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The Banks
Does It Get Any Better For The Big Four?
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nipper
post Posted: Apr 16 2019, 04:50 PM
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QUOTE
"Overall, there appears to be greater-than-usual uncertainty about the future profit outlook for banks because of the increased scrutiny on banks and the weaker outlook for property prices and housing credit growth,” the central bank said in the Financial Stability Report on Friday.
(( https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/201...cial-system.pdf ))

The RBA pointed out in its report that the banks’ “resilience and capital generation has been underpinned by high profits over many years. However, profits have remained broadly steady since 2014.”

.... “The absence of growth mainly reflects a fall in non-interest income as banks have sold or scaled back a number of their fee-generating activities, while the contribution from falling bad and doubtful debt charges is less than in the past. “More recently, a narrower net interest margin (NIM) due to pricing competition and higher funding costs has reduced interest income growth. “In addition, operating expenses have increased due to higher compliance, IT and customer remediation costs. As profits and capital have both steadied, so too has banks’ return on equity (ROE). ROE is now a few percentage points lower than its historical average but remains high compared with international peers.

“Analysts expect minimal growth in bank profits over the year ahead. Net interest income growth is expected to be below average as credit growth slows further and NIMs remain under pressure. Bad and doubtful debt charges are also expected to pick up a little from their current very low level. The final cost of remediation for misconduct identified over recent years is uncertain and could exceed existing provisions, while spending on compliance and IT may remain elevated in order to address some of the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

This is costing the banks with their funding costs bumping up:

“Heightened uncertainty about future profitability has raised Australian banks’ implied cost of capital, as measured by the forward earnings yield on their stocks. Earnings yields have moved higher for bank stocks globally, suggesting that a reduction in global risk appetite for banking stocks has also been a factor,” the RBA said. “The rise in banks’ forward earnings yields has been about a half percentage point more over the past year than forward earnings yields for other Australian stocks. This widening gap continues a pattern of the past four years. Banks’ current forward earnings yields are now above their pre-crisis average, despite a large decline in risk-free rates. ”

And then there are the costs flowing from the Hayne Royal Commission:

“Responding to the Royal Commission’s recommendations will also increase financial institutions’ costs, but will increase system resilience in the long term. In a sense, this corrects past underspending on systems or unfair revenue collection. In the near future, firms will incur further remediation costs relating to the charging of ‘fees for no service’ in the wealth management industry; these already exceed $1 billion. Revenue in the life insurance industry could also be significantly impacted. “Costs will also rise as firms correct for underspending on information technology (IT) systems in the past, compliance requirements increase and legal fees rise as regulators take more legal enforcement. There could also be payments resulting from lawsuits. The Australian financial system is well placed to manage these challenges, given it is well capitalised and generally starting from a position of strong profits,” the RBA said in the report.

ANZ, Westpac and NAB are all due to report their March 31 first half figures and in the wake of the weak performance of the Bank of Queensland’s interim results last week. Investors are looking for flat figures and will again concentrate on the level of dividends. The Bank of Queensland cut its interim by four cents a share saying the decision “reflects the challenging revenue and cost environment that BOQ and the industry face.”
https://www.sharecafe.com.au/2019/04/16/rba...or-major-banks/



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
nipper
post Posted: Dec 29 2018, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE
Fancy playing in the eye of the storm?

The housing downturn and remediation costs related to the misbehaviour uncovered by the banking royal commission are good reasons to avoid our four pillars.

But there’s also an argument that the woes are already embedded in the valuations of our picks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac (WBC), ANZ (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB).

For the first time in a decade, broker Citi has upgraded its view on the banks to overweight, which is broker speak for “worth a punt”.

Similarly, Baillieu Holst believes the bank sector is gaining support at current marked-down levels and notes that NAB and Westpac are trading on dividend yields of about 11 per cent.

Broker Morgans sees 45 per cent upside for Westpac, which has the “most compelling valuation and relatively low risk profile”.

Meanwhile money factory Macquarie Group (MQG) continues to generate good deal flow, especially from wholesale investment banking. Joseph Palmer & Sons director Alex Moffat says Shemara Wikramanayake has settled into the plush CEO chair nicely and looks to be replicating the successful reign of predecessor Nicholas Moore.

