28/02/2017 - 06:33

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28/02/2017 - 06:33

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Investor windfall as business profits surge

A blockbuster $13 billion surge in business profits last quarter – the biggest jump since 2001 – has stoked speculation of a turnaround in economic growth and spurred hopes of fresh windfalls for shareholders and the federal government’s tax collectors. The Fin

 

McGowan ratchets up attack over power sale

West Australian Opposition Leader Mark McGowan is ratcheting up Labor’s campaign against the Barnett government’s $11 billion plan to partially sell the state’s electricity distribution network as he seeks to capitalise on the unpopular policy less than fortnight before the state election. The Fin

 

Cooper’s Sole gas project gets APA backing

Pipeline giant APA Group has made a bold move into gas processing, striking a $250 million deal to provide the infrastructure needed for Cooper Energy’s planned Sole gas project off Victoria and adding momentum to efforts to ease the strain on east coast supplies. The Fin

 

CFMEU to attack PM over wages

The militant construction union will lead a “Work Choices” style campaign against Malcolm Turnbull, accusing the Prime Minister of waging a new “war on the fair go” after the federal government backed the industrial umpire’s decision to cut penalty rates. The Aus

 

Abbott triggers Liberal backlash

Furious Liberal MPs have turned on Tony Abbott over the government’s dangerous slump in voter support, blaming him for a “destructive” and “divisive” move last week that has sparked fears of a spiral towards electoral defeat. The Aus

 

Fortescue lobs $1bn offer for Wesfarmers’ Curragh mine

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group has taken its most significant step towards realising its long-held ambition to move into coal, with the iron ore miner reportedly lodging a $1 billion-plus offer for Wesfarmers’ Curragh coal mine. The Aus

 

Revenue falls $4m but ‘footy better off’

WA Football Commission chairman Murray McHenry has declared the State’s football financially better off despite a $4 million dip in revenue derived from Domain Stadium last year. The West

 

Call to abandon disability deal

The inaugural head of Australia’s disability insurance agency has urged the incoming WA government to abandon a disability services deal with Canberra, saying it exposes the State’s taxpayers to “unnecessary and unfair costs”. The West

 

TFS explores $400m spin-off of ‘buried’ US pharma arm

Sandalwood company TFS is chasing a payday on its US pharmaceuticals business Santalis through a possible $400 million float or trade sale this year. The West

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: The board of QBE, one of the top ASX 100 companies, has set a new standard on executive accountability in the workplace by stripping its chief executive John Neal of more than half a million dollars for not telling the board he was in a relationship with his executive assistant.

Page 3: A blockbuster $13 billion surge in business profits last quarter – the biggest jump since 2001 – has stoked speculation of a turnaround in economic growth and spurred hopes of fresh windfalls for shareholders and the federal government’s tax collectors.

A six-month prohibition on eight departing partners from Herbert Smith Freehills is reasonable to protect the top tier firm’s brand, a court has heard.

Page 4: West Australian Opposition Leader Mark McGowan is ratcheting up Labor’s campaign against the Barnett government’s $11 billion plan to partially sell the state’s electricity distribution network as he seeks to capitalise on the unpopular policy less than fortnight before the state election.

Conservative Liberals angry at Tony Abbott’s destabilisation say the government would be better off going down fighting at the next election rather than change leaders again.

Page 5: Key business groups are lukewarm to a proposal by worried members of the Coalition that they campaign to help sell the economic benefits of last week’s penalty rates cut.

Page 6: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said that the Turnbull government is prepared to intervene in the longstanding dispute between Wilmar Sugar and 1500 cane growers if the Palaszczuk Labor government blocks legislation in state parliament to resolve the dispute.

The Maritime Union of Australia’s push to control more of Australia’s waterfront workforce is threatening to spark a union turf war and is adding to industry fears over the impact a merger between the MUA and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union could have on the mining sector.

Page 7: An unidentified company – which some say could be fallen nickel magnate Clive Palmer’s – is seeking funding for a $1.2 billion ‘‘cleancoal’’ power project from the federal government’s green bank.

Page 11: QBE chief executive John Neal says premium increases and more stringent underwriting will allow the global insurer’s turnaround to accelerate, after solid profit growth in 2016 saw it boost its dividend and launch a $1 billion share buyback.

The board and senior management of Slater & Gordon are under renewed pressure as lenders negotiate a recapitalisation plan to keep the troubled law firm afloat after it posted a half year loss of $425.1 million.

Page 13: Pipeline giant APA Group has made a bold move into gas processing, striking a $250 million deal to provide the infrastructure needed for Cooper Energy’s planned Sole gas project off Victoria and adding momentum to efforts to ease the strain on east coast supplies.

