first_imgFrench duo Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Auge are who they say they are. They are not Daft Punk, they are not electronic music, they are not the “new French wave.” They are the “kings of useless remixes,” they love pop music, and they only collaborate with artists to see their names on the albums of people they like.The duo’s self-professed background is in mainstream pop, but they love Metaliica (“et Justice pour tous”) and Snoop and a lot of disco. “Always we like accessible stuff. I never listen to Gang of Four and uh, Joy Division or stuff like this. As kids of the 90’s, we liked really normal things” says de Rosnay. He does contend, however, that “at the end, what we do doesn’t really sound like what we used to listen to.”  Their pop background does help them create what people will enjoy, “because we are simple music listeners, it helps us to make music that can speak to a larger audience.” The idea for their album title, the cross symbol, came when they saw Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, and liked the simplicity of the prism on the cover. Religion does play an important role for them, however, with tracks like “Let There Be Light” and “Waters of Nazareth”.  “We just noticed that religion and music has a link because they are two things that are able to get people together. When we were about to make our second single, we said okay, let’s make a track that can turn a club into a church for two minutes.” They are talking about Water of Nazareth, where organ music comes in about halfway through the track. “We don’t use [the cross] in a provocative way.”  Who is the next big thing? Fresh talent? Their former and current tour mates Spanish Midnight Juggernauts and French rock band Fancy are two notables, as well as Scenario Rock, another French band, who they have previously collaborated with on their track DVNO.  But tonight, de Rosnay was excited about their Oxford show simply because his brother and sister-in-law were in the audience. by Pamela Takefmanlast_img read more

first_imgHenry Ehrenreich was born in Frankfurt on May 11, 1928, the only child of Frieda and Nathan—a prominent pianist, choral conductor, and music critic.  It was not an auspicious time to be born a Jew in Germany.First, in 1934, Henry’s father lost his positions. Then, in November 1938, a week after Kristallnacht, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau.  A few weeks later, on December 7, 1938, he was released with orders to leave Germany immediately. On December 17, after a series of operations for injuries sustained at Dachau, he fled to a refugee camp in Holland.  Henry recalled all these events vividly.Six months after Nathan fled, on June 20, 1939, Frieda entrusted 11-year-old Henry to the Kindertransport, the rescue mission that delivered about 10,000 children from Nazi Germany to foster homes in England during the nine months preceding World War II.  The visa on which Henry traveled, and which saved his life, had been issued to a distant cousin whose family passed it on to Henry when they decided to stick together.  In the following months, Henry was sent from a children’s refugee camp in Margate to a Bayswater boarding school to a foster home in London.  When not in school, he and two friends from the Kindertransport practiced English and explored the London Tube.  When the British evacuated children from London, they placed Henry in Letchworth with a German-speaking family that harbored Nazi sympathies and maltreated him.  Henry was desolate.On August 24, 1939, Frieda took one of the last flights to London from Frankfurt before war was declared.  She obtained work as a housekeeper in Sussex and found Henry a home with a gardener and his family in Ditchling, near enough by that she and Henry could easily visit.  The gardener, a compassionate fellow of limited means, was a self-taught pianist and composer.  During Henry’s Ditchling stay, his love for music—long suppressed in Germany—was reawakened.In the late fall of 1939, U.S. visas, for which the family had applied in early 1935, were issued, and Nathan arrived in New York City on December 5, 1939.  In March 1940, sixteen months after Nathan had fled Germany and nine months after Henry had escaped Frankfurt, the family was reunited in New York. In 1942, they moved to Buffalo, where Nathan was employed as a choral conductor and Henry entered high school.Three years later, Henry concluded his valedictory speech at graduation by calling on listeners to “… at all times think clearly, judge tolerantly, and act wisely…for this is our solemn duty to our country and to mankind.”In 1946, having won a New York State Scholarship, Henry entered Cornell.  He graduated in 1950, alongside a distinguished group of non-fraternity classmates self-labeled the “gefilte phi.”  During those four years, he composed a string quartet, served as a teaching assistant in mathematics, and concluded that he would pursue a career in theoretical physics.  Thoughts of plying his father’s profession were set aside.  In 1949, he met and began his courtship of Tema Hasnas, his wife from 1953 until he passed away on January 20, 2008.In the fall of 1951, after an academic year at Columbia, Henry returned to Cornell, to Tema, and to teaching assistantships in sections that included rambunctious future Nobelists Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg.By then, interest in semiconductor science had spread widely, fanned by the invention at Bell Laboratories in 1947 of a germanium solid-state amplifier—the transistor.  To understand the properties of germanium and silicon detailed studies of their complex electronic band structures, their lattice vibrations and their imperfections were needed.  The challenging problems of electron transport posed by semiconductors attracted Henry.  As Albert Overhauser’s first doctoral student, Henry set to work on one of them: the scattering of holes in germanium by lattice vibrations. He completed his thesis and received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1955.From Ithaca, Henry took a second small step eastward to Schenectady, NY, to the General Electric Research Laboratory, the nation’s first industrial laboratory.  In 1955, this was the home of forefront research groups in surface science, solid state science, and nuclear engineering. In collaboration with colleagues and visitors, he investigated electron-phonon interactions and electron transport in compound semiconductors (e.g., gallium arsenide); sound absorption in insulators; and, in an extensive and influential series of papers, the optical properties of metals, semiconductors, and insulators.  While Henry and Tema were at Schenectady, their three children, Paul, Beth, and Robert, were born.In the fall of 1960, Henry and his family spent a term in Harvard’s Division of Engineering and Applied Physics, then led by Dean Harvey Brooks, who had come to Harvard from General Electric (GE) in 1950.  Three years later, in 1963, he accepted an invitation to join the Division’s faculty as a Professor.  This third small eastward move (to Cambridge and Belmont and in summers to the Cape) would be his last:  Harvard remained his home base until he passed away as Clowes Professor of Science, Emeritus, a few months before his 80th birthday.As applications of semiconductor devices expanded explosively, so too—informally and through papers and editorial activities—did Ehrenreich’s stature as a master whose calculations and insights explained and predicted the electronic and optical properties of the ever more complex ingredients these devices contained.  Over forty-five years he authored more than 200 papers and reviews and co-edited (first with Frederick Seitz and David Turnbull, who came from GE to Harvard in 1962, and subsequently with Frans Spaepen) over 30 volumes of Solid State Physics, a renowned and widely consulted annual review of major advances in solid state science and technology.More than 30 years ago, during the “first” oil crisis, Ehrenreich was asked to assess solar photovoltaic cells.  He headed the American Physical Society’s Study Group on Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion from 1977-81, served on the Department of Energy’s Photovoltaic Advisory Committee, and testified before Congress in 1985.Over four decades he served and chaired innumerable national and international committees including the Solid State Commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics for ten years and the Department of Defense’s DARPA Materials Council for twenty years. In 1991, he spent a term working with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.Henry approached every activity—whether for Harvard or others, and whether research, educational, or administrative—with singleness of purpose, attention to details, and alertness to eventualities.  He took care to touch bases and to rehearse presentations—his own, his students’, and those of the committees and groups he chaired.He educated and mentored many students—far more than the two dozen doctoral candidates and dozen graduate students whose research he directed demandingly and whose welfare he nurtured devotedly.  With the Commonwealth’s sanction, he presided at the wedding of one of his students and one of his teaching fellows!When his day of no-nonsense work ended, he was ready to relax.  The short ride home to Belmont brought a martini or two and music.  Music was an important part of his life.  He was an avid pianist, attended many concerts, and often discussed music with the many students, colleagues, and others who enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Ehrenreich’s Belmont home.  His close friends included performers, conductors, and scholars of music.  And the Mozart he played as students streamed into his Core course was intended for him as much as for them.The imaginative courses (graduate, undergraduate, Core courses, and freshman seminars) that Henry developed covered a broad range of topics: solid state physics; energy and environmental science and public policy; physics and music; and the history of science.  His interest in the history of science led to his appointment as a trustee of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology.Henry took special pride in bringing together students and other faculty from physics, chemistry, and engineering in the first multi-departmental, multidisciplinary course on materials and devices.  The course was a natural complement to his efforts, as Director of Harvard’s Materials Research Laboratory (now Materials Research Science and Engineering Center) from 1982-90, to foster strong and enduring multidisciplinary research programs.As concerns about pollution and climate change grew, he spent more time working on the science and the economics of alternative energy sources—especially solar and wind.As chair of the Science Center Executive Committee and of the Core Committee on Science from 1987–1999, Henry was broadly involved in promoting and improving Harvard undergraduate education in science and engineering.  He was continually engaged in recruiting other faculty and working with them on lectures and courses.His widely recognized concern for others made it natural that, as a Professor Emeritus, he be invited to serve, and that he agree to serve, as the University’s first Ombudsman.In addition to Tema and his three children, Henry leaves ten grandchildren.Respectfully submitted,Michael B. McElroyPeter S. PershanFrans A. SpaepenPaul C. Martin, Chairlast_img read more

first_imgHarvard’s Houghton Library contains a lush Peter Pan portfolio, a collection of vivid drawings by noted illustrator Arthur Rackham. The dozen detailed images are from the children’s book “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens,” published by J.M. Barrie in 1906. The work was based on a series of chapters in Barrie’s earlier short story collection from 1902 titled “The Little White Bird,” which featured the first iteration of the character Peter Pan, a little boy who is part bird and never wants to grow up.last_img read more

first_img Auditory cortex nearly identical in hearing and deaf people Related Study shows architecture of audition likely based on innate factors Hidden hearing loss, on the other hand, refers to listening difficulties that go undetected by conventional audiograms and are thought to arise from abnormal connectivity and communication of nerve cells in the brain and ear, not in the sensory cells that initially convert sound waves into electrochemical signals. Conventional hearing tests were not designed to detect these neural changes that interfere with our ability to process sounds at louder, more conversational levels.In the eLife report, the researchers first reviewed more than 100,000 patient records over a 16-year period, finding that approximately one in 10 of these patients who visited the audiology clinic at Mass. Eye and Ear presented with complaints of hearing difficulty, yet auditory testing revealed that they had normal audiograms. Progress in treating hearing loss A pair of biomarkers of brain function — one that represents listening effort, and another that measures the ability to process rapid changes in frequencies — may help explain why a person with normal hearing may struggle to follow conversations in noisy environments, according to a new study led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.Published Jan. 21 in eLife,the study could inform the design of next-generation clinical testing for hidden hearing loss, a condition that cannot currently be measured using standard hearing exams.“Between the increased use of personal listening devices or the simple fact that the world is a much noisier place than it used to be, patients are reporting as early as middle age that they are struggling to follow conversations in the workplace and in social settings where other people are also speaking in the background,” said senior study author Daniel Polley, HMS associate professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery and director of the Lauer Tinnitus Research Center at Mass. Eye and Ear. “Current clinical testing can’t pick up what’s going wrong with this very common problem.”“Our study was driven by a desire to develop new types of tests,” added lead study author Aravindakshan Parthasarathy, HMS instructor in otolaryngology head and neck surgery and an investigator in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Mass. Eye and Ear. “Our work shows that measuring cognitive effort in addition to the initial stages of neural processing in the brain may explain how patients are able to separate one speaker from a crowd.”Hearing loss affects an estimated 48 million Americans and can be caused by noise, aging and other factors. Hearing loss typically arises from damage to the sensory cells of the inner ear (the cochlea), which convert sounds into electrical signals, or the auditory nerve fibers that transmit those signals to the brain. It is traditionally diagnosed by elevation in the faintest sound level required to hear a brief tone, as revealed on an audiogram, the gold standard test of hearing sensitivity. “… patients are reporting as early as middle age that they are struggling to follow conversations in the workplace and in social settings where other people are also speaking in the background.” — Daniel Polley, senior study authorcenter_img Optimized gene-editing system halts hearing loss in mice with hereditary deafness Motivated to develop objective biomarkers that might explain these “hidden” hearing complaints, the study authors