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Markets Live: Gains pared back

Date

Local shares have finished flat, after strong run by banks was pared back by losses in the mining sector.

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That's all from us here at Markets Live.

And here's the evening wrap.

For those readers who have been following bitcoin, here's a nice New York Times feature: Is bitcoin more than a passing fad?

How can bitcoin be anything but a passing fad?

It seems you can’t open a newspaper or read a website these days without hearing about the super-yet-mysterious virtual currency known as bitcoin.

Everyone’s talking about it. Richard Branson just began accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for flights on Virgin Galactic, which offers commercial spaceflights.

The Chinese website Baidu endorsed the currency, and lawmakers in Washington are holding hearings about it. Even Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, told senators in a letter that virtual currencies “may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.”

And then, of course, there is the sky-high march of the value of bitcoin. A year ago, bitcoin was worth a couple of bucks. Today bitcoin goes for $US800 each, depending on the day. And the value can swing by more than $US100 a day, if not more.

If it all feels a bit like a 1999-style craze, that’s because it is. Peter Leeds of the Penny Stock newsletter put it to me this way: “In a matter of months you won’t be hearing about it. It will go the same way of Paris Hilton. People will move on to the next thing.”

Read more

Here are the best and worst performers from the ASX200 today:

<p></p>

The sectors were mixed today:

  • Energy: +0.4%
  • Financials: +0.4%
  • Gold miners: +0.6%
  • Materials: -0.5%
  • Industrials: -0.5%
  • Consumer discretionary: -0.2%

The market has closed flat, pulling back from the day's highs. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 added 4.2 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5357, while the broader All Ords gained 4.5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5350.6.

Murray Goulburn boss Gary Helou doesn't believe Lion's 10 per cent holding in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter will be a roadblock in MG's fight to control the company.

Mr Helou said he had been in talks with Lion, which is owned by Japanese food conglomerate Kirin, and would honour its cheese cut and wrap agreement with WCB if Murray Goulburn was successful in acquiring the milk processor.

"We will respect and fulfil and enhance every commercial deal that Warrnambool has today... including the Lion deal," Mr Helou said.

"Lion is a big player in the Australian dairy industry. We have a good relationship with them and we are always talking about aspects of the industry and aspects of improving efficiencies for mutual benefits."

Lion bought its stake in WCB last month to protect the viability of its cheese brands Coon and Cracker Barrel, rather than seek to control the company.

WCB shares are up 0.3 per cent at $9.26.

Read more

The saga continues: Murray Goulburn is confident that its bid for Warrnambool offers the best for shareholders.

The saga continues: Murray Goulburn is confident that its bid for Warrnambool offers the best for shareholders. Photo: Michele Mossop

Retired MP Tony Windsor says Howard-era mismanagement of the mining boom will return to haunt Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The former key federal independent has backed a union report’s calls for a sovereign wealth fund to help share the benefits of the resources industry among more Australians.

Mr Windsor launched the report, commissioned by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), at an event in Sydney.

The report found that although the resources boom had helped shelter Australia from the worst of the global financial crisis, governments had ‘‘squandered’’ a chance to efficiently share its profits.

It argued Norway had done a better job of maximising the permanent gains from oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

The report called for Australia to follow the Norwegian model and establish an Australia Development Fund to use some of the proceeds of resources development for long-term projects.

Building products maker Brickworks expects a better 2014 as housing construction recovers, boosting orders for materials.

Managing director Lindsay Partridge said profitability improved in the three months to the end of September, primarily because of a better performance from its Austral bricks and masonry businesses.

‘‘We are beginning to see signs of a more broadbased recovery in building activity,’’ Partridge told the company’s annual general meeting. ‘‘This is reflected by increasing orders in most regions and divisions.’’

Brickworks predicts property earnings will be marginally lower next year, with continued growth in the property trust being offset by a reduced contribution from land sales. Investment earnings are expected to continue to perform well over the long term.

Shares in the company are up 2.3 per cent.

 

The ASX 200 is enjoying a day in the sun with the major banks leading a recovery, IG's Stan Shamu notes:

"Time and time again we see local investors taking advantage of any price pullbacks in the major banks and topping up so to speak with high earnings growth and excellent payout ratios set to continue," he says.

"Unfortunately some of the major resource names have put in a fairly subdued performance today and this is preventing the local market from extending its gains."

Bega Cheese has extended its offer for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter by two weeks as it struggles to remain in the takeover race.

Bega and rival bidder Murray Goulburn Co-operative Ltd are considering taking the battle for Warrnambool to the Takeover Panel in the wake of a revised bid by Saputo.

Saputo declared its $505 million bid for Warrnambool unconditional on Monday and said it would hike its offer if it won control of Australia's oldest dairy maker. But Canada's largest dairy company is still a long way short of success, revealing on today it holds just 3.7 per cent of Warrnambool.

Bega and Murray Goulburn hold around 18 per cent each, with Kirin Holdings' Australian food and beverage business Lion holding around 10 per cent.

Bega is extending its offer to December 12, the day before Saputo's deadline.

 

How can bitcoin be anything but a passing fad, the NYT's Andrew Ross Sarkin asks:

Everyone’s talking about it. Richard Branson just began accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for flights on Virgin Galactic, which offers commercial spaceflights.

The Chinese website Baidu endorsed the currency, and lawmakers in Washington are holding hearings about it. Even Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, told senators in a letter that virtual currencies “may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.”

And then, of course, there is the sky-high march of the value of bitcoin. A year ago, bitcoin was worth a couple of bucks. Today bitcoin goes for $US800 each, depending on the day. And the value can swing by more than $US100 a day, if not more.

If it all feels a bit like a 1999-style craze, that’s because it is. Peter Leeds of the Penny Stock newsletter put it to me this way: “In a matter of months you won’t be hearing about it. It will go the same way of Paris Hilton. People will move on to the next thing.”

Skyhigh valuation ... Bitcoin over the past weeks.

Skyhigh valuation ... Bitcoin over the past weeks.

Real government policy - not the slogans tarted about in the election - is up for grabs, writes BusinessDay's Michael Pascoe.

Over the next several months so the good and the grubby alike have been putting their bids in. The early bird catches the minister.

Of course the most dedicated players - those with something to protect or wanting to get something to protect - are always at the game and were working on the government when it was the opposition. The process now though moves up a step and goes much further than the headline possibilities of commissions of audit and financial system reviews and specific Productivity Commission references. With numerous posts still unfilled amid the confusion of opposition becoming government, every vested interest and its lobbyist are offering their very best “advice” - along with shiploads of special pleading.

How open the possibilities are can be measured by the phrase “no plans”. Areas of “no plans” fill the vast space beyond the election's specific promises - theoretically uncharted territory, ripe for a cunning squatter to grab.

This is an accidental discovery made while searching for a specific quote about when the possibility of expanding the GST went from “no plans” to “no”, well, to “no until the states demand it”. Turns out you can have a lot of fun by Googling “SMH Joe Hockey no plans”. There are chortled-filled gems such as “No plans to cull the bureaucracy” back in May and sad passing betrayals of principle - after a brave moment questioning the family trust loophole in 2011, Joe had to clarify that “the Coalition has no plan to alter the tax treatment of trusts”.  No, Eddie Obeid didn't get to him - it was the Nationals and the conservative end of the Liberal Party who understood and protected a good tax lurk when they saw one.

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As regular readers of this blog have no doubt noticed, it's been a pretty quiet week (so far) on the market.

