Deutsche’s Christmas stock picks

RETAIL 00120809 AFR PHOTOGRAPH BY GLENN HUNT 180110.GENERICS- jb hi-fi, woolworths , big w, retail, shopping.AFR USE ONLY DIGICAM 00120809 NCH NEWS. Christmas shopping rush at Westfield Kotara. Pic shows shoppers queuing in JB Hi-Fi. 23rd December 2015. NCH. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS MMH
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The economy may be “mixed at best”, but Deutsche Bank Aussie equity strategists see opportunities to add some “Christmas cheer” to your shares portfolio among the battered listed retailers.

“Historically reliable indicators such as NAB business sentiment and employment are very strong, but we still can’t reconcile them with other measures,” the strategists write in a note to clients. “For example, earnings revisions for small industrials tend to move with business sentiment, but are currently a little below average. And despite strong jobs growth, consumer sentiment is poor, thanks to low wages growth.”

Those ASX-listed businesses relying on discretionary spending are particularly out of favour with investors right now, the strategists write. In fact, they continue, on “our scorecard they come out as the most unpopular parts of the market”.

But the Deutsche Bank team see a “tactical opportunity” to make some money in an unloved sector. Or, as they put it, to “add some Christmas cheer to the portfolio”. They put up two reasons.

First, and as mentioned, they are heavily out of favour. And when the market is crowded in one direction, there is always the chance that the pessimism has gone too far and liable for some reversion.

Hedge funds have “high levels of short interest” in discretionary and food retail names, the strategists write. But with these stocks trading on relatively low price-to-earnings multiples, “there’s the risk of a squeeze higher if Christmas spending is reasonable”.

Second, households are generally speaking “income poor” – amid historically low wages growth and ramping households costs, such as in electricity and childcare. But they are also “asset rich”, the bank’s analysts write.

Household net worth is at record highs at about 7?? times annual income, they calculate. And that “wealth effect” may give Aussie shoppers the confidence to spend more over the holiday period.

“Rising wealth tends to lead to a lower saving rate,” they write, and further falls in this rate could bankroll more spending.

The strategists add JB Hi-Fi and Scentre to their model portfolio, up their exposure to Woolworths, and continue to hold Harvey Norman.

Elsewhere, the Deutsche Bank team cut their exposure to the banks to “neutral” from “overweight”, referring to their portfolio’s exposure relative to the weightings of the ASX 200 benchmark index.

The banks’ “revenue growth could be pressured,” they explain. “Our lead indicator points to a slowdown in credit growth, and the benefits of re-pricing have largely passed.”

“Further, analysts have become more upbeat with more ‘buy’ ratings – that’s historically been a bad signal for subsequent performance.”

Following the recent share price bounce, they switch from Commonwealth Bank to NAB.

Miners, on the other hand, “still look like a good sector to own”.

“The broad Asian growth cycle is in good shape, based on earnings revisions and exports,” they write. “China’s nominal growth indicators are still firm, and neutral monetary conditions should prevent much of a fall in commodity prices.”

The sector remains in “earnings upgrade mode” based on current commodity prices, and “free cash flows are very strong”. They like Rio Tinto and BHP, but remove South32.

Has FFA’s failure to heed past lessons put it in peril?

The demand for greater A-League independence, financial transparency of the FFA’s accounts and an increased say for clubs in the sport’s management are key factors driving the current schism between the clubs and the Steven Lowy-led FFA board.
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But this dispute, which is set to come to a head later this week and could see FIFA take over the running of n soccer, is not something that has occurred over the past few months.

It’s said that those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

With that in mind, it’s worth considering, given the impending implosion of the game, whether the FFA leaders have absorbed past lessons or whether they are largely the authors of the situation they find themselves in now.

Six years ago a detailed government report into the workings of the FFA and the operation of the A-League told the then Frank Lowy-led body that things had to change if the game was to reach its full potential.

The report was undertaken by the n Sports Commission, then chaired by former Tasmanian Liberal MP and Howard government cabinet minister Warwick Smith, who is currently a senior executive at ANZ Bank.

As long ago as 2011 the ASC was pinpointing the problems the game was facing because of the FFA leadership’s unwillingness to delegate responsibility and allow its key stakeholders more input into the sport.

