Indonesia’s global bonds spike in popularity amid uncertainty: Mandiri Sekuritas

first_imgThe popularity of global bonds issued by the Indonesian government and corporations has spiked as both investors and issuers seek to limit foreign currency risks and improve liquidity amid market uncertainty, according to securities company Mandiri Sekuritas.Mandiri Sekuritas, a subsidiary of state-owned Bank Mandiri, has seen its revenue from the global bonds business increase 41 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the first half as the government was actively issuing US dollars bonds.“Investors consider Indonesia’s dollar-denominated bonds as premium ones,” Mandiri Sekuritas president director Dannif Danusaputro said during a press conference on Thursday. The government has issued Rp 630.5 trillion (US$43.1 billion) worth of sovereign debt papers (SBN) as of the end of June, including $4.3 billion from a three-tranche US dollar-denominated bond in April and $2.5 billion from a three-tranche global sukuk (sharia-compliant bond) last month, according to the Finance Ministry.Read also: Indonesia raises record high $1.27b from retail bonds saleThe government also raised 100 billion yen ($930 million) from the issuance of five-tranche samurai bonds earlier this month.The vast amount of debt papers were issued by the government to cover its budget deficit of 6.34 percent of the gross domestic product this year as Rp 695.2 trillion has been allocated to bolstering the economy and strengthening the healthcare system amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandiri Sekuritas operation director Heru Handayanto said investors at the time had a big appetite for greenback-denominated bonds, as they tried to avoid risk exposure, including foreign currency ones.“From the supply sides, the issuers list their bonds abroad, such as in Singapore and London, as their revenues are in US dollar, so they’re seeking debt in the same currency. It’s also cheaper in terms of the coupon rate because they can avoid currency risk exposure,” he said during the press conference.Furthermore, Heru said, global corporate bonds were more liquid than rupiah-denominated debt papers, making the former a favorite for investors during market uncertainty.Besides the government, state-owned enterprises and private corporations are also turning to the global market to raise funds as banks are now more prudent in channeling loans, and the stock market is volatile amid cooling economic activity.Bank Mandiri, for instance, has successfully launched its $500 million global bonds as demand from foreign investors, mostly from Asia and Europe, far exceeded the amount it offered.The debt paper was oversubscribed by almost five times with demand reaching more than $2.4 billion, the bank said in a statement on May 6.Meanwhile, Mandiri Sekuritas reported total revenue of Rp 288 billion in the first half, 8 percent of which was generated by its Singaporean subsidiary Mandiri Securities Pte. Ltd., which provides global bond issuance services.The Singapore-based subsidiary booked 12 global bond issuances worth around $2.1 billion in the first half of the year, a 109 percent annual increase.While revenue from the global bond services have seen a significant growth, the largest revenue share for Mandiri Sekuritas comes from capital market investment by both institutional and retail investors, which contributed to 42 percent and 30 percent, respectively, to the company’s revenue.Read also: Government to offer $62.3b in bonds in H2 to finance coronavirus fightThe company’s retail director, Theodora Manik, said Mandiri Sekuritas’ retail clients had added by 26,000 investors in the first half of the year. Mandiri Sekuritas currently has 145,000 retail clients, a 35 percent yoy increase.“Retail investors currently have become more educated and have a deeper understanding of the market. We’re optimistic that the retail investor market will continue to grow,” she said.Retail investors now dominate stock trading in Indonesia, accounting for 52 percent of the trading value in June.Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) development director Hasan Fawzi has noted that the percentage of retail investors’ trading value would be even bigger if their indirect transactions through mutual funds were considered. The figure indicates significant growth in retail investors’ participation in the stock market, he added.According to data from the Indonesian Central Securities Depository (KSEI), the number of investors aged 18 to 25 grew by 338.61 percent from 2016 to May 2020. Meanwhile, the number of investors aged 26 to 30 grew by 204.97 percent during the same period.Topics :last_img read more

