Day trading loss amounts to more than a beer

The Shaker
Thu 02 Apr

CBD is still waiting for an explanation from Southern Cross Media after a rather intriguing series of share trades last month by one of its directors, former Lion boss Robert Murray

On March 20, Murray acquired 22,100 Southern Cross shares for $24,973 - which was wonderful news for the media group's other investors.Later that same day, Murray sold 22,100 Southern Cross shares for $24,420.50, which means the man who once ran the XXXX beer brand cost himself the equivalent of a bottle of Grange over his brief dabble in the media group's shares.

The flurry of trading left Murray back where he started with zero equity interest in the media group. It is not clear whether Murray - who only recently joined the media group's board - suffered a case of fat finger, beer goggle trading, or, buyer's remorse.Southern Cross has not returned calls on the matter.

Not joking

ASIC wisely unveiled its Financial advisers register the day before April Fool's Day to clarify it was not meant to be a joke. Form NAB adviser, Alfie Chong, still makes the register despite being terminated by the bank last year - and being under a cloud at his new employer, NEO Financial Solutions. ASIC have been investigating him, and NAB's termination report stating Chong was involved in "systemic breaches" flogging complex products to his financial planning clients. A NAB report said it was seeking an explanation for "what appeared to be 'copy and pasted' client signatures on the Authority to Act documentation". Speaking of the site's launch, ASIC Deputy Chairman, Peter Kell, said: "The new register enables consumers to find out information about their adviser before they receive financial advice."

Consumers would be interested to know that the listing for Alfie Foong Fah Chong will tell clients his work history going back five years and he has no disciplinary action taken against him.

Fools galore

These were not the only April Fool jokes to jump the gun this week. ASIC also chose the last day of March to announce that the real brains behind the ABC Learning collapse, its chief number crunchier, James Black, escaped a maximum penalty of a five-year jail term and was slapped instead with an 18-month suspended sentence and a $2000 fine. Sure, it was a multi-billion dollar collapse involving highly government subsidised childcare, but no one got killed right? Meanwhile the jokers at Serco - the British group which runs a bunch of refugee holiday camps on behalf of us humble taxpayers - sold Great Southern Rail, which operates The Indian Pacific and The Ghan train services.

Does this mean they are having trouble making money on a $4000 Indian Pacific ticket, but can quite easily profit on the contracts to run Australia's mainland detention centres?

The funniest joke on the day was by Qantas putting a 'u' in its name. This was in recognition of the airline's own u-turn last year - dumping Alan Joyce's daft strategy of seeking government aid to help it defend its local at any cost - and actually, you know, trying to make a buck for a change.  And for those who were wondering. The Qantas announcement in February that its "smart-casual dress guidelines will be more closely applied to all visitors entering our Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Qantas Clubs or Business lounges from April 1, 2015," was not an April Fool's day joke. Virgin Australia's announcement that it will allow pet access to its lounges, was a joke.

Prawn PR 

Stalwarts of the financial and legal world turned out in force on Tuesday night in Sydney to celebrate the 30th anniversary of PR and advisory company, FCR, founded by Anthony Tregoning and Brian Mahoney.

Spotted among those scoffing the mini meat pies and prawn arancini balls, was legal eagle to the stars, John Atanaskovic, former ASX and ABC chair, Maurice Newman, and the City Tattersalls Club CEO, Anthony Guilfoyle.

Saville trade

In other news, Duncan Saville, the owner of Sydney's failed transport ticketing provider, ERG, has emerged with a controlling stake in the newly listed tech play, Touchcorp. 

Director's interest notices reveal that Saville owns 25.8 per cent of the mobile payments group. Touchcorp's board also includes former AustralianSuper chairman, Elana Rubin, as well as the former Guinness Peat Group executive, Mike Jefferies.