07/12/2016 - 06:33

Morning Headlines

07/12/2016 - 06:33

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Shorten says no to loan for Adani mine

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declined to back a call by the Queensland Labor government for the Commonwealth to help finance a rail line linking the proposed Adani coal mine to the Abbot Point port in Northern Queensland. The Fin

Origin Energy spins off oil and gas business

Origin Energy’s new chief executive Frank Calabria has moved swiftly to assert his authority on the utility, with a bold plan for a $1.8 billion-plus float of the oil and gas business that investors cautioned would need to fetch the right price to be deemed a success. The Fin

Barnett relaxed on CKI takeover of Dampier gas pipeline

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has signalled a relaxed attitude towards a potential takeover of the state’s biggest gas pipeline by Cheung Kong Infrastructure, despite the asset being considered the most likely in the DUET Group portfolio to raise foreign investment concerns. The Fin

Iron ore price gives Hancock a timely lift

The recovery in the iron ore price has come in the nick of time for Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, which stayed in the black in 2016 only after capitalising $563 million of interest costs. The Fin

Trademark bid shows Amazon is on its way

Australian retailers’ worst fears of an onslaught by Amazon in their own backyard are increasingly likely to be realised after the US giant lodged applications for as many as 10 trademarks to secure protection for its most advanced online shopping products, including its incredibly popular Amazon Dash and Echo tools. The Aus

Dacian shares nosedive after investors pan equity raising

Former market darling Dacian Gold has paid a hefty price over its bungled equity raising attempt, with more than $100 million wiped off the value of the company as it returned to trading yesterday. The Fin

Tax office errs in Bell saga: Nahan

WA Treasurer Mike Nahan has vehemently denied trying to “fleece” taxpayers of proceeds from the $1.8 billion Bell Group liquidation, revealing he offered the tax office $430 million to settle its claim. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: BHP Billiton has beaten some of the world’s biggest oil companies to secure a crucial stake in Mexico’s most exciting oil discovery, in what looms as a possible solution to the company’s declining rate of oil production.

Global online retail giant Amazon has lodged more than 250 trademark applications in Australia ahead of the rollout of its general merchandise, fresh food and video streaming services in the next few years.

Page 2: Former treasurer Joe Hockey’s G20 legacy project, the $US15 million-a-year ($20 million) Global Infrastructure Hub, has finally gone live.

Page 3: The use of non-standard financial measures by listed firms is out of control, with the regulators and investors being played for fools by greedy and short-term-focused management.

Page 4: The economy looks increasingly like it shrank last quarter for only the fourth time since 1991 after a collapse in government investment data and weaker trade sector figures, say economists.

The Reserve Bank of Australia left the official cash rate steady for a fourth month, saying any near-term slowing in economic growth is likely to be temporary.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plans for a bank victims tribunal have been dealt a blow by an expert panel whose central recommendation is to forget the idea.

Page 5: A taxpayer funded deal that gives Telstra $300 million a year to provide landlines to everyone was ‘‘difficult to justify’’ and should be scrapped, a new report says.

Page 6: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declined to back a call by the Queensland Labor government for the Commonwealth to help finance a rail line linking the proposed Adani coal mine to the Abbot Point port in Northern Queensland.

Page 7: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has moved to quell internal concerns over claims the government could put a price on carbon, saying the review of the party’s climate change policy was a policy promise by former leader Tony Abbott and was simply ‘‘business as usual’’.

Page 8: An Australia Post union leader and ally of union boss Jim Metcher is facing allegations of misusing members’ money.

The Australian Taxation Office is pushing forward with its ‘‘digital by default’’ strategy, striking a deal with US-tech multilingual software computer giant Nuance Communications to implement a virtual assistant called Alex, in the style of Siri or Cortana, to allow people to serve themselves.

Page 11: The Turnbull government has partnered with Netflix to create a tool which will allow for faster classification of the US streaming giant’s content for Australian viewers.

BMW Finance has been forced to pay $77 million in Australia’s largest consumer credit remediation program.

