Today's Business Headlines

02/09/2008 - 06:32

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BHP bid seen as a brake on Rio's expansion plans; Wong rebuffs business on emissions; Qantas handed warning on safety; Sage, Evraz at loggerheads; St George undervalued: investors

BHP bid seen as a brake on Rio's expansion plans
Rio Tinto is working to restore its balance sheet to give it the flexibility for major acquisitions, says finance director Guy Elliot, but is constrained by BHP Billiton's hostile takeover bid. The West

Wong rebuffs business on emissions
Tensions between business and government over carbon trading have flared again as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong yesterday rejected a corporate push to allow emissions from trade-exposed industries to grow beyond Australia's greenhouse cap. The Fin Review

Qantas handed warning on safety
Qantas has been forced to defend its maintenance reputation lat night after the aviation watchdog warned that the airline was failing to meet performance standards and needed to take action to head off potential safety problems. The Australian

Sage, Evraz at loggerheads
Cape Lambert Iron Ore chairman Tony Sage was last night on a collision course with his biggest shareholder Evraz, the Russian steel giant controlled by billionaire Roman Abramovich, after striking a $US200 million ($A234.5 million) deal with entrepreneur Frank Timis to acquire an African iron ore project. The West

St George undervalued: investors
Westpac could be forced to sweeten its $18 billion merger proposal for St George Bank, with increasing concerns from some shareholders about the value of the deal. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Alan Carpenter, who at the weekend trumpeted that a vote for Labor was a vote for renewable energy, plans to supply nearly eight times more additional electricity from stations powered by fossil fuels than environmentally friendly sources.

The federal government's aviation safety investigator has ordered Qantas to lift maintenance standards in the wake of a series of incidents that have severely undermined confidence in the airline.

Page 3: WA truffle growers are jumping with joy after harvesting a record crop of the rare fungus this season - and they're predicting even bigger things next year.

Page 4: Russia has warned that Australia's economic interests may be harmed after Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith threatened to scrap a landmark uranium deal with Moscow because of its military intervention in Georgia.

Page 5: Community TV station Access 31 has been forced into liquidation over debts estimated at $600,000.

Page 6: A key environmental report into the Esperance lead fiasco is unlikely to be released this week, sparking accusations that the Carpenter government will avoid scrutiny over the issue before the election.

Business: Cape Lambert Iron Ore chairman Tony Sage was last night on a collision course with his biggest shareholder Evraz, the Russian steel giant controlled by billionaire Roman Abramovich, after striking a $US200 million ($A234.5 million) deal with entrepreneur Frank Timis to acquire an African iron ore project.

Ralph Sarich, the Wyllie Group and Tony Grist have pounced on Futuris' stake in Amcom Telecommunications, tying up control of the group in a deal which effectively locks out bigger rivals and leaves the telco free to pursue a tie-up with iiNet.

Losses of more than $650 million were brought wriggling into the light yesterday as the last 50 or so of the Australian Securities Exchange's listed companies produced their financial statements.

Buru Energy, the explorer created by Australian Worldwide Exploration's $400 million takeover of Arc Energy, has made a inauspicious start to life as a publicly listed company after its shares closed 42 per cent below its cash backing.

Rio Tinto is working to restore its balance sheet to give it the flexibility for major acquisitions, says finance director Guy Elliot, but is constrained by BHP Billiton's hostile takeover bid.

Golden West Resources claims it knows nothing about the punch-up which followed Friday's extraordinary shareholders meeting.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Tensions between business and government over carbon trading have flared again as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong yesterday rejected a corporate push to allow emissions from trade-exposed industries to grow beyond Australia's greenhouse cap.

Employees of major companies are bracing for more job losses and further cuts in discretionary spending as the fallout from the credit crisis and the slowing economy force management to slash costs.

The Australian Securities Exchange is expected to lose its bid to bar the entry of competing sharemarket operators because of the turmoil in global finance, with the Rudd government set to decide within weeks to endorse new players.

Page 3: Soaring commodity prices have helped deliver the biggest jump in company profits in almost seven years.

Page 4: The Workplace Ombudsman faces a politically sensitive legal action in the Federal Court brought by a senior female public servant who is seeking penalties and damages for alleged breaches of the Workplace Relations Act.

Page 5: Russia has threatened to harm the economic interests of Australia if the government axes a deal to directly export uranium yellowcake to Moscow.

Finance: The share market fell yesterday, snapping a three-day winning streak.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Aborigines would be recruited to work on dozens of road and rail infrastructure projects as part of a $76 billion nation-building program proposed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Unions have accused Australia's building industry watchdog of trying to smear them with lies, after two inspectors complained of being subjected to heavy intimidation and verbal abuse on a Melbourne construction site.

Today's expected interest rate cut may be the last for some time, with the best business profits in five years and rapidly rising returns from the resources boom showing the economy is in much better shape than the Reserve Bank thought possible as recently as three weeks ago.

Page 3: Qantas has been forced to defend its maintenance reputation lat night after the aviation watchdog warned that the airline was failing to meet performance standards and needed to take action to head off potential safety problems.

Business: The Allco group's run of distressing news continued yesterday when property investment company Record Realty announced a loss of $253.5 million, bringing the total losses of the Allco vehicles to $2.9 billion for the year to June 30.

BHP Billiton chairman Don Argus has joined the industry chorus against the Rudd Government's planned emissions trading scheme, saying it could crimp investment that is desperately needed to meet the nation's growing power demand.

Opes Prime's financiers will ask the federal court tomorrow to throw out a $100 million-plus class action launched by Slater & Gordon on behalf of more than 50 clients of the collapsed broker.

Westpac could be forced to sweeten its $18 billion merger proposal for St George Bank, with increasing concerns from some shareholders about the value of the deal.

Finance: Winds and rain from Hurricane Gustav started lashing the US Gulf Coast last night after nearly two million people fled.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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