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Tigers deliver the right stuff

22/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Tigers V Panthers in NRL Trial match at Kirkham Oval. Picture: Jonathan Ng Tigers V Panthers in NRL Trial match at Kirkham Oval. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Nanjing Night Net

WESTS Tigers coach Mick Potter was a happy man after his team’s 32-8 win over Penrith Panthers in the trial at Kirkham Oval on Saturday night.

Potter was looking for attitude from his players — a sign they wanted a spot in his NRL squad this season.

And that’s what he got, particularly in defence.

“You saw how important it was for them to stop the other team from scoring tries,” Potter told the Advertiser after the game.

“We had players everywhere trying to scramble and we were getting numbers in tackles.

“The way they worked together was really refreshing.

“It wasn’t a surprise but it was better than I was expecting at this time of the year.”

The Tigers dominated the Panthers, with sharp, quick ball movement and a smart kicking game the highlights in attack — thanks largely to young halfback Blake Austin who showed great confidence in barking orders and directing players around the field.

Austin may have played himself into the No.7 jersey ahead of young gun Luke Brooks who missed the trial because of injury.

Potter agreed it’s a hard choice between Austin and Brooks but he wouldn’t be drawn on who would make the run-on side.

“It’s a problem. It’s a good problem to have,” Potter said. “We’ll worry about that once we get to [the season opener on] March 9.”

Whoever gets the spot, Potter said it was likely they would be paired with the experience of Braith Anasta at five-eighth.

On a sour note, utility Dene Halatau broke his ankle during the game and will miss up to five months of footy after surgery.

■ Aaron Woods has re-signed with the Tigers for three years, with an option for a fourth.

“I’m really happy with the new deal, it’s great to get it out of the way before the season starts so I can concentrate on footy,” Woods said.

“We have a good platform for the next couple of years with talented young guys coming through and that is one of the reasons why I wanted to stay.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Samuel L Jackson blasts TV reporter: ‘I’m not Laurence Fishburne’

22/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

A Los Angeles TV reporter has been roasted by Samuel L Jackson in a toe-curling on-air interview after he mistook the Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained star for Laurence Fishburne.
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KTLA entertainment anchor Sam Rubin asked Jackson about a Super Bowl commercial – the only problem was that it was Fishburne not Jackson who starred in the ad for Kia cars.

“What Super Bowl commercial?” said a visibly aghast Jackson. “I’m not Laurence Fishburne.”

Leaving Rubin tongue-tied, he went on: “We do not all look alike. We may be all black and famous but we do not all look alike.”

Obviously mortified, Rubin desperately tried to get the interview back on track, but Jackson was having none of it, at one point listing other black actors that he isn’t.

“You are the entertainment reporter for this station?” he asked the hapless Rubin. “There must be a very short life for your job.

“I’m the other guy,” he continued. “There is more than one black actor doing commercials.”

Half an hour later Rubin delivered an abject on-air apology for his “very amateur mistake”, insisting that he does, in fact, know Samuel L Jackson’s identity.

This is not the first time Jackson has been “mistaken” for Fishburne, but at least on that previous occasion he was in on the joke.

A 2005 episode of the Ricky Gervais series Extras featured Jackson as special guest – and a script in which Maggie (Ashley Jensen) humiliates herself by making the same error.

“I like lots of other things white or black. I like you for example,” she tells Jackson. “… I don’t normally watch films more than once but the Matrix … I loved it.”

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Simon Gittany jailed for 18 years for killing Lisa Harnum

22/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Sentenced today: Simon Gittany. Photo: Sahlan Hayes Showing support: Simon Gittany’s partner Rachelle Louise, left, holds a sign outside court with other protesters last week. Photo: Peter Rae
Nanjing Night Net

Lisa Harnum: was thrown from a balcony by Gittany.

Simon Gittany with his girlfriend leaving the Supreme Court in Darlinghurst before the guilty verdict. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Breaking News: Simon Gittany has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years in jail with a non-parole period of 26 years.

The judge who is sentencing Simon Gittany for killing his fiancee Lisa Harnum by throwing her off a Sydney high rise has told the court she did not believe the murder had been premeditated or planned.

“The intention to kill was formed suddenly and in a state of rage,” Justice Lucy McCallum told the NSW Supreme Court today.

She did not believe Gittany had planned to kill Ms Harnum until the day of her death.

Justice McCallum said the offence was of sufficient seriousness that the standard non-parole period of 20 years would provide “a strong guide”.

Shortly after beginning her sentencing remarks, Justice McCallum found that Gittany’s act of throwing Ms Harnum off the balcony could “only have been done with the intention of killing her”.

“Ms Harnum must have been in a state of complete terror in the moments before her death.”

In November last year, Gittany, 40, was found guilty of murder by throwing Ms Harnum, 31, from the 15th floor of their luxury inner-city apartment block in 2011, in what the judge described as a “fit of rage”.

The decision will be the culmination of an extraordinary trial and sentencing process, attracting media attention across the globe.

Rachelle Louise not in court

Gittany’s lover Rachelle Louise was not in court for his sentencing, amid reports she has signed a deal with Channel Seven to hold her silence.

A Sunday Night reporter had told journalists sitting in court that Ms Louise was not coming to hear how long Gittany would be sentenced to spend behind bars.

Gittany’s brother and sister and a few family members waited in the public gallery at 10am with no signs of Ms Louise.

Ms Louise’s no-show was a complete contrast to a circus-like protest she held last week during Gittany’s sentencing hearing.

She and the Gittany clan entered the Supreme Court complex holding a number of placards with points they claimed proved his innocence.

Ms Louise told Channel Seven she knew her boyfriend was innocent.

“I don’t make a statement based on something Simon’s told me. I have worked through the case completely,” she said.

“Simon is an innocent person and someone needs to help him, and that is exactly what I’m doing and I plan on standing by him until justice prevails,” she said.

Possessive rage

On the morning of the murder, Gittany grabbed Ms Harnum, a Canadian, by the throat in a possessive rage as she tried to flee and dragged her back inside.

Neighbours say they heard a woman screaming “Please help me! God, help me!” followed by a man’s voice, and then complete silence.

Gittany had knocked the young woman out, Justice McCallum found.

