19/12/2013 - 10:11

Morning Headlines

19/12/2013 - 10:11

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Morning Headlines

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Sign of debt deal for Roy Hill

Gina Rinehart could be poised to land the first tranche of the massive debt package needed to fund development of her Roy Hill iron ore project, with Korean media reports indicating the Korean EximBank had agreed to extend $US1 billion in project financing loans. The West

Ironing out budget woes

The state’s iron ore miners will deliver more than half of WA Treasurer Troy Buswell’s projected $437 million surplus for 2013-14, with consistently high iron ore prices expected to ram an extra $270 million into government coffers over the year. The West

Boom-time plans face the knife

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s signature paid parental leave policy and Labor’s National Disability Insurance Scheme could be scaled back, potentially saving billions but leaving the government open to political attack. The Fin 

Election train promises derailed

The Barnett government has abandoned a key election promise – the $2 billion MAX light rail system – until after the next election in 2017, dumping a commitment to have it up and running by 2018. The West

WA explores sale of Utah Point port

The Western Australian government is examining the privatisation of a key iron ore port — the Utah Point bulk export facility at Port Hedland — under its plan to slash debt and regain the state’s AAA credit rating. The Aus

Stevens issues growth reform challenge

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens says Australia can no longer muddle through without tackling productivity reforms that boost growth and confidence, suggesting the capacity of further interest rate cuts to stoke the economy is almost exhausted. The Fin

Bitter Hancock emails surface

Gina Rinehart’s son John Hancock privately called his youngest sister Ginia “intellectually disabled” and told his mother she had spoilt the 28-year-old so much “her brain has turned into a weak bowl of porridge”. The West

Bega eyes new dairy targets as bid fails

Bega Cheese boss Barry Irvin says he plans to turn his attention to other targets after announcing yesterday that the company would not pursue Warrnambool Cheese & Butter after its offer closes tomorrow. The Aus

 

The West Australian

Page 1: The Barnett government has abandoned a key election promise – the $2 billion MAX light rail system – until after the next election in 2017, dumping a commitment to have it up and running by 2018.

Page 3: Gina Rinehart’s son John Hancock privately called his youngest sister Ginia “intellectually disabled” and told his mother she had spoilt the 28-year-old so much “her brain has turned into a weak bowl of porridge”.

Page 4: The Barnett government has removed funding to redevelop Royal Perth and Graylands hospitals from the budget, casting serious doubt over both projects.

Page 6: The state government is bracing for a billion-dollar legal battle with building magnate Len Buckeridge after Supreme Court mediation to settle a dispute over construction of a private port at James Point collapsed. 

Page 10: Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has warned Australia’s standard of living is at risk if the country’s policymakers continue to shirk making tough decisions.

Page 16: WA is growing at both ends of the demographic spectrum as more babies and more grandparents call the state home.

Page 73: The state’s iron ore miners will deliver more than half of WA Treasurer Troy Buswell’s projected $437 million surplus for 2013-14, with consistently high iron ore prices expected to ram an extra $270 million into government coffers over the year.

Outside advisers will be paid $1.5 million to set up a “pipeline” of potential taxpayer asset sales.

Page 74: Elders is likely to ask police to investigate accounting discrepancies in its international cattle trading arm after an initial inquiry found a handful of staff falsified documents and misled management.

Page 75: Gina Rinehart could be poised to land the first tranche of the massive debt package needed to fund development of her Roy Hill iron ore project, with Korean media reports indicating the Korean EximBank had agreed to extend $US1 billion in project financing loans.

Noble Energy has talked up the prospects of a floating LNG development of the massive Leviathan gas field, which Woodside Petroleum wants to farm-into but hinted that production would not kick in until next decade.

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s signature paid parental leave policy and Labor’s National Disability Insurance Scheme could be scaled back, potentially saving billions but leaving the government open to political attack.

Page 4: Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan has called for an end to “narrow self-interest” and a realistic discussion about the tax system as the Abbott government looks to big companies to fill the shortfall causing a decade of budget deficits.

Page 5: Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens says Australia can no longer muddle through without tackling productivity reforms that boost growth and confidence, suggesting the capacity of further interest rate cuts to stoke the economy is almost exhausted. 

Page 6: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has signaled he may cut corporate welfare and urged struggling companies to rein in costs in the strongest signal yet that pleas for assistance from Toyota, Qantas and SPC Ardmona could fall on deaf ears.

Page 9: West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell has defended the government against allegations it misled voters at the March state election, after announcing cuts and delays to billions of dollars worth of promised infrastructure spending as part of its mid-year budget update.

