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Richard courts a rate cut for poll

IN A week dominated by sport, it took a surprise rate cut in the US to spark big interest in Australia’s markets as the business community drifted back from their festive break.

Of course, some may have been nursing hangovers from New Year’s Eve, even if the arrival of the real Millennium failed to spark a party like last year’s masquerade.

Bikies were picked as the most likely targets under new 2001 laws beefing up the power of the authorities to sieze the assets of criminals.

It may be outlaw motorcyclists now, but you can be sure a few businessmen find themselves fighting this in the courts one day.



While the Swiss pair moved inexorably towards a finals victory in the Hopman Cup, another arena contest has been absorbing the time of at least one WA businessman.

Stan Quinlivan’s Skippers Aviation Pty Ltd had accepted Qantas’ offer for its significant interest in Hazelton.



Among takeover action closer to home, Shell’s bid for Woodside took a backseat to more athletic sports during the Christmas period - until Shell extended its bid by two weeks to February 2.

Just as Woodside shareholders wait and see if there is more from Shell, transport observers will wait with bated breath to see if State Government plans for new huge roadtrains go ahead.



For those keen to see some activity in the building industry there was also some good news.

Developers of the Woodside office tower and adjoining hotel at the west end of Perth finally managed to settle a parking dispute which threatened to derail the $300 million project.

Building could begin in April.



The besieged Australian dollar surged back above US57¢ on Friday after clamouring for attention amid test cricket, the Hopman cup and international golf.



AS STEVE WAUGH’S MEN wrapped up their home series against the Windies with an record 15th straight test win, bonds yields continued at almost 2-year lows and business began talk of an Australian interest rate cut.

Of course it’s not all about business out there, not yet anyway.

The latest crop of young things received their exam marks during the past week, no doubt making or breaking a few business careers at the same time.



THIS WEEK, though, talk turned to a State election, while hopes grew for an rate cut, possibly when the Reserve Bank of Australia meets early next month.

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