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30 May 2015 (AFR) – See a market fall as buying opportunity

(30 May 2015, AFR, p24, by Philip Baker ) ‘There are more than just a few investors waiting for a 10 per cent sell off on Wall Street, for no other reason than it’s been three years since shares in the Dow Jones and S&P 500 had a technical correction. Nothing goes up in a straight … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – Stress test the big four – Are the big four banks overvalued?

(30 May 2015, AFR, p23,by Karen Maley ) What professional investors forecast for each of the big four banks ‘Investors are in a difficult predicament as they try to decide whether the big four banks – for so long the market’s darlings – have any chance of recapturing their former brilliance or are doomed to linger in … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – When do we really worry about Greece? – Will the Greek time bomb ever go off?

(30 May 2015, AFR, p20, by Mark Mulligan) ‘Plato once said that the “beginning is the most important part of the work”, but the Greek philosopher didn’t have to live in the modern rendition of his country. Because every time Greece looks like it might blow up – as market reactions to every aside, half-truth and rumour … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR, Reuters) – Japan’s consumer gloom clouds BOJ’s optimism

(30 May 2015, AFR, p13, By Leika Kihara, Reuters) ‘Spending by Japanese households slumped unexpectedly in April and consumer inflation came in roughly flat, casting doubt on the central bank’s view that a steady economic recovery will help move inflation toward its ambitious 2 percent target. Households spent less on leisure and dining out even … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – Shanghai Composite: China’s wild swinging market

(30 May 2015, AFR, p13, by Angus Grigg, Shanghai, AFR correspondent) ‘China’s main stock index swung wildly on Friday and analysts say the volatility will continue since the market is being driven by retail investor sentiment and not earnings or economic fundamentals. The Shanghai Composite Index was briefly down more than 4 per cent soon … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – Grexit now ‘possible’, warns IMF’s Lagarde

(30 May 2015, AFR, p12, by Mehreen Khan) ‘The International Monetary Fund has given its starkest warning yet that Greece could be forced out of the eurozone, as the country edges closer to judgment day with its foreign creditors. In a departure from her usually guarded comments, IMF chief Christine Lagarde admitted that a Greek … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – New home sales in April rise to highest level in over five years, HIA says

(30 May 2015, AFR, p39, by Michael Bleby ) ‘New home sales in April rose to their highest level in over five years, with demand for apartments picking up even as detached home sales slowed. Total sales rose 0.6 per cent from March to 8120, the highest number since the first quarter of 2010, the Housing Industry Association said on Friday.’ … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – Housing investor loan growth still breaching APRA limit

(30 May 2015, AFR, p4, by Clancy Yeates ) ‘The surge in lending to property investors continued in April as the value of home loans held by landlords once again grew by more than the banking regulator’s cap of 10 per cent a year. But in a potential sign that regulators’ heightened scrutiny of banks … Continue reading

30 May 2015 (AFR) – ‘Wealthy selfies’ crimp corporate growth – SMSFs’ demand for dividends part of capital spending slide

(30 May 2015, AFR, p1, by Simon Evans and Jacob Greber) ‘Sir Rod Eddington, one of Australia’s most experienced directors, has warned the booming number of self-managed superannuation investors is causing companies to pay out their cash in dividends rather than re-investing, amplifying the economic slowdown. Speaking after the Australian Bureau of Statstics revealed a … Continue reading

29 May 2015 (AFR) – Easiest way to cash in on China’s stock rally is to do nothing

[COMMENT: I sincerely hope that no one takes this sort of information seriously. There are many professionals in the markets who would strongly disagree with the gist of “advice” in this news story. Even so, it is worth reading (to understand how some investors actually think. The other thign to note in this article is … Continue reading

29 May 2015 (AFR) – Expenditure survey paints bleak picture – Recession looks a reality

(29 May 2015, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker ) ‘Just how bad is the investment outlook in the latest official survey of business capital expenditure? It’s very bad, and the sort of number you do see in a recession. As Betashares chief economist David Bassanese said, that might not come to pass, but the weakness in … Continue reading

