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31 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Shock for investors if dividend rules change

(31 March 2015, AFR, p29, by Philip Baker ) ‘After taking a few years off, retail and offshore investors are piling back into our sharemarket, just as the rules of the game might be changed. The tax discussion paper launched on Monday had an immediate impact on trading in shares, with all the banks and … Continue reading

31 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Swiss banking model ‘dead’, says UAE as it begins wealth hub drive

(31 March 2015, AFR, p22, by Caroline Binham and Patrick Jenkins, and Financial Times) ‘Abu Dhabi intends to set itself up as a new hub for wealth management, with the head of its nascent international financial centre declaring Switzerland’s old model of private bank secrecy to be “dead”. Abu Dhabi Global Markets is an expression … Continue reading

31 Mar 2015 (AFR) – a2 Milk shuns Asia rush as shares hit ASX boards

(31 Mar 2015, AFR, p17, by Tim Binsted) ‘While most dairy companies scramble to tap into fast-growing Asian markets, The a2 Milk Company’s Geoff Babidge is targeting developed markets where consumers are turning their backs on dairy.’ <snipped…> ‘Shares in a2 Milk begin trading on the Australian Securities Exchange at 12:15pm on Tuesday under the … Continue reading

30 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Sydney sales eclipse record for weekend – Sydney housing market still booming after another record Saturday

(30 March 2015, AFR, p40, by Mercedes Ruehl ) ‘Another Saturday, another record for Sydney. The city chalked up its highest clearance rate on record during the pre-Easter weekend, one of the biggest auction days of the year. ‘ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

30 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Rural mansion owners take a price hit

(30 March 2015, AFR, p39, by Larry Schlesinger ) ‘Owners of trophy country estates around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are cutting their asking prices and in some cases take a hit, to find buyers for properties once sought after by wealthy city dwellers seeking a rural weekend retreat.’ Read more at (might need AFR … Continue reading

30 Mar 2015 (AFR) – US investors love European real estate – Americans armed with strong dollar buying up Europe commercial property

(30 March 2015, AFR, p14, by Patrick Gower and Neil Callanan Investors in the United States are buying European commercial property at a record pace as the dollar’s eight-month rally and struggling economies on the continent make offices, shops and warehouses cheap. U.S. spending on European commercial real estate last year was just short of … Continue reading

30 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – Eurozone ‘untenable’ in current form, says world’s biggest bond fund

(30 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p26, Szu Ping Chan) Greece’s international creditors mull over reforms There’s no historical precedent that this sort of structure … can last over multiple decades.- Andrew Bosomworth, PIMCO managing director ‘The eurozone is “untenable” in its current form and cannot survive unless countries are prepared to cede sovereignty and … Continue reading

30 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – Macquarie to pay US Securities and Exchange Commission $19m over China stock sale

[COMMENT: Another bank has been caught doing the wrong thing?] (30 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Jonathan Stempel) ‘Macquarie Group will pay $US15 million ($19.2 million) to settle US Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it misled investors who bought shares of China’s Puda Coal in an offering it underwrote. Friday’s settlement resolves charges … Continue reading

30 Mar 2015 (TheAge, SMH) – Dynamic currency conversion – robbery by choice

[COMMENT: Who ever said that the banks are our best friends. This story is a great eye-opener for anyone who has a currency conversion due to overseas purchases. Beware the banks! (and well done Michael West for publishing the details.] (30 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p21,Michael West, and SMH) ‘As far as bank robberies … Continue reading

28 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Resources sector ‘still a falling knife’ says Koth – Denham’s Bert Koth says $US60b war chest for mining vultures doesn’t exist

(28 March 2015, AFR, p41, by Angus Grigg ) ‘Private equity money will not save the battered Australian mining sector, according to one of the industry’s leading players, who doubts estimates there is $US60 billion ($77 billion) in funds looking for deals. The managing director of Denham Capital, Bert Koth, also defied optimists who have … Continue reading

28 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Skydive the Beach shares soar 56pc after $25m IPO

(28 March 2015, AFR, p35, by Patrick Begley ) ‘Anthony Boucaut does not get to jump out of planes as much as he would like to these days – only 50 to 100 times a year.  He has been too busy running the skydiving company he founded, which floated on Friday with an initial market … Continue reading

28 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Top performing shares outpace property returns

(28 March 2015, AFR, p29, by Duncan Hughes ) ‘Booming property markets are blinding many income-seeking investors to investments in Australian blue chip shares that can provide better tax breaks, less effort and lower costs, analysis shows.  Fully franked dividend income from top-performing bank shares can provide more than double the rental income from a … Continue reading

27 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Strategist Gerard Minack says Australia ‘one in three chance’ of a recession

(27 March 2015, AFR, p22, by Patrick Begley ) ‘Australia has up to a one in three chance of sliding into recession in the next year, according to high-profile strategist Gerard Minack.  The stark warning comes after BT Investment Management gave the economy a 50 per cent chance of recession in the next two years. … Continue reading

26 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – RBA alert: Housing prices may nosedive; sounds alarm about bursting of housing bubble inflated by cheap credit

(26 March 2015, The Age, p1, Clancy Yeates) ‘The Reserve Bank has issued a blunt warning about the rising risk of a significant fall in house prices if “speculative demand” fuelled by cheap credit continues to drive the property market. The warning came as the central bank also highlighted the risk of a looming apartment … Continue reading

26 Mar 2015 (AFR) – UBS sees ‘worrying signs’ for bank stocks

(26 March 2015, AFR, p30, by Stephen Cauchi) ‘UBS has joined Citi and Goldman Sachs in casting a skeptical eye on bank stocks, arguing “there are a number of worrying signs which cannot be ignored”. In a research note titled “dancing close to the door”, UBS noted that the rally in bank stocks this year … Continue reading

