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13 February
Comments Off on Hardware disaster continues to haunt Woolies

Hardware disaster continues to haunt Woolies

Woolworths’ disastrous foray into hardware continues to haunt the retail giant after law firm Maurice Blackburn revealed plans for a $100 million class action against Australia’s biggest supermarket chain.
Nanjing Night Net

Despite closing the doors on its loss-making Masters Home Improvement business last year, the proposed class action relates to alleged breaches of the Corporations Act dating back to Woolworths’ shock profit downgrade in early 2015 and attempts to stem big losses from its hardware operation.

By late 2014, analysts were reporting Woolworths was putting up margins at the supermarket chain, cutting staffing levels and leaning on suppliers in an attempt to make up burgeoning losses at its failed Masters Home Improvement chain and Big W.

Shopper backlash to price increases and a broader deterioration across the supermarket chain gained momentum between December 2014 and January 2015, eventually forcing the retailer’s management to cut its full-year earnings outlook in February 2015. Woolworths’ shares dived 13.7 per cent in the wake of the profit downgrade.

One analyst said Woolworths eventually confessed to being too focused on meeting short-term earnings targets but the insight came too late to prevent many shoppers abandoning the chain, creating an opening for Wesfarmers’ Coles business to exploit.

“They just kept on trying to meet earnings targets by going back to the milking cow that was the supermarkets business,” one analyst said.

The proposed class action could exceed $100 million, Maurice Blackburn said on Tuesday. It has opened a registration portal for shareholders to sign up to the claim.

While Maurice Blackburn’s investigation continues, the law firm alleged Woolworths knew that it was significantly behind its profit projections as early as October 2014 but continued to maintain its profit guidance until the publication of its half-year accounts in February 2015.

“When corporations don’t abide by the laws requiring they make timely and accurate market disclosures, these aren’t mere technical breaches – it causes loss to shareholders, undermines the integrity of the market and distorts the efficient allocation of capital that could go to more deserving companies,” Maurice Blackburn principal Andrew Watson said.

“The end result is that shareholders, both individual everyday Australians and large institutional investors entrusted with members’ savings such as large superannuation funds, unwittingly suffer the consequences and lose out in a major way.”

Fears the poor performance of Masters was hurting Woolworths’ core supermarket business surfaced after the supermarket chain reported soft first-quarter sales in late 2014, prompting a number of analysts to question whether the retail giant would meet its full-year net profit guidance.

In a research note from December 3, less than a week after Woolworths reaffirmed its full-year guidance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst David Errington slashed the earnings outlook for the retailer by 5 per cent for fiscal 2016 and 13 per cent for fiscal 2017.

Merrill Lynch forecast the 2015 full-year net profit after tax would grow by 4.5 per cent, at the bottom end of the retail giant’s guidance of between 4 and 7 per cent growth.

“The key reason for our earnings downgrade are our view of the continued deterioration of Woolworths’ non-supermarket business, notably Masters and Big W and the reduced ability in our view of Woolworths supermarkets to continue increasing margins,” Mr Errington said.

“In our view, continuing to drive margins higher in Australian supermarkets is seeing a loss in competitive position, leading to deteriorating sales and ultimately a fall in margins.”

Woolworths cut its full-year net profit after tax guidance to the “lower end” of analyst forecasts as part of its half-year results in February 2015.

The retailer’s 2015 full-year net profit before one-off costs inched up by just 0.1 per cent to $2.45 billion, while its full-year net profit slumped 12.5 per cent to $2.15 billion, thanks to big losses at the Masters chain.

IMF Bentham has proposed to fund the class action, which would deal with claims of alleged misleading or deceptive conduct and alleged breaches of continuous disclosure laws between November 27, 2014 and February 26, 2015.

Senior investment manager at IMF Bentham, Wayne Attrill, said like all shareholder class actions, it would proceed only if enough shareholders signed up.

“This is a chance for investors who believe they were deprived of information on the true state of affairs of the company standing up and being able to access a meaningful redress,” Mr Attrill said.

Woolworths on Tuesday said it had not been served with proceedings and would defend any action.

