21/10/2016 - 06:24

Morning Headlines

21/10/2016 - 06:24

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Morning Headlines

Super funds $16b swoop on Ausgrid

Local super funds AustralianSuper and IFM Investors have snapped up NSW power distributor Ausgrid, in a $16.2 billion back-door deal with the government that has left the state facing accusations that it has failed to ensure the best value for taxpayers. The Fin

Kidman bid spurs call for investment rule changes

Bids from foreign investors for Australian farmland should have a strike against them when considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board if there is a comparable Australian bid, Senator Nick Xenophon has argued at the launch of an all-Australian Kidman bid. The Fin

Fortescue chief warns on iron ore cash cow

Fortescue Metals Group boss Nev Power has warned politicians contemplating a $5-a-tonne iron ore tax against using the mining industry as a cash cow to fix their budget problems. The West

South32 boosts cash pile to $US551m

Analysts are tipping Australia’s third-largest miner, South32, will consider a share buyback or special dividend after it boosted its cash pile by another $US239 million ($312 million) in the September quarter. The Fin

Nasser calls time as BHP chair

Jac Nasser, the Lebanese immigrant raised in Melbourne’s working-class Northcote, is calling time on his six and half years tenure as BHP Billiton chairman. The Aus

APRA warns on mortgage fraud

The banking regulator has ordered the major banks to have their fraud systems externally reviewed amid concerns mortgages are being sold on flattering assumptions, including inflated incomes and undercooked living expenses. The Aus

WA jobs market gets worse

WA’s jobs market could get worse after figures released yesterday showed the number of full-time workers at a fiveyear low. Amid signs the national jobs market is in trouble, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures revealed WA shed another 4300 full-time jobs last month. The West

Wheatstone win for Woodside

Woodside has completed a key offshore component for the Wheatstone LNG project ahead of schedule and is expecting no material changes to its costs for the $US29 billion Chevron-led development. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Local super funds AustralianSuper and IFM Investors have snapped up NSW power distributor Ausgrid, in a $16.2 billion back-door deal with the government that has left the state facing accusations that it has failed to ensure the best value for taxpayers.

Page 4: Crown Resorts chief executive Rowen Craigie has attempted to reassure investors about the potential impact to its operations from the detention of 18 of its staff in China.

Page 7: Treasurer Scott Morrison has accepted he will not secure Senate support for his full package of company tax cuts in this term of Parliament.

Senator Nick Xenophon has flagged concerns over the ‘‘unorthodox’’ powers of the proposed federal building code, raising new hurdles for the government passing the Australian Building and Construction Commission bills.

Page 8: Bids from foreign investors for Australian farmland should have a strike against them when considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board if there is a comparable Australian bid, Senator Nick Xenophon has argued at the launch of an all-Australian Kidman bid.

Cleaning and catering firm Spotless has warned that its first half results will be even softer than usual as it suffered a ‘‘first strike’’ over executive pay at its annual meeting.

Page 9: Australia will find itself with a surplus of 100,000 apartments by 2018 even though a credit crunch for developers will cause a sharp slowdown in apartment construction before then, Morgan Stanley expects.

The big four banks will be involved in a review of lending practices by small business ombudsman Kate Carnell. She has selected about 20 cases but details of who is involved will not immediately be public to protect borrowers. ‘‘All four of the big banks will be represented,’’ she said, adding smaller banks may also be investigated.

Page 10: Mainland China has outstripped the United States as the No.1 destination for Australian wine exports for the first time, with the soaring industry-wide sales momentum providing a further boost for Penfolds owner Treasury Wine Estates.

Page 11: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has again left traders and economists wondering about the quality of official jobs data after discounting a significant proportion of responses from Queenslanders because their answers looked too strange.

Page 13: Company listings in the third quarter of 2016 have continued to outperform the market, but have lagged behind the same quarter in the previous year.

Page 14: South Australia’s gas turbines would have switched off during the one in 50-year storm three weeks ago had they been as close to the major transmission faults as the wind turbines that did switch off and not hundreds of kilometres away in Adelaide, a top engineer says.

Page 16: Consumption is driving China’s economic growth, but a further slowdown in income growth in the third quarter highlights the challenges to the country’s transition away from manufacturing and heavy industry.

Page 18: California prosecutors are investigating whether Wells Fargo bankers committed criminal identity theft by creating millions of fraudulent accounts.

Page 19: The world’s biggest iron ore miners continue to underwhelm the market in terms of supply, with Rio Tinto’s decision to revise down its export target expected to be matched by Brazilian miner Vale on Friday.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci is shifting his focus from cutting grocery prices to renovating stores after finally stemming a 12-month decline in supermarket sales.

Activist fund manager Sandon Capital looms as a potential thorn in the side of the $11.3 billion merger of Tatts Group and Tabcorp, after declaring the deal sells Tatts investors short because it does not properly value the company’s lotteries business.

Page 21: Ten Network chief executive Paul Anderson says television needs to market itself better to grow advertising revenue across the sector.

Outgoing Australian Pharmaceutical Industries chief Stephen Roche says the owner of Priceline Pharmacies and Soul Pattinson chemists is poised for further growth after delivering a 20 per cent increase in earnings and reducing net debt by 63 per cent in 2016.