He then carried her out to the balcony and “unloaded” her over the edge.

This was Ms Harnum’s punishment for making one final, desperate attempt to leave her controlling, dominating boyfriend.

For weeks she had been planning to go, leaving bags of clothes with her personal trainer and a counsellor so that Gittany’s suspicions would not be aroused, and discussing one-way flights back to Canada with her mother.

When Gittany discovered the plan, he was consumed by rage.

“For all his vigilance, his errant fiancee had found a way to secretly remove her belongings,” Justice McCallum said.

Virtually from the start of his relationship with Ms Harnum, Gittany exhibited a burning need to control virtually every aspect of her life – how she dressed, where she went and how she behaved.

When police arrived at the murder scene on the corner of Liverpool and Elizabeth streets, they found a torn-up note in the woman’s jeans pocket with the words “there are surveillance cameras inside and outside the house” scrawled in her distinctive handwriting.

This was a reference to the near-constant surveillance Gittany kept his girlfriend under, including monitoring her text messages through a program he had secretly installed on her phone and a bristle of CCTV cameras monitoring the apartment.

During the sentencing process the Crown prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, described the murder as “cold and calculating”, submitting that that it warranted a minimum sentence of 20 years in jail.

The defence argued that the sentence should be “significantly less” than 20 years.

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Milicic Socceroos assistant coach

22/07/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has appointed highly-regarded tactician Ante Milicic as his new assistant coach for this year’s World Cup.
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Initally, Milicic will stay on in his present position, as assistant coach of the Western Sydney Wanderers, until the end of the season. He will then become full-time as Postecoglou’s assistant.

The Wanderers will permit the popular 39-year old to travel to London for the Socceroos friendly against Ecuador on March 5, his first interaction with the senior national team in his new role.

“I’m honoured to have been handed such a tremendous opportunity to work as an assistant coach with the Socceroos,” Milicic said. “As a former Socceroo I am passionate about the National team and I look forward to the challenge. I’m excited to be able to work with Ange, especially with the World Cup coming up as well as the Asian Cup in Australia and with so many talented players starting to break through.”

Milicic said he’d already learnt for the very best coaches and was ready for a new challenge.

“I’ve had a good apprenticeship under John van’t Schip and “Poppa” [Tony Popovic] as well as the 2009 and 2011 under-20 World Cups as an assistant to Jan Versleijen and I’m looking forward to continuing that under Ange,” he said. “I’d also like to thank the Western Sydney Wanderers for allowing me to take this opportunity and I am determined to finish the A-League season with the same passion and dedication I will take to the national team.”

Postecoglou will retain Aurelio Vidmar as his other assistant but said Milicic would bring his own qualities to the role.

“One of my priorities after becoming national team head coach was to secure quality staff to help drive the Socceroos and Ante is a driven coach who will fit into our environment,” Postecoglou said. “I wanted the best people to come in and contribute to the growth and success of the national team and I’m confident Ante will add further expertise to our existing staff.”

Postecoglou said Milicic would be pivotal to helping him reconstruct the senior team over the coming years.

“Ante has experience at domestic level and International level with both senior and junior national teams and will play a part in an exciting new era as we look to build the next golden generation of Australian footballers, ” he said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Western Sydney Wanderers for their cooperation to ensure I was able to appoint the people I thought were best for the job.”

Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman said the club would always keep their door open for Milicic if he wanted to return.

“The role of assistant coach of the Socceroos is a tremendous professional and career development opportunity for Ante and we wish him well, safe in the knowledge that should the time come in the future for him to return to a coaching role in the A-League it will be with our club,” he said.

Milicic played six times for the Socceroos and scored five goals between 2002 and 2005 and still holds the record transfer fee a domestic transfer when he moved from Sydney United to Sydney Olympic for $110,000 in 2002.

He enjoyed a prolific club career in Australia, the Netherlands, Croatia and Malaysia, bowing out of the A-League in 2008 after a year at Newcastle was followed by two years with Brisbane Roar, bagging 11 competition goals.

Since turning his hand to coaching, Milicic was in charge of Sydney United in the NSW Premier League before taking the assistant’s role with the under-20 national team.

Milicic has been hailed for his knowledgeable and hands-on approach to coaching, leading most of the drills at the Wanderers training while senior coach Tony Popovic observes.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that young defender Curtis Good is line to make his senior international debut in the match against Ecuador.

In what could spell the end for Socceroos captain Lucas Neill, 20-year old Good was told he could secure his place in the World Cup squad if he was able to find a club during the January transfer window where he would find regular football.

Good, who is contracted at Newcastle United until 2018 after a $600,000 move from Melbourne Heart, subsequently picked up a loan move to Scottish club Dundee United. The Terrors are currently fifth in the Scottish Premier League and Good has already made both his league and cup debuts.

The news that Postecoglou is grooming Good to step up is a further blow to Neill’s chances, which appear to be fading by the week.

Postecoglou has already promised he will not call-up players who are not playing regularly and Neill hasn’t played competitively since he was released by J-League club Omiya Ardija in December.

Neill’s quest for playing time has taken him back to England, where he has been allowed to turn out for under-21 side of his former club, Blackburn Rovers.

The ex-Rovers’ captain played 90 minutes in Monday’s night’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

China and Fed join local profits to lift shares

15/03/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Shares rose for the fifth consecutive day on some strong local earnings reports, stronger than expected Chinese trade data and after global markets cheered new United States Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen pledge to take a ‘measured’ approach to cutting stimulus.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 55.6 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 5310.1, while the broader All Ordinaries Index added 1 per cent to 5319.8, buoyed by a slew of half-year earnings results that met or beat expectations while a number of company’s said the outlook for the second half of the year is improving.

Local shares had a strong lead after all major equity markets in the United States added more than 1 per cent. Global investors were cheered after Dr Yellen pledged in a highly anticipated speech to continue taking “a measured approach” to the process of reducing the central bank’s monthly stimulus – currently $US65 billion per month down from $US85 billion per month in December.

Major markets in Britain and Europe also moved higher on Tuesday night, while Asian shares provided further support in afternoon trading on Wednesday.

But Angus Tulloch, a senior portfolio manager for Edinburgh based funds manager First State Stewart warned the withdrawal of US central bank stimulus is likely to remain a source of concern for investors for the duration of the year.

