08/11/2016 - 06:22

Morning Headlines

08/11/2016 - 06:22

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Clinton FBI all-clear lifts markets

Australia’s sharemarket had its best day in four months and the rest of Asia rallied as the FBI backed off Hillary Clinton and investors bet she was set to become the first female president of the United States. The Fin

BHP will shake up hiring to get to 50 per cent women

BHP Billiton has abandoned the requirement for specific work experience in the mining industry in recruiting for some new roles as it attempts to drive productivity by reaching 50 per cent female global workforce by 2025. The Fin

Westpac returns hit by need to build capital

Soft credit growth will force Westpac Banking Corp to step up cost cutting so it can maintain its dividend in 2017, analysts said, after the bank sliced its return on equity target but held the dividend steady at its full-year results. The Fin

Samuel urges cuts to price-fixing prostheses list

A top consultant to the federal government on health reform, former competition boss Graeme Samuel, has strengthened his call for deep cuts to government-controlled price-fixing for hips, knees and other device implants. The Aus

Westpac’s mortgage stress rises in the west

Westpac has suffered a sharp spike in mortgage stress in Western Australia as the slump in mining activity dents customers’ incomes, signalling growing pressure for the banking industry from declining asset quality. The Aus

WA faces building skills shortage

WA could be hit with another skills shortage early next decade, with figures revealing that the number of new construction apprenticeships has plummeted up to 80 per cent — one of the biggest annual slumps in history. The West

SWM finalises purchase of The Sunday Times

Seven West Media, publisher of The West Australian, has formally signed an agreement with News Corporation to buy The Sunday Times newspaper and the PerthNow news website. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Australia’s sharemarket had its best day in four months and the rest of Asia rallied as the FBI backed off Hillary Clinton and investors bet she was set to become the first female president of the United States.

Page 3: Federal Labor will push the Coalition to make billions of dollars more in cuts to superannuation tax concessions when the legislation hits the Parliament in a fortnight.

Page 5: Only a week after leaving Origin Energy – the listed energy company he has run since it was spun off the back of a demerger with Boral in 2000 – King is back to save the Business Council of Australia as its new president.

Page 6: A full bench of the Fair Work Commission has split on whether workplace comments that incite Islamophobic sentiment, including endorsing the culling of Muslims, should be considered less serious when they are not personally addressed to Muslims.

Page 7: The Productivity Commission has blamed sub-par business management, a lack of investment ambition, and protected family or government-run businesses for effectively sleeping through the opportunities thrown up by technological change.

Levies for companies with a market capitalisation of $20 billion or more will be capped at $662,000 a year under revised plans for a user-pays system for funding the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Ardent Leisure is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday about when its Dreamworld theme park will reopen after police said they had finished their crime-scene investigation following the deaths of four tourists late last month.

Australian former Rabobank trader Paul Thompson should not serve time in a US prison for his role in a global rate-rigging scandal because ‘‘serious and ongoing health issues’’ within his family require his presence in Australia, his legal team has argued ahead of his sentencing.

Page 8: China has replaced veteran reformer Lou Jiwei with a new finance minister who will have to juggle fiscal stimulus and efforts to rein in excess leverage in the world’s second-largest economy.

Page 10: BHP Billiton has abandoned the requirement for specific work experience in the mining industry in recruiting for some new roles as it attempts to drive productivity by reaching 50 per cent female global workforce by 2025.

Page 11: Soft credit growth will force Westpac Banking Corp to step up cost cutting so it can maintain its dividend in 2017, analysts said, after the bank sliced its return on equity target but held the dividend steady at its full-year results.

UGL’s top shareholder, Allan Gray, has accused the contractor of taking ‘‘a short-term sugar hit’’ after its board told investors to accept CIMIC’s $524 million hostile offer, despite one director rejecting it.

Page 13: Domino’s Pizza has affirmed its forecast for 30 per cent net profit growth even though new menus and online ordering options helped fuel record sales growth in the group’s largest market in the first few months of 2017.

Ingham’s chief executive Mick McMahon has rejected criticism the nation’s biggest chicken producer could fall foul of its biggest customers, which include Woolworths.

Page 14: The boss of the union representing a large chunk of Arrium’s Australian workforce wants bidders who are prepared to invest in new technology and upgrades to win out in the sale process, as South Korea’s POSCO eyes a return four years after its original $1.2 billion joint bid for Arrium was rejected.

Nine Entertainment has signed a deal with local technology start-up Data Republic to help its advertisers better target grocery buyers.

Page 15: Tech giant Apple has told the competition regulator that attempts by three of Australia’s big banks to access the iPhone’s payments antenna without using the Apple Pay application – for which Apple insists banks must pay a fee – are futile because security and user experience for Apple customers around the globe would be compromised.

Corporate confidence, business spending and employment could be boosted if federal and state governments increase spending on new transport projects and provide more comprehensive long-term plans for infrastructure development, Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer says.

Page 16: OZ Minerals will pursue a bigger development of its Carrapateena copper and gold mine in South Australia, but has listed electricity supply among the ‘‘highest threats’’ to the project.

Food and grocery manufacturers have renewed calls for tax cuts and investment allowances following a slump in capital investment to the lowest levels since the global financial crisis.

Page 19: ASX-listed online travel firm Webjet has taken the first steps towards making hotel bookings on blockchain technology, in what it claims is a world first in its sector.

CSIRO’s Data61 division stands to be a major beneficiary of new laws proposed by the Productivity Commission to give consumers the right to opt out of having their data collected and shared.

