He said insurance companies had ring-fenced significant capital reserves for annuities, and that a fall in the scope for new business could even benefit policyholders in the very short term, as insurers would need less capital for allocation to new policies.David Ellis, UK head of bulk pensions insurance at Mercer, said the Budget announcement would have two main effects: increased supply in the UK pension buyout market and increased demand from plan trustees and sponsors.“Taken together, this suggests acceleration in the pace at which UK plan trustees and sponsors purchase insured annuities covering their defined benefit pension obligations,” he said. This could increase the UK pension buyout market by as much as 20%, he said. “We might even see one or more additional entrants into the UK pension buyout market, which would be welcome news for trustees and sponsors,” Ellis said. He said the apparent difference in the way DB and DC savers were treated could prompt many members of private sector DB plans to transfer benefits to a DC arrangement so they could access the funds immediately from April 2015.This would reduce the burden on DB plan sponsors, giving some trustees and sponsors a stronger business case for buying annuities to cover the reduced amount of remaining pension obligations, he said.Separately, consultancy Towers Watson said it expected individual UK bulk annuity deals to become larger, with the bulk annuity and longevity swap markets continuing to grow.In its annual de-risking report, the firm also predicted that new longevity hedging structures would evolve, and medical underwriting become more mainstream.It pointed out that 2014 had already seen the largest longevity swap so far with the £5bn (€6bn) Aviva Staff Pension Fund deal.The survey of the main bulk annuity providers indicated the average size of transactions would get larger during 2013, Towers Watson said, with more deals worth more than £1bn.Sadie Hayes, transaction specialist at the firm, said: “The longevity reinsurance market is currently very competitive, with an ever-increasing number of players.”Reinsurers are becoming more confident with UK longevity risk and therefore considering larger deals, she said.“This, combined with a significant improvement in solvency levels among most schemes in the last 12 months, is providing even the largest pension schemes a credible option to materially reduce risk,” she said. Plans to end compulsory annuitisation for defined contribution (DC) pension plan holders in the UK, announced in last week’s Budget, could boost the bulk annuity market, according to pensions consultants.If individual annuities business shrinks, insurers are likely to divert capital to pension fund buyouts, and if some members of defined benefit (DB) schemes switch to DC, sponsors may be encouraged to seek buyouts, consultants from Aon Hewitt and Mercer argued.Dominic Grimley, principal consultant at Aon Hewitt, said: “Our view is that the changes outlined in the Budget will not have a material impact on the security available to bulk annuity policyholders given the regulatory protections that exist. “Depending on how insurers will presumably alter their business models – in light of a reduced demand for individual annuities – their appetite for bulk annuities may well increase, which would be positive for the competitiveness of this market.”
Kevin Bourne, managing director at FTSE, told IPE that, while it was not for FTSE to dictate for customers, including pension schemes, to divest, it would provide solutions to do so.“Institutions are either engaging with fossil fuel companies, tilting away from carbon or in some cases divesting,” Bourne said.“It is not for us to say whether our customers should divest, but if there are those that wish to, we have made sure we have a product in that space.”Bourne said that while some customers may use the index to divest from fossil companies, others might use it to measure and model the index over time to use within risk-management processes for overall portfolios.The idea of divestment over moral and ESG issues has sparked debate throughout the industry.The UK’s Law Commission explained environmental factors could be taken into consideration for divestment, overruling previous requirements focusing solely on financial return.However, the Environment Agency Pension Fund, a £2.2bn (€2.7bn) scheme, was recently urged not to divest from fossil-fuel stocks held passively and told to engage with companies over their carbon exposures.A senior legal figure also recently said UK local government schemes may divest but only if members are not financially affected.FTSE’s index works on an exclusion basis and will remove any company that conducts exploration or production in oil, gas and coal, has revenues from coal mining, crude petroleum or gas production, or is proved to have reserves in coal, oil or gas.Gordon Morrison, also managing director at the index firm, said that, due to the nature of the index, it would remain sensitive to the performance of the excluded stocks.“We are not managing the risk of these companies,” he said.“We have tracking error in the portfolio, so we would not expect to track the main indices closely, but it is not a variable we are looking for. So we will get the resulting performance and are sensitive to resulting performance of the excluded stocks, and will never avoid that.“There will be a trade-off between the expected risk and expected reward.”ShareAction, a UK lobby group, welcomed the launch of the index.Chief executive Catherine Howarth said: “We will be bringing them to the attention of UK pension funds whose beneficiaries are demanding stronger attention to the financial risks presented by climate change and climate regulation.” The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has funded the creation of FTSE Group’s ex-fossil fuel index, for global passive investments excluding exploring, mining and reserve holding companies.FTSE created the index at the request of the NRDC, a US-based lobby group, which will also provide a seed investment.The pair also worked jointly with asset manager BlackRock, which will launch a fund matching the new index using seed finance from the lobby group.FTSE said the request from the NRDC was not to create a bespoke index for its own equity investments but one that could be used as an industry benchmark.