“Stockmarkets will continue to be difficult while the US Federal Reserve continues to taper its asset purchases. Most investors have probably underestimated just how much volatility and selling that will cause in 2104,” Mr Tulloch said.

A bumper result from the biggest stock on the local stock exchange was good for sentiment. Commonwealth Bank of Australia beat high expectations to post a record half-year profit of $4.27 billion, up 14 per cent on the previous corresponding period. CBA also pleased investors by lifting its interim dividend more than anticipated, up 12 per cent from the previous half to $1.83 per share. The stock added 0.4 per cent to a three-month high of $76.20.

ANZ Banking Group lifted another 1.4 per cent to $30.98, after its quarterly a trading update delivered on Tuesday met profit growth expectations and showed a bigger than expected reduction in bad debts.

Among the rest of the big four banks, Westpac Banking Corporation and National Australia Bank each rose 0.8 per cent to $32.50 and $34.15 respectively.

The biggest resource stocks lifted after a report from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed Australian exports to China grew 41.5 per cent last month compared to January 2013, as the world’s second largest economy imported increasing volumes or iron ore, grain and liquified natural gas.

Resources giant BHP Billiton did the most to lift the bourse, rising 1.8 per cent to $37.20. Main rival Rio Tinto added 2.2 per cent to $68.10 despite the spot price for iron ore, landed in China, extending into a third week of declines at $US120 a tonne.

Telstra Corporation gained 1.2 per cent at $5.11 ahead of reporting its half-year results on Thursday.

Information technology was the best-performing sector, up 5 per cent, as Computershare and Carsales each climbed more than 6 per cent on solid half-year results.

Digital share registry service provider Computershare climbed 6.4 per cent to $11.80 as chief executive Stuart Crosby announced his resignation from June 30 and named chief information officer Stuart Irving as his successor. The announcement was made as Computershare showed half-year net profit jumped 47.4 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Online automotive advertiser Carsales jumped 6.6 per cent to $10after showing a 17 per cent jump in interim net profit from the previous corresponding period.

Copper, gold and silver miner Oz Minerals was the best-performing stock in the ASX 200, soaring 12.7 per cent to $3.83 despite reporting a full-year loss of $294 million. Analysts endorsed a decision by managing director Terry Burgess to resign and investors were cheered that the company maintained its dividend payout ratio while lifting production guidance.

“Although reporting season has just begun, it is already clear that the market is not going to be able to deliver strongly on the much desired growth in company earnings until 2015,” Celeste Funds Management analyst Paul Biddle said. “Expect to see overall analyst expectations for the market’s growth in earnings per share to be trimmed by up to 5 per cent at the end of February.”

Labour hire contractor Skilled Group climbed 9.6 per cent to $3.09, after showing half-year net-profit after tax declined 24.7 per cent but saying things were set to improve this half. The result was in line with expectations given the well documented slowdown in demand from mining investment.

Fast food chain Dominos Pizza Enterprise advanced 12.4 per cent to $19.25 after lifting its earnings forecasts and plans for new store openings in 2014. The pizza maker reported a 38.8 per cent rise in net profit for the period ending December 31 following its acquisition of Domino’s Japan.

Stockland Property Group lifted 4.8 per cent to $3.90 after an uplift in residential sales helped buoy statutory profit by 34 per cent compared to the first-half of 2013. The developer also lifted its forward earnings guidance.

The uptick in housing construction also helped building materials supplier Boral show a 73 per cent rise in underlying half-year profit, despite reporting a $26.3 million net loss for the period. The result was in line with expectations after the company updated its guidance last week. Boral shares gained 9 per cent to $5.45.

The Westpac/Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index unexpectedly dropped 3 per cent in February to 100.2, marginally above the line that shows optimists outweigh pessimists. Economists said people might have grown more cautious ahead of expected cuts to the Federal Budget.

Healthcare was the worst-performing sector, down 2 per cent, as CSL and Primary Health Care both fell despite reporting profit growth.

Plasma and vaccine manufacturer CSL fell 3 per cent to $67.75 after beating analyst expectations to show a 3 per cent rise in interim net profit to $715 million. The company said its more recent foray into products used to stem bleeding during surgery would continue to be a source of growth.

Medical centre and pathology clinic operator Primary Healthcare fell 2.4 per cent to $4.81, despite showing a 8.6 per cent rise in half-year net profit.

Packaged foods distributor Goodman Fielder was the worst performer among the top 200 stocks, shedding 7.4 per cent to 63 cents after reporting a $64.8 million half-year loss, in part due to pressure from record milk and rising wheat prices. Significant earnings improvement was forecast for the current half-year period.

Retail electricity and gas supplier AGL Energy rose 3.2 per cent to $15.66 after announcing a $1.2 billion equity raising to fund a $1.5 billion takeover of Macquarie Power Generation. The deal is still subject to approval from the competition regulator.

Embattled resources sector services contractor Forge Group, which has been one of the most volatile stocks in the index over the past quarter, announced it has appointed an administrator.

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Telecom NZ might be worth a punt

15/03/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

NEW ZEALAND . AFR . 000506 . PIC BY VIRGINIA STAR . Saved In News . 000516 . *******FIRST USE AFR!!!!!!!*******Generic Pic Of Telecom New Zealand Public Telephone Box . Telecomunications . Phone .***afrphotos南京夜网*** Photo: Virginia StarWhat’s new
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Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (Telecom) recently announced the sale of the AAPT assets to TPG Telecom for $450 million. While the decision to divest the business was not surprising, what was perhaps a pleasant surprise was the price extracted, as the market consensus prior to the transaction was for AAPT to fetch around $300 million. The question now is what Telecom will do with the cash from the sale, and this will probably be more fully answered at the company’s upcoming first-half results to be unveiled later this month.


We believe the deal is yet another important step on the turnaround path that the company has embarked upon — one that is set to reinvigorate earnings growth over the next few years in our view.

Telecom still has a 10 per cent stake in mobile business Hutchison Telecommunication Australia, which could be on the block, as could the 50 per cent interest in cable link provider Southern Cross Cables and the 60 per cent interest in the Cook Islands’ biggest phone and internet phone provider. All these non-core holdings could well generate proceeds of up to $NZ450-500 million, thereby, deleveraging the balance sheet and raising the prospect of further capital returns to shareholders.

