Fed expects to raise short-term rates soon

Original article by Nick Timiraos
The Australian – Page: 30 : 26-May-17

Speculation that the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in June 2017 has gathered pace following the release of the minutes from its policy meeting for May. The minutes show that a majority of board members feel that the economic outlook may soon justify an increase in short-term interest rates. Futures traders now consider the chances of a rate rise in June to be about 80 per cent. Meanwhile, the central bank has issued a staff briefing which looks at options for reducing its balance sheet, which has risen to $US4.5trn as a result of quantitative easing.

CORPORATES
UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE INDEX

Australians say ‘No’ to 100% foreign ownership of Fairfax

Original article by Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 26-May-17

An Australia-wide Roy Morgan Survey has found that 78% of Australians aged 14+ do not want Fairfax Media to be 100% owned by either of the two overseas owned institutions that have lodged multi-billion dollar bids for the company. Meanwhile, 17% of Australians say that overseas-owned institutions should be allowed to buy Fairfax outright. The survey, which was conducted from 22-24 May 2017, also shows that 53% of Australians are in favour of allowing overseas-based institutions to own a minority stake in Fairfax. A larger majority of L-NP supporters (59%) are in favour of this option for Fairfax than ALP supporters (51%). The survey has also found that the internet is now the main source of information for 51% of Australians, compared to 24% for TV and 12% for both newspapers and radio.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, TPG CAPITAL LP, HELLMAN AND FRIEDMAN

More Australian women buying cosmetics at pharmacies

Original article by Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-May-17

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey has found that 50.5% of Australian women aged +14 bought cosmetics in an average six months in the year to December 2016, compared with 51.5% in the year to December 2006. The proportion of women who bought cosmetics from pharmacies has risen from 15.1% to 19.1 per cent, and the proportion that shops at supermarkets for cosmetics has risen from 11.4% to 12.1%. Meanwhile, Priceline is the most popular pharmacy chain among cosmetics buyers, and Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas consumer profiling tool shows that young women from the cashed-up, socially active Metrotech community are the most likely to buy cosmetics from this chain.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED, PRICELINE PHARMACY, CHEMIST WAREHOUSE, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, SEPHORA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MECCA COSMETICA PTY LTD, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR

China ratings cut hits markets

Original article by Rowan Callick, Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 30 : 25-May-17

The Australian dollar fell sharply on 24 May 2017 in response to Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to downgrade China’s debt rating from "Aa3" to "A1". The Shanghai and Shenzhen sharemarkets also lost ground during intra-day trading. Moody’s has forecast that China’s economic growth potential will fall to around five per cent in the next five years, while it expects debt across the Chinese economy to continue to rise.

CORPORATES
MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, STOCKBROKERS AND FINANCIAL ADVISERS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC, COMMUNIST PARTY (CHINA)

Unlockd raises $30.7m, eyes key Asian markets

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 24 : 25-May-17

Unlockd CEO Matt Berriman says the mobile telephone advertising technology company will use the proceeds of its latest round of fund raising to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Venture capital firm Alium Capital and Malaysian telco Axiata are among the contributors to Unlockd’s series B funding round, which has raised $US23m (A$30.7m). Berriman has also indicated that Unlockd’s mobile advertising platform will be launched in several new markets in coming months.

CORPORATES
UNLOCKD PTY LTD, ALIUM CAPITAL, AXIATA, CITIBANK PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, CATCH-OF-THE-DAY.COM.AU

Satisfaction with retail superannuation funds now higher than industry funds

Original article by Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-May-17

A Roy Morgan Single Source has found that Australians’ satisfaction with retail superannuation funds was 60.0% in the six months to March 2017, compared with 57.3% for industry funds. This is the second consecutive month that retail fund satisfaction has been higher than industry funds, which had held the lead for more than a decade. Retail funds lead industry funds in overall customer satisfaction, but more importantly, they only hold the lead for balances under $100,000. Over the last 12 months, nearly all of their gain in satisfaction has come from these lower-value members. In the all-important high value market with balances over $700,000, industry funds lead with 85.3% satisfaction, compared to 76.1% for retail funds. This is the segment where competition is greatest from self-managed super funds, which have shown a decline in satisfaction of 2.5% points over the last year (to 75.9%).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED

ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence up 1.1pts to 110.5

Original article by Roy Morgan Research
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-May-17

ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence rose 1.0% to 110.5 in the week ended 21 May 2017, to remain somewhat below its long-term average. The improvement in confidence was broad-based, with four out of five indices rising. Households’ expectations towards both current and future economic conditions rose 0.9% and 0.6% respectively. Meanwhile, households’ views towards future financial conditions rose 1.5%.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN RESEARCH LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Expect more shareholder activism Down Under, warns Credit Suisse

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 23-May-17

Chris Young of Credit Suisse says it was inevitable that activist hedge funds would target Australian companies. He adds that the investment bank’s research suggests that BHP Billiton will not be the only Australian company to attract the interest of activists. Young says the best defence against activists is for a company to ensure that it has the support of key shareholders. He also notes that the relatively small size of the Australian market means activist funds may get less traction than in the much larger US market.

CORPORATES
CREDIT SUISSE AG, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, ELLIOTT ASSOCIATES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS COMPANY LIMITED, CANADIAN PACIFIC LIMITED, PERSHING SQUARE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP

China’s call for higher grade iron ore a worry

Original article by Tess Ingram
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 23-May-17

Research by UBS shows that the break-even cost for producers of lower-grade iron ore has increased due to the widening spread between such iron ore and the benchmark index price. As a result, the break-even cost for Fortescue Metals Group has risen by $US13 per tonne to $US43 in the last 12 months. Fortescue is likely to be affected by Chinese steel mills’ growing demand for higher-quality iron ore as less efficient mills are closed down.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Watchdog to learn new tricks but old rules remain

Original article by Mitchell Bingemann
The Australian – Page: 23 & 25 : 22-May-17

The Federal Government has endorsed all 27 recommendations arising from a review of the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Amongst other things, the roles of chair and CEO will no longer be held by the same person under the reforms to be implemented by the Government, while the focus of regulation will shift from traditional media such as print and broadcast to content and delivery channels.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, NICK XENOPHON TEAM, ONE NATION PARTY, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, YOUTUBE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT