20 Jul 2007
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This Week’s Contents
Slowly but surely a credit crunch is creeping across capital markets. It’s not a squeeze, more a constriction, not yet threatening, but it could end that way. The spiralling collapse in America’s subprime mortgage market and associated credit derivatives is the catalyst … read more
When does an economy reach the overheating stage? In a developed world economy like Australia, it would be an annual growth rate above five per cent, or maybe six per cent consistently for at least half a year, perhaps nine months. In real terms, meaning a nominal figure … read more
By the end of the day yesterday, some of the early enthusiasm for Macquarie Bank shares had been extinguished. The early strength on the bullish pre-annual meeting statement by CEO, Allan Moss, and chairman, David Clarke, drove the shares up $1.62 to a day’s high of $92.48 … read more
Unlike 2006 and its surprises, 2007 seems to be a much smoother year for the country’s second ranking oil and gas group, Woodside Petroleum. Even though earnings last year were solid, they could have been better with production problems on the Northwest Shelf and in West … read more
There’s a Federal election looming: later, rather than sooner, judging by the poor polls for the Howard Government. Normally, some people worry that the poll will be a disruption to the stockmarket, interest rates and the economy generally. But Dr Shane Oliver, the head … read more
Rio Tinto is probably looking at higher earnings after revealing that iron ore production rose to record levels to meet strong demand from steelmakers, especially in China. As well, higher production of refined copper and gold from the Grasberg Mine in West Papua puts … read more
The huge takeover made by Rio Tinto for Alcan re-rated several takeover candidates among Australia’s major miners, with the likes of Zinifex and Oxiana being top of the table in the eyes of many analysts, either merging or as separate targets. Both are, like Iluka and … read more
Yesterday, the Australian dollar was trading around 18-year highs for the second time so far this week, and you can imagine the pain and horror many mining companies feel as they watch the currency appreciate. All miners are going to feel the pain of a rise in the dollar … read more
More good news from major retailer, David Jones, with shareholders told of better than expected sales and earnings in the fourth quarter, second half and for the full year. On Tuesday, David Jones revealed the last two candidates on its short list for the preferred issuer … read more
Santos is not letting grass grow near any of its plans. The company is a hive of activity, no doubt stimulated by the impending completion of the review of the 15 per cent ownership cap by the South Australian Government. Earlier this week, it confirmed the completion … read more
Some of the corporate activity in the Australian mining sector is starting to resemble a soap opera with multiple plays, partners and companies popping up in different circumstances. There’s the old fashioned ‘knockout bid’ for Alcan by Rio which resembled a melodrama … read more
Boom Logistics hasn’t lived up to the first part of its name. The shares tanked yesterday, dropping by around 10 per cent on a profit downgrade that shouldn’t have really come as all that surprising. The downgrade was confirmation of a warning issued in early April that … read more
Once again the US bond market is signalling that investors are seeking quality amid a drift to uncertainty, and despite the optimism of Wall Street. Last Friday, with retail sales a little better than expected and once the numbers were dissected, the yield on the 10-year … read more
And now there are two, as retailer David Jones eliminates the fringe candidates on its beauty parade of potential issuing partners for its new branded credit card. The retailer said that Citigroup and American Express were the two final candidates for the face-off, with … read more
There’s been no improvement for uranium miner, Energy Resources of Australia, whose Northern Territory mining operations have been strangled by flooding since February-March, and look like continuing that way until next year. The company said in its second quarterly … read more
Swiss-owned fund manager, UBS, has paid dearly for the loss of high profile manager, Paul Fiani, and some of his workmates at its flagship Australian Share Fund, over the last few months. The loss of Fiani and other managers in recent months has been behind Standard & … read more
Djerriwarrh Investments, another of the investment companies associated with Goldman Sachs JBWere, has lifted net operating profit (excluding capital gains) 42.5 per cent to $54.9 million in the year to June. The company said yesterday that net profit (including realised … read more
Another strong day for the Australian and New Zealand dollars (see below for a report on the Kiwi), but for differing reasons. The currency closed in Sydney at 87.30 US and the Trade Weighted Index was at an all time high of 70.1. It hit a high in overseas trading of … read more
Meanwhile, stronger than expected inflation figures across the Tasman got the market in a tizzy yesterday and sent the Kiwi dollar to a new 22 year high. A week ago it was a 12.6 per cent rise in house prices in May, yesterday it was the strong rise in inflation. Now … read more
Santos continues to clean itself up as the South Australian Government ruminates about whether to lift the 15 per cent shareholding cap on the company. The oil and gas producer revealed yesterday that it has entered into agreements to sell its exploration and production … read more
The Australian dollar climbed over 87 US cents in US markets Friday night, so you can bet on the impact of the currency becoming an issue as we head towards the start of the 2007 annual results season early next month. The currency ended at 86.12 USc, after reaching above … read more
Far from the mid-year slump forecast in March and April, sugar is on the way up. For how long, no one is prepared to say. Some analysts are saying 11 to 12 USc/lb in the next couple of month, but then other analysts were forecasting a price around 8 USc/lb for July in … read more
Investors around the world have a lot to thank Rio Tinto for. The $A44 billion bid for Alcan, which looks like succeeding, changed sentiment in stock and credit markets late last week. The gloom flowing from the dodgy subprime lending and the financial derivatives supporting … read more
Rio Tinto has flagged that it is looking at selling some of its business units after it completed the $US38.1 ($44 billion) billion acquisition of Alcan. Naturally, that’s created some speculation that operations like diamonds may go, and even the industrial minerals … read more
Inflation and the US economy will be to the fore this week with the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, giving his half year, two days of testimony to the US Congress, the release of the producer and consumer price indexes, and an update on the state of the US housing … read more
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© Australasian Investment Review 2007
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