Today's Business Headlines

11/11/2008 - 06:49

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Investors rush to pour $3bn into NAB; 'Green car' drive in Rudd's industry rescue; Community bars bureaucrats to protest Beagle Bay gas plan; Liberty chairman quits uranium hopeful over self-interest issues; World buoyed by surprise stimulus package

Today's Business Headlines

Investors rush to pour $3bn into NAB
National Australia Bank is expected to be followed by at least one of its major rivals in directly tapping shareholders for money to strengthen their balance sheets, after it successfully raised $3 billion of new capital yesterday - $1 billion more than originally though possible. The West

'Green car' drive in Rudd's industry rescue
The Rudd Government has promised the big car companies will make major ''green car'' investments in Australia as a result of a new automotive industry assistance package worth a total of $6.2 billion over the next 13 years. The Australian

Community bars bureaucrats to protest Beagle Bay gas plan
The battle over Colin Barnett's push to make North Head, north of Beagle Bay, the site for the state's gas hub has started with local Aboriginals yesterday setting up a roadblock to stop bureaucrats entering the community to discuss the plan. The West

Liberty chairman quits uranium hopeful over self-interest issues
Fledgling uranium hopeful Liberty Resources is without a chairman after corporate lawyer Neil Fearis quit the company over claims its new directors were driving their own agenda at the expense of minor shareholders. The West

World buoyed by surprise stimulus package
China has flexed its economic muscle in the face of the global financial crisis, unveiling an $855 billion economic stimulus package that is expected to buoy flagging demand for Australian coal and iron ore. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The Reserve Bank has slashed its economic growth forecasts and warned of a sharp spike in unemployment in a bleak assessment which yesterday prompted financial markets to predict that interest rates would fall another 1.5 percentage points over the next three months.

Page 3: The battle over Colin Barnett's push to make North Head, north of Beagle Bay, the site for the state's gas hub has started with local Aboriginals yesterday setting up a roadblock to stop bureaucrats entering the community to discuss the plan.

Mining giant Fortescue Metals Group, whose chief executive Andrew Forrest has been heralded as a saviour of remote Aboriginal communities through an ambitious employment plan, is threatening to sue a local Aboriginal group after they stopped the company from dredging part of Port Hedland harbour.

Page 4: China's slowing economy has forced Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group to slash iron ore production by 10 per cent as the steel-making material piles higher on Chinese wharves.

China has announced a four trillion yuan ($865.5 billion) stimulus package in its biggest move to stop the global financial crisis from hitting the world's fourth-biggest economy.

Page 5: The federal government has thrown a $6.2 billion taxpayer-funded lifeline to the struggling local car-making industry. But its package is at risk of being swamped by the severe financial stress being experienced by Ford and Holden's US parent companies.

Car retailers have been rocked by a slump in sales to "mum and dad" buyers, forcing dealers to resort to huge discounts and incentives to stimulate business.

Page 6: The push for urgent shield laws to protect WA journalists against being jailed for refusing to reveal their sources has been reignited by a Supreme Court ruling against The West Australian and one of its reporters.

Page 7: Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi's business empire is embroiled in another lawsuit, with one of her property development companies being sued for about $1 million by an investor in the family's Barrack Street hotel.

Business: National Australia Bank is expected to be followed by at least one of its major rivals in directly tapping shareholders for money to strengthen their balance sheets, after it successfully raised $3 billion of new capital yesterday - $1 billion more than originally though possible.

Fledgling uranium hopeful Liberty Resources is without a chairman after corporate lawyer Neil Fearis quit the company over claims its new directors were driving their own agenda at the expense of minor shareholders.

Orica expects profit to grow in 2009, bolstered by steady demand from coal miners, defying cutbacks in other mining sectors.

The pay deal for Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo, including perks such as generous personal travel and home-security services, is set to grab shareholder attention next week.

Texan oil millionaire Malone Mitchell has increased his stake in Perth junior Incremental Petroleum to 11.3 per cent, just over two weeks before he is due to launch his bidder's statement for the $84 million-rated target.

Kerry Stokes has rejected comparisons of the Seven Media Group with its struggling counterpart PBL Media, assuring shareholders there was no danger that the listed Seven Network could be asked to stump up more capital for its private- equity media joint venture in an advertising recession.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: China has joined the global bid to revive the world economy with a massive 4 trillion yuan ($870 billion) spending package aimed at bolstering growth and maintaining social order, as key export markets in the US and Europe slide into recession.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has warned that the economy will slow sharply in the coming months, reinforcing the case for more substantial official interest rate cuts as it attempts to cushion the nation from the worst of the global downturn.

The federal government has told the financially stressed car industry that access to to its new 13-year, $6.2 billion industry plan will depend on whether the car and component makers are prepared to invest about $16 billion over the same time.

National Australia Bank has jumped ahead of rivals in the race by banks to shore up their balance sheets, by raising $3 billion through a placement of shares to institutional investors.

Page 3: The Australian Taxation Office has stepped up its surveillance of business, warning about 1,200 companies and their tax agents that their affairs will be reviewed.

Page 7: Corporate doctors have predicted a three-year boom in work after the number of companies entering administration hit its highest level in a decade.

The mining sector says red tape, rather than a lack of funding, is hampering the expansion of export infrastructure needed to ensure the country rebuilds its share of global commodity markets.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: China has flexed its economic muscle in the face of the global financial crisis, unveiling an $855 billion economic stimulus package that is expected to buoy flagging demand for Australian coal and iron ore.

The Rudd Government has promised the big car companies will make major ''green car'' investments in Australia as a result of a new automotive industry assistance package worth a total of $6.2 billion over the next 13 years.

Page 2: ABC Learning may be understaffing its childcare centres, the crippled company's recruitment agency claimed yesterday.

Phil Gardner has been appointed editor-in-chief of the Herald & Weekly Times newspaper group in Melbourne.

Page 4: Australian employers will soon be forced to pay market wages to overseas workers arriving on 457 temporary work visas, according to a top trade union official.

Page 5: Car companies and component makers believe the Rudd Government's $6.2 billion assistance package will help safeguard the future of the automotive industry in Australia.

Business: Australia's three biggest miners -- Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group -- have been forced to slash or flag cuts to Pilbara iron ore exports as slowing growth in China bites deeper into the local economy.

Rio Tinto's resolve to cut Pilbara iron ore production is another crystal clear indication of the insidious creep of the global financial crisis into our real economy.

China has unveiled an economic stimulus program it bills as totalling $US586 billion ($855 billion), aiming to bolster domestic demand and help avert a global recession.
National Australia Bank has stabilised its credit rating and established the sector's strongest capital buffer with an underwritten, $3 billion institutional placement to pursue ''organic growth''.

The big five banks lost access to world capital markets last month and the Reserve Bank's business liaison program suggests the banks are passing the pressure on to the corporate sector.

Explosives maker Orica has delivered a record full-year result and flagged an eighth straight year of earnings growth based on a belief that Chinese commodities demand will stay strong.

Struggling investment house Babcock & Brown has admitted it will have to take a write-down, as asset values continue to fall and its banks force it to sell some.

Falling values have forced Centro to accept even lower offers for two -- and possibly three -- shopping centres ahead of the group's December 15 debt repayment deadline.

Advertising in traditional media will contract by 3-5 per cent next year with overall spending flat, propped up by the growth in internet advertising, new forecasts predict.

Australian shares and the dollar climbed yesterday after China's massive rescue package overshadowed a woeful economic outlook from the Reserve Bank.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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