The one important bit of economic data coming up is the quarterly capex numbers on Thursday, which will also give a better idea of companies' investment plans, and if other sectors are filling the gap that mining is leaving.

Analysts predict total investment fell by an inflation-adjusted 1.2 per cent in the third quarter, from the previous quarter when it jumped 4 per cent.

The ABS survey was taken over October and November, just as business confidence got a big boost from the federal election result, but spending plans can be slow to change.

"A key uncertainty is whether non-mining business investment will pick up sufficiently to assist in the rebalancing of growth," says ANZ economist Dylan Eades.

"Despite the recent uplift in business confidence, we think that it's too early for this improvement to have been translated into an upgrade in non-mining business investment intentions."

Napoleon Perdis on his way to Myer.

Napoleon Perdis on his way to Myer.

Gerry Harvey's complaints about GST-free online shopping being ''totally unfair'' is pulling the usual number of comments (some funnier than others: "It's just not Christmas if Gerry's not whinging).

But while Harvey's online bashing has become fairly predictable, Myer boss Bernie Brookes and cosmetics supremo Napoleon Perdis have brought out the big PR guns in Melbourne today for their bricks-and-mortar venture. Literally.

Highly leveraged new home loans are on the rise, as the property market recovery gathered pace.

New figures show banks wrote $10.8 billion in loans with a loan-to-valuation ratio of 90 per cent or more in the September quarter – 14.1 per cent of all housing loan approvals.

This was a higher share than the June quarter, when loans with an LVR of 90 per cent or higher made up 13.5 per cent of approvals.

The rise in low-deposit lending was revealed in statistics on the $1.2 trillion mortgage market, published by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority today.

About 20 per cent of all new loans had an LVR between 80 and 90 per cent, and 40 per cent of new approvals had an LVR of 60 to 80 per cent, it said.

The rise in low-deposit lending comes amid a surge in house prices in the Sydney market in particular, as buyers competed fiercely to snap up properties.

Retail boss Gerry Harvey says the government should abolish the GST exemption on imported goods, adding his voice to a chorus of retailers rallying against the tax-free threshold on online purchases.

Speaking to shareholders at his company Harvey Norman's annual general meeting, Mr Harvey said although the company was not directly affected by the $1000 tax free exemption, it should be changed.

"This is totally unfair," he said. "It won't make any difference to us, but it is totally unfair."

He said that retail conditions remained some of the worst he had seen and that sales had not experienced a huge pick up since the election.

"Business overall is not bad, but it's not easy," he said. "I don't see how it's going to improve suddenly."

Shares in Harvey Norman are up 0.9 per cent to $3.25.

Read more

GST-free shopping is 'totally unfair', Gerry Harvey says.

GST-free shopping is 'totally unfair', Gerry Harvey says. Photo: Ben Rushton

Here's a quick glance around the region:

  • Japan: -0.7%
  • Shanghai: -0.1%
  • Hong Kong: +0.1%
  • Taiwan: +0.4%
  • South Korea: -0.3%
  • Singapore: -0.2%
  • New Zealand: -0.1%

More from the Woolies AGM, with chairman Ralph Waters urging investors to be patient about the retailer's loss making home improvement business, reiterating that Masters will eventually break even or make a profit in 2016.

Mr Waters said Woolworths and its joint venture partner Lowes were building the home improvement business from scratch, rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars buying an existing business.

"If we bought an existing business we'd have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in goodwill," he said.

"The cumulative losses of the first few years  represent the goodwill we'd have otherwise paid. " The losses were tax deductible.

The home improvement business lost $139 million in 2014 and is currently forecast to make similar losses this year before breaking even in 2016, five years after the first of about 150 stores opened.

The chief financial officer at Australia's biggest retailer Woolworths will step down after eleven years in the job.

Tom Pockett, who will retire next February, will be replaced by David Marr, who is currently the General Manager of Corporate Finance.

Woolworths says Mr Marr's appointment was the result of a succession planning process that started more than three years ago.

Chairman Ralph Waters described Mr Pockett as ''a fantastic asset to Woolworths''

Building products maker Brickworks says it is receiving more orders for materials as construction activity recovers.

The company on Tuesday said profitability improved in the three months to the end of September, primarily because of a better performance from its Austral bricks and masonry businesses.

''We are beginning to see signs of a more broad based recovery in building activity,'' managing director Lindsay Partridge said at the company's annual general meeting.

''This is reflected by increasing orders in most regions and divisions.''

Brickworks made a profit of $85 million in the 2012/13 financial year. Its shares were up 24 cents, or 1.8 per cent, at $13.76

Rio Tino has responded to reports that it has decided to close its alumina refinery at Gove.

''Rio Tinto is reviewing the status of its alumina refinery at Gove, with deteriorating market conditions amplifying the challenges of the current operating environment,'' the company said.

The company said plans to convert the alumina refinery to gas will no longer proceed, and it is now considering future options around the alumina refinery.

''Despite considerable efforts to improve the refinery's performance, continuing low alumina prices, a high exchange rate and substantial after-tax losses for the refinery are key factors under consideration.''

The company said there will be no change to refinery operations until a decision on the future of the facility has been made.

Unions are seeking an urgent meeting with the federal and Northern Territory governments. About 1500 workers are employed at the Gove refinery.

Markets around the region are opening lower as investors turn cautious after the recent run of strong gains, with both Japan's Nikkei and Korea's Kospi down 0.6 per cent.

‘‘People have become a little bit blasé about the risks and that’s creating an environment where we are a little too stretched,’’ says Angus Gluskie, a fund manager at White Funds Management. ‘‘The market is ready for a technical pullback and we have taken some money off the table. We are now cautious.’’

The dollar is trading within a whisker of a five-year low against its New Zealand counterpart amid prospects that monetary policy will diverge in the two countries.

The dollar is trading at $NZ1.1152 from yesterday, slightly higher than yesterday when it touched $NZ1.1125, the lowest since October 2008. It rose 0.3 per cent to 91.89 US cents, following a four-day, 2.9 per cent decline.

The Aussie halted a four-day slide versus the US dollar after Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said the bar for intervention is high. The currency dropped last week after RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said he was ‘‘open- minded’’ about intervention.

‘‘The next move in New Zealand is likely to be a hike, probably early next year, and I think we’ll find out in February next year whether the RBA is going to cut,’’ says CBA currency strategist  Joseph Capurso. ‘‘These levels are quite low for Aussie-kiwi. I think it’ll struggle to stay significantly below NZ$1.10.’’

Oil prices have recovered from the previous session's slide as traders question how quickly the Iranian nuclear accord could translate into higher supplies.

US crude prices have added 0.4 per cent to above $US94.40 a barrel, recouping some of the previous session's decline following a weekend deal between the West and Tehran to halt Iran's most sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for some relief from crippling sanctions.

"The interim six-month 'freeze' agreement just reached on Iran's nuclear programme should not have any impact on oil prices, aside from short-term sentiment, because core sanctions on oil and banking have not been touched," Societe Generale said in a note.

  • We see a greater than 50 per cent chance that a comprehensive agreement will be successfully reached within six months.
  • If and when that happens, it could take Iran three to nine months to recover the one million barrels per day in production lost since 2011.

Australia’s share market has underperformed when compared to its US and European counterparts, but while it looks expensive it should stay supported, says Deutsche Bank strategist Tim Baker.

