04/11/2008 - 06:48

Today's Business Headlines

04/11/2008 - 06:48

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Delay carbon plan, warns RBA director; Hundreds of jobs go as crisis hits miners; Stamp duty slump hits state budgets; Housing, retail downturn boost case for rate cut; China demand slowing, admits Rio

Today's Business Headlines

Delay carbon plan, warns RBA director
Reserve Bank Board member and respected climate change economist Warwick McKibbin is urging Kevin Rudd to abandon his ambition to start an emissions trading scheme in 2010, saying he should wait to see what carbon commitments other countries will make at a crucial world climate change conference next year. The West

Hundreds of jobs go as crisis hits miners
Just a few months after crying out for more workers to help meet the world's insatiable demand for resources, the WA mining industry revealed yesterday that a further 260 jobs have been axed across three sites in response to the global financial crisis. The West

Stamp duty slump hits state budgets
State treasurers will be forced to revise their spending programs due to a shortfall of up to $2 billion in property taxes in the 2008-09 financial year, as the economy slows and global financial crisis takes its toll. The Fin Review

Housing, retail downturn boost case for rate cut
The Reserve Bank of Australia has been presented with a stronger case to exceed market expectations and deliver a deeper interest rate cut today as evidence mounts that the global downturn is taking an increasingly heavy toll on household spending and business activity. The Fin Review

China demand slowing, admits Rio
Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese says Chinese commodities demand has continued to fall over the fourth quarter and the Asian powerhouse might not emerge from its current slump until the second half of 2009. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Reserve Bank Board member and respected climate change economist Warwick McKibbin is urging Kevin Rudd to abandon his ambition to start an emissions trading scheme in 2010, saying he should wait to see what carbon commitments other countries will make at a crucial world climate change conference next year.

Just a few months after crying out for more workers to help meet the world's insatiable demand for resources, the WA mining industry revealed yesterday that a further 260 jobs have been axed across three sites in response to the global financial crisis.

Page 3: Ratepayers in the hills and eastern suburbs will pay $130,000 to send 10 people, including seven councillors, to Venice for two weeks for an energy and waste management forum.

Page 4: Treasurer Troy Buswell warned yesterday there was little chance the state would reach the $1.855 billion surplus forecast in the May budget after monthly finance figures for July and August showed a fall of $255 million in the government operating surplus compared to the same time last year.

The state government faces a parliamentary inquiry into the controversial royalties for regions policy, with the Greens and Labor likely to join forces to push the matter before an upper house committee.

Page 5: State school teachers have squeezed even bigger pay rises out of the Liberals-Nationals government than those offered by the Carpenter government, with most standing to reap increases of 20 per cent over three years.

Page 6: Official interest rates are set to be slashed by up to 0.75 percentage points today as further signs emerge of the slowdown in the Australian economy.

Perth house prices fell another 1.1 per cent in the past three months but real estate experts believe an end may be in sight to the year-long slump in the property market.

Page 11: Environment Minister Donna Faragher has a conflict of interest which bars her from dealing with one of the most important aspects of her portfolio because her husband works for LNG giant Woodside.

Page 12: The lawyer who led the $30 million class action against Esso after the Longford gas plant explosion in Victoria is seeking to bring a similar High Court damages claim against US giant Apache Energy over the Varanus Island gas blast.

Business: China Inc has taken an iron grip on WA's Mid West after swooping on Mt Gibson Iron and Gindalbie Metals as the market meltdown ravaging iron ore players left the companies scrambling for cash.

Incoming Qantas Airways chief executive Alan Joyce could earn as much as $2.71 million in additional annual income from a cash and share-based incentive scheme, the airline said yesterday.

Travel agent Flight Centre says losses incurred by its US travel business, Liberty Travel, will pull down first-half earnings and make it hard to achieve its targeted full-year pre-tax profit growth.

Automotive Holdings Group has secured the support of its vehicle financiers to cover for major lender GMAC Australia, which is set to quit the market by the end of next month.

Gindalbie Metals chairman George Jones said last night its Chinese joint venture partner, Anshan Iron & Steel Group, wanted to "accelerate" development of their $1.8 billion Karara magnetite project, in what is set to serve as a big boost to the embattled Mid West iron ore region.

Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said yesterday the economic slowdown in China, the nation that buys 17 per cent of the company's production, was quickening and demand would not rebound until next year.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: State treasurers will be forced to revise their spending programs due to a shortfall of up to $2 billion in property taxes in the 2008-09 financial year, as the economy slows and global financial crisis takes its toll.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has been presented with a stronger case to exceed market expectations and deliver a deeper interest rate cut today as evidence mounts that the global downturn is taking an increasingly heavy toll on household spending and business activity.

Page 4: Forced sales and mortgage stress have pushed housing prices into their steepest quarterly fall in three decades.

Page 5: Credit ratings agencies might need Australian financial services licences as the federal government prepares to release a review of the industry amid concerns about the quality of ratings provides on structured financial products.

Page 6: Large businesses including Stockland, Centennial Coal, Westfield and Baulderstone Hornibrook have urged the federal government to ensure its plans for national workplace safety laws includes limits on employer obligations to those who have direct control over the shop floor.

Page 8: Australia failed to anticipate the boom in China's economy and must ensure it does not make the same mistake with India, says resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson.

Page 15: Chinese steel makers have come to the rescue of Australian junior iron ore players, securing equity in return for desperately needed finance to keep mining operations and development projects on track.

The European Competition Commission is expected to release its statement of objections to BHP Billiton's takeover of Rio Tinto this week.

Page 16: After two years of significant growth, Flight Centre has warned pre-tax profits will be down in financial year 2009 as the global economic slowdown keeps travellers at home.

Page 17: The slump in the Australian dollar has sliced $300 million out of Caltex Australia's full-year pre-tax earnings, with half that loss coming in one month alone.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The biggest fall in house prices in 30 years and manufacturing output dropping to recession levels will leave the Reserve Bank board with no alternative but to cut interest rates again today.

The NBC/Mason Dixon poll indicates surprisingly tight races across all eight key battle ground states in the US presidential elections.

Page 2: Immigration Minister Chris Evans, who last month anticipated a cut in Australia's immigration intake as a result of the global economic downturn, has been urged by West Australian business leaders to resist any such move.

Page 4: Taxpayers would help fund infrastructure for pulp mills, and tax breaks would be offered for long-term plantations under proposals to secure the future of the nation's timber industry.

Trade unions want the Rudd Government to speed up the introduction of new industrial relations laws to protect workers from dismissal by employers cutting jobs to cope with the global financial crisis.

The ACTU leadership is using the threat of strikes at Telstra to try to pressure the Rudd Government into legislating for an independent umpire with teeth.

The International Monetary Fund has told central banks to cut interest rates aggressively to stop housing prices from falling too far.

Page 7: Teachers in Western Australia have been offered pay rises of up to 24.4 per cent over three years in an attempt by the Barnett Government to end a year-long dispute that severely damaged the former government.

Business: Two Chinese steel traders have swooped on Mount Gibson Iron, taking a potential 40 per cent stake in the miner, after three other Chinese customers defaulted on iron ore purchase agreements, forcing the Perth company to slash a third of its workforce.

Caltex records losses as falls in the dollar and the crude oil wipe $200 million off its full-year profit outlook.

The Australian share market faces increased volatility this week. Telstra is building a home-grown search engine.

Telstra has finally capitulated in its $100 million bid to build a home-grown search engine, announcing its Sensis division is joining forces with Google to provide search and advertising.

Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese says Chinese commodities demand has continued to fall over the fourth quarter and the Asian powerhouse might not emerge from its current slump until the second half of 2009.

European regulators may threaten to stop the proposed takeover of Rio Tinto by BHP Billiton because of the dominance the pair have over the world's supply of iron ore.

The two private equity firms involved in a $3 billion takeover bid for trans-Tasman media group APN News & Media less than 18 months ago appear to be out of the running in the latest jockeying over the group.

One of the names most associated with the avaricious financial engineering models torched by the global credit crisis has departed the stage, with Californian Jim Babcock quitting the company that bears his name.

Australian shares surged more than 5 per cent yesterday after a barrage of bad economic news boosted chances of a deep rate cut tomorrow.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options