Public voices last-ditch opposition to ASIC Registry sale

By Nathan Lynch, Head Regulatory Analyst for Australia & New Zealand, Thomson Reuters A petition from 40,000 Australians has called on the government to reverse its plans to privatise the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s corporate registry operations. The campaign said privatising the ASIC Registry could permanently entrench some of the world’s highest company search

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Probing Rudi’s “all weather stocks”

From the AFR: Rudy 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 around the world. Take a bow Ansell, Amcor, ARB Corp, Brambles, Carsales, CSL, Domino’s Pizza, Hansen Technologies, InvoCare,  Orora, Pact Group, Ramsay Healthcare, REA Group and Technology One. Others


Coal rally still has support

A couple of tid-bits from Macquarie today outline the stregnth under the coal rally. For thermal:  Thermal coal: Versus expectations, preliminary trade data released two weeks ago for total coal imports was weak, showing a small sequential decline. Considering the scale of Chinese production cuts that has resulted in a tight domestic market and


Big Iron holds on as warnings rain

Big Iron is holding on today as Dalian weakens from last night’s gains. BHP is flat, RIO -0.3% and FMG 0.2% (note it’s a weekly chart today): Another warning on the rally has come from China, via Bloombergo: Steel production in China, the world’s biggest supplier, will probably contract this year and shrink further in


AFR slams gas panic merchants

From the AFR today: The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, an anti fossil fuel lobby disguised as an energy economics research firm, made headlines last week with findings that Australian consumers were paying 65 per cent more than Japanese users for Australian gas. Gas was sold in Adelaide at an average price of $13.90 a


NZ cannot outrun the population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen In recent years, New Zealand has experienced an immigration-driven population boom that is unprecedented in the nation’s history (see below charts). One of the casualties of this influx has been housing affordability. Despite boosting housing construction recently, New Zealand is simply unable to build enough homes to keep up with demand,


Lost decade sucks away ASX profits

From Citi:  Earnings disconnect from the economy. Our equity strategy colleagues highlighted this week the loss of earnings momentum in reporting season despite reasonable real GDP growth domestically. Many of the factors they reference that are creating this underperformance – including global factors and low inflation – are captured in very low nominal income


More gold miner profiles

From Credit Suisse come Perseus: ■ We forecast an FY16 net loss of $20mn. Quarterly reporting should lead our operating earnings to be close to those reported. Risks to our forecasts include non-recurring adjustments associated with the Amara acquisition and capital raising (we forecast $7mn per cash cost guidance) and any tax implications. Absent of


Coalition declares war on private VET rorting

By Leith van Onselen Following scandal after scandal, federal education minister, Simon Birmingham, has declared war on dodgy private vocational education and training (VET) providers, vowing to “smash” their business models. From The SMH: Education Minister Simon Birmingham will announce on Thursday that he is finalising a major overhaul of the government’s scandal-plagued vocational loans


Vale turns iron ore bearish

From BNAmericas: Brazilian mining giant Vale believes current iron ore prices of around US$60/t are not sustainable for the remainder of the year and that prices are expected to fall because of weakening demand from its main consumer, China. That’s according to the company’s IR director André Figueiredo, who spoke to journalists at an event


Stung business lobby launches company tax cut crusade

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s big business lobby group – the Business Council of Australia (BCA) – has begun lobbying the Senate cross-bench to pass the Turnbull Government’s controversial company tax cuts, citing spurious arguments that investment in the economy will be curtailed if taxes are not lowered. From The Australian: Business leaders are planning


Residex: Sydney house price boom “quickly easing”

By Leith van Onselen The confusion over the strength of the Sydney housing market continues, with Residex releasing its house and unit price results for July, which registered a weakening in growth in Sydney home values, with annual price growth falling to its lowest level since May 2013, making it diverge even further from the


CoreLogic bulls up on Spring property

From CoreLogic: The housing market appears to be responding to a number of factors which have spurred further growth in home values.  Official interest rates are at historic low levels which has encouraged borrowing for housing and driven housing debt to record-high levels.  The low interest rate setting is also seeing significant competition amongst lenders


Are Aussie bonds “ridiculously good value”?

From the AFR: European investors, pension funds and insurance companies traumatised by negative benchmark interest rates are looking at Australia as an “undiscovered” haven for yield that will continue to drive up the currency, says the chief economist at the world’s biggest reinsurer, Swiss Re. In an interview that highlights offshore attitudes to Australia as an investment destination,


Morrison declares total war on youth

By Leith van Onselen Treasurer Scott Morrison’s speech Thursday to Bloomberg in Sydney contained a lot of bluster on welfare spending, dividing modern Australians between the “taxed and the taxed-nots”, while seemingly blaming the rise in welfare spending on younger Australians: “A generation has grown up not ever having known a recession, of seeing unemployment


Alert: The Australian Treasurer is lost on China

Yesterday the AFR praised Australia’s real estate Treasurer: 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. Rather than trot-out the standard