01/03/2017 - 06:49

Morning Headlines

01/03/2017 - 06:49

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Morning Headlines

CBA scandal ‘not systemic’

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been cleared of ‘‘systemic’’ problems in its life insurance business CommInsure, with a report by Deloitte finding it did not have a culture of deliberately avoiding or delaying claims to its customers. The Fin

 

Grylls calls PM ‘rank hypocrite’ for tearing down mining tax plan

WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has accused Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of ‘‘rank hypocrisy’’ for attacking his mining tax proposal while conducting a review of petroleum taxes. The Fin

 

WorleyParsons should have been open

WorleyParsons should have disclosed last year’s $2.9 billion takeover approach from the Dar Group, shareholders said, after the Dubai-based firm swooped and took a 13 per cent stake in the engineering company. The Fin

 

Avoid Aussie icons: FIRB chief offers tips to Chinese investors

The Foreign Investment Review Board chairman has advised Chinese companies looking to buy farms and agricultural businesses to steer clear of bidding for Australian icons if they want to win government approval. The Aus

 

PM flags support for cuts to penalties

Malcolm Turnbull has for the first time explicitly supported the Fair Work Commission cuts to penalty rates, as the Maritime Union of Australia vowed to join a Work-Choices-style campaign to try to overturn the cuts. The Aus

 

Trans-Tasman battle looms for Wesfarmers’ Officeworks

The contest for Wesfarmers’ $1.5 billion Officeworks is shaping up as a trans-Tasman battle, with some tipping that New Zealand’s Briscoe Group is angling to buy the operation to get a foothold in the Australian market. The Aus

 

Spendthrift parties warned on promises

Under Treasurer Michael Barnes has reminded major political parties of the parlous state of the books as mounting campaign pledges totalling more than $10 billion threaten either further damage to State finances or broken promises. The West

 

Pressure on minister in digital title transfer row

Lands Minister Terry Redman has denied breaking faith with the real estate industry over a decision to require the use of a private offshoot of Landgate to transfer property titles. The West

 

Alinta starts spruiking $4b float

Gas retailer Alinta Energy, buoyed by a better-than expected December half, has begun marketing its $4 billion sharemarket float to almost 600,000 WA customers. The West

 

The Australian Financial Review

Page 1: Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been cleared of ‘‘systemic’’ problems in its life insurance business CommInsure, with a report by Deloitte finding it did not have a culture of deliberately avoiding or delaying claims to its customers.

Coalition MPs from Queensland say the Liberal-National Party in their home state must either demerge or adopt some other strategy to better differentiate between the two parties – or risk being consumed by One Nation.

Page 2: Australia Post chairman John Stanhope has admitted chief executive Ahmed Fahour’s $5.6 million remuneration is inconsistent with community expectations but has warned the board will struggle to attract the talent it needs under new pay rules.

Page 5: Business groups claim their members could be targeted by union ‘‘thuggery’’ and boycotts if they help the federal government defend last week’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to pare back penalty rates for Sundays and public holidays.

WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has accused Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of ‘‘rank hypocrisy’’ for attacking his mining tax proposal while conducting a review of petroleum taxes.

Page 6: Australia looks set to generate its first current account surplus since the mid-1970s, after an income-boosting surge in resources exports and falling domestic investment resulted in the smallest deficit since the last quarter of 2001.

Page 8: Herbert Smith Freehills’ six-month prohibition on eight departing partners suffers from ‘‘excessiveness’’ and serves as a ‘‘terrible warning’’ to those lawyers who want to leave the law firm, a court has heard.

Page 10: Bank chiefs will be asked to explain what action has been taken to punish senior executives overseeing divisions where scandals have occurred when a parliamentary inquiry reconvenes later this week.

Page 13: WorleyParsons should have disclosed last year’s $2.9 billion takeover approach from the Dar Group, shareholders said, after the Dubai-based firm swooped and took a 13 per cent stake in the engineering company.

Page 15: An Indonesian company is set to seek a 40 per cent stake in takeover target Macmahon Holdings, in a major blow to CIMIC’s hostile play for the mining contractor.

 

The Australian

Page 1: The Foreign Investment Review Board chairman has advised Chinese companies looking to buy farms and agricultural businesses to steer clear of bidding for Australian icons if they want to win government approval.

