Today's Business Headlines

01/09/2008 - 06:22

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Credit crunch strips $12bn out of profits; Liberals oppose BHP merger; Big supermarkets face ban on buying rivals; Fairfax journos return as bosses drop threats, offer pay rise; RBA cut to boost economy

Today's Business Headlines

Credit crunch strips $12bn out of profits
The credit crunch wiped more than $1 billion from corporate Australia's profits in the 2007-08 financial year but earnings outside battered property and diversified financial companies rose 9 per cent, defying forecasts of a serious slowdown. The West

Liberals oppose BHP merger
West Australian Liberals are threatening to penalise mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto if they merge, saying they would wipe out vital royalty concessions now enjoyed by the majors if they came to power. The Australian

Big supermarkets face ban on buying rivals
Major supermarket chains could be blocked from buying small competitors in regional areas under changes to trade practices laws being canvassed by the Rudd government. The Australian

Fairfax journos return as bosses drop threats, offer pay rise
The Fairfax Media group has abandoned threats to lock out journalists and take legal action against them over a four-day strike, after a breakthrough in negotiations with the union over wages yesterday. The Australian

RBA cut to boost economy
The Reserve Bank is odds-on to cut interest rates for the first time in six-and-a-half years. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: State school students will travel to other schools to study a range of Year 11 subjects for the first time next year, as principals struggle with the worsening teacher shortage.

Page 7: Labor has pinned its hopes for re-election on another major rail project - this time an $850 million line through the city's expanding north-eastern corridor from Midland to Ellenbrook in the marginal electorate of Swan Hills.

Page 10: Treasurer Wayne Swan has warned the nation's banks they will have no excuse not to pass on tomorrow's expected first cut in official interest rates in almost seven years, as tumbling bank costs suggest scope for even more reductions in mortgage rates.

Australia could slash its greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter by 2020, modelling by a key lobby group has found, but it will require $46 billion of spending on power plants and big improvements in energy efficiency.

Business: The credit crunch wiped more than $1 billion from corporate Australia's profits in the 2007-08 financial year but earnings outside battered property and diversified financial companies rose 9 per cent, defying forecasts of a serious slowdown.

As well as carving more than 20 per cent off the value of the bourse, this year's market meltdown has seen a sharp fall in the number of new listings.

Finance: Official interest rates are expected to fall by 0.25 percentage points this week and possibly drop lower in the coming months, meaning borrowers on variable-rate loans will get some relief.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Reserve Bank is odds-on to cut interest rates for the first time in six-and-a-half years.

Earnings at sharemarket-listed companies will remain under pressure during the coming year as rising input costs and a slowdown in the domestic economy create widespread uncertainty about the outlook for profit growth in key sectors.

Page 3: The Rudd government has cleared the way for tougher takeover laws.

West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has used Labor's campaign launch to outline about $1 billion in transport initiatives aimed at bolstering the party's environmental credentials and cementing support in fast-growing suburbs ahead of the September 6 state election.

Page 5: This week's rate cut will be the first of what is likely to be a two- or three-step reduction in interest rates over the next few months.

Finance: The prospect of imminent interest rate cuts is leading analysts to upgrade their forecasts for a batch of previously unloved stocks.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The construction industry watchdog has complained that thuggery has returned to the building sector.

Major supermarket chains could be blocked from buying small competitors in regional areas under changes to trade practices laws being canvassed by the Rudd government.

Page 2: Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens is expected to accompany tomorrow's widely-tipped interest rate cut with a statement stressing the continuing threat of inflation.

Page 3: The Fairfax Media group has abandoned threats to lock out journalists and take legal action against them over a four-day strike, after a breakthrough in negotiations with the union over wages yesterday.

Business: West Australian Liberals are threatening to penalise mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto if they merge, saying they would wipe out vital royalty concessions now enjoyed by the majors if they came to power.

Macquarie Group is better placed than fallen angels such as Babcock & Brown - but it nevertheless faces reputational challenges, according to a report from Credit Suisse.

Fairfax Media's booming digital division - which provided the only bright spot in a disappointing recent financials - is gearing up to grab a slice of $3.3 billion in television advertising as the Australian internet industry moves towards a cohesive audience measurement system.

Lehman Brothers, trying to shore up its balance sheet, has settled on a structure that will allow it to offload billions of dollars in real estate loans from its books.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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