“Woolworths considers that it has, at all times, complied with its continuous disclosure obligations,” the company said in a statement.

The class action follows failed action against Woolworths by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

According to Maurice Blackburn, Woolworths said in its defence to the ACCC proceedings that it had forecast in October 2014 that there would be a variance in its gross profit before freight of $53 million.

The competition watchdog’s case was launched in December 2015 and related to the company’s dealings with suppliers to plug a profit shortfall after discovering a $50 million hole in its books. The Federal Court last year ruled the conduct towards suppliers was not unconscionable.

Australian Shareholders’ Association director Allan Goldin said he would watch the case closely. “If continuous disclosure didn’t happen, then we are obviously very concerned,” he said.

Class actions need seven or more people to run, but their financial viability depends on the size of shareholder losses.

Maurice Blackburn would not say whether any institutional shareholders were behind the action.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 February
Comments Off on Oroton CEO follows Rose Byrne out the door

Oroton CEO follows Rose Byrne out the door

Struggling boutique handbag retailer OrotonGroup has appointed its major shareholder as interim chief executive after its boss resigned fresh from a disappointing half-year result.
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Mark Newman, who has held the top job for four years, will be replaced temporarily by director Ross Lane, who is the company’s biggest shareholder with a 21 per cent stake.

Combined with fund manager Will Vicars, the pair own 38.5 per cent of the company, which has a market capitalisation of just $68 million.

The stock is not broadly covered by the market. A privatisation would depend on the major shareholders’ appetite for further investment. It’s understood Oroton has not been shopping its brands around.

Dean Fergie, director and portfolio manager at Cyan Investment Management, said Oroton’s recent first-year sales were “poor to say the least, with negative like-for-like sales and an earnings before interest and tax margin that halved.” Oroton also halted dividends.

Chairman John Schmoll said Mr Lane’s “intimate knowledge” of OrotonGroup and his “broad retail experience” meant he was “ideally qualified to lead the company during this important period of transition.” Mr Schmoll is a former chief financial officer of Coles Group.

In early trade, OrotonGroup shares closed up 1??, to $1.62.

Oroton recently blamed its disappointing first-half result – when net profit dived 52 per cent to $1.8 million for the six months ending January 28 – on its unprofitable GAP brand, unseasonable weather, “a structural change in shopping habits,” the exit of discontinued categories, lower factory outlet sales at Oroton, lower foot traffic and foreign exchange problems.

It is seeking to target a younger and broader customer, through using “influencers” to promote its products, putting more money into social media, and promotions such as its “Great Barrier Reef Collection.”

OrotonGroup recently dumped Bridesmaid actress Rose Byrne as its model, and paid $4.5 million for a 30 per cent stake in accessories brand The Daily Edited.???

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 February
Comments Off on Cbus offers affordable housing at Newmarket Randwick

Cbus offers affordable housing at Newmarket Randwick

Cbus Property has entered into an agreement with Randwick City Council to construct a minimum of 10 apartments for affordable housing on the site of the Newmarket Big Stable area, near Randwick Racecourse, which has been designated for community use.
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The plan to offer the more affordable units comes from negotiations with Randwick City Council for Cbus Property to dedicate the community facilities under a voluntary planning agreement.

Cbus, as part of the agreement, will also offer the council, what is known as the stable area, being a 5000-square-metre public park and six new roads. It is all part of the redevelopment of the William Inglis & Sons property, to be marketed as Newmarket Randwick.

The five-hectare Newmarket property in Randwick was sold to Cbus Property for $250 million in 2015, and there are plans to build more than 750 apartments on the site.

The Inglis group will move its headquarters to new premises at Warwick Farm, in Sydney’s west.

Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said the planning agreement was a “great step forward for its Newmarket Randwick project and the wider community”.

“Housing affordability is a significant issue in our society and we know how crucial it is for housing to be accessible for all so it was important for us to include these affordable housing apartments as part of this voluntary planning agreement,” he said.

“We have worked closely with council during the thorough planning and assessment process for our Stage 1 Masterplan DA to arrive at a development proposal that will create a new sustainable and sensitive redevelopment of this iconic property whilst retaining and celebrating its remarkable heritage.”