NAB’s UK offshoot Clydesdale Bank (CYB) is trading at about half the valuation of its Australian peers. There are reasons, of course, given the Brexit saga and remediation costs relating to past misdemeanours. Arguably, the problems are factored in and a Brexit breakthrough would ignite the stock...
...from The Australian's 50 ideas for 2019



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne

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early birds
post Posted: May 18 2018, 09:32 AM
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Benchmark interest rates are rising and while it’s still only early days in the banking royal commission, the indiscretions are mounting, as are likely costs. The banks might feel the pinch but ultimately is going to be the customers that have to pay.

Since the US Federal Reserve first flagged higher US interest rates, I’ve been suggesting to our investors to add floating rate bonds and other securities to their portfolios.

The theory being very low interest rates – in some countries below zero – could not go much lower even if the Fed didn’t raise interest rates in the timeframes expected and the risk was to the upside. That is higher interest rates were anticipated and a good way to hedge against them was to invest in floating rate securities linked to benchmark rates.

Over the last six weeks, US benchmark rates have risen sharply. Given that the major financial institutions borrow US dollars via the bond market, costs of funding has increased.

There’s no specific event that has triggered the rise in benchmarks, but markets attribute it to a number of factors including:

Greater supply of short dated US Treasury bonds since the government agreed to increase its debt ceiling, they’ve increased short term borrowing, pushing up short term interest rates competing for limited investment funds.
New US tax legislation making it easier for US companies to repatriate funds back to the US. These funds were mostly held in short term investments.So, the exodus has left a vacuum and higher rates were needed to tempt other investors to satisfy market needs.
Changes to US benchmarks then fed through to our own benchmark bank bill swap rates.

The Australian 3 month bank bill swap rate, commonly used in pricing loans, is also up over 0.3 per cent. The bank bill swap rate is mostly a market observed rate of where banks will lend to each other and are indifferent between fixed and floating interest rates securities.



Source: Bloomberg, FIIG Securities

A 0.3 per cent rise doesn’t sound like much but borrowers on variable rate mortgages will be paying more interest, the cost of personal loans and credit card interest rates could also rise if the increase is sustained or moves even higher.

Meanwhile banks with thousands of fixed rate interest only loans will have to suffer the rise, impacting profit. They’ve already started to lift borrowing rates and while it’s getting more expensive for banks to borrow from each other and in overseas markets, they’ve been somewhat offsetting higher costs by keeping domestic deposit rates the same. Yet again it seems that customers are bottom of the food chain.

Sound bank capital management is important and can reduce the impact of higher benchmark interest rates. The banks generally should have hedges in place for this type of event, but regardless, costs should rise until fixed rate loans unwind, so not all costs will be able to be offset immediately by higher borrowing rates.

Ultimately, net interest margins and profits should be affected. Not a positive sign for higher shares prices.

Banking Royal Commission is likely to be another drain on profit

Revelations of misconduct by the major banks and AMP at the royal commission reminds me of reality TV – much of it is predictable, you don’t really want to watch, but still it’s compelling!

A natural step for the institutions is to shrink their businesses and ‘stick to their knitting’. We’ve already witnessed this with the sale of CBA wealth management businesses Colonial. Hiving off the troublesome operations seems like a good idea. Management have not had enough oversight and smaller, more concentrated operations should be easier to manage. Sale proceeds will increase capital and capital ratios, to satisfy APRA requirements.

The big question is the cost. These institutions need to be taught a lesson. It’s hard to put a number on likely penalties, possible legal suits and more stringent compliance requirements.

But there should be consequences and they are likely to hurt.
=================================================================

worth bit of time to read into it if you are a bank investor!!



 
blacksheep
post Posted: May 15 2018, 09:19 PM
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In Reply To: Mags's post @ May 15 2018, 08:59 AM

QUOTE
And yet, last night I watched, laughed and cried at the four corners story on HSBC


A little closer to home is this investigation by Sentry - suggest you watch the video in this article - Court document sheds new light on alleged money laundering case involving former South Sudanese military general

extract
QUOTE
According to The Sentry, an anti-corruption watchdog set up by actor George Clooney and activist John Prendergast, military generals in South Sudan earn up to $65,000 a year and the wealth amassed by some of them and their families is unexplained.

The Mai family was on The Sentry's list.

They discovered the luxury house in Narre Warren while investigating corruption in South Sudan for a report published in 2016, War Crimes Shouldn't Pay.

This prompted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to start an investigation.

The ABC has seen the affidavit that outlines the AFP's case.

Red flags
According to the document, an initial deposit of $155,171 was wired from a bank account belonging to Hoid Establishments, a development company in Uganda, directly into the trust account registered to the Melbourne-based real estate agent that handled the sale in June 2014.