25 March 2015 (TheAge) – Huge property profits don’t always add up

[COMMENT: Don’t the experts tell us that property is a good way to make a fortune? Perhaps it works for MANY people, but not in every case, and not for ALL people? See this case study…] (25 March 2015, The Age, MONEY, p6, Scott Phillips) ‘If there was a “Captain Obvious” award for stating the … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Booming commercial property prices worry Reserve Bank – RBA tags commercial property boom as new source of instability

(25 March 2015, AFR, p1, Jacob Greber, Jonathan Shapiro, Matthew Cranston) ‘Surging investment in Australia’s half a trillion dollar commercial property sector is rapidly emerging as the latest source of a potential economic crash, the Reserve Bank of Australia has warned. Even though the central bank remains staunchly wedded to its plans for further official … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Portfolio builder’s guide to dividend renovations – ‘Dividend stripping is a dangerous dance’

[COMMENT: A useful insight into one of the investing strategies that some investors deply.] (25 March 2015, AFR, SmartInvestor, p25, Mark Story) ‘The reporting season may be over but in its wake is left the twice-a-year window of opportunity to try for extra gains by dividend stripping. It’s not as painful as it sounds – … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Regulator talks tough on floats – ASIC tells float hopefuls to back up statements

(25 March 23015, AFR, p21, by Joyce Moullakis) ‘The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has told companies hoping to float on the sharemarket that they must be able to backup their prospectus statements and promises. The warning comes after the regulator’s analysis of due diligence documents from several floats found some were lacking data to support assumptions.’ … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – Central banks’ QE fuels ‘insanity trading’, says US investment expert Ed Yardeni

(25 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p39, Mark Mulligan) ‘Extreme easing of monetary policy has pumped up the supply of goods and services but failed to stimulate the demand to match it, an investment bank veteran and former US Federal Reserve economist says. Ed Yardeni, who runs a closely watched US investment research firm, said … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – Bridge Road landlords in the firing line of Premier Investments

(25 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p33, Simon Johanson) ‘One of Australia’s largest retail outfits, Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments, has taken aim at Bridge Road landlords over excessive rents.’ <snipped…> ‘Bridge Road suffers from lacklustre trading conditions and excessively high vacancy rates compared to other suburban shopping strips. Beller Commercial estimates vacancy rates were consistently … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – Small shop sales sizzle as investors scoop up Melbourne’s retail assets

(25 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p33, Simon Johanson) ‘Retail shops on Melbourne’s suburban strips are changing hands on unprecedented yields as a wave of cheap money from a growing pool of investors pushes up prices. A string of recent sales in middle-ring suburbs point to investors’ appetite for small retail assets reaching fresh peaks … Continue reading

25 Mar 2015 (TheAge) – Investors move into Collins Street as values build up in central Melbourne

(25 March 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p28, Nicole Lindsay) ‘A slew of transactions in the CBD, many along Melbourne’s prime Collins Street spine, is fast returning property values to their pre-GFC peaks. The heat in the market – stoked by the low Australian dollar and low interest rates – is sparking a sell-off among owners … Continue reading

24 Mar 2015 (AFR) – The Ponds Shopping Mall 95 per cent leased

(24 Mar 2015, AFR, p41, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘The Ponds neighbourhood shopping centre near Kellyville in booming western Sydney, owned by superannuation-backed fund manager ISPT and developed by Australand, is 95 per cent leased ahead of its official opening in late May.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

24 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Business owners snap up own warehouse premises in Melbourne’s south-east

(24 March 2015, AFR, p41, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Business owners are snapping up existing warehouse facilities and buying vacant land to build new facilities in Melbourne’s south-east, according to Savills. In the most recent deal a scaffolding company paid…’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

23 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Auction action hits top gear – breaking records right now

(23 March 2015, AFR, p6, by Larry Schlesinger and Nick Lenaghan) ‘The first stage of a vast new housing estate on Melbourne’s outskirts all but sold out on the weekend, as its developers, including Mirvac, adopted a ballot system to accommodate surging demand.  And the appetite for existing homes is just as strong, especially in Sydney … Continue reading

21 Mar 2015 (AFR) – ASX nears 6000 target again after strong week

(21 March 2015, AFR, p40, by Stephen Cauchi) ‘Shares finished well up for the week, pushing close to the 6000-mark after a late spurt on Friday that defied a fall on Wall Street. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4 per cent for the day and 2.8 per cent for the week to close at 5975.5 points, while … Continue reading

21 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Why dividend investors are winners – for now

[COMMENT: Lately, there have been more and more warnings regarding the chase for yield.] ‘Don’t “set and forget” your yield strategy: be prepared to make a move when the US Fed does, writes Philip Baker.’ (21 March 2015, AFR, Smart Money, p24, Philip Baker) ‘When it comes to spending money on hiring staff, investing or … Continue reading

21 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Brisbane’s riverfront home sales double since flood

(21 March 2015, AFR, p10, by Matthew Cranston) ‘The memory of Brisbane’s worst flood in 40 years may not be forgotten but a huge surge in sales volume, turnover and prices for absolute riverfront properties might indicate otherwise. Sales of absolute riverfront homes, including Gina Rinehart’s latest $14 million purchase, totalled $121.35 million in 2014, more … Continue reading

20 Mar 2015 (AFR) – Low interest rates, tourism boost NZ economy – expands at quickest pace since 2007

(20 March 2015, AFR, p31, by Tracy Withers) ‘New Zealand’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in seven years in 2014 as low interest rates and higher tourist spending stoked consumption.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)