1. Gough Whitlam has died. The biggest news today is Australia has farewelled an icon. Gough Whitlam was larger than life in Australian politics, in all senses, both during and beyond his term as prime minister from 1972 to 1975. Few – if any – had as much impact, for better or worse, on shaping modern Australian society. He’ll always be remembered for The Dismissal and the speech he gave after he was relieved of his leadership duties by the Queen, but he remained incredibly active well after politics and was one of the great orators of our time. Charismatic to the end, he will be sadly missed. Here’s the statement from his family:
2. In Asia yesterday, it was a solid day for Japanese stocks even though there were multiple resignations and scandals within the government over election funding. Rather, the hint from PM Abe about a delay to the consumption tax and an asset allocation shift at the government pension fund drove the Nikkei 3.98% higher. Chinese stocks in both Hong Kong and Shanghai were far more subdued, up just 0.2% and 0.68% respectively.
3. The wash up locally is that once again the SPI futures are pointing to a stronger open on the ASX this morning. The December SPI 200 futures are 14 points higher to 5,264. With iron ore having another strong night – up $1.28 for the December contract to $81.28 a tonne – the miners will likely take the lead again today. The Aussie dollar looks like it is getting set to break higher and is at 0.8788 this morning.
4. Datawise, it’s a huge day for the region with the release of the 3rd quarter GDP for China at lunch time today. The market is looking for a fall from 7.5% in Q2 to 7.2% in Q3. Other important data such as industrial production and retail sales is also out at the same time.
5. All the deals are being done in Asia Pacific. Intralinks released its Q1 2015 Deal Flow Predictor (DFP) data today and it’s good news for the region. An 8% year-on-year increase in early-stage global M&A activity next year is driven largely by North America (14%) but the quarterly DFP for Asia Pacific is huge – 18% against -9, -6 and -11 for Europe, North America and South America respectively. Dealmakers expect energy and power tech to be the two most active sectors but 54% of respondents said recent tech deals and valuations were signs of a tech bubble.
6. Cabcharge says no. The taxi payments business rejected a $500m offer from New York listed Fleetcor, according to the AFR, preferring to stick it out and tackle new players such as goCatch and Uber. With revenue up 5.8 per cent year-on-year, Cabcharge’s taxi payment arm had a turnover of $1.1 billion last financial year. Meanwhile, goCatch snapped up $5m in capital investment to add to its war chest, saying it will use the money to develop the product further as it attempts to capture a larger market share of the $5.4 billion Australian taxi market.
7. Tassie is tops. The Apple Isle has a reputation for churning out some of Australia’s finest business journos but it’s also a hip, happening place to visit. So says Lonely Planet, which lobbed it in at fourth place in it Top 10 Regions of 2015. “Modern Tasmania has adopted a fresh, hip and inclusive attitude sparked by the brilliant revival of its now super cool waterfront capital Hobart,” LP spokesman Chris Zeiher said. Tassie’s biggest recent boost came in the form of the controversial MONA, but there’s a spectacular new bushwalk opening up next year and well, it’s just a great place to eat, drink and be friendly. Do yourself a favour.
8. Apple earnings are out and they’re solid, if not spectacular. Revenue is up 12% year-on-year, EPS is up 20% and shareholders are happy – the stock is up just over 1% after hours. On the sales side, iPhone units are still smashing records and that’s likely to improve further next quarter with iPhone 6 figures, and Mac units surprised, up nearly more than a million on expectations of 4.6 million. Tablets are well out of favour though – iPad units are down 13% in a trend that’s looking more and more irreversible.
9. T. Boone Pickens doesn’t drink coffee. In fact, the legendary investor hasn’t even tasted it. Why? Because his grandma told him not to. In his book “The First Billion Is The Hardest”, Pickens reveals he always took his grandma’s advice, starting with the time she made him return a dollar reward he was given for finding a man’s wallet. “You’re not going to be paid to be honest. That ain’t the way it’s going to work,” she told him. And he turned out just fine.
10. Yet another haka scandal. New Zealand rugby league bosses say Australia’s response to a junior international in Auckland on the weekend was “disrespectful” after it almost sparked an all-in brawl. New Zealand Rugby League president Howie Tamati said the haka was an expression of cultural pride, “not a situation where you’re looking to fight”. You decide:
For the record, the Junior Kiwis won 15-14. At least the Aussies didn’t turn their back on the haka. We all know how well that turned out for the Wallabies.
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