developed two sets of tests. The first measured electrical EEG signals from the surface of the ear canal to capture how well the earliest stages of sound processing in the brain were encoding subtle but rapid fluctuations in sound waves. The second test used specialized glasses to measure changes in pupil diameter as subjects focused their attention on one speaker while others babbled in the background. Previous research shows changes in pupil size can reflect the amount of cognitive effort expended on a task.They then recruited 23 young or middle-aged subjects with clinically normal hearing to undergo the tests. As expected, their ability to follow a conversation with others talking in the background varied widely despite having a clean bill of hearing health. By combining their measures of ear canal EEG with changes in pupil diameter, they could identify which subjects struggled to follow speech in a noisy setting and which subjects could ace the test. The authors are encouraged by these results, considering that conventional audiograms could not account for any of these performance differences.“Speech is one of the most complex sounds that we need to make sense of,” Polley said. “If our ability to converse in social settings is part of our hearing health, then the tests that are used have to go beyond the very first stages of hearing and more directly measure auditory processing in the brain.”This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant NIDCD P50-DC015857).Adapted from a Mass. Eye and Ear news release. Single letter speaks volumes Researchers develop drug cocktail that unlocks potential to regrow inner-ear ‘hair’ cells last_img read more

first_img(Photo: Caitlin McNaney & Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Renée Elise Goldsberry Laura Benanti Cynthia Erivo Darren Criss Sutton Foster  Thanksgiving is officially over (but we won’t judge you if you keep watching the Falsettos cast celebrate it again and again). This means we can all put those holiday carols on blast—Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr and Broadway bombshell Megan Hilty’s new Yuletide albums are already on repeat! In honor of the Christmas season’s official start, we asked you to rank which Broadway stars should join faves like Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Barbra Streisand and release a holiday album. Here are the top 10 Main Stem faves whose Christmas records would be at the top of your wishlists! Laura Osnes Aaron Tveit Audra McDonald Lin-Manuel Miranda Sierra Boggess View Commentslast_img read more

first_imgOne key aspect of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), generated many questions last week as credit unions worked to understand how they could participate in the program. The CARES Act and implementing pieces for this program are rather technical, so this blog has a very high-level overview of some of the issues that came up last week, and a round up of resources for credit unions seeking more information.The CARES Act provided the Small Business Administration (SBA) with funds and authority to modify existing loan programs to establish a new loan program, the PPP, to assist small businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19. Section 1102 of the CARES Act provides the details of the new lending program, and section 1106 provides forgiveness provisions up to the full principal amount of qualifying loans under the PPP. Late last week, the SBA published an interim final rule implementing section 1102 and 1106.Federally insured credit unions can offer PPP loans to their members, if the credit union is an SBA 7(a) authorized lender. Existing 7(a) lenders were automatically approved to make PPP loans, and the SBA can authorize additional lenders to participate in the program. However, a credit union cannot participate if it is in troubled condition or subject to formal enforcement action with NCUA. If a credit union is not an existing 7(a) lender, the CARES Act allowed the SBA to create a designation specifically for the PPP loans. The SBA published an application for lenders that would like to participate in the program but are not already 7(a) lenders which can be submitted to [email protected] Lenders then use the SBA’s eTRAN system. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_img– Advertisement – Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.Slippers are a staple year-round, but especially in the colder months. Of course, holiday shopping season is now in full-swing — and instead of stressing out at the last minute, it’s wise to make your list (and check it off) ahead of time.- Advertisement – Trends may come and go, but fabulous footwear is forever. If you’re looking for slippers to gift a loved one, this pair from Skechers is a strong choice. Currently, nearly 12,000 shoppers have left reviews — and there are an overwhelming amount of five-star ratings!BOBS from Skechers Women's Keepsakes Ice Angel SlipperBOBS from Skechers Women’s Keepsakes Ice Angel Slipper AmazonSee it!Get the BOBS from Skechers Women’s Keepsakes Ice Angel Slipper for prices starting at $31, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 11, 2020, but are subject to change.- Advertisement – These slippers have a faux-fur lining and a cable knit exterior, which look adorable teamed together! The fur folds over to the outside of the slipper, wrapping your entire foot in the fluffiest way possible. Even before you slip your feet into these slippers, it’s clear that they’ll immediately feel cozy. That’s the sign of a solid slipper — and likely one of the reasons they have amassed so many fans!We also love that these slippers come complete with a thick sole, making them incredibly durable. You can wear them both indoors and outdoors, and the sole will make them last so much longer than other flimsy slippers out there! Chances are, you’ve worn a pair of slippers so much that the bottom has practically disappeared. That’s a non-issue here, as they will likely last you through a couple of winters of regular wear.BOBS from Skechers Women's Keepsakes Ice Angel SlipperBOBS from Skechers Women’s Keepsakes Ice Angel Slipper AmazonSee it!- Advertisement – Get the BOBS from Skechers Women’s Keepsakes Ice Angel Slipper for prices starting at $31, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 11, 2020, but are subject to change.In exciting news, you can score these slippers in so many color combinations. Mix and match with the hue of the knit and the shade of the fur. They vary from shoe to shoe, but there’s certainly a style for anyone’s personality. This is the type of holiday gift that will always be a hit, but feel free to just buy them for yourself instead. We won’t tell — we’re probably doing the same thing!See it: Get the BOBS from Skechers Women’s Keepsakes Ice Angel Slipper for prices starting at $31, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 11, 2020, but are subject to change.Not what you’re looking for? Check out more styles from Skechers and shop all of the clothing, shoes and jewelry available at Amazon! Don’t forget to check out all of Amazon’s Daily Deals here!Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at [email protected] Happy shopping!last_img read more

first_imgPT Kalbe Farma is bracing for the impact of COVID-19 on its business in the second quarter and hoping to cushion the blow through cashflow management and by making better use of digital channels.Kalbe Farma president director Vidjongtius said that, while the COVID-19 impact was not apparent in the first quarter, it would be more significant in the second quarter with an expected decline in the number of patient visits and limited consumer mobility.“We will take greater advantage of digital platforms as an alternative for our stay-at-home consumers,” the president director said on Monday. Meanwhile, Kalbe Farma has decided to slash dividends on last year’s profit to build up the retained capital to wither the COVID-19 impact.Kalbe Farma will only pay out Rp 937.5 billion (US$62.97 million) in dividends to its shareholders, lower than the initial projection of Rp 1.13 trillion to Rp 1.26 trillion.The dividends are around 37 percent of the company’s 2019 profit of Rp 2.5 trillion, lower than Kalbe Farma’s average dividend ratio of 45 to 50 percent over the years.“We are taking the initiative to increase the company’s cash flow reserve for the year 2020, so that we can weather the impacts of COVID-19 well,” Vidjongtius said.Furthermore, to boost its business, the company also plans to increase the production of a number of highly sought items during the pandemic, including vitamin supplements, jamu (traditional herbal medicine) and health equipment such as masks and protective coveralls.The company booked around 8 percent year-on-year (yoy) growth in net sales at Rp 5.8 trillion in the first quarter, while its net profit grew by 12.47 percent yoy to Rp 669.27 billion in the first three months.In the wake of the pandemic-related disruption of pharmaceutical supply chains, the company also plans to get more involved in the provision of raw materials for the industry as the country seeks to reduce its dependency on imported products.The company is said to collaborate with its longtime partner from South Korea, Genexine Inc., to develop raw materials for biotechnology-based medicines with a future potential of those products turning into export goods, according to Vidjongtius.While refraining from stating company targets for 2020, Vidjongtius expressed optimism about the growth of the pharmaceutical industry as “public awareness of health has increased significantly, at every level, in every region” due to the pandemic.“We have lowered our forecast on KLBF’s [Kalbe Farma] operating costs as we believe KLBF will keep increasing its efficiency at the operating level to support its net profit,” Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia analyst Mimi Halimin wrote in a research note.The note also highlighted that the company’s net profit was forecast at Rp 2.7 trillion this year, a 5.7 percent increase yoy, in line with the management’s target of 5 to 6 percent growth. The company, which is traded on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) under the stock symbol KLBF, unchanged on Monday. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) climbed up 0.08 percent. Topics : The publicly listed company has several digital channels, including klikdokter.com, a website that currently also provides services related to COVID-19, such as rapid test arrangement for consumers at risk in hospitals cooperating with Kalbe Farma.The service is currently available in Greater Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java.Meanwhile, through its subsidiary PT Enseval Putera Megatrading, Kalbe also runs digital health distribution services through the EMOS and MOSHEALTH platform, for both businesses and customers to ease the process of ordering pharmaceutical and other health products.“We see the utilization of the existing platforms as a very good option,” Vidjongtius added.last_img read more