John Chevis, who spent 12 years working on fraud and corruption cases for the AFP and is now an adviser on money laundering for the United Nations, said the transaction should have been the first red flag.

"The real estate agents involved in the sale of the house in Australia should have conducted their own due diligence on the source of the funds, although Australia's anti-money laundering laws do not currently require it," he said.

The AFP investigator claims the balance of the million-dollar property and a luxury car was paid by money that was transferred from Africa into National Australia Bank (NAB) business accounts held by a luxury car business registered in Nguoth Oth Mai's name.

The NAB said in a statement that it conducts checks and due diligence on all customers.

However this case raises serious questions around its banking process.

"They should possibly have noticed that the funds travelled a circuitous route for which there is no apparent commercial reason," Mr Chevis said.

"Having identified these transactions as unusual, the banks should then have sought further information on the source of the funds and then, assuming they identified the source as illegitimate, rejected the transactions."

Where did the money come from?

That circuitous route is revealed in the AFP's affidavit.

More than $1.5 million was transferred in five instalments from companies located in Uganda and Kenya, sometimes going through banks in Dubai, into the NAB business account registered to a luxury car business — Sportscars Dealers — a company where the former general's son, Nguoth Oth Mai, was both director and majority shareholder.

The AFP stated the company did not trade any vehicles.

The police allege the unexplained payments came from companies owned by two businessmen, Humphrey Kariuki and Idro Taban, both known to the anti-corruption watchdog, The Sentry.

"Records show that firms owned by these businessmen received contracts from the SPLA [Sudan's People's Liberation Army] during Hoth Mai's tenure as chief of staff, including Belgravia Services Ltd, Dalbit Petroleum and LOID Investment," The Sentry said in a statement.

"LOID Investment was listed as the 'notifying party' for a weapons shipment and that Dalbit Petroleum had wired hundreds of thousands of dollars into the personal bank accounts of two South Sudanese generals in 2014.

"Like Hoth Mai, one of those generals also used the funds for the purchase of a home outside South Sudan."

Centrelink benefits and tax evasion....................

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-14/cour...ng-case/9738920



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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
Mags
post Posted: May 15 2018, 08:59 AM
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In Reply To: early birds's post @ May 14 2018, 09:35 AM

QUOTE
the golden day of our 4 big banks are over.


Part of me says you're correct, but there's another part that says : Nah

It's a bit of a laugh: Years ago, some researchers in USA come out and said that the most profitable sector in the world is : Australian Banks.

And yet, last night I watched, laughed and cried at the four corners story on HSBC. Offices in over 100 countries, it's truly a global bank, so big that when the USA wanted to prosecute, UK government steps in and stops it, for 'global stability'..

HSBC makes ~$20 billion profit: Globally.

And here's our little banks putting up huge numbers, but in an economy that's minuscule.... Is it any wonder our private debt is out of control.

I'm not sure what will come out of the royal commission, it almost hinges on the up coming federal election: Turnbull will want the commission, shut down and quietly pushed aside, Shorten will want to continue, and broaden it's scope. What 'recommendations' are made, who knows, and what will be implemented, who knows and then again, what will be enforced????

These banks are so massive, they can continue to do what they like. No politician with a future post politics in mind will come down hard on the banks: We all know they have the nicest paying consulting jobs and offices. never bite the hand that feeds you.


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blacksheep
post Posted: May 14 2018, 11:39 AM
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Should be an interesting watch
Banksters, by Jerome Fritel & Marc Roche for French broadcaster Arte and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 14th May at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 15th May at 1.00pm and Wednesday 16th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iviewand at abc.net.au/4corners.
QUOTE
Banksters: the scandalous conduct of a global bank.

“You have to ask: if you don’t prosecute these people, who the hell are you going to prosecute?” Former US Senate investigator

HSBC is one of the world’s largest and most powerful financial institutions with offices on five continents, including in Australia. It likes to spruik its financial might and global reach. Behind the corporate gloss, it has a far less attractive reputation. The bank has been at the centre of several of the biggest financial scandals uncovered this century.

“Affiliates of drug cartels were literally walking into bank branches with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of US cash… that didn’t happen once, it didn’t happen twice, it happened systematically over the course of about a decade.” Former US Deputy Federal Prosecutor

HSBC, or the Hong Kong & Shanghai banking Corporation has been implicated in a raft of illegal activities, from money laundering for the mafia, to enabling tax evasion and currency manipulation.