Zürich Kantonalbank (ZKB), currently the largest shareholder in Swiss asset manager Swisscanto, has confirmed it is in talks on the complete takeover of the company.In the 1970s, several Swiss cantonal banks established Swisscanto as foundations, and, in 1993, the listed Swisscanto Holding was established.Today, ZKB has an 18% stake in Swisscanto, while the rest is owned by 23 other cantonal banks – no shares are publicly traded.Both Swisscanto and ZKB declined to comment on the reasons behind the talks, or how advanced the negotiations were. According to Swisscanto’s annual report for 2013, ZKB is also one of the custodians for the asset manager and provides overlay management services.After UBS, Credit Suisse and Pictet, Swisscanto is the fourth-largest asset manager in Switzerland, with approximately CHF53bn (€43bn) in assets under management.In other news, Paris-based Amundi Asset Management has acquired the fund and investment arm of Austria’s Bawag PSK.As of 30 June, Bawag PSK Invest managed €4.6bn in funds for retail and institutional clients.Amundi said it intended to run this asset management subsidiary from Austria and strengthen its position in the country.Both parties also signed a long-term marketing agreement, as Bawag PSK bank will continue to sell Amundi funds via its bank branches.This will be the first Austrian office for Amundi, one of Europe’s largest asset managers, with more than €800bn in assets under management.Amundi is jointly owned by Credit Agricole (80%) and Société Générale (20%).In September, the company expanded its presence in Asia with a new office in Thailand.
Sven Giegold, a leading member of the European Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee (ECON), has taken the battle over excess pay to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) with a demand for the board’s chairman to take a pay cut.In a strongly worded letter to the IASB’s parent body, the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRSF), the German Green party member writes: “[We] are of the opinion that the remuneration of the IASB board members does not correspond with the public interest orientation of IFRS/IASB.“[T]he IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst received $875,458 (€784,932) as compensation from the IFRS Foundation in 2014. Therefore, we call for reducing immediately any excessive remuneration.”The demand comes as disquiet grows among investors and the public over high levels of executive remuneration and its effects on corporate culture. Giegold’s intervention comes as the IFRSF prepares to analyse feedback on its latest corporate governance review.This latest exercise is the Foundation’s fifth in roughly 13 years.In April, the European Parliament passed a highly critical own-initiative motion in which it called for improvements in the IFRSF’s democratic legitimacy, transparency, accountability and integrity.In his letter to the Foundation, Giegold writes: “With regard to the IFRS Foundation and the IASB, this concerns, inter alia, public access to documents, open dialogue with diverse stakeholders … the establishment of mandatory transparency registers and rules on transparency of lobby meetings, as well as internal rules, in particular the prevention of conflict of interests and diversity of hired experts.” His intervention is the latest round in a battle between the European Parliament and the Foundation’s over public accountability.In May 2014, ECON committee chairwoman Sharon Bowles MEP warned the Foundation it was drinking in the last-chance saloon. She said: “My parliamentary colleagues have done a great job in highlighting the much-needed reform of these accounting quangos, which will improve public confidence in how accounting standards are implemented in Europe.”Ahead of her comments, the Parliament cleared €43m worth of EU financing over six years for the London-based IASB and other EU accountancy interests.Emails obtained by IPE show the Foundation staff, on the instruction of the organisation’s chief executive, Yael Almog, blocking requests for further transparency from MEP Syed Kamall.In one email dated 26 March 2014, IFRSF trustee affairs director David Loweth wrote: “As Article 8 of the [funding] Regulation makes clear, the Commission and its representatives and the Court of Auditors have the power of audit over the IFRS Foundation, as with any other beneficiary of Union funds.”The email continues: “Your request for our annual budget appears to us to be one that cuts across the role of the Commission, both as a member of the Monitoring Board and as set out in the Regulation.“Given that the legal responsibility under the Regulation is vested in the Commission, it is important we avoid having a parallel review process with both the Commission and the Parliament.”The Foundation also refused to reveal detailed information from its conflicts register to Kamall’s office.