It pointed out that the key recommendations of the groundbreaking Crawford Report of 2003 – which ushered in the new era which led to the establishment of the FFA and the coronation of Lowy senior as the game’s ultimate ruler – had not been fully implemented.

And, a decade-and-a-half after Crawford, critics of the FFA management argue that many of those provisions have still to be enacted and that the governance of the game is unsatisfactory – hence the current revolt.

The report, even at that time, said hard decisions over the future management of the game needed to be taken and that continued reliance on government largesse was unsustainable: the FFA and A-League clubs needed to get their financial house in order to ensure growth.

Back then, A-League clubs were losing collectively some $25 million a year putting on the show. Only Melbourne Victory has, in the intervening years, been a consistent moneymaker but even it showed a loss in its last accounts.

But, the ASC pointed out, the owners were not being given the opportunity to increase their revenue streams through greater power and control of the competition.

It is a message that resonates still.

“These owners perceive a limited ability to contribute to the strategic direction of the competition nor ability to address structural issues that contribute to their losses,” the report said.

“There is a perceived lack of transparency and decision making and financials around the A-League and concerns about participation agreements which are geared in FFA’s favour and limit clubs’ ability to generate further revenue.”

These are all key issues which are still grievances of the clubs and have fuelled the enmity which has put the game on a civil war footing which could end with FIFA taking control of the sport here.

Should that happen later this week the existing board and its chairman Steven Lowy, son of inaugural chairman Frank, would likely be sacked and a temporary administration installed.

At the heart of the current dispute is the make-up of the Congress – which elects the FFA board – and the lack of broad-based representation of the wider football family in the decision-making process.

The ASC reports made that a critical point all those years ago, warning the FFA that it should give consideration to increasing A-League club voting rights in relation to the FFA board (one of the key demands of the Lowy opponents today) or establish a subsidiary A-League entity to the FFA, with its own board.

In other words, a wholly or partly independent A-League, which, if the current impasse is not resolved, is the most likely outcome if the clubs decide that there is no option but to break away and go it alone.

The lack of transparency and openness over funding has been a major factor in the clubs’ disgruntlement. They argue that as the main drivers of revenue for the game they should be earning a greater share of TV rights rather than see the cash they generate being used to underpin the Socceroos, myriad national teams and generous staff and executive salary packages at head office.

Then-FFA CEO Ben Buckley (left) and chairman Frank Lowy in 2006. Photo: Peter Rae

Even back in 2011 the ASC report identified bloated FFA salaries as a cause for concern, recommending that the organisation cut head office costs through a recruitment and salary freeze and reduced travel costs.

The ASC findings were from a different time: Frank Lowy was the chairman who ruled with an iron fist, Ben Buckley was the CEO and several current board and executive members were not with the organisation.

But those looking at the current situation would probably say the more things change, the more it stays the same.

Debate around rules of the internet rocked by fake comments

New York: Fear of foreign interference in US domestic issues surfaced once again last week when the New York State Attorney-General suggested massive identity theft had corrupted the decision making process on so-called “net neutrality”.
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Eric Schneiderman, the top law enforcement official in New York state, revealed a six-month investigation by his office had discovered hundreds of thousands of people across New York, California, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas had their identities appropriated and misused to make public submissions to a Federal Communications Commission inquiry.

The FCC is a government agency charged with regulating communications and media in the US. It had called for public comments on a controversial plan by the agency’s chairman Ajit Pai to reverse net neutrality rules, which were established under the Obama administration in 2015.

Net neutrality is the concept that all content on the internet is equal. The idea is that the internet is a public utility and that anyone, from consumers to amateur bloggers and entrepreneurs, has the same access to the web, at the same speed, as tech giants Google and Facebook.

The Obama regulations established net neutrality by banning internet service providers and telcos from charging extra money to access certain services, for example Netflix, and slowing down the internet for users who can’t or won’t pay premiums for faster speeds.

Net neutrality means there is one internet, not a tiered system dictated by ISPs, and their customers’ ability to pay.

The commission received more than 22 million comments from the public during the consultation period.. Most were in support of the 2015 regulations, but Schneiderman claimed a disproportionate number of fake submissions undermined the integrity of the process.

Schneiderman railed at Pai for failing to cooperate with his investigation.

