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31 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Glut of new Melbourne high-rise units a downer

(31 Jan 2013, AFR, p37, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘High-rise apartments sold off the plan at the height of Melbourne’s property boom are being completed as thousands more are approved, pushing the inner-city market to oversupply.’ ‘But developers are betting that the CBD will continue to be a popular choice for both owner-occupiers and investors, particularly if … Continue reading

31 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Greece’s banks buck upward trend

(31 Jan 2013, AFR, p23, Financial Times) ‘Somebody up there has taken a shine to Greece. Since June last year, the Athens stockmarket has risen by more than 100 per cent and outperformed the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index on a total return basis by more than half.’ ‘However, although Greek non-financial stocks have enjoyed a … Continue reading

31 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Capital city house prices recover

(31 Jan 2013, AFR, p3, Nick Lenaghan) ‘Median house prices increased by 1.9 per cent in the last three months of 2012, setting the scene for a modest recovery in many residential markets this year. Prices rose in all capital cities in the quarter for the first time since March 2010, as revealed by median … Continue reading

30 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Holidaymakers’ online trade cheers Nabtrade

[COMMENT: Online traders… some market share figures for the big brokers.] (30 Jan 2013, AFR, p20, Duncan Hughes) ‘Slip, slap, slop and securities have been keeping holiday-makers busy during the festive and holiday season, with some of the major banks claiming a big pick-up in online trading volumes.’ ‘Nabtrade, the sector’s fighting minnow with just … Continue reading

30 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Time heals super funds’ wounds

[COMMENT: What a load of cods wallop!! Super fund members rewarded for hanging on!??…. The super fund performances in recent months are rewarding!!  BUT, are these commentators forgetting about the walloping that investors’ funds received in 2008? And many funds are still below their value of 5 years ago!! That’s nothing to crow about! The … Continue reading

30 Jan 2013 (AFR, Bloomberg) – Positive signs for US manufacturing

(30 Jan 2013, AFR, p8, Shobhana Chandra Washington) Durable-Goods Demand Points to U.S. Factory Pickup ‘Orders for durable goods in the U.S. rose in December for an unprecedented fourth consecutive month, indicating manufacturing will keep improving in 2013.’ ‘Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years advanced 4.6 percent, exceeding the highest forecast … Continue reading

30 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Global upturn spurs business confidence

(30 Jan 2013, AFR, p5, Jacob Greber) ‘Business confidence has jumped by the most in more than a decade after a surge in positive news from the world’s biggest economies.’ <snipped..>> ‘The rebound in confidence was based on a survey by National Australia Bank from January 9-15, after the US fiscal cliff decision and amid … Continue reading

30 Jan 2013 (The Age) – Childcare ex-mogul bankrupt

[COMMENT: Even the high-flyers can come unstuck…] (30 Jan 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Ben Butler) ‘FORMER childcare mogul Eddy Groves was declared bankrupt in an Adelaide court on Tuesday. Mr Groves, the founder of collapsed childcare operator ABC Learning, failed to appear at the Federal Magistrates Court in Adelaide, prompting registrar Patricia Christie to … Continue reading

30 Jan 2013 (The Age) – Regulator slams Macquarie unit

[COMMENT: Surely this can’t be true? A large and respected institution? ] (30 Jan 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Lucy Battersby) ‘AUSTRALIA’S biggest stockbroking firm, Macquarie Equities, has been forced by the corporate regulator to have an independent investigator oversee its operations after the broker was found to have ”serious compliance deficiencies” over four years.’ … Continue reading

29 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Online broker flags rising fees

(29 Jan 2013, AFR, p15, John Kehoe) ‘Online stockbroker Bell Direct will increase brokerage fees for some traders to recoup higher regulatory costs in an early sign the price war across the industry may be easing.’ ‘The online broker, which is 49 per cent owned by listed full-service stockbroking and financial advisory firm Bell Financial … Continue reading

