Weakest GDP in five years looms
A growing number of economists are warning that the Turnbull government could be confronted with the weakest national accounts in more than five years, adding to the challenge of keeping next month’s budget update from a blowout. The Fin
Rio iron ore growth slows on China move
Uncertainty over the speed of China’s economic reforms has convinced Rio Tinto to further slow the expansion of its iron ore division, with chief executive Jean Sebastien Jacques labelling political decisions in the Middle Kingdom ‘‘a black box’’. The Fin
South32 won’t compromise balance sheet in expansion
South32 chief executive Graham Kerr has stressed the mining conglomerate will not ‘‘compromise’’ its balance sheet as it hunts for ways to expands its portfolio. The Fin
Liberals split on housing tax policy
The Turnbull government is facing a new row over housing tax breaks as a key Liberal state minister urges a shift in policy on negative gearing, warning the “dream of home ownership” is being dashed by a flawed tax system. The Aus
Boral investors jittery ahead of $3.5bn takeover of US building giant
Boral lost almost a fifth of its market capitalisation yesterday, as its shares tumbled in the first session since it revealed it would pay $3.5 billion for Headwaters, the US building materials group. The Aus
$1 billion Bell Group bombshell
A secret political deal between the Federal and State governments to let WA claw back $1 billion from Alan Bond’s collapsed Bell Group was torpedoed by submissions made by Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office. It is understood Mr Gleeson’s submissions were critical in events that led to his resignation last month. The West
MMA board weathers shareholder thunder
Directors of MMA Offshore have had a bruising encounter with individual shareholders who attacked the struggling marine services provider’s performance and pay. The West
The Australian Financial Review
Page 1: Treasurer Scott Morrison has indicated support for measures to improve culture and increase competition in the banking sector, including forcing banks to give away customer data to help new entrants.
Page 2: A pair of reports into the bungled 2016 census have criticised the Australian Bureau of Statistics for failing to properly address citizens’ privacy concerns and urged government minister Michael McCormack to take responsibility for the failings of technology giant IBM.
Page 3: A growing number of economists are warning that the Turnbull government could be confronted with the weakest national accounts in more than five years, adding to the challenge of keeping next month’s budget update from a blowout.
Westpac, Australia’s oldest bank, is backing some of the country’s arrivals by putting $2 million into a microloan scheme, Thrive, which will help refugees start their own businesses.
Page 4: A plan to dump fuel tax and registration fees and instead charge motorists for every kilometre they drive will not be implemented for at least a decade and only if all the states and the Commonwealth agreed, the federal government has assured.
Page 7: The parliamentary inquiry into the banks has imposed aggressive timelines for the creation of an open access regime for customer data.
The major banks’ market dominance has ‘‘significant adverse consequences for the economy and consumers’’, the parliamentary inquiry into the banks claims, and it proposes measures to encourage new entrants and to monitor competition in the sector.
Page 12: Unlisted public companies with less than $25 million in assets and turnover will soon be able to raise capital via crowd-sourced equity funding, thanks to a new bill introduced by the Coalition on Thursday.
Page 13: One Nation is set to offer a compromise position of a 15 per cent backpacker tax after the government’s 19 per cent offering was effectively rejected by the Senate Thursday, delaying changes to the tax even further.
Page 14: Harry Triguboff’s Meriton serviced apartments are being accused of manipulating TripAdvisor ratings by deliberately withholding guests’ email addresses from the travel review website when there were hot water outrages and lift delays.
Page 15: New orders for US manufactured capital goods rebounded in October, driven by rising demand for machinery and a range of other equipment, the latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth early in the fourth quarter.
Page 17: Uncertainty over the speed of China’s economic reforms has convinced Rio Tinto to further slow the expansion of its iron ore division, with chief executive Jean Sebastien Jacques labelling political decisions in the Middle Kingdom ‘‘a black box’’.
Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns says Australia’s largest retailer is paying the price for jacking up prices to meet profit targets but is optimistic it will eventually regain the trust of customers.
The chief executive of Australia’s largest superannuation fund has fired a warning shot across the bow of boards of directors, saying the big shareholder will be stepping up its activism and suggesting that companies not wanting scrutiny on pay and culture can always delist from public markets.
Page 19: Chris Corrigan is walking away from the waterfront after taking back control of stevedore Patrick’s, handing over the chairmanship of Qube Holdings to Allan Davies after realising his dream of creating an integrated port and freight company.
Fast food chain Pie Face – known for its smiley-faced pies – is back on the market after going into receivership for the second time in two years.
The liquor arm of supermarket group Coles is set to accelerate the number of private label wine brands it stocks after a $5 house brand beat 10,000 rivals to win an important industry award.
Page 20: South32 chief executive Graham Kerr has stressed the mining conglomerate will not ‘‘compromise’’ its balance sheet as it hunts for ways to expands its portfolio.
Page 21: In Australia, housing lies at the epicentre of our financial system. So tracking changes in the financial health of households is vital for investors monitoring the risks of a systemic shock.
Standard & Poor’s has placed the Australian banks in a basket alongside those of Russia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Japan and China in a global outlook for credit quality that identifies banking environments facing negative pressures.
Page 22: Snapchat’s rapid uptake has reached the point where 4 million Australians are using the application every day and the video sharing platform is forming a range of partnerships – from the Olympics with Seven West Media to the ARIA Awards.
