10/04/2015 - 07:05

Morning Headlines

10/04/2015 - 07:05

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Morning Headlines

Treasurers warn GST lift for WA poses federal risk

State treasurers have warned Joe Hockey that he will “wreck the federation” if he pushes ahead with a plan to boost Western Australia’s GST share. The Aus

Hockey's $1b 'Netflix' tax

The cost of downloading movies, music, books and other media from overseas providers such as Apple and Netflix is set to jump by 10 per cent after federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and his state counterparts agreed these services should be subject to the GST. The Fin

iiNet union 'inevitable' to fight big Telstra

The former chief strategist of iiNet says TPG's takeover of the internet provider was inevitable to fight Telstra's “predatory activity” in the marketplace and to compete in the NBN rollout. The West

$100m loan guarantees add to Forrest's burden

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest — already facing massive paper losses from the iron ore price crash — is facing the added burden of being exposed to $100 million in private loan guarantees he has extended to his senior executives. The Aus

GPT chief warns of office slump

The chief executive of one of Australia's biggest commercial property groups has warned the office markets in Perth and Brisbane are moving into a “dangerous area” which could ultimately lead to price crashes. The Fin

Dollar to drive mergers: Knox

One of the country’s most senior investment bankers has signalled that more big takeover deals are expected in Australia this year, as global groups continue to capitalise on the weaker currency and the privatisation of assets by the nation’s governments. The Aus

Watchdog mauls big airports

The chief of Australia's competition watchdog has urged competition as the only way to improve the performance of the nation's major airports to reverse the decline in standards and increase in charges in the past decade. The West

AGL eyes up gas sales in wake of deal

Australia's oil and gas landscape is rapidly being redrawn, with AGL seizing a gap in the market that will probably be created by Shell's $91 billion acquisition of BG. The Fin

Bond investors abandon Fortescue, Emeco as risk rises

US investors are selling out of billions of dollars of Australian mining companies' bonds and loans because plunging iron ore and coal prices make it less likely they will get paid back. The Fin

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The cost of downloading movies, music, books and other media from overseas providers such as Apple and Netflix is set to jump by 10 per cent after federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and his state counterparts agreed these services should be subject to the GST.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has told Western Australia to reform its economy in return for him fighting the other states to give it an increased portion of the $57 billion goods and services pie.

Royal Dutch Shell's $90 billion takeover of BG is expected to trigger consolidation across global petroleum, with BP rated the next-most likely acquisition.

Page 3: The chief executive of one of Australia's biggest commercial property groups has warned the office markets in Perth and Brisbane are moving into a “dangerous area” which could ultimately lead to price crashes.

Page 4: The amount of profits multinationals are channelling through Singapore – that does not get taxed in Australia – will be significantly reduced under the global plan to fight profit shifting, says the Organisation for Economic and Development's head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans.

Page 5: The revamped childcare package at the centre of next month's budget will be multiple taxpayer-funded payments into a single mainstream subsidy, available only to parents who work, study or are looking for work.

Page 6: The policy of giving tax credits on share dividends could be modified, rather than abolished altogether, in response to concerns that wealthy retirees did not get extra tax windfalls on their already tax-free income, former AMP chief and financial system inquiry member Craig Dunn said.

Page 7: The ANZ Bank's success in a court appeal over credit card late fees may not embolden other companies to defend class actions but could strengthen the litigation funder that bankrolled the case by scaring off its competitors, IMF Bentham.

Page 10: Melbourne and Perth offer the worst service of large airports in Australia, and Sydney makes the most money from car parking.

Page 11: Listed companies have four years to meet a 30 per cent voluntary gender diversity target on boards, but Coca Cola Amatil is taking a breather, having already achieved the milestone well ahead of 2018.

Page 13: Australia's oil and gas landscape is rapidly being redrawn, with AGL seizing a gap in the market that will probably be created by Shell's $91 billion acquisition of BG.

US investors are selling out of billions of dollars of Australian mining companies' bonds and loans because plunging iron ore and coal prices make it less likely they will get paid back.

Page 15: The reorganisation of Australia's oil and gas sector took another leap forward on Thursday, as it emerged that Macquarie Capital and Brookfield Asset Management had taken advantage of the downturn in energy prices to acquire the local producing assets of US energy group Apache Corporation.

Page 16: China has halved the rate of tax it charges domestic iron ore miners, in an effort to stern the dominance of Australian and Brazilian producers.

A company run by market-research guru Gary Morgan has placed a caveat over two Pilbara tenements it shares with Atlas Iron to protect itself from any potential asset sales by the embattled iron ore miner.

Page 18: Contractor Downer EDI has dumped its tyre-tread logo and is spending several million dollars on a brand makeover as it broadens its business to remain competitive in tough commercial markets.

 

The Australian

Page 1: For the first time, an Australian citizen fighting in Syria has been targeted for assassination by the US military.

Page 2: University heads have been pocketing massive salary increases while demanding the Senate pass government legislation to allow fee deregulation based on the argument their institutions are cash-strapped.

Page 4: State treasurers have warned Joe Hockey that he will “wreck the federation” if he pushes ahead with a plan to boost Western Australia’s GST share.

Western Australia is paying dearly now for the mining boom that peaked in 2013-14, and while the Commonwealth Grants Commission says it has sympathy for its plight it says nothing can be done about it without penalising other states.

An explosion in online music and movie downloads has spurred Australian governments to escalate their efforts to charge GST on the purchases as Joe Hockey vows to legislate to close a gap in the consumption tax.

