02/10/2008 - 06:42

Today's Business Headlines

02/10/2008 - 06:42

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Shares bounce back as US rescue hopes rise; BHP-Rio nod sparks stock rally; Inpex set out to avoid regulation: land council; CBA pounces on BankWest with low-ball offer; Breakthrough on national consumer laws

Shares bounce back as US rescue hopes rise
The Australian sharemarket yesterday clawed back almost all of Tuesday's losses as investors laid yet another round of bets US lawmakers would pass the $US700 billion rescue package, perhaps as early as tomorrow. The West

BHP-Rio nod sparks stock rally
A green light for BHP Billiton's $400 billion merger with rival miner Rio Tinto, and the prospect of a quick passage of the bailout of the US financial system, breathes life back into battered global stock markets. The Australian

Inpex set out to avoid regulation: land council
The Kimberley Land Council has launched a stinging attack on Japanese gas company Inpex, accusing it of trying to avoid environmental and native title regulation with its decision to build its $25 billion project in the Northern Territory and not WA. The West

CBA pounces on BankWest with low-ball offer
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has made an opportunistic offer for BankWest, seeking to capitalise on turmoil surrounding its British parent HBOS. The Fin Review

Breakthrough on national consumer laws
Federal and state lenders are today set to endorse a new system of national regulation for consumer protection and credit regulation as well as a blueprint for consistent rules on public-private partnership developments. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The giant WA iron ore operations run by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are a step closer to being controlled by a single company after Australia's competition watchdog ruled yesterday that it would not block BHP's $160 billion hostile takeover bid.

The Australian sharemarket yesterday clawed back almost all of Tuesday's losses as investors laid yet another round of bets US lawmakers would pass the $US700 billion rescue package, perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Page 5: Perth Mint has hired more staff and added a third shift to its factory roster to keep up with the demand for gold coins as volatile markets send investors scrambling to buy into the perceived safe haven.

Malcolm Turnbull has been savaged by his old friends in the banking sector after he said the banks were rolling in money and could well afford to pass on in full any interest rates cut delivered by the Reserve Bank next week.

Page 6: The Kimberley Land Council has launched a stinging attack on Japanese gas company Inpex, accusing it of trying to avoid environmental and native title regulation with its decision to build its $25 billion project in the Northern Territory and not WA.

The WA Industrial Relations Commission will hold a five-day inquiry into the construction union to determine if nearly a third of its members can vote in a coming election.

Page 12: UnionsWA called on Colin Barnett yesterday to seek $160 million in compensation from the federal government at the COAG meeting today for the increased cost of running the state under an emissions trading scheme.

Business: Analysts warned the rally enjoyed by beaten-down banking stocks yesterday would be short-lived among mounting fears over yet another wave of write-downs for Australia's hardest-hit lenders.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's clearance o BHP Billiton's $160 billion bid for Rio Tinto was only announced yesterday although it is hard to escape the feeling the regulator made up its mind weeks ago.

Cape Lambert Iron Ore last night finalised its controversial buy-in into a hematite project in Sierra Leone controlled by entrepreneur Frank Timis' company African Minerals.

Toro Energy will brave the sharemarket turmoil to attempt a $26 million capital raising via a renounceable rights issue, backed up by a 46 per cent commitment from its major shareholder OZ Minerals.

Long-serving CBH chief executive Imre Mencshelyi will retire from the post next year, ending 42 years with the bulk grain handler.

Lend Lease Corp has scuppered plans by retirement village owner Prime Trust to grab control of rival Babcock & Brown Communities after striking a $236.8 million deal that will hand the property giant effective control of the target.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Commonwealth Bank of Australia has made an opportunistic offer for BankWest, seeking to capitalise on turmoil surrounding its British parent HBOS.

The US Senate is poised to back a revised $US700 billion ($840 billion) bank rescue plan after a series of concessions to placate politicians angered by the cost of the taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street.

Federal and state lenders are today set to endorse a new system of national regulation for consumer protection and credit regulation as well as a blueprint for consistent rules on public-private partnership developments.

Page 3: WA Premier Colin Barnett's threat to slug mining giant BHP Billiton with an extra $300 million in annual royalty charges if it succeeds in its takeover bid for Rio Tinto appears to have been undermined by advice from his own government's resources department.

Page 4: Jobs growth in manufacturing may be close to reversing as the economic slowdown and credit market turmoil weigh on activity.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: A green light for BHP Billiton's $400 billion merger with rival miner Rio Tinto, and the prospect of a quick passage of the bailout of the US financial system, breathes life back into battered global stock markets.

Financial turmoil will strip more than $10 billion from the Rudd Government's budget surplus next year and has thrown budget planning at federal and state levels into disarray.

Page 2: Ex-Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser and Peter Costello's own party contradict the former treasurer's claim the Howard government never encouraged people to pump extra money into their superannuation.

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating has urged that Australian banks should have access to the nation's $1 trillion superannuation funds to lend money for triple-A-rated mortgages, to allow banks to escape the gridlock of world credit markets.

Page 3: ABC Learning will be hauled before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission over staffing cuts.

World: The US Senate will vote on a revised $US700 billion Wall Street bailout this morning.

Business: Global equities rebounded strongly yesterday after Tuesday's bloodbath, but investors are sceptical the Washington bailout package will reactivate markets and prove to be the stabilising force the troubled world financial system desperately needs.

Suncorp has dumped a $1.2 billion portfolio of local and international equities, taking an estimated loss of $60 million on the sale as part of a plan to reduce its capital requirements and release capital.

In so comprehensively clearing BHP Billiton's $US120 billion ($150 billion) takeover offer for global minerals rival Rio Tinto, Graeme Samuel has thrust the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to the very heart of Europe's pretentious and ludicrously long-winded review of the legal sustainability of the merger plan.

House prices in the US continue to fall at record rates, raising concerns that a new version of the $US700 billion ($875 billion) Wall Street bailout package to go before Congress this morning will provide only fleeting relief to the world's deeply troubled credit markets.

Europe's four biggest economic powers -- France, Britain, Germany and Italy -- will meet on Saturday in Paris for talks on the global financial crisis, Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker says.

Former Treasurer Peter Costello drew fire from financial planners and political foes alike yesterday. He was called heartless and impulsive for trying to blame advisers for over-enthusiastically directing clients into superannuation investments that have crashed horribly since last year.

Harvey Norman boss Gerry Harvey has indicated cuts to the company's total advertising and marketing budget may be as high as $60 million a year -- potentially having a major impact on the already struggling media ad market.

Fears of further write-downs on ANZ's conduit portfolio pitched the bank below its peers in trading, after raising more than $1 billion from institutions.

Australian wine grape growers are being crushed between severely reduced irrigation allocations and an oversupply of grapes.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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