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Morning all,

It’s going to be all about Cyprus today as the deadline looms. The President has threatened to resign this morning, so it looks like it’s going well!

US markets rallied on Friday as they assumed all would be well…I await developments but one thing for sure is the Russians are NOT going to be happy!!

Expect a holding pattern today until the mist clears. The market will try to rally as we had such a torrid week last week but will be thin again. Iron ore was better overnight so may be some bargain hunting in BHP,RIO and FMG. Banks may be a little weaker as CIMB has downgraded the sector to underweight..still who listens to these guys anyway!

SPI was up 25 odd so the impetus is positive but will be held in check until we get more news from our Zombieland Buddies!

Idea of the Day

BDR-Buy for Corporate appeal…emerging as a low cost Gold producer in Brazil through its Tucano project.Looking at 200,000 oz a year in production at roughly $450 an oz..thats a pretty good profit margin!!

Buy in the mid to high 80s!!

Things to make me go all Cypriot!

1.ATM limit is now 100 Euros in Cyprus….there will be a lot of very unhappy Russian Investors! Also it looks like due to the deteriorating circumstances in Cyprus they are going to need more money..maybe another $2bn!!Seems like despite the closure of banks and capital controls there has been around 100-200m Euros leaving the country every day..making it likely that they will need more funds to save the country…could be looking at the first Euro exit…then what..Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war!

2.Our AUD steady as a rock around 1.04..no sign of panic there!

3.Boris Berezovsky, one of the first and best-known Russian oligarchs, who accumulated vast wealth and influence in post-communist Russia that he struggled in later years to retain, was found dead yesterday at his U.K. home. He was 67….few officials in Cyprus will be watching this carefully!!

4. South Africa’s mining industry, backbone of the continent’s biggest economy, is heading for its worst electricity shortage in five years in a threat to platinum and gold production and to the rand currency.State-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is straining to meet demand from a growing economy as consumption is set to swell when the Southern Hemisphere winter drives the need for heat…could be a positive for the Gold Price.

5.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is planning to cut its US growth forecast for this year due to higher taxes and spending cuts, Italian news agency ANSA said, citing a draft of the IMF’s next World Economic Outlook report.The US economy, the world’s biggest, will expand 1.7 per cent this year, down from the 2.0 per cent predicted in January, ANSA reported late on Saturday. The next round of IMF forecasts is scheduled to be published in mid-April.

6. Leighton Holdings’: controlling shareholder, Hochtief, has warned it will retain the right to hire and fire independent directors as the contractor’s board appointed Robert Humphris as its new chairman.

7.This is starting to read like a cheap b grade thriller.. Sundance Resources is expected to trigger an option tomorrow that allows it to terminate its $1.3 billion deal with China’s Hanlong, amid new reports that Hanlong’s chairman was detained for helping hide his brother, who is a murder suspect. The deal was thrown into doubt last week when it was revealed that Hanlong chairman Liu Han had been detained by police in Beijing. Initial reports suggested he was detained for gambling-related offences.

8. Telstra CEO David Thodey has reassured his 1.4 million retail shareholders that delays in building the national broadband network will not undermine the telco’s ability to raise its dividend, and has pledged to “help in any way we can” to speed up the ¬faltering rollout.

9. Westfield Group, the world’s biggest shopping centre operator by assets, said it sold half shares in six malls in Florida to O’Connor Capital Partners for about $US700 million ($670 million).Westfield agreed to sell a 49.9 per cent interest in the shopping centres at book value, valuing the joint venture with the New York based real estate investment and development company at about $US1.3 billion, the Sydney-based company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange

10. Oil giant BP has said it will buy back $8bn (£5.2bn) of shares, returning to shareholders the money they had put into a complicated Russian venture. It said it “expected to return to BP shareholders an amount equivalent to the value of the company’s original investment in TNK-BP”

And finally…………….

The Pope was having a state visit with the Queen of England, when they decided they should make an appearance together. They came out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and stood there for the crowd to cheer and take pictures.

The Queen decided to have a bit of fun at the Pope’s expense, and said to him, “Watch this. With one wave of my hand, I can make every Englishman cheer for five full minutes.”

She does so, and the Englishmen predictably applaud madly.

Not to be outdone, the Pope says to the Queen, “Very impressive. Now, watch me. With a nod of my head, I can make every Irishman in the crowd cheer for TEN minutes straight.”

The Queen figures the Pope’s just made an impossible offer, so she agrees to give him his chance. He stands, faces the crowd and head-butts the Queen.

Enjoy this shortened week!




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