29 May 2015 (AFR) – You call that a house price boom? – House price boom ‘nowhere near as strong’ as last time

(29 May 2015, AFR, p3, by Robert Harley ) ‘Panicked about house price growth in Sydney and Melbourne? You have a short memory, according to analysts CoreLogic. The current boom is moderate by comparison to that of 2001-04. Since the latest upswing started, three years ago in May 2012, Sydney house values have risen 38.8 per cent … Continue reading

29 May 2015 (AFR) – Alarm as business capex dives – Business refusal to invest weighs down economy

(29 May 2015, AFR, p1, by Simon Evans , Vesna Poljak , Patrick Durkin , Jacob Greber ) ‘Corporate Australia is defying the Reserve Bank of Australia’s push to accept lower returns.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access)

29 May 2015 (TheAge) – Investment rate dives sharply – Business investment falls off a cliff

(29 May 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Mark Mulligan, Markets and economy reporter, and Clancy Yeates) ‘Business investment in Australia is contracting at its fastest rate in more than five years and won’t improve any time soon, according to the grim results of the latest capital expenditure survey by the Australia Bureau of Statistics. The … Continue reading

29 May 2015 (TheAge) – Capital investment: Economic outlook slips ‘from bleak to recessionary’

(29 May 2015, The Age, p6, Peter Martin) ‘Two weeks after the budget, Australia’s economic outlook is bleak. Mining as well as non-mining firms are planning to slash investment in the year ahead, cutting total investment spending by 21 per cent. The Bureau of Statistics survey conducted in April and May is at odds with the … Continue reading

28 May 2015 (AFR) – Brisbane apartment sales volumes up 200 per cent on 10-year average

(28 May 2015, AFR, p48, by Matthew Cranston ) ‘The number of apartments being purchased in Brisbane’s booming market has dipped in the first quarter of this year but the dollar value of sales is still 200 per cent above the 10-year average for the city. Place Advisory reports that…’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access)

28 May 2015 (AFR) – Brisbane is a seller’s dream – Diversity key for hot Brisbane property market

(28 May 2015, AFR, p48, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Brisbane-based property company Tessa Group has taken full advantage of the city’s booming apartment market and low interest rates, selling $100 million of apartments, townhouses and house and land packages in the last two months for multiple developers.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access)

28 May 2015 (AFR) – Trading ‘murkiness’ leads to volatility – Bond market needs visibility to reduce risk

[COMMENT: Are you thinking of trading in bonds? It might not be as easy, or as transparent, as you think. Read this article to understand more…] (28 May 2015, AFR, p21, by Christopher Joye ) ‘One of the most misunderstood “tail risks” investors are talking about right now is the potential for illiquidity in Australia’s … Continue reading

28 May 2015 (AFR) – AIMS Financial signs deal on BBY as creditors meet

(28 May 2015, AFR, p20, by Joyce Moullakis ) ‘AIMS Financial Group has signed an agreement to buy the remnants of failed stockbroking and advisory firm BBY, after about 150 creditors came together in an attempt to gain clarity on money owed to them.  BBY was placed into voluntary administration on May 18 after…’ Read more at … Continue reading

28 May 2015 (TheAge) – Construction data underwhelms, but dollar climbs

(28 May 2015, The Age, BusinssDay, p23, Mark Mulligan) ‘House building and other construction is still failing to pick up the slack left by the decline in mining-related engineering works, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, although the transition is well underway. The ABS said on Wednesday that the total value of completed construction … Continue reading

28 May 2015 (TheAge) – Level of risk in housing ‘has picked up’, RBA’s Philip Lowe says

(28 May 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p19, James Eyers and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Rising property prices, household debt and unemployment have increased the risks in bank mortgage books, said Philip Lowe, the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Mr Lowe dismissed suggestions that lending limits imposed on the banks were put in place to let the RBA cut interest … Continue reading