“We want to know whether these companies have a long-term plan to be part of the renewable energy sector, benefiting from this new type of growth.“Even climate-change sceptics should recognise the broad economic move towards renewable energy sources that is going on.”PKA divested from Canadian firms Athabasca Oil, Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil, and Suncor Energy in March, and says it will look at whether to divest from a further 44 oil and gas companies.Several weeks ago, PKA’s chief executive Peter Damgaard Jensen announced the firm was broadening its climate change engagement strategy – which includes mining and utilities companies with revenue linked to coal and other high-carbon energy sources – to include the oil and gas sector.Pedersen said PKA had divested from certain coal companies after recognising that coal firms would find their business disrupted in the next decade due to new technologies.“We asked when could that happen for the rest of the oil and gas sector,” he said. “We don’t believe it will happen tomorrow, but believe it is an important question – how these companies are preparing for this low carbon future – and we believe that this transition its taking place much faster than many believe.”Pedersen cited France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil as two large oil companies that are making moves into renewable energy.“It is about seeing yourself as an energy company, and being a part of a solution rather than fighting the change,” he said. “It’s very difficult for many CEOs to accept things are changing, but the rules of the game are changing everyday.” Denmark’s PKA divested from five Canadian oil companies last month, bringing the total number of fossil fuel-related firms it has excluded from its investment universe to 53 in the past two years.“It’s very difficult for many CEOs to accept things are changing, but the rules of the game are changing everyday.”Pelle Pedersen, PKAHowever, the DKK250bn pensions administrator, which runs three social and healthcare sector pension funds, said the decisions were based on the failure of the companies to offer convincing plans about how they will deal with the issue of climate change. PKA said it did not have a blanket exclusion policy based on companies’ involvement in the fossil fuel sector.Pelle Pedersen, head of responsible investment at PKA, told IPE: “As a long term investor we have to have a nuanced approach when it comes to investment, and everything we do is combined with engagement.
For LPP, liquid alternatives are considered to encompass alternative risk premia strategies, active relative value strategies and dynamic directional strategies. The two founder funds – London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) and Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) – are targeting a 50%-55% allocation to alternatives, according to a spokesperson.The procurement is not about asset advice nor is LPP seeking anyone to perform due diligence.The procurement is open until 4 September and the contract has been valued at £3m.LPP was created by the LPFA and LCPF a year ago, and has since launched three pooled funds, for global equity, private equity, and infrastructure.It recently said it plans to launch credit, fixed income, and total return funds in the coming months. The UK’s £12.5bn (€14.2bn) Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) is looking for access to independent third party analysis as a check on its internal recommendations for alternative investments.According to a procurement notice, the pension services provider is looking for access to a “broad library of detailed investment and operational due diligence research papers”.The partnership would use such material to help “round out its thinking” about investments, according to a spokesperson. The procurement notice referred to access to external research providing a “devil’s advocate to internal investment recommendations”.The focus is on liquid alternatives, private equity, private credit and infrastructure.