Page 14: Ben Carson, who took Donald Trump on a tour of blighted neighbourhoods in Detroit during the presidential campaign, including his boyhood home, has been chosen by Mr Trump to oversee one of the government’s main efforts to lift US cities as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Page 15: Origin Energy’s new chief executive Frank Calabria has moved swiftly to assert his authority on the utility, with a bold plan for a $1.8 billion-plus float of the oil and gas business that investors cautioned would need to fetch the right price to be deemed a success.

UGL’s top shareholder, Allan Gray, has rebuked the contractor’s board for giving away the company too cheaply and being ‘‘outsmarted’’ by CIMIC after accepting the construction group’s $524 million hostile takeover bid.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has signalled a relaxed attitude towards a potential takeover of the state’s biggest gas pipeline by Cheung Kong Infrastructure, despite the asset being considered the most likely in the DUET Group portfolio to raise foreign investment concerns.

Page 17: Investors in under-the-pump aged care stocks have welcomed a surprise last-minute change to how the government will cut funding to the sector, with some assuming it will benefit listed operators Estia Health, Japara Healthcare and Regis Healthcare.

Vocus Group chief executive Geoff Horth says a $US170 million ($228 million) Perth to Singapore submarine cable the telecommunications provider has committed to build will allow it to tap into a significant rise in demand for data in the south-east Asian region.

Surfstitch co-founders Lex Pedersen and Justin Stone and two nonexecutive directors will step down from the board in a move aimed at pacifying shareholders who have blamed directors for approving a series of overpriced acquisitions.

Page 18: The recovery in the iron ore price has come in the nick of time for Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, which stayed in the black in 2016 only after capitalising $563 million of interest costs.

The chairman of a company tapping into rising demand for bottled water in China through a listing on the ASX says the firm is largely immune from any Bellamy’s-style fall from grace, because its business is based in China.

Australia’s $2.2 trillion superannuation industry may need to rethink its view of unlisted infrastructure as a low-risk long-life asset class after research revealed that three out of every 20 major projects failed basic investment hurdles.

Page 19: Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ANZ Banking Group may follow National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp and increase interest rates on investor or interest-only housing loans to prevent them being swamped with mortgage applications that could push them towards the prudential regulator’s investor lending growth cap, bank analysts said.

Disgruntled investors in three Aurora listed funds have failed in their bid to replace the responsible entity after the fund management firm issued more shares ahead of the unit holder vote.

High-frequency trading firm Tibra Capital has enjoyed a bumper 2016, posting a record profit from trading on the Australian, Asian, European and American markets from its Sydney and Wollongong headquarters.

Page 20: A $15 million fine for Australia’s biggest banks’ attempted fixing of the benchmark rate for the Malaysian ringgit is not enough, a judge has said.

Audible Australia and New Zealand boss Matthew Gain does not mince words about his ambition for the Amazon-owned company’s local operations.

Page 29: A bear market in listed infrastructure stocks has not been matched by a reduction in valuations in the unlisted infrastructure world if the latest round of corporate activity is any guide.

NAB’s general manager of self-directed wealth Nathan Walsh is pushing ahead with an ambitious land grab for customers despite many players opting out of the segment altogether.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: The Coalition has vowed not to introduce an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity sector, as Malcolm Turnbull seeks to quell a backbench revolt over climate change policy and target Labor over its plans for a new price on carbon.

The federal government’s review panel for external dispute resolution in the financial services industry has opposed Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a new catch-all tribunal, preferring a “mega-ombudsman” scheme with improved consumer access and greater powers.

While most of the world missed the ascendancy of Donald Trump to the White House, a little-known Canberra-based superannuation fund for federal government employees turned a $70 million profit by shorting the Mexican peso before his triumph.

Page 2: The Reserve Bank is betting the softening in the economy expected to be revealed in today’s national accounts will be only temporary and will be followed by a return to healthy growth in 2017.

Page 4: The heavily damaged Alcoa aluminium smelter in Victoria’s Portland will likely need a government bailout if it is to stay open and maintain thousands of regional jobs, the Australian Workers Union has warned.