Was the debate on net neutrality under attack from Russia? Or was it from US-based lobby groups? Schneiderman did not know, but he wanted to find out. Pai, like much of US President Donald Trump’s administration, shared little of the same curiosity.

The New York Attorney-General has good reason for concern. An independent analysis of the FCC public submissions by data company Gravwell found that only 17.4 per cent of the more than 22,152,276 comments were “unique” – one-off, original comments. It was discovered that most comments were submitted in bulk and from contestable sources.

More than one million comments posted in July were attached to an email address at pornhub苏州夜总会招聘, a popular porn website. The analysis also saw clear evidence of comments being posted by bots – software that can run high-volume automated tasks.

According to Corey Thuen, the co-founder of Gravwell, his company’s analysis also found bot-controlled submissions took a significantly different point of view on net neutrality than individual comments made organically through the FCC’s website.

“Either the very act of going to the FCC comment site and providing a comment is only attractive to those of a certain political leaning or the bulk submission information is full of lies,” Theune wrote in a blog post on his company’s website.

Pai, a former attorney for US telecoms giant, Verizon, was appointed as FCC chairman by Trump in January. Last week he announced his intention to roll back the net neutrality regulations, with four other FCC commissioners set to vote on December 14. The vote is likely to fall along Republican-dominated party lines, three to two.

The debate about his plan has grown so heated, on Monday protesters left signs against the rollback outside his house that mentioned his children by name.

Pai appeared on Fox News saying such protest tactics “crossed a line”.

“It was a little nerve-racking,” he told Fox News. “Especially for my wife who’s not involved in this space.”

has no regulations guaranteeing net neutrality, but in the US it is a big deal. In one corner sit tech giants like Google and Amazon, small businesses and entrepreneurs, Democrats, and much of the public, in favour of the regulation.

In the other corner is Pai, Trump, many Republicans, and telecom and internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. Pai’s pitch is that ending net neutrality – the repeal is officially called “Restoring Internet Freedom” – supports an open market.

It was this line that was echoed by the Schneiderman investigation, which discovered thousands of FCC submissions were cut-and-paste identical messages.

“The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation,” the message said. Pai probably couldn’t have said it better himself.

“Impersonation and other misuse of a person’s identity violates New York law,” Schneiderman warned Pai.

The FCC vote may be one click away from ending net neutrality, but it’s likely the battle for the internet won’t end in December.

Net neutrality supporters – and Facebook and Google dollars – will see the issue go to the courts, but the dispute won’t just involve corporate and public interests.

Schneiderman has introduced the idea that foreign, or at least malevolent, interference might now be about more than influencing elections. Ironically, in a debate on net neutrality, that influence came via the internet.

‘We’re entitled to be heard’: The Labor senators voting ‘no’ to same-sex marriage

Photos of Labor Senators Chris Ketter, Helen Polley and Don Farrell during debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the Senate, at Parliament House in Canberra. fedpol Photos: Alex Ellinghausen Labor Senator Jacinta Collins during debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the Senate, at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 28 November 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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L-R: Photos of Labor Senators Jacinta Collins, Chris Ketter, Helen Polley and Don Farrell during debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the Senate, at Parliament House in Canberra. fedpol Photos: Alex Ellinghausen

L-R: Photos of Labor Senators Jacinta Collins, Chris Ketter, Helen Polley and Don Farrell during debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill in the Senate, at Parliament House in Canberra. fedpol Photos: Alex Ellinghausen

At least three Labor senators will vote against the legalisation of same-sex marriage, but have backed down over religious exemptions to allow the bill a smooth passage through the Parliament.

South ‘s Don Farrell, Tasmania’s Helen Polley and Queensland’s Chris Ketter – all linked to the conservative shop assistants’ union – have signalled their intention to vote against marriage equality in coming days.

Jacinta Collins, another “shoppies” veteran from Victoria, will effectively abstain by pairing her”no” vote with “yes” supporter Gavin Marshall, who is on secondment to the United Nations. Deborah O’Neill, from NSW, is also expected to vote no, or to abstain.

The number of socially-conservative Labor senators is not sufficient to endanger passage of the bill, and their decision to vote against the bill is accepted by the party, which has granted all MPs a conscience vote on the issue of same-sex marriage.

