Western Power sale won’t force prices higher, analysts say
Senior analysts and economists have trashed claims the West Australian Liberal government’s Western Power partial privatisation plan will increase power costs, saying that analysis shows private companies tend to have lower costs than their government-owned counterparts. The Fin
Retailers braced for arrival of Amazon
As Australian retailers step up preparations ahead of Amazon’s arrival, Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has urged regulators to spend less time trying to ‘‘prop up’’ dying businesses and more time removing barriers to competition. The Fin
First blood: strikes to roll under ABCC delay
The construction union will embark on rolling strikes from today against a major builder under pressure to be the first large company to comply with the Turnbull government’s restrictive new national building code. The Aus
Budget boon means more GST for states
The NSW budget success will drive billions of dollars of GST revenue into the coffers of others states. The Baird government is expected to lose $955 million in 2017-18, and by 2019-20 taxpayers will receive $5.9 billion less than they pay in GST. The Aus
News Corp takes full control of Sky News
News Corp Australia has taken a significant step towards creating a pure-play media company by acquiring Sky News, knitting together a group of pay-TV channels with newspapers reaching more than seven million people every day. The Aus
Unions boss denies super fund conflict
The head of the union movement in WA chaired a superannuation advisory board meeting in Perth this week where Western Power’s likely availability as an investment was discussed. The West
Death knell for Bell tolled in February
Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson flagged as early as February that the Commonwealth would pursue arguments that would prove fatal to WA’s Bell legislation. The West
Local driller goes in $20m sale
Local drilling outfit JSW Australia will pass into private equity hands under a $20 million deal for some of the assets of collapsed mining services company Hughes Drilling, with NRW Holdings also buying part of the failed company. The West
The Australian Financial Review
Page 1: Unions are threatening to shut down gas supplies to south-east Australia next week in a showdown with Esso Australia that could leave millions of homes and businesses without power.
The Turnbull government will make a fresh push against Labor and the unions next year with Malcolm Turnbull instructing minister Michaelia Cash to implement recommendations from the royal commission into trade union governance and corruption.
Page 3: State and federal treasurers will discuss a new plan in which private providers of community housing will be able to finance their developments by tapping into bond markets.
Page 4: One of the nation’s most respected big bank economists has suggested that losing the AAA credit rating may be the best thing to happen to the government as it would free it up to tackle long-term infrastructure investment.
Page 6: The Greens have delivered the government a face-saving deal on the backpacker tax by agreeing to help them pass a 15 per cent rate, but at a cost of about $155 million to the budget.
Page 8: BHP Billiton and other large firms demanded that governments take urgent action to fix South Australia’s energy problems before they cripple investment after the state suffered its second power outage in two months.
Page 10: Senior analysts and economists have trashed claims the West Australian Liberal government’s Western Power partial privatisation plan will increase power costs, saying that analysis shows private companies tend to have lower costs than their government-owned counterparts.
Australia should not make retrospective changes to tax rules for oil and gas companies that have already invested here, former Labor minister and Petroleum Resource Rent Tax architect Craig Emerson says.
Page 11: Australia Post has been told by the Turnbull government that it needs to keep costs under control, after an ex-manager claimed there was widespread fraud in the company’s workers’ compensation scheme.
Page 13: One of Israel’s cyber gurus has warned transport, aviation and healthcare companies to brace for a wave of cyber-attacks in the next 12 months.
Page 16: China’s giant manufacturing sector is enjoying its best conditions in two years, helped by a surge in lending and a weaker currency, even as early signs of credit tightening begin to emerge.
Page 17: As Australian retailers step up preparations ahead of Amazon’s arrival, Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has urged regulators to spend less time trying to ‘‘prop up’’ dying businesses and more time removing barriers to competition.
An agreement by OPEC to reduce oil production has lifted energy stocks and caused a sell-off in global bonds on the expectation that higher oil prices will further fan inflation, picking up on the reflationary wave fuelled by Donald Trump’s election victory.
