18/10/2016 - 06:32

Morning Headlines

18/10/2016 - 06:32

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Morning Headlines

Packer loses $600m as Crown dives

Analysts and shareholders fear Crown Resorts’ reliance on China for a large percentage of its customers could hit the casino giant’s bottom line if there is a wider crackdown on China’s VIP gaming markets. The company’s share price was hit hard on Monday, closing 13.9 per cent down after it emerged late on Friday that 18 Crown staff had been detained by Chinese authorities in Shanghai, including the vice-president of its VIP international business, Jason O’Connor. The Fin

Whitehaven ramps up coking coal

Whitehaven Coal is increasing sales of coking coal at the expense of thermal coal as it seeks to fully capitalise on the extraordinary rally in prices. The Fin

Big banks put heat on one bad Apple

Three of Australia’s big four banks have described technology giant Apple as being ‘‘intransigent, closed and controlling’’, and accused it of attempting to freeload on their contactless payments infrastructure while slowing innovation in digital wallets. The Fin

CBA urges less business secrecy on cyber attacks

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s technology chief has led calls for increased co-operation among businesses and public sector agencies regarding cyber attacks, following the release of a government report highlighting increasing threats. The Fin

Mining leader backs Nats levy

A mining industry leader who played a key role in the campaign against the former Labor government’s resources tax has backed a controversial push by West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls to slap a $7.2 billion levy on iron ore giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The Aus

Just Group loses legal battle against ex-CFO

Retail billionaire Solomon Lew’s Just Group has failed in its bid to stop chief financial officer Nicole Peck from defecting to rival Cotton On. The Aus

Labor rules out selling State assets

Labor leader Mark McGowan has given his clearest indication he will make an anti-privatisation message central to his bid to win government at the March election. The West

Govt’s financial planning vow

The Federal Government has promised to put a new financial planning regime before Parliament by year’s end as its races to bankroll and build a new supervisory structure. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The shock news that 18 Crown staff, including three Australians, had been detained by Chinese police pushed shares in the gaming company down nearly 14 per cent yesterday, wiping $600 million from the value of major shareholder James Packer’s stake in Crown. Shares in Crown’s rival gaming companies also fell, with Star Entertainment Group down 3.7 per cent and Sky City losing 4.2 per cent.

The importation of a rapid-fire shotgun and a ban on sub-standard building products from abroad are among the demands being put to the Turnbull government by the Senate crossbench in return for it securing the passage of its signature legislation on industrial relations.

Page 3: An ill-fated acquisition of NSW home builder Huxley Homes, a string of complaints over quality, and some hefty donations from his private interests to the Family First party brought Bob Day’s home building empire down.

Page 4: The building industry watchdog has secured a new record of $1.7 million in penalties against the construction union after maintaining its high rates of litigation over industrial offences.

Page 5: A future fund should be established to rescue Australia’s ailing social housing stock, covering the cost of housing subsidies by the investment returns from selling inappropriate and deteriorating public housing stock, a key private sector infrastructure group says.

Page 6: Analysts and shareholders fear Crown Resorts’ reliance on China for a large percentage of its customers could hit the casino giant’s bottom line if there is a wider crackdown on China’s VIP gaming markets. The company’s share price was hit hard on Monday, closing 13.9 per cent down after it emerged late on Friday that 18 Crown staff had been detained by Chinese authorities in Shanghai, including the vice-president of its VIP international business, Jason O’Connor.

Page 8: If Kelly O’Dwyer has her way, parents counselling their children about career choices will some day mention financial planning in the same breath as accounting or law.

Page 10: Australia’s Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been ‘‘called upon’’ by Chinese Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye, amid Labor apparently softening its position on the South China Sea.

Page 11: The logos of building materials companies BlueScope and Boral span the south-east Asian landscape, with almost 30 production sites between them across seven countries and sales offices in the others. This presence gives them among the broadest Australian business footprints in a region where many other big companies have been reluctant to tread.

Page 12: Chris Pearce sits at the intersection of two of the new challenges for Australian businesses in south-east Asia as the once single-minded focus on China faces some rethinking amid slower growth and diplomatic tensions.

Page 13: Whitehaven Coal is increasing sales of coking coal at the expense of thermal coal as it seeks to fully capitalise on the extraordinary rally in prices.

The big end of the Australian sharemarket is likely to outstrip the performance of small and medium-sized cap companies over the next 12 months in a market currently priced for very low interest rates, says the managing director of Australia’s biggest listed investment company.

Three of Australia’s big four banks have described technology giant Apple as being ‘‘intransigent, closed and controlling’’, and accused it of attempting to freeload on their contactless payments infrastructure while slowing innovation in digital wallets.

Page 15: Approvals for a coal mine expansion on Queensland’s Darling Downs have been deferred by federal regulators for the sixth time in 20 months, in a blow for mine proponent New Hope Corporation.

Chief executive of home loan broker Mortgage Choice John Flavell has taken a swipe at proxy advisers as ‘‘crazy’’, ‘‘ridiculous’’ and ‘‘a nonsense’’ who do not understand their business, as the listed broker is set to receive its third strike in a row from shareholders over executive pay and two directors face being voted off their board.