For heartbroken Lebanese, Dubai is ‘new’ Beirut of old

first_imgThe fact that Lebanese officials had long tolerated a ticking time-bomb in the heart of the Mediterranean city has served as proof to many of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.”My aim now is to quickly overcome the guilt of leaving,” said Hammoud.”Dubai will be my new Beirut.” “Now I can start a professional career, live in peace and send money back to my family,” said Hammoud who had spent a year looking in vain for work before the August 4 disaster that left more than 170 people dead and compounded Lebanon’s financial crisis.Like many of his compatriots longing for safety and stability, the young man has applied for a job in Dubai.He joins tens of thousands of Lebanese who helped build a glitzy city that reminds them of their parents’ tales of the glamour of old Beirut –- but with glimmering skyscrapers instead of Ottoman-era and French colonial villas.Last week’s explosion of a long-neglected stock of ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port ripped through the vibrant coastal city known for its rich history as well as legendary nightlife and cuisine. Paris of the Middle East”Why Dubai? We drive in lanes here, we don’t fear militiamen holding guns to our heads, we have basic services, and we get paid well,” said Rachid.”My parents always describe Beirut as a hub for the region in the ’60s and ’70s, but this is exactly what Dubai is now.”In his book “My Story”, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum recalls his first visit to Beirut, years before the civil war that brought the “Paris of the Middle East” to its knees.”In the early 1960s, its streets were clean, neighborhoods beautiful, its markets modern. It was a source of inspiration for me. I had a dream for Dubai to become like Beirut some day,” he wrote.Decades later, Dubai has become a magnet for millions of Arabs whose countries have been ravaged by poverty and conflict.Jordanians, Palestinians, Moroccans and others have opted to instead build their future in the desert city.It does not have the history or cultural heritage of their homelands, but for many it is a fair tradeoff for peace and financial security.At a basketball game in Dubai last year between two Lebanese clubs with different sectarian ties, there was no violence, no sectarian chants, only the slogan: “Three, two one! We are one!” Past and present Long before the explosion, Lebanon was heading downhill fast.The country was mired in its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, with runaway inflation and bank capital controls fuelling poverty, despair and angry street protests.Political life in the multi-confessional country has been dominated for three decades by former warlords who exchanged their military fatigues for suits.Among Sunni Muslim, Christian and myriad other groups, the most powerful force is the Shiite Hezbollah movement.After years of systematic corruption, unsolved assassination cases, wars with neighboring Israel, and lack of basic services, many Lebanese now see the country’s elite as fighting over the spoils.They are viewed as beholden to their personal and sectarian interests, rather than the good of the nation of six million.”I can’t explain how frustrated I am. I had to leave my country years ago because of those warlords. They stole from us and now they kill us?” said Firas Rachid, a 31-year-old salesman who has lived in Dubai since 2016.Beirut, once famous for top educational and medical establishments, has lost much of its pre-civil war identity, its reputation as an oasis of enlightenment and for its “joie de vivre”.Millions of Lebanese, from doctors to engineers, to teachers and other professions, have emigrated over the years, seeking a better life in the Gulf and beyond.Some 350,000 Lebanese now live and work in the six Gulf nations, more than 100,000 of them in the United Arab Emirates alone, mostly in Dubai.center_img Just days after the enormous blast that shattered Beirut, Ali Hammoud found himself looking down on the rubble from an airplane window, leaving behind his family and hometown.Born and raised in Lebanon’s capital, the 30-year-old IT engineer finally decided to head for Dubai after the explosion destroyed his last hopes of ever seeing Beirut prosper.”It’s not easy at all, but I had to finally leave. I feel I’ve betrayed the city I love to death, but there is nothing left for me there except depression,” Hammoud told AFP after arriving in the wealthy Gulf emirate. Topics :last_img read more

Martin Keown challenges Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Arsenal goal record

first_imgMartin Keown challenges Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Arsenal goal record Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang announced his new contract at Arsenal earlier this week (Picture: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)Martin Keown has ruled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s chances of becoming Arsenal’s greatest ever goal-scorer, and has laid down the challenge for the striker to even make second on the list.Aubameyang signed a new three-year deal at the Gunners earlier this week and started the season in impressive fashion last weekend, scoring in a 3-0 win over Fulham.The captain, talisman and main goal threat, Aubameyang said he wanted to become an Arsenal legend when he announced his new deal and Keown is backing him to achieve that.However, he doesn’t feel that the 31-year-old will be able to catch Thierry Henry’s 228 club goals and even thinks that Ian Wright’s 185 might be out of his reach.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAubameyang has notched 72 in just 111 appearances so far for the Gunners and will be out to prove the former Arsenal defender wrong, but he has a long way to go.“Aubameyang loves playing there [Arsenal] and he wants to be a legend in the future, so why not?’ Keown told talkSPORT.‘He’s 31 years of age and he’s turned down Barcelona by the way to stay there. I think that tells you how much he loves the football club and what he’s looking to achieve.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘If they win the Premier League in the next three years then he certainly will become a legend if he plays a major part in that.‘You look at the goals record that he’s got and he can’t get near Henry and I’m not even sure he can catch Ian Wright.‘But he wants to follow in their footsteps.’Wright was delighted to see Aubameyang extend his stay at the club, talking to the Gunners captain as the new deal was announced.‘Oh my god, I love you man,’ said Wright. ‘Listen, can I just say, because there’s so many people [watching the video] I’m sure there’s a lot of people requesting you. ‘For us [Arsenal supporters], in a time when we need you most, when we’ve seen legends leave us when we need them, you are legendary status, for life. Love you, captain.’MORE: Mesut Ozil’s situation at Arsenal is ‘devastating’ says Ian WrightMORE: Why Chelsea and Arsenal decided against move for new Liverpool signing Thiago AlcantaraFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 19 Sep 2020 5:05 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link7.2kShares Advertisementcenter_img Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Governor Wolf Statement on State Budget Progress

first_imgGovernor Wolf Statement on State Budget Progress SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Budget News,  Press Release,  Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today released the following statement regarding progress in ongoing budget negotiations between his administration, and both the House and the Senate:“Over the weekend, I spoke with House and Senate leaders to try to finalize a budget that protects investments in critical programs important to the people of Pennsylvania. We made progress, and with more work, I believe we can reach a compromise in the coming days.“It will take all sides, including both chambers and my administration, working together and considering all ideas to get this done.  And if a compromise is reached, there is a commitment from all involved to put up a vote before October 1st.“It is urgent that we finish our bipartisan work on a consensus, responsible budget immediately or we will face a credit downgrade and further disruption in important programs and payments.“I continue to be eager to resolve this process in a responsible way and hope we can bridge whatever differences that remain in the coming days.”center_img September 18, 2017last_img read more

Panel to honor achievements of Ball family women

first_imgMuncie, In. — In celebration of Women’s Week and Ball State University’s Centennial, a panel presentation on the “Beneficence of the Ball Women” will be held at 3 p.m. March 19 in the Student Center, Cardinal Hall on campus.While the Ball brothers made a lasting impact on Muncie, the contributions of their wives, sisters, and daughters are not to be forgotten. With presentations by panelists from Minnetrista and Ball State, the panel will focus on the achievements of the Ball family women in business, art, health, philanthropy, and more.“This panel discussion will honor the women of the family who made this University possible,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “I look forward to hearing about the extraordinary contributions these women have made to better the lives of people here in Muncie and across the nation.”The panelists and the Ball women they will talk about are as follows:Thalia M. Mulvihill, PhD, acting assistant provost and professor of higher education and social foundations of education, Ball State — “Reimagining Beneficence: The Lives and Contributions of the Women of the Ball Family” will include highlights from the educational and community contributions of Lucina Ball (1847-1901), Frances Ball (1860-1926), and Virginia B. Ball (1919-2003) and why their educational biographies are meaningful to the Ball State University story as well as to the broader history of higher education.Jessica Jenkins, curator, Minnetrista — “Visiting Nurses, Tuberculosis Assailants, and Their Ball Family Champions: Sarah Rogers Ball and Bertha Crosley Ball’s work related to public health in the early 20th century” will address how these Ball women were active in the community. During the first decades of the 20th century, Sarah Rogers Ball and Bertha Crosley Ball continually worked to improve public health in the region and personally invested time and energy in improving sanitation, hygiene, and medical access in Muncie.Susan M. Smith, archivist and Delaware County historian, Minnetrista — “Lucy Ball Owsley” will focus on the eldest daughter of Frank C. Ball, president of Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company. Married to Alvin M. Owsley, she supported his diplomatic work, was the mother of three, and pursued various philanthropic endeavors throughout her life.Karen M. Vincent, director of collections, Minnetrista — “Margaret Ball Petty: She Lived an Active Life” will feature a daughter, wife, mother, friend, artist, art patron, pilot, businesswoman, philanthropist, volunteer — the list goes on. Margaret Ball Petty was born to privilege, and she used that privilege well. Hope Barnes, a friend and co-author of a book about Margaret said, “Margaret was a tower of strength to her family, often displaying the ability to keep in perspective the real values in life. Her sense of humor was a joy to those who knew her well. Her modest unassuming way belied her courage.”Jennifer Mearns, first lady of Ball State, will moderate the panel discussion. RSVP by contacting the Office of the President at 765-285-5555 or email more about Ball State’s Centennial click here.last_img read more

