RBA, IMF warn of debt, housing risk
Heavily indebted Australian households and governments need to build greater financial resilience against a global economy facing fresh uncertainties following the rise of Donald Trump, the Reserve Bank of Australia and International Monetary Fund have urged. The Fin
Late payments ‘silent killer’ of business
Big business and government could be penalised for delaying paying the invoices of their small-business suppliers in a new push by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to weed out unfair business behaviour. The Fin
BHP ore, coal tip for 60pc dividends rise
BHP Billiton is tipped to increase dividends by more than 60 per cent this financial year as stronger than expected prices for iron ore and coal swell the miner’s coffers. The Fin
Builder and CFMEU face off in test of Turnbull code
A major builder is facing strike action by the construction union in a test of the Turnbull government’s bid to impose a restrictive new code on builders seeking commonwealth work. The Aus
Grylls blasts ‘out of touch’ Chaney
West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has fired back at senior business leader Michael Chaney, accusing the Wesfarmers and Woodside chairman of swallowing the “propaganda” of the mining industry. The Aus
Temporary terminal deal fine by Barnett
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett says he can “live with” Qantas operating a direct flight to London out of its Perth Airport domestic terminal. But he wants the airline to guarantee it will move to the eastern, international side of the airport within five years. The West
Quadrant boards Rotto ferry
Perth’s main gateway to Rottnest Island, the Rottnest Express ferry service, is to form a cornerstone investment in a new national tourism play backed by private equity giant Quadrant. The West
The Australian Financial Review
Page 1: Heavily indebted Australian households and governments need to build greater financial resilience against a global economy facing fresh uncertainties following the rise of Donald Trump, the Reserve Bank of Australia and International Monetary Fund have urged.
Private equity firm Quadrant has spent $300 million in just a few months amassing a portfolio of ‘‘experiential’’ tourism businesses which it says will replace the mining boom. After buying Great Southern, owner of the Ghan and Indian Pacific railways , it has formed a new company called Experience Australia Group which will also run stakes in Cruise Whitsundays, the biggest tourism and ferry company in North Queensland and Rottnest Express, a big tour operator in WA.
Page 3: An influx of women in new management roles is set to boost gender equality in corporate Australia, but women are still facing salary differences of up to more than $90,000 in senior ranks.
Page 4: Australia and China are once again at loggerheads over dairy exports, after Beijing banned a Victorian infant formula maker from selling its products on the mainland.
Labor has reaffirmed its support for free trade but warned regional deals have become a lighting rod for voter anger and in future will need to offer better worker protections.
The federal government was contemplating its own changes to the 457 visa scheme before this week’s call by Labor leader Bill Shorten to crack down on the use of foreign workers as part of his ‘‘Australia first’’ policy push.
Page 6: A sudden outbreak of Trump-style protectionism that slams global trade – and potential fallout from badly roiled financial markets – are among the chief risks facing Australia’s heavily-indebted economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Bank regulators should redouble efforts to curb risky property market lending and the federal government should look at winding back tax breaks such as negative gearing that are distorting the housing market, the International Monetary Fund said.
Page 8: The federal director of the Liberal Party Tony Nutt has said the party will push for new laws to make it illegal to impersonate government organisations such as Medicare after it blamed texts sent by the Queensland Labor Party for a poor showing at the federal election.
Page 9: Big business and government could be penalised for delaying paying the invoices of their small-business suppliers in a new push by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to weed out unfair business behaviour.
Page 10: More consumers are choosing to support dairy farmers by ignoring $1-a-litre supermarket own-brand milk, according to the retail giants at an inquiry into farm gate milk prices.
Page 12: The European Commission’s top climate official says a nationwide emissions trading scheme to be rolled out in China next year could pave the way for a link-up to the EU system, taking a step toward an international carbon trading market.
Page 13: BHP Billiton is tipped to increase dividends by more than 60 per cent this financial year as stronger than expected prices for iron ore and coal swell the miner’s coffers.
