Attorney-General saga set to revert to Senate
The controversy about the role of Attorney-General George Brandis in the Bell Group High Court case seems likely to go back to a Senate inquiry. The Fin
‘Considerable errors’ in oil royalties
Oil and gas companies may have incorrectly claimed billions in deductions for their operations on the North West Shelf. An audit office report report identifies $19.6 million in underpaid royalties – and possibly much more – over 18 months. The Fin
Rio facing US probe over Mozambique
Rio Tinto was already under investigation by the powerful US Securities and Exchange Commission when it self-reported three weeks ago to regulatory authorities in the US, Britain and Australia over payments made in relation to an iron ore project in Guinea. The Fin
Iron, coal rebound to lift rates
The spectacular gain in prices for the bulk commodities of iron ore and coal could shift the market outlook for interest rates, with a rise from record lows now factored in for late next year. The Aus
Rivals put squeeze on Metcash
Metcash boss Ian Morrice has blamed a near double-digit slide in the profitability of his flagship food and grocery arm on the most intense period of competition he has ever witnessed in the grocery sector, led by Woolworths slashing prices by a collective $1 billion and Aldi opening stores for the first time in South Australia and Western Australia. The Aus
Airport, Qantas at war on flights
Open warfare has erupted between Qantas and Perth Airport over the airline’s revolutionary plans to run non-stop flights to Europe through the city’s domestic terminals. The West
Families targeted by tax ads
WA families and small business owners will be targeted by a new scare campaign about the impact of Brendon Grylls’ $5-atonne iron ore tax when the mining lobby rolls out the second part of its anti-tax blitz. The West
The Australian Financial Review
Page 1: The Reserve Bank of Australia is being urged by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to prepare the nation for official interest rate rises in 2017 to avoid a housing market blowout.
Page 3: Donald Trump’s 45 per cent tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States would plunge the world into a deep recession, if China retaliated in kind and the rest of the world took protective action in a global trade war, new modelling shows.
Page 4: The Turnbull government is on the cusp of securing last-minute Senate support for its signature industrial relations legislation.
Page 6: The controversy about the role of Attorney-General George Brandis in the Bell Group High Court case seems likely to go back to a Senate inquiry.
Page 7: Treasurer Scott Morrison now has to find $120 million in savings over four years after pragmatism prevailed and the government agreed to back One Nation’s 15 per cent compromise on the backpacker tax.
Page 8: Oil and gas companies may have incorrectly claimed billions in deductions for their operations on the North West Shelf. An audit office report identifies $19.6 million in underpaid royalties – and possibly much more – over 18 months.
Page 12: One of China’s biggest state-owned coal companies says prices will remain ‘‘relatively high’’ next year as the central government remains committed to shutting down old, inefficient mines.
Page 13: Rio Tinto was already under investigation by the powerful US Securities and Exchange Commission when it self-reported three weeks ago to regulatory authorities in the US, Britain and Australia over payments made in relation to an iron ore project in Guinea.
Short-sellers banking on a profit downgrade at Metcash have been caught on the hop after the wholesaler flagged a return to profit growth in food and groceries despite Aldi’s march into new states and green shoots at Woolworths.
Rumours keep swirling that overseas suitors will soon make a play for Tabcorp or Tatts Group, potentially scuppering their dream $11.3 billion merger.
Page 15: The chief executive of Australia’s largest car parts supplier, Bapcor, has promised to try to quickly resolve a takeover battle over the automotive businesses of New Zealand’s Hellaby Holdings, after revealing Bapcor first offered to buy a large part of the company in January.
A hike in electricity bills for quarter of a million households next year combined with broader frustration about rising power prices is expected to drive a five-fold annual increase in home battery sales, according to LG Chem.
Page 16: Listed companies are up to 50 per cent more likely to fail than private companies because they are structured in a way that encourages them to take more risks, according to a Reserve Bank of Australia discussion paper.
Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher says the nickel miner will continue to examine non-traditional markets for its product after inking a unique offtake agreement with China’s Tsingshan Group.
Page 17: The federal government should consider creating data-sharing governance standards through a new licensing regime to protect customer privacy and prevent banking data being misused, says Westpac Banking Corp.
The wealth management master-funds of the big banks have ‘‘hidden behind basis point fees’’ for too long, reckons OneVue founder Connie McKeage, who’s launched a fee-for-service competitor with backing from funds managers whose assets will exceed $1 trillion in 12 months.
Page 18: Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder says Coles needs to be just as prepared to battle Amazon as Bunnings was when first threatened by Woolworths.
Page 21: Start-up heavyweights including Envato co-founder Cyan Ta’eed and DealsDirect co-founder Mike Rosenbaum have backed online grocery delivery start-up YourGrocer in its latest $1.3 million raising.
Australian start-ups and government technology experts are formulating plans to cash in, after the government pledged to make major changes to tech procurement strategy and throw open Canberra’s doors to the multitude of emerging industry players.
Page 22: Australian outsourcing deals worth up to $4 billion are ripe for disruption in the next three years from a growing move towards robotic process automation and cloud-based options, a leading global consultancy has said.
High-tech telecommunications startup Mobilicom is the latest Israeli firm set to join the ASX, and it is likely to be one of the most-watched backdoor listings of next year.
Page 1: Unions have launched a fierce campaign at more than a dozen building sites in a last-minute bid to crush the Turnbull government’s workplace reforms, as Senate crossbenchers prepare for a deal that could legislate the changes within days.
Page 3: A 29-year-old convicted of defrauding the federal government of $3.6 million through a daycare business called Aussie Giggles used an elaborate system of forging documents to convince the government to increase payments to her.
Page 4: Pauline Hanson has declared that “common sense has prevailed” after her proposed compromise deal on the backpacker tax was adopted by the government in order to secure crossbench support in the Senate.
Page 5: Attorney-General George Brandis has revealed he accepted the legal advice of former solicitor-general Justin Gleeson that the commonwealth should challenge the West Australian government over its wind-up of the now collapsed Bell Group.
Page 6: A bounce in the iron ore price to near two-year highs may deliver a short-term boost to the federal budget, but economists warn the benefit could be short-lived and only offset slower-than-expected wages and employment growth.
Page 7: Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers is being urged to review the status of activist group GetUp! amid concerns it acts as a politically aligned group without revealing its source of donations.
Page 19: The spectacular gain in prices for the bulk commodities of iron ore and coal could shift the market outlook for interest rates, with a rise from record lows now factored in for late next year.
Woodside Petroleum and its partners in the North West Shelf liquefied natural gas project face the prospect of forking out millions of dollars in underpaid royalties as well as the prospect of tighter scrutiny of their deductions after a review by the Australian National Audit Office.
Major Chinese developers with billions of dollars-worth of local construction projects under way are planning to launch their own peak group, which will seek to argue the case for foreign investment and to have greater input into local approval processes.
The Australian Securities Exchange has used its rarely exercised powers of absolute discretion to slam the door on the return to trading of former highflyer Moly Mines, effectively freezing out its controversial Chinese majority owner, Hanlong Group, and almost 4000 minority shareholders.
Page 21: Investors, analysts and fund managers have played down the prospects of a $5 billion takeover bid by British wagering heavyweight Ladbrokes Coral for Tabcorp, which could be another threat to $11.3bn merger of the Australian firm with its rival Tatts.
Qantas and American Airlines have until the end of the week to rescue their plans to dominate Pacific skies after the US Department of Transportation rejected their application to extend the deadline for submissions on its controversial decision to ban an expansion of their alliance.
The cost of shutting down Fairfax Media’s print newspapers is likely to hit $330 million, Citi has estimated. In a bleak assessment of Fairfax’s short-term prospects, reprieve for the publisher was unlikely as digital revenues were in decline, Citi said.