Page 20: A New Zealand-based tech start-up that uses artificial intelligence-powered software to provide online language translation services has raised $NZ5 million ($4.78 million) in a funding round led by ASX-listed investment firm Bailador, and plans an ASX IPO in 2017.

ASX-listed iSelect is trialling a new digital home loan process that lets home buyers get conditional approval for a loan in three hours from multiple lenders, without needing to visit a bank or fill out paperwork.

Starting your own business is about putting everything on the line, according to Ben Sand, the newly installed ‘‘entrepreneur in residence’’ at Telstra’s start-up accelerator muru-D.

Page 21: Australian entrepreneurs are flush with cash thanks to the growing venture capital market, which has seen the number of private deals jump 50 per cent in the first nine months of the year.

Page 27: More than a fifth of Australia’s economic output is at high or extreme risk of disruption from cyclones, while more than a quarter of national gross domestic output is in areas with high to extreme risk of flooding.

Page 30: Australia is ‘‘behind the curve’’ in the take up of e-commerce according to Greg Goodman, the chief executive of global logistics giant, Goodman Group.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: A top consultant to the federal government on health reform, former competition boss Graeme Samuel, has strengthened his call for deep cuts to government-controlled price-fixing for hips, knees and other device implants.

Page 6: Four options for a new interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states are being considered at a cost of up to $2.5 billion as the state’s transmission company warns its customers will be paying $500 million a year more for electricity than those in other states.

BHP Billiton must reinstate a miner sacked for a series of anti-Muslim and homophobic comments after a Fair Work Commission full bench majority said the dismissal was harsh.

Page 19: UGL’s biggest shareholder has lambasted the “extreme shorttermism” of the company’s board after its decision to back CIMIC’s bid, raising doubts the suitor would reach the 90 per cent compulsory acquisition threshold for the engineering major.

Westpac chief Brian Hartzer has caved in to rising pressures and sliced the bank’s return-on-equity target, telling shareholders to prepare for weaker profitability and potential dividend cuts if looming new industry regulations do not go their way.

Page 21: The “real culprit” for South Australia’s statewide September blackout was “increased dysfunctionality” of national energy policy governance, the Energy Policy Institute of Australia has warned.

The head of Unibet, one of the largest online gambling operators in Europe, has warned the Australian government that customers would increasingly source unregulated bookies if online in-play betting products continued to be banned.

The long-running saga over Oil Search’s partner in the Elk-Antelope field in Papua New Guinea, InterOil, has taken another twist after a Yukon appeals court overturned the approval for ExxonMobil’s $4 billion takeover of InterOil after an appeal by the target’s founder, Phil Mulacek.

Page 22: Westpac has suffered a sharp spike in mortgage stress in Western Australia as the slump in mining activity dents customers’ incomes, signalling growing pressure for the banking industry from declining asset quality.

Former ANZ chief executive Mike Smith received a package totalling almost $10 million last year, including $2.4m cash, despite doing three months work as CEO and ending gardening leave in July.

Page 23: This is the corporate landscape that will greet the next US president: improving profits buoyed by rising employment and business spending — yet tempered by the elusiveness of a more resilient recovery.

Beijing is considering allowing Wall Street firms to run their own investment banking businesses on the mainland, according to people briefed on the discussions, a long-awaited step that would give them more access to China’s hard-to-crack domestic market.

Americans may be weary of the gruelling 2016 presidential race. But media companies would be thrilled if the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton show never ended.

Volkswagen’s efforts to resolve its emissions cheating scandal faced a potential setback yesterday after a fresh allegation that California authorities discovered cheating software on popular Audi models, while the company said a German criminal investigation has widened to include its chairman.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 1: WA could be hit with another skills shortage early next decade, with figures revealing that the number of new construction apprenticeships has plummeted up to 80 per cent — one of the biggest annual slumps in history.

Page 3: Seven West Media, publisher of The West Australian, has formally signed an agreement with News Corporation to buy The Sunday Times newspaper and the PerthNow news website.

Page 4: Malcolm Turnbull will have to cobble together crossbench support for media ownership reform after Labor and the Greens indicated they would block one of the two planks.

Page 15: Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has foreshadowed a “battle royal” against the mining industry over his $5 a tonne mining tax and has vowed to not take a backwards step in prosecuting the argument for the policy.

Page 16: Concern is growing within the Federal Liberal Party that Colin Barnett will attempt to siphon some of the funding for the Perth Freight Link for other projects.

The competition watchdog has raised concerns that a key part of the WA Government’s plan to sell Fremantle port could end up hurting the State’s economy and port users.

Page 47: The party is over for the big four, with the weakest bank reporting season in seven years ushering in what could be a lengthy period of weaker returns.

Gold Road Resources has ensured that the State’s next big greenfields goldmine will be built, stitching up a $350 million deal with South Africa’s Gold Fields.

Shares in Cardinal Resources were battered yesterday on fears early metallurgical test work indicates the company may struggle to recover enough gold from its project in Ghana to make the massive deposit economic.

UGL is headed for foreign ownership after all but one of its directors reluctantly backed CIMIC Group’s $534 million takeover offer for the WA-founded engineering company.

Page 48: WA renewable energy company Carnegie Wave Energy Limited has been granted £9.5 million ($15.5 million) to proceed with a new project on the English coast.

Yowie Group shareholders have protested against executive pay at the chocolate products maker by giving its board a first strike.

Construction costs for a $63 million malting plant and the writedown of a US home brewing business have dragged on Coopers Brewery’s annual profit.

Page 49: MZI Resources’ two most senior executives have parted ways with the company as the mineral sands producer taps its major shareholder for increased lending facilities to ramp up its Keysbrook mine.

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