Energy companies have agreed to provide a “hit list” of state and federal regulations to Industry Minister Greg Hunt next year, as they seek to cut the cost of gas production to address supply shortages.

Page 7: Treasury has no immediate plans to close a loophole that allows companies to shirk responsibility for super payments to employees who are using salary sacrifice measures to make voluntary contributions.

Page 19: Australian retailers’ worst fears of an onslaught by Amazon in their own backyard are increasingly likely to be realised after the US giant lodged applications for as many as 10 trademarks to secure protection for its most advanced online shopping products, including its incredibly popular Amazon Dash and Echo tools.

A rift has opened up between new AMP chairman Catherine Brenner and parts of senior management, with some of the group’s executives privately questioning the way the company has handled growing pressures.

Page 21: Woolworths has pulled a victory from the Masters fire sale, notching up a better-than-expected 90c in the dollar return from the liquidation of about $700 million worth of unwanted hardware stock as the failed chain prepared to close its doors for the final time on Sunday.

Consumer advocacy group Choice has called on the competition regulator to investigate the nation’s airlines for potential breaches of consumer law for their use of partial refunds and complicated terms and conditions.

Page 22: Australia’s mining houses are poised to generate big piles of cash in the year ahead even after a sharp correction in key commodity prices, according to analysts at Citi.

Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill Holdings plans to hire another 500 workers over the coming 18 months despite expectations the iron ore price will fall next year.

Page 25: OPEC’s agreement to slash oil output faces its first test on Saturday, when it asks producers outside the cartel to make production-cut commitments intended to amplify the effect of the landmark deal.

Page 28: National Australia Bank and Westpac could pocket up to $160 million of additional revenue from their out-of-cycle mortgage rate hikes, sparking claims the big four banking “oligopoly” is alive and well as economists pencilled in further official rate cuts by the Reserve Bank.

Former market darling Dacian Gold has paid a hefty price over its bungled equity raising attempt, with more than $100 million wiped off the value of the company as it returned to trading yesterday.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 3: Perth’s deputy lord mayor James Limnios last night called for free parking on Langley Park for up to 2000 cars in the second half of this month in a bid to attract more shoppers to the city.

Page 4: Colin Barnett has provided strong endorsement of the WACA’s plans to redevelop its ground to complement the new Perth Stadium despite saying that no request for funding has been received by the State Government.

Page 6: WA Treasurer Mike Nahan has vehemently denied trying to “fleece” taxpayers of proceeds from the $1.8 billion Bell Group liquidation, revealing he offered the tax office $430 million to settle its claim.

Page 12: A war of words has broken out between the mining lobby and a mayor who appeared in a television campaign attacking Brendon Grylls’ proposed iron ore tax.

Page 20: An American-style approach to aggressively sell cars to thousands of people unable to repay their loans has been uncovered by the nation’s corporate regulator and led to Australia’s biggest consumer fine.

Page 31: Origin Energy’s onshore Perth Basin assets will be bundled into a new mid-cap oil and gas company rather than sold, dashing the hopes of those eyeing a stake in the prospective Waitsia project.

Perth developer Pindan has taken on a high-powered Singaporean partner in a move Pindan says improves its access to capital and to major Asian investors and capital markets.

Vocus seems to have won the race to build the long-awaited Perth to Singapore subsea internet cable, announcing yesterday it had signed a contract to construct the $227 million project.

Page 32: Dacian Gold shares were battered yesterday as the company returned to trading in the wake of the failure of its $150 million equity raising.

Page 73: Roy Hill boss Barry Fitzgerald says the iron ore producer will be looking to recruit another 500-600 mineworkers over the next 18 months as the company ramps up its Pilbara operations.

An extraordinary about-face has given Wellard chief executive Mauro Balzarini 500,000 options thought to have been blocked by shareholders.

Page 75: The State Government is predicting the first stage of its $49.3 million investment in the new LandCorp Peel Business Park in Nambeelup will create 2000 jobs and inject about $1 billion a year into the local economy.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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