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ATAA 2014 Conference – Newsletter just published

30 April 2014) The latest news about next week’s ATAA national (technical analysis and trading) conference in Melbourne is now available. The much anticipated Gala Dinner, the Conference Huddle (networking) sessions, Meet the Speaker sessions, how to get to the venue, and more. Download the Conference Newsletter here…

30 Apr 2014 (AFR) – China property looks set for a major correction

(30 April 2014, AFR, p13, Angus Grigg AFR correspondent) ‘It can only be described as a crime against architecture and good taste. The Yulong Palace in suburban Shanghai is supposedly built in the “French royal style”, with its white marble walls and classical statues.’ <sniped…> ‘…That means buyers were expected to pay nearly $3 million … Continue reading

30 Apr 2014 (AFR) – China home price drop hits major cities

(30 April 2014, AFR, p13, Angus Grigg AFR correspondent) ‘A Shanghai property developer is offering apartments at a 40 per cent discount in a bid to kick-start sluggish sales, the first indication that ­falling prices in regional areas have spread to China’s major cities. In a bad sign for iron ore prices and the overall health … Continue reading

30 Apr 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Chinese iron ore prices slump 7% in two weeks

(30 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p39, Max Mason, and SMH) ‘China’s efforts to crack down on its shadow banking sector have pushed the iron ore price to a seven-week low, but seasonal demand is expected to hold the price steady until the second half of 2014. Earlier this week, the iron ore price, measured … Continue reading

28 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Bankers confident as M&A rebounds

(28 April 2014, AFR, p19, Joyce Moullakis) ‘A spate of multibillion-dollar deals announced in the past four months has many local bankers confident that momentum for mergers and acquisitions will continue to build, as a rebound in deals makes Australia the fifth most targeted nation. Announced transactions involving Australian companies, including outbound acquisitions, amount to … Continue reading

28 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Sydney real estate fever cools but demand healthy

(28 APril 2014, AFR, p5, Michael Bleby) ‘There are signs Sydney’s strong housing market is moderating after a surge in activity late last year, even as clearance rates remain high and limited stock is driving competition for properties even before they come to market. Prices ticked down 0.3 per cent last week, even as 177 – … Continue reading

26 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – Might is REIT as takeovers loom

(26 April 2014, The Age, p17, Carolyn Cummins) ‘It’s game on in the real estate investment trust sector. In coming months mergers and acquisitions are tipped to dominate the headlines as rival REITs look to expand their business and asset base the old-fashioned way – taking each other over.’ Read more at

26 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – When it comes to picking stocks, ‘quality score’ key

(26 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p13, Marcus Padley) ‘I have written many times about my concerns for the many investors that have been brainwashed by decades of Warren Buffett marketers telling them value investing is the be-all and end-all of making money in stocks. It is not so because company valuations alone have several … Continue reading

26 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – Conjuring cash from thin air is not magic

[COMMENT: So, printing money at the mint is not where the money comes from?] (26 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, Gareth Hutchens) ‘Where does money come from? Most of us have probably got no idea, or the ideas that many of us do have are wrong. To be clear, I’m talking about the money … Continue reading

24 Apr 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Analysts raise fears as Australian households step up debt

(24 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Clancy Yeates and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The return of cheap and easy access to financing for lenders has sparked fears that Australia’s heavily geared household sector may take on too much debt. After the global financial crisis interrupted a multi-decade surge in household indebtedness, Australians are gradually gearing up … Continue reading

23 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Smart buyers give high yield sizzle a wide berth – Apartment glut closes in on yield-seeking SMSFs

(23 April 2014, AFR, p25, James Frost) ‘ “You just pop one of these in your super fund and you get a great return on your money. No one will ever go wrong buying this sort of stuff.” That was the patter from the auctioneer at an event held in inner-city Melbourne last week, where … Continue reading

23 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Boral, James Hardie face slowdown in US

(23 April 2014, AFR, p21, Tim Binsted) ‘Building materials giants Boral and James Hardie face a slowdown in their US businesses as brutal winter weather conditions dampen housing activity, while analysts warn that resurgent Australian housing construction may not be enough to justify lofty share prices in the sector. Boral and James Hardie are listed … Continue reading

23 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – Value of commercial property deals in Melbourne doubles in 12 months

(23 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p26, Nicole Lindsay) ‘The value of commercial property deals struck in Melbourne has surged by 55 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 and doubled in the past year. Knight Frank research shows property worth more than $1.8 billion changed hands in this period, up from $1.16 billion … Continue reading

22 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Sub-leasing levels a ray of light

(22 April 2014, AFR, p39, Larry Schlesinger) ‘A contraction in the amount of central business district office space available for sub-lease in the first quarter of the year signals the early stages of a recovery in demand for office space, according to JLL. The commercial agents recorded a 11,500-square-metre reduction in available sub-lease space over the … Continue reading

21 Apr 2104 (TheAge) – US city Providence sues trader in high-frequency case

(21 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Bob Van Voris, New York, and Bloomberg) ‘Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange are among dozens of exchanges, brokerages and traders sued over high-frequency trading by the US city of Providence – the capital of the north-east US state of Rhode Island – over claims … Continue reading

21 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – Deepwater Plaza sale in NSW fuels commercial property demand

(21 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p24, Carolyn Cummins, Commercial Property Editor) ‘Retail property is in hot demand as a further $100 million of assets hits the market with the sale of the Deepwater Plaza, a sub-regional shopping centre at Woy Woy on the NSW central coast. The new listing is against the backdrop of … Continue reading

