26/11/2008 - 06:54

Today's Business Headlines

26/11/2008 - 06:54

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Rio savaged after BHP walks from hostile bid; Labor swings balance to workers; China signs $20bn LNG deal; Qantas aborts mainline services; Long view urged on infrastructure needs

Today's Business Headlines

Rio savaged after BHP walks from hostile bid
Shocked Rio Tinto shareholders last night wiped $21 billion off the miner's market value after BHP Billiton ended its long and bitter takeover pursuit. The West

Labor swings balance to workers
Union officials will win the right to enter workplaces around the nation, including sites where they have no members, as part of sweeping changes to industrial laws proposed by the Rudd government. The Australian

China signs $20bn LNG deal
Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina have agreed to a deal likely to be worth at least $20 billion to supply liquefied natural gas to China from gas fields including Gorgon, off WA's North West. The West

Qantas aborts mainline services
Qantas is cutting flights to the US, Britain and at least one Asian destination as it moves to offset and expected 64 per cent slump in pre-tax profit amid falling international passenger demand. The Australian

Long view urged on infrastructure needs
The chairman of the federal government's infrastructure adviser, Rod Eddington, has warned that the global credit crisis has "profound implications" for infrastructure, curbing the availability of private and state capital for major projects. The Fin Review

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Unions will be granted access to every workplace in the nation under long-awaited Rudd government moves to overhaul industrial relations laws which employer groups claim hand back too much power to the labour movement and may endanger economic growth already threatened by the global financial crisis.

The global financial crisis has snared its biggest Australian victim yet with BJP Billiton axing its $160 billion takeover bid for arch-rival Rio Tinto.

Page 5: The Barnett government has been struck by a new conflict of interest saga, with Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey failing to declare to the Planning Minister that her family had a land interest in the beachside suburb that was approved for high-rise.

Page 6: A former Reserve Bank board member has demanded the Rudd government slash the rate of the goods and services tax to protect the economy, as the OECD predicted Australia will be one of the few developed nations to avoid a recession.

Page 7: Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina have agreed to a deal likely to be worth at least $20 billion to supply liquefied natural gas to China from gas fields including Gorgon, off WA's North West.

Page 9: A first glance of the multi-million-dollar WACA Ground redevelopment will be unveiled today.

Page 10: The building industry watchdog should take action against workers who stop work unlawfully for a national strike next Tuesday, Colin Barnett said yesterday.

Page 11: The mining and construction industries say new projects will be paralysed by the Rudd government's workplace laws because of the threat of industrial action if an employment agreement with multiple unions cannot be struck.

Up-market retailer David Jones will build a new store at Whitford City shopping centre in Hillarys by 2012 and has unveiled plans to redevelop its Karrinyup store in a bid to boost its presence in WA.

Business: Shocked Rio Tinto shareholders last night wiped $21 billion off the miner's market value after BHP Billiton ended its long and bitter takeover pursuit.

BHP Billiton has shrugged off global turmoil and falling demand for iron ore to push ahead with its $7.35 billion Pilbara expansion in a major boost for WA and the region's next crop of miners.

Perth lawyer Shane Brennan was dumped from uranium explorer Aurium Resources' board after a showdown between opposing camps at a heated annual meeting yesterday.

Investors dumped Harvey Norman shares yesterday after the electronics and furniture retailer topped off yet another gloomy sales update with news its first-quarter earnings had fallen by a worse-than-expected 31.5 per cent.

Billionaire Roman Abramovich has placed the 12 per cent Cape Lambert Iron Ore stake held by his heavily indebted Russian steel giant Evraz on the market in a desperate attempt to offload non-core assets.

CBH Resources' hostile bid for Perilya has turned more hostile after the zinc and lead target appealed to the Takeovers Panel to intervene over what it said were deficiencies in CBH's bidder's statement.

OZ Minerals has been forced to dump its high-growth profile and plan for a stripped down future in order to weather the commodity price slump and credit crisis.

