These plants are from a collection of Echevaria (commonly called Hens & Chickens) that grow in a dis garden. (Gil Riley)(Gil Riley)(Gil Riley)(Gil Riley)Bell shaped Clematis. (Gil Riley)(Gil Riley)First of the lilies from our pond. (Gil Riley)(Gil Riley)Old fashion Hollyhocks. (Gil Riley)(Gil Riley)False sunflower….”Sunstruck”, with honey bee. (Gil Riley)Mother nature tries to protect her young! A fawn lays flat down, trying to hide so you will not see her. Wilton (Jim Knox)A purple finch trying to hide, Wilton. (Jim Knox)The perfect roof from the rain, for a spider. (Jim Knox)A Great Blue Heron stops near enough for a picture. Wayne (Jim Knox)The Great Blue shows me its fine feathers. Wayne. (Jim Knox)Beautiful colors. (Karen Dalot)In flight. (Karen Dalot)Red winged blackbird. (Karen Dalot)Showing off some wings. (Karen Dalot)Silhouette. (Karen Dalot)Safe and sound. (Karen Dalot)This is the third turtle that we have rescued from the road this year. (Karen Dalot)Turtle. (Karen Dalot)Nature mirrors itself. Small bright suns reflect our really hot sun. (Jane Knox)Hollyhocks starting their ascent to the sky. (Jane Knox)
But in June 2019, AkademikerPension then lifted those investment restrictions, declaring itself satisfied the bank disapproved of its own prior behaviour, had not been involved in similar cases since then and had revised its tax policy to prohibit speculation on dividend tax payments.According to the new report by DR, a department at the bank worked in 2011 and 2012 to deliberately design a model to make it possible to reclaim tax several times from the same Danish share dividends.Macquarie staff are currently being investigated in Germany in connection with historical cases of refunds of dividend withholding tax.Jens Munch Holst, chief executive officer of AkademikerPension, said: “The information provided by Børsen and DR indicates that Macquarie in 2012 was looking for a model to be able to cheat with dividend tax against the Danish state.“This is new information for us, and if the information is correct, we will of course take a firm distance,” he said. Jens Munch Holst, AkademikerPensionFor now, Munch Holst said the pension fund was asking Macquarie’s management for an explanation, and quarantining the stock until it received this.AkademikerPension said it currently had DKK52m invested in Macquarie equities, as well as more than DKK800m in infrastructure investments managed by the bank.Anders Schelde, the pension fund’s CIO, told IPE the quarantine meant it could not enter into new unlisted infrastructure investments with Macquarie, but that it would keep existing unlisted investments and let them run off.“Even if we had excluded Macquarie we would have kept the unlisted investments until run off, as it is too costly to sell them in the secondary market,” he said.Meanwhile, ATP, Denmark’s largest pension fund, told IPE its policy regarding Macquarie had not changed since 2018 when allegations against the bank relating to the Cum-Ex scandal had been highlighted in Denmark.“It remains our policy not to make any new investments in Macquarie or enter into business cooperation with them,” said a spokesman for the fund.However, the pension fund is still involved with Macquarie as a business partner within the TDC investment.The ATP spokesman said revelations in the latest investigative reports did not change anything for ATP.“But it does show that it was right to stop further engagements with the bank,” he added.He said ATP had decided at the end of last year to put a stop to the critical dialogue it had been conducting with Macquarie over the issue, because the pension fund had been unable to get the answers it wanted.PFA told Børsen last week that the new information in its report was worrying and that it would include it in the critical dialogue it was already having with Macquarie about the bank’s involvement in dividend tax cases.“Macquarie is on our watch list and we will not enter into any new cooperation with them until we have been assured that they have provided all available information and that they are no longer in any way involved in cases of unjustified recovery of dividend tax,” the pension provider told the Danish paper.“It remains our policy not to make any new investments in Macquarie or enter into business cooperation with them”ATPAt PensionDanmark, CIO Claus Stampe told IPE the pension fund had a small investment in an infrastructure fund managed by Macquarie, which was now in the process of unwinding its holdings.“There are no plans to enter into new business arrangements with Macquarie,” he said.Labour-market pension fund Sampension said it had almost DKK6.5m invested in Macquarie shares, but was closely monitoring the company regarding its tax practices.“If we find that they are resuming any unwanted behaviour, the road to exclusion is very short,” the fund’s head of equities Philip Jagd told IPE. “So far, however, we are holding on to our position,” he said.Danica Pension told IPE it had sold all its investments in Macquarie.When asked for comment, Macquarie declined to respond to AkademikerPension’s quarantine decision, but provided IPE with the response it had previously given Børsen in relation to its news investigation.In that response, Macquarie said the memo cited by Børsen had been “consistent with market practice at the time, whereby many banks were seeking opinions on dividend trading strategies.”“Macquarie has previously stated that it only conducted these types of strategies on the basis of confirmatory legal advice. No such strategy was authorised by Macquarie in relation to Denmark,” the bank said.“Where we get things wrong or when rules or expectations change, we are always willing to resolve any problems and change our approach. Macquarie regrets our historical involvement and we have taken steps to ensure that this type of activity no longer happens,” the bank said in the response.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. New revelations about controversial dividend arbitrage practices at Macquarie have prompted another move by a Danish pension fund to distance itself from the Australian bank – while ATP said the latest reports vindicate its two-year-old policy of not investing in the bank.Akademiker Pension, which recently changed its name from MP Pension, announced it is putting Macquarie back into investment quarantine – a status which precludes new investments for six months – following recent disclosures by financial daily Børsen and national broadcaster DR about the bank’s role in a long-running international dividend tax scandal.The pension fund already quarantined the Australian bank in 2018 when the furore over its historical role in the Cum-Ex scandal originally gripped Denmark.Danes had been particularly outraged because Macquarie was a major shareholder in the former national telecoms company TDC through its investment partnership with Danish pension funds ATP, PFA and PKA.