Cbus also plans to pay tribute to the past by including the restoration and adaptive reuse of Newmarket House and retention of historically significant vegetation on the site including Moreton Bay Fig, Norfolk Island Pine and Port Jackson Fig trees.

Newmarket Randwick will be developed in three stages, with completion expected in early 2021.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 February
Comments Off on Banks lift ASX to another high

Banks lift ASX to another high

The Australian sharemarket defied weak offshore leads and falling iron ore prices to push higher again on Tuesday, with strength in the major banks helping keep the benchmark index at its highest level since early 2015.
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The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 per cent to 5929.3, while the broader All Ordinaries Index added 0.3 per cent to 5964.6.

“The highlight was a bit of support for the banks, which have been toing and froing between believers and disbelievers for a while,” said Paterson’s Securities economist Tony Farnham.

The big four banks rose between 0.4 and 0.7 per cent, with the exception of Westpac, which soared 1.2 per cent. With all other sectors trading in the red or narrowly in the black, the financials sector as a whole made up almost all the index’s upward movement, rising 0.8 per cent as a whole.

Meanwhile, the materials sector was the major drag on the market, largely due to BHP Billiton giving up some of yesterday’s outsized gains. On Monday, BHP shares soared 4.6 per cent to their highest levels in two years after a hedge fund that owns 4.1 per cent of the company’s London-listed stock urged the board to separate its petroleum arm and collapse its dual listing.

On Tuesday, BHP shed 1.2 per cent, which Mr Farnham put down to “a bit of profit-taking after the run-up yesterday”.

Rio Tinto, however, closed up 2.0 per cent. Fortescue Metals dipped 1.5 per cent. Most gold miners were up, though Saracen Mineral Holdings plunged 4.2 per cent after informing the market its March quarter gold production fell short of guidance due to heavy rainfall.

Shares in Asaleo Care plunged 8.4 per cent, their biggest fall in 9 months, after a Credit Suisse note cut the toiletries manufacturer to ‘neutral’.

Ardent Leisure also had a bad day, down 1.0 per cent, after it revealed on Monday a 34.3 per cent fall in revenue at its parks due to the impact of Cyclone Debbie. UBS downgraded the stock on Tuesday, which may have played into its fall. ???

Woolworths was 0.7 per cent lower after news broke of a $100 million class action being brought against it by Maurice Blackburn over its shock 2015 profit downgrade. Wesfarmers was also dragged lower, closing down 0.3 per cent.

While market turnover was “reasonable” on Tuesday, “you’d expect to see it thinning out towards the end of the week because of the Easter holidays”.

Stock watch: Costa Group

Shares in horticultural company Costa Group hit an all-time high on Tuesday, soaring 7.1 per cent to $4.69, after Goldman Sachs lifted its price target for the stock. Goldman reiterated its ‘buy’ rating and raised its price target by 27 per cent to $5.10, saying Costa’s move into the avocado market last year and the positive outlook for blackberries will lift earnings. “The avocado market has experienced robust growth over the past decade. We expect steady volume and value growth driven by increased consumption and potential expansion into the export markets over the medium term,” the analysts write. Three analysts have a ‘buy’ rating on the stock and one a ‘hold’, with an average price target of $4.44, according to Bloomberg. Market movers

Coking Coal

Premium coking coal prices surged above $US300 a tonne as the damage from Cyclone Debbie continued to sideline Queensland coking coal exports. Aurizon’s share price surged 3.6 per cent on Tuesday as the first shipment of coal reached Gladstone port via Aurizon’s Blackwater rail line, which transports 15???20 per cent of cross border coking coal. But other lines remain damaged. Aurizon estimates it will take another four weeks to repair its Goonyella rail line, which transports 35???40 per cent of global coking coal exports.

