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31 Jan 2020 (TheAge,SMH) – Brexit: Tears and cheers as EU gives nod to Brexit

(31 January 2020, The Age, p17, By Gabriela Baczynska and Jakub Riha) ‘Brussels: European Parliament has given final approval to Britain’s divorce from the European Union, paving the way for the country to quit the bloc on Friday after nearly half a century and delivering a major setback for European integration. ‘ Read more at … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX slides as virus outbreak fears spiral

(31 January 2020, AFR, p30, Luke Housego, Reporter) ‘Australian shares ended a day of volatility lower, following confirmation the number of coronavirus cases had risen sharply, overtaking the total infections associated with the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak. The S&P/ASX 200 ended the second-to-last session for January 23.1 points, or 0.33 per cent, … Continue reading

31 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Retail: Greenlit Brands’ losses balloon to almost $300m

(31 January 2020, AFR, p24, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘Losses at Greenlit Brands, Australia’s second-largest furniture retailer, rose ninefold to almost $300 million in 2019 after the owner of Freedom, Fantastic and Snooze slashed the value of assets such as goodwill and losses mounted at department stores Harris Scarfe and Best & Less. According to … Continue reading

31 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: China isolated as the world cuts off links, evacuates citizens

(31 January 2020, AFR, p14, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | China faces a prolonged period of isolation from the rest of the world as major carriers cut flights, US car makers close factories, and Australia and other foreign countries evacuate their citizens as the death toll from the coronavirus rises. China’s leaders called for … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – IPO drought shows few signs of lifting

(30 January 2020, AFR, p18, Michael Bailey, Rich List Editor) ‘The number of small cap initial public offerings on the Australian Securities Exchange plummeted in 2019 and the pipeline remains soft, meaning high-growth businesses may remain private for longer, according to a new report. A survey of IPOs by advisory firm HLB Mann Judd found … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – More collapses to come in retail’s ‘killing season’

(30 January 2020, AFR, p15, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘The growing popularity of Black Friday promotions, a shift to online shopping and burgeoning debt levels have contributed to the recent spate of retail collapses, according to the administrator of struggling clothing chain Jeanswest.  In what has been dubbed the retail “killing season”, half a dozen … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – America’s epic budget blowouts will just keep growing

(30 January 2020, AFR, p10, Jacob Greber, United States Correspondent) ‘Washington | The United States will spend most of the 21st century mired in ballooning government debt as a new spending surge and the Trump administration’s tax cuts push this year’s deficit above $US1 trillion ($1.48 trillion). The independent Congressional Budget Office has painted a … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Inflation rises 0.7pc, ending rate cut chances

(30 January 2020, AFR, p1, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Higher than expected headline inflation has all but removed the chance of a 0.25 percentage point rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia next week and given the central bank more breathing room to assess the gentle turning point in the economy. Headline inflation rose … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: How the coronavirus is hitting business

(29 January 2020, AFR, p36, Matthew Cranston, Edmund Tadros, Angela Macdonald-Smith, Simon Evans, Liam Walsh, Nick Lenaghan, Aleks Vickovich and Michael Smith) ‘The coronavirus outbreak has spooked markets across the globe and companies in industries from oil to professional services, wine and agriculture are reeling from the fallout. It used to be said that when … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Retail shops: New York faces more empty storefronts as bank branches shrink

(29 January 2020, AFR, p32, Natalie Wong and Nic Querolo) ‘A bank, a drug store, another bank: Odds are, a stroll down a random Manhattan avenue devolves quickly into a retail snoozefest. New Yorkers have complained for years about the disappearances of their beloved family-owned restaurants, their hole-in-the-wall hardware stores, their bars. Replaced by a … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus and ASX: ASX endures worst day of 2020 as virus concerns deepen

(29 January 2020, AFR, p26, Luke Housego, Reporter) ‘Australian shares tumbled to their biggest loss of 2020 as concerns about the fallout on global growth from China’s coronavirus outbreak sparked a rout of world stockmarkets. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 96 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 6994.5 points, making it the biggest one-day fall … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR,Lex) – Coronavirus and luxury retail: When China sneezes, luxury retail catches cold

(29 January 2020, AFR, p23, The Lex Column) ‘China’s woes have caused feverish debate about travel bans and screening. With economic growth near multi-decade lows, Chinese shoppers are already spending less. Time to cash in on luxury’s bull run. China is sneezing. How sick is the rest of the world going to get? Reports that … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Nervous consumers behind three-year motorcycle slide

(29 January 2020, AFR, p15, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘The chief executive of ASX-listed MotorCycle Holdings says a three-year slide in new motorcycle sales across the industry is close to hitting a bottom.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: South-east Asia braced for travel ban

(29 January 2020, AFR, p11, Emma Connors, South-east Asia correspondent) ‘Jakarta | China’s ban on foreign tour groups, imposed this week to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will slash the number of visitor arrivals in several south-east Asian countries that rely heavily on tourism to power their economies. Thai tourism operators believe the ban … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Death toll tops 100 as China fights to contain virus

(29 January 2020, AFR, p11, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | The death toll from China’s rapidly spreading coronavirus rose to 106 on Tuesday, as the government continued its fight to contain its biggest health crisis in decades, while assuring the world it would do everything to prevent fatalities beyond its borders. Beijing said it … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – CEOs won’t take risks and invest, citing lack of consumer demand

