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31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Singapore office landlords get upper hand as rentals jump

(31 October 2018, AFR, p40, by Pooja Thakur) ‘When it comes to renting an office in downtown Singapore, the tables have turned. Landlords now have the upper hand in rental negotiations, with leasing rates in the city-state’s prime business districts rising at the steepest pace in more than four years. And with both demand accelerating … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Luxury apartment demand insatiable: Tim Gurner

(31 October 2018, AFR, p40, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Tim Gurner says he cannot keep up with demand for high-end apartments in boutique projects after securing a permit from the City of Yarra for a $40 million development in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. Mr Gurner – who ranked third richest on the 2018 Financial Review … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Food and beverage retailers dominate leasing enquiry in malls: JLL

(31 October 2018, AFR, p39, by Nick Lenaghan) ‘Food and beverage retailers remain the single strongest driver of leasing enquiry in shopping malls, although their influence has moderated in the last six months, according to an industry survey. The latest survey of centre managers across 88 JLL-managed malls covers mostly neighbourhood and sub-regional centres and was undertaken in … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Housing pipeline slows even as building approvals gain 3.3pc in September

(31 October 2018, AFR, p38, by Michael Bleby) ‘The pipeline of new housing across Australia is still shrinking, despite the latest dwelling approvals jumping 3.3 per cent in September. Tighter lending conditions have prevented developers obtaining permits on new residential projects. The gain that lifted total monthly approvals to a seasonally adjusted 17,081 from 16,541 … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Greek market picks up as Chinese investors buying Greek homes despite capital outflow restrictions

(31 October 2018, AFR, p37, by Angeliki Koutantou) ‘Three times a week, hundreds of Chinese investors arrive at Athens airport to be greeted by Greek real estate agents who drive them straight into the city to view apartments for sale. The visitors are drawn to Greece by rock-bottom property prices and one of Europe’s most … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – China tells speculators not to hope for relaxed curbs on property purchases

(31 October 2018, AFR, p35, by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo) ‘China warned property speculators against holding false hopes for a price rally, in a report on Monday by state news agency Xinhua that said authorities would not loosen curbs on buyers to spur investment even as the economy slows. Since 2016, authorities have introduced … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Top-end markets in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane outpace global average: Knight Frank

(31 October 2018, AFR, p35, by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘The luxury property markets of three Australian cities have so far proven immune to the effects of a wider market downturn, growing more than the global average over the year, according to Knight Frank’s latest Prime Global Cities Index. The index, which tracks the top 5 per cent of property … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Property market weakness will cut spending, GDP: Capital Economics

(31 October 2018, AFR, p34, by Michael Bleby) ‘Australia’s weakening housing market will shave 0.3 percentage points off economic growth over the next three years as consumers pull back spending as their home values decline, Capital Economics says.  The consultancy, which earlier this year widened its prediction from 10 per cent to a 12 per cent decline … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Roll up, roll up for the next blow-up – Avoiding Ponzis in the profit hunt

(31 OCtober 2018, AFR, p32, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘There’s a joke among fund managers that the excuse they often hear from a CEO after he or she has blown a company up is “it was only the last acquisition that didn’t work”. But the way of the ‘roll-up’, if you’re a stock market cynic, is … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Once-powerful Angela Merkel admits she’s become a lame duck

(31 October 2018, AFR, p13, by Griff Witte) ‘Berlin | Once the most powerful politician in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that she has become a lame duck, setting off a scramble to replace her and deepening the continent’s deficit of high-octane leaders. A day after a stinging electoral defeat in regional elections, … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Grain stocks dry up after dismal start to harvest

(31 October 2018, AFR, p8, by Brad Thompson) ‘The harvest is off to a dismal start in the eastern states with early figures from GrainCorp providing a stark insight into the impact of drought on farm production and this year’s winter crop. Farmers have delivered just 181,500 tonnes of grain into the ASX-listed company’s vast … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Australia most exposed to housing debt downturn

(31 October 2018, AFR, p3, by John Kehoe) ‘Australia is the most vulnerable large advanced economy to a household-debt induced downturn, according to a new analysis by investment bank Morgan Stanley, which points to slowdown risks from a tightening in lending standards and Labor’s planned tax changes for housing. Morgan Stanley examined household debt burdens … Continue reading

31 Oct 2018 (TheAge) – New ‘tech giant tax’ to stop Facebook, Amazon taking profits overseas

(31 October 2018, The Age, p19, Nick Miller) ‘London: The UK has announced a new tax targeted at tech giants, in an attempt to claw back revenue disappearing into the global digital economy. The new “digital services tax” is forecast to raise £400m ($720m) a year for the British treasury to ensure online platforms “pay … Continue reading

30 Oct 2018 (AFR) – China cracks down on foreign currency transfers for property deals

(30 October 2018, AFR, p39, by Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | China is cracking down on its citizens skirting around the country’s tight capital controls to get money out of the country to buy residential property overseas in a move that analysts say will further slow demand in the Australia market. China’s foreign exchange regulator has reported … Continue reading

30 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Noosa top-end market on winning streak after several house sales above $10 million

(30 October 2018, AFR, p38, by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Noosa’s top-end property market has been on a winning streak this year, after the town cracked the $10 million mark to pave the way for several double-digit sales since.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

30 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Low listings: Ray White Southbank offers zero commissions to drum up work

