A message from Alan Clark

The following memo from SAB’s CEO Alan Clark has created a lot of fuss on Wednesday afternoon.

For example, here’s how the WSJ sees itRead more

Man without Webvan (updated)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From the FT:

Ocado has the benefit of being part of growing market. Online’s share of the grocery market will nearly double from almost 4 per cent in 2013 to 7 per cent by 2018, according to IGD. “We are preparing for a massive opportunity,” says Mr Steiner.

It is an opportunity that fellow co-founder Jason Gissing has chosen to skip. Mr Gissing will step down as the group’s commercial director later this year, but will retain his 3 per cent stake in the company.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

From RNSRead more

Boron Group Metals pricing update

Rio Tinto’s problems with its aluminium business are well documented.

But things could have been worse without all that warehousing shenanigans from Goldman et al. Read more

It started as a joke… and ended in a reverse ferret

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s deputy governor has been speaking on Thursday. Sadly there were no jokes but Philip Lowe did attempt to explain his boss’s side-splitting gag.


China, Australia and a very hard landing

Kevin Rudd 2.0 has been quick to highlight the dangers posed by slowing Chinese growth since he was returned as Australia’s prime minister.

For exampleRead more

Don’t try this at home – central banker edition

Central bankers can do many things but they should never, ever attempt humour.

To illustrate the point we present the price action in the Australian dollar on Wednesday. Read more

QE down under

Another day, another Aussie GDP downgrade.

From BofA Merrill Lynch: Read more

Don’t mention the R word

That’s recession and the merest hint of the word sends Australian policymakers in to paroxysms of anger.

For example, here’s David Gruen (the Treasury’s chief macroeconomist) speaking before a Senate hearing last week.

From the Sydney Morning HeraldRead more

The Aussie dollar – from south pacific peso to southern Swiss franc and back again

The pain goes on for the currency dubbed until recently the southern Swiss Franc

 Read more

Down, down, deeper and down

We are, of course, talking about the Australian dollar — now going head to head with the Syrian pound for the title of the world’s worst performing currency.

The latest drop follows a call from Pimco of even lower interest rates. Read more

Breaking up is hard to do – Rio Tinto edition

In the M&A hall of shame, Rio Tinto’s top-of-the-market $37bn acquisition of Alcan (in CASH) is right up there. In this century, at least.

It was a truly disastrous deal that nearly killed the Anglo-Australian mining company and its after-effects are being felt to this day. Just ask Tom Albanese. Read more

An unusual bear market

We are, of course, talking about iron ore which has slipped into bear market territory overnight (defined here as 20 per cent fall from a recent high).

 Read more

CEO GO – saying sorry the Bloomberg way

Message from the CEO of Bloomberg

Dear Client, Read more

The great Aussie bank share price bubble

Via UBS:

The Aussie banks are very good companies. They are profitable, resilient, well capitalised, well managed, shareholder focused and have a very strong industry and regulatory structure. However, following the significant leveraging of the Australian & NZ households over the last thirty years they are now low growth and remain heavily exposed to housing, funding markets & unemployment risk.

 Read more

Some (more) crushing news for goldbugs

No respite for gold producers in the southern hemisphere on Tuesday morning…

And no dead cat bounce splat for the gold price.

And to spell out why this is such an issue for the gold miners, we present the following thoughts from Citigroup. Read more

Iron pyrite – Australian edition

The biggest ASX fallers on Monday…

… all gold.

(yes, even PanAust)

 Read more

The best laid plans of miners and men

It was supposed to be one of the best trades of 2013 – buy mining stocks to get leveraged upside to the global economic turnaround. But as we approach the end of the first quarter, only one half of that equation is working. The world economy is recovering strongly but the big miners are being well and truly left behind – Australian Financial Review.

Yep, the miners as a ‘leveraged play on global growth” is not going exactly to plan: Read more

In Memoriam – Australia’s inverted yield curve

Remember Australia’s inverted yield curve in 2012?

 Read more

Xstrata 2.0 (or what Mick did next)

What now for Xstrata CEO Mick ‘The Miner’ Davis?

Bloomberg thinks it has the answerRead more

Rio and the $115bn capital return

Sam Walsh, the new Australian boss of Rio Tinto has probably never heard of Tony Pidgley, the chairman of upmarket UK housebuilder Berkeley Homes.

Which is a pity because Pidgley, adopted from Barnardo’s at the age of four by travellers, could give him some tips on how to run a cyclical business and maximise returns to shareholders. (Something, of course, his predecessor conspicuously failed to do). Read more

Indonesia is a foreign country…

… they do things differently there.

If you thought Nathan ‘the Innocent Abroad‘ Rothschild had been badly treated in Indonesia, spare a thought for shareholders of Intrepid MiningRead more

Australia’s $20 trillion oil find

Move over Gulf Keystone; there’s a new wannabe supermajor in town.

It’s a small Australian exploration and development company called Linc Energy – tagline ‘Fueling our Future’ – and according to some hysterical media reports down under it’s found oil worth $20 trillion. Read more

A message from Sam

The new Rio boss has a few nice words about his predecessor, followed by a flash of steel, in a letter to staff. And it’s about all you’re likely to hear from Walsh until annual results on Valentines Day. Read it after the jump:  Read more

Location, Location, Location

Time for some property porn.

It comes from the 2013 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey – a piece of work often quoted by bubble hunters and rubbished by the property bulls who babble on about flawed methodology. Read more

The Albanese years (updated)

A final word on Thursday’s defenestration of Rio boss Tom Albanense (via JP Morgan).

 Read more

Coming soon to the LSE… YorkDale Bank Plc

What’s this? A new publicly listed bank?

And before you ask, we are not talking about Metro Bank or those RBS branches ear-marked for sale being rolled up into some Aim-listed shell vehicle. Read more

Iron awe

Having tracked (with some glee) last year’s gut wrenching slide in the iron ore price…

… it’s high time we made a few observations on the recent dizzying ascent of the steel making commodity. Read more

Shock jocks and other media stories from Down Under

The price action in Southern Cross Media, the parent company of Sydney’s 2Day FM on Monday morning:

For non-Australia readers, it’s the station which did the royal prank callRead more

Meg and the HP Lynchmob

The accused speaks.

 Read more

Stevens and the RBA hold the line

So Glenn Stevens likes the nags after all.

Well, sort of.

For the first time since he took the helm of the RBA in 2006, the governor did not tinker with interest rates on Melbourne Cup day (a public holiday across parts of the country). Read more