Sipping from the drink in the paper cup in his left hand intermittently, Mikel attributed the good run that afternoon to the commitment of the players and the coaching crew. “I have the belief that we can reach new heights with this team. The boys are so committed that it makes you happy. The coaching crew is made up of very matured and brilliant people who respect the players,” observed the midfielder who is now the second longest serving player at Chelsea FC having spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge.In his analysis of the game with the Chipolopolo, Mikel admitted that the combination of the experience of the mostly Europe-based players helped to give Eagles the edge over Zambia. “They (Zambians) got confused by the short passes between our forwards and the midfielders. They perhaps were expecting long balls but we opted not to do that but take the game to them in the way that got us the two goals in the first half,” stressed Mikel who led Nigeria’s Olympic team to bronze medal finish at the last Games in Rio, Brazil.With Eagles in firm control of the Group B pairing on three points with both Algeria and Cameroun having just a point each following their one-all draw same Sunday night in Algiers, the Blues midfielder insists that Nigeria cannot afford to allow any slip now. “Each and every one of us is determined to go to the World Cup. Now that we are top of the table, we have to remain there,” said Mikel as he took another sip from the content of his paper cup.What perhaps is giving the Eagles supremo the confidence to remain on top of the group is the fact that Nigeria’s next two games of the qualifiers are at home in Uyo to Algeria and Cameroun in November and early next year. “We should be able to consolidate with this advantage. By the time we will be going away to Cameroun and Algeria, we should have maximised the advantage to stay at the top of the group.”At 29 years, Mikel believes he has the capacity to continue playing at top level till his 35th birthday. “I am 29 years now and my desire is to continue playing till I am 35 years old. The boys need my experience to guide them. I want to lead the team to the World Cup in Russia and make impact.”Although Mikel had earlier admitted at the post-match conference that the group is a tough one having three teams at the last World Cup in Brazil and a 2012 AFCON winner paired together, he however believes with the Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr, in charge and forging a new spirit in the team, Nigeria is in safe hands.Midway into the four hours and 20 minutes flight from Ndola to Abuja however took a new tempo with the blaring of Nigeria’s hip-hop star, Phyno’s tune, ‘Connect’ from a Bluetooth speaker, turning the Airbus 737-800 series into one large party hall. Interestingly, it was a double celebration for one of Mikel’s players, Brown Ideye, whose birthday fell on that match-day one of the Russia 2018 qualifiers.Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung; former NFF President, Aminu Maigari; NFF President, Amaju Pinnick; his other board members on board the flight like 1st Vice-President Seyi Akinwunmi; 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko; Chairman of the Technical Committee, Chris Green; board member and Chairman of Enyimba FC, Felix Anyasi-Agwu; former COJA chieftain, Mainasara Illo; and several chairmen of state FAs and clubs joined in popping champagne to celebrate Ideye’s birthday.Dalung, who was equally as happy as every Nigerian on that flight, showed some dancing skills to the delight of all. The Plateau State lawyer-politician hinted he last danced 22 years ago but happy doing so again to celebrate Nigeria’s victory over Zambia.But the anticlimax of the night was the news on arrival at 11-20pm at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport that the Indomitable Lions played one-all with Algeria to deny the Desert Foxes from sharing the glory of another three-point winners in the group.Nigeria won a competitive away game for the first time in 23 months as Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho scored before Collins Mbesuma pulled one back in the Zambian Copper-belt capital. Manchester City of England prodigy Iheanacho has now scored in each of his last four matches for Nigeria: against Mali in France; Luxembourg in Luxembourg City; Tanzania in Uyo and; Zambia in Ndola.The Zambians had hoped to get Nigeria’s Europe-based contingent rendered weak and dehydrated with an early afternoon start (2.30pm), but the Eagles approached the match in a matured manner, not engaging in too much running in the first half-hour, and then taking their chances without blinking.The quintet of goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Stopilla Sunzu, Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba and Collins Mbesuma were familiar faces in the Zambian starting line-up. But Fwayo Tembo, Chisamba Lungu and Winston Kalengo are also known to be tough customers.They tried to run hard and wear the Eagles down in the 35-degree heat, but after surviving the first half-hour, the Nigerian attack stepped up a gear and scored two brilliant goals in 10 minutes. Eagles’ goalie Carl Ikeme and Williams Troost Ekong however stood out of the Nigerian pack with their five-star performances in Ndola.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria began the march to Russia 2018 World Cup on a bright note on Sunday afternoon in Ndola, grabbing maximum points against the Chipolopolo of Zambia. DURO IKHAZUAGBE who witnessed the encounter reports…Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, was a very happy man on Sunday night aboard the Arik Airline flight from Ndola in Zambia to Abuja. The reason for Mikel’s expansive laughter and hand pumping was obvious to all who know him. To some, the Chelsea star is more of a recluse, who hardly mixes with teammates or even fans. But that night was different. As captain of the Super Eagles, Mikel was like the commander of a battalion who has just led his army to conquer a very crucial territory. Beating the Chipolopolo in a World Cup qualifier right in front of their President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola was no mean feat.Grinning from ear to ear and shaking hands of some of the football stakeholders partying aboard the aircraft, Mikel opened up to THISDAY: “This victory is good. It has given us the edge in our Group B. Winning away in a tight group like this is not easy. Now, we have a very good chance to qualify for the World Cup if we keep our heads and play at our best level.”