Drive-thru testing available through Sunday in Jefferson County

first_imgMadison, IN— The Indiana State Department of Health will be conducting drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Jefferson County. The testing clinics are open to any symptomatic individual that is a healthcare worker, first responder, essential worker, and those who are in a high-risk category due to age or underlying health conditions. Testing is also available for those who live in the same residence as someone who is in one of the priority categories.Testing will be conducted today through Sunday, May 17 from 9 am until 6 pm each day, at North Madison Christian Church – 1400 E. St. Rd. 62, Madison. Please do not call the church with questions, but direct them to the Jefferson County Health Department at 812-273-1942All individuals must be an Indiana resident and show a valid Indiana driver’s license.Testing is ongoing in Ripley County at the Ripley County Fairgrounds And Decatur County at the former Decatur County Jail on Railroad Street from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday on a month by month basis as community need is assessed.last_img read more

Xavi rejects Barca job

first_imgRelatedPosts Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Messi wins court case against cycling company over logo Barcelona legend Xavi has reportedly turned down the chance to replace under-fire Ernesto Valverde as manager immediately. Pressure has grown even more on Valverde following Barcelona’s last-gasp defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, with reports recently claiming Xavi could be set to take over at the Nou Camp. But according to Spanish radio station RAC 1, Xavi believes it is not the time to take over at Barcelona as he would prefer to start a project at the beginning of a new season. However, Xavi – who won an incredible 25 trophies during his 17-year spell with the Spanish giants – has not ruled out becoming manager in the summer. Barcelona have reportedly been informed by the current Al Sadd manager of his decision, and they are currently weighing up what move to take next. The report also claimed that Valverde – who has been manager of the club since 2017 – remains calm and has no plans to step down. The news regarding Xavi comes after he confirmed he held talks with his former club, but did not disclose what was discussed during the meeting. “I cannot say anything, they were here to talk to me and we discussed many things. Sorry I cannot give any more information,’ Xavi told a news conference on Saturday after his Al Sadd side beat Al Rayyan to reach the Prince’s Cup final. “I cannot hide it’s my dream to coach Barcelona, I’ve said it many times in many interviews, everyone knows I support Barcelona from the bottom of my heart. “But I’m doing my job here, I’m doing my best. I was focused on the semi-final and now I’m focusing on the final.”Tags: Ernesto ValverdeFC BarcelonaHaviRAC 1Spanish Super Cuplast_img read more

Jones brushes off confidence issue

first_img “It is a results game, we know that and we’ve not picked up as many points as we would’ve liked and we have to start doing that,” said Tuesday’s match-winner. “Players’ confidence does go a little bit but we are professionals at the end of the day and we have to do the right job and deal with that. “We are at Manchester United and there is pressure at every game.” Prior to the Shakhtar game Moyes suggested all the responsibility for poor results should be down to him but Jones said the squad had not played their part. “We go out and play so we have to look at ourselves and take full responsibility,” he added. “The manager puts the team out but we have to go out and deliver for him and the last couple of games we’ve probably not done that. “It (Tuesday) was all about winning and we’ve done that now. Now we have to perform as well.” United head to Aston Villa on Sunday and Jones accepts they have to win again to start generating some momentum. Press Association Manchester United midfielder Phil Jones admits the players’ confidence may have been shaken by their recent poor run but insists they have to be professional and deal with it. David Moyes’ side have taken just two points from their last four league matches, including back-to-back home defeats against Everton and Newcastle. They avoided making it three successive home losses – which would have been the first time since 1962 – with a 1-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek and Jones hopes that will put them back on track. “It is massive. We need to put things right in the league and that starts on Sunday. We need to get three points and go on a run. “We have said it before but it is time we kicked on. “We’ve had a disappointing couple of weeks but hopefully we can now start picking up some points. “Villa are a tricky team but we have to go there and get three points.” Defender Jonny Evans felt there were signs in their performance against Shakhtar that showed they were still trying to do positive things and not take the safe option, especially as they needed only a draw to top their Champions League group. “We were a bit sloppy in the first half but, once the second half began, I felt that we started to stamp our authority on the game and we controlled the game more and looked to pass it a bit better,” he said. “We showed courage to play in the right areas and we showed courage on the ball. “Players were keen to come and take the ball and I think it played a big part.” last_img read more

