15/12/2016 - 06:19

Morning Headlines

15/12/2016 - 06:19

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Morning Headlines

AAA could go at any time

The fate of the nation’s AAA credit rating – and the impact of any change on interest rates – could be known before Christmas, with key rating agencies saying they could make a decision as soon as Monday afternoon. The Fin

Value capture on property prices ‘unfair’

Taxing forecast increases in property prices to pay for new infrastructure such as light rail and metro systems is ‘‘potentially unfair and economically inefficient’’, a new report on value capture from Infrastructure Australia has warned. The Fin

Globalisation too advanced to be slowed, says China Southern chief

One of the most powerful chief executives in China says the trend of economic globalisation is too far advanced to be reversed despite the Brexit vote and the potential implications from Donald Trump’s ascension to United States President. The Fin

Consumer sentiment dives on financial fear, loathing

Consumers increasingly fear the economic outlook, with a large majority saying their family finances are in a worse state now than they were a year ago. The Aus

APN calls for broad study of $1.6bn deal

APN Outdoor chairman Doug Flynn believes the competition regulator should consider the entire advertising market, including digital giants Google and Facebook, when assessing the company’s proposed $1.6 billion merger with oOh! Media. The Aus

High household debt to force RBA’s hand

Excessive household leverage and mortgage rate changes by lenders that hurt consumers will force the Reserve Bank into cutting the cash rate further, relieving pressure on indebted landlords with “extremely unprofitable” investments following the crunch in yields, according to new analysis. The Aus

Emeco merger bid rejected

The proposed merger of Emeco Holdings and two other contractors has collapsed after a handful of creditors rejected the deal. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The fate of the nation’s AAA credit rating – and the impact of any change on interest rates – could be known before Christmas, with key rating agencies saying they could make a decision as soon as Monday afternoon.

Tabcorp will press ahead with its $11.3 billion merger proposal with Tatts Group and refuse to take part in a break-up of Tatts’ lotteries and wagering businesses proposed in a surprise counter-bid from a consortium led by Macquarie Group.

Page 3: Property developers are discretely offering discounts on apartments in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth to Chinese buyers for the first time, in a sign lending restrictions and over-supply are beginning to affect prices.

Page 4: The High Court has found that Flight Centre engaged in anti-competitive behaviour when it tried to get airlines to stop offering customers cheaper tickets, leaving the travel agency open to $11 million in penalties.

Page 6: Former chief scientist Ian Chubb has blasted Australia’s lack of vision, saying the country’s leaders and policymakers were overly risk-averse and afraid of implementing any ‘‘big bold endeavours’’ to drive innovation.

Page 7: The Parliamentary Budget Office has warned the company building the national broadband network may not be able to find financing to pay back a $19.5 billion government loan it received in November, in a report that found the NBN will have an $8.8 billion negative impact on Australia’s net worth.

The veteran tax professional heading the government’s black economy taskforce says removing $100 bills from circulation is an option, but he’s far more concerned about rorts involving Australian Business Numbers.

Page 9: Energy ministers have endorsed new rules to make the east coast gas market work better but split over reforms that would make it easier for states like South Australia and Tasmania to get new interstate high voltage transmission lines approved to stabilise their fragile electricity grids.

Page 11: The Australian Taxation Office is confident no data will be lost, despite suffering ‘‘a world-first’’ technical glitch in its storage hardware from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

Page 13: President-elect Donald Trump yesterday was set to name Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, to lead the Energy Department, an agency far more devoted to national security and basic science than to the extraction of fossil fuels that is Mr Perry’s expertise.

If you’re looking for drama surrounding Thursday’s (AEDT) meeting of Federal Reserve officials, don’t look for it in their post-meeting statement. Policymakers are almost universally expected to raise their benchmark lending rate. Keep an eye, instead, on President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.

Page 14: Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, says US President-elect Donald Trump’s vowed withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact is ‘‘hugely damaging to the United States’ reputation in Asia’’ and the region will instead do deals with China.

China has ended the year with its old growth engines roaring and new drivers like consumption in robust health, defying the prophets of doom yet again.

Switzerland’s Actelion said on Wednesday that it was in talks with an undisclosed suitor about a ‘‘strategic transaction’’, even as another potential acquirer, US healthcare company Johnson & Johnson, ended talks.

Page 15: Taxing forecast increases in property prices to pay for new infrastructure such as light rail and metro systems is ‘‘potentially unfair and economically inefficient’’, a new report on value capture from Infrastructure Australia has warned.

oOh!media CEO Brendon Cook says the $1.6 billion merger with APN Outdoor will create a diversified business better able to combat global technology giants and grow the outdoor ad sector’s share of Australian advertising revenue.

Page 17: Speculation is rife around the nature of problems at Bellamy’s Australia following its suspension from trade yesterday, with sources saying the organic baby food and formula maker has underestimated the importance and power of the ‘‘Daigou trade’’.

Natural gas shippers will get more clout in their negotiations with pipeline companies under proposals that have been swiftly endorsed by energy ministers in a bid to head off a gas supply squeeze on the east coast.

Santos has buckled to pressure to beef up its balance sheet to invest in growth, surprising the market with plans to raise $1.5 billion in new equity, as first reported by Street Talk.

Page 18: The fallout from Brexit has allowed Corporate Travel Management the chance to ‘‘strike’’ in Britain and expand its European footprint through the $69 million acquisition of Redfern Travel.

Cooper Energy chief executive David Maxwell is expecting to be kept busy this holiday period with ambitions to wrap up deals on partnerships, funding and gas sales for the company’s $552 million Sole project by March.

One of the most powerful chief executives in China says the trend of economic globalisation is too far advanced to be reversed despite the Brexit vote and the potential implications from Donald Trump’s ascension to United States President.

