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31 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Get on the same side as private equity

[COMMENT: Interesting article about the performance (or lack of performance) of IPOs, and in particular the private equity float offerings.] (31 October 2015, AFR, p42, by Philip Baker) ‘There’s a very good reason deals like Dick Smith give private equity a bad name. Anyone who bought shares when the company listed just less than two … Continue reading

31 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Deutsche Bank to cut as many as 35,000 jobs in revamp, NZ office

(31 October 2015, AFR, p13, by Chad Bray) ‘Deutsche Bank is planning to slash as many as 35,000 jobs through internal cuts and the sale of businesses over the next two years as part of an overhaul by John Cryan, the bank’s new co-chief executive, to simplify the lender and improve its returns. As part of its … Continue reading

31 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Business borrowing rockets on Turnbull effect

(31 October 2015, AFR, p3, by  Jacob Greber ,  Joyce Moullakis ) ‘Lending to businesses surged last month by the most since the 2008 financial crisis, a sign the lower dollar, record-low interest rates and potentially the shift to Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister are reinvigorating company spending and hiring plans. Credit to companies rose … Continue reading

30 Oct 2015 (AFR) – ASX suffers fistful of losses led by Woolworths and banks

(30 October 2015, AFR, p42, by Stephen Cauchi ) ‘Australian shares finished lower on Friday and for the week, with the increased likelihood of a rate cut from the Reserve Bank next week not enough to offset a sell-off in the consumer staples sector following a poor sales report from Woolworths.  ‘ Read more about the week’s sharemarket … Continue reading

30 Oct 2015 (AFR) – China forecasts steep steel slump – China’s official forecaster says steel consumption to fall 20pc

(30 Oct 2015, AFR, p30, by Angus Grigg) ‘Australia’s biggest iron ore miners should expect a 20 per cent fall in Chinese steel consumption over the next 15 years according to the country’s official forecaster, as Beijing accelerates the shutdown of outdated and loss making factories. Li Xinchuang, president of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning Association, said … Continue reading

30 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Sinking iron ore backed to weather storm

(30 October 2015, AFR, p26, by Stephen Cauchi) ‘Iron ore is back to less than $US50 a tonne for the first time since July, but the fall is unlikely to spark a wholesale downgrading of mining and iron ore stocks, despite the uncertainties of Chinese steel demand and the forthcoming El Nino summer.  UBS commodities analyst Daniel … Continue reading

30 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Rate rise surely on its way if RBA wants to play Santa – No point delaying RBA rate cut if case stacks up

(30 October 2015, AFR, p7, by Jacob Greber) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia is weighing up whether to deploy its dwindling interest-rate ammunition. Arguments in favour of pulling the trigger on an official interest cut next Tuesday include another downward shift in the terms of trade in the last quarter, iron ore back to less than … Continue reading

29 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Buoyant housing market reflected in Reece’s earnings

(29 October 2015, AFR, p31, by Jared Lynch) ‘One of Australia’s biggest material groups says the country’s housing boom has peaked but the market is likely to continue to sizzle for the next year at least. Plumbing chain operator Reece’s assessment comes a month after Morgan Stanley analysts said a tighter regulatory environment…’ Read more … Continue reading

29 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Inflation slump puts rate cut back on table

(29 October 2015, AFR, p4, by Jacob Greber) ‘The weakest run of inflation in 16 years has reignited talk that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut the official cash rate soon, possibly  next week, to buttress an economy struggling to shake off weak wages, and falling commodity prices and investment.’ Read more at (might need … Continue reading

28 Oct 2015 (AFR) – A drought could be the biggest risk to the economy

(28 October 2015, AFR, p48, by Tony Walker) ‘Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison may not have got round to factoring the potential for serious drought into their economic calculations, but risks of a more severe dry are rising as rainfall levels across the country fall well short of expectations. Extreme weather events … Continue reading