But in a key development on Tuesday, Labor announced it would vote as a bloc against all proposed amendments to Liberal senator Dean Smith’s bill, essentially guaranteeing it will pass through the Senate in current form.

It dooms proposed changes from Liberal senators to allow businesses and civil celebrants to discriminate against same-sex couples on conscientious as well as religious grounds. It also dooms Greens amendments to wind back the exemptions already contained within Senator Smith’s bill.

The conservative Labor senators have been temporarily placated by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock will review ‘s protection of religious freedoms.

Senator Polley told the Senate it was “time that we move on and that we get this done”, and said she had “no desire to hold up the passing of this legislation”. But she gave strong in-principle support for future moves to protect freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, saying she had been inundated with messages of support on the streets.

“It’s important that we all remember we’re entitled to have different views, we’re entitled to be heard and we’re entitled to practice our religion and to have freedom to do so in this country of ours,” Senator Polley said.

Senator Farrell, a right-wing powerbroker and key backer of Bill Shorten, confirmed: “When this vote is taken in the next day or two, I shall be voting ‘no’.” Many Labor voters opposed same-sex marriage, he said, and he was determined to represent them.

Senator Collins, meanwhile, stressed she had not been cajoled into opposing amendments that would protect religious freedoms. She backed Mr Turnbull’s decision to “kick the issue down the road” through the Ruddock review, but said the idea Coalition parliamentarians were the only ones who could protect religious freedom was “absolute poppycock”.

The so-called shoppies union, which has copped considerable criticism for trading away workers’ penalty rates in agreements with big employers, has a famously conservative leadership which lobbied former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard to hold the line against same-sex marriage.

Former Labor senator Joe Bullock, who was the union’s national vice-president for 10 years, sensationally quit politics last year because he could not abide Labor’s support for what he called “homosexual marriage”.

TheatreSpotlight on CONDA awardsKen Longworth

TOP NIGHT: Alison Hodge, Georgia Hicks Jones, and Marissa Saroca perform a Priscilla, Queen of the Desert medley at the 2016 CONDA Awards.THE annual City of Newcastle Drama Awards night is not just an occasion for honouring theatre works.
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It gives company members and theatregoers the chance to enjoy the ever-expanding skills of performers and backstage workers in Newcastle and the Lower Hunter.

The 2017 CONDA Awards ceremony, at the Wests New Lambton Starlight Room on Saturday, at 7pm, will feature six very different musical numbers, with 55 performers aged from nine upwards, and including a youth musical number and a big rock song. The awards staging team is keeping song titles and performers’ names secret to surprise the audience.

The awards ceremony hosts are actors Drew Holmes and Elise Martin, with Newcastle-raised musical star Tom Handley as a guest presenter.

Handley auditioned for and won a place in the Western n Academy of Performing Arts music theatre degree course before doing the HSC at Hunter School of the Performing Arts in 2008.

Since graduating in 2011, he has appeared in long-running touring musicals, including Wicked and My Fair Lady, and has just been announced as a member of a new touring production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The night will also include video interview celebrations of the theatre work of retiring entertainers Lesly Stevenson and Val and Bill Hitchcock.

Lesly Stevenson founded the Dance and Performing Arts Academy (DAPA) in 1988, Newcastle’s first training entity to cover all the performing arts. In 2001, she bought the Roxy Theatre in Hamilton, renamed it the DAPA Theatre, and used it for classes and performances.

A two-time CONDA winner, she was president of CONDA Inc, which manages the CONDA Awards, for several years. The DAPA Theatre has been bought by WEA Hunter, which will rename it The Creative Arts Space when it takes over the venue on Friday and will continue to use it for training people and performances.

Val and Bill Hitchcock managed Newcastle’s first and longest running show-and-meal company, Club 71 Dinner Theatre, since 1980, and, now in their 80s, have decided to close it.

Club 71 was established in 1971, with the Hitchcocks joining as performers in 1974. They took over the company when founders Ken Mantle and Madge Ormerod stood down.

The videos were put together by CONDA Inc’s major awards night partner, Out of the Square Media.Awards will be presented in 22 categories, plus an Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Award.

The strength of the theatre work of Newcastle and Lower Hunter companies is shown by 39 shows receiving 126 nominations, with 25 staging groups represented.