“No matter where you live, no matter what kind of business you are in, if you wish to enter the offshore system, HSBC is likely to be your bank.” Investigative journalist

In this global investigation, the role of HSBC in these scandals is laid bare.

“There is simultaneously drug money, money from terrorism, money from Belgian diamond dealers, money of the French dental surgeons, money of the elite and the world of showbiz, of French and European aristocracy... it was a national sport, hiding money in Switzerland and at HSBC.” Reporter

Despite the revelations, the bank has flourished, leaving investigators frustrated.

“How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords before somebody says, ‘We’re shutting you down’”? US Senator

The film raises disturbing questions about who is in charge of regulating the banks in an increasingly globalised financial world.

“Who has jurisdiction over an institution that operates in a hundred countries? Who has the responsibility for taking on that kind of criminal undertaking?”Former US Senate investigator

Regulators stand accused of failing to adequately punish the bank and impose penalties that hold HSBC to account.

“Are we capable of regulating the banks properly? Of course we are. Do we want to, is really the probably important question.” UK MP

With the rise of China, HSBC is positioning itself as the bank of choice to drive China’s global economic ambitions, which makes investigators uneasy.

“As you have firms of the stature and the size of HSBC marrying up with rising Chinese banks that are now so huge, it’s a recipe for potential disaster.” Former undercover agent, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/banksters/9747234



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 


early birds
post Posted: May 14 2018, 09:35 AM
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Was the first half of the 2017-18 financial year as good as it gets for Australia’s four major banks?

Certainly the usual post reporting season reports suggest so and leading credit rater, Fitch, thinks the big four are faced with constraints on earnings in the next year.

The four big banks (CBA, Westpac, NAB and ANZ) earned statutory half-year profits totalling $15.0 billion for the first half of the 2017-18 financial year - an increase of 5.5% from a year earlier.

But their preferred cash profits fell 1.7% to $15.2 billion, thanks to a combined $1.4 billion in charges taken for regulatory, compliance and restructuring costs.

Westpac did best, according to analysts. Its return on equity (ROE, a key measure for local analysts, big investors and bank managements) rose to 14%, the average ROE for the other majors fell, and the sector average of 13.05% was at its lowest level since 2009.

That’s still a high return when the cash rate is 1.5%, but it is down 365 basis points from its post-GFC high in 2011.

The stockmarket performance in the past week shows us that the CBA is still on the nose - its shares fell 3% and they are now down 12.2% for the year to date and Friday’s close of $70.53 was the lowest January 2013.

The major influence remains the poor publicity from the banking royal commission and continuing fears about the financial fallout of that and the money laundering case brought against it by AUSTRAC.

While Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed the Commonwealth Bank’s ratings it did put the country’s biggest bank on a negative outlook, meaning there’s a one third chance there could be a downgrade within the next year to 18 months.

The Commonwealth’s third quarter trading update last week did nothing to change the opinion of a growing number of investors that there is something in Fitch’s outlook for the sector.

NAB shares were down 2.4% last week and have only lost 3.9% for the year so far, while Westpac shares rose 1.7% last week to be down 5.6% for the year to date.

The best performer last week was the ANZ whose shares rose 2.2% to be down just 2% for the year so far. A month or so ago its shares were down double that and more.

Fitch Ratings remains negative on the big four and last week rammed home its opinion with a warning they face further pressure on revenues and earnings from slowing home lending (as we saw in the March housing finance data on Friday with a 9% slide in investor loans).

Fitch, which has held a negative outlook for the Australian banking sector since the start of 2017, also thinks the banks’ non-interest revenue was likely to remain stagnant or decrease.

“Credit growth, especially in the residential mortgage segment, is slowing and non-interest revenue is likely to remain stagnant or decrease,” Fitch Ratings said. As a result the ratings group reckons the banks will have to raise lending margins to maintain profitability and that looks a challenging prospect in the face of the current royal commission which will run to late this year.

In other reports on the big bank half-yearly result accounting firms, EY, PwC and KPMG all highlighted how higher restructuring and regulatory costs depressed cash profit across the sector over the past six months, forcing banks to go harder on simplification of business models.

The ANZ has been leading the way in selling assets, NAB has been active and will separate its MLC business, the Commonwealth has sold its insurance arm and will spin off or sell its huge Colonial First State asset management business, while westpac has been less active, but has separated itself from BT (now renamed Pendal).

“These results are perhaps the first sign that the ‘ ualitative’ economic, competitive and conduct challenges we have been calling out over the past few years, even in the face of record earnings, are now translating into quantitative financials,” said PwC’s banking and capital markets leader, Colin Heath said in his firm’s report.