Page 19: National Australia Bank will allow external technology developers to link with data on its branch and ATM locations, and foreign exchange rates, under a program that may signal a new era of more liberal data sharing in financial services.

The competition watchdog is pursuing at least two more cases of banks potentially breaching competition laws, with its chairman describing the fines slapped on ANZ and Macquarie Bank for attempting to manipulate a key banking benchmark as a warning to the sector.

Page 20: The former Guinean mining minister who accused Rio Tinto of offering him bribes has been charged in the US with laundering bribes from a Chinese company.

Page 25: Cotton On Group’s fourth biggest brand, Typo, has opened its first British bricks and mortar store, paving the way for the Geelong-based retailer’s clothing brands to set up shop in the Britain and Europe.

Industry superannuation fund Hostplus has cemented its position as Australia’s biggest backer of venture capital, allocating $US50m ($66.8m) to Paul Bassat’s Square Peg Capital to take its commitment to the asset class to $270 million.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: A row over the $5 billion bill for the nation’s next big airport threatens to undermine one of Malcolm Turnbull’s flagship projects, as the federal government intensifies pressure on Sydney Airport Corporation to pay for more of the mammoth construction.

Tony Abbott has called for Australia to be the affordable energy superpower of the world, as Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg reaffirmed the scotching of plans for a new carbon price and attacked Labor state governments for setting “irresponsible” renewables targets.

Page 2: Consumers increasingly fear the economic outlook, with a large majority saying their family finances are in a worse state now than they were a year ago.

Page 3: Fairfax Media employed the services of a third-party ad network that boasted “there are many ways to skin the cat” to inflate online audience numbers, according to an email obtained by The Australian.

Page 5: The tourism industry is outperforming the rest of the national economy on the back of a booming Asian market and major events and festivals targeting international and domestic visitors.

Page 19: A senior Crown Resorts executive has played down the impact of the arrests of group employees in China on the fortunes of a new $645 million hotel in Perth as the company’s board descended on the West Australian capital last night in a show of support for the venue’s official opening.

Page 21: APN Outdoor chairman Doug Flynn believes the competition regulator should consider the entire advertising market, including digital giants Google and Facebook, when assessing the company’s proposed $1.6 billion merger with oOh! Media.

EON Broadcasting is believed to be the preferred bidder for Macquarie Media’s easy listening Sydney radio station 2CH, operated by ad baron John Singleton, after lodging a $5.5 million bid.

Page 22: National retailer Payless Shoes has fallen victim to what industry insiders call the “leaky bucket syndrome’’ as international brands proliferate and clothing retailers branch into footwear, robbing it of shoppers.

The competition regulator is setting its sights on industry price-fixing after the High Court found in its favour yesterday in a continuing dispute with Flight Centre over the dodgy practice.

Since its discovery just over four years ago, the Nova nickel deposit in Western Australia’s south has enjoyed a charmed run.

Page 23: Excessive household leverage and mortgage rate changes by lenders that hurt consumers will force the Reserve Bank into cutting the cash rate further, relieving pressure on indebted landlords with “extremely unprofitable” investments following the crunch in yields, according to new analysis.

The corporate regulator will today release its eagerly anticipated regulatory “sandbox” policy for fintech companies, enabling startups to test their products and services for a limited period without having to hold an Australian financial services license.

If the Macquarie Group-led bid to gate-crash the Tabcorp-Tatts Group party underlines anything it is that investment banks are increasingly willing to use their own balance sheets to generate deal flow.

Page 24: United Parcel Service and FedEx are straining to keep up with holiday shipping volumes that have blown past expectations, delaying the delivery of some of the millions of online orders shoppers have placed since Thanksgiving.

Page 25: Asahi has agreed to buy brewing assets in five eastern European nations from Anheuser-Busch for €7.3 billion ($10.4bn), establishing a European beer platform, in the latest big overseas deal by a Japanese food-and-drink industry that is struggling at home.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 1: Workers on one of Australia’s biggest projects are threatening to take their employers to court to fight for their right to party in Onslow on New Year’s Eve.

Page 4: The long-running war of independence waged by the self-proclaimed ruler of the Hutt River Province has been challenged by the Australian Taxation Office, which claims he owes $2.65 million in unpaid tax.

Page 5: Timber has been milled for more than a century in Pemberton and Manjimup in WA’s south. But by next week that long tradition will have come to an end when the timber mills in both towns close for good.

Page 6: Questions have been raised about the quality of the Corruption and Crime Commission’s employee-screening procedures after the watchdog had to sack a senior investigator found to have lied about his work history.

Page 18: The operator of WA’s new privately run women’s prison is locked in a dispute with guards over pay and conditions as the facility prepares to receive its first inmates today.

Page 49: The proposed merger of Emeco Holdings and two other contractors has collapsed after a handful of creditors rejected the deal.

It may be one of the most talked-about tech start-ups in the country — if not the world — but Canva, the Perth-founded graphic design platform, still has one struggle — turning a profit.

BHP Billiton says production at its disaster-hit Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil could restart in 2017, but only if the joint venture project’s $US3.8 billion ($5.07 billion) of debt is restructured and new operating approvals are secured.

Cliff Lawrenson is going back to Atlas Iron as chief executive, five years after the iron ore miner’s takeover of WA explorer FerrAus forced him back into the job market.

Page 50: Independence Group’s next major project is likely to be gold, according to managing director Peter Bradford, although the IGO boss says the company is also looking to expand its footprint in copper or zinc.

Two of the nation’s most high-profile banks have been fined $15 million and given a dressing down by the Federal Court over an attempted cartel.

Northbridge hardware business owner Paul Farinosi is seeing some encouraging signs, even as he braces for the completion of disruptive major road works on his front doorstep amid a severe building downturn.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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