  • Compared with major regions, Australia’s price-to-earnings ratio is on the high side. The PEs on 1-year forward and on trailing earnings of 15.3 and 22.4 are above long-run averages (by 7 per cent & 18 per cent, respectively). But the ‘cyclically-adjusted’ PE (using 10-year trailing earnings) is 5 per cent below the 50-year average.
  • We see scope for the market to remain supported relative to offshore, for two key reasons. Firstly, cyclical stocks are arguably under-earning, as suggested by their low share of market cap. Resources and cyclical industrials together account for 37 per cent of the market, compared to the 10-year average of 44 per cent. A normalisation of earnings in time should lift this ratio, and investors may be willing to look ahead and pay a higher near-term multiple than normal.
  • The second reason is that Australia is likely to enjoy solid support from fund flows. Both superannuation funds and households hold a significantly underweight position in Australian listed equities. And super funds are receiving robust inflows, a reasonable portion of which is likely to arrive in equities.

Unions are seeking an urgent meeting with the federal and Northern Territory governments over the reported wind-down of Rio Tinto’s Gove alumina refinery.

The Australian newspaper reported today a decision could be made as early as this week on the future of the refinery’s 1500 workers.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes has written to federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and NT Chief Minister Adam Giles seeking urgent action to keep the refinery open.

‘‘A solution can and must be found to keep this site open. It simply defies logic that we would allow 1500 jobs to be shed,’’ Howes said in a statement. ‘‘We are seeking an urgent meeting with both Ian Macfarlane and Adam Giles. We must not allow this site to go under because of a failure of political imagination. The Gove alumina refinery is simply too big to fail.’’

The push by the Soul Pattinson-backed New Hope Corp has succeeded in forcing a board spill at Dart Energy, thanks to winning the backing of a key UK investor for the putsch.

Before the start of the Dart Energy annual meeting this morning, four targeted directors of Dart resigned, ahead of a shareholder vote.

New Hope put forward four nominees for the Dart board - New Hope managing director Rob Neale, Stephen Lonie, Peter Forbes and Cam Rathie - arguing it had ‘‘lost confidence’’ in the Dart board.

These four have replaced Nicholas Davies, Stephen Bizzell, Simon Poldevin and Norrie Stanley who resigned from the Dart board this morning.

It is believed New Hope had the backing of UK investor Greenpark, which gave it control of an estimated block of 35 per cent of Dart’s capital.

Dart Energy shares are flat at 11.5 cents.

Australians will be able to buy their Christmas presents online from overseas stores this year without having to pay GST, but next year it may be a different story.

State and federal treasurers will consider options for lowering the GST-free threshold when they meet on Wednesday to receive a report from the Commonwealth Treasury on the issue.

But Commonwealth sources say no action will be taken on the report at the meeting and the matter will be deferred until the next treasurers' meeting, in the first half of next year.

The National Retail Association has lodged a submission with the Commission of Audit calling for shoppers to be charged GST on overseas purchases worth more than $20.

Read more

Michael Harte, the CBA's chief information officer.

Michael Harte, the CBA's chief information officer. Photo: Ian Waldie

Italy plans to buy back an island off the coast of Sardinia just weeks after it was sold to a senior employee of the Commonwealth Bank.

The tiny island of Budelli, which is famous for its pink sandy beaches, was bought last month for €2.94 million ($4.34 million) by Michael Harte, who is the CBA's chief information officer.

BusinessDay reported this month that Harte had recently secured a $3.56 million loan from the bank.

When he bought the island Harte, a 47-year-old New Zealander, said that he was a committed conservationist and would ensure that the island remained pristine, but on Monday the Italian government made a move to acquire the outcrop of granite back.

The Senate in Rome passed a special dispensation to allow the state to buy back the island, which is part of the Maddalena archipelago of islands between Sardinia and Corsica.

The government now has until January 8 - 90 days after the island was sold at auction - to decide whether to claim Budelli back for its original asking price under a deal in which Harte would be reimbursed.

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The big miners are down 0.6 per cent (BHP) and 0.9 per cent (Rio), while the big four banks are mostly higher:

  • ANZ: +0.3%
  • CBA: +0.4%
  • NAB: -0.1%
  • Westpac: +0.8%

Here are the biggest winners and losers in the top 200:

Top winners and losers this morning

Top winners and losers this morning

The stock market has opened flat to slightly higher, following a mostly unchanged end to Wall Street's overnight session.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index is up 4.5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5357.3, while the broader All Ords has gained 5.1 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5351.2.

Gains in financials (+0.2%), consumer staples (+0.4%) and gold (+1.7%) are outweighing losses in the materials sector (-0.6%).

And another sales update: Mayne Pharma has posted $45 million in revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2014, indicating full year revenues are running at $135 million.

Revenues in the first four months are up 230 per cent, shareholders were told at today's annual general meeting, boosted by the acquisition earlier of US company Metrics Inc along with a lift in sales of its in-house developed drug Doryx. No indication of earnings was given at the meeting.

In the year to June, Mayne Pharma posted revenues of $85 million, reflecting an initial contribution from the Metrics purchase.

Domestically, Mayne Pharma has the rights to sell 12 products, up from eight in fiscal 2012, it said, with plans in hand to double the number of products on the market.

Gaming machine maker Aristocrat Leisure has lifted its full year profit almost 17 per cent despite a slide in revenue.

The company made a net profit of $107 million for the 12 months to September 30, up from $91.7 million for the same period last year.

Aristocrat said strong growth from its North American business and an increase in selling price contributed to the result. Revenue fell 3.4 per cent to $808.7 million, due to fewer scheduled games releases in Japan.

A flat day is in store for Australian stocks with an absence of market moving headlines and with Wall Street ending largely unchanged overnight, Rivkin global analyst Tim Radford says:

  • In general this will likely be a rather quiet week for markets given it’s a holiday shortened trading week in the US for Thanksgiving on Thursday.
  • A lack of headline risk, company earnings releases and any major economic data releases will likely see the market track sideways in the near-term. Although the market does look overbought, it would be very positive to see U.S. equities track sideways for a little while.
  • The S&P/ASX 200 index will likely remain in a trading range between 5250 and 5450 for the next few sessions. Evidence of late session selling yesterday highlights there is not enough buying momentum or interest to push the broader equity market to new 52 week highs at the moment.
  • A sign we could soon see higher levels for the ASX however is that Aussie banks look to be setting up for another move higher, with post ex-dividend selling pressure drying up.

But the RBA deputy governor's speech this morning was actually more about enhancing productivity, with Lowe saying businesses need to boost efficiency to maintain growth in living standards and could use engineers freed up from mining construction to build more infrastructure.

‘‘We can no longer depend on a rising terms of trade and favourable demographics to make us richer,’’ he said.

‘‘If this lift in productivity growth does not take place, then we will need to adjust to some combination of slower growth in real wages, slower growth in profits, smaller gains in asset prices and slower growth in government revenues and services – in short, slower growth in our average living standard.’’

Lowe’s comments echo Treasury’s top economic forecaster David Gruen, who said Australia should brace for the weakest income growth in half a century in the coming 10 years.

Gruen said last week that to maintain recent income growth levels would require labour productivity growth to average 3.2 per cent a year for a decade - something never achieved before.

The next RBA official has weighed into the dollar debate using the i-word: 

RBA deputy governor Philip Lowe says he expects to see a lower Australian dollar over time and reiterated the central bank would not rule direct intervention in or out.

