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Australian Financial Review : October 17th 2006
FBA 046 First for CFDs A Product Disclosure Statement is available and should be considered before entering into any transactions. ABN 84 099 019 851. AFSL No. 220440 igmarkets.com.au 1800 601 799 EXPORT & TRADE FINANCE. SPECIAL REPORT. Despite difficulty for exporters arising from the high dollar, there are plenty of manufacturers making niche products - but having a good niche product is only part of the story. To advertise in this report please contact Paul van Wensveen in Sydney on 02 9282 2727; Bill Nehmy in Adelaide on 08 8379 9522; Meaghan Hughes in Melbourne 03 9603 3867; The Hub in Brisbane on 07 3308 1122; Matthew East in Perth 08 9429 3075. PUBLICATION DATE: Thursday 2nd November, 2006 Advertising Bookings Close: Friday 20th October, 2006 The Australian Financial Review Tuesday 17 October 2006 www.afr.com 46Rear Window Edited by Andrew Main firstname.lastname@example.org A quick change from hero to zero London-based New Zealand entrepreneur Eric Watson is in hot water over some ads for his Kiwi funds management business Hanover Funds Management. The New Zealand Securities Commission said that ads by Hanover's Protected Investments Global Growth Fund, which promised a 10 per cent potential return or a 50 per cent potential return over five years, were misleading or confusing. Hanover has written to investors telling them there is no annual return for the investment and that even though the capital is protected, the return after five years might actually be zero. Hanover said it would change the wording in its ads. Part of its explanation was that Hanover Funds Management was ''such an innovative product it is breaking new ground both in terms of its offering and the way in which it needs to be presented through advertising''. Labor ban leads to ticker trouble Yesterday morning's reports that the ALP in South Australia had banned non-members of the journalists' union from covering its state conference in Adelaide at the weekend gave coalition frontbenchers a perfect free kick yesterday. It started with the virtual disappearance of ALP frontbench spokesmen from the usual round of doorstop interviews that mark the start of parliamentary sitting days. Kelvin Thomson, the ALP spokesman on public accountability, was by some cruel turn of fate the first man that the reptiles descended on at the doorway to the House of Representatives and could only manage an elongated version of ''I'll have to find out more about this''. Wayne Swan, who usually never leaves a microphone unaddressed, was nowhere to be seen, while Kevin ''I'll talk any time, anywhere'' Rudd claimed ignorance of the whole affair. Treasurer Peter Costello enjoyed suggesting that Opposition Leader Kim Beazley's acquiescence to the ban, which prevented some senior reporters from covering his speech to the conference, was a clear case of ''no ticker, no start''. That was a play on the old union line of ''no ticket, no start'', which Costello said was nowhere applied more vigorously than among Labor's federal caucus. Case comes up roses for Porteous defence Mixed news for fans of Rose Porteous, the ultimate migrant made good. A Perth magistrate yesterday dropped charges against the widow of mining magnate Lang Hancock for altering a prescription, amid scenes that made it clear she's not the gal she once was. AAP reports that her lawyer, Shane Brennan, successfully asked for the case to be dismissed because the drug on the prescription, Hyponel, was not on a prohibited list. Detective Sergeant Steve Bertoli, prosecuting, said he had visited her at her house, Prix D'Amour, in June 2005 after a complaint from a pharmacist but that, ''Ms Porteous, I didn't think was in much condition to be carted off for an interview'', as he put it in court yesterday. Outside the court , she told reporters that she might have inadvertently ''doodled'' on the prescription while talking on the telephone. The script, for five ampoules and two repeats, was changed to 25 ampoules and 25 repeats. Asked if her health had improved, Ms Porteous said: ''If you think I am looking pretty, I am feeling well. Maybe you should ask my husband to give me some exercise, in private.'' Her husband, Willie Porteous, sensibly announced it was time to leave. Robbins unleashes his power to move market Coming soon to an ASX screen near you: Anthony Robbins's teeth. Empowernet International, which says it has exclusive rights to ''the world's most popular success coach'', has lodged a prospectus to raise $10 million. We knew the market was turning a bit unusual last week when we read about a Perth law firm hitting the boards, but this is a company whose main business is running seminars to tell you how to get healthier, wealthier and wiser. We gather the lanky Yank's hugfests are a fair bit more full-on than the lunchtime lectures that the ASX puts on . . . and, dare we say it, a mite less specific. The company plans to ''continue to expand its operations into the Asian market with a suite of live, multi-media and digital products and services''. It says it'll sell 20 million shares at 50¢ each but that it'll do as many again if the demand is there. That's the style we recognise. Brisbane company First Capital Group recently took a 19.9 per cent stake in Empowernet. Cutthroat crew goes out backwards It did not have the Nobel prize winning economists of Long-Term Capital Management, but locally based hedge fund Sequoia Capital Management had hoped its own band of high-profile Aussie economists could stake out a future in the cutthroat world of global macro investing. Alas, it too is closing its doors, as general manager Ian White conceded that the fund over the past two years had ''some very good returns and some bad returns and investors just weren't coming to the party''. That's surprising, considering former ambassador to China and Bob Hawke economics adviser Ross Garnaut was executive chairman, and former Reserve Bank economist and head of ANZ Funds Management Peter Jonson was investment director. So how bad was it? Try minus 0.3 per cent over two years, compared with gains on the ASX 200 of 40 per cent over the same period. On our reckoning the ''good'' element of the returns was a bit overcome by the bad. Voters dig deep for Cudeco trio Directors of mining hopeful Cudeco told the ASX last night that a controversial options plan for three directors got the go-ahead at a vote in Cloncurry, Queensland. Shareholders backed it by a reasonable majority (3-to-1 in the case of chairman Wayne McCrae and about 5-to-1 for Tim Koitka and Peter Hutchison) even though it would make the three directors some $33 million richer and shareholders some 10 per cent poorer. Shareholders who abstained from the vote -- a common practice by institutional investors -- would almost have overturned the issue to McCrae if they had specifically voted against it. Smith's winning art Former National Gallery of Victoria curator Geoffrey Smith last night bought the centrepiece painting at the debut auction of Joel Fine Art in Melbourne, paying $150,000 (plus buyer's premium) for Albert Tucker's Faun and Parrot. Smith has just joined Joel's competitor, Bonhams & Goodman, after resigning from the NGV following a conflict-of-interest dispute. It is not known whether he was buying for himself or a client.