Iron ore

Iron ore’s descent into bear-market territory may herald further weakness. Barclays pinned the blame for the slide on lower steel demand in China driving a shift from mills toward lower-quality ore, and raised the prospect of a drop into the $US50s. Ore with 62 per cent content in Qingdao fell 1 per cent to $US74.71 a tonne overnight, following a 6.8 per cent drop on Friday that pushed the commodity into a bear market from a February peak. Iron ore futures in Dalian are trading flat at 523 yuan


Short Aussie against the Loonie: that’s the way currency traders are playing the contrasting fortunes of two key commodities – iron ore and oil. While the price of the latter, Canada’s main export, has been boosted by Middle Eastern tensions, iron ore has dropped into a bear market. The Australian dollar dropped below parity against the Canadian dollar on Monday night for the first time in two months, and was fetching 99.95 Canadian cents. in late trade on Tuesday, having declined 2.2 per cent in the past two weeks.

NAB survey

Business conditions jumped in March to highs not seen since before the global financial crisis with sales, profits and employment all at levels that bode well for a pick up in economic growth in coming months. NAB’s monthly survey of more than 400 firms showed its index of business conditions climbed 6 points to +14 in March, well above the long-run average of +5. The survey’s measure of business confidence, however, dipped a point to +6 which was in line with its long-run average. The major services sectors and wholesale reported the strongest conditions.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

13 February
Comments Off on Australia should consider Republicans’ tax plan: Garnaut

Australia should consider Republicans’ tax plan: Garnaut

Australia should consider a tax plan being pushed by Donald Trump’s Republican Party which could stop multinational corporations avoiding tax, prominent economist Ross Garnaut says.
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Professor Garnaut said that while it was difficult to know what President Trump intended to with corporate tax rates, despite campaign promises of a cut to 15 per cent, there was merit to the Republican Party leadership’s proposal to fund rates cut of between 15 and 25 per cent by scrapping deductions.

“Our existing tax base for the corporate income tax is in deep trouble,” Professor Garnaut told the Melbourne Economic Forum on Tuesday.

“It’s subject to egregious avoidance or evasions, with two of the main instruments of avoidance being arbitrary use of interest on debt to reduce taxable income and, more importantly, arbitrary use of payment for import of services as deductions.

“You have a lot of what must be fundamentally some of the most profitable enterprises in Australia paying no corporate income tax.

“Google and Microsoft and Uber, they manage to generate very large sales in Australia … but somehow make no profit from it because of payment for intellectual property, payments for services.”

Professor Garnaut said opportunities for international tax avoidance had prompted a “race to the bottom” on tax rates between nations, which had compounded the issue and led to greater erosion of tax bases in all jurisdictions.

“So I wouldn’t be frightened by the possibility that Trump will take up the Republican proposals,” he said. “In fact I think we should look very carefully at whether we should be looking at it for ourselves.”

Miranda Stewart, director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at Australian National University, said the extent to which the corporate tax base had been eroded had been understated.

She said Australia was not competing with havens like the Bahamas, and it had to be assumed multinationals were already structuring their businesses so as much as possible was in low-tax jurisdictions.

“Us reducing the rate will have an effect on base erosion because it reduces the value of the expenditure deductions,” Professor Stewart said.

She said there was a “win-win” scenario where the base was broadened while rates were cut by reducing deductions.

“We estimate you could fund a cut to 25 per cent by denying interest deductibility. Potentially if you go a bit further you could fund an investment allowance.”

The Turnbull government last month secured a cut to the corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent for businesses with turnover under $50 million a year, at a cost of $24 billion over the medium term. The government has not been able to pass similar cuts for businesses of all sizes.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

14 January
Comments Off on Revealed: Australia’s most and least satisfied university students

Revealed: Australia’s most and least satisfied university students

Students at Australia’s top universities are among the least satisfied with their educational experience, according to government data that also paints the most detailed picture yet of how employers rate the skills of recent graduates.
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The data, to be released by the federal Department of Education on Wednesday, shows that six of the elite Group of Eight (Go8) universities performed below the national average when students were asked to rate the quality of their experience.

The University of NSW, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, Australian National University and the University of Melbourne all scored below the national average of 80 per cent student satisfaction.

Private institutions the University of Notre Dame and Bond University had the most satisfied students, with more than 90 per cent rating their experience positively.

