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31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Inside the mind of the artful dodger who fleeced Geelong

[COMMENT: A long story with lots of insight into how some people manage to fleece millions from trusting investors. A must read…] (31 August 2013, AFR Weekend, p42, Patrick Durkin) ‘An hour-and-a-half north-west of Melbourne is ­Loddon Prison, the minimum security jail built near Castlemaine in regional ­Victoria. The drive there is long and hot … Continue reading

31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Foreign capital flees emerging markets as end of stimulus looms

[COMMENT: A good summary of recent developments and news stories on this topic…] (31 August 2013, AFR, p40, Vesna Poljak) ‘Shares and the Australian dollar barely registered a move over the past month but the lack of drama in the August closing figures hides a tumultuous past four weeks capped by the rout in emerging … Continue reading

31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Profit season closes, late filers reveal sins

(31 August 2013, AFR, p38, Jake Mitchell) ‘Major companies generally adjust their guidance ahead of reporting profits, if necessary, but smaller companies often wait until late on the last day of earnings season before confessing their sins. Like hungover stragglers on a Sunday morning, the latter-day sinners of reporting season keep their heads down, with … Continue reading

31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – If reporting season was lacklustre, blame resources

(31 August 2013, AFR, p23, Philip Baker) ‘This reporting season, you could have got away with murder. Expectations were low heading into the season – and, in the end, that was matched by a lack of interest from investors.’ ‘Earnings weren’t forecast to grow thanks to the drag from the resources sector, and they didn’t … Continue reading

31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Betting on the house (property investing)

[COMMENT: There is more commentary around to do with property and property investing. Is this a signal that the economy is turning, and that the economy as a whole is improving? And for those keen on equities, perhaps the share markets are on the move?] (31 August 2013, AFR, p23, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘For Ray White … Continue reading

31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Paddington bare: vacancies hit the (retail shopping) strips

(31 August 2013, AFR, p11, Larry Schlesinger) ‘Vacancy rates for retailing strips are soaring in some suburbs, particularly in the worst-affected Melbourne fashion store areas of Bridge Road, Richmond, and Toorak Road, South Yarra.Smaller strips, or those less reliant on fashion or offering lower rents, have performed better in general. In the past 12 months, … Continue reading

31 Aug 2013 (AFR) – High demand for luxury million-plus apartments

[COMMENT: This news item infers that the pain of the GFC on high net-worth individuals is subsiding as buyers move back into high value residential property.] (31 August 2013, AFR, p2, Samantha Hutchinson) ‘A sell-out is expected on Saturday morning at Sydney’s Barangaroo when Lend Lease’s luxury apartments go on sale at 8am, even though … Continue reading

30 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Westfield awaits global surge

(30 August 2013, AFR, p34, Robert Harley) Westfield’s $515m profit meets first-half forecast ‘The $24 billion Westfield Group is yet to benefit from a global development program that includes major projects in New York, Milan, London, Los Angeles and Sydney.’ ‘The World Trade Center in New York and Miranda in Sydney are under way but … Continue reading

30 Aug 2013 (TheAge) – Westfield offering new tenants up to 10% off

(30 August 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Carolyn Cummins) ‘Westfield Group is offering as much as a 10 per cent discount to new tenants to keep its malls full against the softening retail environment in Australia and New Zealand. While existing leases being renewed are seeing rents rise in line with inflation, the company said … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Fast build for $17m cinema

(29 August 2013, AFR, p49, Simon Evans) ‘The Taplin Group aims to have a $17 million cinema complex in the beachside suburb of Glenelg in Adelaide fully trading by November 2014 after winning council approval for the development.’ ‘The Taplin Group, which owns a shopping centre and property portfolio in South Australia worth almost $600 million, secured … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Optimism rising among shopping centre managers

(29 August 2013, AFR, p49, Larry Schlesinger) ‘Sentiment among shopping centre managers has risen to its highest level in more than a year, according to the ­latest Jones Lang LaSalle Retail Centre Managers’ Survey.’ ‘A small majority (56 per cent) of those surveyed expected some growth in sales turnover over the next 12 months, compared with 48 per … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Carlton Gardens complex to flourish for Forza

(29 August 2013, AFR, p47, Nick Lenaghan) ‘Boutique syndicator Forza Capital is forging ahead with plans to redevelop a city fringe commercial asset into a $100 million premium residential complex overlooking Melbourne’s Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. The Forza team, led by Ashley Wain and Adam Murchie, acquired the ­property in Carlton for $20.6 million last year … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – City Tattersalls Clubs plans to ‘unleash’ Pitt Street space

(29 August 2013, AFR, p46, Robert Harley) ‘City Tattersalls Clubs has unveiled plans for a 48-level tower above its ­Sydney premises. Chief executive, Tony Guilfoyle, said project would “unleash” the potential of the club’s under-utilised airspace above its three buildings at 194-200 Pitt Street. The club will now proceed to find a developer and gain … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (TheAge) – BC Iron ramps up dividend

[COMMENT: This (mining) company is increasing their dividend. This might be a surprise to some people who believe that the mining boom is over, and while other companies are winding back production, cutting costs, and looking after their capital. So, is this an exception to their peers? Or is it the new norm (for iron … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Weak engineering sector drags down construction

(29 August 2013, AFR, p45, Jason Murphy) ‘Residential building projects are failing to make up for a drop in engineering work, leaving the construction sector in the doldrums. Total construction work done fell 1 per cent in the June quarter in trend terms and 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the Australian Bureau of … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Take one tower then double it

