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China’s Manufacturing PMI numbers bad news for Australia’s resources sector

Posted on Dec 1, 2015

China’s Manufacturing PMI numbers indicate a severe decline in manufacturing.  The official PMI was 49.6 in November, indicating that the sector is contracting.  The reading was the worst in more than 3 years, and below market expectations of an already weak reading of 49.8.

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RBA decision to leave interest rates on hold ‘prudent’

Posted on Dec 1, 2015

The RBA has today left official interest rates unchanged at 2.0%, preferring to leave the US Federal Reserve to make the necessary moves to push the AUD lower.
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Why customers, not technology, are the most disruptive change in IT

Posted on Nov 30, 2015

The most disruptive thing in the technology market today is not technology, it’s the customer. In this changing environment, smart providers are following the customer, joining them on their journey — not imposing an outdated sales process onto them.

Now, I get a lot of assent to these concepts. The tech providers I speak with on a daily basis confirm they do sense that buyers are coming to them later in the buying journey, better informed having been around the block a few times with advisors, analyst, peers and others before ever engaging with a provider sales person.

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What happens when trustees fail to engage on environmental and social issues?

Posted on Nov 16, 2015

There is momentum behind the recognition of financial risks and opportunities associated with climate change and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in over the horizon investment decisions. This is driven not only by ethical shareholder groups but increasingly on the international scene by leading institutions who are proactively engaging with the associated valuation, risk management and disclosure issues. These changes shape debate around the investment of client funds in Australia (where there is no member-direction) and could be the tipping point that mainstream trustees and portfolio managers would be ill-advised to ignore.

A recent case filing in the United States (Arch Coal case) illustrates the importance of fund trustees and their directors remaining informed, proactive and engaged on the issues such as ESG that may materially impact on portfolio risk management and strategy. This has implications under Australian law.

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Trusted relations in Asia are paramount

Posted on Nov 11, 2015

As Labor agrees to support Australia’s free trade agreement with China, one key issue often appears to be overlooked: trusted, intergenerational family relationships are paramount when dealing with Asia.

Australia’s official diplomatic relationship with Asia — dating back to the 1940s —  is only in its adolescent phase. In fact, Australia has little or no history in dealing with powerful, dynamic, wealthy entities in Asia.

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Why competition in healthcare may be the answer to spiralling costs, says MUCHE

Posted on Nov 10, 2015

Tax reform is the talk of the town but when it comes to funding our healthcare system, Health Minister Sussan Ley assures us there will be no additional taxes. Ley says it is a matter of spending our healthcare dollars more efficiently.

And no wonder. Expenditure on health care continues to grow and will be over $150 billion this year. Governments will provide around $100 billion. We spend around 9.7% of GDP on health care, while governments spent around 25% of their tax revenue.  Greater efficiency will reduce some of the budget pressure faced by the government.

Therein lies the rub – our healthcare system is less than perfect when it comes to promoting efficiency.

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Six tips on tenders

Posted on Nov 2, 2015

For organisations with medium to long-term service contracts, winning and retaining these contracts is critical to their future prospects and growth. When responding to tenders, many organisations fall down in the same areas. The six points below address some of these common pitfalls and attempt to go some way in assisting organisations in preparing quality tender responses. Read More

ALP says sharing economy businesses should comply with laws

Posted on Oct 28, 2015

If the sharing economy is the Wild West, then signs are the Sheriff is about to ride into town.

The ALP launched proposals for regulating sharing economy businesses like Airbnb and Uber, that have so shaken incumbents and thrilled consumers.

The ALP wants sharing economy businesses to comply with laws on wages and working conditions, to pay tax, meet consumer law standards, have insurance and be accessible to the disabled. It all seems very reasonable. They pledge to regulate with a “light touch.”

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Free trade agreements no guarantee of business success

Posted on Oct 19, 2015

All attention is on the China-Australia free trade agreement this week in the hope that the government accepts Labor’s amendments and the FTA is pushed through parliament. Last week, the focus was on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between Australia, Canada, US, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Despite years of protracted negotiations, the fact is the TPP may still not pass as each country needs to legislate in its favour. Read More

Sigma Pharmaceuticals’ sales revenue in line with market expectations

Posted on Sep 10, 2015

Sigma’s result announced today was a solid result. Due to management’s pre-announcement of the improved performance of Discount Drug Stores and Central Healthcare Solutions on 10 August, the sales revenue was largely in line with market expectations.

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