The sharemarket’s strong post-election performance is sending a false signal to investors, with rising bond yields setting the expensive ASX up for a plunge amid political upheaval, Watermark Funds Management’s Justin Braitling says.
Page 15: Online retailer SurfStitch is bracing for a showdown with spurned suitor Crown Financial, which has fired off a list of more than 30 questions ahead of the annual meeting on Wednesday.
Page 16: Underwriting income protection policies that safeguard consumers in the case of injury or ill health has been a loss-making business for three years in a row as claims have soared and lapse rates have risen.
The big four banks are a reasonable bet for investors over the next 12 months with National Australia Bank the standout pick, while furniture retailer Nick Scali is also shaping up as a strong performer, says veteran fund manager Geoff Wilson.
Geoff Wilson’s Wilson Asset Management will convene a meeting of unit holders of the Hastings High Yield Fund in another effort to remove Aurora Funds Management as the fund’s responsible entity.
Foreign exchange provider OFX Group crowed about record transactions volumes after the shock vote by Britain to leave the European Union, but the enduring effect of Brexit has been depressed transaction values, which has hammered its half-year profit.
Page 17: Fat interest margins on personal loans and the absence of pricing based on borrower risk will help drive ‘‘profound disruption’’ to big banks over the next decade, said SocietyOne chief executive Jason Yetton, as the peer-to-peer lender looks to target business customers.
Westpac has quietly laid off 40 staff across Asia and closed its office in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), as new chief executive Brian Hartzer retreats from the regional strategy of his predecessor.
Page 18: Nine Entertainment chief executive Hugh Marks has warned the free-to-air television advertising market remains difficult to predict and will likely be down over 2016-17.
Page 27: The over-arching growth and reflation narrative that has taken hold of financial markets has seen a massive sell-off in bonds, but this time equity markets in industrialised countries haven’t been caught up in the carnage, unlike 2013’s ‘‘taper tantrum’’.
If US President-elect Donald Trump stands by his promise to label China a ‘‘currency manipulator’’ on his first day in office, then he will have to do so in defiance of mainstream economic analysis, as well as advice of his own Treasury department.
Page 29: When Mode Developments founder and director Christian ‘‘Boo’’ Boucousis flew from Sydney to Perth in 2012 to consider building a modular hotel in the city, its room rates shocked him.
Firstmac, the nation’s biggest nonbank lender, and nine other smaller lenders are discreetly raising fixed-rate mortgages by up to 45 basis points in a move expected to be followed by others as the ‘‘Trump effect’’ begins to bite local borrowers, according to lenders and market analysts.
Page 1: A major builder is facing strike action by the construction union in a test of the Turnbull government’s bid to impose a restrictive new code on builders seeking commonwealth work.
Page 4: The International Monetary Fund has criticised Scott Morrison’s May budget, saying he is risking economic growth by cutting the deficit too quickly and instead should be spending more on infrastructure.
Bill Shorten has sparked a political brawl over foreign workers as the major political parties struggle to adjust to the fallout from the US presidential election, exposing divisions on both sides in the struggle for blue collar votes.
Page 7: Australian’s screen sector has come out swinging after suffering three cuts in 18 months that shaved $50 million from federal funding dispersed to films, television and emerging platforms. Peak federal funder Screen Australia has argued that Australian movie and television drama is a bigger driver of foreign tourism than the Sydney Opera House.
Maurice Blackburn has exposed bushfire victims to a multimillion-dollar tax bill through errors of its own making, the Australian Taxation Office says.
Page 19: Nine Entertainment chairman Peter Costello has agreed to consider cutting his industry-high salary and his board’s director fees in light of the free-to-air television company’s disappointing share price performance and smaller size.
Bond prices have slumped more than 5 per cent since their market highs in August, pushing yields to year highs and sparking more than 20 per cent falls in yield-based infrastructure stocks.
Owen Hegarty and Jason Chang are on the prowl for more copper, gold, coking coal and potash assets after their EMR Capital private equity resources fund pulled in $US860 million ($1.1 billion) in fresh capital from mainly American investors.
