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31 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Melbourne expands as Western Australia faces population retreat

(31 March 2016, AFR, p37, by Michael Bleby) ‘Melbourne is growing out and Sydney is growing up, the latest regional population growth figures show.  Greater Melbourne’s Cranbourne East, South Morang, Epping and Point Cook were the four fastest-growing areas nationally in 2015, while Sydney’s Waterloo-Beaconsfield area was fifth, the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.’ Read more (and see the … Continue reading

31 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Townsville’s CBD is 27pc empty

(31 March 2016, AFR, p36, by Jordan McMullen) ‘Commercial property in the north Queensland regional capital of Townsville has been hit by the fall in the city’s economy. In the Townsville central business district, 27 per cent of the office space is vacant, according to a soon to be published report from property valuers and … Continue reading

31 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Investors to get $9b dividend bonanza – Dividends to pour back into sharemarket in hunt for yield

(31 March 2016, AFR, p15, by Vanessa Desloires) ‘Almost $9 billion in dividends will be paid to investors this week, and much of it will end up back in the sharemarket despite its volatility, fund managers say. Following their interim reports in February, companies are due to pay out more than $19 billion to shareholders … Continue reading

31 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Competitiveness jumps on weak wage growth, lower $A

(31 March 2016, AFR, p7, by Jacob Greber) ‘The pain felt by households suffering the weakest wages growth on record is starting to deliver a benefit by improving the nation’s international competitiveness. According to KPMG, the cost of doing business in Australia has improved over the previous two years at the fastest rate in a survey … Continue reading

31 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Melbourne units fall an average 11.5pc in year one: WBP

(31 March 2016, AFR, p2, by Michael Bleby) ‘Central Melbourne off-the-plan apartments fell about 11 per cent in the first year between their original purchase and pre-settlement valuation, figures from valuation firm WBP Property Group show. The average 11.5 per cent decline – equivalent to nearly $68,000 in dollar terms – in the value of 14 apartments WBP … Continue reading

30 Mar 2016 (TheAge, MONEY) – Unwary in for a nasty surprise – Truth about long-term investment and black swans

(30 March 2016, The Age, MONEY supplement, p6, Marcus Padley,  View more articles from Marcus Padley) ‘The expression “Black Swan event”…’ <snipped…> ‘…improve your chances, but to think that you can believe a long-term promise or make a long term judgment about a stock today, on the basis of the evidence available now, is irrational. … Continue reading

30 Mar 2016 (TheAge) – Bad debt charges spook bank investors

(30 March 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p33, Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Reporter, View more articles from Jonathan Shapiro) ‘That the sharemarket wiped $6 billion off the value of ANZ Banking Group after it revealed a $100 million bad debt charge last week shows just how anxious investors are that the credit cycle may have turned darker for … Continue reading

30 Mar 2016 (TheAge) – Tasmania energy crisis: Relying on 150 diesel generators for electricity until June

(30 March 2016, The Age, p11, Lucy Battersby) ‘Having just 14 per cent battery left on your smartphone can be quite stressful, right? Now imagine your smartphone is the state of Tasmania. That’s pretty much the situation right now on the Apple Isle, which has just 14 per cent capacity in its hydro electric dams and its … Continue reading

25 Mar 2016 (TheAge) – Bank shares hit on bad-debt fears

(25 March 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Clancy Yeates and Vanessa Desloires) ‘ANZ’s warning of a $100 million lift in bad debts has sparked a hefty drop in bank shares, with $20 billion wiped off the big four’s combined market value this week. In a sign of investor fears over the threat to bank profits from soured loans, shares … Continue reading

25 Mar 2016 (TheAge) – British ‘Flash Crash’ trader may be extradited to US, judge rules

[COMMENT: This news story includes some information to explain possible causes of a share market “flash crash” as was seen on 6th May 2010.] (The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Kaja Whitehouse) UK flash trader who became ‘The hound of Hounslow’ Sarao indicted by US federal grand jury ‘New York:  Navinder Sarao, the 36-year-old trader whose allegedly bogus … Continue reading

24 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Winter playground Mt Buller glides back

(24 March 2016, AFR, p75, by Jordan McMullen) ‘Ski-field real estate in the Victorian resort of Mt Buller is experiencing signs of improvement, five years after developer Morry Schwartz flooded the market with 77 apartments listed with no reserve. But natural demand was bouncing back since Mr Schwartz sold all his developments in the Falls Creek and surrounding areas in … Continue reading

24 Mar 2016 (AFR) – AMP ‘blacklists’ more than 140 suburbs for apartment lending

(24 March 2016, AFR, p71, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Apartments in more than 140 suburbs are on a confidential black list because of growing concerns about oversupply, off-the-plan sales, and, in some areas, falling prices, according to leaked documents. AMP Bank, the banking division of the largest financial services group that compiled the list, claims it is a … Continue reading

24 Mar 2016 (AFR) – How the roof caved in on McGrath float – Blue-chip real estate brand McGrath turns into sharemarket flop

(24 March 2016, AFR, p66, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘With a blue-chip real estate brand, a leading position in Sydney’s affluent harbourside markets and the guru-like status of its charismatic founder, there were many reasons to believe the float of McGrath Limited (ASX:MEA) would be a huge success. Indeed, institutional investors heavily backed the $130 million float and were reportedly eager to tip … Continue reading

24 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Is the rally for real this time? – Value investors left pondering if rally is for real

(24 March 2016, AFR, p29, by Patrick Commins) ‘A change is in the air. The most unloved stocks are getting some affection, raising hopes that the long, cold winter for value investors might finally be drawing to an end.’ ‘The promise of spring is in the air for value investors, and not just in London, … Continue reading

