16/10/2008 - 06:56

Today's Business Headlines

16/10/2008 - 06:56

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Markets fret over Fed recession fears; WA growth to shrink: Buswell; Hundreds left angry as Opes Prime is wound up; No riding China's back: Rio; Banks urged to pass on cheaper borrowing costs

Today's Business Headlines

Markets fret over Fed recession fears
Fears that efforts to shore up the US financial system would fail to avoid a major downturn in the world's largest economy were stoked after a senior Federal Reserve official admitted the country had slid into recession. The Fin Review

WA growth to shrink: Buswell
Western Australia is set to revise down its economic growth forecasts amid mounting evidence that the twin drivers of the state's boom - commodities exports and business investment - will suffer due to the global economic turmoil, Treasurer Troy Buswell has revealed. The Fin Review

Hundreds left angry as Opes Prime is wound up
Collapsed stockbroker Opes Prime was yesterday put into liquidation, against the wishes of hundreds of angry investors who protested against delays that - because of the sharemarket collapse - have cost them more than $200 million. The Fin Review

No riding China's back: Rio
The nation's reliance on China to carry it through the impending global slowdown has been dealt a blow, with mining giant Rio Tinto saying it no longer expects the engine of Australia's resources boom to bounce back this year. The Australian

Banks urged to pass on cheaper borrowing costs
Banks are already under pressure to pass on to their customers all of next month's expected interest rate cut as evidence grows that the price they are paying for money on wholesale markets is falling. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Mining giant Rio Tinto has warned yesterday it may delay a $14.3 billion expansion of its Pilbara iron ore operations because it fears Chinese demand for raw materials will be hit harder by the global economic turmoil than the company previously expected.

Page 4: Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan are refusing to reveal the latest official economic forecasts that underpinned their $10.4 billion package to safeguard the country from the global financial meltdown, insisting voters and the opposition wait for their release next month.

Page 5: Banks are already under pressure to pass on to their customers all of next month's expected interest rate cut as evidence grows that the price they are paying for money on wholesale markets is falling.

Page 6: Three weeks after being elected on a platform of increased accountability, Colin Barnett has refused to instruct one of his key government departments to release crucial details about its role in the lead-up to the Varanus Island gas explosion.

Colin Barnett yesterday named North Head, 26km north of Beagle Bay, as his preferred site for the development of an LNG precinct in the Kimberley and revealed he would scrap the right of veto that had been promised to the traditional owners of the land by the former government.

Business: Rio Tinto could come under increasing pressure to engage with its hostile suitor, BHP Billiton, after saying yesterday it was likely to delay major growth projects and planned asset sales due to the weak market.

Wesfarmers might have to return to equity markets to help finance its five-year turnaround of Coles Group against a backdrop of soaring debt costs and falling coal prices, analysts warned yesterday.

Iluka Resources has defied the increasingly gloomy outlook for China's economic growth prospects, declaring yesterday it had noticed no drop-off in demand for its key product zircon, while the sudden slump in the value of the Australian dollar would help the Perth miner achieve a 150 per cent jump in full-year profit.

Paladin Energy managing director and major shareholder John Borshoff criticised sharemarket speculators yesterday for selling down his company after the release of its quarterly report, which he claims held nothing but good news.

Creditors of failed stock lender Opes Prime Stockbroking yesterday voted to liquidate the company but what they can salvage will largely depend on talks between the liquidator and ANZ Bank.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has moved to curb excessive pay packages for bank executives. A senior Federal Reserve official admits the US has slipped into a recession.

Fears that efforts to shore up the US financial system would fail to avoid a major downturn in the world's largest economy were stoked after a senior Federal Reserve official admitted the country had slid into recession.

The credit crunch has hit Australia's $100 million defence purchasing and maintenance program, forcing the federal government to review ways to bring forward some projects and keep as much work as possible in the country to stimulate domestic economic growth.

Page 3: Collapsed stockbroker Opes Prime was yesterday put into liquidation, against the wishes of hundreds of angry investors who protested against delays that - because of the sharemarket collapse - have cost them more than $200 million.

Page 4: Western Australia is set to revise down its economic growth forecasts amid mounting evidence that the twin drivers of the state's boom - commodities exports and business investment - will suffer due to the global economic turmoil, Treasurer Troy Buswell has revealed.

Page 5: The Australian Tax Office collected a record $271 billion from taxpayers in the past financial year, but its own budget cost blowouts led to a $127 million operating loss.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has ended years of uncertainty by nominating a preferred site for a gas processing precinct in the state's environmentally fragile Kimberley region.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stands accused of bank-bashing after vowing to penalise financial institutions that lavish executives with multi-million-dollar pay packages without requiring them to follow responsible investment packages.

The nation's reliance on China to carry it through the impending global slowdown has been dealt a blow, with mining giant Rio Tinto saying it no longer expects the engine of Australia's resources boom to bounce back this year.

Business: Rio Tinto's defence against BHP Billiton has been weakened by global market turmoil, with the target saying expansion may be delayed and a $US10 billion ($14.2 billion) asset-sales goal probably won't be reached this year.

About 1,200 investors in Opes Prime are nervously awaiting the outcome of mediation with the failed stockbroker's financiers after they voted yesterday to put the group into liquidation.

The federal government's proposed carbon trading scheme is a greater risk to business than the global financial crisis, according to senior executives in charge of one of Japan's biggest offshore capital investments.

Mining and oil stocks dragged on the Australian sharemarket yesterday amid fears that a global economic recession will dampen commodities demand.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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