Edith Cowan University in Perth received the top satisfaction rating of the nation’s public universities, with 86 per cent approval. The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) scored the lowest, with 72 per cent.

The drop in student satisfaction at UTS reflects a shift last year from semester to trimester teaching periods and from traditional lectures to interactive tutorials.

Senior deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Parfitt said it had been a challenging year for the university’s students and staff.

“UTS is disappointed in the results, but is currently in the middle of a significant transformation to its teaching and learning approach, with a focus on a new model of student learning and outcomes,” he said.

“The university has invested significantly in facilities and learning and teaching support and, with the ongoing commitment of our staff, we are confident future student satisfaction will reflect the positive outcomes we are aiming to achieve.”

Go8 chair Peter Hoj said: “This is a good set of results – in university terms it’s a distinction. We are happy to see that student satisfaction is high at all Australian universities.”

Professor Hoj said the data was an important tool for students but should only be a part of their decision-making.

The Turnbull government will use the May budget to announce a new package of university reforms, aimed at saving the budget money.

Plans to introduce deregulated fees for flagship courses have been dropped but increases in student fees and a tightening of the HECS loan program remain on the cards.

The information, based on responses from more than 178,000 students, will be uploaded on Wednesday to the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website, which allows prospective students to compare detailed data on the nation’s universities.???

Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said the results would allow students to enter the higher education system with “clear eyes” about the courses in which they were enrolling.

“The Turnbull government is determined to drive increased accountability in our higher education system and is committed to delivering greater transparency around how higher education institutions perform and engage and support their students,” Senator Birmingham said.

“The more information that students can have at their fingertips, the better decisions they can make when considering the courses and careers they choose to embark on.”

The website will include the first national survey examining how satisfied supervisors are with recent graduates who have joined their workplace.

The survey, based on responses from more than 3000 employers, shows 84 per cent of supervisors are satisfied with their recent graduates.

Engineering graduates received the highest satisfaction ratings from their supervisors at 89 per cent, while creative arts graduates scored the lowest, at 78 per cent.

The employer satisfaction report finds “employers seem to prefer graduates with vocationally oriented degrees over those with generalist degrees”, especially immediately after graduation.

Fifty-eight per cent of graduates rated their qualification important or very important to their current job, compared with 66 per cent of supervisors.

Supervisors of creative arts, agriculture, management and commerce graduates were the least likely to think the qualification was important for their current employment.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

14 January
Comments Off on Labor electorates line up for Canberra public servants

Labor electorates line up for Canberra public servants

Communities in regional Labor-held seats are among those lining up to attract public servants relocated from Canberra.
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Most of the 199 submissions to a Labor-controlled Senate inquiry endorse decentralisation.

What began as a political exercise to scrutinise the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority move to Armidale has opened the door for towns and cities across the country to seek an injection of federal stimulus.

Wishful submissions were made from local governments in key Labor seats including Ballarat, Bendigo, Corio, Cunningham, Eden Monaro, Lingiari and Paterson.

Maitland City Council, adjoining the Hunter electorate of Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, says decentralisation will help address skill shortages in regional Australia and ease cost-of-living pressure in capital cities.

Mr Fitzgibbon said Labor supports creating government jobs in regions where it can be done without adversely impacting on an agency’s ability to do its work.

He said that’s not the case with APVMA.

???”The Turnbull Government has cut many more jobs in the regions than one government authority would replace,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“But the whole exercise has been a cruel hoax on regional councils. Barnaby Joyce’s own policy restricts the locations to just four regional cities.”

Alice Springs in the Labor seat of Lingiari proudly touted its credentials to the committee as “an ideal regional centre”.

“Alice Springs is perfectly positioned and equipped to house decentralised Commonwealth Government departments, particularly the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Affairs,” the town’s submission says.

Ballarat council “strongly advocates for government services relocation as an important opportunity to stimulate growth in regional economies”.

“An injection of skilled, knowledge-sector government jobs into a region can accelerate economic growth and have a profoundly positive impact on the wider local economy,” the city says.

