Unprecedented number of store closures could hit landlords and other retailers

Administrations just after Christmas are a somewhat common occurrence, as companies often trade through the key Christmas period in the hope of preventing a potential collapse. However, retail expert and professor at Queensland University of Technology, Gary Mortimer said he had never seen this many store closures and collapses announced at the beginning of the year. “I think there were certainly retailers banking on a strong Christmas to get them home,” he said. “So I suspect December trade’s been flat, so they didn’t get as much as they needed.” Sales…

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Youth fashion retailer mulls $300 million float despite a tough market

It is now owned by Catalyst Direct Capital Management, Five V Capital and Brett Blundy’s BB Retail Capital, which have in recent years reorganised the company’s corporate structure, including registering a holding company and a number of new subsidiaries. In the 2018 financial year, the retailer reported revenue of $112.3 million and a pre-tax profit of $14.3 million according to documents filed with the corporate regulator, marking a near-doubling of the bottom line and a 28 per cent sales increase on the prior financial year. Partial accounts for the 2019…

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RBA should stop pretending there is any more it can usefully do

Rates are already so exceptionally low it’s clear that it’s not the cost of capital that’s making businesses reluctant to invest in expanding their production capacity. Whatever their reasons for hesitating, cutting rates further won’t change anything. Moving to households, the record level of household debt does much to discourage them from borrowing to buy goods and services and so boost economic activity. Interest-rate movements mainly affect discretionary spending on household durables (cars, white goods, lounge suites etc), but sales of these are in the doldrums despite already super-low rates.…

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Lynas faces fresh legal challenge in Malaysia

Lynas was given six months to meet the new conditions and is expected to announce details of its expansion plans that will extract this radioactive waste in WA before being exported to Malaysia for further processing. The legal challenge states the decision to renew the licence should have been made by the Science and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin, and not the cabinet. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been named as a respondent.Credit:James Massola “It is our utmost concern that the same rule of law should be applied to…

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Jetstar and pilots to resume pay talks after December strike

Jetstar and the union are scheduled to meet on January 28, both parties confirmed, where they hope to break the deadlock. “Hopefully we’ll be able to make some progress between now and then,” an AFAP spokeswoman said. A Jetstar spokeswoman said the airline looked forward to “receiving details of the union’s new 3 per cent proposal it says it has”. AFAP members have the option of walking off the job again, with the workplace tribunal approving strike action of up to 24 hours. Jetstar has claimed the union’s demands equate…

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December jobs report ‘critical’ for RBA interest rate outlook

Despite the deceleration in hiring, labour market participation is seen holding at 66 per cent, keeping the national unemployment rate steady at 5.2 per cent, in line with the RBA’s forecasts offered in November last year. ANZ Bank is looking for a 5,000 jobs increase in employment during the month, something it believes will help cement the view that further stimulus is required to bolster economic growth and place downward pressure on unemployment. “This would mean that monthly jobs growth averaged less than 10,000 a month in the December quarter,…

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This is the guy who took away the likes

Mosseri knows something about dealing with dystopian tech fallout. He came to Instagram in October 2018 after years overseeing the Facebook News Feed, an unwitting engine of fake news, inflammatory rhetoric and disinformation. He wants to avoid similar pitfalls at Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. But making likes private, a change that has already occurred in Australia, will be a major shift for Instagram’s more than 1 billion users, for whom daily assessment of one another’s popularity has become like breathing. And so the company is carefully considering how…

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BlackRock’s immense clout a boost for ‘green investment’

Loading Though no doubt noble, the commitments are hardly unexpected, particularly on the back of the “greenwashing” claims Fink has recently had to contest. For a long time, talk of green investing has been little more than hot air. It seemed to be more an offshoot of the fund management industry’s PR effort than a genuine building block of its investment philosophy. There has been a surge in ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment conferences. The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney recently cautioned that £16 trillion ($25 trillion) of…

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Neobank Volt raises $70 million to target the ‘digitally comfortable’

Co-founder and chief executive Steve Weston said more than half of the funding will be used to support Volt’s regulatory capital requirements. “Until we had product in the market we could not justify an increase in share price and valuation,” he said. Research shows if people are comfortable using a smartphone or an Ipad they are potentially customers. Steve Weston The neobank, which has no branches, started launching to the 45,000 people on its waiting list and will open its products to the general public in February. Volt’s savings account…

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In media’s ‘Wild West, news consumers struggle to find truth, trust and transparency

Research released on Friday, conducted by the UTS Centre for Media Transition on behalf of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, found 83 per cent of respondents were concerned that news on commercial television and radio broadcasters was influenced by large advertisers, and 88 per cent were concerned news is made more dramatic or sensationalised to attract viewers. Almost 100 per cent of respondents notice commercial influence in all sources of news, and 76 per cent are concerned media companies use the news to promote businesses they own or have…

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