24/04/2014 - 06:31

Morning Headlines

24/04/2014 - 06:31

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Morning Headlines

BHP still sees greenfields

BHP Billiton iron ore boss Jimmy Wilson has dismissed suggestions that the era of multi-billion-dollar greenfields iron projects in the Pilbara has come to an end, even as the mining giant focuses on extracting efficiencies rather than building new mines. The Aus

Household debt ‘getting close to limit’

The return of cheap and easy access to financing for lenders has sparked fears Australia’s heavily geared household sector may take on too much debt. The Fin

Newcrest sets chief a $10m pay target

Newcrest’s incoming chief executive Sandeep Biswas has secured a pay deal that gives him extreme leverage to the turnaround story he is planning for the gold producer. The Aus

Barnett kills Padbury dream

Premier Colin Barnett has put another nail in the coffin of Padbury Mining’s bid for the Oakajee port and rail project – a day ahead of the company’s planned return to trading on the Australian Securities Exchange. The West

Finance sector wants urgent super hearing

The finance industry lobby is demanding an urgent hearing to challenge a panel reviewingd efault superannuation funds. The Fin

Gas giant widens push for Leviathan

Woodside Petroleum has reportedly widened its attempted entry into Israel’s big offshore Leviathan gasfield to include a stake in a field off Cyprus that would push the cost of its entry into the eastern Mediterranean gas scene beyond $US3 billion ($3.2bn). The Aus

Funds must dig for gold stocks offshore

Consolidation in the Australian resources sector is creating a serious shortage of investment opportunities, and some fund managers say it leaves them with no choice but to build portfolios dominated by offshore companies to gain exposure to commodities such as gold. The Fin

Vodafone in push to WA bush

Vodafone Australia is lobbying the Federal Government to help break Telstra’s stranglehold over the regional mobile phone market in WA, urging the coalition to open up a flagged $100 million investment in mobile black spots to a “co-investment” strategy. The West


The Australian

Page 1: Welfare spending will be put to the knife in the federal budget on May 13 as Joe Hockey outlines a radical overhaul that could slash government outlays by $65 billion a year within a decade.

Page 2: Employers want a review of the nation’s competition laws to ban workplace agreements that restrict the use of contractors.

Page 17: Hoyts Group may drop the cinema group’s iconic century-old name for a new corporate identity to attract investors in a $700 million float on the local stock exchange.

Page 17: Joe Hockey has risked inflaming debate about the $3.4 billion takeover bid for GrainCorp, saying he blocked US grains giant Archer Daniels Midland because it was “not of good character’’.

Page 17: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has dismissed any prospect of Padbury Mining’s $6.5 billion Oakajee iron ore port and rail revival proposal winning state government backing, branding it unrealistic and declaring he would not even meet representatives of the company to discuss it.

Page 19: Terry Smart is set to step down as chief executive of consumer electronics chain JB Hi-Fi after just four years in the role, handing the reins to finance boss Richard Murray.

Page 19: David Jones’s plan to issue an estimated $8.4 million worth of free shares to its senior executive team appears unlikely to derail a planned $2.15 billion takeover offer from South African retailer Woolworths Holdings.

Page 19: Kerry Stokes’s media conglomerate Seven West Media has accused rival Fairfax Media of being “blinded by self-deception” after Fairfax lost injunction proceedings aimed at preventing a top executive joining Seven.

Page 19: The government has called for a probe into the factors driving banks to hastily wash their hands of troubled small businesses, referring to Bankwest’s controversial handling of customers after being taken over by Commonwealth Bank.

Page 19: The privately held South Australian winemaker Peter Lehmann Wines has reported a near-doubling in profit for the first half despite rampant competition and poor consumer confidence in key export markets.

Page 20: China’s central bank is to reduce the share of deposits that some rural lenders need to set aside as reserves, in a move aimed at giving a lift to economic growth.

The People’s Bank of China said the move did not suggest a change in monetary policy but said it would increase lending to the agricultural sector.

Page 21: Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold have had ongoing contact since the two miners last week aborted talks to create a global mining giant, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Page 23: Internet service provider iiNet could spend more than $400 million acquiring digital assets and investing in start-ups as part of its diversification, but chairman Michael Smith plans a measured approach.

Page 23: Mortgage insurer Genworth Australia has forecast that profit will surge 30 per cent this year amid booming housing conditions that have fuelled demand.

Page 25: Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert says the nation’s largest housing developer will “potentially” work with a partner to launch a revised proposal for Australand comprising some cash after its $2.4 billion conditional scrip bid was flatly rejected yesterday by its rival.

 

The Financial Review

Page 4: The May budget will increase means testing and introduce co-payments for benefits as part of a plan to more than halve spending growth and return the budget to surplus within six years.

Page 5:  Inflation has fallen short of the pace likely to trigger interest rate hikes, though pressure on prices is likely to build if companies start hiring.

Page 25: A Telstra-owned Chinese company spent more than $300,000 to buy a Hong Kong advertising agency that was half-owned by the wife of one of its most senior Asian executives and directors.

Page 25: Stuck with sticky tape to a pillar behind Andrew Forrest’s desk at Fortescue Metals Group’s open-plan office in Perth is a quote from highly regarded UBS resources stock-picker Glyn Lawcock.

“The Fortescue 155 million tonnes per annum story is a 2018 story at the earliest,” it begins.

“I hope they do. But Rio Tinto/BHP Billiton reckon there is no way they can get up to that rate that quickly.”  

Page 27: JPMorgan’s Australian chief executive Rob Priestley believes improved sentiment among local companies will buoy the bank’s business units in 2014, despite reporting a slump in operating profit across three entities in 2013.

Page 38: An expectation that interest rates will remain at record low levels could support further buying in the Australian sharemarket, which has risen to the highest level since June 2008.

Page 40: The ball is now in Stockland’s court after Australand Property Group dismissed a $2.5 billion takeover proposal.

Page 41: The Wesfarmers-owned Bunnings chain of hardware stores is planning seven new stores in South Australia to retain its dominance in the hardware sector in the state despite Woolworths ramping up expansion plans for its rival Masters chain.

Page 45: Confidence in the Australian building industry has risen to its highest in six years, as low interest rates continue to stimulate residential work and expectations of an upturn in non-residential work grow, says Master Builders Australia’s latest quarterly survey.

 

The West Australian

Page 4: Joe Hockey says three million Australians will have to pay higher taxes unless the Government slashes spending economy-style.

Page 9: Treasurer Mike Nahan will consider alternatives to stamp duty after conceding it was one of the nation’s least efficient taxes.

Page 73: The official opening of BHP Billiton’s Jimblebar mine marks one of the closing acts in a “defining decade” for the WA iron ore industry, according to Premier Colin Barnett.

Page 73: Auditor KPMG warned about a week before Forge Group’s $800 million collapse it might have to blow the whistle on the engineering company for suspected insolvent trading.

Page 73: Nickel miners surged yesterday after the metal hit a 14-month high on Tuesday night.

Page 73: Radar Iron has bought an iron ore tenement in the Yilgarn from Cliffs Magnite Holdings for $3.74 million.

Page 73: Origin Energy suspended business with Imdex in the wake of an asbestos scare in a move which is costing the drilling products supplier up to $1.5 million a month.

Page 76: The management clearout at Newcrest Mining, Australia’s biggest gold producer, will end on July 4 when former Rio Tinto heavy hitter Sandeep Biswas takes over as chief executive.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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