(29 January 2020, AFR, p7, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘More chief executives will go on a technology and capital investment strike this year than in any year since 2015 due to concerns about consumer demand. Despite the Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Productivity Commissioner Michael Brennan and competition watchdog chairman Rod Sims … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus Shanghai: Life in a ghost town as virus paranoia sets in

(29 January 2020, AFR, p1,  Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘The level of paranoia about a deadly virus outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has increased considerably since the woman on the street approached me fearing for my safety.’ <snipped…> ‘Shanghai, while typically quiet during the Lunar New Year, usually picks up on the … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Markets exposed to China shock. Fears intensify amid global sell-off

(29 January 2020, AFR, p1, Vesna Poljak, James Fernyhough and Sarah Turner) ‘Australia’s close business links to China, which proved so successful in supporting the economy in its record-breaking run of growth, have emerged as a major risk to growth and earnings as the coronavirus outbreak gathers pace. The worst day of the year for … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Empty restaurants in China a worry for Australian wine

(28 January 2020, AFR, p9, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘Australia’s wine industry faces a short-term hit if people in China keep staying away from restaurants and bars as the coronavirus outbreak worsens, with industry players nervous about a repeat of the fall-out from the 2003 SARS epidemic. Australia and France compete as the biggest exporter … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Lobster fishermen caught up in China’s coronavirus chaos

(28 January 2020, AFR, p9, Brad Thompson, Reporter) ‘Australia’s biggest lobster exporter has told fishermen to stop catching the seafood delicacy as Chinese find themselves with nothing to celebrate in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC), which has about 300 fishermen members and dominates the $500 million-a-year export industry, has … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Climate change putting Australia’s food bowl at risk: Credit Suisse

(28 January 2020, AFR, p3, Mark Ludlow, Queensland Bureau Chief) ‘The future of Australia’s agricultural food bowl could be at risk from changed weather patterns resulting from climate change, according to Credit Suisse.’ <snipped…> ‘ “It’s hugely problematic for the Australian agricultural industry. Whole swathes of what has been the food bowl of Australia is … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – Coronavirus: Fears mount for global economy as China’s coronavirus outbreak worsens

(28 January 2020, The Age, Business, p26, By David Scutt) ‘Investors are bracing for the contagion of the coronavirus outbreak and the impact of a possible global pandemic on markets, with economists saying a hit to global growth from the disease is now all but inevitable. A rush to safe-haven assets lifted the price of … Continue reading

27 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – As big players come and go, retail’s real victims are regional – Perfect storm batters small retailers

(27 January 2020, The Age, p24, Business, By Dominic Powell) ‘… The pressures and challenges facing Australia’s retailers have been well-documented. Consumer confidence and spending have hit recession levels, companies are closing stores by the hundreds, and shoppers are choosing to save, not spend, government stimuli. Now with bushfires and drought ravaging much of the … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – International fallout from bushfires a big risk for investors

(25 January 2020, AFR, p23, Simon Evans, Sue Mitchell, James Fernyhough and Jenny Wiggins) ‘… Goldman Sachs has estimated the bushfire fallout could strip 0.4 per cent off Australia’s GDP, with the international dimension a potentially long-term drag. ‘ <snipped…> ‘A raft of profit downgrades from ASX-listed companies in the retail and tourism sectors in … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Wine: Smoke taint ruins vineyard crops

(25 January 2020, AFR, p9, Max Allen, Drinks columnist) ‘… Now winemakers are also dealing with the lingering impact of the smoke on their grapes and wines. If grapes are exposed to smoke in the later stages of the growing season, they can absorb compounds from the burnt wood that produce undesirable, “ashy” flavours in … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Vendors’ pain as apartments sell below purchase price

(25 January 2020, AFR, p6, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘One in five apartments was sold at a loss during the September quarter, despite a rebound in property prices, as investors struggled to hold on to their assets amid rising vacancies, high levels of supply across city markets and surging mortgage costs. The CoreLogic Pain and Gain … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX ends week higher, stretching out January’s remarkable run

(25 January 2020, AFR, p33, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Profit downgrades shook confidence in the earnings outlook for a handful of companies but investors shrugged off the news to push the broader market to another weekly gain, stretching January’s remarkable run. The S&P/ASX 200 index ended the week at 7090.50, up 2.5 points, retreating after touching … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Global markets swoon as lethal China virus spreads

(25 January 2020, AFR, p12, David J. Lynch) ‘Washington | Wall Street stumbled on Thursday (Friday AEDT) amid fears that efforts to curtail the lethal coronavirus in China could further disrupt the global economy. The Dow fell nearly 200 points before recovering to close at 29,160.09, down 26 points for the day, following China’s decision … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Beijing locks down eight cities, halts New Year celebrations

(25 January 2020, AFR, p12, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | China has cut transport links to eight cities in efforts to quarantine more than 20 million people as the spread of the deadly coronavirus accelerated on Friday, triggering widespread criticism that authorities acted too late to contain the health crisis. The ruling Communist Party … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus ‘may yet become’ a global emergency, WHO says

(25 January 2020, AFR, p3, Bo Seo, Reporter) ‘Nervous markets and citizens – from Sydney to Belfast – are awaiting to see if the fatal outbreak of a new coronavirus strain rises to a global health emergency, as the number of suspected cases in Australia grows.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)