Bendigo council agrees.

“We argue that the success of locally based Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is an example to both public and private sectors that being headquartered regionally should be no impediment to providing competitive, quality, cost-effective service on a national or state level,” the submission says.

The City of Greater Geelong points out it has successfully hosted staff from the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink’s national call centre, NDIS and Australian Bureau of Statistics as part of its shift from car manufacturing.

“The relocation or establishment of government-based entities to Geelong has been instrumental in assisting the economy to transition its workforce to new sectors,” the city says.

Wollongong Council also supports relocating federal agencies.

“Decentralising the public service out of Canberra and into regional cities will allow regional cities the opportunity to share in the many benefits that come from having the Commonwealth Government as a major employer,” the city says.

Even Canberra’s neighbours want a slice of the pie.

The Canberra Region Joint Organisation says towns such as Goulburn, Yass and Cooma should be top of the list.

The ACT Government and Regional Development Australia ACT were lonely flag bearers for Canberra.

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said 88 per cent of submissions supported decentralisation.

“The sharing of public sector jobs will deliver long-term dividends to regional towns,” Mr Joyce said.

“Every dollar spent in country small businesses helps to create more jobs, higher wages and better confidence in regional Australia.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

14 January
Comments Off on Top Australian share funds named

Top Australian share funds named

It was not all that long ago that some fund managers had star status with investors.
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But the gloss has come off as investors receive smaller returns than the market with high fees to boot.

It’s also because there are now low-cost alternatives called exchange traded funds (ETFs) that are available to small investors and DIY super fund trustees.

Better to pay a small fee and get the same return as the Australian sharemarket than pay high fees to an active manager who promises to beat the market but underperforms.

But analysis by investment researcher Morningstar identifies a handful of fund managers who do deliver on their promises – with long-track records of outperforming the Australian share market. Eyes on the ball

These are the managers who have managed to keep their eyes on the ball throughout the various cycles of the Australian sharemarket.

Tim Murphy, director of manager research at Morningstar, says the winning managers invest with a variety of investment styles.

“There is no one way to skin a cat,” he says. “But what they have in common is stability of quality investment processes.”

They don’t chop and change the way they invest to try and chase some trend in the market, which more often than not comes unstuck.

“For example, some that don’t have quality filters in their investment process invested heavily into smaller mining stocks,” he says.

That can lead to some good performances for a while, but can quickly turn the other way, he says.

Of course, a good track record, even if over 10 years, is no guarantee of continuing success, but Morningstar has also screened the managers in a way that gives the researcher a reasonably high level of confidence the good performances will continue.

The best performers tend to be the ones who can stand fast with the market running against them and maintain the same investment philosophy and process year after year. Ethical fund

The best-performing of the 10 funds is Perpetual Wholesale Ethical SRI fund, which has produced an average annual return over the 10 years to February 28, this year, of 8.58 after fees.

That’s more than twice the 4.17 per cent return of the Australian sharemarket over the same period.

As an ethical fund, it screens out companies deriving more than 5 per cent of their revenue from, among other things, alcohol, gambling, tobacco, uranium and coal-seam gas.

One outcome of the ethical screening is that the fund has a bias to smaller Australian-listed companies, which has helped its performance over the long term.

Second place-getter, Perpetual’s Wholesale Share Plus Long Short Fund, produced a return of 8.02 per cent. The fund takes “short” positions along with the usual “long” positions.

Short positions, when correctly called, are a way to make money on shares whose prices fall.

Perpetual is a “value” manager. It buys the shares of good-quality companies when their share prices dip.

Anna Shelley, acting group executive for Perpetual Investments, says the results come from time, patience and discipline.

“We have had a strong, multi-faceted leadership team over a very long time,” she says.

“It sounds simple, but we are looking for quality management of a business and look into not ony the business itself but the industry in which it operates,” Shelley says. Low debt

Perpetual favours companies that have recurrent earnings and conservative debt levels.

Murphy says some other managers among the top-performing funds are “growth” managers.

These include Platypus and Hyperion, whose Australian Growth Companies Funds listed among the top-10 performers is open only to investments of more than $100,000.