The Dar Group, a privately-held multinational engineering group based in Dubai, has become the biggest shareholder in WorleyParsons after snapping up just over 13 per cent on Monday afternoon following an unsuccessful takeover approach last year.

Page 16: Shareholders in takeover target Macmahon Holdings say fresh earnings guidance from the mining contractor has given them greater confidence it will shake off CIMIC’s hostile takeover bid, as the company’s board recommended shareholders reject the ‘‘inadequate’’ and ‘‘opportunistic’’ offer.

 

The Australian

Page 1: The militant construction union will lead a “Work Choices” style campaign against Malcolm Turnbull, accusing the Prime Minister of waging a new “war on the fair go” after the federal government backed the industrial umpire’s decision to cut penalty rates.

A $60 million NSW government bus contract was awarded to a client of Liberal Party powerbroker Michael Photios’s lobbying firm PremierState without going to tender when Premier Gladys Berejiklian was transport minister.

Central business districts have never been so important, generating more than half of all employment growth over the past decade, putting pressure on the regions and the city fringes.

Page 2: Booming commodity prices have sent company profits soaring and promise to ease the government’s budget woes, although the profit bonanza is yet to flow through to wages.

Page 6: Furious Liberal MPs have turned on Tony Abbott over the government’s dangerous slump in voter support, blaming him for a “destructive” and “divisive” move last week that has sparked fears of a spiral towards electoral defeat.

Page 7: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is pushing for control of the $50 billion infrastructure rollout, amid frustration over the management of its regional component as the Turnbull government comes under increasing electoral pressure from One Nation.

Page 8: Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey has sabotaged the public release of secret correspondence with union bosses about a now-abandoned $13 billion superannuation fund merger.

Page 19: Corporate Australia has been put on notice that secret workplace affairs will not be tolerated, with the board of insurance giant QBE yesterday revealing it had slashed the pay of chief executive John Neal after learning of a relationship with his personal assistant.

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group has taken its most significant step towards realising its long-held ambition to move into coal, with the iron ore miner reportedly lodging a $1 billionplus offer for Wesfarmers’ Curragh coalmine.

Besieged Bellamy’s chairman Rob Woolley is expected to resign this morning at a showdown between the board of the infant milk formula group and dissident shareholders led by Jan Cameron, ending his short-lived chairmanship of the publicly listed company and providing a circuit-breaker for the intrigue and destabilisation that has engulfed the business.

Page 21: The Chinese group behind the proposed $US2.45 billion ($3.2bn) acquisition of Rio Tinto’s NSW coalmines has quietly let lapse an option that would have saved it $US100 million off the purchase price.

 

The West Australian

Page 1: WA Football Commission chairman Murray McHenry has declared the State’s football financially better off despite a $4 million dip in revenue derived from Domain Stadium last year.

Page 6: A vote cast in the State’s vast Mining and Pastoral region will be worth almost six times as one delivered by a voter in suburban Perth amid warnings the Upper House electoral system is completely distorted.

The inaugural head of Australia’s disability insurance agency has urged the incoming WA government to abandon a disability services deal with Canberra, saying it exposes the State’s taxpayers to “unnecessary and unfair costs”.

Page 6: A former WA health chief has warned that the State’s public hospitals are increasingly becoming a default GP service and “expensive aged care”.

Page 12: Islamic State has made a resurgence in western Iraq and in parts of eastern Mosul, prompting an Iraqi appeal to Australia to extend its military training to “energy police” to protect the country’s assets including its oil rich fields.

Page 14: Under fire on multiple fronts, Malcolm Turnbull has come out swinging and blamed Tony Abbott for sabotaging the Government in the opinion polls while venting at Bill Shorten over penalty rates.

The Turnbull Government hopes to avoid future damaging parliamentary travel scandals by taking away the need for politicians to travel.

Page 47: Macmahon Holdings has set the stage for a brawl with major shareholder CIMIC, rejecting its 14.5¢ takeover offer and telling shareholders the company is on the verge of a recovery after a dismal few years.

Fortescue Metals Group and Apollo Global Management are among bidders for Wesfarmers’ coal operations, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Sandalwood company TFS is chasing a payday on its US pharmaceuticals business Santalis through a possible $400 million float or trade sale this year.

Page 48: Defects in a commercial vessel built seven years ago will cost Austal about $24 million under arrangements that have resolved a dispute with a European customer.

BHP Billiton was expected to have its Pilbara rail network partly back up and running last night, after a serious derailment put its Newman line out of commission.

Page 49: Shares in Veris lost about a quarter of their value after the company’s profit fell 99 per cent.

A sharp rebound in iron ore prices was not enough to keep the Australian sharemarket from another losing session yesterday after more bad news on the wages front.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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