The latest bank earnings season was again assisted by ultra low levels of bad and doubtful debts (which helped all four), which fell again despite observations over previous years they couldn’t get any lower. Lower bad debts lifts cash profits, but also works the other way. Net interest margins rose for the CBA, NAB and Westpac in the half year periods, but fell for the ANZ.

Fitch expects the banks' bad loan charges to increase from their current historic lows in the short term but noted a reduction in the banks’ risk appetite would improve the long-term quality of their loan books.

That reduction in risk will come about via the blowback from the royal commission (banks have already started taking a tougher line on home loans in particular), and the continuing fall in interest only loans and the move by some borrowers to normal principal and interest mortgages also destress loan books.

While the Commonwealth Bank on Wednesday said the number of its home loans more than 90 days in arrears rose in the three months to March 31, from 0.59% of mortgages to 0.65%, Westpac had a different, more relaxed story.

Westpac pointed out in its March 31 half year report that there was “Little change to 90+ day delinquencies over the half” and that “Properties in possession reduced to 398 over the half, out of a portfolio of about 1.6 million loans.”

And banks can’t be hoping for the Reserve bank to help with a well-timed rate rise - official rates are on hold until 2019 and perhaps 2020 (if the forecast from Dr Shane Oliver, the AMP’s chief economist is any guide). he said at the weekend that there is stil a chance of a rate cut if conditions do not pick up.
=================================================

fitch always tough than spx and moody ...it seems. but i kinda agree with Ceo of ANZ -----the golden day of our 4 big banks are over.



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nipper
post Posted: Nov 1 2017, 05:23 AM
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The Thoughts of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink
QUOTE
Household investing is only a problem if household income rises slower than inflation and or you have rising unemployment. Over the last three years or I think the Australian banks have been pretty good at keeping a good loan to value ratios and low default rates."

"I am less fearful of the banks. Two years ago I would say the banks were very expensive versus international banks; "in the last two years the banks, based on the stock prices are flat, Macquarie is probably the only one that has been rising.

"But the majority of the banks haven't really moved, whereas JPMorgan's stock price has doubled. BNP Paribas's stock price has more than doubled. So, all the rest of the banks are now closer to the valuations of the Aussie banks.

"Australia has its share of governmental issues, like so many democracies, like the UK and the US. "Generally when there's political instability the first line of attack is against the banks. When there is uncertainty around governments there is generally uncertainty around banks.

"But I don't think the banks overall in Australia are unusually bad. I would say that the banks by and large are pretty strong in the foundational beliefs of doing the right thing. "But I believe the Australian banks have done a very good job overall.

"Now could there have been some lending practices that could have been better? Sure. Obviously, there's no excuse for money laundering, so I'm not here to say that there is not some evidence of some bad practices. There has to be change when you see that type of bad behaviour if there is not the proper process.

"But I would say for the size of these entities these four banks in Australia and the scale of what they do in terms of what they do for a society and they are not so bad."

Read more: http://www.afr.com/brand/chanticleer/black...3#ixzz4x7CxhyYD





--------------------
"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne

Said 'Thanks' for this post: early birds  
 
nipper
post Posted: Sep 25 2017, 06:10 PM
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Posts: 5,395
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QUOTE
Mortgages account for roughly 60 per cent of major bank loans and have driven record profits for Australia's largest banks. But borrowers have recently begun moving away from high-cost interest-only loans, which have largely supported bank profitability.

PwC recently pointed out that new loans will be made on a principal-and-interest basis and to owner-occupiers. This would put a further squeeze on bank margins, given their lower interest rates.

Further to this, following the banks' decision to raise rates on interest-only loans – by about 0.5 percentage points – clients are now paying down their debt faster than ever.

"This doesn't bode well for Australian banks who are already fairly stretched," ..."This transition off interest-only loans for borrowers and the fact they're already relatively expensive versus global peers explains why global investors are likely to look elsewhere."...
AFR



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne

Said 'Thanks' for this post: early birds  
 
Mags
post Posted: Aug 24 2017, 09:18 AM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Aug 23 2017, 03:49 PM

The banks may be behind amazon in terms of data management....

But when amazon makes real profits, then I'll sit up and take notice, until then, they're just a cut price retailers, who jumped on the IT band wagon: Nothing they do is particularly special, they make turn over sure. Nothing they do is unique enough for them to have huge profits so it's just smoke and mirrors.

A few shareholders get spectacularly rich from speculators, but where is the real money??????


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