29 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Switch is on from bonds to shares

(29 Jan 2013, AFR, p1, Jonathan Shapiro New York) ‘Investors may have reached a turning point in global financial markets, as billions of dollars that have been locked up in safe government bonds for years start flowing back into ­riskier assets such as shares. For the seventh straight week, equity funds in the US are … Continue reading

25 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Beware the hangover after the liquid high

(25 Jan 2013, AFR, p50, Vesna Poljak) ‘The United States corporate earnings season has mostly beaten expectations, signifying the world’s biggest economy may be on a path to recovery. However, that optimism is partly countered by the growing influence of central banks in the market and the wave of liquidity they have unleashed through unconventional … Continue reading

25 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Wickham Securities: same story, different characters

(25 Jan 2013 , AFR, p11, Patrick Durkin) ‘The founder and property spruiker behind collapsed lender Wickham Securities, Brad Sherwin, loved to wine and dine sports stars, actors and wealthy investors every Friday at his favourite steak house, Cha Cha Char, in Brisbane. Mr Sherwin was fond of boasting to guests about the high-profile clients … Continue reading

24 Jan 2013 (AFR, Bloomberg) – Pressure on debt ceiling to ease

(24 Jan 2013, p29, Lisa Lerer, Washington, and Bloomberg) Obama Welcomes ‘De-escalation’ of Debt-Ceiling Debate: Off the Brink ‘The Obama administration is welcoming a move by House Republicans to vote tomorrow on raising the nation’s debt ceiling through mid-May as a “de-escalation” of the fiscal debate, White House press secretary Jay Carney says. “The fact … Continue reading

24 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Suddenly, the ASX pundits change tack

(24 Jan 2013, AFR, p23, Peter Wells) ‘There seems to be a downpour of outlook notes from equity strategists at the moment. What I find most curious is that, despite the first month of the year not being over, some are already ratcheting up their year-end S&P/ASX 200 forecasts.’ ‘Citigroup a couple of weeks ago added … Continue reading

23 Jan 2013 (AFR, Telegraph) Officials rush to send cash offshore

(23 Jan 2013, AFR, p10, Malcolm Moore, Beijing, and The Telegraph) China’s Communist party cadres launch property fire sale ‘As China’s new leaders intensify a campaign to root out corruption, thousands of Communist party officials have been panicked into a fire sale of their illicit properties while billions of pounds have been smuggled overseas.’ ‘Luxury … Continue reading

23 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Business expects tough quarter

(23 Jan 2013, AFR, p4, Jacob Greber) ‘Businesses are bracing for a tough first quarter, with an industry survey about whether now is a good time to invest falling to the lowest level in at least 15 years.’ ‘The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s quarterly take on how businesses are faring remains firmly in … Continue reading

23 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Wickham clients chase racehorse Boomalicious

(23 Jan 2013, AFR, p3, Patrick Durkin and Matthew Cranston) ‘The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has asked a court to freeze the assets of the financial planner behind the $27 million collapse of Wickham Securities, including his wife’s stake in a four-year-old racehorse named Boomalicious.’ ‘More than 300 self-funded retirees are at risk of losing … Continue reading

22 Jan 2013 (The Age) – Interest rate cuts fail to lift frail housing

(22 Jan 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p16, Simon Johanson) ‘HOUSING looks set for a subdued start to the year with builders dashing hopes that the sector will fill the hole left when the mining industry comes off the boil and with prospective home buyers cautious in the face of rising unemployment.’ <snipped…> ‘ ”The most … Continue reading

22 Jan 2013 (The Age) – Great Australian dream remains ‘unaffordable’ despite price falls

(22 Jan 2013, The Age, p3, Simon Johanson and Carolyn Webb) ‘AUSTRALIA still has the most unaffordable housing markets in the world despite two years of stagnant or falling house prices, according to the latest Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.’ ‘Ahead of New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada, Australia has the largest number of … Continue reading