A global rout in bonds that has wiped $US1.6 trillion ($2.1 trillion) in value from the market following the election of Donald Trump could spell the end of a 34-year fall in Australia’s long-term borrowing rates after they hit record lows this year.
Page 21: West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has fired back at senior business leader Michael Chaney, accusing the Wesfarmers and Woodside chairman of swallowing the “propaganda” of the mining industry.
Origin Energy has added its voice to criticisms of state-based renewable energy targets, warning of the costs involved.
Page 22: The philanthropic arm of Swisse chief executive Radek Sali’s private investment group is poised to open its first wellness retreat as the entrepreneur looks to channel more funds from his Light Warrior investment company into projects that contribute to the community.
Page 24: The banking regulator may be forced to further tighten bank lending rules to head off risks from rising house prices, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Global fund manager MFS expects a tough 2017 as rising US interest rates prick overvalued asset prices, with average returns likely to be half what they had been over the past 30 years.
Australian businesses are knocking on the door of true innovation with their slow but steady ascent up the maturity curve already adding billions to the national economy, according to research released by Commonwealth Bank.
Page 25: A renewed rush into Chinese commodity futures is encouraging wild swings in prices for products including coal, iron ore and rubber, raising concerns about the return of a speculation frenzy.
Samsung Electronics agreed to buy a US automotive technology manufacturer for $US8 billion ($10.6bn), the South Korean electronics giant’s biggest deal ever and its latest attempt to branch out beyond smartphones in the wake of its Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
Berkshire Hathaway said in a regulatory filing that it had taken stakes in American Airlines Group, Delta Air Lines and United Continental Holdings, with the latter scheduled to hold its investor day today. Two of the Berkshire stakes each totalled less than $US500 million ($661m) while that in American was almost $US800m.
The West Australian
Page 3: Perth deputy lord mayor James Limnios has called for free weekend parking in the council’s 15,000 city car bays — during Christmas trading at least — to help retailers compete with suburban shopping centres.
Homeowners are under pressure to lock-in low interest rates as signs grow that a global surge in the price of money caused by the election of Donald Trump is soon to filter through to Australia.
Page 6: Australians looking to keep down the cost of their Christmas dinner will shun roast beef this festive season and load up with chickens, fish and prawns.
Page 10: Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett says he can “live with” Qantas operating a direct flight to London out of its Perth Airport domestic terminal. But he wants the airline to guarantee it will move to the eastern, international side of the airport within five years.
Page 12: Hundreds of union members descended on Parliament yesterday to protest against the State Government’s proposed sale of Western Power.
Page 15: Swimming Australia yesterday revealed that Hancock Prospecting and the Georgina Hope Swimmers Foundation would extend their principal partnership for another four years, after first becoming sponsors in 2012.
Page 27: Perth’s main gateway to Rottnest Island, the Rottnest Express ferry service, is to form a cornerstone investment in a new national tourism play backed by private equity giant Quadrant.
Page 29: Speculation around Wesfarmers’ east-coast coal arm has heightened, with the conglomerate said to have started a $2 billion auction of its two mines.
The latest official report into gender equality in the workplace has shown corporate Australia has made inroads but the chasm between what men and women earn is still huge.
Page 30: The board of Empire Oil & Gas is bracing for another contentious annual meeting tomorrow, with dissidents trying to tap into shareholder dissatisfaction about the energy junior’s ailing stock price.
Seven West Media and Telstra have joined the growing number of businesses moving into the tech accelerator space and will today launch the Plus Eight program.
Page 31: Perth’s likely first ever off-the-plan neighbourhood shopping-centre sale campaign has kicked off, with Finbar to sell its South Perth Civic Heart shopping mall.
Part of the historic Midland railway workshop site — which employed 4000 people in its heyday — is being sold for a mix of aged housing, medical, commercial and community use in a plan to return those jobs to Midland.
Page 81: Fremantle will get a substantial capital investment — in excess of $250 million — for the first time since the America’s Cup 30 years ago.
Page 82: Future residents of the controversial Lumiere apartment complex have spoken out about their frustration at the City of South Perth’s attitude to the project and the potential for further delays.