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31 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Markets hold their breath on the brink

[COMMENT: This article includes a summary timeline of catastrophic events, should this issue not be completely resolved.] (31 Dec 2012, The Age, business page 12, Georgia Wilkins) ‘FINANCIAL markets are holding out for breathing room as the final negotiations take place in the United States over the looming so-called fiscal cliff, even though the critical … Continue reading

31 Dec 2012 (The Age) – The four business gangs that run the US

{COMMENT: This is a very interesting opinion piece about who actually runs America…] (31 Dec 2012, The Age, Business pages p10, Ross Gittins) ‘IF YOU’VE ever suspected politics is increasingly being run in the interests of big business, I have news: Jeffrey Sachs, a highly respected economist from Columbia University, agrees with you – at … Continue reading

28 Dec 2012 (The Age, RBTH) – Lessons learnt, country better placed to navigate slowdown

[COMMENT: Very interesting article about the workings inside Russia.] (28 Dec 2012, Alexei Zabotkin, “Russia Beyond the Headlines”, supplement p3 distributed with The Age) Making predictions from a cloudy crystal ball ‘Russia’s economy should enter a new phase in 2013 — the country begins its first full year as a member of the World Trade … Continue reading

27 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Car makers hit the road to Russia

[COMMENT: The Russian auto industry is looking positive…] (27 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, Andrew Kramer) ‘SLEEK and glistening, the General Motors sedans creep off the assembly line in Nizhny Novgorod. They are as new as cars can get. And so is the assembly line, where the first test cars emerged this month. Even as … Continue reading

27 Dec 2012 (AFR) – IPO market fails to launch

[COMMENT: A good sumamry of the IPOs for 2012, including a detailed performance table.] (27 Dec 2012, AFR, p23, Tony Featherstone) ‘The 2012 float market resembled a hot air balloon with a leak. Volatile global sharemarkets and on-again, off-again risk appetite were a heavy load for float hopefuls. Several billion-dollar offers were delayed, smaller ones … Continue reading

21 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Plugging the information gap (online trading)

{COMMENT: Interesting survey results from investors and traders who look for more research.] (21 Dec 2012, AFR, Special Report page S2, Prue Moodle) ‘There’s an information gap in the online equities broking world. Users want more recommendations, trading strategies and chat rooms. Online brokers, meanwhile, have not seen this as their key offering.’ Read the … Continue reading

21 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Over fiscal cliff a slippery slope

[COMMENT: This article provides a great insight into the week-by-week and month-by-month effects if the US cannot overcome their fiscal cliff problem, and put it completely behind them.] (21 Dec 2012, The Age, p4, Zachary Goldfarb, and Washington Post) ‘The words ‘fiscal cliff’ loom large over the holiday season. If no deal is reached, the … Continue reading

21 Dec 2012 (The Age) – After Spain and Japan, US cliff is a sideshow

(21 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p2, Malcolm Maiden) ‘AMERICA’S fiscal cliff shouldn’t be ignored, but it should also be put in perspective. When the history of the global crisis is written, it will be lucky to rate as a footnote. There are at least two events looming that are much more important for the … Continue reading

20 Dec 2012 (AFR, Fin Times) – 2012: the year that floated no boats

[COMMENT: A summary of IPOs in 2012… reported as “dismal”… includes a table of highlights.] (20 Dec 2012, AFR, p19, from Financial Times, The Lex Column) ‘IPO bankers will not remember 2012 fondly. The market has been dismal: so far this year, $US119bn has been raised in 768 initial public offerings, down from $US170bn in … Continue reading

20 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Low trading volumes suffer the seven-year itch

(20 Dec 2012, AFR, p17, Joyce Moullakis) ‘The local market is on track to post its lowest annual trading volumes in seven years, and institutional equity houses are pinning their hopes on a steady or improved outcome in 2013.’ ‘Market volumes across the Australian Securities Exchange and alternative operator Chi-X are sitting at close to … Continue reading

19 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Council calls for controls on high-frequency operators

(19 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, Peter Trute) ‘HIGH-FREQUENCY trading is not a threat to the integrity of Australian sharemarkets at present, but must be kept under control by new regulations, a report has found.’ ‘The report, commissioned by the Financial Services Council of Australia, is the first formal examination of the impact of high-frequency, … Continue reading

19 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Wilson takes on Investorfirst to form ‘powerhouse’

(19 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, Ben Butler) ‘MID-TIER broker Wilson HTM is to take on Investorfirst’s adviser and analyst team in return for access to Investorfirst’s HUB24 portfolio management software platform.’ ‘The deal, which involves no cash down on either side, is expected to result in about a dozen Investorfirst employees, led by veteran … Continue reading

19 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Weak year for Australian IPO market

[COMMENT: This news story talks about the IPO market results for 2012, but doesn’t actually give any results. Some analysts report that even in good years, about half of the market IPOs are under water for some time after listing.] (19 Dec 2012, AFR, p23, Peter Wells) ‘If you thought it’s been quiet in Australia … Continue reading

19 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Perpetual’s ethical weapon shows up the big guns

[COMMENT: This news report includes a fund manager performance table listing the top 10 and bottom 10 long-only fund managers.] (19 Dec 2012, AFR, p21, Vesna Poljak) ‘The top performing fund manager over the past 12 months is not a value, growth, income or alternative investment player – it’s a socially responsible investor. Perpetual’s Wholesale … Continue reading

19 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Call for tax to rein in high-speed trading

(19 Dec 2012, AFR, p17, George Liondis) ‘Fund managers have called for a new tax to clamp down on high-frequency traders and prevent “predatory” behaviour on the sharemarket. The Financial Services Council, which represents the country’s investment managers, said the measure was needed to prevent Australia going down the path of the United States, where … Continue reading

18 Dec 2012 (AFR, The Guardian) – IMF loses patience with Argentina

(18 Dec 2012, AFR, p30, Ed Butler, Buenos Aires, The Guardian) Argentina faces IMF penalties over failure to meet inflation deadline ‘Sanctions such as exclusion from G20 could be imposed as country’s inflation rate appears at odds with independent assessments.’ ‘Argentina faces the prospect of eviction from the world economic community after its apparent failure … Continue reading

18 Dec 2012 (AFR, Bloomberg) – Agency ratings downgraded

(18 Dec 2012, AFR, John Detrixhe & Matt Robinson, Bloomberg) Moody’s Gets No Respect as Bonds Shun 56% of Country Ratings ‘The global bond market disagreed with Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s more often than not this year when the companies told investors that governments were becoming safer or more risky.’ ‘Yields on … Continue reading

18 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Watchdog team has eye on ‘window dressing’

(18 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, Lucy Battersby) ‘THE market watchdog has warned it will be on the lookout for market manipulation and ”window dressing” by fund managers in the last days of this year. It is concerned investment managers may artificially bump up the price of a particular stock on December 31 to … Continue reading

15 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Mixed signals as PMI improves

(15 Dec 2012, AFR, p12, Lisa Murray, Shanghai) China manufacturing picks up: HSBC ‘China’s manufacturing sector looks set to reap bigger profits this month after a business survey showed the best operating conditions in more than a year, although the outlook for exports has weakened. HSBC’s “flash” purchasing managers index, a preliminary indicator of activity … Continue reading

14 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Fed move will stymie RBA’s $A control

(14 Dec 2012, AFR, p1, Jason Murphy and Jacob Greber) ‘The US Federal Reserve’s decision to print money has dashed hopes for a lower Australian dollar and triggered warnings the Reserve Bank of Australia’s ability to lower the currency using interest rates is waning.’ ‘In what has been dubbed a deepening global “currency war,” the … Continue reading

13 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Investors abandon the banks in favour of shares and property

(13 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p1,Peter Martin and Gareth Hutchens) ‘AUSTRALIANS are abandoning banks and ploughing their savings instead into real estate and the sharemarket. As the S&P/ASX 200 climbed to 4583.8 – its highest point in 18 months – new figures show a dramatic slide in the proportion of Australians believing banks are … Continue reading

13 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Australian REITS learn from the past

[COMMENT: Some interesting observations and comments about the REITs, the finance industry, and over-gearing; and includes a chart of property performance since 2005….] (13 Dec 2012, AFR, p40, Robert Harley) ‘Five years ago, on Sunday December 17, 2007, I rang the Centro Properties Group crisis room. “It’s bad; I can’t talk now,” was the response. … Continue reading

13 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Timbercorp investors told 5pc return ‘fair and reasonable’

(13 Dec 2012, AFR, Patrick Durkin) ‘Investors who sunk more than $2 billion into Timbercorp’s failed almond, olive and citrus schemes will receive almost $10 million back after the sale of assets, in a deal approved by the court on Wednesday. It equates to less than 5 per cent back for the 18,500 investors. Most of the … Continue reading

13 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Consumer confidence falls despite rate cut

(13 Dec 2012, AFR, p8, Jacob Greber) ‘Consumer confidence fell for the second time in three months, suggesting the community’s concerns about the economy are outweighing the benefits of lower interest rates. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute household sentiment survey fell 4.1 per cent to 100 points in December, wiping out most of a gain in November. … Continue reading

12 Dec 2012 (The Age) – Monti’s exit could usher Italy out of euro

(12 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p9, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) ‘Membership of the single currency is at the heart of Rome’s woes.’ ‘ITALY has only one serious economic problem. It is in the wrong currency. The nation is richer than Germany in per capita terms, with some €9 trillion ($11.1 trillion) of private wealth. It has … Continue reading

11 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Broker shares the festive cheer

(11 Dec 2012, AFR, p31, Peter Wells) ‘It’s at this time of year plenty of market watchers (and reporters) try to explain the existence of the Santa Claus effect. CommSec has dissected monthly data for the All Ordinaries and also tried to find, more generally, whether there are consistent trends on good times and bad … Continue reading

11 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Traders stay up late, excited by Santa Claus rally

[COMMENT: This article includes the share market targets from several commentators…] (11 Dec 2012, AFR, p31, John Wasiliev) ‘Derivative traders speculating on the prospect of a Santa Claus rally in Australian shares leading up to Christmas over the next couple of weeks will be looking for the local and US markets to this week break … Continue reading

10 Dec 2012 (TheAge) – China hits ‘sweet spot’ on rebound

(10 Dec 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p4, Zheng Lifei, Beijing, Bloomberg) ‘CHINA’S industrial output and retail sales exceeded forecasts last month while inflation rebounded from a 33-month low in signs the economic recovery is accelerating. Factory production climbed 10.1 per cent in November from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday … Continue reading

10 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Analysts far from upbeat for 2013

(10 Dec 2012, AFR, p29, Philip Baker) ‘Equity strategists have warned that sharemarket growth in 2013 is likely to be constrained with low interest rates unlikely to mask a poor earnings outlook for the 12-month period. There’s precious little goodwill among the sharemarket’s leading analysts with even the most optimistic strategist surprised she is in … Continue reading

10 Dec 2012 (AFR) – Debate over high frequency trades heats up

(10 Dec 2012, AFR, p18, George Liondis) ‘Some of Australia’s biggest companies have held talks with the corporate regulator over concerns that high frequency traders are triggering unexplained movements in share prices.’ <snipped…> ‘“We think the market is there for two reasons. One is to provide capital [to companies] and two is for people to … Continue reading