It’s been a “ripping year” for ASX investors, says Macquarie Equities client adviser David Halliday in the Advertiser.
The value of shares traded on the Australian Stock Exchange is racing
towards $1 trillion, with the market yesterday sealing its best
financial year return since the mid 1990s, says The Australian,
and within reach of record highs struck in mid June. The All Ordinaries
index closed nearly 20% higher for the year, the S&P/ASX 200 closed
up 21.1%.

Solomon Trujillo officially takes over as Telstra CEO today and Garry Barker in the Smage and Tony Boyd in the Fin Review
look at what huge tasks lie ahead for the new chief. As well as the
impending T3 sale, implementing cultural change at the telco will be
one of his main priorities, says Boyd – and Telstra staff should
prepare themselves for the “Trujillo tornado.” Meanwhile, outgoing
chief Ziggy Switkowski has offered his own insight into what’s in store
for Telstra, reports The Australian: “Tough times,” including a slowdown in industry revenue growth of 3 to 4%.

In the Smage, Stephen Bartholomeusz
wonders what the country’s banking chiefs were thinking with their
“tilt at the windmill of the ‘Four Pillars’ prohibition on big bank
mergers” yesterday. They must know there’s no chance that the
government will answer their pleas as things stand, he says. Perhaps
they just want to keep the issue visible.

Retail magnate Solomon Lew has swooped on Just Group, reports the Smage,
going on a $41.8million share-buying spree that has made him the
company’s biggest single shareholder, with a 9% stake, and raising the
prospect of a takeover. But this doesn’t seem to have bothered Just
Group managing director Howard McDonald, who called Lew’s purchase
“good for the company.”

The Finreports
that the US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for a ninth
consecutive time and, to the disappointment of markets, has given no
clue whether it’s any closer to the end of a year-long tightening
campaign. The Dow Jones closed down 99 points, or 1%, at 10,274 –
Marketwatch has the full report here.

Also in the US, the Finreports
that Morgan Stanley overnight named former company president John Mack
as its new chairman and chief executive, winding up what some called a
mutiny at the venerable Wall Street investment giant.

Peter Fray

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