11/09/2008 - 06:57

Today's Business Headlines

11/09/2008 - 06:57

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Nats demand 'risks rating'; Seven's $320m buyback will hand Stokes majority control; Lehman woes rattle global markets; Sinosteel talks Midwest chief into leaving, eyes 13.2pc stake; Dollar sinks below 80 US cents

Nats demand 'risks rating'
The West Australian Treasury has warned that Nationals' leader Brendon Grylls' demand for 25 per cent of mining royalties to be poured into regional areas could cost the state its AAA credit rating. The Australian

Seven's $320m buyback will hand Stokes majority control
Seven Network investors have overwhelmingly endorsed a buyback plan that will likely see Kerry Stokes snare majority control of the company. The West

Lehman woes rattle global markets
Sharemarkets were shaken yesterday as uncertainty about the fate of US investment bank Lehman Brothers threatened to reignite panic across the financial sector just days after the US government took control of ailing mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in a bid to restore calm. The Fin Review

Sinosteel talks Midwest chief into leaving, eyes 13.2pc stake
Sinosteel Corp was hopeful last night of snaring a key 13.2 per cent stake in $1.4 billion takeover play Midwest Corp after convincing the target's renegade deputy chairman to resign. The West

Dollar sinks below 80 US cents
The Australian dollar crashed below US80 cents and sharemarkets quivered as the storm in the US financial sector threatened to overwhelm another major investment bank. Sydney Morning Herald

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The National Party's demand that 25 per cent of royalties from resource projects be spent in the regions would blow the state budget and put WA's much vaunted triple-A credit rating at risk, Under-Treasurer Tim Marney warned yesterday.

Business: Embattled US investment bank Lehman brothers last night reported a worse-than-expected $US3.9 billion ($4.8 billion) third-quarter loss and flagged plans to sell a majority stake in its prized investment management business as it struggles to survive a crisis of investor confidence which has rattled global financial markets.

The Australian dollar is taking a pounding, with a dip below US80 cents for the first time in almost 18 months.

Australian banks and stockbroking firms have not yet made the wholesale job cuts taking place in Wall Street and London but many believe it is just a matter of time before the global market turmoil is felt among finance professionals here.

Seven Network investors have overwhelmingly endorsed a buyback plan that will likely see Kerry Stokes snare majority control of the company.

Sinosteel Corp was hopeful last night of snaring a key 13.2 per cent stake in $1.4 billion takeover play Midwest Corp after convincing the target's renegade deputy chairman to resign.

Macmahon said yesterday it would not extend its takeover offer beyond September 29 and admitted it could struggle to win majority control.

Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group said last night its much-hyped surface miners were performing in line with expectation despite asking contractor Ausdrill to provide $300 million worth of drill-and-blast work at its Pilbara mine sites.

Cooper Energy's $104 million hostile takeover bid for Incremental Petroleum suffered an early blow yesterday after the suitor's shares fell sharply to threaten one of its offer conditions.

Embattled civil construction group Brierty has brushed aside a horror nine months marred by shock profit downgrades and a share price savaging to push into the Northern Territory in its first venture outside WA.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Queensland and WA have the lowest combined property, work cover and land taxes for small and medium-sized business in the country, while the largest economy, NSW lags well behind.

Sharemarkets were shaken yesterday as uncertainty about the fate of US investment bank Lehman Brothers threatened to reignite panic across the financial sector just days after the US government took control of ailing mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in a bid to restore calm.

Page 3: Consumer confidence has picked up sharply after last week's official interest rate cut, but downbeat households remain careful about their finances.

Page 4: Cracks have started to appear in Labor's support for Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme after the Queensland government called on the Prime Minister to provide more support for heavy industries and coal-fired power stations.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The West Australian Treasury has warned that Nationals' leader Brendon Grylls' demand for 25 per cent of mining royalties to be poured into regional areas could cost the state its AAA credit rating.

Page 2: Brendan Nelson has moved to capitalise on pensioner anger at the Rudd government by promising to introduce a bill next week for an immediate $30-a-week rise in the single aged pension.

Business: Australian equities were yesterday caught up in the global tide of negative sentiments towards stocks.

The OPEC oil cartel yesterday decided to cut production by more than 500,000 barrels a day in surprising move that pushed prices back above $US100 a barrel.

Macquarie Group has the ability to make acquisitions to expand its underlying business but they are unlikely to be large, according to deputy managing director Richard Sheppard.

Profits for the nation's banks will be hit this year and into 2009 as loan growth slows and impaired assets and funding costs rise, ratings agency Fitch says.

Origin Energy is expected to make public the full version of Grant Samuel's independent export's report, including its valuation of the company and potentially its transformations CSG to LNG deal with ConocoPhillips, and the material assumptions and risks which the expert took into account.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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