19/02/2014 - 06:02

Morning Headlines

19/02/2014 - 06:02

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Morning Headlines

Return to polls on cards after high court ruling

Political parties are gearing up to fight a fresh Senate election in WA within weeks after a High Court judge found the results of last year’s disputed poll should be set aside. The West

BHP aiming higher for projects

BHP Billiton will target an average 20 per cent-plus return rate from projects through a sharpened approach that will see underperforming businesses such as coking coal side-lined. The Fin

Point Henry ‘magnifies RET flaws’

Australia’s aluminium smelters are urging the Abbott government to consider the ‘‘disproportionate’’ impact the Renewable Energy Target is having on their competitiveness. The Aus

China cools on Australia free trade deal

The Abbott government’s plan to sign a free trade agreement with China by September has been dealt a blow, after Beijing failed to mention it as a priority for the year ahead. The Fin

Amcom revenue up

The steady-as-she-goes growth of Perth’s Amcom has continued, with the IT services company reporting a 14 per cent increase in its half-yearly profit to $11.5 million. The West

McLeod exits Coles but stays

Ian McLeod will end his transformational reign at Coles mid-year but has unexpectedly decided to stay with Wesfarmers in a newly created strategic role. The West

Facility will be ‘very costly’ to Qantas: Truss

Qantas Airways will not want to access funds from any standby debt facility provided by the federal government because of the cost to the airline, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said. The Fin

Closure of Regis mine expected

Goldminer Regis Resources is expected to reveal that a ‘‘significant weather event’’ at its flagship gold project has forced the closure of one of its mines. The Aus

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The closure of Alcoa Australia’s Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong will trigger a big drop in demand for electricity, prompting warnings it would increase financial stress on power plants and could lead to blackouts.

The Abbott government’s plan to sign a free trade agreement with China by September has been dealt a blow, after Beijing failed to mention it as a priority for the year ahead.

Page 3: The corporate regulator is pushing to move to a user-pays system of regulation, opening the possibility of a $6 billion sale of its business registration arm.

Page 4: The Reserve Bank of Australia appears to have watered down demands for a weaker dollar, despite the currency again trading just below the level it complained two months ago was uncomfortably high.

Page 5: The political parties have begun sharpening their swords in anticipation of fresh Senate elections in Western Australia with Labor giving notice it will focus on Abbott government budget cuts and mounting job losses.

Page 7: The Climate Change Authority could complicate the government’s review of the renewable energy target (RET) when it releases a report next week that is likely to recommend a toughening of the country’s emissions reduction target.

Page 9: Qantas Airways will not want to access funds from any standby debt facility provided by the federal government because of the cost to the airline, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said.

Page 10: Top businesswomen want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to cut back his parental leave scheme and use some of the money to offer tax breaks for childcare, including nannies.

Page 15: BHP Billiton will target an average 20 per cent-plus return rate from projects through a sharpened approach that will see underperforming businesses such as coking coal side-lined.

Page 17: About 540 jobs will be axed from Cootes Transport after parent McAleese decided to halve the size of the beleaguered fuel-haulage business in the wake of what it described as unprecedented government scrutiny.

Page 19: The share price of Australia’s biggest annuities provider, Challenger, soared to its highest level since listing in 1987 as the company posted some of its best annuities sales on record.

Page 20: Outgoing Coca-Cola Amatil chief executive Terry Davis has challenged his successor to match his 12-year record of profit growth, saying the bottler is in much better shape than it was when he took the helm despite an 82 percent profit plunge in 2013.

Page 22: Clive Palmer has backed off from his attempt to put the Australian subsidiary of his estranged business partner Citic Pacific into liquidation, suddenly withdrawing the legal action and agreeing to pay costs.

Page 37: Listed Singaporean property group Hiap Hoe has made its fourth Australian acquisition in just six months, snapping up a Perth office building for $90 million.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: Australia is negotiating a landmark commitment from the world’s biggest economies to set a hard target for global growth as it sets out reforms to labour markets, tax rules and infrastructure spending at an international summit this weekend.