"We don't rule intervention in or out, that has been a long-standing practice," Lowe told a conference in Sydney, adding the threshold for intervention is high.

This follows a speech by RBA chief Glenn Stevens on the dollar last week, where the governor also said he wouldn't rule out intervention.

The use of the i-word immediately put pressure on the dollar, taking it from around 94 US cents to below 92 US cents, where it's currently hovering.

On Wall Street, the Dow eked out a slim gain overnight to end at another record high, after the Nasdaq topped 4000 for the first time in 13 years and then slipped to close below that level.

Wal-Mart Stores shares rose 0.8 per cent to close at $US80.43, off an all-time intraday high of $US80.57 after the world's largest retailer said it has chosen its next chief executive. The stock was among the Dow's best performers.

Energy stocks slipped following a deal to reduce sanctions on oil producer Iran. The S&P energy sector index fell 0.8 per cent.

Volume is expected to remain low this week, ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

"Retailers are taking focus this week. Black Friday is coming up, so there will be obviously some positioning ahead," said Dennis Dick, proprietary trader at Bright Trading in Las Vegas, referring to the hectic day just after Thanksgiving that's regarded as the start of the holiday shopping season.

Ansell has agreed to buy US gloves maker BarrierSafe Solutions International for about $US615 million, a move to expand its position in the hand protection market in North America.

Ansell, the world's largest gloves maker and a maker of condoms, said in a statement that it was buying BarrierSafe, a leading North American provider of single-use gloves, from private equity investor Odyssey Investment Partners.

Ansell expected the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings in the low-single digit percentage growth for the fiscal 2014 year and in the mid-single digit percentage growth for 2015, excluding one-off costs.

The acquisition, subject to US anti-trust and customary regulations, will be funded by a committed debt facility of $US300 million, new equity raising and a non-underwritten share purchase plan, the company said.

Ansell's shares closed at $19.46 on Monday.

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Sort comments by:
  • Excuse me, what happened 10 minutes before the closing bell? Market manipulation at its best. Where is the ACCC? Asleep at every turn!

    Commenter
    panda
    Location
    perth
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 4:17PM
  • sorry but who is Napoleon Perdis??

    Commenter
    Genghis
    Location
    Lounge
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 4:17PM
  • 1:34pm: Retail boss Gerry Harvey .... I like his laconic style. Shave his head give him pointy ears and voila, Yoda. Wise and wizen Gerry has a point. While I do buy from overseas I object to Amazon etc taking our cash and contributing zero. These new types of internet companies are trying to undercut the world shopping chains who pay taxes and rates. There needs to be a balance. Oh the prices There are far too many players in the field on skinny margins.

    Commenter
    bearly gruntled
    Location
    land of hot air
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 4:15PM
    • medium to long term, no.
      short term, yes. Note stocks in down trend also rise...yeah?
      5 eager buyers (fear of missing out?) v 100 sellers on a given day = price rise.
      long term (5 v 100) = price decrease.
      not a buy for me yet...but ive been wrong a million times b4.
      we'll see my friend.
      good luck

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:05PM
  • Tony Windsor? Oh now I remember, he was part of the ALP/Green coalition's new paradigm, a 3 year hiatus for the lucky country!

    Commenter
    Captor
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 3:57PM
  • Banks are still making huge profits, nothing's changed! Watch them soar toward Xmas in the greatest Santa Claus rally we have ever seen on the ASX.

    Commenter
    bearly_there
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 3:45PM
    • And why do you read our comments then?

      Commenter
      FutureInvestor
      Location
      CBD
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:41PM
    • Pretty silly set of assumptions - especially the last one. Tony Abbott may well 'run the country' better than you or me, but that of course, is not the point. The real issue is whether or not the current Govt is superior to the Labour alternative.

      Commenter
      Yin or yang
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:41PM
    • What!!! This reminds me of a well known model's comment that you shouldn't read a book you haven't written

      Commenter
      BTFD
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Because there's no 'correct' level for the cash rate. High cash rates favour some sectors, low cash rates favour others. It all depends who the RBA and their masters want to favour.

      Gerry Harvey hasn't run a successful retail company since Australia joined the global, online market. He's not interested in Australia or Australians - he just wants to change the rules so his model can be successful.

      And the person who gets elected isn't necessarily the best at running the country - it's all about politics. Many people who would make fantastic leaders are terrible politicians, and would never rise to power in a democracy.

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:33PM
    • Oh that's easy:

      1. Because asset prices, commodity prices, currencies etc go up and down in value. I make money out of that fact instead of getting upset whether some random places a long or short investment. Also, your rants about Fairfax reporting on LEI and other recent examples of your comments suggest you are not.. hm.. how can I put this.. even keeled?

      2. The US Fed and RBA have been wrong to have set ridiculously low interest rates for such a long time. Ridiculously low interest rates caused GFC and continued low interest rates have maintained and in some cases worsened asset price bubbles. That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

      3. No one is disputing how profitable it has been historically ripping Australian consumers off by building businesses based on charging Australian consumers twice the price for the same goods consumers in North America, Europe and Asia pay. Although, many people now believe the internet is now bringing this model under extreme pressure.

      4. Because I hate politics and have contempt for the masses. Why would I waste my life entering politics and being manipulative to manage the approval of the masses who are often so contemptuous in their character and actions.

      Commenter
      Gordon Akman
      Location
      Broadbeach
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:24PM
    • I agree with you @Andrew137. The reason I sold my Encyclopaedia many years ago is that we didn't need it because the ex missus new everything!

      Commenter
      Captor
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:21PM
    • @Andrew137....I'm not so sure people think they can do it better; they are more questioning the ethics, the self interest. There is always more to things than meets the eye. You should start critically analysing and stop trusting people so freely. In business and politics there is almost always an ulterior motive and in Australia where the voters are so distracted it's running rampant.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:20PM
  • Anyone know where I can get my hands on a nice island?

    Commenter
    Bobby C
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 3:20PM
    • you must be loaded, to have all that money and choose to spend your time on the comments section of a news website. Good luck with the island, theres one between Japan and China available

      Commenter
      Jack
      Location
      Preston
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:01PM
    • Nice one north of Tasmania going cheap, thanks to 6 years of fiscal mismanagement!

      Commenter
      Captor
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:01PM
    • Andrew. I'm convinced most of those people don't know what they're doing and you questioning others questioning them is a bit weird. Save G.H...Do you seriously think the rest are doing an even okay job? The RBA and Abbott lowered rates and have allowed, even encouraged an even bigger housing bubble than what was already there. That will cost Australia. Not the banks, not Abbott, nor the hocked investors. They'll be bailed out. Look at my comment re RBA incomes...No, they don't know what they're doing.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:15PM
  • RE - Gonski. Electricity Bill said Christopher Pyne is looking for every excuse under the "book" - I think he meant sun or maybe in the book. Poor little fella is rattled!

    ps - it is one thing to have these 'Rolls Royce" packages, but they have to be paid for. I would like to trade my vehicle in for a Roller too, but who is going to help me pay for it!

    Commenter
    Captor
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 3:11PM
    • @Captor, Don't like any of them, but I dislike most is the pollies pension. What are you going to say about that. Also don't like pollies snout in the trough, when are you going to to criticise about that.

      Commenter
      Bank Bank
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:02PM
    • Fair enough,but doesn't a rising price indicate sellers are dropping and buyers are coming back in?

      Commenter
      Chumlee
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:10PM
  • Has correction in Iron Ore producers started? Is it a good time to go short on the like of FMG, MGX and ARI? Over the past couple weeks they have been struggling to go up. Any views?

    Commenter
    Not Happy
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 3:06PM
    • They're overbought at the moment (all with RSI over 60, some over 70), but should continue to go up over the medium term. Can't wait for the correction to accumulate some...

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:43PM
    • You'd need a solid fall in the iron price. Whilst the analysts predict this and it may well happen in the medium term - I cant see it anytime soon, IMO.

      Commenter
      Yin or yang
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:06PM
  • Personally I think today (yesterday in reality) is the last day to buy the banks at discounted prices before xmas!

    Commenter
    Captor
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:58PM
    • why captor?

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:13PM
    • We have had our little correction and the ASX will go up because of the retailers xmas hit and it (the index) won't go anywhere without the banks!

      Commenter
      Captor
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:43PM
  • I have stopped reading Pascoe's biased rants!

    Commenter
    Captor
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:53PM
  • "Australia running out of income growth options".....RBA Phil Lowe.....These people were all talking the economy up not so long ago....Why the change? Australia in a depression within a decade....Never to recover because all of government and business run on a vested interest system and voters have no idea of what's going on. Our prosperity is well behind us. Well done Australia, you've squandered the whole lot.

    Commenter
    JohnBB
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:45PM
    • y can't we be in a tech. recession @ sept. next year?

      Commenter
      mushroom
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:07PM
  • I'm surprised anyone here even has a subscription to SMH. If markets are as doomed as you all say they are, why do you bother reading the news? If you know more than the RBA on what level out cash rate should be, why do you bother reading their minutes? If you know how to run a successful retail company better than Gerry Harvey, why bother reading his comments? And finally, if you can run the country better than Tony Abbott, why aren't you the PM?

    Commenter
    Andrew137
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:44PM
    • Andrew. I'm convinced most of those people don't know what they're doing and you questioning others questioning them is a bit weird. Save G.H...Do you seriously think the rest are doing an even okay job? The RBA and Abbott lowered rates and have allowed, even encouraged an even bigger housing bubble than what was already there. That will cost Australia. Not the banks, not Abbott, nor the hocked investors. They'll be bailed out. Look at my comment re RBA incomes...No, they don't know what they're doing.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:15PM
    • @Andrew137....I'm not so sure people think they can do it better; they are more questioning the ethics, the self interest. There is always more to things than meets the eye. You should start critically analysing and stop trusting people so freely. In business and politics there is almost always an ulterior motive and in Australia where the voters are so distracted it's running rampant.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:20PM
    • I agree with you @Andrew137. The reason I sold my Encyclopaedia many years ago is that we didn't need it because the ex missus new everything!

      Commenter
      Captor
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:21PM
    • Oh that's easy:

      1. Because asset prices, commodity prices, currencies etc go up and down in value. I make money out of that fact instead of getting upset whether some random places a long or short investment. Also, your rants about Fairfax reporting on LEI and other recent examples of your comments suggest you are not.. hm.. how can I put this.. even keeled?

      2. The US Fed and RBA have been wrong to have set ridiculously low interest rates for such a long time. Ridiculously low interest rates caused GFC and continued low interest rates have maintained and in some cases worsened asset price bubbles. That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

      3. No one is disputing how profitable it has been historically ripping Australian consumers off by building businesses based on charging Australian consumers twice the price for the same goods consumers in North America, Europe and Asia pay. Although, many people now believe the internet is now bringing this model under extreme pressure.

      4. Because I hate politics and have contempt for the masses. Why would I waste my life entering politics and being manipulative to manage the approval of the masses who are often so contemptuous in their character and actions.

      Commenter
      Gordon Akman
      Location
      Broadbeach
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:24PM
    • Because there's no 'correct' level for the cash rate. High cash rates favour some sectors, low cash rates favour others. It all depends who the RBA and their masters want to favour.

      Gerry Harvey hasn't run a successful retail company since Australia joined the global, online market. He's not interested in Australia or Australians - he just wants to change the rules so his model can be successful.

      And the person who gets elected isn't necessarily the best at running the country - it's all about politics. Many people who would make fantastic leaders are terrible politicians, and would never rise to power in a democracy.

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:33PM
    • What!!! This reminds me of a well known model's comment that you shouldn't read a book you haven't written

      Commenter
      BTFD
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Pretty silly set of assumptions - especially the last one. Tony Abbott may well 'run the country' better than you or me, but that of course, is not the point. The real issue is whether or not the current Govt is superior to the Labour alternative.

      Commenter
      Yin or yang
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:41PM
    • And why do you read our comments then?

      Commenter
      FutureInvestor
      Location
      CBD
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:41PM
  • Business confidence can only improve if the opposition stop majoring in minors and learn that you don't encourage economic development by imposing great big new taxes! They need to get out of the way and let the Government do what is was elected to do. Real jobs are the only way to grow, not temporary jobs created by handouts!

    Commenter
    Captor
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:41PM
  • How come when I "shop" the price of consumer goods online they are half the price or less than in Australian shopping centres? Is the GST 10% of 100%? I'm confused...

    Commenter
    Charles Adrien Wettach
    Location
    Australia
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:37PM
    • Online stores have significantly reduced operating costs, as I'm sure you are aware.
      No retail staff or premises, paying a fraction of the labour costs overseas for warehouse staff, etc etc.
      Not rocket science, but do you really want all "real" retail to go broke?

      Commenter
      Irish Phil
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:54PM
    • I wouldn't shed a tear if a few, or a lot, of them went broke. It's an outdated business model for the internet age.

      Decades of working in an isolated economy led them to believe large profit margins were 'normal', unlike in the rest of the world. This, in turn, caused commercial property to be overvalued, leading landlords to increase rents to ridiculous levels to pay for their inflated properties, and caused international parent companies to price-gouge Australia, to take their 'cut' of the huge retail profits.

      The internet has changed all that - it's now a global marketplace, and you can't sell the same product for different prices in different parts of the same market. Consumers will just buy from someone else.

      Until commercial property values and rents fall back in line with international norms and global parent companies stop gouging Australian distributors, retail in this country is a lost cause.

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:22PM
    • One of the biggest issues retailers in Oz face is that overseas suppliers charge them more for the same products. As an example Woolies was buying products like shampoo and toothpaste from retailers in Asia, rather than from the manufacturer, because it was cheaper.
      Yes, for years they have been ripping consumers off with higher prices, but it's not totally them to blame.
      Just look at how Microsoft, Adobe and Apple rip Australian consumers off on digital products.

      Commenter
      Kingly
      Location
      Oz
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:32PM
    • I'm a consumer. What leads you to believe it is my responsibility to support the Lowy family, to support shop keepers who have over-paid on their lease agreements, to support business people who continue with outdated business models in 2013?

      Go into a Kmart in Australia or a Walmart in the US. They have adapted. They now sell products at price points that online retailers can't beat them on price.

      I'm a consumer. It's not my job to negotiate supplier agreements for Australian retailers. It's not my job to negotiate shop leases that form part of a sound business plan for them. It is not my job to develop a successful business plan for them, run their operations, then adapt and evolve their business plan and business operations into the future to ensure the success of their business.

      Commenter
      Charles Adrien Wettach
      Location
      Australia
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:39PM
  • Romanian and Chinese officials signed various deals to co-operate in nuclear and thermoelectric energy projects.

    http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=928122

    Keep digging boys!