Just as importantly, Telecom has suffered from wandering somewhat aimlessly from a strategic perspective in our view. The AAPT divestiture, together with the potential sale of the other non-core interests mentioned above, will further restore much-needed focus on, as well as facilitate investment in, the company’s higher-returning core assets in New Zealand.

In the meantime, management is actively taking costs out of Telecom’s businesses in a bid to return earnings back on a growth trajectory.


Telecom’s stock price has performed solidly, edging up 8 per cent and 11 per cent over the past six and 12 months, respectively. The gradual ascent shows that investors are warming to the recovery potential in New Zealand’s largest telco and the potential upside from the deleveraging that is occurring on the balance sheet.

Worth Buying?

We continue to be encouraged by the turnaround that is taking shape at Telecom Corporation of New Zealand. The company is sensibly reducing costs, exiting non-core business stakes at full value, and reinvesting in its higher returning assets at home.

This is beginning to have a noticeable impact on the company’s prospects, balance sheet and investor sentiment. The shares currently trade on around 13 times fiscal 2014 consensus earnings estimates which we regard as a modest valuation, and come with a forecast un-franked dividend yield of almost 7 per cent. Consequently, we believe the stock is worth buying at current levels.

Greg Smith is the head of research at Fat Prophets sharemarket research.

Interested in Dividend Stocks? Click here to receive a recent Fat Prophets Report.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Time to shop around for cut-price credit

15/03/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

How long until rates rise?If you have a home loan and are waiting for interest rates to fall further, don’t count on the Reserve Bank to help out.Want to switch to a better home loan? Find the best deal via Money’s Tools and Guides here.
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Governor Glenn Stevens last week gave his clearest signal yet that official interest rates will probably remain at their record low of 2.5 per cent for quite a while. Financial markets reckon that when they finally change, they will rise, rather than fall.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no way to save on borrowing costs.

After all, what you pay the bank for money is affected by other factors well out of Stevens’ control.

And, fortunately, banks are competing fiercely to sign up more customers in anticipation of stronger credit growth. This means many are offering cut-price credit.

However, you’ll probably have to shop around to make the most of this heightened competition.

Many are sceptical about how much the big banks in Australia really compete. They have an 80 per cent share of the market for new home loans, compared with about 60 per cent before the global financial crisis, after swallowing rivals such as St George, BankWest, RAMS and Aussie Home Loans.

Right now, however, there’s evidence the banks are indeed competing to lend households money. Citi, HSBC and Bank of Queensland have all recently cut certain variable rates for new customers. Westpac and National Australia Bank have cut fixed rates, with NAB’s four-year fixed-rate mortgage now at the lowest level in more than 20 years.

And, more subtly, banks are offering bigger discounts off their advertised rates, also to new customers.

A recent survey from JP Morgan analyst Scott Manning said the average discount off standard variable rates has risen by about 10 basis points to 85 basis points in the last couple of months – near 2012 peaks. On a $300,000 mortgage, an extra 10-basis-point discount is equal to a saving of $18 a month.

So what’s the catch?

Well, the better deals are only for new loans. That means the vast majority of people with mortgages probably won’t benefit from this competition.

After all, banks aren’t doing this to be nice. They’re competing more fiercely because they want to steal business from rivals.

This means the discounts will only really go to customers who are taking out new loans, or to those prepared to shop around.

To take advantage of the competition, you may have to threaten to switch banks and see if your lender can match it. As the banks know, most of us don’t do this. Changing transaction accounts is enough of a hassle in itself. With a home loan, you may also need to have the house valued, or arrange a new lenders’ mortgage insurance policy.

Just how reluctant are we to switch banks? The Australian Institute has reported that only 3 per cent of us switch each year. With that degree of inertia, banks can compete more fiercely for new customers without inflicting much damage on the bottom line.

To really take advantage of the current wave of competition, borrowers may need to confront the messy process of switching, or at least make their bank think they are prepared to leave.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Technology can deliver big returns

15/03/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Software is sexy from an investment perspective because for very little cost, you can get access to billions of people. Photo: josephine huynhSmall caps are all about leverage. When you are small, you get a bigger bang for your buck, and nowhere is this more the case than in technology.
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Just look at the 163 per cent growth in first half net profit of Objective Corp, announced in late January. This company has a market cap of $56 million, yet it is winning contracts with big corporations and governments. It builds software that helps the Australian Government track documents, ensuring that emails go to the right person.

Software is sexy from an investment perspective because for very little cost, you can get access to billions of people. One of Radar’s favourites, eServGlobal, has more than tripled since we first tipped it in 2012, and much of this is based on the potential of its HomeSend technology, which allows the diaspora of the world to send money back to their homes via their mobile phones. This business isn’t even profitable yet!

eServ is one of a number of software developments centred around mobile payments companies. Many of these stocks are hot property as investors see the use of smart phones and tablets grow.

But there is also a great deal of risk in software developers of all types. The reality is that many will fail because of the big initial spend on research and development and the uncertainty over whether people will pay for it.

It is not just the small companies where there is risk. Xero has had massive success with its online offering of accounting software. It has a market cap close to $5 billion, but it is a number of years away from making a profit.

“Xero is in a customer grab at the moment and because capital markets open, it’s not worried about raising money to fund [these losses], but ultimately you have to generate capital internally to have a sustainable business,” says Nick Harris, the technology analyst at Morgans Stockbroking.

A safer bet could be the IT services sector, which is the sector’s biggest contributor to the ASX by market capitalisation (outside of telecommunications).

Their business model is to have an army of contractors who charge hourly rates and do project-related work. These companies make platforms like Microsoft and Salesforce talk to each other.

After fast growth in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the sector has stuttered as companies reduce their spending on IT. Traditionally IT spending increases at about 5 per cent a year, but in the past five years in the wake of the financial crisis, this has reduced to 2 per cent.

Harris believes that spending on the sector will increase from its historic lows and consequently advocates buying SMS Technology UXC and Oakton.

Whether or not you decide to invest in IT, there is no doubt the sector has a massive impact on your life.

Click here to access the fortnightly newsletter Under the Radar Report: Small Caps edited by Richard Hemming.

