News this Week What we Liked? The ASX 200 Index posted a 3.04% gain for the month of June. Overall, the global economy continues to gather pace, especially the US, underpinned by corporate earnings, tax cuts and solid jobs growth. The Australian economy grew at a rate of 1% in the quarter, driving a strong 3.1% annualized GDP reading. The RBA kept the cash rate unchanged at 1.50%, as expected. Retail sales also grew by a stronger than expected 0.4% in May. The figure is growing at a tepid 2.5% over the year. Australia’s largest super fund AustralianSuper returned 11.08% for the year to June 30, 2018 beating the top 50 super fund returns of 9.1%. The performance of its asset classes was as follows in 2018: private equity 17.6%, international equities 16.3%, Australian equities 13.7%, infrastructure 12.2%, high yield credit 8.4%, property 8.1%, fixed income 2.8% and cash 2%. It marks AustralianSuper’s ninth consecutive year of positive returns. Santos (STO) – Has announced a return to paying dividends. The oil and gas company flagged a new policy to pay dividends of between 10%-30% of free cash flow, irrespective of the oil price. It’s good news for the company. It has its debt under control more than a year ahead of schedule. Macquarie has joined the rush to ban grandfathered commissions to financial advisers. We see this as a positive move but there is still $200m a year in conflicted commissions. It leaves ANZ and IOOF as two of the last remaining large wealth managers committed to allowing their employed financial planning groups to receive grandfathered commissions for recommending both their in-house and external financial products. At Wattle Partners, we…

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