18/11/2008 - 06:55

Today's Business Headlines

18/11/2008 - 06:55

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Resource state lifts its ban on uranium mines; Lion Nathan's $8bn bid fails to impress Coca-Cola; BHP under fire as market tips deeper ore price cuts; Japan recession hits markets; Labor's $2bn bid to save car yards

Today's Business Headlines

Resource state lifts its ban on uranium mines
The West Australian Government has formally lifted the state's controversial ban on uranium mining and sought legal advice on overturning an exclusion clause written into 1475 existing mining leases issued since 2002. The Australian

Lion Nathan's $8bn bid fails to impress Coca-Cola
Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Company is proving a stumbling block to Kirin Holding's plans to become the dominant player in Australia's food and beverages industry after the US multinational rejected an $8 billion takeover bid by Lion Nathan for local bottler Coca-Cola Amatil. The Fin Review

BHP under fire as market tips deeper ore price cuts
The negative sentiment sweeping through the iron ore sector gained momentum yesterday, with analysts delivering their most bearish outlook for prices yet, as BHP Billiton continued to defend its decision to keep investors in the dark over a potential $US600 million ($917 million) shortfall in first-half sales. The West

Japan recession hits markets
Australia's prospects of withstanding the global downturn suffered another blow yesterday when Japan slipped into recession for the first time since 2001, putting the world's industrialised economies on track for the first simultaneous contraction since World War II. The Fin Review

Labor's $2bn bid to save car yards
Car dealers facing closure because of a credit drought sparked by the global financial crisis could be underwritten by a $2 billion Rudd Government-sponsored debt guarantee. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: Local councils would not be given carte blanche to take over the childcare centres of the failed ABC Learning, federal Education Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday.

Page 4: Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore declared a conflict on interest yesterday when Cabinet officially lifted the Labor government's ban on uranium mining, though he stayed for the discussion despite his wife holding shares in mining giant BHP Billiton, which has rights over extensive uranium deposits in WA.

Page 6: The failure of the nation's major banks to pass on in full recent cuts in official interest rates is costing average mortgage holders about $140 extra a month in home loan repayments.

Kevin Rudd will hand the nation's mayors and shire presidents a cheque for $300 million, urging them to build swimming pools, playgrounds and gardens in a desperate bid to keep the Australian economy out of recession.

Page 7: There are growing signs that WA's chronic labour shortage is easing, with the peak building body claiming a downturn has prompted tradesmen to chase builders for work for the first time in several years.

Page 9: Employers are worried that union swill abuse inspection of workers' records under federal workplace reforms by using the information for recruitment.

Page 17: Growers predict cheaper WA cherries this Christmas as the industry recovers from last year's dismal season.

Page 18: The owner of WA's longest gas pipeline has warned that government moves to use lower quality, more corrosive gas could threaten the safety and financial viability of its operations.

The federal petrol commissioner is satisfied that big oil companies has passed on the bulk of the falls in international oil prices to motorists, although he expects further minor falls in petrol prices in coming days.

Business: The negative sentiment sweeping through the iron ore sector gained momentum yesterday, with analysts delivering their most bearish outlook for prices yet, as BHP Billiton continued to defend its decision to keep investors in the dark over a potential $US600 million ($917 million) shortfall in first-half sales.

Chinese steel mills are considering injecting cash into Fortescue Metals Group in exchange for a sizeable stake in the WA iron ore miner.

WA's uranium players have received a twin boost after a proposed $C579 million ($727.17 million) merger between two Canadian companies fuelled hopes of a sector re-rating and the state government formally lifted a ban on uranium mining.

Former Pyramid chief Bill Farrow and one-time America's Cup skipper John Bertrand plan to sell their media business into a stock exchange-listed corporate shell on a $10 million deal.

Lion Nathan could face an uphill struggle to get its takeover bid for Coca-Cola Amatil past its US parent, with both it and The Coca-Cola Company dismissing the brewer's $8 billion offer as "materially deficient" and laden with too many conditions.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Company is proving a stumbling block to Kirin Holding's plans to become the dominant player in Australia's food and beverages industry after the US multinational rejected an $8 billion takeover bid by Lion Nathan for local bottler Coca-Cola Amatil.

Australia's prospects of withstanding the global downturn suffered another blow yesterday when Japan slipped into recession for the first time since 2001, putting the world's industrialised economies on track for the first simultaneous contraction since World War II.

Local governments will have seven months to spend $300 million in federal cash under a Rudd government plan to shore up economic growth while it also tries to head off expectations of a more substantial fiscal stimulus package next year.

Page 7: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said uranium mines might be operating in his state within three to five years after his government yesterday lifted a six-year mining ban on yellowcake.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 2: The NSW corruption watchdog will examine allegations the state Labor Government helped militant unions gain illegal access to the site of Sydney's proposed $1.8 billion desalination plant.

Ten Network executive chairman Nick Falloon has become the latest executive to earn a massive salary hike despite a plummeting share price, earning a $2.4 million boost to his full year package.

Australia will accelerate free trade negotiations with China in a bid to gain better access to key services sectors and to stimulate the economy through trade.

Veteran construction union boss Kevin Reynolds appeared to be slightly ahead of his former protégé Darren Kavanagh in a fierce election contest for union control in Western Australia.

Page 3: ABC Learning has admitted clerical staff are caring for children, as the owner of 15 of the collapsed childcare giant's centres threatens to shut them down before Christmas.

Page 4: The West Australian Government has formally lifted the state's controversial ban on uranium mining and sought legal advice on overturning an exclusion clause written into 1475 existing mining leases issued since 2002.

The global financial crisis showed how foolish the Rudd Government would be to base its climate change response on economic forecasts for the coming century, academic and Reserve Bank board director Warwick McKibbin said yesterday.

Page 5: Inland rail link proponent Everald Compton has attacked the Howard government for setting the Adelaide-Darwin railway up for failure, as he attempts to take it over by making a bid to combine it with his own ambitious project.

Health fund membership has defied economic gravity and the Medicare levy surcharge controversy, continuing to rise in the September quarter and reaching its highest levels in seven years.

Business: Brewer Lion Nathan's bold $8 billion play to overtake Foster's as Australia's biggest beverage company with a cash and scrip bid for Coca-Cola Amatil faced immediate opposition from the target and its key shareholder yesterday.

St George chief executive Paul Fegan has walked away from the bank with a $4 million payout, opting not to take a secondary position at the merged Westpac mega-bank.

Japan is officially in recession for the first time in seven years and most market economists are forecasting it will not return to growth before March.

It's been a tough, grinding and generally fruitless year for the masters of the universe who run the mergers and acquisition deals that can bring millions in fees for investment banks.

The pressing need for companies to raise capital to repair their balance sheets is causing corporate governance to take a back seat to expediency.

OneSteel has joined the industry chorus predicting a tough 2009, as it flags production cuts to its iron ore arm to reflect the expected downturn in Australia's steel demand.

Speculation has resurfaced that sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp is looking to buy into iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith earned $13 million in the past year despite the bank's share price halving, bad debts soaring and hundreds of staff due to be sacked.

Asciano shares were savaged for the second time in a week yesterday after JPMorgan downgraded its earnings and distributions forecasts for the infrastructure giant.

Hit by falling demand for building and construction and with a debt-heavy balance sheet, conglomerate CSR has joined the raft of companies chasing equity funding, with plans to raise $482 million.

Qantas has launched a two-for-one ticket sale and even has people handing out pamphlets as it moves to stimulate demand for international travel.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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