14/12/2016 - 06:26

Morning Headlines

14/12/2016 - 06:26

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Morning Headlines

‘Cut tax rate’ to boost older workers

A New Zealand-style universal pension system may be unworkable in Australia, but the country should reduce the effective marginal tax rate on older workers’ incomes to lift the participation rate to the Kiwi level, policymakers and economists say. The Fin

Grylls’ iron ore tax plan has no net benefit: PwC

Accounting firm PwC has criticised West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls’ iron ore tax increase, suggesting it would have ‘‘no net benefit’’ for the state. The Fin

UK hedge fund says big four are big short

British hedge fund Parus nominated the Australian major banks as a top short idea at the high-profile Sohn investment conference in London last week. The Fin

Interest rates in play as property hits the brakes

The direction of interest rates next year is in question, as house prices grow at the slowest rate in more than three years and business conditions remain uncertain. The Aus

CBA adds to investors’ debt pain

Higher interest rates have been locked in for most property investors after Commonwealth Bank raised prices on $135 billion worth of mortgages, boosting profits while also putting borrowers under greater stress as the cost of servicing record household debt levels starts to rise. The Aus

Better times ahead for house prices

Perth homeowners are being told the city’s property market will turn positive in the new year despite fresh figures showing another fall in prices. The West

$14m win for Palmer in royalties court brawl

China’s CITIC could have to pay a $US6 a tonne royalty on its Pilbara iron ore exports into a court account after the multinational giant lost its latest legal skirmish with landlord Clive Palmer. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Treasurer Scott Morrison will issue an appeal for Australia’s AAA credit rating by telling restive agencies the government is exceeding their demands on budget repair.

Rio Tinto’s Guinean payment scandal has deepened, with bitter rival Beny Steinmetz threatening to sue for billions of dollars in damages after alleging the leaked emails at the centre of the scandal show Rio had a hand in stripping his company of valuable iron ore tenements in the African nation.

Page 2: Real estate financier Qualitas, backed by Carol and Alan Schwartz, has seeded a start-up that allows small investors to offer home loans to Asian buyers shunned by the major banks.

Page 3: A black economy taskforce will be charged with finding billions in lost revenue to be used for budget repair and will consider the future of the $100 note and banning cash payments over a certain limit.

Page 5: Power giants AGL Energy and Origin Energy will prosper from the growth of wind and solar energy, brokerage CLSA says in a new report that challenges the view that they will be boxed in by new energy technologies.

Page 6: A New Zealand-style universal pension system may be unworkable in Australia, but the country should reduce the effective marginal tax rate on older workers’ incomes to lift the participation rate to the Kiwi level, policymakers and economists say.

Page 6: Vocational education now gets less public money in real terms than in 2005, as governments favour universities and schools and ignore the sector in the middle.

Page 7: Reform czar Ian Harper has lamented the failure of Labor states to recognise they would benefit most from any national deal on competition changes, saying they shouldn’t need extra payments from Canberra to do the right thing by consumers and businesses.

Page 8: Former Australian ambassador to the United States Kim Beazley warns that former prime minister Paul Keating is ‘‘completely wrong’’ in calling to ‘‘cut the tag’’ with the US and has urged the Turnbull government to ‘‘lobby’’ the Trump administration as it fills ‘‘real gaps’’ to protect our interests in Asia.

Medical venture capital fund Brandon Capital has been selected to manage the lion’s share of the government’s $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund, which is aiming to bridge the funding gap between early stage pharmaceutical and medtech start-ups and commercialisation.

Accounting firm PwC has criticised West Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls’ iron ore tax increase, suggesting it would have ‘‘no net benefit’’ for the state.

Page 9: Business conditions have fallen to their lowest level in 19 months, while consumer confidence has plunged following last week’s quarterly GDP contraction, in further signs the economy has hit a soft patch.

Page 12: The jockeying to be the next chief executive of Goldman Sachs is expected to intensify after President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday (AEDT) officially asked the firm’s president, Gary Cohn, to become his top economic policy adviser.

Page 13: British hedge fund Parus nominated the Australian major banks as a top short idea at the high-profile Sohn investment conference in London last week.

Coking coal miners will be paid 42.5 per cent more for their product in the new year, after the benchmark contract price for the first quarter of 2017 was settled at the highest price since 2011.

Page 15: CIMIC’s controlling shareholder, Hochtief, is poised to further increase its stake in the construction group following a new stock buyback program that could lift the German company’s holdings to more than 80 per cent.

Former Telstra chairman and director Bob Mansfield will join the Vocus Group board as one replacement for the departed James Spenceley and Tony Grist.

Page 16: Milan Direct, the pioneering online retailer known for its knock-off designer furniture, will close its web store after merging with new owner Temple & Webster.

The chief executive of the world’s third-largest airline, China Southern Airlines, intends stepping up the number of direct flights into Australia to capitalise on booming Chinese tourist numbers into the country, which have jumped 20 per cent to 1.18 million in the year ended October 31.

Page 17: Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s global infrastructure arm appears poised to plunge into a local investment in water infrastructure as it homes in on mid-scale opportunities that it believes still offer value.