21 Jan 2013 (AFR) – US earnings stoke optimism

(21 Jan 2013, AFR, p22, Vesna Poljak) ‘Better than expected US corporate earnings from Morgan Stanley and General Electric have helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a five-year high and set the tone for a positive week in global markets.’ ‘This week, technology giants Google, Apple and Microsoft will deliver fourth-quarter results after solid … Continue reading

21 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Banks, insurance companies keep an eye on job costs

(21 Jan 2013, AFR, p15, Ruth Liew and Joyce Moullakis) ‘Financial services companies will remain under pressure to slash employment costs in 2013, but job opportunities will exist in niche areas such as risk and compliance. While a heightened focus on lowering expenses persisted across the financial services sector, there were still pockets of recruitment … Continue reading

21 Jan 2013 (AFR) – US shares shine as Obama ends first term

(21 Jan 2013, AFR, p10, Ben Potter, Washington) ‘Sharemarkets in the United States ended Barack Obama’s first term as President on a high note as Wall Street banks continued to beat earnings expectations and Congressional Republicans beat a tactical retreat in the debt ceiling fight. Emerging from a two-day meeting in Virginia, Republican leaders said they … Continue reading

21 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Gold Coast market hopes to exit slump via super auctions

(21 Jan 2013, AFR, p3, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘Millions of dollars worth of distressed properties and prominent homes with well-known owners have been listed for sale on the Gold Coast, where prices have fallen up to 50 per cent in the past four to five years. Queensland real estate agents traditionally hold big January auctions to … Continue reading

19 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Fears of hard landing demolished by growth

China’s economy grows 7.9pc (19 Jan 2013, AFR, p12, Lisa Murray) ‘China’s government has declared its economy has stabilised after reporting stronger than expected growth of 7.9 per cent in the December quarter, ending a two-year run of weaker quarterly results.’ ‘The rebound from 7.4 per cent growth in the previous three months is expected … Continue reading

18 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Business cuts staff hours at fastest rate since GFC

(18 Jan 2013, AFR, p4, Jacob Greber) ‘Businesses are fighting against weakness in the economy by cutting employees’ hours at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis.’ ‘Employment figures for December, released on Thursday, showed the number of jobs in the economy fell by 5500 and the jobless rate nudged up to 5.4 per … Continue reading

18 Jan 2013 (The Age) – Rag trade boss coy amid sales success

(18 Jan 2013, The Age, Business p18, Colin Kruger) ‘COUNTRY ROAD has continued to evade the gloom weighing on Australia’s rag trade, reporting group sales for the half year to December jumped more than 50.5 per cent to $331.3 million, but its chief executive, Iain Nairn, has declined to offer guidance for the year ahead.’ … Continue reading

17 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Consumers unmoved by rate cuts

(17 Jan 2013, AFR, p4, Jacob Greber) ‘Consumers remain unmoved by last month’s Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate cut and new year signs of optimism in big economies overseas.’ ‘The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose just 0.6 per cent in January, and is only 3.5 per cent above its level in October … Continue reading

17 Jan 2013 (AFR) – Construction sector scales back for lean times

(17 Jan 2013, AFR, p1, Michael Hobbs and Marianna Papadakis) ‘The building industry is cutting costs and shedding jobs amid pred­ictions that construction in Australia faces permanent structural change caused by the strong local dollar and a greater number of apartment ­developments.’ ‘Boral announced on Wednesday that it will cut more than 700 local managerial and … Continue reading

16 Jan 2013 (The Age) – Music is over for retailer

[COMMENT: We are seeing continuing reports of retailers heavily impacted and many downsizing or closing down, often due to the changes with online shopping… Darrell Lea Chooclates a few months ago, Dick Smith Electronics impacted, plus many others, and now HMV.] (16 Jan 2013, The Age Business p17, Emily Gosden and Graham Ruddick) ‘VENERABLE British … Continue reading