Page 22: Metcash boss Ian Morrice has blamed a near double-digit slide in the profitability of his flagship food and grocery arm on the most intense period of competition he has ever witnessed in the grocery sector, led by Woolworths slashing prices by a collective $1 billion and Aldi opening stores for the first time in South Australia and Western Australia.
China’s global e-commerce giant, Alibaba, is expanding its Australian footprint into the local commercial sector, with a new data and cloud computing centre in Sydney.
Online recruitment giant Seek plans to launch a new telephone-based career advisory service that chief executive Andrew Bassat believes will finally provide jobseekers with free, “unbiased’’ careers advice.
Page 23: Claudio Borio, one of the world’s most senior central banking officials, has urged bank regulators to hold strong and not “dilute” capital standards, rubbishing suggestions incoming rules will harm economies by constraining lending.
The payday lending and consumer leasing sectors are scrambling to assess the damage to their businesses after the federal government pledged an industry-wide crackdown to end harmful multiple-loan “debt spirals” and price gouging by appliance rental companies.
Page 24: With China set to give global investors greater access to shares listed in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, some remain wary of a stockmarket known for rampant speculation.
Page 25: This month, European oil company MOL Group delivered a stark message to investors: demand for fuel in its key markets is bound to fall.
The US has become a net exporter of natural gas, further evidence of the how its domestic oil and gas boom is reshaping the global energy business.
Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil driller by market value, has signed a preliminary deal to study an Iranian oilfield, showing Donald Trump’s presidential victory is yet to deter US-connected companies from dealing with Tehran.
Page 29: Salesforce boss and technology industry heavyweight Marc Benioff has lashed out at Microsoft, describing the tech giant under its chief Satya Nadella as untrustworthy and “just like the old Microsoft”.
Page 30: AMP Capital’s near $20 billion property operation is focused on a series of major retail and office projects around Australia as the heat in the commercial property market leads it to undertake a series of major redevelopments across its existing portfolio.
The West Australian
Page 1: Open warfare has erupted between Qantas and Perth Airport over the airline’s revolutionary plans to run non-stop flights to Europe through the city’s domestic terminals.
Page 4: The former Labor government approved more than 800 visas for Chinese workers to fly into Australia and work at a WA mine linked to magnate Clive Palmer.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has chalked up a win on the backpackers’ tax and is inching closer to one on stamping out union militancy during Parliament’s last sitting week of the year.
Page 6: The Federal Government has put former treasurer Joe Hockey at the centre of a bid to let WA claw back $1 billion from the Bell Group of companies but rejected claims the Commonwealth had an agreement with the WA Government.
Page 10: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has withdrawn up to $1 million from a US-based hedge fund that exploits hardship by swooping on family homes and businesses when they hit troubled times.
Page 12: WA and Federal taxpayers may have been short-changed billions of dollars by oil and gas producers exploiting the North West Shelf, an explosive report from the national Auditor-General reveals.
Page 46: WA families and small business owners will be targeted by a new scare campaign about the impact of Brendon Grylls’ $5-atonne iron ore tax when the mining lobby rolls out the second part of its anti-tax blitz.
Brierty chairman Dalton Gooding has copped flak from shareholders relating to his oversight of the contractor’s management during a disastrous road project.
Diploma Group has revealed that one of its construction arms suffered a $32.5 million loss in the past financial year.
Page 47: The 4000 shareholders who hold stock in cashbox Moly Mines have been left in limbo after the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday refused to allow the company to re-list over concerns about majority shareholder Hanlong Mining.
Outgoing Doray Minerals managing director Allan Kelly has hinted the company’s next move may be to look at assets offshore, telling the shareholders yesterday he had picked an appropriate time to move on from the company he founded.
Page 48: Aldi’s expansion into WA has been blamed for a hit to grocery wholesaler Metcash’s earnings.