Marcus Bogdan

Public infrastructure spending in Australia has a positive outlook for the medium-long term, with government announcements and global trends indicating that large public infrastructure companies will have a multitude of projects in the pipeline. Two of these beneficiaries are ASX-listed companies Boral (BLD) and Adelaide Brighton Cement (ABC). Show More

Undoubtedly, there are a number significant headwinds which the banks need to navigate through, including recommendations that will emanate from the Financial Services Royal Commission coupled with the prospect of greater government intervention (if the ALP is elected in the Federal election). How much of this is factored already into banks share prices is difficult to determine. A further consideration is the the potential change in the composition of bank share ownership (which is dominated by retail investors) who have been beneficiaries of fully franked dividends. If franking changes are implemented by a new ALP government the mix of share ownership may shift toward greater ownership by local and foreign institutions.

On Bank valuations look interesting -

There may well be a perennial discount attached to the Murdoch dynasty and its voting structure. Nevertheless, on a broader level there remains appealing elements in family backed companies with net cash balance sheets. Rupert Murdoch has undoubtedly shown extraordinary longevity in his passion for publishing and his tenacity to nurture assets through difficult times. NWS’s stable of assets in its News and Publishing business is testament of the advantages of taking a longer term approach. Too often, the dispersed shareholding model naturally aligns itself to short term performance indicators. The idiosyncratic nature of Murdoch’s jurisdictional preference for a US holding company is well celebrated and admittedly does dilute the value of Australian franking credits. Yet, my sense of having visited News Corp’s Head Office in New York and also its London office is that proximity to vibrant and large competitive markets does bring advantages.

On News Corp: Approaching an inflection point -