Page 22: Glencore Rail has been sold to the United States’ Genesee & Wyoming for $1.14 billion, creating more competition for rival rail haulage groups Aurizon and Pacific National in NSW’s Hunter Valley.

APA Group managing director Mick McCormack has come out firing on all cylinders in the escalating war of words with the competition regulator over gas pipeline regulation, calling its findings ‘‘commercial nonsense’’ and ‘‘overly simplistic’’.

Beverage companies can no longer rely on having one or two winners in their portfolio and manufacturers of soft drinks, bottled water, dairy and alcoholic beverages need a wider product range to cater to generations X, Y and Z.

Page 23: The prudential regulator says tighter lending standards have been successful in slowing loans to investors, thereby taking some of the heat out of the housing market.

Westpac Banking Corp, National Australia Bank, Macquarie Group and nine other international members of the R3 consortium have completed a trial of blockchain technology which transferred funds between banks across borders using Ripple’s cryptocurrency XRP.

No-frills digital bank UBank has launched a provocative new campaign in which terminally ill Australians urge viewers to borrow less and live more.

Page 24: Analysts are tipping Australia’s third-largest miner, South32, will consider a share buyback or special dividend after it boosted its cash pile by another $US239 million ($312 million) in the September quarter.

Record LNG production at the North West Shelf and Pluto ventures has helped Woodside limit the damage from lower prices, capping the decline in September quarter sales at 9 per cent.

Page 31: The Reserve Bank of Australia and Canberra have the most difficult policy task in the world balancing the dual forces of slowing growth and high asset prices, at a time when commodity prices are at risk but China’s ‘‘hot money’’ is still flowing ashore.

 

 

The Australian

Page 2: Full-time job opportunities are plunging while new casual part-time jobs in hospitality and service industries are leaving a record 1.1 million people in work, but wanting more hours.

Gina Rinehart will have to stare down a significant bid for the S. Kidman & Co cattle empire from some of the country’s wealthiest farming families, pitting the mining magnate against the pastoralists for control of the world’s largest portfolio of cattle stations.

Page 3: Crown Resorts chairman Rob Rankin has promised shareholders the company will examine how 18 employees, including three Australians, came to be detained in China, as he confirmed they were still to be charged with any offences.

Page 5: An Indian manufacturer of turbines that tripped during the South Australian storms is helping investigators but is yet to commit to increasing the voltage-loss tolerance limits to prevent a future shutdown of its turbines.

Page 6: Financial markets do not expect any decision by S&P Global Ratings to strip Australia of its triple-A credit rating would have a big impact on the funding costs of the federal government or for the states or the banks.

Page 19: Disruption of the commercial property sector is luring companies from traditional leases and forcing blue-chip firms to transform front-of-office services to clients and staff.

Page 21: Jac Nasser, the Lebanese immigrant raised in Melbourne’s working-class Northcote, is calling time on his six and half years tenure as BHP Billiton chairman.

Rio Tinto has cut iron ore and copper guidance as it continues to struggle to get its Pilbara iron ore port and rail infrastructure humming and as labour and operational challenges loom at the Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia.

Page 22: Embattled dairy group Murray Goulburn overstated its profit by about $150 million by wrongly including money it hoped to recover from dairy farmers under its controversial milk price support scheme, according to a forensic accounting expert.

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue has continued to chip away at its production costs. But the ability to extend the cost cutting beyond the current run of 11 consecutive quarters is now under pressure on a number of fronts.

Woodside Petroleum chief financial officer Lawrie Tremaine has indicated the company wants to buy assets with near-term production and says deals are becoming easier to do.

Page 23: The banking regulator has ordered the major banks to have their fraud systems externally reviewed amid concerns mortgages are being sold on flattering assumptions, including inflated incomes and undercooked living expenses.

Page 26: Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing has swooped on German apartment owner BGP, which was spun off from the GPT Group in the depths of global financial crisis, with the €1.177 billion ($1.68bn) deal to see nearly 60,000 Australian investors receive a payout this year.

Page 29: The head of low-cost, long-haul carrier AirAsia X has dismissed calls for the airline to be banned from Australian skies because of safety fears, claiming that a string of incidents being investigated by the nation’s transport safety bureau were being misreported.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 7: WA’s jobs market could get worse after figures released yesterday showed the number of full-time workers at a fiveyear low. Amid signs the national jobs market is in trouble, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures revealed WA shed another 4300 full-time jobs last month.

Page 15: The City of South Perth has conceded defeat in a long-running apartment battle, declaring it will not appeal against a decision to approve a 34-storey tower at 74 Mill Point Road.

Page 20: An all-Australian rival bid to Gina Rinehart’s claim to the S. Kidman & Co cattle empire believe their offer is superior because it does not have Chinese involvement and all profits would remain local.

Page 57: Fortescue Metals Group boss Nev Power has warned politicians contemplating a $5-a-tonne iron ore tax against using the mining industry as a cash cow to fix their budget problems.

Private power companies are capitalising on a glut of excess capacity in WA’s biggest electricity market to bypass Synergy and buy straight from the spot market.

Page 58: Woodside has completed a key offshore component for the Wheatstone LNG project ahead of schedule and is expecting no material changes to its costs for the $US29 billion Chevron-led development.

A demand by a former chief executive of Enerji for repayment of a debt triggered the collapse of the power technology company when it was on the cusp of a $4.5 million recapitalisation deal.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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