20/10/2008 - 06:55

Today's Business Headlines

20/10/2008 - 06:55

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Rift in Lib-Nats power alliance; Juniors have missed funding boat: Forrest; PM's latest crisis cure: go local; Tax breaks to spur state spending; Government sympathetic to car industry's woes

Today's Business Headlines

Rift in Lib-Nats power alliance
The policy that underpinned the formation of the Liberal-Nationals government is unravelling after Colin Barnett revealed yesterday that the amount of money spent under the so-called royalties for regions program may be less than the Nationals promised voters before the election. The West

Juniors have missed funding boat: Forrest
Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Andrew Forrest has signalled that Chinese investment in WA's junior iron ore industry could be drying up, yesterday suggesting the current funding cycle "is clearly closed". The West

PM's latest crisis cure: go local
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is to fast-track up to $600 million in spending on small infrastructure projects such as local roads and bridges in a fresh bid to bolster economic activity and counter the global financial crisis. The Australian

Tax breaks to spur state spending
The federal government has moved to unlock $80 billion to fund critical projects by advancing plans to scrap a controversial tax on state government borrowings as part of its reforms to stabilise the financial markets. The Fin Review

Government sympathetic to car industry's woes
The federal government has indicated a "real commitment" to further support the car industry, citing evidence that the global financial turmoil has dried up banking credit to a sector that is braced for thousands of further job losses in coming years. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The policy that underpinned the formation of the Liberal-Nationals government is unravelling after Colin Barnett revealed yesterday that the amount of money spent under the so-called royalties for regions program may be less than the Nationals promised voters before the election.

The Rudd government decided to impose a $2.5 billion tax on condensate from the North West Shelf in full knowledge that it could "significantly" slash the profits and share prices of companies behind the joint venture, including WA gas supplier Woodside Petroleum.

Page 4: The controversial expansion of the Super Pit goldmine in Kalgoorlie is in limbo after revelations that formal environmental approval was not given by the former government.

Page 6: Economists are warning that 200,000 jobs in Australia may go by the end of next year as the global financial crisis takes hold.

The global financial crisis has given Kevin Rudd and Labor a dramatic political lift, with Australians overwhelmingly approving both the Prime Minister's handling of the situation and last week's $10.4 billion stimulus package.

Page 7: A price war in Australia's mortgage market is under way with National Australia Bank yesterday following ANZ and Aussie Home Loans in reducing its home loan interest rates.

Page 9: WA's organic food industry is booming, driven by a surge in the popularity of farmers' markets and growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly produce.

Page 19: Nationals leader Brendon Grylls ruled out yesterday using his position in the new state government to push for nuclear waste dumps in WA, saying the issue was not on his agenda for the next four years.

Business: Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Andrew Forrest has signalled that Chinese investment in WA's junior iron ore industry could be drying up, yesterday suggesting the current funding cycle "is clearly closed".

Investors will be combing through the full-year results from three of Australia's biggest banks over the next fortnight in search of more clues about the extent of the losses caused by the surge in credit rates and the weakening economy.

Wesfarmers is creating a new discount supermarket chain the replace the Coles Group's Bi-Lo discount stores which were decimated by a botched attempt at rebranding by the company's previous owners.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The federal government has moved to unlock $80 billion to fund critical projects by advancing plans to scrap a controversial tax on state government borrowings as part of its reforms to stabilise the financial markets.

Page 3: Unions will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to break into non-union workplaces under a secret Rudd government plan that will force employers to renegotiate old workplace agreements two years into the life of Labor's industrial relations system.

The federal government has indicated a "real commitment" to further support the car industry, citing evidence that the global financial turmoil has dried up banking credit to a sector that is braced for thousands of further job losses in coming years.

Page 5: National Australia Bank has become the second major lender to cut its variable mortgage interest rate in the wake of the government's support plan aimed at stabilising global credit markets.

Page 7: Major retailers have strongly criticised federal government proposals to change the Trade Practices Act to limit the anti-competitive effect of "creeping acquisitions".

Tensions are rising over plans for further strikes this week by some train drivers at the Pilbara iron ore operations of mining giant Rio Tinto.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is to fast-track up to $600 million in spending on small infrastructure projects such as local roads and bridges in a fresh bid to bolster economic activity and counter the global financial crisis.

The slowing world economy could help to cut back global emissions as factories close and car fleets stall, in a rare piece of good news amid the financial doom and gloom.

Page 2: NAB has held out the prospect of more cuts to its standard variable mortgage rate after yesterday's 20 basis point reduction.

Page 5: A national discount home loan provider has cut ties with an underworld financial adviser and alleged money launderer after it was revealed he was operating one of its suburban agencies.

World: US President George W Bush has announced plans to host a summit of world leaders to discuss the global response to the financial crisis.

Business: The federal government is poised to announce key details of its wholesale funding and deposit guarantees, including the fee paid by banks to "rent" the AAA-sovereign debt rating and measures to ease recent disruption to the bank bill market.

Investors of the Australian Securities Exchange will be searching for direction today, after mixed messages from world markets on Friday closed a week of record rises and falls.

Rupert Murdoch has warned of a prolonged global economic downturn flowing from the crisis in world credit markets but has joined billionaire investor Warren Buffet in saying that now is a good time to buy.

Australia could be in recession for the first time in 17 years by Christmas, Goldman Sachs JBWere has warned.

A global downturn in one or two years could be fatal for small oil and gas companies trying to secure finance for projects, but the bigger players would weather the storm, according to the head of the world's petroleum engineers association.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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