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30 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Sydney hailstorm leaves industrial occupiers short of space

(30 April 2015, AFR, p36, by Mercedes Ruehl) ‘In the five days since the Anzac Day hail in Sydney, industrial occupiers whose buildings were severely damaged have hit the market urgently requiring more than 150,000 square metres of new warehouse space. Conservative estimates of the lost or additional rent is at least $20 million. The result will be falling incentives and … Continue reading

30 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Up, up and away: cranes chart Sydney’s high rise boom

(30 April 2015, AFR, p33, by Nick Lenaghan , Michael Bleby ) ‘Sydney is the construction capital of Australia, where the number of cranes building high-rise residential towers doubled in the last six months. The crowd of cranes is the most visible indicator yet of a housing boom that is transforming city skylines, Sydney’s most of all. Some … Continue reading

30 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Aurizon lifts iron ore forecasts despite quarterly slump

(30 April 2015, AFR, p23, by Jenny Wiggins) ‘Rail group Aurizon has raised its full-year iron ore haulage forecast by 2 million tonnes after starting a new contract with Perth-based miner Top Iron. Aurizon expects to haul 25 million tonnes of iron ore in fiscal 2015, up from previous guidance of 23 million tonnes despite a 17 … Continue reading

30 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Fortescue (FMG) sacks Pilbara workers at Christmas Creek, Cloudbreak mine sites

(30 April 2015, AFR, p23, by David Prestipino ) FMG rushes to refinance Fortescue workers ‘glad to have jobs’ Standard & Poor’s slashes FMG rating ‘Fortescue Metals Group has sacked about 200 people with hundreds more jobs expected to go in the coming weeks as the iron ore miner rushes to cut operating costs.’ Read … Continue reading

29 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Housing bubble unlikely – Entrenched housing undersupply makes it hard to agree we’re in a bubble

(29 April 2015, AFR, p23, by Chris Stott) ‘Many Australians have become overnight millionaires with the increase in house prices in recent years. It is almost too easy. The media is full of speculation of a housing bubble, and bolder observers have suggested Australia is facing a US-style housing crash. Much of this commentary is unfounded, … Continue reading

29 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Criticism of Yanis Varoufakis prompts changes to Greece debt negotiating team

(29 April 2015, AFR, p14, by Niki Kitsantonis) ‘The Greek government on Monday announced a shake-up of its team negotiating with international creditors after the country’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, came under fierce criticism from his eurozone peers last week over a lack of progress in the talks.’ Read more at (might need AFR … Continue reading

29 Apr 2015 (TheAge) – Deflation still ‘a threat’ in Europe, Japan; but not in Australia

(29 April 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p37, Stephen Cauchi) ‘Prolonged exceptionally low inflation or deflation in much of Europe or Japan remains a  threat despite the recovery in oil prices, according to Capital Economics.’ Read more and see a graph of countries and inflation rate at

29 Apr 2015 (TheAge) – Property boom creating ‘risk to bank sector’; PIMCO calls on banks to do their bit and raise capital

(29 April 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, Patrick Commins, Markets Deputy Editor, View more articles from Patrick Commins ) ‘Banks should be made to raise more capital to offset growing systemic risks attached to the overheated property market, the local head of giant bond manager PIMCO says. Banks should do their bit and raise equity to … Continue reading

29 Apr 2015 (TheAge,SMH) – Who’s in the winners’ circle? – Super funds can shoot ahead but…

‘Super funds can shoot ahead in the short term, but a longer view is more relevant.’ [COMMENT: This story’s sub-heading (the previous paragraph) sums it up very nicely. Beware of the figures that are published by fund managers for any sort of managed fund or superannuation fund, because the figures can be selective and misleading. … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Suburban office boom on the cards – Rising Sydney suburban office markets to attract investment: BIS Shrapnel

(28 April 2015, AFR, p40, by Larry Schlesinger ) ‘Rising rents and falling vacancies across North Sydney, Parramatta and North Ryde are expected to fuel increased appetite for office towers in these suburban and fringe markets, according to researchers BIS Shrapnel.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – A tale of two cities, China’s ghost town fills up – pretty lively

(28 April 2015, AFR, p36, by Lisa Murray ) ‘For a China bull, it was supreme validation. Investment strategist Andy Rothman, who prefers to describe himself as an optimist, had spent the past two years assuaging fears about China’s ghost cities. Many of these stemmed from a report on the CBS program 60 Minutes, which aired … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Fortescue gain, iron ore rally, merger action fuels rise of ASX to seven-year high

(28 April 2015, AFR, p28, by Sally Rose ) ‘Strong gains in the biggest miners drove the Australian sharemarket to a seven-year closing high on Monday after the iron ore price extended its recent recovery rally. Meanwhile excitement about an uptick in mergers and acquisitions fuelled investors’ animal spirits, as a bidding war erupted over junior telco iiNet. ‘ Read more at … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – NY fund Pinebridge says central banks to keep driving markets

[COMMENT: Here’s a forecast from a fund manager. Is it accurate? We can’t tell just yet.] (28 April 2015, AFR, p19, by Jonathan Shapiro ) ‘Central banks will propel financial markets for another two and a half years, a senior fund manager at New York-based $US 70 billion investment firm PineBridge has said. “The tsunami of … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Investor relations peak body AIRA slams changes to ASX rules

(28 April 2015, AFR, p19, by Sally Rose ) ‘The Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) says the new guidance from the Australian Securities Exchange is likely to have the opposite impact to what was intended, especially for smaller to medium sized companies and their shareholders.’ ‘Proposed changes to the rules governing how companies should steer the … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Greece’s day of reckoning inches closer as debt payments loom

