Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Aquis Entertainment lost in Canberra fog?

Last month I posted on the manoeuvre by the Friendly Fung Family (FFF) to backdoor list the Canberra Casino on the ASX via Discovery Resources: Fung listing through the backdoor for Aquis

Having acquired a minimal holding in Discovery (ASX:DIS) of 5,000 shares with a current market value of $525, which should be adequate to imminently turn me into a billionaire casino mogul, I thought I should check on how things were progressing. There has been no further news at all from Discovery since the April 17 trading halt and announcement except for their standard quarterly cash flow report. This doesn't seem consistent with the indicative timeline in the announcement:

Particularly noted here is the indication that after this April 17 announcement they could provide an independent expert's report as soon as late April. Perhaps they had Pat Flanagan pencilled in for that?

My calendar says it is now late May 2015 with no sign of any prospectus, meeting, or even notice thereof. Well they did say it was indicative! Oh no, don't tell me it's the conditions again?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Reef Casino AGM

Reef Casino AGM was today. Somewhat disorganised after belatedly downloading the appropriate documentation for my small super fund holding, and with rainy weather, I drove the few blocks down Abbott St to the Casino.

I approached the lift with an elderly gentleman reliant on a walking stick also carrying his AGM documentation. However the lift would not accept L2 which was the meeting venue. Thankfully the open doors function was operational and spared me from being stuck in a lift with an elderly gentleman reliant on a pacemaker. Casino staff to the rescue. Just go to L1 and walk up the stairs. This took some time for the elderly gentleman who made it just in time for the meeting.

The meeting. Corporate AGM's have a reputation and this was no exception. A nearby gentleman started snoring very early in the Chairman's address. A gentleman unitholder asked if RCT had any debt (it's in the accounts dickhead) and stated that he was confused by changes in his tax statements.

Director's election and Gary Mauric standing against Queensland heroes DeLacy and Haire failed to even show up. Haire was wise and said not much. DeLacy chose to delve into the definition of an independent director which I may come back to with some disagreement. Keith insisted that independence was a state of mind and pointed to his head thereby demonstrating all required skills. Anyway, both independent directors were re-elected on the vote of 70% majority shareholders Accor and Casinos Austria so that's all good.

In such circumstances it is best to avoid direct confrontation and engage over tea and bickies. DeLacy was overheard engaging a couple from Noosa defending the viability of Reef regardless of Aquis. The Noosa couple were insistent to Keith that they wouldn't want anything like Aquis near them.

Meanwhile I had an excellent engagement over coffee with Reef CEO Allan Tan. In confidence all I will say is that this conversation did nothing to change any opinions previously expressed here at Loose Change related to Aquis and probity.

Leaving the meeting I encountered a Wildlife Dome worker attempting to access her workplace on the upper level. I explained to her the lift problem. AGM attendees were also given a free car park exit ticket. The ticket didn't work.

Monday, May 18, 2015

International recovery continues at airport

There were further positive signs for international traffic through the Airport in April which was up 21.8% on April 2014. This was attributed to the new Jetstar Bali service and 14% growth on flights operating in both April 2014 and 2015 (Auckland, Guam, Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo). While that growth number sounds impressive and is positive we do need to consider that it comes from similar double digit declines in the early months of 2014 so really only recovers the 2013 position. Consequently we should expect some good international growth numbers to continue and hopefully become also become less volatile.

Domestic continued consistent growth at levels below the recovery a few years ago but still generally in line with or above average growth at the major airports.


International is only around 12.5% of domestic, which remains the dominant driver, but is starting finally to show signs of a positive contribution to total performance.

Source: Cairns Airport

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Auction schmauction

This weeks real estate advertorial at the Cairns Post features a glowing endorsement of auctions: Auctions all the rage in Cairns property market
RE/MAX Cairns Real ­Estate Services owner Tony Williamson attributed the booming trend to television.
“More and more shows are demonstrating how an auction works, from Storage Hunters and Antiques Roadshow to The Block, so buyers are learning how to compete at them,” he said.
“In any market in demand, auctions are by far the best way to sell, because you still get to set the reserve and if there’s enough competition among buyers then we can push ­bidding above that.”
He said while a majority of sales in southern capitals were by auction, in Cairns about 10 per cent of properties sell under the hammer, but he said his agency was “trying to steer the ship around” with bulk auction events like one he held recently involving 14 properties that attracted a full house of bidders and spectators.

A majority of sales in southern capitals being auction doesn't sound quite right? This is a bit dated with numbers from 2011 and before the recent surge in Sydney but auction numbers then varied between 3% and 26% with higher rates towards the inner city: Fewer Sydney vendors selling by auction: What percentage of homes sold under the hammer? A regional breakdown: APM

I expect auction rates would likely have increased in Sydney since then so I also threw a tweet query on auctions to real estate identity and enemy of the property seminar spruiker Neil Jenman, who is a critic of auctions:

Neil Jenman@neiljenman 2 hours ago
NONSENSE! To prove it: ALL Cairns sellers can have my book FREE (May only)! See why AUCTIONS = WORST way to sell. 1800 1800 18.
Yes, it's a Loose Change exclusive offer from Neil Jenman!
The most recent Remax bulk auction in Cairns I am aware of was April 28 at Dunwoodys. This was of interest as there was a small unit to be auctioned in the old Park Regis near the hospital which is nearby my own salubrious bohemian unit building. I didn't go to the auction as a neighbor who also has an investment unit in the Park Regis was attending. Feedback was that she stayed for 8 auctions of which one had sold prior and only one sold at the auction. The Park Regis unit was passed in on a single bid at $101k (reserve believed to be $200k) and is now on the market at "Low $200'000s".
That all went well then  o_O

Note: There is also a handy guide to selling your property at Choice.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Narcissist Twins

#1 Gavin King
Cairns MP Gavin King said he had not ruled out taking legal action against the person who posted a picture on Facebook of his car parked in what appeared to be a disabled parking space at The Pier.
#2 Rob Pyne
GOODBYE: Watching the Edward Snowdon movie in town tonight makes you wonder if it really is all beyond the capacity of any individual to ‘make a difference’. Clearly the government, corporations and the media control the place with an iron grip. The Cairns Post is sure to do another job on me tomorrow and they may as well be owned by the LNP. Between the media, political trolls and apparatchiks I am not sure one can make a big difference. No more social media from me until I can make sense of it.
Poor Cairns  o_O

Friday, May 1, 2015

Airport growth continues in March

A late release this month for Cairns Airport statistics for March. Domestic was up 4.9% on March 2014 and International up 2.8%. Monthly Y-o-Y growth for the last five years looks like this with a 12 month moving average:

International only comprises about 10% - 15% of the total. Commentary on the volatile international routes remains positive and include the launch of Jetstar services to Bali and resumption of seasonal Air NZ flights to Auckland. Comparable flight routes with 2014 to Guam, Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo were up a combined 13%. There is also a comment that domestic growth was among the highest at the major airports.

I haven't looked for any available stats from Melbourne or Brisbane but Sydney Airport also reported a very strong March. Domestic was up 4.2% and International 8.9% which were both well above YTD performance. Commentary there cites effect of an earlier Easter, cricket world cup, and a 38.8% increase in Chinese passengers on the tail end of the lunar new year celebrations.

Note: The most recent CairnsWatch preceded these latest numbers but had previously estimated trend Airport growth in February at 7.7% which was up from 2.1% the previous month. I just can't figure that most recent number. The only months with growth rates above that in recent years have related to the Chinese lunar new year month and the 2012 eclipse. I blame the moon gods & godesses!