Source: Pension Protection FundThe UK’s private sector funding shortfall has shrunk significantly in the past few yearsEngineering institute strikes £50m de-risking dealThe UK’s Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) has sealed a £50m pension fund buy-in with Pension Insurance Corporation.The transaction covered 300 previously uninsured members of the IET Superannuation and Assurance Scheme.According to Hymans Robertson, which advised the scheme’s trustees, the deal was struck at “favourable” pricing in the second quarter of this year. This led to “a material improvement” in the scheme’s funding position.The IET fund previously completed a £30m medically underwritten buy-in in 2015. “We were really keen to find a partner that would be able to help us develop our voice, to deliver the things that both our partner funds and central government had asked us to do,” she added.Although the voting and engagement mandate was predominantly focused on equities, Elwell said the pool expected it would work with Robeco “to think about how we embed responsible investment in some of the other asset classes”.Border to Coast has 12 partner local authority pension funds and is in the process of creating a regulated investment company to manage their assets.It recently joined the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and became a signatory to Climate Action 100+. It is also a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the 30% Club Investor Group, which seeks to increase gender diversity.UK DB deficit falls below £90bnThe combined funding shortfall of the UK’s private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes fell to £86bn at the end of June, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).The DB lifeboat scheme’s 7800 index showed a reduction of £8bn, or 8.5%, during the month. However, this was still significantly higher than January’s £51bn figure, which was the lowest total deficit recorded by the 7800 index since April 2014.The aggregate funding ratio across the 5,588 schemes tracked by the PPF was 95% at the end of June.Andy Tunningley, head of UK strategic clients at BlackRock, warned that equity market gains that had helped raise funding levels might not last: “Schemes should make the most of the sunny outlook while it lasts – while equity markets remained buoyant in June, escalating geopolitical tensions and uncertainty over the viability of the latest Brexit proposal could cause unexpected downpours in the shape of equity market volatility which may remove funding level gains over the last year.He added that the potential for an increase in the UK’s base interest rate meant there was a risk of increased funding costs for UK schemes exposed to floating rate derivatives. “Financing costs are set to increase and trustees should ensure they have prepared adequately for the change in season by giving thought to using their spare collateral to earn additional return, such as through absolute return bond funds or securitised assets,” Tunningley said.Boris Mikhailov, investment strategist at Aviva Investors, agreed that pension schemes should “brace themselves for an even choppier ride”.“Without a clear game-plan, most schemes will be none the wiser if markets start moving against them,” he warned.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# The Border to Coast Pensions Partnership has hired Robeco to perform voting and engagement services.Through its “active ownership” service Robeco will provide voting advice and support for the £43bn (€48.7bn) public sector asset pool’s actively managed equity holdings – both for internally managed and externally managed assets – and engage on the pool’s behalf.Border to Coast CEO Rachel Elwell told IPE Robeco’s approach appealed because “for us responsible investment isn’t pink and fluffy, it’s about improving partner fund outcomes”.Another draw was that the research and analysis Robeco carried out for its voting recommendations could be embedded into Border to Coast’s own investment processes, she said.
David Russell, Universities Superannuation Scheme“There will be increasing pressure on pension funds to address climate change risk in their portfolios, from government, regulators and their members. And this will mean assessing not only what impact it could have on their assets, but also what it could mean for their liabilities. “And here’s the wish… that pension fund consultants more proactively address climate change risk with trustees. Consultants will have a critical role to play in assessing these risks on behalf of their clients as the vast majority of pension funds rely heavily on their advice.”Asset managersClaudia Kruse, managing director, responsible investment and governance at APG What would be your single biggest wish for the responsible investment industry/movement for next year?IPE asked the heads of responsible investment (or equivalent) at various asset owners and asset managers, as well as individuals at some of the most influential advocacy and campaign organisations, for contributions to a sustainable investment ‘wishlist’ for 2019.The instructions were simple: to provide as authentic or personal a comment as possible and, as much as possible, avoid using the ESG/SRI/RI acronyms.Perhaps unsurprisingly, a common thread is climate change. At the same time, the way respondents addressed this captures the different approaches and objectives that are often associated with “ESG” (despite ESG not being “a thing”, as the head of responsible investment at one asset manager has previously – and sternly – said). Some respondents’ wishes convey a risk management perspective, where information about and analysis of environmental, social or corporate governance factors provide valuable input in the investment decision-making process, with a view to improving the financial characteristics of a portfolio.