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The Rise of the Neobank

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News


On Tuesday 18 December, the prudential regulator announced that Xinja Bank Limited has been officially authorised as a restricted deposit-taking institution (RADI). Xinja is only the second Australian neobank to receive this status. Volt Bank was granted a RADI in May, literally days after APRA finalised the framework, which was created in response to the government’s push for greater innovation and new entrants to the banking industry.

However, as its name suggests, a restricted ADI licence has significant limitations. A RADI is really a stepping stone on the journey to acquiring a full banking licence. It allows neobanks like Xinja and Volt to conduct limited banking capabilities for a maximum period of two years while they develop their capabilities and resources. It also gives them time to raise the significant levels of capital required to meet APRA’s demands for a full banking licence.

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Sustainable Investment Fund Launched

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News, News


Ausbil Investment Management have launched a fund specifically designed to meet the growing demand for sustainable investments. The Ausbil Active Sustainable Equity Fund invests in companies which have sound sustainability profiles while avoiding companies that are vulnerable to earnings risk due to sustainability weaknesses. The fund will hold between 30 and 45 stocks selected from the S&P/ASX 200 index and will make decisions based on the Ausbil ESG research team.

Ausbil’s chief investment officer and head of equities Paul Xiradis said that ESG factors are an integral part of the investment process at Ausbil. “Rather than focusing only on growth or value investing, our investment process allows us to exploit the inefficiencies across the entire market, at all stages on the cycle and in all market conditions. Our ESG stock research means that we’re better informed and it’s our belief that this will lead to better performance over the long term,” he said.

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‘Tobacco-Free’ Stamp of Approval Ahead for Fund Managers

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management News, News


Australia’s competition watchdog is proposing to accept an application for a certification trademark that signals to potential investors that a fund manager or financial institution’s investments by a fund manager or financial institution are ‘tobacco free’. Tobacco Free Portfolios, which maintains a list of businesses involved in the manufacture of tobacco products, has applied to register the Tobacco Free certification trademark. The trademark has three variations, which indicate that the fund manager, or financial institution, does not have direct or indirect investments in companies involved in the manufacture of tobacco products, or the fund manager has committed to divesting any such tobacco holdings within two years.

“Many investors want to invest in funds that are tobacco free, and this mark will help them to make informed investment decisions,” ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said. “Our initial assessment is that this trademark and the underlying rules meet the legal test for registration in that they are clear and not misleading or anti-competitive. Additionally, as the approved certifier, Tobacco Free Portfolios is able to competently assess whether funds and fund managers meet the certification requirements.”

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Four Themes for HNW Investors This Year

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking News, News, Wealth Management News


Many investors are reflecting on the lessons from 2018. It was a year characterised by volatility, trade tensions and a number of geopolitical events, all of which have left many investors wondering what they should expect next year.

1. Expect volatility 

If 2018 taught us anything, it is that expecting volatility is the safest course of action. While there has been a lot of noise about what is driving volatility, ultimately the two key factors responsible are the tightening US Federal Reserve (the Fed) monetary policy, and the impact of trade tensions. These two factors are set to play a significant role in 2019 as well.

2. Consider defensive sectors

In 2016-17, the world enjoyed relatively smooth conditions for markets, largely due to highly accommodating central banks globally. This means new investors, or those guilty of having a short memory, are surprised by the volatility present in 2018. It’s important to keep in mind that this level of volatility is highly unusual, and reflects the market adjusting from an ‘accommodating Fed’ to a ‘tightening Fed’. Markets are only now shifting from a liquidity driven market to one driven more by fundamentals.

3. Seek deep valuation sectors

Over the last five years, growth sectors have taken centre stage. Technology, in particular the FAANG stocks of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, have been the growth drivers of US markets.

4. Diversify across the yield spectrum

The benefits of diversification for generating healthy returns are well-known. In an environment of volatility, bond investors are encouraged to diversify across the yield spectrum. This will mean that if there is an eventual rate hike in Australia, the investor will be better protected as they will have a range of investment options, instead of holding all their eggs in one basket.

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Flat Markets Predicted for 2019

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary, News


Australian investors are growing increasingly bearish towards financial markets over the next 12 months as concerns grow over tensions between global economies, falling property prices and China’s slowdown. Investment Trends this week released its December 2018 Investor Intentions Index, a monthly study that tracks Australian investors’ market outlook and intended investments. The study draws on monthly surveys participated in by 2,195 Australian investors over the last 12 months.

Australian retail investors ended 2018 with a bearish market outlook. As at December 2018, investors on average expect the All Ordinaries Index to grow by 0.3 per cent over the course of the next 12 months, excluding dividends. Investment Trends research director Recep Peker said these expectations are well below what we saw at the end of 2017, where investors expected capital gains of 4.8 per cent for calendar year 2018.

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