Page 12: Suitcases stuffed with cash were allegedly used to bribe former Indonesian president Suharto to approve contracts to buy the Reserve Bank of Australia’s plastic banknotes, according to a sworn witness statement made by a Jakarta middleman.

Page 13: ANZ Banking Group will continue its push into Asia under new chairman David Gonski as it looks to China and other fast-growing markets in the region to fuel profits.

Page 15: Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill joint venture faces a pivotal 48 hours, with export credit agencies in the United States and Korea about to approve billions in loans to the massive iron ore project.

Page 17: Bega Cheese has effectively dropped out of the takeover race for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter for now, saying it will not extend its current offer and will “consider its options” regarding its 18.4 per cent stake in the company.

UGL chief executive Richard Leupen has defended the contractor’s weak share price, claiming it reflects “cyclical” issues as the company secured a significant new contract with energy group Chevron in Western Australia.

Page 34: Australia’s housing recovery should last for at least another three years says Mark Steinert, the chief executive of the nation’s largest housing developer, Stockland.

 

The Australian

Page 1: Former Treasurer Peter Costello has claimed a broader role for the $92 billion Future Fund he established as treasurer in the last years of the Howard government, declaring it a sovereign wealth fund to help the nation through ‘‘difficult days’’.

Cabinet ministers have hit back at another plea for industry assistance, amid fears of setting a "dangerous precedent" if they give in to demands from food processor SPC Ardmona to help cover its rising costs.

Tony Abbott faces a blockade in the Senate on his flagship policy to boost paid parental leave, as he concedes that parliament could amend his original plan to help women earning as much as $150,000 a year.

Page 3: The government should focus on productivity-boosting reforms rather than rushing to bring the budget to surplus, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens said yesterday.

Page 4: John Hancock described younger sister Ginia Rinehart as ‘‘intellectually disabled’’ and suggested she ‘‘wear a bag over her head — cover up her genetic deficiencies from prying eyes’’.

Page 5: Tony Abbott has warned industry the government will be ‘‘loath to consider requests for subsidies’’ as he unveiled a $100 million package aimed at bolstering manufacturing in the wake of Holden’s decision to stop making cars in Australia from 2017.

As Geelong in Victoria and Elizabeth in South Australia contemplate life without Holden and Ford, Peter French is eyeing the buildings that have produced the nation’s most popular cars and wondering whether they might be the birthplace of his dream.

Page 6: Royalties from liquefied natural gas exports to be manufactured in large plants being built in Gladstone underpin the Newman government’s plan to return the budget to surplus in two years, amid otherwise declining revenue.

The peak Aboriginal body has been told it must prepare to lose its federal funding from next July and find another way to support itself. Labor had promised to keep the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples funded with $15 million for another three years in this year’s May budget.

Business: Morschel says the nation needs investment to drive growth

Ten Network chairman Lachlan Murdoch has made a concerted push for reform that recognises the converged digital media world, as Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull fires the starting pistol on his plans to simplify media rules. 

Marketing and wage cost blowouts coupled with the sluggish tourism sector led online travel agency Wotif.com to issue a stark profit warning yesterday that pulled the rug out from shareholders and sent the company’s shares into a 32 per cent nosedive.

Woodside Petroleum says the cost of developing its massive Browse gasfields through an LNG processing plant at James Price Point had soared to more than $80 billion — a figure that dwarfs any other resources project in Australia and highlights the nation’s high-cost environment. 

The Western Australian government is examining the privatisation of a key iron ore port — the Utah Point bulk export facility at Port Hedland — under its plan to slash debt and regain the state’s AAA credit rating.

Gina Rinehart’s $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara is edging closer to final investment approval after the Korea Export-Import Bank agreed to provide $US1bn ($1.12bn) in debt and other institutions reportedly joined the financing deal.

Bega Cheese boss Barry Irvin says he plans to turn his attention to other targets after announcing yesterday that the company would not pursue Warrnambool Cheese & Butter after its offer closes tomorrow.

Ten Network chief executive Hamish McLennan says winning the rights to broadcast V8 Supercars will substantially lift revenue at the network.

Engineering group UGL has won a contract to provide maintenance services at the West Australian assets of energy heavyweight Chevron, giving the group a foothold i n the huge Gorgon and Wheatstone liquefied natural gas projects.

Stocks, bonds and currencies in Asia, long one of the world’s hottest investment destinations, are on track for a lousy 2013. Investors have retreated from the region, putting bonds on course for their first down year in more than a decade. Almost every currency in the region has tumbled and stocks are underperforming their counterparts in the US and Europe.

Advertisers have welcomed news that Facebook will introduce video advertisements, but questions remain over how the social networking site’s millions of users will react.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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