Trade, China to dominate Widodo visit
Trade, terrorism and China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea will be front and centre during a two-day visit to Australia next week by Indonesian President Joko Widodo that will include an address to Parliament on Monday. The Fin
Sharp fall in building approvals
Building approvals fell a more than expected 8.7 per cent in September as the number of new apartments given the tick by planners fell to its lowest total in almost a year. The Fin
Miners gear up to fight Grylls’ $5-a-tonne levy
The mining industry has evoked the memory of crushing campaigns against Labor’s mining and carbon taxes in a bid to kill off support for a $5-a-tonne levy on BHP and Rio Tinto in Western Australia. The Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA has launched an ‘‘information campaign’’ warning about the economic threats posed by the extra tax. The Fin
TPG cuts the price of Ingham’s float
Private equity giant TPG has cut the price of shares in chicken group Ingham’s and will hold on to a bigger stake in the group than first expected, after it moved to reprice the float on Wednesday. The Fin
Trump’s surge spooks markets
Australian and global markets have been jolted by fears of an upset victory by Donald Trump in next week’s US presidential election, amid warnings that the financial fallout of a Trump win could be bigger than Brexit. The Aus
BCA aims to lead on tax fairness
The Business Council of Australia has issued a rallying call to members to publicly back a campaign for more tax transparency, as an example of how it is “contributing to a positive reputation of business”. The Aus
Coal, iron ore budget windfall
Australian government budgets are facing a potential $12 billion windfall this financial year as prices of iron ore and coal, the nation’s two biggest exports, continue to surge, defying expectations as steel demand holds up in China at the same time as the Asian powerhouse holds back its own coal production. The Aus
$20m innovation fund open
A $5.5 million program where the State Government co-invests with tech-focused angel investors has emerged as the key pillar of the long-awaited $20 million innovation strategy. The West
The Australian Financial Review
Page 1: AGL Energy will make bigger profits after the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood brown coal power station but small firms in Victoria will pay up to $300 a year more for power, new modelling shows.
Incumbent business and entrenched sectors across the economy from finance, communications to healthcare and transport face a wave of disruption and innovation if a bold Productivity Commission proposal to give consumers a powerful new ‘‘right’’ to access their data gets up.
Page 2: The Parliamentary Budget Office has issued a fresh reminder of how Australia’s political system is struggling to grapple with one of its most basic tasks – keeping the budget in balance.
Page 3: The ABC has accused the government of mounting an attack on the independence of the broadcaster by demanding it justify a new pay deal for staff and issuing an implicit threat to its funding.
Investigations into the Dreamworld accident that killed four people last week are expected to examine large gaps in the conveyer belt of the Thunder River Rapids ride that are markedly different from other similar rides around the world.
Page 5: There are five rules governing who is eligible to stand for Parliament that seem simple on the surface but are difficult to navigate in reality.
Page 6: Trade, terrorism and China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea will be front and centre during a two-day visit to Australia next week by Indonesian President Joko Widodo that will include an address to Parliament on Monday.
Page 8: People accessing disability employment services would be able to ‘‘spend’’ their support money with a provider of their choice under government plans to overhaul the $800 million system.
Page 9: The Productivity Commission says market forces should drive the evolution of data-sharing by financial institutions, and it would be premature to mandate banks’ participation in a new credit reporting regime or force them to build technology systems to make it easier for customer transaction data to be used by competitors.
Page 10: The 1000 people who work at Victoria’s Hazelwood power station, whose French owner is expected to announce its closure on Thursday, may never find a better job.
Page 11: The head of the International Energy Agency has identified grid interconnections and the availability of gas power plants as critical issues for examination as Australia seeks to prevent a repeat of the South Australian power blackout.
Brickworks chief executive Lindsay Partridge says the looming closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is depressing and distracting for manufacturers and talking to governments about energy ‘‘is like talking to your hand’’.
Page 12: Former trade minister Andrew Robb says he ‘‘doesn’t care’’ about ‘‘slurs’’ from Labor and the Greens who say he may have broke the ministerial code of conduct by taking a job with Darwin Port owners Landbridge and meeting with officials from his former department before the end of a mandated cooling-off period.
Page 14: Building approvals fell a more than expected 8.7 per cent in September as the number of new apartments given the tick by planners fell to its lowest total in almost a year.
The mining industry has evoked the memory of crushing campaigns against Labor’s mining and carbon taxes in a bid to kill off support for a $5-a-tonne levy on BHP and Rio Tinto in Western Australia. The Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA has launched an ‘‘information campaign’’ warning about the economic threats posed by the extra tax.
Page 16: Low fuel prices and President Barack Obama’s high approval ratings are key factors that favour Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the White House in next week’s election, according to a model from Moody’s Analytics that has accurately predicted the past nine US presidential contests.
Page 18: The last time the Philippine peso neared 50 to the US dollar, the global financial system was melting down and the central bank raised interest rates to defend it. This time, it has been driven by the president cursing his trading partners and his finance chief accepting the declines.
Page 19: A bombshell hit the City of London on Monday: Mark Carney, the rock star of finance, the most powerful man in the British economy, will only be in his job until mid-2019.
Page 20: The art collection of Sydney stockbroker John Fairlie Cuningham, including an Arthur Streeton and a Jeffrey Smart, along with many small traditional landscapes, is to hit the market next month as part of the most generous bequest ever made to the Art Gallery of NSW.
Page 21: A growing unease over the prospect of a Donald Trump victory in the US presidential race has pushed Australian shares to a seven-week low.
Lawyers for the competition regulator have challenged Woolworths’ claim that asking suppliers for money to prop up profits was ‘‘entirely reasonable’’ and an ordinary, ‘‘everyday’’ part of doing business.
The ASX’s introduction of a mandated 20 per cent free float has been praised as ‘‘great for investors’’, as it looks to be one of the most popular features of the exchange’s new listing rules.
Page 23: BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie will hold important talks with Vale over the future of the Samarco joint venture this week, while also helping to launch a new dam code for the global mining industry.
CSR chief executive Rob Sindel expects the boom in low-rise apartments and suburban knock-down-rebuilds will continue to fire the housing market, despite concerns about the heat in the high-rise end of the market.
Rio Tinto will centralise more of its functions in Singapore before the end of the year in a move that will result in more Australian jobs being pushed offshore.
Shares in Fortescue Metals Group have fallen on reports its second-largest shareholder is offering up to $US369 million in bonds convertible into shares in the Australian miner.
Page 24: Private equity giant TPG has cut the price of shares in chicken group Ingham’s and will hold on to a bigger stake in the group than first expected, after it moved to reprice the float on Wednesday.
Vitamins group Swisse has succumbed to the same forces that have crimped sales and profits at rival Blackmores – sales have slid by 16 per cent in the September quarter as the army of buyers stripping retailers’ shelves of stock in Australia drop away.
Last week Tasmania was the only state in Australia without an IKEA store. This week Tasmania will become the first state where consumers can shop online for Billy bookcases and Klippan sofas after the global furniture and homewares retailer chose Australia’s southern-most state to launch its long-awaited e-commerce strategy.
Page 25: A weak domestic market has delayed Virgin Australia’s return to profitability after the nation’s second-largest carrier reported an unexpected first-quarter loss despite improving passenger numbers and filling more seats on planes.
Vitamins company Vitaco is adamant that none of its own staff were involved in the alleged insider trading in its shares in the lead-up to a $314 million takeover bid by two Chinese firms on August 4 being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Australia is home to just five of the world’s top 1000 corporate spenders on research and development, and the rankings of most of them are slipping, a new study has shown.
Page 26: Harvey Norman shareholders shrugged off a bullish report by the company on Wednesday that pre-tax profit was up 25.9 per cent in the September quarter, amid continuing confusion over the group’s earnings figures.
Not content with suing Surfstitch over a failed content deal, a media company from Sydney’s northern beaches has now lobbed a $55.4 million takeover offer for the embattled surf retail and media business.
Page 27: Demand for LNG as a ship fuel has emerged as a much needed new source of growth in the oversupplied market, with oil giant Royal Dutch Shell giving a bullish assessment of the impact of tighter international rules on maritime emissions.
Are investors still having bad dreams about the childcare sector as the $1.6 billion collapse of industry behemoth ABC Learning in 2008 fades into the distance?
Page 28: Angry investors in beleaguered class action law firm Slater & Gordon plan to protest on Friday over big bonuses being paid to executives and the board, despite a $1.02 billion full-year loss following last year’s disastrous UK acquisition.
Page 35: The next move by the Reserve Bank is still more likely to be a rate cut than a rise, but given the slightly rosier economic outlook, economists are now predicting it may happen later rather than sooner.
Page 37: Cromwell Property Group has launched a new €2 billion ($2.9 billion) European property fund with early support from the largest privately owned life insurance company in Denmark, PFA Pension.
Page 1: Australian and global markets have been jolted by fears of an upset victory by Donald Trump in next week’s US presidential election, amid warnings that the financial fallout of a Trump win could be bigger than Brexit.
Page 2: The Business Council of Australia has issued a rallying call to members to publicly back a campaign for more tax transparency, as an example of how it is “contributing to a positive reputation of business”.
The failure of tax revenue to meet the excessively optimistic predictions of federal and state Treasury departments has forced the forecast peak in Australia’s public sector debt to be raised by $30 billion since the end of last year.
Page 4: Bob Day told the government he had “disposed” of his financial interest in the building that would house his electorate office, despite him using the property to secure a mortgage.