Growth-style managers are prepared to pay more for shares in quality companies they believe will experience strong earnings growth.

On the whole, growth managers tend to do better in strongly rising markets and strong economic conditions, when companies are increasing their profits.

Another top-performing manager, Fidelity International, manages money with a “blend” of value and growth styles.

Its flagship Australian Equities Fund produced an average annual return of just over 6.5 per cent over the 10 years compared with the market return of 4.17 per cent.

Portfolio manager Paul Taylor has been leading the fund since its inception in 2003.

In its latest report on the fund, Morningstar says the investment strategy has outperformed the index through all the cycles of the market.

It puts the fund’s success down to Taylor’s distinctive investment style and the “impressive” investment team.

“We have a high level of conviction that Fidelity Australian Equities fund will continue to reward investors into the future,” Morningstar says in a report on the fund.

Fidelity is a global fund manager and that helps analyse listed Australian companies in a global context, Taylor says.

“We meet the management teams and meet their competitors and suppliers,” he says.

“For example, if you want to understand Woolworths and Coles [owned by Wesfarmers] you have to understand their competitors, like German company Aldi and US company Costco,” Taylor says.

“Having that global network of analysts overing those companies is highly advantageous,” he says. Stock picker

The outperformance comes from individual stock selection rather than from sector or following investment themes.

“It’s not from being overweight or underweight to the banks or to resources – it comes from picking the right banks and the right resources companies,” he says.

Taylor nominates the best calls as oil and gas exploration and development company Oil Search, which the fund bought about 10 years ago when it was out of favour at about 65c.

Today Oil Search shares trade at about $7.

Online jobs website Seek has been another good performer for the fund. Taylor bought Seek shares in at its initial public offering (IPO) at about $2 in 2005. Its shares are now trading at about $15.

As for stocks that Taylor thinks will do well, he points to WiseTech Global, whose shares the fund bought about a year ago.

WiseTech is a global developer of cloud-based software solutions for the international and domestic logistics industries.

“It was an IPO and we invested pre-IPO which is unusual for us,” Taylor says.

“We got to know the company for about a year before the IPO.

“We got to know the management and their business and we build conviction over time.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

14 January
Comments Off on How to earn extra income without losing the age pension

How to earn extra income without losing the age pension

We are 65 and 62. In a recent article it was claimed that at age 65 it is possible for a couple on the full age pension to receive $67,252 a year tax free. This sum was comprised of $34,252 a year pension plus $13,000 (combined) from part-time work and $20,000 drawn from their super. Is this possible? Isn’t it true that the other income will cancel out the age pension?
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The figures add up because the couple could each earn $125 a week from casual work, which is not assessed by Centrelink, and withdrawals from their superannuation are not taxable nor are they treated as income for Centrelink purposes. Therefore, their taxable income would be $23,626 each but no tax would be payable thanks to the Senior Australian and Pensioner Tax Offset.

However, the figures are somewhat contrived. Their total assets including superannuation, bank accounts, furniture motor vehicles etc could not exceed $375,000, and they would have to be in a position where both were willing and able to perform casual work. The $20,000 from their super is simply a drawdown of their capital so any number you choose may be used. The example in the paper is really saying that a couple on the full pension could earn $125 a week each from casual work, and make withdrawals as they wish from their super.

I turned 65 last December and am now on a part pension. In May 2012 I gave my daughter $90,000 and then in November 2012 a further $30,000.This was all declared when I applied for the pension.

As I understand it, the amounts of $80,000 and $20,000 ($10,000 less in each case) are part of my assets calculation for the pension for a five-year period from the date of the gift.

The five-year period for the 80,000 gift will expire in May this year and am I correct in my understanding that my asset value for the pension will then reduce by the $80,000 and then similarly for the $30,000 in November.

Would this happen automatically by Centrelink or do I have to contact them?

Your understanding of the calculation of gifting is correct. You will not have to contact Centrelink at the end of assessment periods.