    Commenter
    Wwwish Lion
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:34PM
    • Oh yes, been there earlier in the year, drove past the energy nuclear plant on the way to the Black Sea resorts...impressive. Romanians are smart, plenty of wind power generators also, so many of them, state of the art in energy generation. Good on them...smarty pants.

      Commenter
      Mack
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:51PM
  • Further to my post yesterday re a 2m optical cable I ordered from ebay. Ordered Sunday, arrived today, $2.50 postage inc. The postage on the envelope was $1.20.

    Therefore the guestimate cost to make is @ 75c. Cost at jb hi fi. $39.95.

    GST on overseas purchases is going to make marginal difference and any increase in revenue will be negated by collection costs.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:23PM
    • It won't make any difference. I just buy stuff from the US because it's half the price or less. I have it sent (usually for free) to my US postal address. When my various purchases arrive at my US postal address I receive an email. I then organise them to be put in one big box/package and posted to me in Australia all with a few clicks of the mouse and strokes of the keyboard.

      I like your example about the HDMI/optical cable. That's one of the more extreme pricing discrepancies. It's also not just from overseas retailers. I bought an ear phone splitter off eBay the other week off an Australian retailer/eBayer for $1.95 delivered. Why would I buy the same thing off Jaycar for $3.95? It's not a few products. The price discrepancies on most consumer products in Australia are laughable. As more Australian consumers buy off price leaders, it sure makes the rip off merchants very angry indeed.

      Commenter
      Achille Zavatta
      Location
      Australia
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:57PM
  • @ Gerry Harvey,
    Whatever makes retailers like you struggle to make profit, is FAIR. This will make you feel you are operating in international maket rather than a small market like OZ. It is actually good for you in couple of years time.

    Commenter
    Not Happy
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:04PM
    • Charging one vendor GST on their goods and not charging another one purely based on the fact that location is different - that is not fair. That is creating a market that is more supportive of international imports rather than local businesses. This is the thing with Australia, we are the only ones playing the "free trade" game by the rules and claiming that everyone will benefit. Well guess what? It is actually very counter productive for us if we're the only ones doing it. (look at our tariffs on agriculture and manufacturing v rest of the developed world)

      Commenter
      Andrew137
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:19PM
    • Adding to that, don't get me wrong. If you are uncompetitive, you should suffer at the hands of efficient competition. But I think you'll find that some of the businesses that are killing Australian industries are just as inefficient yet they get a leg up based on the help they receive from their local governments vs the help Australian companies receive. That is not healthy for Australia at all.

      Commenter
      Andrew137
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:21PM
    • Yes, Andrew. Unfortunately, the issue does get clouded by the Aussie retailers whinging. Put them to one side, and the issue is clear, as you illustrate

      Commenter
      igroki
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:45PM
    • Similarly ANZ shifting large numbers of jobs to India is not fair either. Those employees don't have the same cost of living as employees here so can work for less.

      But just like the ceo's salary, as a shareholder you only care about your returns..

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:04PM
    • i'll get my violin out for you allan..

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:36PM
    • Sure, go ahead and charge GST on all imports. It's still not going to make anyone with an internet connection buy from local retailers at a 50-100% premium.

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:46PM
    • Why's that? I saved 94%.

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:16PM
  • Does any country in the developed world attempt to charge GST or equivalent tax on imported items under $1,000 or similar amount?

    Like most people, I am simply dumbfounded how these retail leaders think this will help their current situation, and for the government to even consider it seems absurd - I can't imagine how the economics of doing this will ever stack up - the cost (and opportunity cost for lost time) to implement this and collect on an ongoing basis compared to the GST revenue will surely be prohibitive?

    This is not even mentioning the fact that retailers are doing themselves no favours by continually telling Joe Public the internet is cheaper...

    Commenter
    WPHT
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 2:02PM
    • In answer to your first question - yes.

      Britain is roughly a $20 limit.

      To make it cost-effective, like most of the tax system, leave it to the individual company to report. It needn't be customs doing the work.

      A $1,000 limit allows OS companies to break any larger purchase into smaller components. Thereby making a limit silly in the first place.

      Commenter
      igroki
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:21PM
    • retailers should pay to police it
      GST enforcement levy

      OOh listen .crickets.

      Commenter
      mushy
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:33PM
    • umm. Well yes. UK and NZ for a start .
      Most of the EU if importing from outside the EU. I'll let you do your own research , but here's a tip . (Try importing Intrastate in the US of A.for example(
      I'm all for getting a bargain, but I suspect that a $200 level is probably going to happen . And for a 10% levy , it is a relatively simple tax to bring in. Then again so was an MRRT...

      Commenter
      do a bit of research
      Location
      Clareville
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:43PM
    • @igroki, now all I need is the assembly instructions for that top-of-the range laptop I bought the other day that arrived in a dozen packages.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:08PM
    • @Mitch Ha, yes

      Commenter
      igroki
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:40PM
    • @ do a bit of research

      Thanks for the tip ;) I realised after I posted that there are countries that impose these types of charges, so I guess shouldn't have made my initial comment quite as facetiously. My point was more around the fact that by removing the low value import threshold for GST collection, the government is bringing in a taxing point that will likely not even pay for it's own collection, and will likely simply increase the inefficiencies of importation on the whole (YAY FOR THE BRICKS AND MORTAR RETAILERS!).

      The threshold was originally $250, set in 1976! Today's value of that is well over $1,000...

      I am sick of the argument that overseas online retailers will kill bricks and mortar on the whole simply because they don't have wages, shop rent etc. If that's the case maybe they should invest more in their own online retail businesses... You don't hear Zara, H&M, Topshop, Apple etc. complaining. No, they made more efficient businesses, and continue to open more shops around the world.

      The fact is, this is just sad bleating from archaic retailers who can't keep up anymore, and think Australian's owe them something for all the years they served us (whilst lining their own pockets through inflated prices).

      Commenter
      WPHT
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:04PM
  • Add to MQG short 55.20. Gift.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 1:58PM
    • I'm sure you already know, but the SYD distribution is mid-December.

      Commenter
      igroki
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:22PM
    • ROFLMAO...
      you're already 10% in the red on this one. Add to that the distribution of SYD in december. (people will buy into that also) youre going to lose more cash.The smart money will buy mqg and short syd. Notice i did say smart though...

      Commenter
      gee up
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:36PM
    • as good a gift as your short when it was $50??

      Commenter
      gee up
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 4:08PM
  • @no banks...no party! Question for you...
    How high does WBC have to go above their low of $32.13 on 13/11,before you concede and buy back in?
    Remember,if you want to party....

    Commenter
    Chumlee
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 1:29PM
    • @chumlee
      "How high does WBC have to go above their low of $32.13 on 13/11" for me, this is an indication of nothing.
      i simply wait for buyers to come back in and for sellers to drop. So I'm not buying back in just yet.
      +ve signs for you today though.

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:44PM
  • So Abbott & Pyne are welshing on yet another election promise to keep the Gonski school funding model as being on a unity ticket with Labor. Instead they want to resurrect the school funding model used by Howard that favoured advantaged schools. With one Howard policy after another being resurrected, yesterday for example it was the question of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, you have to wonder when Work Choices will be dragged out of its cremation urn and given a new set of legs. That will make some on here happy as workers' wages and conditions are cut. Of course any cut to workers' spending power also cuts business turnover and profits and gov't taxation revenue from wages and profits. Downward pressure on share prices as if they needed any more pressure.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 1:04PM
    • Sure Mitch, we've heard it all before.