Indian woman in court for right to keep Muslim husband

Delhi: A young Indian woman who has been fighting for the right to be a Muslim and live with her Muslim husband told the Indian Supreme Court she desired two things: “I want my freedom” and “I want to be with my husband”.
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Of these two wishes, the judges granted the first. They struck a blow for personal liberty and against custody traditions, by telling Hadiya that she was free of parental control, could leave her parents’ house, and resume her studies to become a homeopath.

Hadiya, 25, travelled from Kerala in the south, to the other end of the country, to the Indian capital, to win this right. She appeared before the judges because the Supreme Court expressly ordered her father to bring her so that she could speak for herself.

The ruling ended a cruel confinement. Since May 25, on the order of the Kerala High Court, she has been under house arrest at her parents’ home in Kottayam, Kerala, and denied visitors. With no phone or internet access, she has been isolated and confined by her own father, KM Ashokan, who in turn was backed by the Kerala High Court.

However, the second wish – that she be allowed to live with her husband – was not granted yet because the Supreme Court is still examining Ashokan’s contention that his daughter has been indoctrinated by jihadi groups and forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim.

His lawyer also suggested in Monday’s hearing that Hadiya could be mentally unsound as there was a history of mental illness in the family.

Yet, when she appeared, dressed in a red outfit and red headscarf, Hadiya spoke in a calm, rational manner, saying she wanted her freedom and wanted to be with her husband. Her lawyer said that she was “entitled to make decisions about her own life”.

Hadiya used to be known as Akhila Ashokan, a Hindu woman who converted to Islam while studying in Salem, Tamil Nadu on the Indian continent’s south-eastern tip. Last year, she met a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan, and they married in December. Her livid father went to the Kerala High Court demanding that Hadiya be returned to his custody and claiming that she had been indoctrinated.

In May, the Kerala High Court nullified the wedding, saying Hadiya was “weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways” and that “her marriage being the most important decision in her life, can also be taken only with the active involvement of her parents”. She was forcibly taken to her parents’ home.

Women’s rights activists were shocked at an adult woman being treated as a minor who did not know her own mind. Jahan appealed to the Supreme Court to restore his nullified marriage.

On August 16, the Supreme Court asked the National Investigation Agency, which investigates terrorism, to report if Hadiya’s conversion to Islam was free or part of a “love jihad” – a phrase used by some Hindu fringe groups to allege that Muslim men are forcing Hindu women into marriage.

In court on Monday, the NIA insisted that the case was not an isolated and simple matter of a woman making her own choices but one of many forced conversions in Kerala by jihadi groups with links to ISIS.

The NIA has investigated 89 cases of “love jihad” after hardline Hindu groups claimed the existence of an Islamist campaign to convert Hindu women through seduction and marriage. Police investigations at the time found no evidence of any organised strategy, and the claim was widely ridiculed. But since then, it began focusing on Kerala, on the Arabian Sea coast which has strong economic links to the Middle East.

The agency asked “extremely personal” questions during the interrogations, two police officers from the agency said: “Did you sleep with your husband before getting married? Did he suggest you visit Islamic shrines before marriage? Did he blackmail you before you converted to Islam?”.

It found nine to be alliances planned by people linked to the Islamic State group and in two of the cases it was examining money sent from an Islamic school in Iraq to the women’s bank accounts, two NIA sources said, requesting anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The NIA plans to present evidence in all nine cases to the Supreme Court.

While the case has hogged the headlines, Hadiya’s story has become a totem for right wing Hindu groups alleging that Muslim extremists are brainwashing Hindu women; for conservative groups who believe a father knows what is best for his daughter; for women’s groups who are aghast at the infantalisation of a grown woman; and for liberals who wonder if inter-faith marriages are possible without the couple having to prove in court that it was not a forced union.

Women’s rights groups are hoping the Court will eventually restore Hadiya’s fundamental right to choose her husband and her religion.

Jahan is hoping it will overturn the annulment of his marriage. The hearing continues in January.