Chelsea thrilled as title beckons

first_img Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho extended his unbeaten run against Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger to 13 matches, and the Blues can wrap up the title in the week ahead with victories at Leicester and Crystal Palace. Ten points separate leaders Chelsea from the third-placed Gunners, who are level with Manchester City in second but have a match in hand over last season’s champions. Press Association Arsenal had plenty of possession in the Emirates Stadium tussle, but once again could not find a way past Chelsea’s solid rearguard, the attacking display from the home side failing to really test goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Indeed, Chelsea could feel somewhat aggrieved not to have left with all three points after Oscar’s first-half effort was cleared off the line and Ramires failed to make the most of his opportunity. Arsenal still have second place in their own hands, but they will have to wait until the visit to Hull on Bank Holiday Monday to exert pressure on City and Manchester United in the battle to secure automatic Champions League qualification. Without any striker in the Chelsea starting XI, Oscar started in a forward central role, supported by Eden Hazard and Ramires while Cesc Fabregas, sporting a protective mask, sat in a deeper role and was roundly booed at every touch by those Arsenal fans who once sang the name of the former captain. There was a bright start by the Gunners, who had won eight straight Premier League matches. Olivier Giroud – described as a bit of an “animal” by Wenger in the build-up to the match – collected the ball with his back to goal and flicked it over his head, but Courtois was alert to the danger. Chelsea almost snatched the lead on the counter attack in the 16th minute. A long pass up-field from Fabregas split the Arsenal defence, and allowed Oscar to run clear. David Ospina rushed off his line, and clattered into the Brazilian, who had touched the bouncing ball goalwards. Hector Bellerin dashed back to head clear off the line and behind for a corner. Captain John Terry celebrated passionately as Chelsea edged closer to the Barclays Premier League title after battling through a 0-0 draw at Arsenal. Those on the Chelsea bench were incensed after referee Michael Olivier declined to award a penalty and red card for what they felt was a foul by the Arsenal goalkeeper. Mourinho bent the ear of fourth official Lee Mason before walking back into the technical area, shaking his head with a wry grin. Fabregas then went down just inside the Arsenal penalty under a challenge from Santi Cazorla. Referee Olivier was perfectly positioned and signalled for a free-kick against the Chelsea midfielder, who was cautioned for diving – much to the delight of the home supporters. The Arsenal fans were soon screaming for a penalty at the other end when, after 33 minutes, Bellerin cut the ball back to Cazorla and his rising shot hit the left arm of Gary Gahill at point-blank range. Again, though, the referee waved play on. Chelsea carved Arsenal open when Willian charged down the left flank and played in Ramires, but the Brazilian’s first-time flick was too close to Ospina, who got down to make the save. Just before half-time, a scramble in the Chelsea penalty area ended with Mesut Ozil turning to fire a snapshot straight at Courtois. Chelsea made a change for the second half, with Didier Drogba replacing Oscar, who was said to be suffering from suspected concussion as a result of his collision with the Arsenal goalkeeper. Despite the switch, Chelsea soon settled back into their rhythm, the visitors happy to break up Arsenal possession and then look to quickly counter. When Arsenal did get some space on the overlap, Nacho Monreal’s low cross from the left was knocked behind by Terry as Sanchez closed in. Willian was booked for a high boot in the face of Koscielny. The deep free-kick into the penalty area caused some panic, with the loose ball dropping back to Per Mertesacker, and the giant German defender dragged his shot well wide. Arsenal made a positive change for the final 14 minutes as defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin was replaced by Danny Welbeck. Chelsea remained just as difficult to breakdown, with Theo Walcott the next man off the Arsenal bench aiming to inject some life into the closing stages. Welbeck failed to connect with Monreal’s cross through the six-yard box in stoppage time, and the final whistle heralded celebrations from Terry and team-mates, Arsenal’s slender hopes of catching Chelsea dealt a huge blow. Chelsea now head to Leicester for Wednesday night’s match with the title an apparent formality. last_img read more