Page 19: OrotonGroup chief executive Mark Newman is hoping to deliver a second year of earnings growth, despite a ‘‘challenging’’ start to 2016-17, with same-store sales falling 8 per cent in the first quarter.
Blood products giant CSL will begin human trials of three new therapies designed to treat rare inflammatory diseases, facial and gastro-intestinal swelling and diabetic kidney disease in Australia during the next 12 months.
Page 20: Chief executives of Australian oil and gas producers have given a warm welcome to the unexpected OPEC deal to cut production but doubt the agreement will bring to an early end the investment drought that has afflicted the sector over the past two years.
Page 21: Banks need to become ‘‘platforms’’ that deliver financial services alongside various start-up partners, but many banks are paying lip service to collaboration and remain reluctant to engage with the local fintech ecosystem, according to Alex Scandurra, chief executive of fintech hub Stone & Chalk.
The Australian Securities Exchange will assume control of the Bank Bill Swap Rate, the key benchmark interest rate that is the subject of a controversial legal battle with the corporate watchdog and the major banks.
Page 22: High customer churn rates, which average 50 per cent each year at most gyms, and growth of a new breed of low-cost chains has prompted the competition regulator to give the green light to Quadrant Private Equity’s proposed buyout of gym chain Fitness First.
David Jones has suffered another high-profile departure from its ranks with a buyer for international and Australian designer womenswear leaving the department store.
Page 28: Fund manager and former telco boss James Spenceley has emerged as a backer of small cap wagering stock TopBetta via his MHOR Asset Management business.
Direct insurance business Freedom Insurance made an encouraging start to life as a listed company after closing at 37.5¢ or up 7.1 per cent from its initial public offer price of 35¢ a share, compared with the benchmark ASX 200’s 1.1 per cent gain.
Page 31: Iron ore dropped by the most since March, extending a retreat from a twoyear high, as China’s exchanges clamped down on speculation by tightening trading rules.
Page 1: The construction union will embark on rolling strikes from today against a major builder under pressure to be the first large company to comply with the Turnbull government’s restrictive new national building code.
BHP Billiton has unleashed stinging criticism of “perilous” energy policies it says are killing investment and jobs, and heaped scorn on the South Australian government’s assertion that it should build its own power station for its massive Olympic Dam mine.
Page 2: Motorists could be forced to shell out 6c to 8c a litre more for petrol thanks to an agreement between the world’s biggest oil producing nations, according to the NRMA, which says Australian drivers are already being ripped off by big petrol retailers.
Capital-city house prices have grown steadily for the past 4½ years but rental returns have fallen to a record low, intensifying pressure on the national property market.
Page 4: The NSW budget success will drive billions of dollars of GST revenue into the coffers of others states. The Baird government is expected to lose $955 million in 2017-18, and by 2019-20 taxpayers will receive $5.9 billion less than they pay in GST.
Page 6: Malcolm Turnbull has hailed a surprise victory in parliament as proof he can work with a divided Senate to push through his economic policies next year, despite a row last night over the cost of his deal with the Greens to legislate a new tax rate on backpackers.
Page 19: OPEC’s first production cut in almost a decade and the prospect that non-OPEC producer Russia will join in with cuts of its own have served up a $9 billion oil-fuelled rally for Australia’s listed producers.
Page 21: The renewed Australian Building and Construction Commission is being urged to reduce the construction cost gap between the union-dominated Victoria and the rest of the country, which is blamed for driving up residential and commercial property prices.
Australia’s great biotech success story, CSL, is on the cusp of its largest clinical trial, with a study of a drug for heart attack patients set to target up to 18,000 people at a potential cost of $550 million.
News Corp Australia has taken a significant step towards creating a pure-play media company by acquiring Sky News, knitting together a group of pay-TV channels with newspapers reaching more than seven million people every day.
Seven West Media has kicked off a round of job cuts, as the free-to-air television broadcaster grapples with a lacklustre advertising market and rising costs.
