22/10/2008 - 06:52

Today's Business Headlines

22/10/2008 - 06:52

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Global disaster averted: Reserve; Swan puts price on deposit guarantee; Market split as short ban lengthened; Lender homes in on Wizard; NAB warns of more pain before gain

Global disaster averted: Reserve
The world was likely to avoid an economic catastrophe, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens declared yesterday, as the sharemarket jumped almost 4 per cent on expectations that the US government would initiate extra spending to shire up the country's ailing economy. The West

Swan puts price on deposit guarantee
The Rudd government is planning to amend its $700 billion deposit guarantee to force big investors to pay a fee to gain coverage, as industry urged immediate government action to stop a run of redemptions from trusts and funds. The Fin Review

Market split as short ban lengthened
Australia's corporate watchdog has polarised the investment community by extending the ban on short selling all stocks until next month, while the ban on financial services stocks now lasts until late January. The Australian

Lender homes in on Wizard
National Australia Bank is believed to be days away from buying one of the country's biggest non-bank lenders, the struggling Wizard Home Loans, after Wizard was put up for sale in late May by GE Money, a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange-listed giant General Electric. The Australian

NAB warns of more pain before gain
National Australia Bank has warned that the global credit crunch will act as a drag on revenue growth in the banking sector amid difficult economic conditions in the next few years. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The world was likely to avoid an economic catastrophe, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens declared yesterday, as the sharemarket jumped almost 4 per cent on expectations that the US government would initiate extra spending to shire up the country's ailing economy.

Page 4: The axe is hanging over nearly $700 million worth of spending on projects in regional areas as a result of the stand-off between Colin Barnett and Nationals leader Brendon Grylls over the royalties for regions policy, the opposition claimed yesterday.

Page 5: The lives of hundreds of heroin addicts who depend on naltrexone to kick their habit could be at risk because health authorities are threatening to block the manufacture of vital implants, a Perth doctor has warned.

Page 6: The Rudd government is scrambling to revamp its unqualified promise to underwrite all bank deposits amid concerns it had distorted financial markets and was encouraging investors to withdraw their money from institutions excluded from the guarantee.

Page 7: The federal government has foreshadowed a cut in the migration intake, including skilled workers on temporary visas, in response to the expected increase in unemployment as the economy slows.

Page 11: The previous government was warned of a litany of problems in the Department of Industry and Resources at least nine months before the Varanus Island gas explosion, which wiped out 30 per cent of the state's gas supply.

Business: National Australia Bank has warned any recovery in "dysfunctional global banking markets" could be as much as three years away, with recession looming for most Western economies.

Amcom Telecommunications has blamed the sharemarket meltdown for its failure to buy out erstwhile controlling shareholder Futuris Corp, after other stakeholders yesterday blocked the $20 million proposal.

Another 67 high-profile clients of Opes Prime Stockbroking have lined up to take a swipe at the collapsed broker and financier ANZ, seeking more than $150 million in compensation for what they claim was "misrepresentation and breach of trust".

The crisis consuming global markets is part of a fundamental shift in power from the US to emerging economies in China and the Middle East, according the chairman of one of the world's biggest banks HSBC.

A year after Xstrata paid $3.1 billion to take out Jubilee Mines at what now looks like the top of the price cycle, analysts say the sector is once more poised for a wave of consolidation.

Henderson shipbuilder Austal could find out before the end of the year if it has been awarded lucrative US defence force contracts that could bring it $5 billion in revenue, shareholders were told at yesterday's annual meeting.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Rudd government is planning to amend its $700 billion deposit guarantee to force big investors to pay a fee to gain coverage, as industry urged immediate government action to stop a run of redemptions from trusts and funds.

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens has expressed confidence the worst of the global financial crisis has passed, saying steps taken in recent weeks by regulators had succeeded in averting a catastrophe.

National Australia Bank has warned that the global credit crunch will act as a drag on revenue growth in the banking sector amid difficult economic conditions in the next few years.

Page 3: The federal government will consider cutting its migrant intake as it prepares for a spike in unemployment.

Hedge funds are bracing for a wave of redemptions and the closure of smaller funds after the corporate regulator extended a month-long ban preventing short selling on the sharemarket.

Page 5: Unions could inspect pay and time records of staff who are not union members under proposals being considered by the Rudd government.

Page 15: West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell has called on Premier Colin Barnett and Nationals leader Brendon Grylls to urgently sort out their differences over a regional funding deal worth up to $700 million a year, so he can frame a mid-year budget at a time of rising economic uncertainty.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The government has back-flipped on its free unlimited bank deposit guarantee after it emerged that Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens gave advice to impose a fee for large sums to avoid distortions to the financial markets.

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has declared Labor's ambitious fiscal stimulus of direct cash payments should help the Australian economy survive the current global turmoil.

Page 2: Australia is running out of time to ease the strain on the nursing workforce.

Page 3: Beleaguered child care group ABC Learning has failed in a desperate approach to the federal government for funds as it attempts to prop its 1,100-centre network.

World: John McCain has no room for error in the final 14 days of the US presidential race.

Business: Australia's corporate watchdog has polarised the investment community by extending the ban on short selling all stocks until next month, while the ban on financial services stocks now lasts until late January.

Australia will not sink as low as the early-1990s economic downturn this time, and bad debts should also be lower, National Australia Bank's top two executives say.

National Australia Bank is believed to be days away from buying one of the country's biggest non-bank lenders, the struggling Wizard Home Loans, after Wizard was put up for sale in late May by GE Money, a subsidiary of New York Stock Exchange-listed giant General Electric.

Struggling financial engineering group Allco Finance is at the risk of collapsing after calling off a schedule of asset sales designed to help keep it from its creditors' hands.

Retail giant Woolworths is continuing to outperform arch-rival Coles, posting an 8.3 per cent rise in sales from its key Australian food and liquor division for the first quarter, more than three times the rate of its Wesfarmers-owned rival.

With zinc prices continuing to plummet, OZ Minerals says there could be further cuts to existing production and delays to the planned Dugald River mine.

Uranium One, which agreed to sell a stake in its Australian deposits to Mitsui last week, says the cost of its Honeymoon project will rise, with the mine put on hold pending the search for a partner.

Businesses have warned the federal government to avoid further delays in introducing the national high-speed broadband network, saying the investment was urgently needed to improve productivity.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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