Five years after selling its landmark Sydney and Melbourne
stores to help fund a failed expansion into online and food
retailing, David Jones will buy them back using money earmarked for
a return to shareholders, reports The SMH. And while there will be the usual bleating from the short-termists who
want the money and want it now, says Elizabeth Knight in The SMH – from McInnes’s perspective,
it’s a particularly clever way of employing surplus capital and
available debt.

Is it pure coincidence that David Jones is buying back its key
central business district stores in Melbourne and Sydney for $414
million just as its main rival, Myer, is in the midst of a trade
sale? asks Stephen Bartholomeusz in The Age. Probably, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t
a connection between the two events. And the repurchase of the stores makes sense in its own
right. By buying back the leases from Deutsche Bank, funded by conventional borrowings,
David Jones has bought back its balance-sheet freedom.

And today,
Lion Nathan’s $420 million takeover offer for Coopers will be killed
off in the name of “shareholder democracy,” says Bryan Frith in The Australian. It’s clearly in the best interests of shareholders that the bid
should stay on foot but the majority of the directors haven’t let a
little matter like that stand in their way – to them it’s more
important that Coopers is kept in the family.

I’ve had an epiphany about Telstra. Actually make that two
epiphanies, which is rather tiring, says Alan Kohler in The Smage. First, Telstra should, and
will, get regulatory certainty about its proposed $3.1 billion
fibre to the node network, if not an access holiday. Second, if Telstra does build a fibre access network to all
Australian suburban homes it will make a great deal of money – so
much that those who bought shares in T2 for $7.40 each and who have
long since given up getting their money back, will end up making a
good return.

The Fin Review reports that the ATO has abandoned a legal attack
on income-splitting arrangements by husband and wife partnerships and
small family companies. The ATO said yesterday that it would pursue
only the most blatant tax avoidance involving income splitting, in what
appeared to be an admission of defeat of a two-year-old strategy that
has been rejected by the courts.

On Wall Street, US stocks ended higher overnight after the Federal
Reserve raised investor expectations that its cycle of interest-rate
increases may be over sooner rather than later. The Dow Jones closed up 55.95
points at 10,823 – MarketWatch has a full report here.