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31 Jan 2019 (AFR) – IPO queue shrinks after 18pc loss in 2018

(31 January 2019, AFR, p17, by Michael Bailey) ‘The market for initial public offerings will remain soft this year after last year saw the share price of new listings decline on average for the first time in recent history, an analysis by professional services firm HLB Mann Judd has found. IPOs on the Australian Securities … Continue reading

31 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Drought, energy prices push inflation higher

(31 January 2019, AFR, p6, by Tim Boyd) ‘Consumer price inflation over the final three months of 2018 marginally exceeded economist forecasts for the first time in two years, as the drought pushed food prices higher. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the consumer price index rose 0.5 per cent over the … Continue reading

31 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – Apple’s numbers reflect the self-inflicted damage of the US trade war

(31 January 2019, The Age, Business, p23, by Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘Earlier this month, Apple triggered a sharp sell-off in global sharemarkets when it downgraded its first-quarter earnings and sales guidance. While the actual results are in line with that guidance, its outlook for the March quarter underscores how significantly the slowdown in China’s economy and … Continue reading

31 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – Big miners surge as Brazil’s Vale shuts dams after tragedy

(31 January 2019, The Age, Business, p22, by Darren Gray) ‘Shares in Australia’s biggest iron ore miners surged on Wednesday after Brazilian miner Vale said it would shut 10 tailings dams and suspend mining at some of its operations after a horrifying dam failure last week killed scores of people and left hundreds of others … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – China’s New Year migration soured by slowing economy and crackdown on behaviour

(30 January 2019, AFR, p36, by Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | The world’s biggest annual mass migration is under way this week as hundreds of millions of people in China pack into buses, trains and planes to return to their families for the Lunar New Year holidays. But the mass exodus of workers from major cities … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Bleak earnings season ahead, Confession season crunches earnings forecasts: Morgan Stanley

(30 January 2019, AFR, p29, by Vesna Poljak) ‘Morgan Stanley strategists warn that the coming earnings season will be a disappointing one given the quality of economic data and the relentlessly negative trading updates seen since Christmas. Estimates for earnings-per-share growth across the S&P/ASX 200 Index have been reduced to 4.2 per cent for 2018-19, … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Why investors need to be alert to China’s moves on Taiwan

(30 January 2019, AFR, p27, by Stirling Larkin) ‘It is becoming clear that China has every intention of militarily reoccupying Taiwan within the next five years – this reality appears imminent and its conviction real. For financial markets and global investors, this would have immediate and capacious consequences that remain poorly measured, woefully misunderstood and … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – The Chinese conundrum – How to invest as China’s growth slows

(30 January 2019, AFR, p26, by Sarah Turner) ‘For investors considering what slowing growth in China could mean for their portfolio, fund managers say the answer isn’t straightforward. China is Australia’s largest customer for iron ore and coal and is also a key source of demand for wine, food, education and tourism. China’s economy has … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Tesco to cut thousands of jobs as part of wide-ranging corporate overhaul

(30 January 2019, AFR, p25, by: Josephine Cumbo and Jonathan Eley) ‘London | Tesco plans to slash thousands of jobs as the UK’s largest supermarket group embarks on a shake-up to cut costs in the face of intense competition. Tesco said on Monday that about 9000 positions were at risk as it reviewed in-store fresh food … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – IPO: Afterpay challenger Splitit up 90 per cent on first day of trade

(30 January 2019, AFR, p16, by Yolanda Redrup) ‘Israeli fintech start-up Splitit has got the tech initial public offering market off to a cracking start for the year, with the payments-splitting company jumping 90 per cent on it first day of trade. Having raised $12 million and listed with an issue price of 20¢ on … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Adviser anxiety levels high ahead of Hayne final report

(30 January 2019, AFR, p17, by James Frost) ‘The financial advice and wealth management community is on high alert ahead of Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final recommendations as concerns mount that reforms could increase the cost of advice for consumers, reduce the viability of financial advice businesses and abruptly end vertical integration. The potential for the … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Business conditions suffer biggest fall since the GFC and no signs of easing

(30 January 2019, AFR, p6,  by Tim Boyd) ‘Business conditions suffered their biggest monthly fall since the global financial crisis over December and have not improved in 2019, according to industry experts. National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster said “the weakening in conditions has become relatively broad-based with declines across all industries except mining … Continue reading

30 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – Iron ore prices surge in wake of Brazil tailings dam failure

(30 January 2019, The Age, Business, p29, by Darren Gray) ‘Commodity experts believe the recent surge in iron ore prices will continue in the short term and that the commodity, a huge earner for Australia’s big miners, could soon be trading at more than $US80 per tonne. A widely accepted industry benchmark price for iron … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Deloitte Business Outlook: China downturn insures Australian growth

(29 January 2019, AFR, p4, by Tim Boyd) ‘Faltering growth in China has an “ironic upside” to Australian short-term prosperity, as Chinese stimulus designed to offset a slowdown flows into Australia through commodities trade, according to Deloitte Access Economics. Deloitte partner Chris Richardson said Australia’s “main risk is a continuing slowdown in China but at … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – Aussie steel faces downturn as ‘Trump bump’ fades and China fears grow

(29 January 2019, The Age, Business, p20, by Nick Toscano) ‘Australia’s biggest steel company has suffered a multibillion-dollar battering, losing 35 per cent of its value in six months, as the boost from US President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies tapers off and the Chinese economy slows. Melbourne-based BlueScope, which runs steel mills in Australia … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – Tide slipping out on shopping centres as retailer woes widen

(29 January 2019, The Age, Business, p24, by Sumeyya Ilanbey) ‘Mall giant Vicinity’s decision to drop the value of its shopping centres for the first time in recent memory last week has sparked a warning that conditions for retail landlords are deteriorating faster than had been expected. Analysts at Citi say the $37 million drop … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – ‘Risks are all too real’: Mining’s strong growth comes with warnings

(29 January 2019, The Age, by Darren Gray) ‘The mining industry is on the cusp of a greater period of growth than it has experienced over the past 10 years, but faces risks that were “inconceivable just a few short years ago,” according to a new report by Deloitte. And mining companies that operate without … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – How US Tariffs Stained the Washing Machine Market

(29 January 2019, The Age, Business, p23, By Jim Tankersley) ‘You may not have appreciated it at the time — golden eras have a habit of coming and going like that — but a five-year stretch that started in 2013 was a pretty great time to buy a washing machine. Inflation for home laundry equipment, … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Fender Katsilidis, Caydon cut staff amid ‘less predictable market’

(29 January 2019, AFR, p33, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Architects and developers are trimming their staff numbers in Sydney and Melbourne as the flow of new work slows in sectors such as the apartment construction market. Renowned architecture firm Fender Katsalidis, which designed Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art and Melbourne’s Eureka Tower among many … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (AFR) – India’s 2018 coal imports grew at fastest pace in four years: sources

(29 January 2019, AFR, p30, by Sudarshan Varadhan) ‘New Delhi | India’s thermal coal imports for 2018 rose at the fastest pace in four years, according to two industry sources, despite moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut imports to reduce the country’s trade deficit. Coal is among the top five commodities imported … Continue reading

29 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Margins under pressure as retailers invest to keep up with Amazon

(29 January 2019, AFR, p23, by Sue Mitchell) ‘Australian retailers must make further investments in price, range and service online — squeezing margins by between 100 and 230 basis points — as sales shift from physical stores to e-commerce following the arrival of Amazon, warns UBS. Online spending accelerated last year and now accounts for … Continue reading

28 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – Banks cull ATMs as more customers ditch cash

(28 January 2019, The Age, Business p20, by Clancy Yeates) ‘Major banks removed hundreds of ATMs in the latest year, as the industry responded to the scrapping of withdrawal fees and consumers further reduced their use of cash. In a trend that is tipped to ramp up as digital payments take off, all of the … Continue reading

25 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Upbeat session takes ASX to two-month high

(25 January 2019, AFR, online, by Natasha Gillezeau) ‘Australian shares ended the week on an upbeat note, as gains in yield-friendly utility and real estate companies helped push the benchmark to a two-month high. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 39 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5905 on Friday, while the All Ordinaries Index rose … Continue reading

25 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Housing market confidence sinks to new low: NAB

(25 January 2019, AFR, p34, by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Confidence in Australia’s housing market has sunk to a new low as property prices in Sydney and Melbourne continue to drag on the rest of the country. Property professionals took a bleak view of price growth and rents in the final quarter of 2018, with NAB’s residential … Continue reading

25 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Number of houses and units built across Australia forecast to drop by 25 per cent

(25 January 2019, AFR, p34, by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘The number of new homes built across Australia is expected to drop dramatically by 25 per cent from when construction peaked three years ago to fiscal 2023. A record number of homes were built during the height of the boom over the 2015-2016 financial year and while … Continue reading

25 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Vicinity shaves $37 million from malls portfolio amid retail blues

(25 January 2019, AFR, p33, by Nick Lenaghan) ‘In the latest blow to the retail sector, the nation’s second largest listed mall landlord, Vicinity Centres, has devalued its $15.8 billion portfolio amid broader warnings that shopping centres will come under pressure this year. Led by Grant Kelley, Vicinity shaved 0.2 per cent, or $37 million, … Continue reading

25 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Solid job result for December to comfort RBA

(25 January 2019, AFR, p8, by Tim Boyd) ‘A solid result for jobs growth over December will comfort the Reserve Bank as global growth headwinds intensify, though the strategy is “under significant pressure”, with the next move in the cash rate likely to be down or flat, economists say. A total of 21,600 jobs were … Continue reading

25 Jan 2019 (TheAge) – ‘Profit won out in the end’: NAB lifts rates to maintain margins

(25 January 2019, The Age, p12, by Stephen Miles) ‘National Australia Bank has defended its decision to lift interest rates, arguing it had shielded its “loyal customers” from its own rising costs for as long as it could. On Thursday, NAB lifted its home loan rates, citing sustained increases in wholesale funding costs, for standard … Continue reading

24 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Sydney office market reigns supreme but greenshoots emerge in Perth and Brisbane

(24 January 2019, AFR, p33, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Sydney A Grade office values climbed 6.3 per cent to over $20,000 a square metre in 2018 as the Sydney CBD cemented its position as the country’s premier office market, new figures from Savills Australia show. Alongside this growth in capital values, Sydney CBD yields tightened 20 … Continue reading

24 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Private investors drive Melbourne CBD yields to 3.6 pc

(24 January 2019, AFR, p33, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘A surge in private investor appetite drove down average yields on Melbourne CBD buildings priced under $25 million to a new low of 3.6 per cent in 2018, figures from CBRE show. This suggests yields tightened by a full percentage point over the 12 months, after CBRE … Continue reading