[COMMENT: This story and others currently are hinting at a pick-up in the construction industry, with not just plain regular developments getting under way, but also the not-so-normal projects.] (29 August 2013, AFR, p40, Robert Harley) ‘For 10 years, Sherwood Luo has used his architectural training and development skills at China’s largest developer, Greenland. Now … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Grocon woos $1.5bn fund flow

(29 August 2013, AFR, p37, Nick Lenaghan) ‘Australia’s largest private developer, Grocon, is putting together a $1.5 billion investment structure to drive the next stage of its development pipeline. Now controlled by the third generation Daniel Grollo, Grocon has been working with UBS’s local asset management division to assemble a group of institutional investors to back … Continue reading

29 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Emerging markets suffer unintended consequences of Fed easing

(29 August 2013, AFR, p27, John Plender, Financial Times) ‘Turmoil in the emerging markets prompts an uncomfortable thought. Has the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program done more to damage emerging markets than to boost the US recovery? It would be ironic indeed if the chief impact of the Fed’s unconventional measures turned out in hindsight … Continue reading

28 Aug 2013 (AFR) – US faces mid-October deadline to raise debt limit

(28 August 2013, AFR, p12, Zachary A. Goldfarb, and Washington Post) U.S. faces mid-October deadline to raise debt limit ‘The United States is set to run out of borrowing authority in mid-October, leaving the government at a high risk of not being able to pay for Social Security checks, military salaries and other operations, the … Continue reading

28 Aug 2013 (TheAge) – New home loans up in housing revival

(28 August 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p27, Clancy Yeates) ‘New home loans approved by banks and other lenders jumped 28 per cent to $79 billion in the June quarter, as the recovery in the housing market gathered pace. Official figures released on Tuesday said Australian lenders’ total exposure to residential property loans held by households … Continue reading

26 Aug 2013 (TheAge) – Low (residential property) supply spurs market (in Melbourne, Sydney)

(26 August 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p29, Nicole Lindsay) ‘Melbourne’s property market surged at the weekend, overtaking Sydney for the first time this year, as low stock levels and interest rates spurred buyers to action. Sydney posted an auction clearance rate of 79 per cent from 310 results, according to data from Australian Property Monitors … Continue reading

26 Aug 2013 (TheAge) – Domain may hold the key to future gain (real estate markets in Melbourne and Sydney…)

(26 August 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Michael West) ‘Real estate markets, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, are at the cusp of a spring sales boom, thanks to record weekend clearance rates in recent weeks, higher finance approvals and historically low interest rates. Nationwide, house prices rose 2.2 per cent in the June quarter and, … Continue reading

24 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Foreign investors spurn Indonesia

(24 August 2013, AFR, p19 and The Economist) Foreign money bails out as Indonesia boom time sours ‘How quickly the mood can turn. Barely a year ago, Indonesia was the toast of ­emerging-market investors. The country revelled in the world’s demand for its vast reserves of coal, oil and other resources, and celebrated with a … Continue reading

24 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Yes, money makes the world go round… (now more than ever)

(24 August 2013, AFR, p18, Karen Maley) ‘The Fed’s ability to disrupt global markets is far greater than it has even been, given the sheer volume of money that’s sloshing around.’ ‘Investors watched on with a mixture of shock and awe this week as a tectonic shift in global markets sucked huge amounts of capital … Continue reading

24 Aug 2013 (Telegraph) – Emerging market rout is too big for the Fed to ignore

(24 August 2013, Daily Telegraph (online), Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) ‘The US Federal Reserve has told Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe to drop dead.’ ‘This has the makings of a grave policy error: a repeat of the dramatic events in the autumn of 1998 at best; a full-blown debacle and a slide into a second … Continue reading

24 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Emerging markets face forex risks

(24 August 2013, AFR, p12, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, and Daily Telegraph) ‘The $US9 trillion accumulation of foreign bonds by the rising powers of Asia, Latin America and the emerging world risks going into reverse as one country after another is forced to liquidate holdings to shore up its currency, threatening to inflict a credit shock on … Continue reading

23 Aug 2013 (AFR) – India sinks under waves of state panic as risk capital retreats

(23 August 2013, AFR, p24, David Pilling and Financial Times) The dithering state is at the heart of India’s problems ‘Rather than soothing investors’ nerves, the central bank’s stop-start measures have the whiff of panic.’ ‘Not long ago it became fashionable to liken India to a tortoise, poised, by virtue of its democratic institutions and … Continue reading

22 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Rough ride for India, Indonesia amid capital flight

(22 August 2013, AFR, p30, Jason Murphy) ‘Weak economic growth, sliding sharemarkets and tumbling currencies have raised investors’ fears about India and Indonesia but regional experts are talking down the potential of a repeat of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. In the past month, India’s sharemarket has fallen 10 per cent, its currency has dropped 7 per … Continue reading

22 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Fleeing investors fear India may need to ask IMF for help

(22 August 2013, AFR, Karen Maley) ‘Will India need to call in the International Monetary Fund? That’s the question troubling investors after a wave of selling by foreign investors has sent Indian markets, and its currency, sharply lower.The rupee hit a record low of 64.11 to the US dollar on Wednesday, before recovering to trade … Continue reading

22 Aug 2013 (AFR) – Emerging markets in turmoil from capital outflows

(22 August 2013, AFR, p30, Vesna Poljak) ‘Emerging markets showed no sign of recovering from the turmoil that has gripped developing economies on the cusp of an end to massive monetary stimulus from the United States. As the world awaits the release of the US Federal Reserve’s minutes on Wednesday, Washington time, for guidance on when … Continue reading