Little Pembroke gets big

first_imgPembroke College is to expand significantly in a building project which will add two new quads to its existing city centre site. Pembroke, currently one of Oxford’s physically smaller colleges, will have its main site increased by around 30 per cent. The large development will create a café, seminar rooms, art gallery, assembly room and an all-purpose auditorium, together with accommodation space for a whole year of Pembroke undergraduates. The work will include the demolition of a collection of buildings acquired by the college in recent years, including old industrial and retail sites to the south of Brewer street. These will be replaced by two new quads in the collegiate style, to be connected to the existing site by a footbridge over the street. The expansion has been made possible by a fundraising campaign called ‘Bridging Centuries’, through which the college has already raised £9 million out of a targeted £17 million of donations. It is part of Oxford University’s ‘Oxford Thinking’ campaign, which recently passed the £1 billion mark. The overall cost of the project is £29 million, the remainder of which will be provided by a bank loan. The development is the culmination of years of planning by the college. Giles Henderson, the Master of Pembroke, said, “It is no mere annexe we are building. This is a major extension of our main site which will benefit members of Pembroke and visitors for years to come.” Andrew Seton, Strategic Development Director at Pembroke, called the project “nothing short of transformational”. Mr Seton added, “Pembroke is a great community. It has not had the same facilities as other colleges. Our students deserve more than there are at the moment, and this lovely expansion will provide for that.” Students have expressed their enthusiasm for the plans, which will also provide a number of en-suite study bedrooms. Alex Joynes, a second-year student at Pembroke, said, “It’s all very exciting for us. For me, the most impressive plans are those for the art gallery and auditorium, which will really help to show Pembroke’s strong arts side.” A fundraising campaign is appealing to alumni and friends of Pembroke from across the Atlantic, with separate UK and US campaign boards which launched respectively in London and Washington DC last month. The college still needs a further £8 million of donations to ‘Bridging Centuries’ to enable on-time completion, intended for 2012.last_img read more

Norwegian sovereign fund halves coal company holdings

first_imgNorway’s sovereign fund has nearly halved its exposure to thermal coal since the beginning of the year, only retaining shares in companies where mining is one of several business areas.Since the end of 2014, the NOK7trn (€806bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) has divested seven coal mining companies, leaving only eight manufacturing thermal coal used in energy production – worth only 0.01% of its entire equity portfolio.Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), told a Norwegian parliamentary hearing the fund retained its stake in large mining conglomerates but that the divestment came as part of its sale of a dozen companies due to concerns over water, deforestation and carbon emissions.The chief executive said: “Some sectors are facing particular environmental and social challenges. Based on an overall financial assessment, we may divest from individual companies. Over the past three years, we have sold off our shares in 114 companies on the basis of such assessments.” The fund earlier this year divested a number of firms over its environmental and human rights records, including some involved in the acquisition of phosphate from Western Sahara.Across its entire portfolio, NBIM now only retains NOK31.5bn in coal and general mining projects, slightly smaller in size than its dedicated environmental mandate of NOK42bn.Slyngstad compared the return of the environmental mandate with that of the whole fund, noting that the 5% return fell short of the 7.6% produced overall in 2014.“The environment-related mandates are currently confined to stock market segments that are well suited to active investment management,” he added.“Our investment managers have outperformed the environmental indices we use as a benchmark.”However, Slyngstad noted that the environmental mandate had underperformed the fund’s overall equity portfolio by 7 percentage points since its inception in 2009, echoing earlier comments.In his own remarks before the committee, Norges Bank governor Øystein Olsen also said the sovereign fund’s potential expansion into infrastructure would bring with it a team dedicated to the asset class.Discussing NBIM’s approach to real estate, in line with its goal to invest 1% of assets into property a year until it hits the current 5% cap, Olsen noted that a standalone property management team had been established.New properties will either be approved by the real estate team’s investment committee or, where sizeable acquisitions are occurring, by the fund’s executive board.Olsen noted that establishing an unlisted infrastructure portfolio is likely to see a similar resource-intensive approach to investment.The Norwegian government last year announced it would investigate relaxing the current 5% hard cap on real estate, and including infrastructure assets in the fund’s investment universe.last_img read more

El Monterey breakfast wraps recalled, may contain rocks

first_imgRuiz Foods Products is recalling more than 246,000 pounds of its frozen El Monterey breakfast wraps after finding that some of the wraps may contain small rocks and other extraneous materials.The company based in Denison, Texas reported that they have received at least one report associated with the possible contamination:“The company received a report of a potential injury associated with the consumption of this product,” the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said. “FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider, ” according to a statement from the US Department of Agriculture.The company also reported that they believe the bacon in the egg, potato, bacon and cheese wraps may be the source of the possible contamination.The products being recalled was manufactured in January and have “best if used by” dates of 01/17/2020 and 01/18/2020, and lot codes 19017 and 19018.Those who have purchased the product are urged to throw the product away or to return them to the place of purchase.last_img read more