Investment Matters

What matters this week: US market, Slater & Gordon and more

It is really getting a bit monotonous; these record highs of the US share market (not really, but the complacency about it is a little concerning).  Trump's moderate speech to the US Congress on our Thursday was well received by the market (although, unsurprisingly, it lacked any real detail).  Then we returned to the Trump of old, with his administration's ties to Russia coming to the fore again.  Perhaps it wasn't all attributable to this, but the market then moderated.

For matters closer to home, the Slater & Gordon drama seems to be coming to a rapid conclusion.  The company released its profit results on Monday.  They were not pretty, to say the least.  Reportedly (e.g. AFR 3-Mar-17), the company's lenders are about to step in.  Equity holders will be wiped out, and lenders will swap their debt for new equity in the company.  Here is the Slater & Gordon share price graph...

Slater Gordon

The also troubled Bellamy's has a new Board.  Not quite the change the agitators wanted, but a major shakeup.   (Personal opinion - how on earth could the original Board think it was justifiable for them to remain, given they presided over the cause of the whole mess!!).

And as we wrap up focus on company profit reporting season, attention turns back to what the banks are up to:  Westpac and CBA this week.  Westpac is being taken to the Federal Court by ASIC (Australia's sometimes toothless corporate, markets and financial services regulator), which alleges the bank did not appropriately assess the ability of some borrowers to pay off their home loans.  APRA (Australia's overseer of banks and other financial institutions) also fired a shot across the bow of the banks, with the CBA specifically being mentioned at the Senate estimates hearing.  The shot pertained to growth limit for investor loans.

And finally, Domino's, the tech company who happens to deliver pizza, announced its next foray this week.  AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the focus of new developments, including customer interface online.  Customers will also be able to deliver anywhere - just, for instance, drop a GPS pin onto the beach you are sitting on.  Delivery drones, an autonomous delivery vehicle, and technology for the backend / back of shop are also the subject of the company's cutting edge technology application.