Visit here for more Under the Radar articles.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Stocks with a top edge

15/03/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

First XI of stocks.The cricket has got me thinking about what a First XI of stocks would look like. They’d have to always make the grade and hang in there even when the market gets bowled over.
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A bank and a health stock would be must- haves, according to my selection committee of some of the best professional investors, but then what? You might be surprised.

One of the most blue chip stocks Telstra, for instance, misses the squad. Though to be fair that’s more because it was always mentioned as an afterthought rather than with any enthusiasm. And remember fund managers aren’t all that impressed with dividends – Telstra’s only delivery – preferring growth instead.

So here are the stocks most nominated for a First XI. Oh, and they’re in alphabetical, not batting order.

1. ANZ

You don’t need me to tell you about ANZ or any of the other big banks. Record profits despite next to no growth in lending, and delivering some of the best dividends going. Even so, fund managers are becoming less smitten as the big four have become pricey, though ANZ still has some fans. Based on its price-earnings ratio, which shows how many years of profit it takes to recoup your investment, making it a handy measure of value, it’s the second cheapest, beaten by NAB which is less fancied because it has one foot in the quagmire of the UK economy.

ANZ ticks all but one box: a big bank in an oligopoly, record profits, cutting costs, a juicy dividend that comes with a 30 per cent tax rebate from franking, giving it a 7 per cent annual return and (the clincher) it’s building an Asian business. The missing box is price. All the banks are expensive but when the next economic upswing hits they’ll probably have seemed a bargain now.

”You want the big four banks because they’re diversified financials,” says George Boubouras, chief investment officer of Equity Trustees.

2. ASX

If you’re optimistic about the sharemarket, as you should be if you’re prepared to be patient, there’s something to be said for having shares in who runs it. Especially when it makes its profit not from where the market is heading, but how many are going along for the ride. The more shares that tick over, the more commission ASX makes. Speed trading, where institutions buy and sell in a nano-second, must be a godsend.

While it’s not quite a monopoly – brokers can also trade on Chi-X and other stock exchanges are becoming more accessible – it isn’t exactly challenged either. ”It faces increased competition,” says Geoff Wilson, who runs listed share funds through his listed Wilson Asset Management. ”But trading in shares has been growing at two or three times the rate of inflation and its costs are fairly fixed. As volumes grow by 8 or 9 per cent then a significant percentage of its income will fall to the bottom line. And it has a good cashflow.”

3. BHP Billiton

Come in spinner. As we’re one of the biggest producers of iron ore, coal, nickel and natural gas, a resources stock would have to be in the Australian First XI. Since BHP Billiton is in all these and more, it would be a brave fund manager to overlook it, though its inclusion wasn’t unanimous. There are those who wouldn’t touch a resource stock at the moment. But then it’s almost unAustralian not to select it, even if strictly speaking it’s only semi Australian. As John Abernethy, chief investment officer of Clime Investment Management says: ”I don’t see how you can ignore BHP when Australia relies on its resources output. If it doesn’t perform, then there’s not much hope for the broader Australian economy.”

4. Breville Group

Bet there’s a Breville thermo-this or extractor-that somewhere in your kitchen. Or a kettle. Breville is an icon brand and the stock was chosen by Don Williams, chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management because ”it has a very good long-term profile and high-quality innovative products”. Breville designs and sells products it has made cheaply offshore and collects a nice margin on them. The stock isn’t cheap, but has runs on the board.

5. CSL

As a world leader supplying vaccines, plasma products and pharmaceuticals, it’s no surprise CSL was selected by more fund managers than any other stock for the First XI. Williams says ”despite being in a mature industry and already a very large company its growth rate is still a pretty respectable 10 per cent. And it has a good R&D pipeline”. For research house and fund manager Lincoln’s chief executive, Elio D’Amato, CSL is simply ”a global leader. The world’s population is growing and its services are directly aligned to this growth. It’s a must-have”.

6. Invocare

There isn’t a delicate way of putting this but let me try. Australia has an ageing population and Invocare runs cemeteries, crematoriums and funeral parlours – sorry ”funeral homes” as it calls them, the best known being its White Lady Funerals – if you get my drift. Or as Kieran Kelly, whose Sirius Fund Management caters for well-off investors, put it ”come hell or high water, this business isn’t going away”.

Invocare has been returning an average 20 per cent a year for 10 years. Strewth, that’s even better than the banks. Then again, it’s a lot dearer than them based on its price/earnings ratio.

7. Magellan

There are lucrative pickings for those charged with managing our super, which is worth $1.6 trillion and still counting. And for once the banks don’t have it all their own way, thanks to the growth of DIY funds, competition from smaller and more nimble fund managers, and growing interest in overseas shares. Unlike banks, fund managers don’t borrow either – the money is more or less given to them. Magellan Financial Group, which runs six global investment funds, is in the team courtesy of Sebastian Evans, portfolio manager of Naos Asset Management.

”It’s already grown to $20 billion [of funds managed] and its aim is $50 billion. Its global equities funds face very little competition, apart from Platinum. Its managers are well regarded and their distribution [I.e. sales network] is excellent – you don’t just want performance. The lower dollar will be good for it too,” he says.

8. Sirtex Medical

Biotechs are the stocks of the future but apart from a CSL or Cochlear (a surprise omission from the First XI, almost certainly because it’s facing tougher competition and lower returns), choosing the right one is no easy challenge, starting with understanding what it does. Two fund managers selected Sirtex, which has a treatment for liver cancer using radiotherapy through a microcatheter. It’s one of the few biotech stocks that makes money.

”It has a fantastic management team and a net cash balance sheet. There’s only one competitor in radioactive spheres. In two to five years its market size could quadruple. It’s had 25 to 30 per cent compound growth in the past five years and it’s a beneficiary of the lower dollar,” Evans says.

9. Sydney Airport

”Infrastructure has got to be a cornerstone” of any share portfolio, says Kelly, who suggests the owner of Sydney Airport, our international gateway, fits the bill. At first glance it looks like a googly since a federal government finally seems poised to nominate a site for a second airport in Sydney. But it’s not widely known that Sydney Airport, which recently escaped the clutches of Macquarie Bank, is in the cockpit for a second airport.