      Commenter
      Andrew137
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:19PM
    • Of course cuts to workers' wages also has the effect of increasing business profits, resulting in higher dividends and capital gains for every Australian with a super fund.
      Australian workers are overpaid compared to our productivity. Look at the car and manufacturing and retail industries - they aren't competitive, leading Ford to leave Australia and GM Holden and Toyota likely to follow. Australian gas and oil workers are the highest paid in the world, earning on average $160K a year.

      Australia needs to increase its productivity, if the Libs can do that, then good on them.
      And both parties (yes, even Labor Mitch) suck at keeping pre-election promises. That's pollies for you.

      Commenter
      Kingly
      Location
      Oz
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:31PM
    • Workers' wages and conditions are going to be cut anyway, Labor LP whoever. Australia can't afford any of this socialist garbage Gillard et al dreamt up. We're broke.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:33PM
    • And yet you still voted for them. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. My experience is that only with computers is that possible.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:43PM
    • Have we stopped the boats yet?

      Commenter
      Joe the POM
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:50PM
    • Your comment is ill informed and so far from being correct that it is laughable.

      Commenter
      Pierre
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:58PM
  • The Gove alumina refinery is simply too big to fail

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets-live/markets-live-stocks-run-out-of-puff-20131126-2y6l5.html#ixzz2liBpsSWX

    Where have we heard comments like this before, replace the word Gove with Ansett, Babcock and Brown, any more suggestions anyone.
    Some people never learn.
    I expect some people to be saying it about Newcrest Mining next.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Sunbury
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 12:44PM
    • Add to that Holden & Ford with their hands out for more taxpayers' cash. Is Rio joining that queue.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:45PM
    • @Kingly et al, dropping workers' wages CANNOT increase business profits, UNLESS that business is selling most of its product into overseas markets. A reduction in local spending power from reduced wages means businesses selling into the local market suffer a loss of turnover and profits with it. Yes Australian wages are high compared to some overseas markets but then so are our prices. If wages drop then prices have to drop o/wise people restrict their spending to their reduced cash flow and only buy the basics. The problem with business is they want lower wages without lower prices and profits. That's not going to happen.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:17PM
    • I don't know which fairyland you learnt economics in @Mitch, but cutting workers' wages is exactly what Holden is doing so it can keep going for a bit longer.
      Most Australian companies don't cut people's wages anyway, they just cut staff.
      The big miners are cutting workers by the thousands. So what would you prefer for most Australians, a lower wage or no job?
      You'd probably prefer the government to support un-economic businesses, so they can pay ridiculous wages to workers' to produce uncompetitive products.

      Commenter
      Kingly
      Location
      Oz
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:16PM
  • Does anyone have any opinions on EML? Seems like a good idea but would people actually use it.

    Commenter
    tim_71
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 11:33AM
    • I have worked on bringing a number of pre-paid products to market. They are ok as an add on product, but would not bet my money on it as a sole business, also a few players in the market already.
      I am also cautious to anyone trading with Cash Converters

      Commenter
      Wwwish Lion
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:52PM
    • Just to clarify re. Cash Converters: EML started a 3 month trial with 6 cash converter stores in October. It is not as though they have thrown a lot of eggs into the CCV basket.

      Commenter
      NSMR
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:33PM
  • So poor old CBA IT exec is losing his island, 10:38 and the market falls 18 points. This is a new one for the analysts.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Sunbury
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 11:23AM
  • Do retailers really think collecting GST on online purchases will save them? The local markup is so high that, even if GST were 25%, it would still be cheaper to buy online. The markup paid by local distributors to parent companies is too high, and retailers have no choice but to markup further due to ridiculous rents.

    Unless parent companies stop gouging Australia and rental prices fall to a reasonable level, brick-and-mortar retail is a dead sector in Australia. Moving to Australian-based online retail wouldn't help either, since parent companies like to gouge Australia and you'd still be better off buying from an overseas website. Shipping and parcel courier businesses, however...

    Commenter
    X
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 11:08AM
    • To put it another way, I don't buy online to avoid paying GST - most of my purchases are over $1000 anyway. I buy online because I can get it for half to two-thirds the price of what I'd have to pay here, usually with more options and only having to change the power cable - and, in many cases, I'll even get it more quickly that way than the six-week shipping time from Europe or wherever that I'd get from local retailers offering items which are 'available, but not in stock' (i.e. most of the store, for higher-end items)

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:22AM
    • I have always been in favour of paying GST on overseas goods (i am not a retailer) - this way the playing field is level and if our retailers cannot compete then so be it. Historically they had it easy but if the competition is now at a good level why should overseas companies effectively get the inside run.

      Commenter
      NSMR
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:33AM
    • X,

      Absolutely correct. For some reason, most distributors think the consumers here love lining their pockets. Car prices are the best example. There's always the excuse of the cost of doing business here (which would be true if the product being sold had a high service component).

      There are exceptions now (eg. Olympus digital cameras are cheapest in the world right here in Oz - good on them). And would you believe the Toyota 86 is also about the cheapest here than anywhere else on the planet! Great car too.

      Commenter
      Bud Fox
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:42AM
    • Of course if only the world was that simple. Amazon,Google,Microsoft and the list goes on avoid tax worldwide. Now if you are selling a product in Australia you have to account for 30 % tax plus PAYG etc etc.

      Just what amount of money do these American greed companies contribute to an Australian economy. Remember Nike and the slave labour??

      I am not a retailer and the world is cetainly changing but valid arguments only please.

      Commenter
      Harry Rogers
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 12:28PM
    • "Of course if only the world was that simple. Amazon,Google,Microsoft and the list goes on avoid tax worldwide. Now if you are selling a product in Australia you have to account for 30 % tax plus PAYG etc etc."

      None of that changes the basics - if I can get the same thing at a lower price, delivery included, by buying online (even with the GST), then I'm not going to buy it from a local retailer. That may or may not be the local retailer's fault - retailer markups are part of it, but ridiculous storefront and warehouse rents as well as huge parent company markups for Australian distributors (for whatever reason) also drive up local prices. But, regardless of the reason, if it costs me less to buy online or while travelling overseas, that's exactly what I'm going to do. And no number of excuses about high wages, cost of doing business, taxes, etc. is going to change that - only a price at which it's advantageous for me to buy locally.

      Local retailers will have to operate at a lower margin than they're used to. But that alone won't save them if parent companies don't lower their costs and rents don't go down. Maybe it really is more profitable for a parent company to service the Australian market via a foreign retailer than via local retailers. Bottom line is, if they can't manage to sell goods in Australia for the same price as they can sell them elsewhere, then retail in Australia is cactus.

      Commenter
      X
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:44PM
    • Obviously an understanding of economics and how business and wages work is not required for this discussion. Just uninformed meanderings.

      Commenter
      Harry Rogers
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:34PM
  • The reserve bank of australia have delusions when it comes to the aus dollar.In six weeks the united states gridlocked government starts a new round of disruption to kick the can down the road for a few more months and then more disruption.any dip in the dollar will be short lived as the aus dollars safe haven status climbs it up again,Time for a new reserve bank govenor!

    Commenter
    Peppa pig
    Location
    Sty near you.
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 10:41AM
    • I agree, the RBA, have done a woeful job of adjusting interest rates over the last five years or more,, too low,too high too fast,too high for too long,too slow to lower.....

