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31 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Estia becomes worst stock on ASX 200 index – Estia Health share price hammered as debt concerns raised

(31 August 2016, AFR, p32, by Matthew Cranston) ‘The share price of one of Australia’s largest aged care operators and developers, Estia Health, has collapsed as investors and analysts reevaluate the company’s issues and future growth prospects. The company, which is now the worst-performing stock on the ASX 200 this year and trades with a negative net tangible assets per security, … Continue reading

31 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Surging apartment approvals raise oversupply fears; Building approvals jump in July: apartments up 23pc from June

(31 August 2016, AFR, p30, by Michael Bleby) ‘Surging apartment numbers in NSW and Queensland pushed new home approvals to their highest level in more than a year in July and renewing concerns about a glut of high-density housing. ‘ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

31 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Surfstitch clears decks as shares dive – wiped out by $155m loss

(31 August 2016, AFR, p15, by Sue Mitchell) ‘SurfStitch chief executive Mike Sonand has promised to return the online retailer to profit after a horror year in which it shredded more than $500 million in shareholder value and lost $155 million, two chief executives and a chairman.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

31 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Ray White Double Bay auction so full, people were bidding from the street

(31 August 2016, AFR, p3, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘At least 100 people crammed into an auction room in Double Bay on Monday to bid for a slice of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Ray White was selling a 14 property portfolio of houses and apartments in Vaucluse, Darling Point, Bondi, Double Bay and Bellevue Hill.  But not everyone got what they wanted … Continue reading

31 Aug 2016 (TheAge) – Home approvals unexpectedly surge in July

(31 August 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, AAP) ‘An unexpected surge in home approvals is good news for renters, homebuyers and builders, but it may become a big drag on already sluggish inflation. Home approvals leapt 11.3 per cent in July, and jumped 3.1 per cent in the year to the month, the Australian Bureau … Continue reading

31 Aug 2016 (TheAge) – Low rates fire up smaller commercial sles

(31 August 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Simon Johanson) ‘Smaller commercial property transactions are in bull market territory, achieving record prices similar to the country’s heated housing sector, as the Reserve Bank’s latest rate cut drives a spike in activity. Agents report record prices and strong interest across the sub $5 million sector in many Melbourne … Continue reading

31 Aug 2016 (TheAge) – Australia’s growing debt a ‘ticking time bomb’, says TD Securities

(31 August 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p20, Jens Meyer) ‘Australia’s fiscal position is becoming increasingly untenable, even if current debt and deficit metrics remain low by global standards, TD Securities has warned in a strongly worded note to clients. “The government is borrowing record amounts to consume, not invest – a ticking fiscal time bomb,” the investment firm’s chief Asia-Pacific … Continue reading

30 Aug 2016 (AFR) – New home sales falls to 2-year low in July

(30 August 2016, AFR, p35, by Michael Bleby) ‘New home sales fell to a two-year low in July, detached home purchases fell in every mainland state, the Housing Industry Association said.  The 9.7 per cent decline in sales pulled the total of houses and apartments sold for the month to 7110, the lowest since July 2014, … Continue reading

30 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Real estate stocks gain in status with new MSCI and S&P sector

[COMMENT: This was announced by S&P/ASX in March 2015; but now the change is here. Also see the latest press release here.] (30 August 2016, AFR, p33, by Paul Sullivan) ‘A change is coming, starting on August 31, in the way stock indexes are classified. Real estate, now part of the broader financials category, will … Continue reading

30 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Credit Suisse’s Hasan Tevfik hints the holiday is over for markets

(30 August 2016, AFR, p26, by Philip Baker) ‘It’s that time of the year again when even the most steady and sure-footed investor needs to be ready for anything as the big players come back from the northern summer holiday season. If history is any guide, it could mark…’ <snipped…> ‘As it stands, the so-called … Continue reading

30 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Temple & Webster loss blows out to $44m

(30 August 2016, AFR, p13, by Sue Mitchell) ‘Online furniture retailer Temple & Webster is cutting costs and tweaking marketing and discounts after losing a staggering $44.4 million in 2016, cementing its status as the worst float of the year. The loss was more than double the $18.5 million loss forecast in Temple & Webster’s … Continue reading

30 Aug 2016 (TheAge) – Reporting season’s dividend contradiction baffles analysts

(30 August 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Michael Pascoe) ‘The wonder of this reporting season is that it has something for everyone. If you’re an optimist, the clear majority of companies have increased their dividends. If you’re a pessimist, Australian dividend payments have shrunk for the first time in five years. And if you’re a … Continue reading

29 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Fed ‘stronger’ on rate hike; Yellen opens door on interest rate rise

(29 August 2016, AFR, p1, by John Kehoe) ‘US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and senior colleagues have prepped sceptical investors for a potential interest rate rise as soon as next month, a move that will probably lower the Australian dollar and reduce the chance of another local interest rate cut. Friday’s US employment report … Continue reading

27 Aug 2016 (AFR) – ASX slips as profit season peaks, eyes turn to Federal Reserve

(27 August 2016, AFR, p27, by Vanessa Desloires) ‘Profit season moved up a gear in its last big week as did the wild swings of the share prices of many reporting companies, however, the sharemarket ended the week stagnant in anticipation of a speech from US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.’ Read more at (might need AFR … Continue reading

27 Aug 2016 (AFR) – The 14 ‘all weather’ stocks that investors must have

[COMMENT: This is NOT investment advice. It is for information only.] (27 August 2016, AFR, p27, by Philip Baker) ‘Rudi Filapek-Vandyck calls them “all weather” stocks and says all investors should own them. But there is just one problem with these must-have companies that can grow their profits and increase value for shareholders no matter what else is happening globally. … Continue reading

27 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Federal Reserve rapped for failure of low interest rates; Fed’s Janet Yellen faces confidence crisis at Jackson Hole