”It has the first and last right of refusal to build and operate a second airport,” Kelly points out. It’s the number of passengers on a plane, and where they go, not how much they paid for their airfare, that determines Sydney Airport’s take. And thanks to bigger planes it’s getting more fees with no extra flights. Oh, and did you know Sydney-Melbourne is the world’s second busiest air route? Just remember it’s an infrastructure stock so carries a lot of debt.

10. Wesfarmers

As the owner of Coles, Bunnings, Target, Kmart, Liquorland and companies you’ve probably never heard of in resources, chemicals and who-knows-where, Wesfarmers has overcome fund managers’ normal aversion to conglomerates. ”It’s well managed with a great consistency in delivering results. The multiple businesses are well co-ordinated and Wesfarmers ticks all the boxes for predictability, sustainability and good management,” David Bryant, general manager investments at Australian Unity says.

The 11th man

When you put fund managers on the spot to pick their First XI the problem is that the more of them you ask, the more likely one will come up with a stock the others would never select. Which is why an all-rounder is called for. Having the entire market would bring too many duds, so how does getting the top 200 stocks in one hit sound?

That’s possible with an exchange traded fund such as SPDR’s S&P/ASX200 – it has its own ASX code (STW) and trades like any other share – which has the 200 biggest stocks in proportion to their size.

After a small fee it will return exactly what the market does.

If you want to do better than the market but without going to an unlisted managed fund, you could try a listed investment company where the resident experts select the best stocks. ”You get market performance and a bit more with an expert manager,” Wilson says, suggesting the Australian Foundation Investment Company.

This gives you a range of stocks, with 82 per cent comprising the top 25, all bought at lower prices, but then the stock is also trading at more than they’re worth.

@money potts

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Providers to be able to share your credit history

15/02/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

If you haven?t been paying your bills on time, perhaps you should be concerned. Photo: Quentin JonesMajor changes to credit regulations are afoot that will add to the information licensed credit providers can share with each other. Until now they had not been able to supply comprehensive repayment history, but all that is about to change. From March 12, your bill-paying habits are being watched.
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What are the changes?

The changes are to the Australian Privacy Laws, which will allow information additional to default data and failed lending applications to be included on your credit report.

This information now includes 24 months of your repayment history for loans, credit cards and other credit. So if you haven’t been paying your bills on time, perhaps you should be concerned. But on the positive side, if you pay regularly, this is new information that a credit issuer will be able to consider.

The peak body for credit providers and credit reporting bodies, the Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA), has launched a website (creditsmart.org.au) to inform consumers about the changes. The launch follows research that found many consumers were not only ill-prepared, but also unaware – 59 per cent – of what was about to happen.

”What awareness existed was negative,” says the ARCA’s chief executive, Damian Paull. ”We were concerned that consumers … wouldn’t have access to, or might not be able to understand, what the changes mean.”

The new data

It’s important to realise that credit providers will be able to collect and disseminate only repayment history information from other licensed credit providers. This means that your repayment history for your telephone, mobile, internet, utilities, etc, will not go on record.

However, other information about whether you have any of the above products will be able to be collected. ”Telcos and utilities can share the additional four data elements,” says David Grafton,an executive general manager with credit bureau Veda.

Those data elements are: The type of consumer credit; the terms and conditions; the credit limit and the day on which the consumer credit begins and the day it is terminated. ”That will also help consumers who don’t have a credit file now because they are not in the credit system, but a lot of people do have mobile phones. While repayment history won’t be there for those products, the fact that they [consumers] have them could be,” Paull says.


Paull says there are no requirements about how banks must notify you before they start collecting information. ”Certainly there is a requirement under the legislation – organisations entitled to collect that information are required to disclose,” he says.

Most credit providers will have notified their customers of the changes and you should have already received a letter. For example, ANZ has sent a brochure to all existing customers, and is notifying customers who have signed up for products since then.

Commonwealth Bank notified all its customers with a letter accompanying its statements in January. Westpac said it was ”working through how we will communicate to customers about these changes”.

Your credit report

All this information now forms part of your credit report. This has always been available to you, but it can now include the extra data.

”Remember also that credit providers are not going to suddenly be supplying this information from day one,” Grafton says. ”It’s going to take a couple of years [for all the information to become available].”

Organisations, such as Veda, Dun & Bradstreet and Experian Australia Credit Services, provide credit reports and credit scores in some instances, but you also have the right to obtain once a year one free credit report from each credit reporting body, as their reports might be different. You can also get a free credit report if an application for credit was declined in the past three months.

According to research conducted by Veda, many of us don’t even know we have credit reports. ”[We found] 80 per cent of Australians hadn’t checked their credit report and more than half of them didn’t realise they had one,” says Veda marketing manager, Belinda Diprose.

The best reason to obtain your credit report, particularly if you’re having problems obtaining credit or loans, is to work out how to fix it. There could be a mistake by the credit reporting agency, or the creditor, which could be easily fixed. If the creditor won’t help, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Credit Ombudsman Service.

Of course, the best way to make sure you’ve got a clean record is to make sure you pay all your bills on time.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Grab some global exposure with ETF investing

15/02/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

  Some people have given up the volatility of shares to simply trade ETFs. Photo: Louise Kennerley
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Two weeks ago I was telling you that investors who wanted a diversified portfolio in a particular asset class without having to manage it themselves could buy Listed Investment Companies (LICs) on the ASX.

This week we are going to look at something conceptually similar, Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs). Like LICs, ETFs are traded on the ASX. That means you can buy and sell them just like LICs and shares.

But there are some major differences between LICs and ETFs. The main one is that, by comparison, the LIC market is a rather small domestic Australian affair, while the ETF sector is the plaything of the much bigger international investing community.

For instance, there are just under 60 Listed Investment Companies on the ASX with a total market capitalisation of around $23 billion, with the three biggest (AFIC, Argo and Milton) accounting for 57 per cent. But up the big end of town there are around 100 ASX-listed ETFs with a market capitalisation of $160 billion.

While the LIC market represents the Australian listings of mostly Australian fund manager offerings, they are of almost no interest to anyone outside Australia. The ETF market, on the other hand, represents the ASX listings of much larger internationally traded ETFs that have tiny exposures to Australia, if any, and are of interest globally. And that’s just the ones listed on the ASX. The global ETF market is 10 times the size with over 1500 ETFs on issue worth close to US$2.4 trillion. Only some are listed here.