(30 October 2018, AFR, p38, by Michael Bleby) ‘A Ray White agent in Melbourne’s Southbank has angered rivals in the area and created a dilemma for his own agency network by offering zero commission sales in a bid to drum up business in a slow market. ‘ Read more at (might need AFR login … Continue reading

30 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Angela Merkel’s hold on German politics becomes more tenuous with second electoral defeat

(30 October 2018, AFR, p12, by Paul Carrel and Joseph Nasr) ‘Berlin | Chancellor Angela Merkel’s once-unassailable position in German politics endured yet another blow on Sunday (Monday AEST) as support for her party dropped precipitously in a state that has long been a bellwether for the nation, projected results showed. The outcome was just … Continue reading

30 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Brazil swings hard right with Jair Bolsonaro commanding victory

(30 October 2018, AFR, p11, by Raymond Colitt and Mario Sergio Lima) ‘Brasilia | Jair Bolsonaro swept to power in Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday (Monday AEDT), marking a hard pivot to the right that promises to open up the resource-rich economy to private investment, strengthen ties to the US and unleash an aggressive crackdown … Continue reading

29 Oct 2018 (TheAge) – ‘White knuckle’ volatility set to test investors

(29 October 2018, The Age, Business, p20, Timothy Moore) ‘The return of volatility has been a key market theme this year and appears likely to intensify, at least in the short term, from Wall Street to the ASX, which is set to open weaker on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung wildly on Friday … Continue reading

29 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Chinese buyers of Australian homes burnt – Ausin collapse saw Chinese investors lose millions in Australian property deals

(29 October 2018, AFR, p33, by Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | John Wang had so much faith in property sales agency Ausin Group that he handed over $765,000 to buy his third Australian apartment without asking for a receipt. “I had already bought two properties through Ausin and I had such deep trust in them that … Continue reading

29 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Stocks face GFC-level rout, closing in on worst month since the GFC, as Donald Trump’s trade war bites and hits GDP

(29 October 2018, AFR, p11, by Jacob Greber) ‘Washington | Donald Trump’s trade war is disrupting his booming economy, and this has investors jittery as stock markets confront the worst October since the global financial crisis. Friday’s third-quarter US gross domestic product data confirmed the world’s biggest economy cooled from the second quarter, with annualised … Continue reading

29 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Bloodbath: Top Melbourne property falls $2m in 12 months as sales stall

(29 October 2018, AFR, p9, by Duncan Hughes) ‘A large house in a prestigious, leafy Melbourne inner suburb that was last year sold for more than $7 million has dropped in value by more than $2 million, or 28 per cent, highlighting a sharp downturn in the Melbourne market that until recently continued to hold its value … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (AFR) – More than 350,000 households at risk of negative equity

(27 October 2018, AFR, p32, by Duncan Hughes) ‘A 20 per cent fall in property prices from peak to trough could plunge more than 350,000 households across suburban Australia into negative equity, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney. Negative equity happens when the value of property falls below the outstanding balance on the mortgage.’ Read more … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (Bloomberg) – Reprieve for U.S. Stocks Hits Wall on Amazon, Alphabet Earnings

(27 October 2018, Bloomberg online, by: Matthew Burgess and Jon Menon) ‘The reprieve for U.S. stocks is looking brief. December contracts on the S&P 500 Index were down 1.4 percent as of 05:49 a.m. in New York after the underlying gauge rallied from a six-day slide. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Industrial Average … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (online) – AMD, Nvidia, Western Digital Get Smoked

(27 October 2018, The Street online, Jacob Sonenshine ) ‘The Nasdaq is selling off hard, as Inc. (AMZN) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) issued disappointing earnings reports. Among the losers in the rubble of the selling are three big names in the semiconductor space. Western Digital Corp. (WDC) was one of the most injured, losing as … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (AFR) – ASX: The ASX ends the week down almost 5pc

(27 October 2018, AFR, p33, by William McInnes) ‘The local sharemarket has closed the week lower after a global sell-off pushed Australian shares to their lowest level in 12 months. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 274.3 points, or 4.6 per cent, to 5665.2 this week, as local shares entered a technical correction on Thursday. “The … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Tech stocks are on the front line of Donald Trump’s ‘Cold War’ with China

(27 October 2018, AFR, p27, by Karen Maley) ‘Investors are already bracing for the next set of monster waves to break over them. Share prices of both Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet slumped in US after-hours trading, after the two US e-commerce giants reported disappointing revenue growth. (The other two big tech titans – … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (AFR) – ASX: Markets limp into the green after bruising week

(27 October 2018, AFR, p23, by Vesna Poljak) ‘Markets failed to deliver a relief rally on Friday after Thursday’s fierce sell-off, cementing a brutal start to the final quarter and leading fund managers to conclude that the enemy of shares over the next 12 to 24 months will be rising interest rates. The S&P/ASX 200 … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Investors on tenterhooks as stocks find their feet after weeks of falls

[COMMENT: Beware reading too much into the short term news in some news articles. This news story read okay on Friday, regarding Thursday’s US market moves; but Friday’s US markets now paint a different picture. Oh well… it seemed fine at the time…] (27 October 2018, AFR, p12, by Jacob Greber) ‘Washington | After teetering … Continue reading

27 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Hard-hit European markets unlikely to rediscover bullish form

[COMMENT: Take care about reading too much into the short term observations in various news articles.] (27 October 2018, AFR, p12, by Hans van Leeuwen) ‘London | European markets have been spared Wall Street’s tumultuous ride this week, but investors in the region will still be feeling sore from October’s bruising journey downhill – and … Continue reading