Page 23: China’s pledge to shut down inefficient steel mills and address chronic pollution has triggered a rally in iron ore futures as traders bet a more profitable steel sector will underpin strong demand for raw materials.
Page 34: Analysts and a trader on a hedge fund sales desk reacted negatively to aged care operator Estia Health’s market update, with downgrades to earnings and sell recommendations on the stock.
Page 1: The Turnbull government is facing a new row over housing tax breaks as a key Liberal state minister urges a shift in policy on negative gearing, warning the “dream of home ownership” is being dashed by a flawed tax system.
Page 2: Big business is urging Malcolm Turnbull and state leaders to overhaul cumbersome approval systems and restrict the ability of green activists to frustrate major projects through appeals, warning that $375 billion worth of proposed investments are at risk without reform.
Page 6: Farmers are calling on federal parliament to end a stalemate over the controversial backpacker tax, warning that growers will struggle to find workers for the summer harvest because of the continuing uncertainty.
Page 9: Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits, is Donald Trump’s choice for commerce secretary, a senior transition official said yesterday.
Page 19: Rio Tinto plans to overhaul its mission statement to focus on more than just shareholder value, in a move that new chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques says is long overdue and will help the mining giant pull through the Guinea corruption scandal that has claimed the scalps of two top executives and sparked bribery investigations in three countries.
Woolworths has set up a separate unit to respond to the looming arrival of US online retail giant Amazon, the latest in a string of emerging competitors, as the company completes a long-term turnaround of its supermarket business.
The big four banks’ pricing power could be diminished after a parliamentary inquiry called for semi-annual official reviews of industry competition to counter an “oligopoly” that harms consumers and the economy.
Wagering giant Tabcorp has moved to shore up its $11.3 billion merger deal with rival Tatts Group, mounting a $640 million raid on its share register last night and snapping up as much as 10 per cent of the stock.
Page 21: Boral lost almost a fifth of its market capitalisation yesterday, as its shares tumbled in the first session since it revealed it would pay $3.5 billion for Headwaters, the US building materials group.
Australia’s biggest superannuation fund has sounded a warning to companies that boards need to take a tougher line on pay for “greedy executives” and should consider leaving the sharemarket if they are not prepared to face “active owners”.
Page 22: Westpac is on the way to avoiding a first strike on its remuneration report, with influential proxy advisory firm ISS Australia recommending a vote in favour of all resolutions at next month’s annual meeting despite some reservations.
Seek chief executive Andrew Bassat says the federal government moved “too late” and with “too little consultation” in cracking down on rorting in the vocational education sector, which forced the online recruitment firm to close its troubled Seek Learning business.
Page 23: The US economy is showing strength in key sectors, offering the Federal Reserve the comfort it has sought to raise short-term interest rates next month.
The darkest days may be over for the dry-bulk shipping companies that transport the raw materials of global trade. After a deep slump in freight rates pushed many of the world’s biggest dry-bulk shipping companies deeply into the red and some smaller ones out of business, a recent surge in freight rates has owners rejoicing.
Airbnb is in discussions to buy homesharing site Xiaozhu.com, one of its largest competitors in China, according to sources.
The West Australian
Page 1: A secret political deal between the Federal and State governments to let WA claw back $1 billion from Alan Bond’s collapsed Bell Group was torpedoed by submissions made by Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson on behalf of the Australian Taxation Office. It is understood Mr Gleeson’s submissions were critical in events that led to his resignation last month.
Page 10: Bank executives who rip off consumers would be publicly named and shamed under a plan to overhaul the financial sector.
Page 17: Road users could be charged for every kilometre they drive within 15 years under a Turnbull Government-backed plan to replace Australia’s “inefficient” fuel tax.
Page 18: Retailers are hoping WA shoppers will dip into their wallets today as more shops push the American tradition of Black Friday sales.
Page 26: Rural coalition MPs are sticking solidly to the Federal Government’s plan for a 19 per cent tax rate on backpackers despite an embarrassing Senate defeat leaving farmers in limbo.
Page 73: Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques says the mining giant will cut iron ore production if it helps boost the company’s bottom line.
South32 chairman David Crawford has accused global proxy vote adviser ISS of misinforming shareholders on executive pay, after the miner’s board narrowly avoided a first strike.
WA’s Cardaci family are the kings of Australia’s roads. The Perth-based, family-owned transport company Centurion has bought the entire heavy-haulage trailing fleet of collapsed logistics group McAleese. The acquisition will make Centurion the biggest heavy haulage service provider in Australia.
Page 74: Directors of MMA Offshore have had a bruising encounter with individual shareholders who attacked the struggling marine services provider’s performance and pay.
Western Areas boss Dan Lougher says the WA nickel miner will keep looking for ways to expand its business regardless of what the commodity price does, telling shareholders yesterday that the company could not be a prisoner to the nickel price.
Page 75: A video game e-sports company that listed through the shell of former iron ore hope Volta Mining will list on the local bourse today after raising $7 million, capping off a recent wave of delayed backdoor plays hitting the boards.
Woolworths’ top brass has sought to reassure shareholders about the future of its Big W chain, a week after the struggling department store’s chief executive resigned.
Mortgage broker Australian Finance Group still sees WA as waiting some time for a recovery in its housing market.
Higher costs ate into profits at Jack Cowin’s hamburger empire last financial year amid tightening competition in Australia’s $16 billion fast food industry.
Page 76: Metals X’s long-mooted gold spin-out will begin trading on the Australian Securities Exchange next month, after shareholders yesterday approved the demerger.