The biggest is the MSCI EAFE ETF with a market cap of $41.5 billion. It invests in global large and midcap equities outside the US and Canada, so is used not by Australian SMSF investors looking for a diversified domestic portfolio but by international, mostly US, institutional and private investors looking for exposure outside the US.

The next biggest with a market cap of $23 billion is the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, which invests in large capitalisation US equities.

Of the 100 or so ETFs listed in Australia there are (just) 10 broad-based Australian ETFs and 11 Australian sector ETFs that are only worth around $4 billion, or just 2.6 per cent of all the listed ETFs in Australia.

International ETFs

The bulk of the ETF offering on the ASX is made up of 23 international ETFs instead, ETFs which offer ASX listed exposure to MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital Index) country indices as well as exposures to the S&P 500, the Russell 2000, Emerging Markets, Japan, US small caps, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Europe and Singapore, to name the biggest. There are also three international sector ETFs covering the healthcare, telecoms and consumer staple sectors (accounting for 1.2 per cent of the sector), three currency exposure ETFs (0.1 per cent of the sector), 22 commodity exposure ETFs (3.3 per cent), 11 cash and fixed income ETFs (0.3 per cent) and 11 ”Domestic and International Strategy Focused” ETFs (0.6 per cent of the sector) which includes an “Australian equities bear hedge fund”.

A number of new breed ETFs include a ”Dividend”, ”High Dividend”, ”Top 20 Australian Yield Maximiser”, ”High Yield”, ”Value” and ”Select High Dividend Yield” fund, all of which pander to the Australian ”safe income” theme and have only been listed for a couple of years.

Apart from Betashares, who have 12 ETFs, other issuers include iShares with 26, Vanguard with 10, State Street SPDRs with 14, EFT Securities with 15 commodity-based ETFs, and Russell Investments with five Australian funds. Try their websites to see their products. There is a lot more to cover on ETFs, for instance, some are ‘Conventional’ and some are ‘Synthetic’. There are different risks with both. Liquidity is often an issue although some are so highly traded there is no issue.

The good thing about ETFs is that they all trade in exactly the same way as any other shares on the ASX. So you don’t have to change anything, just find out their codes and what they represent. Some people have given up the volatility of shares to simply trade ETFs.

It’s a lot easier making a few decisions each year about which country, sector and currency than it is managing the volatility, decision making and paperwork on 20 separate equities.

If you liked LICs, have a look at ETFs. There are more of them, they cover more exposures and they allow you to do man-in-the-moon investing rather than Australian tunnel-vision investing.

On top of that, the management expense ratios (fees) range from 0.07 per cent to 0.7 per cent for the big ones, rather than the 2 per cent-plus you can get charged in unlisted managed funds. Of course, you’ll be paying a commission in and out. Then there’s the spread. Then there’s the premium or discount to NTA. It all adds up again.

This article sounds like a sales pitch, but it’s more of a heads up, it’s not all glory in ETFs, but it may be worth a narrow-focused Australian investor educating themselves about them, at worst it’ll make a change from waiting for the bull market. Not everything is on the equity cycle. Have fun.

Marcus Padley is the author of the stock market newsletter Marcus Today.

Click here for a free trial.

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Elliott Wave theory backs rise in dollar

15/02/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Ups and downsThe Aussie dollar has been bobbing like a cork on the ocean in recent times, as the jawboners from industry and government try to talk it down for the good of exports, while market traders look for opportunities in the turbulence as the emerging markets story unravels.
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The Reserve Bank of Australia’s recent decision to keep record low interest rates of 2.5 per cent on hold actually spiced up the currency a little, pushing it back above $US89¢ from lows just over $US86¢ inmid-January.

But looking over a longer time frame, the Aussie has been on a downward trend. But as this week’s chart, produced by Philip D’Souza, a director of the Australian Technical Analysts Association shows, the currency now appears to be on the cusp of an upward trend.

Last time we looked at the Aussie back in early October we applied Elliott Wave theory to the chart and the currency performed almost exactly as that analysis suggested. Then we had the currency coming off lows of $US88.49¢ and heading northwards on what we identified as the fourth upward leg of a five-leg Elliott Wave formation.

That fourth leg peaked out at $US97.58¢ on October 25 using a weekly chart. The downward wave five then kicked in pushing the currency down to $US86.60¢ on January 24 (using a weekly chart). There are two phenomena on the chart suggesting that bottom could mark the end of the downward fifth and final wave of the formation.

Firstly the decline from point 4 on the chart to point 5 represents an almost exact 127.2 per cent retracement of the gain made when the currency climbed from point 3 to point 4.

This is a significant Fibonacci number retracement level where most bullish or bearish trends tend to end.

To that is added a Fibonacci time count, the 13 weeks the market took to get from point 4 to point 5. That 13-week interval is seen as an indication of a possible counter trend rally, especially in this case where Fibonacci series on both price and time count coincide.

So watch the weekly chart of the Aussie. If its weekly price chart closes over $US88.49¢ and then $US90.86¢, the Elliott Wave pattern will be said to have completed and a counter rally may take hold. Green lines on the chart show resistance points to expect in such a rally.

This column is not investment advice. Contact Rod Myer at [email protected]南京夜网


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A fix over flat

15/02/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

  Photo: Michael MucciQ My mother recently had a stroke and is now unable to live on her own. We are hoping to move her into our granny flat and sell her house, which is worth $430,000. She is on a full single pension. Will her pension be affected if we sell her house and move this money into her savings or super?
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Do we need to consider our tax situation as well?

A If your mother moves into your granny flat, sells her former home and pays nothing for the right to live in the granny flat, she will be assessed as a non-homeowner. Non-homeowners can have assets of up to $339,250 and still receive the full pension. As your mother’s house is valued at more than this, she could exceed the asset test limit and her pension would be reduced by $1.50 a fortnight for each $1000 she is in excess of the limit.

Homeowners and non-homeowners are both subject to the same income test.

The limit is $156 a fortnight – when your mother’s income exceeds this, her pension is reduced by 50¢ for each dollar of income above the limit. Whichever test, asset or income, produces the lowest amount of pension is the amount she will be paid. As a non-homeowner your mother may be eligible for rent assistance.