      Commenter
      Chumlee
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:12AM
    • Even NZ realize trying to manipulate their exchange rate would be like going to war with a pea shooter.

      Aust wouldn't fare much better but there has been opinion the RBA should be printing A$, selling them and burning them after they buy them back. That way inflation doesn't hit the local economy. (USA method.)

      RBA seems to favor intervention over another rate drop to avoid (further) blowing up the (non) housing bubble. (99% of people think there's no bubble but 99%+ of economists and the RBA board didn't see the GFC coming either!)

      The odds are lower on deflation or stagflation. Inflation is at longer odds but if the EEC crank up their printing presses our A$ could really take off and give the RBA something to really think about.

      Commenter
      nolongerconfused
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:56AM
  • The tiny island of Budelli, which is famous for its pink sandy beaches, was bought last month for €2.94 million ($4.34 million) by Michael Harte, who is the CBA's chief information officer....good buy though!

    Commenter
    how idiotic
    Location
    how idiotic
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 10:41AM
    • Harte had recently secured a $3.56 million loan from the bank.......

      I wonder what interest rate he got - probably zero and he was waiting until his bonus hit the deck to pay it all off.

      Commenter
      NSMR
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 10:56AM
    • he obviously doesn't see any value in Aussie housing...

      Commenter
      worried33
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:05AM
    • We can clearly see where the mortgagee's money are going to...Italian islands....LOL...Amateurs.
      How happy I feel I have nothing to do with this rapacious bank, no account, no debts, nothing...

      Commenter
      Professional
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:09AM
    • Yes, a wise move and we support him; we welcome him in the familia...

      Commenter
      Godfather
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:14AM
    • Nice. That kind of chump change would only get your foot in the door here in the wonderful land of OZ. Hilarious!

      Commenter
      panda
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:14PM
    • Apparently the local Don was concerned for the reputation of his neighbourhood.

      Commenter
      Rev Jim Jones
      Location
      spot on worried & panda
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 3:41PM
  • ceiling 5375 floor 5335 not a lot of room to move....time to remove a wall,open a window.
    anyone on the goldies could be a good day.

    Commenter
    BearShapedBull
    Location
    Pamplona
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 10:28AM
  • Dear Eds,

    I occasionally drop by this blog out of interest and generally the comments here are entertaining and sometimes enlightening however will you please vet some of these comments before publishing them?

    Yesterday Allan posted a quote from an article that was more than six months old leading others to believe that the CEO of ANZ was currently clueless as to the direction of the AUD. It’s not the first time he has posted links to out-dated articles ... but it does diminish the credibility of this blog when irrelevant links are allowed to be posted.

    If in doubt, leave it out.

    ED: All comments are moderated but mainly to keep out offensive remarks or insults, which is why I shortened your comment. Usually we'd reject in whole any comment that has offensive parts to it, but you do raise a valid point. Why we don't reject links to outdated articles? Mainly because that's not offensive, we don't want to be all-controlling and we believe in an amount of self-regulation in this comments section.

    Commenter
    Try to keep up
    Location
    Al
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 10:25AM
    • He was clueless then and now he has a pay rise based on his performance over the last 12 months. The current plunge in the dollar is further proof. Simple really.

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 10:56AM
    • "leading others to believe"

      Who? What are their names?

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 10:58AM
    • I disagree, it shows that experts are often incorrect and as a contrarian it tells me which side on which to place my bets.

      Commenter
      worried33
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:07AM
    • IMHO, "outdated" articles may have value in that they may iluminate/disprove/expand on a particular subject and should be allowed to posted....regardless who posts them....

      Commenter
      mirage
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:09AM
    • Rare that I agree with Allan, but gotta agree with him posting that old article on this one.

      Just demonstrated how clueless these "analysts" are on predicting currencies. How many of us got caught out because we assumed the AUD would stay high based on all these predictions, and now that we need to buy or transfer assets overseas, now we're screwed.

      Commenter
      Tim L
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:18AM
    • It would be more useful if it wasn't always just a display of confirmation bias.

      Commenter
      TP
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:57AM
    • I agree with Alan. We need historical info to gauge how good or bad a call was !

      Commenter
      Sullys Foot is Down
      Location
      South Freo
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:07PM
    • Was that article 6 months old??
      Should have been caveated in his post, I assumed it was current.

      Commenter
      Irish Phil
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:17PM
    • Alan, the CEO of ANZ is responsible for producing profits. ANZ delivered exceptional profits. TBH, if I'm an ANZ shareholder, I don't care if he wrongly predicts the end of the world so long as I get my record dividends.

      Commenter
      Andrew137
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:18PM
    • The drover's dog can run a bank. Do these fat cat ceo's hand money back if they make a loss? No they pay themselves even more because they are operating in a difficult environment.

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:56PM
    • @ Try to keep up,
      Good point but I have learned not to take the comments on this blog seriously. I did notice the outdated article by Allan as well, but wasn't a big deal for me.

      Commenter
      Not Happy
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:57PM
    • The article Allan referred to yesterday, like most articles from news sites, was dated. It was dated 9 May 2011. What's wrong with posting that? Allan made the point that Mike Smith was wrong. Again, what is wrong with such a post in a free country?

      The only problem with this blog is what the ed has admitted in this reply; everyday there are worthless comments from primary school educated degenerates with massive chips on their shoulders who mindlessly troll Allan's comments. Why does the ed post the rubbish comments you do every day? They aren't witty. They aren't clever. They aren't funny. They are just a mindless bastardization of this blog.

      The quality of some of the comments that are published by the ed on here reflect very poorly on this blog and this publication.

      Commenter
      Gordon Akman
      Location
      Broadbeach
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 2:05PM
  • Anyone buying into None or Dicki Smiffy public offerings must be mad I tell ya.

    Dick Smith's is a busted retailing model, the owners have done nothing to update it, or the brand, and will lose money hand over first.

    Nine is also a busted model. What it provides that people cannot get for free elsewhere, they can't afford to make enough of in order to keep the people watching (cricket aside).

    The World of Internet TV is about to sink them below the water line.

    Commenter
    Joe the POM
    Location
    Geelong (I didn't vote for my new Mayor!!).
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 10:16AM
  • But maybe not the banks treading water! Perhaps a small show by a couple of them including which bank? Only a few minutes to find out and time will tell! Place your bets.

    Commenter
    Optimist
    Location
    Hmm
    Date and time
    November 26, 2013, 9:49AM
    • Those who got WBC yesterday at $32.50 did well. Unlikely to be this cheap for much longer .

      Commenter
      Chumlee
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 10:22AM
    • you're the man chumlee, but i disagree with your WBC forecast.
      I think the big 4 have further to drop.

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:03AM
    • Is this an American, European or Australian table? I would rather bet on European, more chances.

      Commenter
      0,00, 000
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:11AM
    • @chumlee.

      1st home owners have virtually given up hope of home ownership until inheritance day. Westpac are giving special div as they can't see how to make a decent return on the capital and have admitted cr growth will be difficult.

      I'd like to know your theory, will the new Fed govt will double, triple or quadruple the FHOG?

      Commenter
      nolongerconfused
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 11:45AM
    • Any increase in the FHOG just gets added to the cost of the house. Extra capacity to pay means you pay more, that's how markets work.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:23PM
    • FHOG increases the number of nit wits at an auction ...result? increase in property prices.

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      November 26, 2013, 1:41PM
Comments are now closed