30/09/2008 - 06:51

Today's Business Headlines

30/09/2008 - 06:51

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Metals dive as recession fears defy Wall St bailout; Banks warned on loan exposure; Centro gets reprieve; Garnaut has bush answer to climate; Hardie 'misleading' on compo

Today's Business Headlines

Metals dive as recession fears defy Wall St bailout
Metal prices plunged to near two-and-a-half-year lows last night as mounting fears of a global recession overshadowed US efforts to finalise a $US700 billion ($850 billion) bailout. The West

Banks warned on loan exposure
The prudential regulator has warned the big banks to scrutinise their overall loan exposure to financial companies, and their satellite funds, as turmoil continues on global markets. The Fin Review

Centro gets reprieve
Centro Properties Group won a three-month reprieve from its US and Australian bankers yesterday, but the distressed shopping centre giant remains on tenterhooks as its chief executive Glenn Rufrano warned the retail property sales market was in a state of '' paralysis''. The Australian

Garnaut has bush answer to climate
Ross Garnaut's final report will hold out hope that a higher carbon price could encourage so-called backstop technologies that could take much of the pain out of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Australian

Hardie 'misleading' on compo
The former directors of James Hardie misled investors about their ability to properly compensate asbestos victims for fear of bad publicity that would lead to government intervention, a Sydney court has been told. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Financial markets were awash with more gloom yesterday as mounting fears of a global recession outweighed hopes for a $US700 billion Wall Street rescue, sending Australian share prices down almost 2 per cent.

Page 3: Australia must help craft a new international climate change deal that imposes realistic, binding commitments because the world could not afford another Kyoto, Professor Ross Garnaut said yesterday.

Page 5: City of Cockburn ratepayers will pay a public relations firm $20,000 to help distance the council from a Corruption and Crime Commission report which said that mayor Stephen lee deliberately engaged in misconduct by concealing the true source of his 2005 electoral funding.

Page 6: The former directors of James Hardie misled investors about their ability to properly compensate asbestos victims for fear of bad publicity that would lead to government intervention, a Sydney court has been told.

Page 7: An audit has found staff rip-offs are rife in WA child care, with centres underpaying workforces by an average $1,100, but the watchdog refuses to prosecute what it believes are honest mistakes by employers.

Page 10: Perth house prices fell 0.8 per cent in August, defying a solid upturn in the rest of the country, according to new figures.

Business: Metal prices plunged to near two-and-a-half-year lows last night as mounting fears of a global recession overshadowed US efforts to finalise a $US700 billion ($850 billion) bailout.

The Australian Securities Exchange has intensified monitoring of the local arm of Fortis, with the troubled Belgian financial services house a key provider of clearing operations in the Australian equities market.

The realities of tough market conditions were underscored yesterday when Moly Mines unveiled the terms of its $US150 million ($180 million) interim financing deal under which it would effectively hand over 15 per cent of the company to buy itself 12 months' breathing space.

Australia's biggest department store chain is looking to expand it presence in WA, saying opportunities for growth still exist despite a marked slowdown in the once high-spending state.

Centro Properties Group used up another of its nine lives after it announced that its nervous US lending group had further extended it swollen debt facilities of $US1.3 billion (1.56 billion) until December 15.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The prudential regulator has warned the big banks to scrutinise their overall loan exposure to financial companies, and their satellite funds, as turmoil continues on global markets.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Responsible Aborigines will be handed back control over how they spend their welfare money, as the Rudd government will move to soften the radical intervention into Northern Territory.

Ross Garnaut's final report will hold out hope that a higher carbon price could encourage so-called backstop technologies that could take much of the pain out of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Paid maternity leave must be generous enough to allow working mothers to stay home for the first six months of their babies' life, the Productivity Commission has told the Rudd Government.

Australian, US and Asian stock markets continued to tumble yesterday, dashing hopes the $US700 billion ($850 billion) Wall Street rescue package would end weeks of global financial turmoil.

Page 2: The Australian Workers Union (AWU) says workers made redundant by companies forced overseas by the move to emissions trading should be handed carbon permits worth about $65,000.

The chief of one of Victoria's main brown coal power stations has said the plant in its present form would be forced to close under the proposed emissions trading scheme.

Page 3: Cadbury products are the latest items to be pulled from the shelves amid fears of contamination from toxic Chinese milk.

The two top executives at Fairfax Media, David Kirk and Brian McCarthy - the architects of a program to cut 550 jobs - earned record pay for the year to June.

Page 7: Former directors and executives of building giant James Hardie issued inaccurate, misleading and deficient public announcements about the company's ability to compensate asbestos victims, the corporate regulator has claimed.

Business: World equities markets have cast doubt over the viability of the US government's $US700 billion rescue proposal as the worsening banking crisis threatened to overshadow the bailout.

Investors are relieved that Washington is trying to ease the financial crisis, but they are not persuaded it will mean an end to the bear market in stocks.

Russ Smyth made an uncommon promise when he became the $US950,000-a-year chief executive of H&R Block this summer. He agreed -- in advance -- to a pay cut if the tax-return preparer hit bad times.

Centro Properties Group won a three-month reprieve from its US and Australian bankers yesterday.

Futuris's new chief executive, Malcolm Jackman, says the global financial crisis may affect the price the agribusiness and car parts supplier will realise from the sale of non-core assets.

Supermarket giant Woolworths says it is well placed for growth and acquisitions but will face challenges due to the volatile global consumer market.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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