(28 April 2015, AFR, p14, by Nikos Chrysoloras) ‘Greece will look for ways to assemble enough cash to pay its pensioners and employees this week, after euro area finance ministers on Friday said they won’t disburse more aid until bailout terms are met. Europe’s most-indebted state will use the deposits of local governments, cities and … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Nepal economy set for freefall without world’s help

(28 April 2015, AFR, p13, by Natalie Obiko Pearson and Sandrine Rastello) ‘Nepal was already slowing before a 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed thousands from the capital to the unforgiving slopes of Mount Everest. Now near-term growth is set to contract without the world’s help. “Kathmandu is central to the nation’s economy, and it’s crippled,” Madhukar Rana, … Continue reading

28 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Foreign buyers drive demand for country’s expensive homes

(28 April 2015, AFR, p8, by Samantha Hutchinson and Clancy Yeates) ‘Foreign buyers in Sydney and Melbourne have helped drive a steep spike in turnover for the country’s most expensive homes. A record 19 homes valued at more than $15 million each changed hands in Sydney during 2014. ‘ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

27 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Valuations not a good guide for share traders; tell investors precious little about when to buy and sell

(27 April 2015, AFR, p13, by John Authers This is like living in a time warp. Last week, the Nasdaq Composite hit a new high for the first time in 15 years. That event came a good decade earlier than I and many others had expected.’ <snipped…> ‘Rounding off the Groundhog Day theme, the wider … Continue reading

27 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Nasdaq extends advance on Google,

(27 April 2015, AFR, p12, by Sofia Horta e Costa and Jennifer Kaplan, and Bloomberg) ‘The Nasdaq Composite Index extended a record and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at an all-time high as Google, Microsoft and rallied after posting results.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

27 Apr 2015 (AFR) – The Nasdaq is looking heady, but this time its different

(27 April 2015, AFR, p1, by John Kehoe) ‘The Nasdaq Stock Market’s ascent to a record closing high last week is inevitably being compared to the euphoric dotcom bubble that blew up spectacularly 15 years ago. But in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street, tech entrepreneurs and investors point to a host of reasons why … Continue reading

27 Apr 2015 (TheAge) – Iron ore revival puts local miners back in the black

(27 April 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Peter Ker, Resources reporter, View more articles from Peter Ker) ‘At least least four Australian miners are cash-generative at current iron ore prices, thanks to a 23 per cent rise in the bulk commodity price over the past three weeks. Another 5 per cent rally in the iron ore price late on … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Pierpont’s 10 lessons for surviving booms and busts – the rollercoaster

[COMMENT: This article is very timely, as it is the same theme as this year’s ATAA National Conference in May on the Gold Coast – Embracing the Bulls; Avoiding the Bubble and Bears.] (24 April 2015, AFR, p37, Pierpont – by Trevor Sykes ) ‘While Australia is focused on history this weekend it’s a good time … Continue reading

Apr 2015 (MoneySmart web site) – What to look for in financial advice

What does the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have to say about financial advice? See the official ASIC MoneySmart web site: It covers topics like: Receiving the financial advice The statement of advice (SOA) The product disclosure statement (PDS) Reviewing the advice What to look for in a Statement of Advice (SOA) A … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Liquidity is everywhere – until you start looking

(24 April 2015, AFR, p39, by Vesna Poljak ) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia governor’s caution that global liquidity is not as plentiful as it seems and has actually declined in the age of monetary stimulus, should put markets on edge. Tighter liquidity conditions make market shocks more painful because it becomes more difficult for investors … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Will you outlive your nest egg?

[COMMENT: In this article, as is the case throughout the finance industry, the professionals and advisers at large are ignoring the fact that many investors are waking up to the fact that the old buy and hold principal is not useful, and many of the more astute investors are investing in the shorter to medium … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (AFR) – How did Rio and BHP get China so wrong?

(24 April 2015, AFR, p20, by Angus Grigg and Lisa Murray) ‘It was a project as ambitious as China itself. In 2007, just as the world was grappling with how to deal with China’s unprecedented urbanisation, consulting firm McKinsey dispatched teams to 14 cities across the country to study everything from the wages of a local driver in Chengdu to the … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (AFR) – Flash maths and the mystery trader – armed with algorithms rewrites flash crash

[COMMENT: Here is a very interesting insight into what allegedly happened during the infamous ‘flash crash’ on the US market in May 2010.] (24 April 2015, AFR, p14, by Silla Brush, Tom Schoenberg and Suzi Ring) ‘From a modest stucco house in suburban west London, where jetliners roar overhead on their approach to Heathrow Airport, … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (AFR) – SMSF juggernaut running out of steam – no longer ‘unstoppable investment juggernaut’

(24 April 2015, AFR, p2, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Rising costs and falling performance are contributing to a big spike in the number of investors quitting their self-managed super for industry and retail funds, according to industry fund chiefs. Australian Super, the nation’s biggest industry fund with more than two million investors and assets of $85 billion, … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (TheAge) – Iron ore price jump lifts ASX into the black

(24 April 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Larissa Nicholson Reporter and Stephen Cauchi, View more articles from Larissa Nicholson) ‘A late rally pushed the local sharemarket into positive territory on Thursday after trading in the red for most of the session, with strength in the miners ultimately outweighing another bout of weakness among the banks.’ <snipped…> ‘The near 6 per cent … Continue reading

24 Apr 2015 (TheAge) – Undersupply is ‘mission critical’ – Sydney set for ‘golden decade’ of housing growth: Stockland

(24 April 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Carolyn Cummins, Commercial Property Editor,   View more articles from Carolyn Cummins) ‘Sydney is entering a “golden decade” of housing growth, with no bubbles in sight, according to Stockland, one of the biggest residential developers in the country.  Chief executive Mark Steinert said the “gross” undersupply of homes will not … Continue reading