first_img Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 11 Aug 2020 9:01 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2kShares Advertisement Comment Arsenal are targeting Ajax winger Quincy Promes (Getty Images)Arsenal are targeting a move for Ajax winger Quincy Promes, according to reports.The Gunners are already closing in on a deal to sign Willian on a free transfer from Chelsea.But Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster his attacking options even further in the transfer window.And according to The Sun, Arteta is keen to bring Promes to the Emirates Stadium this summer.ADVERTISEMENTThe 28-year-old moved to Ajax from Sevilla for £14 million last summer and scored 16 goals in his debut campaign for the Dutch club.Promes typically plays on the left flank, which means his arrival at Arsenal would allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to move into his favoured central role. Advertisement Quincy Promes scored 16 goals in his debut season for Ajax (ANP Sport via Getty Images)The Sun’s report also claims that Promes would jump at the opportunity to join Arsenal this summer.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Quincy would go in a heartbeat,’ a source close to the player told The Sun.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘It would be a great move for him and Arsenal.’Promes, who has 42 caps for the Netherlands, has previously been linked with a move to Liverpool.Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. Quincy Promes keen on Arsenal move as Mikel Arteta targets Ajax wingerlast_img read more

first_imgInstitutional investors have been increasingly allocating away from their domestic markets for many years – but some still remain strong supporters of local assets.Mercer’s annual European asset allocation survey, published this week, showed a year-on-year decline in the average equity holdings for European pension funds – 25% in 2019, down from 28% in 2018 – and a corresponding increase in bond investments, from 51% to 53%.Digging deeper into the data shows a varied picture from country to country, however. Belgian pension funds on average invest 45% of their portfolios in equities, the highest of any of the 12 countries assessed by Mercer.Belgian funds also invested the most in their domestic stock market – 30% of investment portfolios on average – although with the MSCI Belgium index dropping 23.2% during 2018 in euro terms, this was unlikely to have been a happy recent experience. At the other end of the scale, Danish pension funds allocated just 1% of assets to their home equity market, and 11% to equities overall – the lowest figure of the 12 countries in both regards. The MSCI Denmark index fell 11.2% last year.Strategic allocation to domestic equitiesChart Maker“Equity allocations are typically smaller than they were a decade ago,” Mercer said in its report. “However, the construction of equity portfolios has evolved in an increasingly thoughtful manner, with reductions in domestic bias and with the gradual acceptance of emerging markets as a material component of the overall equity universe.”It is worth noting, of course, that domestic equity markets vary even more than those who invest in them: stock exchanges such as those in the UK, Germany and France, for example, tend to be home to multi-national firms and so are themselves less domestically focused.Equities are not the whole story, however. Using Mercer’s data on fixed income allocations, IPE has constructed a picture of which countries’ pension funds allocate most towards their domestic equity and bond markets.Looking just at traditional fixed income investments, Mercer reported that Ireland and Portugal both invest almost exclusively in their home markets, with 94% of their bond holdings listed locally. Within this, 90% of Irish pension funds’ bond holdings are allocated to Irish government bonds and 4% to corporate issuance. For Portugal, the figures are 72% and 22%, respectively.Strategic allocation to domestic bondsChart MakerPortuguese funds have one of the highest average allocations to fixed income of any of the 12 countries assessed – 67%, including non-domestic bonds – meaning overall Portuguese pension funds invest 75% of their portfolios in domestic equities and bonds.At the other end of the scale, Swiss pension funds on average allocate just 18% to domestic assets, made up of 11% in Swiss equities and 7% in local bonds.Allocations to domestic bonds and equityChart Makerlast_img read more