“We urge for standardised, concrete and relevant sustainability data… Company disclosures are the basis – because what gets measured gets managed”Carine Smith Ihenacho, NBIMAnd as David Russell at the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme highlights, it is not just the asset side of the equation that pension funds need to consider, but the climate change-linked impact on liabilities.Other comments demonstrate the increasing preoccupation with non-financial impacts of investments.Claudia Kruse at €485bn Dutch pension investor APG says giving beneficiaries an opportunity to express their “sustainability preferences” will become more and more important, while Catherine Howarth, CEO of ShareAction, wants quality of life considerations to be seen as relevant to investors’ fiduciary duty. Without further ado, here is IPE’s Responsible Investment Wishlist for 2019…Asset ownersCarine Smith Ihenacho, chief corporate governance officer at NBIM, manager of Europe’s largest sovereign wealth fund “Our wish for 2019 is that more companies go from words to numbers. We urge for standardised, concrete and relevant sustainability data. We believe sustainability numbers are financial data. Company disclosures are the basis – because what gets measured gets managed.” Christina Olivecrona, AP2Christina Olivecrona, senior sustainability analyst at Swedish pension buffer fund AP2“My new year wish is the creation of a World Climate Organisation with the authority to create, implement and enforce a global carbon tax. The organisation should also be responsible for redistribution of the collected tax money to [finance] adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.”Nico Aspinall, chief investment officer of The People’s Pension, a £5bn (€5.5bn) UK master trust Claudia Kruse, APG“Rather than just focusing on the environmental aspects of climate change or the technological side of artificial intelligence (AI), we will need to address the social aspects, too. At COP-24 the Just Transition Initiative was launched and the G7 published its statement on AI. These are highly relevant for investors.“With a focus on people, giving those on whose behalf we invest a voice and allowing them to express not only their financial but also their sustainability preferences will be increasingly important for the industry.”Amanda Young, head of global ESG research, Aberdeen Standard Investments Catherine Howarth, ShareAction “In 2018, we made impressive progress on fiduciary duties. In the UK, the Department for Work and Pensions passed regulations requiring trustees to take into account all financially material factors, including those arising from environmental and social factors; at EU level, the Commission committed to similar reforms through its sustainable finance action plan.“But is this enough? I’d say not. Acting in savers’ best interests means actively limiting the harm investments made on their behalf could do to their quality of life. In 2019, my wish is that the impacts of investments will be recognised as relevant to meeting fiduciary duties.”What would be on your list? Add your responsible investment wish in the comments below. Nico Aspinall, The People’s Pension“My wish would be to have mandatory TCFD – Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures – reporting on every stock exchange in the world. I would want consistent opinions from companies as to the climate change risks they’re facing.“My wish for 2020 would be… Data, we’re just missing data. I dare say you can phone me in a year’s time and I’ll have that same wish.”Greg Haenni, CIO of CPEG, the CHF13bn (€10bn) public pension fund for GenevaHaenni told IPE that CPEG’s wish was for the implementation of international standards for sustainability information:“The biggest challenge is to determine international standards for sustainability information. Without standards, it is difficult for companies to know exactly how to measure and report on some dimension of sustainability performance. Without standards, the institutional community cannot make meaningful comparisons of performance among companies and over time.”Laetitia Tankwe, personal adviser to the president of Ircantec, a French public pension scheme with €10.9bn of reserves Amanda Young, Aberdeen Standard Investments“My one wish would be that people start thinking differently about how they allocate their capital. There are so many opportunities now to find financially rewarding investments that also deliver positive environmental and social benefits or outcomes. A win-win – doing good while making money.”Joshua Kendall, senior ESG analyst at Insight Investment“Looking at fixed income, I would like to see more diversity in green bond issuance. Financials have been responsible for 65% of all corporate green bonds issued in 2018, with utilities 22%. Every business must transition its operations and strategies to be more resilient and sustainable in a resource-constrained and low-carbon world.”Investor organisations/NGOsFiona Reynolds, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment Fiona Reynolds, PRI“My single biggest wish is for investors to step up on climate action. As the IPCC report has shown us we need to limit warming to 1.5°C and we are nowhere near this figure and are currently on target for 3.4°C. There is a big gap between what is required and the actions being undertaken by business, governments and investors. We need more investment flowing into low carbon opportunities both renewable energy and transformative technology.“The climate agenda is urgent and more action that aligns with a below 2°C world is vital. While there are certainly some leaders on climate in the investment space, there are still far too many laggards.”Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change“2019 is all about accelerating action. We need policymakers to raise their ambition levels under the Paris Agreement, investors to evolve their investment processes to align with the low-carbon transition, and companies to respond to the asks of the Climate Action 100+ initiative already backed by 310 investors with over $32trn of assets.”Catherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction Laetitia Tankwe, adviser to the president of Ircantec“Many people ask themselves about the relevance or the need to practice socially responsible investment. Is it desirable? Is it profitable? What additional value do these practices generate?“Our wish for 2019 would be for the justification burden to be turned on its head: it would not be investors embarking on socially responsible investment who would have to justify their decision, but those who don’t. In 2019, responsible investment becomes investment full stop!” David Russell, head of responsible investment at the Universities Superannuation Scheme