Magellan Financial Group co-founder Chris Mackay is seeking shareholder approval to remove the Magellan name from his listed investment company, which trades as Magellan Flagship Fund.

Page 16: New Zealand utility Trustpower still sees a positive outlook for renewable energy growth in Australia despite the collapse of the South Australian power system last month and the backlash it triggered against renewables among some politicians, according to chief executive Vince Hawksworth.

Merger and acquisition activity is heating up towards year end, as usual, but investors need to be wary of rewarding companies that launch takeovers as most are done for the wrong reasons and many will end in tears, according to Perpetual.

Macmahon Holdings chief executive Sybrandt van Dyk has resigned after a tumultuous 15 months at the helm of the mining services company.

Some of the biggest players in the Australian gold industry are tightening their grip on prospective exploration ground as conditions for the miners, and their resultant growth aspirations, heat up.

Page 19: Technology start-up founders and venture capitalists have urged the government to rediscover its enthusiasm for the emerging sector, which appears to have cooled since the federal election, and expressed concerns about its recommended changes to research and development tax incentives.

Page 20: A Sydney-based start-up, which has created an artificial intelligence virtual data scientist to answer questions about information in corporate systems, has signed on financial services giants Westpac and IAG as customers and closed its first funding round.

Australian investors will get their first chance to invest in virtual reality on the ASX in the first half of 2017, with US-based software firm Strata working on a $3 million pre-IPO capital raise.

The head of global cyber security giant Trend Micro, Eva Chen, has laid the blame for the continued rise of email-based scams on providers like Yahoo actively ignoring millions of compromised accounts that were taken over by cyber criminals, and taking too long to confess to data breaches.

Page 21: Openpay, a new challenger to soaring ASX-listed fintech start-up Afterpay, has launched a pre-IPO capital raising, seeking $8 million to $10 million ahead of a planned ASX listing next year.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s technology chief has led calls for increased co-operation among businesses and public sector agencies regarding cyber attacks, following the release of a government report highlighting increasing threats.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: Annastacia Palaszczuk’s ambitious 50 per cent renewables energy target has been undercut by Queensland’s largest government-owned power generator, which has warned Australia is moving from being one of the lowest-cost electricity nations to one of the highest.

Page 4: A mining industry leader who played a key role in the campaign against the former Labor government’s resources tax has backed a controversial push by West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls to slap a $7.2 billion levy on iron ore giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Page 7: Farmers are urging the Turnbull government to approve the sale of water held in major dams and storages back to irrigators.

Page 19: Australian casino operators are tipped to be reviewing their options after the arrest of Crown Resorts’ staff in China — a move that wiped $630 million from James Packer’s stake in the company — with a warning the operating model of domestic resorts will change “irrevocably”.

Life insurers have fought back against a surge in claims over the past few years by pushing through huge premium increases while winding generous policy benefits back, leaving some in the industry questioning whether people have been saddled with expensive and irrelevant insurance through their superannuation funds.

Murray Goulburn is considering forgiving at least some of the debt incurred in last financial year’s milk “overpayment” to ease the problems faced by its co-op members.

Page 21: Retail billionaire Solomon Lew’s Just Group has failed in its bid to stop chief financial officer Nicole Peck from defecting to rival Cotton On.

Australia’s largest department store Myer has given the first glimpse of its upbeat expectations for the crucial Christmas trading period, telling investors its highly successful ‘‘giftorium’’ shopping experience will be back in 2016 as well as a range of other in-store experiences to capture shopper wallets.

The advertising market suffered from fatigue in September after three months dominated by big events, as spending fell by 4.8 per cent to $616.7 million.

Page 22: The big four banks and AMP will contribute nearly $16 million to fund the creation of the federal government’s professional standards body for financial advisers, part of reforms unveiled yesterday by Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 3: Malcolm Turnbull has put WA at the centre of the Federal Government’s war on militant unions as new evidence emerged of the construction union’s thuggery.

Page 7: The cheapest petrol in Perth in more than 11 years has proved a one-day wonder with some service stations jacking up prices by almost 50 per cent overnight.

Page 9: Labor leader Mark McGowan has given his clearest indication he will make an anti-privatisation message central to his bid to win government at the March election.

Page 20: The revolving door at Macmahon Holdings has swung again. Mining engineer Michael Finnegan next month will become the struggling contractor’s fifth top executive in five years, replacing Sybrandt van Dyk.

Britain has lost its place as one of the top five investment destinations in the wake of the country’s decision to leave the European Union, according to a survey released yesterday.

James Packer’s wealth plummeted by more than $600 million yesterday when investors shed their shares in Crown Resorts after China said the company was being investigated for gambling crimes.

Page 37: The Federal Government has promised to put a new financial planning regime before Parliament by year’s end as its races to bankroll and build a new supervisory structure.

Jolted by the Target rebates scandal six months ago, Wesfarmers has flagged similarly “strong and decisive” action against other workers who fall short of its expectations.

Automotive Holdings Group is paving the way for a better-paid boardroom as part of a swag of resolutions to be tabled before shareholders next month.

Page 38: The West African division of MMA Offshore is dragging on the marine services company, and yesterday was fingered as a cause of its latest profit downgrade.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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