Perpetual has named Tony D’Aloisio, former head of the corporate regulator, as successor to chairman Peter Scott, who will retire in the first half of 2017.

Page 27: This year’s stunning resurgence in commodity prices has Australian resource companies well placed to at least double their shareholder payouts.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: Scott Morrison has directed the Productivity Commission to identify as a matter of urgency the hardest-hit regions and towns most at risk of job losses and economic decline as the mining investment boom ends.

Electricity prices across most of the country are set to surge during the next two years, largely driven by the closures of coal-fired power stations in South Australia and Victoria and ongoing investment in wind generation, a national energy market regulator says.

Page 3: Religious charities face exclusion from providing post-disaster relief and recovery services, under a radical push to embed gender theory into emergency management policies across the country.

Fairfax Media has been using an overseas-based third-party ad network, with no presence in Australia and offices in India and the US, to buy ads on hard-core pornographic websites for its Domain portal, new evidence shows.

Page 6: The direction of interest rates next year is in question, as house prices grow at the slowest rate in more than three years and business conditions remain uncertain.

Scott Morrison is ruling out the use of cash handouts or other budget stimulus measures to support the economy, amid differing views between two of the government’s top mandarins.

A blowout of more than $3 billion on public service staff costs has been revealed in the Andrews government’s midyear budget update even before the hiring of more than 2700 police is factored in.

Page 7: Airbnb’s global head of policy has said state governments should look at capping both the number of nights guests are allowed to stay and the number of listings one person can have if there is concern about their service driving housing or rental pressures.

Page 19: Higher interest rates have been locked in for most property investors after Commonwealth Bank raised prices on $135 billion worth of mortgages, boosting profits while also putting borrowers under greater stress as the cost of servicing record household debt levels starts to rise.

Private equity groups are putting more equity than debt into buyouts for the first time in 10 years as banks tighten up on leverage levels and asset prices rise, dramatically altering the structure of deals for an industry finding it harder to make deals stack up.

A resurgent iron ore price has delivered Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest a cool $5.34 billion this year — on paper at least — to overtake Frank Lowy to become Australia’s third-richest person.

Page 21: Estia Health’s shares were punished yesterday as investors sold down the aged-care provider for its need to tap the market to strengthen its balance sheet, as concerns remain about its future funding.

A long-running stoush between the Australian Taxation Office and Indian business couple Pankaj and Radhika Oswal has ended — but not before it reopened old wounds with a former business partner.

Insurance giant Allianz is pulling its aviation insurance business out of Australia, closing the books on the $20 million worth of insurance policies it holds in the market and leaving the fate of six roles within the division up in the air.

Page 22: Former Trade Minister Andrew Robb is to become the new chairman of Australia’s premier regionally focused organisation, Asialink.

Merlin Diamonds has been ordered to explain the relationship between its founder, bankrupt mining magnate Joe Gutnick, his son, Mordechai Gutnick, and a mysterious New York fund that owns 11 per cent of the company.

Melbourne has secured bragging rights over Sydney on another Qantas first, with the airline announcing its new Boeing Dreamliners will fly from the Victorian capital.

Page 24: Apple has held talks about investing in a $US100 billion ($133bn) fund being raised by Japanese internet and telecommunications giant SoftBank, a move that would put Silicon Valley cash — and cachet — into what would be the world’s largest technology fund.

Page 28: Longstanding investors in the nation’s two mining giants have been rewarded in the back half of this year, as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have seen their share prices jump to 15-month peaks, but the rewards could yet become much more lucrative.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 3: The Australian Taxation Office may have lost a huge amount of information in what it says is a world-first problem with its computer system.

Page 5: Federal and State-imposed schemes for green energy such as wind farms and solar panels are costing the average WA household $63 a year, a report reveals.

Page 12: Perth homeowners are being told the city’s property market will turn positive in the new year despite fresh figures showing another fall in prices.

Page 19: Taxpayers have footed the bill for Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis’ out-of-court settlement reached with a senior bureaucrat who sued him for defamation.

Page 32: US president-elect Donald Trump has selected Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department.

Page 75: China’s CITIC could have to pay a $US6 a tonne royalty on its Pilbara iron ore exports into a court account after the multinational giant lost its latest legal skirmish with landlord Clive Palmer.

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz’s flagship Perth store has so far failed to materialise in the former General Post Office as expected.

Page 77: Colin Barnett has hit out at Australia’s national media for creating a false impression in Asia about the WA economy.

Page 78: A recovery by its prawning and fishing businesses has helped engineer a dramatic trading improvement at MG Kailis, where losses were scaled back from $8.3 million to $1.1 million last financial year.

The then-wife of Billabong boss Matthew Perrin thought he was going to admit he had been unfaithful again when he said, “I’ve done a lot of bad things”.

Perth renewable wave-energy player Bombora Wave Power has taken another step in its plan to commercialise its 60-megawatt wave farm, placing a $180 million price tag on the project.

Page 79: Westpac is on the verge of hanging its shingle alongside Deloitte’s atop the prestigious 16-storey Brookfield Place tower 2, sources say.

Page 80: Further doubts have clouded Emeco Holdings’ three-way merger and recapitalisation after another meeting to approve the deal was postponed.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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