– with Reuters

Warehouse conversions in hip inner-suburbs set fresh records

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Warehouse conversions in hip inner-suburbs are setting new records. A converted warehouse-to-office at 77 Murphy Street sold for $8594 a sq m, easily eclipsing the previous record of $6613 a sq m for the area set 12 months ago with the sale of 32 Crown Street. Teska Carson’s Tom Maule and Matthew Feld said the property was auctioned in front of a large crowd with five bidders pushing the price $250,000 over the reserve, with the buyer paying $2.75 million on a tight 3.4 per cent yield.

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About 20 parties showed interest in a showroom/warehouse at 12 Wallace Avenue before it sold to a private investor for $5.7 million. The property was leased to stoneware retailer Lifes Tiles. It sold through CVA’s Craig McKellar and Robert Cubelic. In Keilor East, the firm’s Anthony Carbone and Leo Mancino sold a warehouse at 103 Slater Parade for $625,000.


Landholdings with development potential continue to attract premiums. A 226-232 High Street site changed hands to a local developer for $4.5 million. Fitzroys’ Chris James and David Bourke of Fitzroys negotiated the off-market transaction. The site sold with holding income from an outdoor advertising sign of $30,600 per annum.


An owner-occupier purchased a freestanding office at 75 Asling Street for $3.37 million. The commercial zoned 1 property, tenanted until December next year, was sold on a yield of 3.79 per cent by CBRE’s Sandro Peluso, Mark Wizel, David Minty, Chao Zhang and Kinson Wong.


A large 4046 sq m landholding sold for $3.05 million to a developer a week before the on-site public auction. Opposite the Pacific Epping Shopping Centre, 72 Cooper Street was sold by JLL’s Stephen Bolton, Sam Baines, Mario Moscon and Anthony Cannizzaro.


Industrial development site sales are surging. Cushman & Wakefield’s Andrew O’Connell and Jordie Cassidy sold 28 Enterprise Drive for $2.6 million. The site is next to Repco’s head office and other major corporate tenants. “The severe shortage of developable land in Melbourne’s south-east is continuing to drive strong prices,” Mr O’Connell said.

Surrey Hills

An office suite at 670 Canterbury Road leased to NASDAQ-listed company Ebix sold for $1.55 million, reflecting a record rate in the building of $5382 per square metre. “Investor demand for office suites with secure leases is continuing to prove beneficial for owners,” Gorman Commercial’s Stephen Gorman said.

Balwyn North

Leased to Goju Karate-Do and a gym on the ground floor, a two-level building at 378-380 Balwyn Road has sold for $1.86 million. CBRE’s Rorey James, Nic Hage and JJ Heng said the property sold on a yield of 3.3 per cent to an Asian investor. The property sold for 55 per cent over the vendors reserve, they said.


An older-style factory on 423 sq m that was returning $25,000 on a monthly tenancy has sold for $1.3 million. The warehouse just metres from Sydney Road at 22 Ovens Street sold shortly after auction, Gorman Commercial’s Dean Alexander and Stephen Gorman said.


An investor has paid $1.15 million in an off-market deal for an older-style factory at 16 Power Road. The new owner purchased the 1224 sq m office/warehouse within 24 hours and will be renovating the site prior to a tenant moving in. Knight Frank’s Luke Crozier and Steven Salopek handled the sale.



Baharian Wealth Management has leased 76 sq m of office space to occupy level 4, 289 Flinders Lane for $490 per sq m net on a five-year term, JLL’s Alexandra Harper said. In another deal, cleaning company Consolidated Property Services has leased 107.2 sq m at level 6, 140 Queen Street for $325 per sq m gross on a two-year term, she said.

Box Hill South

In a 10-year deal, Robinson Gill will relocate from nearby 701 Station Street to a 1260 sq m office on Level 3 at 990 Whitehorse Road. “Robinson Gill were already located in Box Hill and while they needed more space, they didn’t want to move away from their client base,” Colliers International’s Kevin Tutty said. The group will pay gross face rent of $350 per sq m.


Parking for Melbourne Airport has spilled into 36 Tullamarine Park Road where Anthony Carbone and Tom Gleeson from CVA leased a large warehouse on a 2804 sq m property to a local company for vehicle parking and storage. The property was leased for $85,000 per annum plus GST on a 5+5-year term.


Monash IVF will take a short-term lease at 2 Domville Avenue. Colliers International’s Chris Meehan and Tom Rothel negotiated a two-year lease for the 300 sq m at gross face rent of $400 per sq m.