Zalewski, defense quiet skeptics with win

first_imgDEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoORLANDO, Fla. — It was appropriate to watch as junior linebacker Mark Zalewski doused his retiring head coach with a Gatorade shower in the waning moments of UW’s upset of No. 9 Auburn.Long a staple of bowl victories, the drenching signified not only a win in the Capital One Bowl, but the end of an era in Wisconsin football, as head coach Barry Alvarez walked off the field for the last time.”I’ve never done it before,” Zalewski said. “[Dontez Sanders] looked over and I think we both had the same idea, and we got the one with the most ice in it.”But perhaps just as significant, in terms of the game at least, was that it was Zalewski, the unquestioned leader of this season’s defense, who unloaded the large orange cooler on the Wisconsin coaching icon.Heading into the matchup, there was little question that Auburn possessed one of the nation’s most potent offenses, leading the Southeastern Conference by scoring better than 34 points per contest.Junior Kenny Irons had stepped in admirably for the two-headed monster of Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown, leading the SEC in rushing en route to a unanimous first-team all-SEC selection. Even the Tigers’ first-year starter at quarterback, Brandon Cox, was impressive, throwing for the second-most yards in the conference. There was even less of a question as to the chance most people were giving the UW defense to stop the Auburn offense, which was just about zero. UW had struggled, especially during conference play, to stop opposing offenses, as was evident in losses to Northwestern and Penn State. Yet there stood Zalewski and the rest of the defense after the game, not hanging their heads in disappointment as many expected, but, rather, enjoying the ecstasy of the upset victory. And it was not just any win — it was one that saw the UW defense hold Auburn to 10 points and only 236 total yards, both season lows.”It’s incredible. SEC, one of the best conferences in the country, for our defense to give up a lot of stuff during the year, this was a great finish for us,” Zalewski said.Wisconsin set the tone early, forcing a pair of turnovers in Auburn’s opening two possessions.Senior cornerback Levonne Rowan opened the game by intercepting Cox’s first pass of the game to stall the Tigers’ opening drive three plays in. On its next possession, Auburn again managed only three plays before Jason Chapman forced an Irons’ fumble that was recovered by Nick Hayden to end the Tigers’ second drive “I think those first two turnovers really got the energy going on the defensive side of the ball and really got everyone excited to go out there and start making plays. It was just a great start,” Zalewski said.The Badgers held the powerful Irons to a mere 88 yards on the ground, forcing the young Cox to try to beat UW through the air with a glut of big, athletic receivers.Head coach Tommy Tuberville’s squad tried everything from its patented play-action pass to seldom-used slants and out routes to a trick double-reverse flea-flicker to crack the Wisconsin defense. Yet nothing seemed to work for the Tigers as the Wisconsin secondary stepped up to the challenge, holding Cox to 137 yards passing.”I really think that today we played our best game, given the fact that that was the No. 1 offense in the SEC, they were ranked eighth in the country, there was a lot of hoopla surrounding them, no one really gave us a chance and I think this is really gratifying,” freshman cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu said.Not everything went well for the Badger defense, though, as Wisconsin lost left tackle Joe Thomas midway through the game with a torn ACL in his right knee. Thomas, who played on both sides of the ball for the bowl game, injured his knee while trying to tackle Auburn’s Kenny Irons midway through the third quarter.”It’s an unfortunate thing that happened to Joe, but the one thing Joe Thomas is, as good as a football player as he is, he’s twice as good a person,” Bielema said. “It’s unfortunate this happened, but everything in life happens for a reason.”Thomas, who was debating whether or not to enter the NFL Draft a year early, will now have surgery to repair the tear. The All-American hopes to be ready for the 2006 season.last_img read more