04/01/2017 - 06:16

Morning Headlines

04/01/2017 - 06:16

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ANZ fires up Asia exit in $1.8b sale

ANZ Banking Group is pressing ahead with its Asian exit strategy, selling a stake in a Chinese bank for $1.8 billion in a move that makes it the best provisioned of the big four local banks. The Fin

Determined Grylls has plan to see off One Nation threat in WA

Maverick WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls believes the multimillion-dollar advertising campaign being waged against him by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto over his proposed new mining tax is helping his push to see off the looming threat of One Nation and secure the balance of power at the West Australian state election in 10 weeks. The Fin

Sino Gas rides higher on output and prices

After scoring some ‘‘important late runs’’ in 2016, Australia’s only natural gas developer in China, Sino Gas & Energy, is forecasting a steady increase in production this year ahead of a commitment to develop a full-scale project. The Fin

Energy bills soar in shift from coal

Electricity companies have begun hiking consumer prices around the country, blaming the closure of coal-fired generators and the increased cost of renewable energy for higher-than-predicted increases of more than $130 this year. The Aus

Mining veteran Burton to join Atrum board

Veteran Perth mining executive Craig Burton will join the board of one-time anthracite high-flyer Atrum Coal after he and Rich Lister Rod Jones seized shares once worth more than $60 million from the company’s founders. The Aus

Landgate awards IT contract to subsidiary

Landgate has handed a $140 million information technology contract to its own privatised subsidiary, outsourcing its IT needs for at least five years on a no-bid basis. The West

Big moves for lithium producers

The Australian lithium sector has started the year with a bang, as China offers big money for Birimian’s Mali project and Galaxy Resources confirms it is considering the part sale of its Argentinian brine project. The West

 

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: ANZ Banking Group is pressing ahead with its Asian exit strategy, selling a stake in a Chinese bank for $1.8 billion in a move that makes it the best provisioned of the big four local banks.

Maverick WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls believes the multimillion-dollar advertising campaign being waged against him by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto over his proposed new mining tax is helping his push to see off the looming threat of One Nation and secure the balance of power at the West Australian state election in 10 weeks.

Page 3: Economists, analysts and well-known housing market pundits got things horribly wrong in 2016 – as they did in 2015 – with forecasts that house prices would decline, if not crash, as Big Short Report author Jonathan Tepper predicted.

Page 4: WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls is making a high stakes bet that he has enriched the Pilbara to such an extent that young South Hedland mum Elizabeth Pegler will vote for him in March despite being opposed to his mining tax.

Page 5: The prices of Australian export commodities surged by 40 per cent in 2016, including a jump of 9 per cent in December alone, handing a Christmas present to state and federal budgets.

Page 8: Crown Resorts’ stake in the global chain of Nobu Japanese restaurants is valued at zero by one analyst, suggesting that James Packer’s $140 million investment may have been a costly error.

Many economists and politicians, including Treasurer Scott Morrison, have recently claimed that cutting interest rates can no longer stimulate the economy. But the Reserve Bank of Australia begs to differ.

Page 13: Bankers and lawyers expect a backlog of large initial public offerings will kick off a healthy year for tapping investors for capital, despite signs of float fatigue threatening to cruel the local rebound.

Page 14: A five-year, $65 million commitment from a Chinese state-owned enterprise has pushed medical device maker USCOM to a record quarter of manufacturing and put the company on track to potentially break even in 2017.

Page 15: Organic baby food and infant formula company Bubs Australia has started to repay the faith of its big-name backers, shaking off the shadow of stricken rival Bellamy’s Australia to make a solid debut on the ASX.

After scoring some ‘‘important late runs’’ in 2016, Australia’s only natural gas developer in China, Sino Gas & Energy, is forecasting a steady increase in production this year ahead of a commitment to develop a full-scale project.

Australian company Hills has sold the right to make and sell Hills Hoist clotheslines after concluding it could not make money from the iconic product.

Embattled cattle exporter and ship owner Wellard is in talks with its lenders after breaching the covenants of its working capital facility.

Page 16: Washington H. Soul Pattinson managing director Todd Barlow has brushed off concerns that its takeover bid for ethical investment manager Hunter Hall International is at odds with the investment conglomerate’s coal mining interests.

Page 17: A system for securely sharing customer data between institutions must be mandated to ensure timely adoption and compliance, and as a way of preventing anti-competitive, delaying or frustrating tactics in Australia’s banking and insurance sectors, according to ASX-listed iSelect.

 

 

The Australian

Page 1: Electricity companies have begun hiking consumer prices around the country, blaming the closure of coal-fired generators and the increased cost of renewable energy for higher-than-predicted increases of more than $130 this year.

Capital city centres have captured nearly half of all new jobs created across the nation in the past 10 years, signalling the failure of policies to promote decentralisation and driving disenchanted regional voters to minor parties.

Page 2: Asylum-seekers on temporary visas have been caught up in the federal government’s $4 billion welfare debt recovery controversy, with some being told they owe thousands in allegedly overpaid money and risk their future residency if they don’t give it back.

The federal government has vowed to extend its program to recover $4 billion in welfare debts from almost two million Australians despite admitting to “small instances” where people are being asked to refund money they do not owe.

Older Australians who paid large upfront sums to live in retirement villages are arguing they should no longer be categorised as “homeowners” by Centrelink because they are left so much worseoff under the government’s pension changes.

Page 3: Exclusions are now found in 38.1 per cent of hospital insurance policies — compared with 27.3 per cent three years ago — as an increasing number of health fund members pare back their cover in response to rising premiums.

Page 4: The manufacturing industry has started the year in good shape as the first business survey of the year shows trading conditions are the best since July last year with strong expansion.

Page 13: Leigh Mackender knew it would be a baptism of fire when he took over as chief executive of Service Stream at the end of May 2014.

Page 14: When Constellation Brands rolled out a new wine range recently, it relied on a strategy that doesn’t always mix well with consumers: gender-based marketing.

Page 15: Australia’s biggest retail superannuation fund, the $70 billion MLC Super Fund, is increasingly shielding itself from the unpredictable gyrations of global equity and bond markets by betting on the propensity of US borrowers to pay down their mortgages ahead of time.

Veteran Perth mining executive Craig Burton will join the board of one-time anthracite high-flyer Atrum Coal after he and Rich Lister Rod Jones seized shares once worth more than $60 million from the company’s founders.

Page 17: The Australian sharemarket has risen to its highest level since June 2015 on the first trading day of the new year.

 

 

The West Australian

Page 16: Social Services Minister Christian Porter has defended Centrelink’s unpopular debt-recovery system, arguing it was “about as reasonable a process as you could possibly derive”.

Page 63: Landgate has handed a $140 million information technology contract to its own privatised subsidiary, outsourcing its IT needs for at least five years on a no-bid basis.

ANZ boasts the highest cash buffers among Australia’s big four banks after offloading a stake in a Shanghai lender it snapped up during its aggressive Asia push.

Page 65: The Australian lithium sector has started the year with a bang, as China offers big money for Birimian’s Mali project and Galaxy Resources confirms it is considering the part sale of its Argentinian brine project.

The Environmental Protection Authority has opened the door for an expansion of Cliffs Natural Resources’ Koolyanobbing iron ore project near Southern Cross, after rejecting appeals from environmental groups.

Page 66: Wellard has started the new year on an expected low note by confirming further breaches of its debt covenants.

Page 67: Emeco Holdings managing director Ian Testrow has sacrificed part of his incentive plan to help get a merger over the line with dissident noteholders.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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