The peak business lobby group in Western Australia has backed Joe Hockey’s call for the Barnett government to pursue difficult economic reforms to boost its claim to a bigger share of GST revenues.

Treasury concedes it was wrong to have backed a multinational tax avoidance crackdown adopted by the former Labor government because it would have punished Australian businesses looking to expand offshore and raised “very little” revenue.

Page 6: Coal-seam gas licences owned by businessmen Travers Duncan and Brian Flannery, as well as CSG group Metgasco, have been carved from a blanket CSG licence buyback scheme rolled out by the NSW government in the lead-up to the state election.

Page 7: As the federal government pushes to increase the number of indigenous Australians in the work force, a new peak body representing the indigenous business sector launches in Sydney today.

The Abbott government will spend more than $1 billion to replace the 1980s-era Centrelink computer to prepare the way for sweeping reform of the welfare system.

More than half of Australia’s $600 million banana industry is under threat from the devastating Panama disease, with the discovery of another infected farm in a second far north Queensland growing district.

Page 9: Indonesians face soaring beef prices and shortages ahead of Ramadan, the most socially and politically sensitive season for food supply disruption.

Business: Royal Dutch Shell’s £47 billion ($91bn) bid for gas giant BG Group — the biggest energy deal this century — will focus market attention on the beaten-down valuations of Australian players Origin Energy and Santos, which are both involved in rival LNG projects in Queensland.

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest — already facing massive paper losses from the iron ore price crash — is facing the added burden of being exposed to $100 million in private loan guarantees he has extended to his senior executives.

One of the country’s most senior investment bankers has signalled that more big takeover deals are expected in Australia this year, as global groups continue to capitalise on the weaker currency and the privatisation of assets by the nation’s governments.

Woodside Petroleum and its partners in the North West Shelf gas project will lose Western Australia’s biggest gas consumer as a major customer, after aluminium producer Alcoa of Australia used Apache Corporation’s exit from the energy sector to lock in most of its long-term energy needs.

BC Iron moved to distance itself from the troubles that engulfed its larger rival Atlas Iron, when managing director Morgan Ball highlighted the company’s comparatively healthy balance sheet and recent inroads into its cost base.

Alcoa has swung to a first-quarter profit thanks to a turnaround in its smelting division helped by exchange rates.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors is to step up the pressure on Australia’s big companies to appoint more women company directors, setting a target of 30 per cent women on boards by the end of 2018.

Bass Strait partners ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton have hailed a $1.2 billion-plus gas supply deal with the biggest retailer, AGL Energy, as providing evidence that the east coast gas market is “functioning effectively”.

Australia is moving a step closer to having a managed funds industry that could compete globally, following the release yesterday of draft legislation aimed at updating what one expert called “an archaic trust taxation regime” that dated from the mid-1930s.

 

The West Australian

Page 1: Joe Hockey has held out the prospect of a special GST rescue package only if the Barnett government radically reshapes the state's finances and economy.

Page 3: Controversial ride-sharing company Uber has slashed the price of its no-frills transport service 20 per cent and claims its UberX service is now half the cost of a taxi.

Former radio host Howard Sattler has reached a confidential settlement with his former employer, Radio 6PR, after his sacking in July 2013.

City of Perth has approved the installation of two floating helipads near the edge of the Swan River opposite Perth Concert Hall.

Page 5: Former AFL star Ben Cousins was freed on $6,000 bail after facing Fremantle Magistrates Court yesterday over a police chase and was told he would be jailed if convicted.

Page 9: Retirees should be prevented from blowing their superannuation payout so they did not have to fall back on the pension, a key crossbencher says.

Page 10: The Abbott government needs WA, in fact, its very survival at next year's federal election may well demand on improving its electoral stocks in the west.

Page 11: Ambulances have been forced to queue outside hospital emergency departments for more than 3,000 hours so far this year.

Page 13: An unusually wet start to the year may be dampening the spirits of some city slickers, but grain farmers in the northern Wheatbelt are loving every millimetre.

Page 14: The chief of Australia's competition watchdog has urged competition as the only way to improve the performance of the nation's major airports to reverse the decline in standards and increase in charges in the past decade.

Page 20: A bitter fallout between one-time close friends and neighbours over expanding a Swan Valley chicken farm was aired in the Federal Court yesterday in a legal action over advertising for “free-range” eggs.

Page 24: Netflix users could face an increase in monthly charges after Treasurer Joe Hockey signalled the government would apply GST to downloaded movies, music and books.

Page 26: Parts of suburban Perth have had a near tenfold increase in population in the past decade – and have helped turn around the city's Dullsville tag.

Page 28: The state government has bought the first two of 36 parcels of private land needed to build its $1.12 billion Swan Valley bypass road.

Business: The former chief strategist of iiNet says TPG's takeover of the internet provider was inevitable to fight Telstra's “predatory activity” in the marketplace and to compete in the NBN rollout.

Mining heiress Angela Bennett has emerged as a key member of the consortium put together by Brookfield Asset Management and Macquarie Capital to buy the rump of Apache's WA oil and gas business for $US2.1 billion.

PwC's plum appointment to handle the potentially record-breaking sale of the Insurance Commission of WA's Perth property portfolio has got tongues wagging in the CBD.

BC Iron managing director says the company has no immediate plans to shut its Pilbara iron ore operations in response to falling iron ore prices.

Metals X has ramped up its legal threats against Northern Star Resources move to gazump its bid for Tanami Gold's major asset, but is running out of time to halt a shareholders' meeting to consider the deal.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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