Page 3: Two new Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiries threaten to embroil senior Liberal Party figures including federal Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos.

Page 4: Australia’s aluminium smelters are urging the Abbott government to consider the ‘‘disproportionate’’ impact the Renewable Energy Target is having on their competitiveness.

Page 5: Old-age pensioners are increasingly joining the ranks of the middle class, with a new study revealing the rise in the aged pension delivered by the previous government and more generous indexation arrangements have transformed their class status.

Page 8: Western Australia’s 1.4 million voters are set to return to the polls to choose six senators after the Court of Disputed Returns yesterday ruled the GreensScott Ludlum and the Sport Party’s Wayne Dropulich ‘‘were not duly elected’’ last September.

Page 19: BHP Billiton is gearing up to return more cash to shareholders in the middle of the year as a cost-cutting and productivity drive boosts cashflow just as the global economy seems to finally be improving.

Seven West Media has signalled it will consider signing a long-term international style broadcast rights deal with the AFL, as the Kerry Stokes-controlled company swung to a first-half profit.

Page 20: Amcor has flagged better earnings and profits ahead on the back of strong sales growth despite posting a sharp fall in first-half profit attributed to costs from the demerger of its Australian packaging and distribution division.

Goldminer Regis Resources is expected to reveal that a ‘‘significant weather event’’ at its flagship gold project has forced the closure of one of its mines.

Page 22: Don Voelte’s sudden resignation from the chairmanship of oil and gas play Nexus Energy has added to the swirl of speculation surrounding the group.

Page 23: Mining and materials group Arrium is confident the iron ore price will remain strong after it recorded a higher profit on the back of increased output of the steelmaking ingredient.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 8: Political parties are gearing up to fight a fresh Senate election in WA within weeks after a High Court judge found the results of last year’s disputed poll should be set aside.

Page 11: “Unprecedented” numbers of tiger sharks off Perth and the South West have been reflected in figures showing the species accounted for almost all the sharks caught so far under WA’s drum-line policy.

Page 16: Public housing tenants caused $11.4 million damage to taxpayer-funded homes last year — an increase of $2.4 million from 2012 and equivalent to more than $31,000 a day.

Page 19: Colin Barnett says he does not care if the Health Department presided over a series of failures that delayed the opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital — and doubts the public does either.

Page 22: Aluminium giant Alcoa has talked up the prospects of its WA operations after announcing plans to axe about 1000 workers from NSW and Victorian plants.

Business: Ian McLeod will end his transformational reign at Coles mid-year but has unexpectedly decided to stay with Wesfarmers in a newly created strategic role.

The Citic Pacific subsidiary accused of being insolvent by Clive Palmer had $US4.1 billion in available loan facilities from its Chinese parent, according to court documents filed by Citic.

All roads lead to Bunbury for grain growers concerned about low prices in the Albany port zone.

The steady-as-she-goes growth of Perth’s Amcom has continued, with the IT services company reporting a 14 per cent increase in its half-yearly profit to $11.5 million.

Contractors are circling projects once serviced by Forge Group, conceding its $700 million collapse last week has created opportunities for competitors.

Rio Tinto has pulled the trigger on its second major mine expansion in the Pilbara this year, committing to a 7 million tonne a year expansion of its Western Turner Syncline mine near Tom Price.

After two difficult years, Panoramic Resources managing director Peter Harold and Perth staff of the nickel producer had reason yesterday to ring the bell in their Hay Street head office.

Property: Developers Mirvac, Pindan and Victorian based Caydon Property Group have been shortlisted to build the second new apartment project at Claremont on the Park, an urban infill project next to the Claremont Football Club.

The new leasing environment in Perth’s office market is delivering incentives of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent to tenants in the CBD and fringe office markets.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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