Page 22: James Packer’s Asian gaming partner, billionaire Lawrence Ho, says he hopes Macau’s gaming operators will be “safe’’ from the Chinese government crackdown that has hit Mr Packer’s Crown Resorts.
Mining major Rio Tinto last night said it was under investigation by the US Securities Exchange Commission over an impairment it booked in 2012 against its operations in Mozambique.
Page 23: Australia’s major banks will have to scrap the use of their own internal models to measure “operational risks”, as the global regulatory body laid out part of the new capital standards that will have a significant impact on some banks around the world.
Commonwealth Bank’s rampant growth in mortgages has officially ended after it slipped below the overall market’s expansion for the first time in seven months.
AMP is losing financial advisers as the company apparently struggles to hold on to its reputation in the market as one of the best places an adviser would want to work.
Page 24: A deadly quarry collapse in northeast China this week reflects a surge in dangerous mining activity across the country as coal prices soar, following a government warning that the rally poses increased casualty risks.
As a McDonald’s franchisee in the Pittsburgh area, Jim Delligatti in the mid-1960s believed the burgers-and-fries menu needed something bigger and jazzier. He came up with the Big Mac, tested it in one of his restaurants and saw it swiftly become a national sensation, heralding an era of ever-increasing reliance on novelty in fast food.
Page 25: General Electric and Alphabet’s Google unit are among firms US officials believe will secure agreements to operate in Cuba as the Obama administration presses Havana to complete pending deals before Donald Trump takes office, according to sources.
Page 26: A sweetened price and clarity on funding would be the critical for Cromwell Property Group to advance its takeover of Investa Office Fund after an earlier $2.7 billion bid was rejected, analysts say.
Page 31: A painful adjustment to higher borrowing costs looms as higher oil prices add to an inflation pulse that’s causing one of the sharpest bond market sell-offs in history.
The West Australian
Page 6: Lead contamination at the new Perth Children’s Hospital means it is unlikely to be open and operating until “well into next year”, Health Minister John Day has admitted.
Page 14: The head of the union movement in WA chaired a superannuation advisory board meeting in Perth this week where Western Power’s likely availability as an investment was discussed.
Page 18: There is job insecurity across a swath of metropolitan seats the Liberal Party needs to hold to stay in power, according to a poll showing voters are abandoning the State Government.
Page 22: Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson flagged as early as February that the Commonwealth would pursue arguments that would prove fatal to WA’s Bell legislation.
Page 25: Developer Edge Visionary Living says it is going ahead with its 34-storey South Perth Lumiere apartment development after losing a Supreme Court appeal to reinstate its 29-storey version.
Page 27: Non-stop flights stimulate passenger demand and grow the market between the destinations involved, US aerospace giant Boeing says.
Page 29: WA winegrowers are celebrating after pressuring the Federal Government into backing away from a divisive Budget measure, winning a rewrite of tax changes that threatened to cripple the State’s fine wine industry.
Page 32: A veteran Perth property developer has urged State and local governments to show leadership in dealing with the issue of housing affordability, saying they need to prioritise it over roads and roundabouts.
Page 90: Local drilling outfit JSW Australia will pass into private equity hands under a $20 million deal for some of the assets of collapsed mining services company Hughes Drilling, with NRW Holdings also buying part of the failed company.
Bobbi Lambright is quick to emphasise that the days of treating a regulated business and its guaranteed income stream with a degree of complacency are long gone.
Leading energy companies have gained more than $8 billion in market value after the world’s biggest oil producers agreed to curb production for the first time since 2008.
Quadrant Energy has cleared a hurdle to overturning a judgment which could have it removed as the operator of a North West domestic gas project in favour of partner Santos.
Page 97: Paladin Energy shares tanked 21.7 per cent yesterday after the African uranium miner said it may struggle to close a part-sale of its major operating asset ahead of a $US212 million debt repayment due in April.