Family arrangements involving granny flats can be complex, financially and emotionally. Your mother may want to consider a number of strategies, including how best to hold her savings, and whether or not she should invest more in her superannuation (if she is eligible). Keep in mind that any strategy will have consequences for her pension (including eligibility for rent assistance), cash flow, tax and estate planning, and these will need to be considered. You should seek advice from someone who specialises in this complex area.

Q My wife and I are both aged 28. I earn $75,000 a year and she earns $60,000 a year. We are totally focused on buying a home and are saving $1000 a week. We have saved $30,000 to date and are looking to buy a home for $650,000. Our biggest expense is rent, of $1890 a month.

We could buy now on 5 per cent deposit, but would be up for nearly $25,000 in mortgage insurance. Do you think we should buy now and pay the mortgage insurance or wait until we save 20 per cent?

A Unless prices are stagnant in the area where you intend to buy, you are probably better to buy sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you face the possibility that the increase in the value of the house you want to buy will outweigh any savings in mortgage insurance. Keep in mind that mortgage insurance can vary from lender to lender. It may be worthwhile consulting a good mortgage broker.

Q I am 65 and was made redundant last year. I own two properties debt free, which are worth $700,000 combined. I live in one and holiday let the other. I have very little super and live on a line of credit that cannot go on forever, so have placed the holiday house on the market. How would you suggest I invest the funds after the house is sold?

A First check with your accountant to find out if there is any capital gains tax payable on the sale of the property. If so, you will need to keep cash aside to pay it. If you can pass the work test, which involves working just 40 hours in 30 consecutive days, you may be able to reduce any CGT payable by making a tax-deductible contribution of $35,000 to superannuation from the proceeds of the sale. This is the time to be talking to a good adviser to agree on an asset mix that suits your goals and risk profile.

Q I am single, own my one-bedroom flat and am contemplating taking out a reverse mortgage next year when I turn 75. I am concerned about how this might affect my current age pension. My allocated pension is almost exhausted, so by the time I take out the reverse mortgage, I will have no significant assets other than household effects and a car.

The reverse mortgage would be arranged as a periodic draw-down of $600 a month to supplement my age pension. There may be an initial lump sum drawn-down of $15,000, which would be used immediately for renovations. The funds drawn would then be used for living expenses, strata levies and medical expenses.

A There should be no adverse Centrelink implications if you make small withdrawals as planned. Just try to draw it down as slowly as possible to minimise the compounding effect, which is going to happen, because you are not paying any interest on the reverse mortgage.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature. Readers should seek their own professional advice before making decisions. Email: [email protected]南京夜网.


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Sochi Winter Olympics: Foreign journalists worry they are being spied on

15/02/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Sochi: Just a day into the Winter Olympics, a worrying photo started circulating around the journalists in Sochi.
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Yahoo! senior investigative reporter Charles Robinson took a snap of a man in a press workroom at Sochi, wearing official accreditation, holding a reporter’s laptop and a strange triangular device.

“Happening right now: This guy is going computer to computer in the press room scanning the laptops of everyone here,” Robinson tweeted.

Happening right now: This guy is going computer to computer in the press room scanning the laptops of everyone here. pic.twitter南京夜网/ii9cSpWeuK— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) February 8, 2014

Paranoia about Russian government surveillance immediately went into overdrive.

“Can he read your hard drive?” asked one Twitterer.

The reality was more prosaic: he was from a “spectrum management team”, making sure media weren’t setting up their own Wi-Fi networks, which would interfere with the official ones used by the rest of the media and Olympics organisers.

Nevertheless it struck a sore nerve. Many of the media are worried about how secure they are.

There is real reason for concern: the Snowden revelations show how good governments are at eavesdropping on digital communications.

According to a report in The Guardian, athletes and spectators in Sochi would be monitored by Russia’s FSB security service using a wide net of telephone and internet intercepts dubbed “PRISM on steroids” (the Russians said it was to counter the very real threat of a terrorist attack on the Games).

And Russia is a well-known haunt for criminal hackers – by one estimate Russia is the source for around a third of all the world’s viruses, Trojans and malware, and a hotbed of identity theft and credit card fraud.

Last week, NBC TV news in the US mounted what they called a demonstration of the risks – they opened up a Mac, a PC and an Android smartphone in a coffee shop in Moscow, and “Malicious software hijacked our phone before we even finished our coffee, stealing my information and giving hackers the option to tap or record my phone calls,” reporter Richard Engel said.

His two laptops were also compromised, with a stream of information going from one of them to an unknown destination within Russia.

The report was pooh-poohed by experts, who labelled it a beat-up.

Blogger Robert Graham called it “100 per cent fraudulent”, pointing out that in order to get hacked the reporter had omitted basic precautions, such as not downloading software from mysterious links in unfamiliar websites or emails.

“Richard Engel hacked himself by knowingly downloading a hostile Android app,” he said. The hacks that were demonstrated could equally easily happen anywhere else in the world.

NBC defended the story, saying the reporter had been specifically targeted by a Russian hacker and sent an email designed to trick him into downloading hostile software.

Nevertheless, many of the media here are taking precautions to guard their data.

The Columbia Journalism Review reported that some had gone as far as using ‘burner phones’ and new laptops containing no personal data.

Others took care to sweep their computer of all personal information including auto-saved passwords, before entering Russia.

Yahoo! Sports reporters are communicating via private, secure networks using encrypted Web dongles.

Those taking more care belong to the bigger, better-resourced organisations, the CJR reported. Others don’t care as much.

“I don’t really care if the Russian government is reading everything I write,” Grantland’s Katie Baker told CJR in an email. “I care slightly more about whether Eastern European hackers are draining my bank account.”

She is avoiding using public Wi-Fi for that reason.

Most journalists seem more concerned about cybercrime than government surveillance.

But then there’s that odd comment from Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations.

In trying to deflect criticism of hotel problems, he said: “We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day.”

A spokesman later clarified there was “absolutely no” surveillance in hotel rooms or bathrooms occupied by guests, and the minister was referring to surveillance of premises during construction and cleaning before the Olympics.

So that’s alright then.

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