(27 August 2016, AFR, p9, by John Kehoe) ‘The US Federal Reserve and other central banks are facing a crisis of confidence in their institutions, as they come under growing criticism from prominent economists and former officials for failing to deliver satisfactory economic growth. Heading into an important policy speech at the venerable Jackson Hole … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Chinese steel mills come back from the dead

(26 August 2016, AFR, p8, by Lisa Murray) ‘China’s central government is struggling to cut overcapacity in the steel sector, with another shuttered mill in northern Shanxi province set to reopen, even as traders warn recent price increases are unsustainable. Yicheng Iron & Steel, which has the annual capacity to produce over 2 million tonnes … Continue reading

27 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Dividends snap winning streak; Australia snaps five years of dividend growth, on track for faster earnings

(27 August 2016, AFR, p1, by Vesna Poljak) ‘Australia’s world-beating dividend payouts have snapped five years of growth and are on track to rise slower than profits for the first time since 2011.  Dividend cuts by companies such as BHP Billiton and zero payouts by Origin Energy and Santos mean that the S&P/ASX 200 Index’s dividend per share … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Billionaires George Soros, Paul Tudor Jones are betting that shares poised for a tumble

(26 August 2016, AFR, p34, by Philip Baker) ‘When two of the world’s best known investors place exactly the same bets, then maybe that’s good enough for amateur investors to do the same. If you think George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones know what they’re doing, then go short the sharemarket, because those two legendary … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Market calm leaves investors exposed to Brexit-style shocks

(26 August 2016, AFR, p33, by Vanessa Desloires) ‘Sharemarkets are calm amid generally low volatility while investors await moves from the US Federal Reserve, but Brexit-style shocks are likely to rock the boat for those numb to the risks, analysts say. Since the beginning of the month, the S&P/ASX 200 has traded within a tight trading range of 5450 to … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – CEO of legendary trader Phibro recommends shorting crude at $US50

(26 August 2016, AFR, p33, by Naureen S. Malik) ‘It’s almost time to short this year’s crude rally, according to the new chief executive officer of Phibro, the century-old commodities firm that was once the largest independent oil refiner in the US. Simon Greenshields, who became Phibro’s chief executive in January after his firm bought the … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Why China’s batteris are near exhaustion; China is exhausted, so EM investors should look elsewhere

(26 August 2016, AFR, p31, by James Kynge) ‘With the Olympics just ended, we are refreshed in the terminology of physical exhaustion: athletes hit the wall, suffer glycogen deficits or exceed their lactate thresholds, before restoring themselves by simply taking a rest. Monetary exhaustion is different. The injection of cheap cash by central banks into … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Australian companies’ world-beating payout ratio cannot last

(26 August 2016, AFR, p31, by The Lex Column) ‘Sometimes, confidence is enough to make it through testing times. This week, the ANZ and Roy Morgan consumer confidence gauge showed Australians at their most upbeat since late 2013. While it is tempting to infer a market recovery, too, confidence alone cannot galvanise a rally. Australia … Continue reading

26 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Scott Morrison finally provides some honesty on China

(26 August 2016, AFR, p5, by Angus Grigg) ‘Scott Morrison has done what his two immediate predecessors failed to do. In what may be remembered as an important early speech in his tenure as Treasurer, Mr Morrison on Thursday outlined in some detail the huge risks to the Chinese economy.’ <snipped…> ‘As Mr Morrison pointed, … Continue reading

25 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Investors chasing high returns ignore risks in emerging markest; Is investors’ infatuation with emerging markets about to end badly?

(25 August 2016, AFR, p30, by Karen Maley) ‘Could it be that investors’ infatuation with emerging markets is soon to end badly? Some analysts warn that investors, blinded by the lure of higher returns, are failing to recognise the growing riskiness of emerging market investments.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or … Continue reading

25 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Central bank dovish policy settings are ‘distorting equity markets’

(25 August 2016, AFR, p21, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The Jackson Hole meeting of monetary policy officials this weekend is shaping up as an inflection point in the direction of the US Federal Reserve and its willingness to persist with dovish settings that some fear are fuelling an equities bubble. David Bassanese, BetaShares Capital chief economist, has become the … Continue reading

24 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Why negative interest rates have smashed confidence and increased inequality

[COMMENT: Now this opinion piece from Yanis Varoufakis is very interesting reading. Just how will the QE programs end?] (24 August 2016, p39, by Yanis Varoufakis*) ‘Objects of desire come at a cost. Only bad things, like toxic waste, have a negative price, the equivalent of a fee payable to anyone willing to make them … Continue reading

24 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Commercial property is too cheap says the professor

(24 August 2016, AFR, p31, by Robert Harley) ‘Commercial real estate is too cheap, at least according to one of the world’s leading real estate academics, Professor Andrew Baum. Professor Baum, the Visiting Professor of Management Practice at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, is in Sydney, as the first Powell Family … Continue reading

24 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Dividends rise, but watch out – Why self-funded retirees should prepare for a pay cut

(24 August 2016, AFR, p24, by James Frost) ‘As reporting season grinds towards its inevitable conclusion, many income investors will be dusting off their desk calculators to get a clearer picture of the dividends they can expect. Analysis of company dividends reported so far indicates that the cheques headed your way will be roughly the … Continue reading

24 Aug 2016 (AFR) – Bradken tips upturn for miners; US investors clean up as Bradken climbs out of black hole

(24 August 2016, AFR, p15, by Simon Evans and Tess Ingram) ‘A spike in demand for heavy engineering and mining equipment from big miners is still about 12 months away but the the new chief executive of Bradken says the bottom of the resources downturn has passed.  Paul Zuckerman, who took the helm of Bradken on March 1 … Continue reading