28 Oct 2015 (AFR) – City of Melbourne steps up anti-coal push and education union divests

(28 October 2015, AFR, p4, by Amanda Saunders) ‘The City of Melbourne has formally outlawed investments in companies “aligned” with fossil fuels in its $38 million portfolio, including the big four banks, and introduced a new fossil fuels screen on banking contracts up for tender.  It comes as the National Tertiary Education Union voted to divest…’ Read more at (might need … Continue reading

28 Oct 2015 (AFR) – QE IV: The sequel no one thought possible, until now -The Fed might cut – not raise – rates

(28 October 2015, AFR, p15, by John Kehoe) ‘Only a few weeks ago, US Federal Reserve watchers were talking about an imminent increase in interest rates. Now, talk in some parts of the market has turned to the possibility of the Fed being forced to loosen policy via negative interest rates or a fourth round … Continue reading

28 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Consumers ‘happiest in seven years’ – Harvey Norman profit surges 28pc after best sales in years

(28 October 2015, AFR, p17, by Sue Mitchell) ‘Veteran retailer Gerry Harvey has dismissed concerns about consumer sentiment, saying the strongest sales growth in Harvey Norman’s stores for more than seven years is proof that shoppers are confident and willing to spend.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

28 Oct 2015 (AFR),SMH) – Link Group shares jump 11.5pc on ASX debut

(28 October 2015, AFR, p1, p17, Sally Rose) ‘Link Group shares popped 11 per cent on Tuesday, as institutional investors paid a hefty premium to buy into the company’s growth strategy, which chief executive John McMurtrie said could include Australian and international acquisitions. The stellar debut for the biggest sharemarket float of 2015 also provided a $242 million payday…’ Read … Continue reading

27 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Growth stocks are outperforming the ASX, but are they worth the price?

(27 Oct 2015, AFR, p31, by Vanessa Desloires) ‘The year has been unusually good for growth companies on the Australian sharemarket, thanks to the global uncertainty, but investors should be wary as many are overpriced, UBS says. The investment bank’s equity strategist David Cassidy identified the “quality growth” stocks, those companies with high earnings growth … Continue reading

27 Oct 2015 (AFR) – China’s latest rate cut locks in mood for easing this quarter

(27 October 2015, AFR, p30, by Vesna Poljak) ‘China’s policy easing underscores that global central banks are still firmly in the mood for lowering interest rates where they can and boosting monetary stimulus, meaning all eyes are now on the Bank of Japan and its appetite to do more at this week’s policy meeting.’ ‘On Friday, … Continue reading

27 Oct 2015 (AFR) – John Bollinger says Australian markets could rebound

(27 Oct 2015, AFR, p12, by Jason Clout) ‘One of the leading thinkers on markets John Bollinger thinks the doom and gloom about Australia may be overdone. The creator of the much-used Bollinger Bands is coming to present a series of master classes for CMC Markets in Sydney November 25, Melbourne November 26 and Auckland … Continue reading

27 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Share market trading: Activity increases as new participants enter the market

(27 Oct 2015, AFR, p12, by Brendan Swift) ‘The Australian share market has been under pressure and the outlook for the local economy remains uncertain, but it’s been a boom year for online brokers. Rising sharemarkets early in 2015 drove a surge of optimism-fuelled trading and, while markets suffered a correction in the second half, … Continue reading

27 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Japan’s struggling economy finds ‘Abenomics’ is no easy fix

(27 October 2015, AFR, p10, by Jonathan Soble) ‘Japan’s economy has contracted so many times in the last few years that the meaning of recession has started to blur. If an economy is shrinking almost as often as it is growing, what does any single downturn say about its health? Now Japan appears to be … Continue reading

27 Oct 2015 (AFR) – No-deposit home loans raise concerns, attract credit card interest rates of 14pc

(27 October 2015, AFR, p4, by Angus Grigg) ‘Chinese investors being offered zero-deposit home loans over Australian apartments will be charged credit card interest rates, raising fears of increased offshore speculation in the already heady property market. The privately owned Ping An Insurance, which is offering…’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or … Continue reading