Crown Resorts will sell its flagship golf courses and axe sponsorships of the nation’s top rugby league teams and sporting stars, including former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, as its billionaire owner James Packer makes dramatic cost cuts across the casino group.

Malcolm Turnbull will be forced to rule on a damaging Liberal split over race-hate laws after a parliamentary inquiry failed to agree on the strongest way to defend free speech, dropping the Prime Minister in a political quagmire.

Page 2: At least 15 senior executives at government enterprises are earning more than $1 million a year, fuelling calls for the Coalition to overhaul how pay rates at taxpayer-owned enterprises are decided.

Departing Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour has hit out at One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for “hurtful” and “illinformed” comments about him as he defended his achievements and admitted discussion of his pay had “sharpened’’ his decision to resign.

Executive earnings at CSIRO have risen 30 per cent over three years, at the same time staff salaries were frozen and more than one in five workers lost their jobs.

Page 5: Malcolm Turnbull has for the first time explicitly supported the Fair Work Commission cuts to penalty rates, as the Maritime Union of Australia vowed to join a Work-Choices-style campaign to try to overturn the cuts.

Page 19: Mike Baird, National Australia Bank’s new chief of institutional banking, has vowed to sharpen the focus on returns from the competitive space, flagging an overhaul of products and processes as part of his quick return to the industry from politics.

Investor lending in the property market is running hot and analysts say the frenzy is likely to continue unless there is a “dramatic” tightening of lending standards.

Page 20: The contest for Wesfarmers’ $1.5 billion Officeworks is shaping up as a trans-Tasman battle, with some tipping that New Zealand’s Briscoe Group is angling to buy the operation to get a foothold in the Australian market.

Page 21: Catering and cleaning services outfit Spotless Group has delivered earnings guidance well short of expectations and slashed its dividend, triggering a 13 per cent slump in its share price yesterday.

 

The West Australian

Page 1: Under Treasurer Michael Barnes has reminded major political parties of the parlous state of the books as mounting campaign pledges totalling more than $10 billion threaten either further damage to State finances or broken promises.

Page 4: Business leaders are fighting back against a union campaign to target coalition MPs who back a cut in Sunday penalty rates as the Government continues to struggle defending the change.

Malcolm Turnbull faces fresh internal destabilisation after the Nationals’ chief disciplinarian quit his job amid a prime ministerial plea for government unity.

Page 6: Pauline Hanson will make a weeklong tour of WA in the final race to the polls as she warns again of her determination to block Premier Colin Barnett’s plan to privatise public assets.

Page 7: Labor leader Mark McGowan will field questions on his own from undecided voters at a televised “town hall” style election forum next week after Colin Barnett declined to take part.

Page 18: Swan Valley growers devastated by summer floods are confident of bouncing back despite a $30 million blow to the region’s grape industry during Perth’s wettest summer on record.

Page 29: Lands Minister Terry Redman has denied breaking faith with the real estate industry over a decision to require the use of a private offshoot of Landgate to transfer property titles.

Gas retailer Alinta Energy, buoyed by a better-than expected December half, has begun marketing its $4 billion sharemarket float to almost 600,000 WA customers.

Page 30: BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has intensified his warnings that US trade protectionism under President Donald Trump would threaten global growth and the fight against poverty.

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering has bought a Sydney based electrical contractor for up to $54 million.

Page 31: CBH Group will strive to more than double the current rebate paid on growers’ storage and handling fees to $10 tonne in coming years.

A who’s who of small-cap institutional investors is joining the register of Australis Oil and Gas as the fledgling group’s $114 million US oil acquisition lays the foundations for what could be another payday for its backers.

Resolute Mining has come under fire from analysts over its decision to build up an 83,000 ounce gold bank on its books rather than sell the precious metal for cash.

Page 73: The home of renowned Beaufort Street restaurant Must Winebar is for sale through Colliers International. The sale of the 394sqm character building is expected to attract strong interest from commercial property investors.

Page 74: Tony Perrin of Frasers Property Group is the new president of the WA Property Council.

Page 75: Finbar is tight-lipped about water problems in the urban centre of South Perth as it tries to create replacement plans for its aborted Civic Heart development.

 

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