When the department is advised of a gift, it is recorded in full from the date gifted. If more than $10,000 has been given that financial year, or $30,000 in a five financial-year period, the excess is calculated and maintained as an asset for five years. At the end of five years, the excess is automatically no longer included in the assessment.

We currently own our own house but are moving interstate and are looking to rent our place of residence instead of selling it. Are there any tax benefits we can consider if we do this and rent elsewhere instead of buying where we move to.

If you buy one house and sell another you could lose up to 10 per cent of the price of the house in buying and selling costs and associated expenses. Therefore, I favour retaining your present house and renting elsewhere unless you believe you will never return to the area where you live now. Once you rent out your home you can claim ongoing costs such as interest, rates and maintenance as a tax deduction and you can be absent from it for up to six years without losing the capital gains tax (CGT) exemption provided you do not claim any other property at your principal residence in that time.

I own $95,000 worth of shares. I wish to transfer these shares into joint names with my wife. I wish to do it as all of our other accounts are joint. Will there be any CGT implications for such a move? If yes, will it mean that my wife will have a capital gain and I equivalent capital loss? What happens if my shares are currently trading at a loss? Will the capital loss transfer to her? Is it true that capital loss from shares can only be compensated against capital gains from shares? Is it a good idea to consolidate our accounts? My salary is $90,000 a year and hers is $20,000 a year.

If you transfer shares held in your own name to joint names the transaction will be treated as a disposal of half the shares at market value, by the Tax Office, so you will be liable for CGT if there is any profit made on that transfer. If the shares are worth less than you paid for them the transfer will trigger a capital loss which can be offset against other capital gains made by you or carried forward for future years. The cost base to your wife will be the market value at date of the transaction.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. Email: [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

14 January
Comments Off on Unis will take students who do not meet new HSC standard

Unis will take students who do not meet new HSC standard

Year 12 students who fail to meet the state government’s new literacy and numeracy standard and do not receive their HSC will still be able to get an ATAR and go to university, the body responsible for admissions has confirmed.
Nanjing Night Net

Students can sit HSC exams and receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, which is calculated by the Universities Admissions Centre independently of the government, without qualifying for their HSC. There are no plans to change this once the minimum standard is put in place in 2020, according to a spokeswoman for UAC.

Only nine students of nearly 68,000 HSC candidates received an ATAR without getting their HSC last year, but this number could balloon once the new standard is in place, she said.

“We haven’t had any direct instructions for change so as of now ??? students can receive an ATAR and not be eligible for the HSC,” UAC’s spokeswoman said.

“We already have a few in this category, but there may be many more students.”

The University of Sydney, the University of NSW and the University of Western Sydney have all confirmed they are in discussions with UAC over whether the new standard will affect the ATAR, but a spokeswoman for Sydney University said major changes were unlikely.

“At this stage we don’t expect the [new standards] to have a significant impact on the University of Sydney’s entry process,” she said.

The UAC spokeswoman said the centre is seeking a meeting with the new head of the NSW Education Standards Authority, which replaced the Board of Studies in January.

“It could be that they want to include the minimum standards in the ATAR or make the HSC a requirement for the ATAR,” she said.

“Because we haven’t had any instructions, I’d say that [isn’t] the way they’re leaning.”

NESA said it would not be seeking changes to ATAR eligibility in response to the new minimum standards.

“NESA does not instruct UAC about the calculation of the ATAR,” a spokeswoman for the agency said.

“[The minimum standard] is designed to help ensure students have the skills for success when they leave school and assure parents, businesses and the community that students with an HSC have functional literacy and numeracy skills.”

However, senior lecturer of English education at the University of Technology Sydney and former English inspector at the Board of Studies Don Carter said existing K-10 syllabuses already taught literacy and numeracy skills.

“The new requirements are really quite superfluous,” he said.

“This is an example of another testing regime coming in over the top of the curriculum and sucking up resources and time to get kids through the test.”

The standard, announced in July last year, will require students to either receive Band 8 or above in the year 9 NAPLAN tests or pass online reading, writing and numeracy tests in order to receive their HSC.

Fairfax Media last year reported that more than half of year 9 students got below Band 8 in the NAPLAN test.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.