21 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – Mystery surrounds Energy World Corporation’s coup in Jamaica

[COMMENT: Hmm… so, exactly where does the money go when we buy shares in a listed company?] (21 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Michael West) ‘The slides for the annual meeting of Energy World Corporation in 2012 depict chairman Stewart Elliott and his trusty finance man Brian Allen departing by helicopter for a site … Continue reading

21 Apr 2014 (TheAge) – National credit card debt up by 8%

(21 April 2014, The Age, p7, Beau Donelly) ‘Australians spent a record $70.1 billion on credit cards between December and February – almost 8 per cent more than during the previous summer. Reserve Bank of Australia data shows spending on credit leapt from $65 billion, following three years of more gradual increases.’ Read more at … Continue reading

18 Apr 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Sonray director jailed for cheating on the books

(18 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p24, Ben Butler, and SMH) ‘Russell Johnson, the director of failed broker Sonray, has been sentenced to 6½ years’ jail for defrauding clients of millions of dollars and stealing money from the company before its collapse in June 2010. He will serve at least 3½ years before becoming eligible … Continue reading

17 Apr 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Broker blunder over McAleese float

[COMMENT: What do we think of broker and analyst recommendations? Here is a great insight into how disparate they can be when it comes to judging “fair value” for a company. A great lesson for retail investors who might be thinking of participating in an IPO, or even just listening to broker recommendations.] (17 April … Continue reading

17 Apr 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Industrial output slowdown hits China’s economic growth figures

(17 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Philip Wen, Beijing and SMH) ‘China has narrowly avoided posting its slowest rate of economic growth in five years, but lacklustre industrial output has underlined how the world’s second-largest economy may be struggling to respond to government stimulus. China’s gross domestic product expanded at 7.4 per cent year-on-year … Continue reading

17 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Confidence dips marginally, but key numbers strong for real estate

(17 April 2014, AFR, p46, Robert Harley and Rebecca Thistleton) ‘Australia’s property professionals remain bullish on housing – but political uncertainty, unemployment and the future of interest rates are weighing on sentiment. Overall confidence, in all real estate sectors, has weakened marginally in the past quarter according to the Property Council/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Index, … Continue reading

17 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Kazakhstan bond advice ‘cost $38m’

[COMMENT: If proven true, here is a financial organisation that offered advice and recommendation, and then back-flipped. Read what happened to the client…] (17 April 2014, AFR, p28, Matthew Cranston) ‘Scott Tyne was in the middle of choosing the terracotta tiles for the seven-bedroom Tuscan waterfront mansion he was building on the Gold Coast’s luxury … Continue reading

17 Apr 2014 (AFR) – China home construction slumps, price fears grow

(17 April 2014, AFR, p13, Angus Grigg AFR correspondent) ‘A collapse in Chinese residential property construction has raised fears of a sharp decline in home prices across the country at a time when economic growth has weakened to a 1½-year low. The weak environment for property investment saw growth in the first quarter slow to … Continue reading

17 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Melbourne’s flat glut stunts housing market

(17 April 2014, AFR, p8, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘Melbourne CBD apartments are being offloaded below the asking price as more off-the-plan stock comes to an already oversupplied market.’ ‘While the property industry has applauded record numbers of off-the-plan apartment approvals for stimulating construction and boosting housing supply, concentrations of new stock are devaluing units in Melbourne’s … Continue reading

16 Apr 2014 (AFR) – Fund managers trailed in first quarter

[COMMENT: Never been a fan of managed funds… Interesting article…. Now what would be very intereseting is to check the managed funds league table, and look for this year’s winners on last year’s table…. are they there any where?] (16 April 2014, AFR, p29, Jared Lynch and Sally Patten) ‘Regal Australian Long Short Equity, Ausbil … Continue reading

16 Apr 2014 (AFR) – How Beijing aims to avoid a Lehman-style crisis

(16 April 2014, AFR, p22, Jamil Anderlini) ‘In the past two months, China has suffered its first domestic bond default in recent history and a series of small bankruptcies that has some investors fretting the country could face its very own “Lehman moment”. But behind the lurid headlines and fear of financial panic, something more … Continue reading

16 Apr 2014 (TheAge, SMH) – Buyers compete in a booming retail investment market

(16 April 2014, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Michael Bleby) ‘Melbourne’s investment market for office and retail properties under $20 million has started off the year with a boom, as competition between local and offshore buyers has pushed yields lower, according to Colliers International figures. Nearly $40 million worth of deals were done in the first … Continue reading

15 Apr 2014 (AFR) – High-frequency traders set for curbs as EU reins in ‘flash boys’

(15 April 2014, AFR, p39, Jim Brunsden) ‘European Union legislators are poised to approve some of the toughest restrictions in the world on high-frequency trading, the first crackdown in the aftermath of Michael Lewis’s latest book, Flash Boys. The curbs are part of revamped EU markets legislation spanning from com­modity derivative speculation to investor protection. … Continue reading

15 Apr 2014 (AFR) – ASIC: stock market is not rigged

(15 April 2014, AFR, p13, Patrick Durkin) ‘Regulators and fund managers are angry about claims that ASX shares are being manipulated towards the end of trading and insist there are legitimate reasons for the increased volatility at the end of the day.’ ‘The federal government-backed Capital Markets Co-operative Research Centre has warned that in the … Continue reading