In practice, Velliv said this meant it would run more checks on its unlisted investments and participate in schemes such as the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which works to promote fair taxation.“We are in dialogue with the initiators of the Danish Tax Code (ATP, PFA, Pension Denmark and Industriens Pension), which we fully support. It is a strong initiative for the unlisted investments, and we would also like to help focus on the listed investments – and the international aspect,” said Kjærgaard.The four Danish pension funds he mentioned formed the agreement on tax practices by external managers this summer, after ATP, PFA and PKA moved to distance themselves in 2018 from Australia’s Macquarie when the bank was named as part of an international tax scandal last year.The funds agreed on principles to stamp out aggressive tax planning, such as a call for transparency in the field of tax and for external managers to adopt their own tax policy.Earlier this year, Danish labour market pension fund PenSam also added tax as a special area in its responsible investment policy following a number of high-profile scandals.The fund said it would investigate any companies it invested in if they paid less than 10% tax on their total earnings, or if a firm had placed all its profits in a country with a low tax rate, for example, adding it would extend this to include companies that issue equities and corporate bonds. Danish pension fund Velliv — formerly Nordea Liv & Pension Denmark — says it is cracking down on aggressive tax planning among its asset managers in listed and unlisted investments.The move follows action by four of Denmark’s largest pension funds to lay down a set of common principles on responsible tax behaviour in August.Thomas Kjærgaard, Velliv’s head of investment governance, said: “We want to ensure that our partners pay a fair tax and avoid using aggressive tax planning.”The DKK255bn (€34.1bn) pension provider said it is introducing new tax practices for its investments, under which it will actively work to avoid aggressive tax planning among the company’s managers for unlisted investments in future, increase efforts in relation to listed investments and enter into cooperation with other investors to promote responsible tax practices.
Ray White auctioneer Mitch Peereboom pictured at the auction of 44 Merle St, Carina, Brisbane 11th of August 2018. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)Ray White Holland Park principal Piers Crawford presented 44 Merle St to auction at 9am, with more than 30 people, including many neighbours, in attendance. According to CoreLogic, the vendor purchased the 1.28ha block of land in 1998 for $450,000.Also purchased in 1998, but for just $159,000, Ray White Spring Hill agent Sam Alroe’s listing at 55 Rusden St, Kelvin Grove was the third highest viewed auction property on realestate.com.au last week. Auction winners pictured at the auction of 44 Merle St, Carina, Brisbane 11th of August 2018. (AAP Image/Josh Woning) Attracting an audience of more than 50 people and two registered bidders, the property sold under the hammer for more than four times what the owner bought it for two decades ago.Two registered bidders raised their hand to purchase the home, with an opening bid of $500,000.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 >>FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON FACEBOOK<< SOLD: 55 Rusden St, Kelvin Grove sold for $715,000 at auction on Saturday, August 11, 2018. 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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 Rate1xFullscreenKelvin Grove property sale01:34QUEENSLAND’S highest viewed auction property on realestate.com.au for last week sold for a whopping $2,670,000 yesterday. Potential buyers pictured at the auction of 44 Merle St, Carina, Brisbane 11th of August 2018. (AAP Image/Josh Woning) Two of the four registered bidders vied to buy the home, with bidding starting at $500,000.After just two increases of $50,000, the auction was paused upon a $600,000 bid and negotiations started.After about 15 minutes of negotiations, Ray White Queensland chief auctioneer Mitch Peereboom announced the property was on the market at $602,500. 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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 Rate1xFullscreenMillions change hands at auctions04:35 Ray White Bridgeman Downs salesperson Sonya Treloar said 10 bidders registered to buy 261 Wyampa Rd, Bald Hills, including a phone bidder calling all from Greece. >>TWO TIGHTLY HELD BRISBANE HOMES LINED UP FOR THE GAVEL<< “The opening bid was $2 million and it fired right up to $2.6 million, and went … up in tens, and then it was sold at $2,670,000,” she said.“A local family bought it with four children and it’s going to be their family home.” Bidding increased in $50,000 lots until it reached $650,000, when auctioneer and Ray White Spring Hill principal Haesley Cush placed a bid on behalf of the vendor of $675,000.Bidding reached $700,000, at which point the auction was paused and negotiations started. After about 10 minutes of negotiations the home was on the market and sold at $715,000 to a young couple.A Carina property changed hands for the first time in 34 years, when it sold at auction yesterday for $602,500. The vendor purchased 261 Wyampa Rd, Bald Hills 20 years ago for $450,000. According to CoreLogic, the current vendor purchased the property in 1984 for just $96,500.