A major slump in international travel has forced Qantas to slash its profit forecast by almost 64 per cent compared with last year's record result and make further cuts to its capacity.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Rudd government has conceded that employers will face rising costs from its overhaul of workplace relations laws, which lift minimum employment standards, encourage collective bargaining and double the number of workers who have access to unfair dismissal claims.

BHP Billiton shocked investors last night by abandoning its ambitious $150 billion takeover of mining rival Rio Tinto, blaming increased risks from the collapse in commodity prices and the turmoil on global financial markets.

The Australian sharemarket enjoyed its biggest one-day rally in 11 years yesterday as investors cheered the US government bailout of Citigroup and brushed aside a World Bank warning that China's economy would grow at its slowest pace in nearly two decades next year.

Page 3: The chairman of the federal government's infrastructure adviser, Rod Eddington, has warned that the global credit crisis has "profound implications" for infrastructure, curbing the availability of private and state capital for major projects.

Page 6: Legislation to ensure funding for the bank deposit guarantee appears set to pass through federal parliament by the end of the week with opposition support, but the Greens have expressed disquiet about parliament making open-ended commitment to support potentially massive private sector loan defaults.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Union officials will win the right to enter workplaces around the nation, including sites where they have no members, as part of sweeping changes to industrial laws proposed by the Rudd government.

BHP Billiton's $135 billion takeover of arch-rival Rio Tinto - billed as the biggest acquisition in corporate history when it was launched 12 months ago - has become a casualty of the unprecedented global financial crisis.

The financial crisis is spreading through the economy but the OECD lists Australia among a handful of developed countries to sail through the global downturn with only a small dip in growth.

QLD Premier Anna Bligh orders review of $2.5 billion recycled sewage plan and says Traveston Crossing Dam to be shelved for up to four years.

Page 2: Telstra's board is expected to sign off this morning on a bid for $4.7 billion of taxpayers' money to b build the national broadband network.

Australia pushing to change rules that allow rich developed countries such as Singapore and South Korea to do less about climate change, because the Kyoto Protocol classifies them as developing.

Page 3: The Commonwealth Bank has scrambled to fix an error that caused thousands of dollars to disappear from the accounts of up to 200,000 customers across Australia.

Time Australia has sacked its 10 editorial staff, including editor Steve Waterson.

Page 6: The union movement's national leaders hailed Labor's industrial relations reforms as an historic turning point in restoring workers' rights, but warned they would pursue "unfinished business" in the lead-up to the next federal election.

Militant construction union boss Kevin Reynolds yesterday taunted the Australian Building Construction Commission over its "toothless" response to large-scale industrial action, saying it only chased individuals as easy targets.

Page 7: Australia's two largest business groups were remarkable upbeat as they responded to the Rudd government's release of proposed new workplace laws yesterday.

Business: BHP Billiton has cut its losses and abandoned its hostile $135 billion takeover bid for fellow mining giant Rio Tinto in the face of a deteriorating economic climate.

The stunningly abrupt termination of Marius Kloppers' long Rio Tinto adventure underscores just how profoundly the global financial crisis and China's subsequent economic torpor has redrawn the resources world.

Rio Tinto's share price is expected to be slashed locally today as it faces a "please explain" from its shareholders over BHP Billiton's surprising withdrawal of its $135 billion hostile takeover bid.

The $US300 billion ($475 billion) bailout of international bank Citigroup and further action by governments to spur economic growth ignited world equity markets yesterday.

ANZ Bank and Commonwealth Bank announced yesterday that they would pass on to customers the federal government's charge for deposit insurance, but Bank of Queensland was likely to absorb part of its higher fee to remain competitive.

Qantas is cutting flights to the US, Britain and at least one Asian destination as it moves to offset and expected 64 per cent slump in pre-tax profit amid falling international passenger demand.

Diversified miner OZ Minerals will defer growth projects and cut back output at its flagship Century zinc mine in response to the plummeting metals prices that have put the company under pressure.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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