Dairy and agricultural products exporter Vicfarm has leased a 620 sq m two-level office at 8 Yarra Street. Fitzroys’ Chris James and Stephen Land negotiated the 3+3-year deal at around $130,000 per annum gross. Tenants are looking beyond the CBD for new space, Mr James said.

Hawthorn East

Insurance brokerage firm EBM have taken an additional 610 sq m of office at 8 Redfern Road. Gorman Commercial’s Richard Height negotiated the new lease which aligned with EBM’s original seven-year lease when it committed to 1500 sq m. Rent was undisclosed but likely to be in the order of $360 per sq m.

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Off-the-plan childcare centres sell for $10.5m

Two childcare centres in Melbourne’s south-east have sold off the plan to a Chinese investor for $10.5 million.
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The centres sold on a yield of 6.3 per cent, slightly higher than average, reflecting a discount for purchasing two properties in one line, Savills ‘s Jesse Radisich said.

Mr Radisich marketed the assets with Julian Heatherich, Mark Stafford and Benson Zhou.

Development and turnover of childcare centres has risen sharply in over the past three years.

At the same time, average yields have crunched from a peak around 8.5 per cent in 2012 to 5.84 per cent this year, according to figures from agency Burgess Rawson.

Oreana Property Group developed the centres, one at 75 Station Street in Pakenham and the other at 84-90 Quarters Boulevard in Cranbourne West.

Both centres will be leased to new education provider Aspire Early Education on 10-year terms with two further five year options to renew.

Secure government funding, strong demand for childcare places, an increase in workforce participation and surging population growth are driving growth and small to medium investor interest in the sector.

A CBRE boardroom auction resulted in a Geelong childcare centre selling for $3.6 million on a 6 per cent yield. Agents Josh Twelftree, Sandro Peluso and Kinson Wong handled the sale.

The centre at 337-339 Charlemont Road in the new residential sub division of Armstrong Creek was leased to Eclipse Early Learning Group on a brand-new 10+10+10-year lease to 2047.

Another centre in Mornington has transacted for $1.365 million on a 4.2 per cent yield.

The centre sold at a well-contested Teska Carson auction for $165,000 above reserve, agents George Takis and Fergus Evans said.

The property at 18-20 Fleet Street was sold subject to a five year lease on a net annual rental of $58,000 with 4 per cent annual increases.

Mr Takis said the centre attracted interest from local, interstate and offshore buyers, with three bidders driving the auction.

“The property ticked all the boxes for astute investors in a red-hot market for childcare centres nationally and so the result was not a huge surprise,” he said.

China to Bali flights cancelled as Mount Agung erupts

Tourists in Bali stop to view Mount Agung, totally swallowed by the grey ash plumes and clouds. Photo: Amilia RosaThousands of holidaymakers stranded in Bali are set to spend another day in Indonesia as volcanic ash spews into the air surrounding the island’s airport.
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All flights from to Bali were cancelled on Monday because of the ash cloud around Mount Agung.

Indonesian authorities closed Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar on Monday and ordered people within 10 kilometres of the erupting volcano to evacuate after raising the alert to level 4 – the highest level.

The airport said in a statement that 445 flights – 196 international and 249 domestic – and 59,000 passengers had been affected.

Eruptions from Mount Agung have sent volcanic ash and steam up to 4000 metres into the skies above the summit.

“Continuing plumes of smoke are occasionally accompanied by explosive eruptions and the sound of weak blasts that can be heard up to 12 kilometres from the peak,” the Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said in a statement.

“Rays of fire are increasingly visible from night to the following day. This indicates the potential for a larger eruption is imminent,” it said.

Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas advised passengers between 10am and 11am on Monday that all flights were cancelled.

The decision was made on safety grounds and overturns earlier expectations that flights would go ahead.

“While these disruptions are frustrating, we will always put safety before schedule,” Jetstar said in a statement.

Crowds of passengers cram customer service desks set up at Denpasar airport’s international terminal on Monday. Photo: Amilia Rosa

Virgin updated its announcement online saying Denpasar Airport had closed and the airline had subsequently cancelled all flights to Bali.

Eruptions and ash falls are likely to continue for at least the next 24 hours, the n Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said on Monday.

