year altogetherTotal spend: Close to $900,000End valuation: Going to auction so cannot give a price guide. The back of the house at 31 Brisbane St, Bulimba, before it was renovated. The backyard of the property at 31 Brisbane St, Bulimba, before the renovation.
See inside this $2 million Hamptons home The bathroom features a freestanding tub.Bi-fold doors offer easy access to the covered alfresco terrace, with built-in barbecue kitchenette and pizza oven, flowing onto a grassy backyard and pool.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThe 728sq m property also includes access to the water via a sandy beach and jetty.The property is set to go under the hammer next weekend. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:11Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:11 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAutumn National Market Update02:12The new owners of this luxury Isle of Capri house will be the first to enjoy its many trappings.The two-storey residence has been rebuilt to new condition with an emphasis on luxury waterfront living. Old homes make way for new in knockdown trend Lounge around at 97 Amalfi Dr, Isle of Capri.“The rooftop level is a private master retreat with a walk-in robe, grand ensuite with a bath, and views to Surfers Paradise.”Polished concrete floors make for low-maintenance living, while wine lovers will be impressed by the secure cellar tucked away under the stairs. “The owner gutted the existing property and added an additional level,” said Nick Cole, of Cole Residential Isle of Capri. The kitchen at 97 Amalfi Dr, Isle of Capri. An open-plan living space at 97 Amalfi Dr, Isle of Capri.The new entertainer’s kitchen is a standout feature with two ovens, an induction cooktop, large concrete island bench, stainless steel benchtops and a butler’s pantry. MORE NEWS: Top 7 sexiest stairs ON THE MARKET Address: 97 Amalfi Drive, Isle of Capri Agent: Nicole Bricknell and Nick Cole, Cole Residential Isle of Capri Features: New kitchen, secure wine cellar, outdoor BBQ kitchenette and pizza oven, jetty Area: 728sq m Auction: March 22, 11am, on-site
Image source: SCPASouth Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) said in their latest announcement that Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army for Civil Works, and other officials will gather on Friday, March 2, to celebrate the beginning of construction on the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project.Charleston Harbor Deepening to 52 feet will make Charleston the deepest harbor on the U.S. Coast, an advantage integral to the port’s ability to handle bigger container ships without tidal limitations and support growth and economic development of the entire state, said SCPA.Approximately eight years after efforts to deepen the Charleston Harbor began, this event will officially mark the beginning of construction on the project.According to the official statement, SC Governor Henry McMaster, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and LTG Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also attend the ceremony.[mappress mapid=”24917″]
The U.S.-based tanker owner International Seaways continues to offload older tonnage from its fleet as it makes room for the anticipated closure of the acquisition of six very large crude carriers from Euronav.The company sold four ships since the start of this year, including one VLCC in March, a 2001-built Aframax, a 2004-built MR and a 2003-built ULCC, totaling in an average age of 15.4 years. The company also completed sale and leaseback transactions for two 2009-built Aframaxes during the quarter.“We also have taken important steps to enhance our financial flexibility ahead of the anticipated second quarter closing of the acquisition of six VLCCS, which is expected to increase the size of the company’s fleet by 23 pct on a deadweight ton basis, following the recent sale of older vessels. “While preparing these vessels for sale resulted in a reduction in revenue and increased costs in the near term, the sales generated substantial additional liquidity for the acquisition and balance sheet,” Lois K. Zabrocky, International Seaways’ president and CEO, said.On April 18, 2018, the company entered into a stock purchase and sale agreement to acquire the holding companies for the six VLCCs, of which five were built in 2016 and one in 2015. The deal is part of Euronav’s acquisition of Gener8 Maritime.The USD 434 million transaction includes assumed debt for the vessels and is subject to a number of closing conditions, including consummation of Euronav’s acquisition of Gener8 Maritime and amendment of the company’s existing credit facility.If the company fails to receive the loan, it agreed to purchase the vessels for the same price, but potentially without the vessel debt. As informed, Euronav would then be expected to repurchase two of the 2016-built vessels from the company for USD 143 million.During the first quarter of the year, International Seaways swung to a net loss of USD 29.3 million from last year’s profit of USD 18.1 million. The net loss for the first quarter includes a USD 6.6 million loss from the sale of the four older vessels.