Page 8: Korean steel giant Posco plans to increase production by more than 50 per cent at the Whyalla steelworks and introduce up to 220 megawatts of baseload power to the South Australian grid as part of a bid to buy the business from troubled steelmaker Arrium.
Page 19: Australian government budgets are facing a potential $12 billion windfall this financial year as prices of iron ore and coal, the nation’s two biggest exports, continue to surge, defying expectations as steel demand holds up in China at the same time as the Asian powerhouse holds back its own coal production.
HCF managing director Shaun Larkin says change is needed in the health insurance sector to address affordability concerns, as he flags the product is evolving, with consumers taking more control of their health needs.
The possible role of Macau’s casino operators in the Chinese crackdown on the James Packer-backed Crown Resorts is attracting closer scrutiny as the province reported its best gaming revenues for 21 months in October.
Page 21: Virgin Australia’s turnaround from cash-strapped airline to sustainable profit engine has hit some turbulence as the carrier revealed yesterday that sluggish domestic conditions had dragged it to a first quarter loss.
Page 23: A salvo has been fired in the battle over billions of dollars in superannuation contributions, with Australia’s largest industry super fund warning about the costs to business of potential changes.
Automated financial advice isn’t getting the recognition it deserves in Australia as we steam towards the Robo 2.0 era, says Clover chief executive Harry Chemay.
Page 24: Although shares of Alibaba Group Holding have surged 77 per cent in price from a low in September 2015, many investors are selling the company short, anticipating trouble ahead for the Chinese ecommerce giant.
Samsung is to invest more than $US1 billion ($1.3bn) in its semiconductor factory in Austin, Texas, as the South Korean technology giant seeks to bounce back from its recent smartphone recall by redoubling its efforts in smartphone components.
Page 25: When dairy farmers in New Zealand banded together in 2001 to create Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, they saw it as a chance to forge a New Zealand version of Swiss food giant Nestle.
AT&T’s practice of exempting its streaming video services from data-usage caps is rankling competitors and shaping up as a major issue for regulators set to weigh the telecom giant’s $US85.4 billion ($112.2bn) acquisition of Time Warner.
Alcoa has officially split into two entities, as the aluminium giant and one-time member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average separated its beleaguered raw alumini um operation from the businesses that supply the aerospace and automotive markets.
Page 26: Industry superannuation property fund manager ISPT is considering selling parts of its $12.1 billion real estate empire while pricing is strong to finance its development pipeline.
Page 27: Regulators could be forced to raise lending standards again and tighten credit criteria even more as major capital cities remain exposed to a glut of apartments ready to hit the market.
Page 30: The number of apartment projects approved across Australia dropped sharply in September, but construction levels are expected to stay strong with thousands of new units under way and due to be offered for sale over the next year.
The West Australian
Page 1: Two WA bush lawyers turned amateur sleuths have intensified the constitutional chaos facing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, causing a second elected senator to be referred to the High Court.
Page 2: More than 60 construction workers from Murdoch and Midland hospital sites face fines up to $10,000 each for unlawfully skipping work to attend a protest at Perth Children’s Hospital.
Page 3: Australia and WA cricket legend Dennis Lillee fears the sport is doomed in this State and that the new Perth Stadium will cost taxpayers at least $2 billion by the time it opens next summer.
Page 6: Opposition Leader Mark McGowan wants to market tourism packages to interstate and overseas punters to maximise the economic value of WA horseracing’s rich new spring program.
Page 11: Paint giant Dulux has been fined $400,000 and been ordered to issue a public apology after being found guilty of misleading the public about a paint it was claimed could cool a house and reduce energy bills.
Page 13: The Chamber of Minerals and Energy, in partnership with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and the Minerals Council of Australia, yesterday launched an advertising campaign across newspapers, television and social media targeting the proposed increase in the iron ore tax rate.
Page 20: A $5.5 million program where the State Government co-invests with tech-focused angel investors has emerged as the key pillar of the long-awaited $20 million innovation strategy.
The increased frequency of executive bonuses has ensured little change in the total remuneration being pocketed by WA company bosses, despite slippage in their base pay.
Multiplex heir Tim Roberts will join the board of Mineral Resources following the company’s November 17 annual meeting.
Page 49: US-headquartered Cliffs Natural Resources has open the window to extending its WA iron ore business into the next decade, pegging new exploration tenements around its Yilgarn operations and softening its rhetoric on an Australian exit.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Sean L’Estrange believes the $7.3 million extension of the Perth Core Library, which was opened yesterday, will slash waiting times and improve access to the geoscience training facility.
Page 50: Health insurer nib has stepped up its targets for policyholder numbers and anticipates fairly stable margins over the coming few years as its core business benefits from increased private healthcare spending.