25/11/2008 - 07:00

Today's Business Headlines

25/11/2008 - 07:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

US forced to save Citigroup; Unions regain power to bargain; Babcock deal fails as execs resign; Time to strike for rights, say unions; Scarborough gets nod for 12 storeys

Today's Business Headlines

US forced to save Citigroup
The US government has taken the unprecedented step of guaranteeing $US306 billion of troubled mortgage assets held by Citigroup to try to shore up confidence in one of its key financial institutions. The Fin Review

Unions regain power to bargain
A radical overhaul of workplace laws, to be unveiled by the Rudd government today, will propose a vastly increased role for unions, venturing far beyond the policy Labor took to the election a year ago. The Australian

Babcock deal fails as execs resign
The deal to rescue Babcock & Brown and renew debt covenants is failing, amid fear the investment group could topple before the end of the week. The Australian

Time to strike for rights, say unions
Construction union boss Kevin Reynolds has delivered on his threat to plunge the state into a new round of union militancy by calling on WA workers to join a national strike protesting against the draconian powers of the building industry watchdog. The West

Scarborough gets nod for 12 storeys
Buildings up to 12 storeys can now go ahead on the east side of West Coast Highway in Scarborough after Planning Minister John Day approved an amendment to the City of Stirling's town planning scheme yesterday. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Construction union boss Kevin Reynolds has delivered on his threat to plunge the state into a new round of union militancy by calling on WA workers to join a national strike protesting against the draconian powers of the building industry watchdog.

Official interest rates are tipped to fall to levels not seen since Sir Robert Menzies was prime minister in the early 1960s, with financial markets predicting the Reserve Bank will take rates to 2.75 per cent by April in response to deteriorating business conditions.

Page 3: Buildings up to 12 storeys can now go ahead on the east side of West Coast Highway in Scarborough after Planning Minister John Day approved an amendment to the City of Stirling's town planning scheme yesterday.

Page 4: Mining companies fear union turf wars under draft workplace laws the Rudd government will unveil today, while other WA businesses have raised the spectre of increased industrial action.

Page 6: Malcolm Turnbull has followed British Tory leader David Cameron in calling for US-style insolvency laws that would let businesses trade their way out of trouble rather than collapse in bankruptcy.

Superannuation funds have lost almost 9 per cent of their value in the past three months amid concerns that plummeting global sharemarkets could wipe out investment returns accumulated over the past three years.

Page 7: Kevin Rudd has left the door open for the federal budget to run into the red, conceding that if economic conditions worsen his government would have to revise its optimistic forecasts.

Page 12: Perth Airport has taken a major step forward in the first phase of its redevelopment with the release yesterday of detailed plans for the $200 million terminal project.

Business: Babcock & Brown's bankers have given the embattled infrastructure funds company just days to agree on restructuring its debt or risk being placed into receivership.

All bar one of the Atlas Iron board was visibly furious at the outcome of lat week's annual meeting but the company's small shareholders should be angrier.

Sales of home safes are on the rise as nervous investors hedge their bets in the uncertain financial climate.

Perth stock promoter David Zohar's corporate empire has come under pressure after the Australian Securities Exchange suspended trading in one of his companies, another lapsed into administration and the managing director of a third was sacked.

PBL Media has put a $445 million proposal to its banking syndicate to recapitalise its debt-laden business.

Rio Tinto has completed the $US860 million ($1.4 billion) expansion of its key Cape Lambert port in what could mark the end of the mining giant's aggressive Pilbara iron ore expansion program.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The US government has taken the unprecedented step of guaranteeing $US306 billion of troubled mortgage assets held by Citigroup to try to shore up confidence in one of its key financial institutions.

The big four banks have told opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull his attacks on the bank deposit guarantee have been unhelpful and have urged him to back speedy passage of legislation to ensure funding for the guarantee.

Rio Tinto has been forced to delay the multi-billion-dollar expansion of its Cape Lambert iron ore port facility in the Pilbara, undermining a key plank of its takeover defence against BHP Billiton.

Page 3: Employers who are harmed by a strike at another business will still be able to ask the industrial umpire to intervene to end the dispute under the federal government's new workplace relations laws.

Page 4: Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull yesterday declared that a budget deficit next year would be a failure of economic management, in an attempt to narrow the federal government's policy options for responding to the global economic slowdown.

The opposition's call to make shareholder votes on executive salaries binding is not backed by the Australian Shareholders' Association.

Page 5: Merrill Lynch Equities has become the latest broker to be fined for breaching market rules as the Australian Securities Exchange stepped up its crackdown on short selling and late settlements.

Page 7: Growth in Asia is weakening sharply as global trade slows and the financial crisis bites, weighing on the outlook for commodity prices and Australia's export earnings.

Retailers face a bleak Christmas, with nearly half of all shoppers indicating they plan to spend less on this year's Christmas presents than they did last year.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: A radical overhaul of workplace laws, to be unveiled by the Rudd government today, will propose a vastly increased role for unions, venturing far beyond the policy Labor took to the election a year ago.

Unions will be given increased power in workplace negotiations under new federal government legislation to be unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The US government has launched a rescue bid for international banking giant Citigroup, agreeing to stand behind $US300 billion ($475 billion) in troubled assets to prevent a collapse that would wreak havoc on the already crippled global financial system.

Mining entrepreneur Owen Hegarty yesterday became the latest executive forced to dump shares after plunging markets exposed him to a margin call.

Page 6: Telstra looks set to be cornered into lodging a bid for the national broadband network without having won the conditions it wants, after the Optus-led Terria consortium confirmed they would put their hats in the ring.

Business: The US government's $US300 billion rescue plan for Citigroup has been cautiously welcomed by investors.

The deal to rescue Babcock & Brown and renew debt covenants is failing, amid fear the investment group could topple before the end of the week.

Oxiana founder Owen Hegarty has been forced to sell $6.2 million worth of OZ Minerals shares because of margin calls as the beleaguered miner's stock hit a five-and-a-half-year low yesterday.

Suncorp will be one of the first banks to use the federal government's guarantee to tap into overseas capital markets as it extends its term-funding position.

Lawyers for Brookfield Multiplex have delivered a potential king hit in the $220 million Wembley Stadium shareholder class action by revealing that overseas litigation funders are bankrolling the action may have operated an unregistered management investment scheme.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options