Today's Business Headlines

28/08/2008 - 06:24

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Families to carry gas firm's $2.5bn tax; Investors take flight amid doubts over Macquarie's model; Westfield's big year ahead; Premier admitted to uranium compo risk; Asset sales to the rescue as GPT reports huge plunge

Today's Business Headlines

Families to carry gas firm's $2.5bn tax
The Coalition yesterday accused the Rudd Government of an "outrageous assault" on West Australian families after Woodside chief Don Voelte said the $2.5 billion condensate tax imposed on the North West Shelf in the budget would start to be passed on to gas customers over the next few months. The Australian

Investors take flight amid doubts over Macquarie's model
Investors sliced $1.2 billion off the value of Macquarie Group yesterday in a sign of mounting unease over the health of its business model and fears it could become a victim of increasingly tough global markets. The West

Westfield's big year ahead
Westfield has played down the impact of the global credit crunch on the valuation of its $63 billion property portfolio and consumer confidence, arguing its quality tenants and a swollen development pipeline should generate robust earnings in the years ahead. The Age

Premier admitted to uranium compo risk
Alan Carpenter claimed yesterday that WA taxpayers would not be forced to compensate resource companies affected by laws banning uranium mining despite telling state Parliament in 2007 that compensation claims were "a very real prospect". The West

Asset sales to the rescue as GPT reports huge plunge
One of Australia's biggest and oldest property trusts, GPT Group, has vowed to simplify its business and could sell nearly a third of its $14 billion in assets after first-half profits fell 109 per cent. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Alan Carpenter claimed yesterday that WA taxpayers would not be forced to compensate resource companies affected by laws banning uranium mining despite telling state Parliament in 2007 that compensation claims were "a very real prospect".

Page 3: The feud between Woodside and the federal government intensified yesterday after the energy giant confirmed it would pass on all of a proposed $2.5 billion tax to WA gas consumers and slash expenditure on its massive Browse LNG development in the state's north in response to plans to introduce an emissions trading scheme.

Business: Woodside Petroleum chief Don Voelte yesterday moved quickly to counter any federal government criticism of its first billion-dollar half-year profit by insisting that the record result was a reward for time and money it has invested in the North West Shelf.

Westfield played down the negative impact of the global credit crunch on the valuation of its $63 billion property portfolio and consumers' expenditure, arguing its quality tenants combined with a swollen development pipeline should generate robust earnings in the years ahead.

Investors sliced $1.2 billion off the value of Macquarie Group yesterday in a sign of mounting unease over the health of its business model and fears it could become a victim of increasingly tough global markets.

One of Australia's biggest and oldest property trusts, GPT Group, has vowed to simplify its business and could sell nearly a third of its $14 billion in assets after first-half profits fell 109 per cent.

Port Bouvard has refused to commit to reinstating its dividend this year despite pointing to positive times ahead, after yesterday handing down an 88 per cent slump in its full-year net profit.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: After announcing record high half-yearly earnings, Woodside Petroleum has vowed to recoup its share of a hefty new government-imposed industry tax.

New auditors of the beleaguered ABC Learning Centres have forced a clean-up of the company's accounts and restating of results for at least the past two years.

Page 3: Attempts by big business to claim an estimated $500 million by exploiting a tax loophole have been thwarted by the Australian Taxation Office.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Australian plans to import Pacific fruit pickers have been harmed by news similar workers in New Zealand have been mistreated, underpaid and offered little work.

Outgoing The Age editor Andrew Jaspan has farewelled newspaper staff, leaving them to deal with Fairfax's planned job cuts.

Shares in Macquarie Group collapsed to their lowest in almost four years yesterday on fears Australia's biggest investment bank may not have seen the back of the global credit crisis.

Page 2: Despite a 2.6 per cent dip in building and construction work in the June quarter, firms are still winning new projects faster than they can complete those on their books.

Page 5: The Coalition yesterday accused the Rudd Government of an "outrageous assault" on West Australian families after Woodside chief Don Voelte said the $2.5 billion condensate tax imposed on the North West Shelf in the budget would start to be passed on to gas customers over the next few months.

Business: Shares in Macquarie Group were smashed yesterday after UBS downgraded the stock to neutral, predicting that a sustained downturn would put "substantial pressure" on the investment bank.

The world's biggest shopping centre landlord, Westfield Group, yesterday delivered a strong operating profit on healthy domestic retail sales, but conceded it had been stung by falling US and British shopping centre values.

Woodside Petroleum's half-year earnings have risen above $1 billion for the first time, beating expectations, as it profited from record oil prices.

Dick Fudd, the chairman and chief executive of Lehman Brothers, is seeking to complete a crucial deal for the Wall Street bank within three weeks as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the private equity group, emerged as the favourite to bid for the bank's asset management business.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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