If Sydside is the heart of Australia, then Melbourne is the brain (or possibly the wallet). Home to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Melbourne is a glossy, cosmopolitan city that oversees most of Australia’s financial transactions. Easily the richest city on Australia’s East Coast, MelbourneSprawl also features the biggest divide between the rich and the poor.
The ASX used to be based in Sydside, but in the aftermath of Sydney’s Mana Storms and independence fever, the Stock Exchange administrators sought to distance themselves from the danger of the time. In the wake of the crash of 2029, the ASX took the opportunity to rebuild in Melbourne, seeing the city as the most stable alternative. The corps soon followed.
Like other financial centres around the PacRim, Melbourne is a battleground between Japanacorps (represented by the PacRim Bank and Mitsuhama) and the Pacific Property Group (Wuxing, Yamatetsu, and the Malaysian Independent bank). The PPG currently has the upper hand, as Wuxing’s local subsidiary Anataeus Offshore Investment Corporation underwrites several of Australia’s major financial institutions, and Wuxing Financial Services owns majority shares in Australia’s Big 4 banks. Yamatetsu lures in the private accounts of Australia’s meta community through its control of National MetaBank. And the MIB secures support with generous financing and vetting local corporations for prospective entry into the PPG.
While the traditional city centre sits at the top of Port Phillip Bay, recent years have seen it transform from a collection of densely packed hi-rises, corporate enclaves, and a mix of shopping districts, to the mammoth arcology it is today.