26 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Sellers beware: Get set for auction clearances in the 50s, Sydney

(26 October 2015, AFR, p3, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘Auction clearance rates in the 60s are starting to feel like the new normal in Sydney, as the biggest housing market nudged 64 per cent on the weekend. Clearances are well below the 75 per cent rate of this time last year. It was the eastern suburbs that … Continue reading

24 Oct 2015 (AFR) – ASX rallies on European Central Bank rates easing hints

(24 October 2015, AFR, p41, by Stephen Cauchi) ‘Australian shares roared higher on Friday following strong hints by the European Central Bank of further monetary stimulus, with a broad-based rally driving the benchmark index to a two-month high. ECB chief Mario Draghi said…’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

24 Oct 2015 (AFR) – US tech stocks surge on profits

(24 October 2015, AFR, p12, by John Kehoe) ‘American technology icons Amazon, Microsoft and Google’s newly named entity Alphabet delivered strong financial results, lifting investor confidence and undercutting talk of a tech bubble. The share prices of the three tech firms surged in after hours trading in the US on Thursday, as investors…’ Read more … Continue reading

24 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Beware, the Market Clock is ticking – Further growth in equities but much more volatility ahead

(24 October 2015, AFR, p25, by Patrick Commins) ‘The bull market isn’t dead, but it is the beginning of the end, and investors need to be brave or get the hell out. You might be surprised to hear that the famed Doomsday Clock is not only still running, but reads only three minutes to midnight. … Continue reading

23 Oct 2015 (AFR) – CBA hike undercuts Westpac – Raises home loan rate to 5.60 per cent

(23 October 2015, AFR, p1, Jonathan Shapiro, Phil Coorey, Clancy Yeates) ‘Commonwealth Bank of Australia will raise interest rates on home loans to owners and investors, following rival Westpac’s lead and paving the way for other banks to make customers share the cost of a safer banking system. The decision by Australia’s largest lender to increase its standard variable … Continue reading

24 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Red ink in China’s blue sky – China’s environmental drive shuts huge glass factory

(24 October 2015, AFR, p18, by Angus Grigg) ‘The closure of the huge Farun glass factory is a sign China is finally getting serious about curbing pollution but slower economic growth makes it hard for many firms to clean up their act, writes Angus Grigg.’ ‘For 22 years, the Farun glass-making factory coloured the skies … Continue reading

23 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Iron ore oversupply to sink price to $US40 a tonne by March

(23 October 2015, AFR, p26, by Mark Mulligan) ‘The price of iron ore could sink as low as $US40 a tonne early next year, says Citigroup’s China commodities strategist, who attributes the recent bounce in the metal’s value to a short-term match between supply and demand. Overnight, the price of iron ore slipped US14¢, or 0.3 per cent, … Continue reading

23 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Chinese steel flood heaps pressure on Arrium, BlueScope

(23 October 2015, AFR, p13, Tim Binsted) ‘The chief executive of Arrium Steel, Steve Hamer, says that conditions in the steel industry are the worst he’s ever seen and that the government is not protecting the local industry from steel dumping. The chief executive of Arrium Steel, Steve Hamer, says steel industry conditions are the worst … Continue reading

22 Oct 2015 (AFR) – House-price growth more sedate – brakes sharply in Sydney, Melbourne, Domain says

(22 October 2015, AFR, p55, by Michael Bleby) ‘The residential market is running out of puff, with house prices in Sydney growing at less than half the rate of three months ago, the latest Domain House Price Report shows. ‘ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

22 Oct 2015 (AFR) – Residential projects fill city skylines with cranes, RLB report shows

(22 October 2015, AFR, p39, by Michael Bleby) ‘Australia’s biggest housing construction boom boosted the number of cranes scattered across city skylines by more than a quarter to 539, the latest RLB Crane Index shows.  The number of cranes deployed on residential buildings rose in every mainland capital except Darwin as the total number of fixed cranes on sites rose … Continue reading