UK – PIMCO Europe says it has been awarded an emerging market mandate of undisclosed size from the trustees of the HSBC International Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme.

The specialist fixed-income manager has been appointed bond manager of the scheme, the group announced this week.

According to a statement, the mandate will be invested in PIMCO’s emerging market bond fund, which grew to £556m at the end of July 2005.

This fund – established four years ago - forms part of Global Investors Series (GIS).

“We are delighted to be working with the trustees of the HSBC International Staff Retirement Benefit Scheme. This appointment further reinforces our total commitment to the UK pensions industry,” said PIMCO’s head of institutional business development Paul Craven.

Elsewhere, Punter Southall & Co have been appointed actuaries to Express Newspapers’ two pension funds with £330m in assets and 7,300 members.

The firm – part of the Sanlam Financial Services group – said it was “delighted” at being chosen.

“We look forward to working with Express Newspapers,” said Punter Southall principal Danny Vassiliades.

According to the chairman of trustees for Express Newspapers, Paul Rudd, “We take the provision of pension benefits to our members seriously. We were impressed with Punter Southall’s innovative thinking, its service-led approach and reputation, and by appointing them we can only add to that commitment.”

In the Netherlands AXA Investment Managers was awarded a €52m mandate from Stichting Pensioenfonds Celtona - the pension fund of the Dutch subsidiary of Georgia Pacific.

The Celtona pension fund was advised by consultants, Hewitt Associates B.V. before awarding the liability driven solution mandate.

According to an AXA statement, “the mandate incorporates liability matching overlay, euro aggregate fixed income and equity investments”.