And it has –enough to keep the airport closed again on Tuesday and through to 7am on Wednesday.

The BoM’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), which is based in Darwin, said the height of the eruption has been steadily increasing and that it is continuing to advise the aviation industry about the potential impact of volcanic ash.

“The height of the eruption has been steadily increasing, ash is currently observed to a height of 30,000 feet (or 9144 metres) and a small amount of ash has fallen at Denpasar Airport and acrossBali’s south east,” it said in a statement.

Airport spokesman Arie Ahsan said the airport closure was based on information fromVAACand the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatologyand Geophysics.

We’re continuing to closely monitor Mount Agung in Bali. Due to increased volcanic ash and current weather conditions, Denpasar Airport is now closed and we have cancelled today’s flights. More info here: https://t苏州夜场招聘/LD8rC5LZdZ

— Virgin (@Virgin) November 26, 2017Waspadai banjir lahar hujan (lahar dingin) di sekitar Gunung Agung. Banjir lahar hujan sudah terjadi di beberapa tempat di lereng Gunung Agung. Hujan akan meningkat. Jangan melakukan aktivitas di sekitar sungai. Radius 8-10 km harus kosong dari aktivitas masyarakat. #Balipic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/5vuZ4KTTYa

— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_BNPB) November 27, 2017

Volcanic ash poses a potentially deadly threat to aircraft and passengers.

Mount Agung is just over 72 kilometres from Kuta, and towers over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3000 metres.

It last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1000 people and razing several villages.

with AAP

Premium price paid for ageing Northcote retail centre

A faded Northcote shopping centre has sold for $34 million on a staggeringly-sharp yield of 3.47 per cent.
SuZhou Night Recruitment

A local private investor beat stiff competition to snap up Northcote Central, a 6657 square metre shopping centre on the corner of High and Separation streets.

CBRE agents Mark Wizel and Justin Dowers said 16 offers were made for the centre, which sold quickly after a second round of expressions of interest.

They declined to identify the buyer, understood to be a local, whose plans for the centre are unknown. A residential developer was widely anticipated to buy the ageing centre which is on a large 9205 square metre site.

Residential development above shopping centres and supermarkets is a growing trend. The Piedimonte family has recently proposed building apartments above a new supermarket in nearby North Fitzroy.

The buyer is understood to have beaten developers and major retailers, including Mirvac, Pace and Woolworths to buy the site. Neighbouring regional shopping centre, Northcote Plaza, boasts two Coles supermarkets. When Coles closed Bi-Lo, a second supermarket was opened rather than leave the space open to a competing retailer.

Recent commentators on the Northcote byelection, focused on its hipsters and cool cafes, may never have set foot into either shopping centre which retain a down-at-heel early ’90s atmosphere. Christos Tsiolkas set scenes in his hit novel The Slap in the retail complex and the adjoining All Nations Park.

Northcote Central was built in 1989 and opened in 1990. The 1980s architecture has not aged well and locals still mourn the loss of the Carters Arms hotel which was demolished to build it.

It is anchored by an Aldi supermarket, has 13 shops, including a Lincraft outlet and a Reject Shop. The Bank of Sydney (previously the Laiki Bank) and a Vinnies op shop occupy the High Street fronting shops.

The property earns a passing income of $1.18 million but could return up to $1.33 million if fully let. Title deeds indicate that a company called Sporran Quentin paid $4.8 million for the centre in 1995.

Local real estate agent Tom Moss from Moss Estate Agents said the purchase was in keeping with much of the area’s investment.

“The local market is definitely buying locally – even residentially. If the buyers are locals they’ll probably just sit on it for 15 years and double their money,” Mr Moss said.

While both Northcote Central and the Plaza appear to be in need of a major revamp, Mr Moss argues they help the High Street strip boasts “plenty of character”.

“That’s what makes Northcote unique compared with many other strips. It still retains its local community feel. It’s not very commercialised.”

Northcote Central’s low yield is a reflection of both the under-let nature of the centre and the underlying development value of the land but shopping centre yields have been dropping all over Victoria.

CBRE research shows recent neighbourhood centre yields are averaging around 5.5 per cent. Both local and offshore investors are keenly pursuing the assets which are focused on non-discretionary spending.