27 May 2015 (AFR) – Economic doldrums, economy set to splutter for several years, predict insolvency veterans

(27 May 2015, AFR, p35, by Agnes King) ‘Insolvency veterans are concerned the industry will struggle for several years because conditions aren’t bad enough to send many businesses broke or good enough to get the economy firing. Initiatives announced in the federal budget will do little, if anything, to change this, they say, citing how few of last year’s announcements actually made … Continue reading

27 May 2015 (AFR) – Productivity slowdown a ‘global’ phenomenon

(27 May 2015, AFR, p22, by Chris Giles and Sam Fleming) ‘Output per worker grew last year at its slowest rate since the millennium, with a slowdown evident in almost all regions, underscoring how the problem of lower productivity growth is now taking on global proportions.  The Conference Board, a US think-tank, said that…’ Read … Continue reading

27 May 2015 (AFR) – Tighter credit to dampen housing boom

(27 May 2015, AFR, p19, by Clancy Yeates and James Eyers) ‘The major banks’ clampdown on lending to landlords will help the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep interest rates at record lows by dampening the investor-led housing boom, economists predict. Figures on Tuesday showed tentative signs of slowing in higher-risk parts of the mortgage market … Continue reading

27 May 2015 (AFR) – Spain swings to the radical Left in poll that mirrors Greece

(27 May 2015, AFR, p11, by James Badcock) ‘Europe’s left-wing anti-austerity parties have claimed another victory after a surpise triumph in Spain’s local elections. The defeat of the two main parties that have dominated Spanish politics for more than 40 years means that a series of anti-establishment movements hold the balance of power in many … Continue reading

27 May 2015 (TheAge) – Gentrification driving revamp of retail strips

(27 May 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p30, Nicole Lindsay) ‘Gentrification is driving the revival of some of Melbourne’s retail strips, while others continue to stagnate under the weight of high rents and a homogenous tenancy mix. New research from agents Beller Commercial shows Smith Street, Collingwood and Swan Street, Richmond are on the up, but … Continue reading

27 May 2015 (TheAge) – Iron ore jumps to more than $US60 a tonne

(27 May 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p27, Rose Powell) ‘Iron ore surged by around 2 per cent overnight, recovering some of the losses made last week to trade back above $US60 ($76.74) a tonne. Ore with 62 per cent iron content hit $US61.18 in China’s Qingdao Port, building on a 3.5 per cent rise on Friday.’ Read more at TheAge.com.au

26 May 2015 (AFR) – Banks, miners tipped for drop; Telstra, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton dividends tipped to fall

(26 May 2015, AFR, p29, by Tim Binsted) ‘The Australian sharemarket could face an abrupt end to its yield-driven ascendancy as lacklustre earnings growth and rising debt combine to pressure dividend payments. Over the past three years dividend darlings including Telstra and the big four banks have enjoyed sharp share price rises as investors hunt for stable returns amid historically low bond yields. … Continue reading

26 May 2015 (AFR) – Greece ‘unable to pay €1.6b IMF debt’

(26 May 2015, AFR, p14, by Peter Spence) ‘Greece will be unable to find the €1.6 billion sum it is due to hand the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month, one of the country’s ministers has admitted. Nikos Voutsis, the interior minister, said that “this money will not be given and is not there to … Continue reading

26 May 2015 (AFR) – Inside trader case hears of mental health issues – Former Moody’s analyst faces sentencing

(26 May 2015, AFR, p12, by Marianna Papadakis) ‘A former ratings agency analyst at Moody’s Investors Service who pleaded guilty to insider trading and faces a potential jail sentence should have his penalty reduced because of mental health problems, a court has heard. Daniel Joffe, 37, formerly of Moody’s, who pleaded guilty to two counts … Continue reading