24 Mar 2016 (TheAge) – Nation’s builders struggling to satisfy housing boom says Brickworks

(24 March 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Tim Binsted, Reporter, View more articles from Tim Binsted) ‘Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge said the construction industry was struggling to meet the unprecedented demand for new homes as the company reported a record interim profit. Mr Partridge said feverish activity in the capital cities of Melbourne and Sydney had driven residential building … Continue reading

23 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Commodity prices: HSBC answers investors’ top 12 questions

[NOTE: This article does NOT contain any advice. It is merely food for thought as a part of regular research. Always consult a professional adviser before committing…] (23 March 2016, AFR, p31, by Jessica Sier) ‘After a rough start to the year for commodity prices, investors are bracing for the future. With oil languishing at … Continue reading

21 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Strong Australian farm sales as investment rebounds

(21 March 2016, AFR, p32, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Rural property sales have made a strong start for the autumn selling season with three prime NSW properties selling last week worth at least $25 million and at least another $200 million due within months. Australian investors have been encouraged by renewed interest from banks to lend in … Continue reading

21 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Fed member warns easy money could cause disinflation – Zero rates may be the problem stopping inflation

(21 March 2016, AFR, p20, by John Kehoe) ‘Ultra-low interest rates around the world were meant to stop prices falling into a death spiral. But the failure of central bank easy money policies to prevent deflationary pressures has a growing chorus of economists asking if near-zero rates are the root cause of disinflation. US Federal … Continue reading

21 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Infrastructure investment taking off – back to the mining boom days

(21 March 2016, AFR, p7, by Lucille Keen) ‘Infrastructure investment at the end of last year reported the largest uplift since the end of the resources boom. Australian Infrastructure Metric forecasts a construction recovery ahead, led by major transport infrastructure projects in NSW and Victoria, according to data produced by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and BIS … Continue reading

21 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Sydney’s bleak outer west the outlier in record home auctions in Melbourne and Brisbane; clearance rates hold strong

(21 March 2016, AFR, p5, by Matthew Cranston) ‘The health of Australia’s housing market again proved resilient on the weekend with clearance rates holding strong despite record numbers of home auctions in Melbourne and Brisbane. In Sydney where there were 911 listed auctions, clearance rates remained steady at 75 per cent according to APM PriceFinder, … Continue reading

19 Mar 2016 (AFR) – ASX inches higher as Fed-fuelled rally fades

(19 March 2016, AFR, p41, by Jens Meyer) ‘A rally in Australian shares sparked by the US Federal Reserve’s decision to slow its rate rise pace ran out of steam Friday afternoon, but the local market still managed to eke out a gain for the week. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 per cent to … Continue reading

19 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Emerging markets back from the brink

(19 March 2016, AFR, p34, by Karen Maley) ‘It was a case of one step forward and two steps back for emerging market enthusiasts this week, as political tensions in Brazil and South Africa threatened to overshadow the good news coming from the United States central bank. In the past six weeks there has been a … Continue reading

19 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Rebound in China’s property market continues improving outlook for iron ore

(19 March 2016, AFR, p12, by Angus Grigg) ‘The rebound in China’s housing market continued in February, supporting the recent iron ore rally, but leading to fears of a Japanese style property collapse as prices surge in major cities. New home prices rose on a monthly basis in 47 of the 70 largest cities across … Continue reading

19 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Sydney Airport’s international traffic soars on tourism boom

(19 March 2016, AFR, p5, by Jamie Freed) ‘Sydney Airport has revealed a 12.7 per cent surge in international traffic in February thanks to a strong rise in visitors from countries including China, Korea and the United States, as well as outbound growth from Australia.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try: … Continue reading

19 Mar 2016 (AFR) – No bubble in Sydney, Melbourne rents – markets remain tight

(19 March 2016, AFR, p3, by Robert Harley) ‘Residential rentals are tightening again in Sydney, particularly in the inner suburbs. A similar tightening, which defies the current wisdom about rental oversupply, is also under way in inner Melbourne. But in Brisbane and Perth the rise in supply, and the weaker state economies, have led to higher vacancies … Continue reading

18 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Australian mortgage default to increase this year says rating agency Moody’s

(18 March 2016, AFR, p34, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service says that delinquency and defaults on Australian home loans will rise slightly this year because of a slowdown in the economy.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

18 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Customers spend $1 billion as big shopping malls meet expectations

(18 March 2016, AFR, p33, by Robert Harley) ‘Australia’s top shopping centres attracted even more of the consumer dollar in 2015, with many of the largest centres increasing their turnover by 5 per cent or more. Once again the top centre was Chadstone in Melbourne, jointly owned by the Gandel Group and Vicinity Centres, which, … Continue reading

18 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Deutsche Boerse, LSE agree to merge

(18 March 2016, AFR, p30, by John Detrixhe) ‘Deutsche Boerse agreed to acquire London Stock Exchange Group, a deal that may kick off a bidding war as rival Intercontinental Exchange contemplates a counter offer.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

18 Mar 2016 (AFR) – US Fed buckles on rate hike forecasts, unable to resist global dovish push

(18 March 2016, AFR, p13, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The year of global policy divergence is looking shaky after the US Federal Reserve backed down on its targeted interest rate hikes, unable to resist the push for looser monetary conditions embraced by the eurozone, China and Japan. Faced with a rising currency, the Fed downgraded its interest rate guidance to just two … Continue reading

18 Mar 2016 (AFR) – Dividend payout dream world can’t last, says RBA

(18 March 2016, AFR, p8, by Jacob Greber) ‘The corporate dividend frenzy of recent years is running out of puff, says the Reserve Bank of Australia, which has blamed the unsustainable jump in payouts on demanding shareholders and a lack of management ideas for new investments. In research published by the central bank on Thursday, staff economists suggested … Continue reading