The Saltbush Club: skilled and thinking Australians concerned at the huge costs and unproven benefits of the climate, energy and infrastructure policies on both sides of Federal Parliament

Original article by Viv Forbes
pickeringpost.com – Page: Online : 16-Nov-18

A newly formed lobby group called the Saltbush Club is calling for Australia to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Jerry Ellis, founding chairman of the Club and a former chairman of BHP, contends that Australia’s efforts to reach its Paris targets have led to higher electricity prices and unreliable power supply. Hugh Morgan, a former CEO of Western Mining and director of the Saltbush Club, states that the Climate Agreement is really about the transfer of wealth to less developed nations. Saltbush organiser Viv Forbes claims that the United Nations is seeking to cripple western industry with high and unreliable electricity in a "futile attempt to control global climate".

CORPORATES
THE SALTBUSH CLUB, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, WESTERN MINING CORPORATION, UNITED NATIONS

Strong hiring keeps jobless rate at 5pc

Original article by Sarah Turner, Vesna Poljak
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 16-Nov-18

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 42,300 full-time jobs were created in October, although the economy shed 9,500 part-time jobs. The net gain of 32,800 jobs saw the official unemployment rate remain steady at five per cent. The general consensus of economists had been that 20,000 jobs were created and the jobless rate had risen to 5.1 per cent. Meanwhile, Capital Economics has suggested that the level of full employment in the economy is now likely to be around four per cent rather than five per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, CAPITAL ECONOMICS LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

End of an era as Lowy flags Scentre board departure

Original article by Ben Wilmot
The Australian – Page: 23 : 16-Nov-18

Steven Lowy has advised the board of Scentre Group that he will not seek re-election as a director at its AGM in April. Scentre is the owner and operator of Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, with Lowy’s father Sir Frank having co-founded Westfield in 1960. Sir Frank struck a deal in December 2017 to sell Westfield Corporation, the owner of its international malls, to Unibail-Rodamco for $US24.7 billion ($32 billion). Steven Lowy was the last member of the Lowy family to remain on the Scentre board.

CORPORATES
SCENTRE GROUP – ASX SCG, WESTFIELD CORPORATION, UNIBAIL-RODAMCO, UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD – ASX URW

Coles finally checks out from Wesfarmers

Original article by Eli Greenblat, Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 19 & 29 : 16-Nov-18

The demerger of grocery giant Coles was supported by more than 98 per cent of votes cast at a special meeting of Wesfarmers shareholders on 15 November. The Perth-based conglomerate will retain a 15 per cent stake in Coles when its shares begin trading on a deferred settlement basis on 21 November. Wesfarmers chairman Michael Chaney has dismissed any concerns about an overhang, stressing that the company intends to retain its Coles stake in the long-term. Wesfarmers shareholders will be allocated Coles shares on a one-for-one basis.

CORPORATES
WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, COLES GROUP LIMITED, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS

Santos buckles up for a wild ride in volatile oil market

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 & 29 : 16-Nov-18

Crude oil is trading at around $US56 a barrel, having peaked at $US81 in early October. Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher expects the recent price volality to continue in the near-term, although he is confident that the Adelaide-based oil and gas producer can ride it out. Meanwhile, Santos is hopeful that its new exploration joint venture with Shell in Queensland will yield new a source of gas supply for the east coast.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, ORGANISATION OF PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES

RBA in housing market warning

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 16-Nov-18

Apartment developers are increasingly having to seek funds from non-bank lenders as the major banks cut back on lending to the sector. The Reserve Bank’s deputy governor Guy Debelle says it is a trend that the central bank is keeping an eye on, warning that if it is overdone it could lead to a downturn in the housing market. Urbis recently reported that only 46 units were sold in new Sydney projects during the September quarter, compared to 381 sales of units in the previous corresponding period.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, URBIS PTY LTD

Banks might be warming to lithium

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 16-Nov-18

Patrick Cocquerel of Westpac says the lack of a benchmark price for lithium has made banks somewhat reluctant to provide financing for Australian lithium producers. The nation’s burgeoning lithium industry has instead been largely financed via debt, equity, specialist lenders and payments from forward sales of the metal. Foreign banks have also been more willing to provide financing for lithium projects, but Cocquerel notes that local banks – including Westpac – are becoming more active in the sector.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, BNP PARIBAS SA, KIDMAN RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX KDR, SOCIEDAD QUIMICA Y MINERA SA, S&P GLOBAL MARKET INTELLIGENCE, ALBERMARLE CORPORATION

Fellows moves house to global News Corp role

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 21 : 16-Nov-18

REA Group is seeking a new CEO after Tracey Fellows resigned to become president of News Corporation’s digital real estate business. Fellows, who will be based in New York in her new role, has been CEO of REA since August 2014. Shares in REA have gained around 62 per cent during her tenure, and the real estate listings group recently posted strong growth in earnings and revenue for the first quarter of 2018-19. Fellows will remain on the board of REA, in which News Corp has a controlling stake.

CORPORATES
REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, REALESTATE.COM.AU, IPROPERTY GROUP LIMITED, HOMETRACK, SMARTLINE HOME LOANS PTY LTD, MOVE INCORPORATED, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, AUSTRALIA POST, MICROSOFT CORPORATION, DELL TECHNOLOGIES INCORPORATED, IBM CORPORATION

Forrest says Fortescue will embrace new energy, AI

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 16-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the pure-play iron ore miner views thermal coal as a 20th century energy source and it will only invest in "new energy". Forrest adds that Fortescue is also committed to investing in automation and artificial intelligence, and says such technology should be embraced rather than feared. Fortescue is deploying automated haulage trucks at its iron ore mines in the Pilbara. A decision on a proposed expansion of its Iron Bridge magnetite concentrate joint venture is expected by the end of 2018.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CHINA BAOWU STEEL GROUP CORPORATION LIMITED, FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION

Battered bourse ready for a recovery

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 29 : 16-Nov-18

The S&P/ASX 200 reached an intra-day low of 5,686.8 points on 15 November, before recovering to post a modest gain for the session. The recent sell-off means that with some exceptions, the Australian sharemarket now offers quite good value. The market’s forward price-earnings ratio is now slightly above its long-term average, while the dividend yield of five per cent is at its highest level in almost three years. Meanwhile, the benchmark index has recorded an average gain of 2.1 per cent in December over the last five years.

CORPORATES
STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED