Today's Business Headlines

18/09/2008 - 06:52

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Fears of global crash see US take over big insurer; TLG knocked back tied gas supply; Moly Mines dips again on nervousness about project funding; Tidy windfall off back of credit slump; Employers win new IR powers

Today's Business Headlines

Fears of global crash see US take over big insurer
The US government, invoking extraordinary powers granted after the 1929 stockmarket crash, has seized control of giant insurer American International Group to preserve a bulwark of the financial system. The West

TLG knocked back tied gas supply
Businesses affected by the West Australian Varanus Island gas pipeline explosion were offered alternative supply arrangements by the former state government on condition they gave up their rights to future claims against suppliers, The Laminex Group (TLG) has told the Senate. The Australian

Moly Mines dips again on nervousness about project funding
Nervous investors trimmed a further $7 million off the value of molybdenum hopeful Moly Mines yesterday as the deadline to finalise $US 150 million ($188 million) of interim financing needed to keep its $1.1 billion Spinifex Ridge ambitions alive loomed large. The West

Tidy windfall off back of credit slump
The Reserve Bank's bail-out of the financial system has netted it a tidy profit, boosting annual earnings by 50 per cent to a record $2 billion. The Australian

Employers win new IR powers
Employers will be given new powers to dock the pay of workers who take part in partial strikes or work bans under Labor's new industrial relations system in an attempt to prevent an increase in industrial action. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens sought to give Australian investment markets a confidence boost yesterday, saying the country's financial system was "light years" away from the meltdown in the US and Europe and the economy was well placed to weather the global credit crisis.

Business: BankWest could be headed for a new owner with its embattled parent last night in advanced talks with UK giant Lloyds TSB over a friendly takeover which would create a new British banking power.

Lehman Brothers, which a year ago had a market capitalisation of more than $US33 billion ($42 billion), is now unloading its once-prized businesses for what passes as small change on Wall Street.

The US government, invoking extraordinary powers granted after the 1929 stockmarket crash, has seized control of giant insurer American International Group to preserve a bulwark of the financial system.

Australia's financial services regulator has ramped up its monitoring of the liquidity positions of the country's banks in response to global market volatility and sub-prime related write-downs.

Nervous investors trimmed a further $7 million off the value of molybdenum hopeful Moly Mines yesterday as the deadline to finalise $US 150 million ($188 million) of interim financing needed to keep its $1.1 billion Spinifex Ridge ambitions alive loomed large.

BHP Billiton plans to use its newfound muscle in uranium to change the marketing of the radioactive material from long-term fixed price contracts to spot-price index-linked contracts.

Almost half of WA's fastest-growing companies are in the green sector, cashing in on consumer demand for clean technology in areas such as waste water treatment, wind power and aquaculture, according to a new report.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The US government has seized control of stricken global insurance giant American International Group in a $US85 billion ($A107 billion) bail-out.

Employers will be given new powers to dock the pay of workers who take part in partial strikes or work bans under Labor's new industrial relations system in an attempt to prevent an increase in industrial action.

Page 3: Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has warned that central banks and regulators may need to consider intervening more actively in the financial system to dampen damaging boom-bust cycles.

Page 5: A parliamentary committee examining Australian uranium sales to Russia is today expected to raise strong concerns over the proposal.

A former adviser to the Howard government's emissions trading task group warns that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is being too generous to heavy industry by offering trade-exposed companies billions of dollars a year to stop them moving offshore.

World: The Federal Reserve has left open the door for easier monetary policy given the dour prospects for the beleaguered American economy and its fragile financial system.

Market: Australian shares sank to their lowest level in almost three years despite attempts by the US Federal Reserve to rescue struggling insurance giant American International Group.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Small business employees could be sacked after only one warning under new workplace laws proposed by the Rudd government.

The global banking crisis struck London last night, with government authorities forced to vouch for the viability of Britain's biggest home loan provider amid fears it was facing collapse.

Page 2: A new era of regulation designed to stop share market and house price booms from turning into unsustainable bubbles is being canvassed in central banking circles.

The Reserve Bank's bail-out of the financial system has netted it a tidy profit, boosting annual earnings by 50 per cent to a record $2 billion.

Page 3: Teacher pay increases should be determined by performance and not length of service, a new government report recommends.

Page 4: Low-paid employees will be able to band together and bargain with workers from other firms to get better wages and conditions under radical changes to industrial laws unveiled yesterday by the Rudd Government.

Business: The global financial earthquake spread overnight to Britain where a stricken HBOS was rumoured to be about to receive a $A35.6 billion takeover bid from Lloyds TSB.

Fresh concerns have been raised about the scope of BHP Billiton's planned expansion of its already vast Olympic Dam mine in South Australia, triggering a political row in the state.

Businesses affected by the West Australian Varanus Island gas pipeline explosion were offered alternative supply arrangements by the former state government on condition they gave up their rights to future claims against suppliers, The Laminex Group (TLG) has told the Senate.

Investors looking for shelter from crumbling stock markets through mining shares should buy uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia or Centennial Coal, according to JPMorgan analysts, who advise underweighting the sector as a whole.

Sales of Australian wine have continued to slow in the US, with beverage giant Foster's experiencing declines in five of its top 10 brands.

The dollar rose more than US1c yesterday, boosted by a weaker US currency that fell after the US Federal Reserve bailed out beleaguered insurer American International Group.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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