Today's Business Headlines

01/12/2008 - 06:57

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PM's $3.5bn for states to fire economy; More is better - bets are on for a big rate cut; Jilted suitor Cooper hits at Texan's play; Two banks baulk at B&B rescue; OZ says deal can be saved

PM's $3.5bn for states to fire economy
The Rudd government is rushing out $3.5 billion in extra payments for health and education to the states over the next seven months in a bid to create jobs and shield Australia from the global economic downturn. The Fin Review

More is better - bets are on for a big rate cut
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to deliver another substantial interest rate cut tomorrow amid fears the economy has begun to contract under the weight of a deep downturn in the United States. The Fin Review

Jilted suitor Cooper hits at Texan's play
Jilted suitor Cooper Energy has turned up the heat on Incremental Petroleum's proposed white knight bidder, Malone Mitchell, notifying the corporate regulator of its concerns that the Texan oil millionaire may be in breach of takeover policy. The West

Two banks baulk at B&B rescue
The immediate future of Babcock & Brown is hanging in the balance with two European banks not ready to commit to a $200 million short-term rescue plan. The Australian

OZ says deal can be saved
Former market darling OZ Minerals was last night confident that talks over its $US420 million ($A640 million) refinancing facility were a "resolvable issue" but was conscious it had burnt up most of the past few days without reaching an agreement with its bankers. The Age

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has been forced to declare his unqualified support for embattled shadow treasurer Julie Bishop after claims that senior Liberal Party figurers are increasingly unhappy with her performance.

Page 3: Financial markets believe the Reserve Bank will tomorrow give mortgage holders the single biggest cut in official interest rates since it started formally specifying a rate but economists are not convinced.

Page 4: The Rudd government has reneged on a commitment to present its 2020 target to cut greenhouse gases to the United Nations climate talks which begin today as wrangling continues inside Cabinet over the target.

The Barnett government faces fighting the next state election as the state's finances slide into disarray, with Treasurer Troy Buswell warning yesterday WA's budget could be in deficit within this term of government.

Page 12: More questions have emerged over the future of WA's new museum after the state government launched a legal bid to have the old East Perth power station put back on the heritage register.

The WA branch of the Maritime Union of Australia will join a growing band of unions in tomorrow's national rally to protest against the wide-ranging powers of the building industry watchdog.

Page 15: The number of first-homebuyers entering the market has soared in the six weeks since the federal government announced increased grants of up to $21,000, real estate agents have reported.

Page 16: Families are leaving the tiny town of Kambalda in their dozens as the dwindling price of nickel forces workers to look elsewhere.

Business: Jilted suitor Cooper Energy has turned up the heat on Incremental Petroleum's proposed white knight bidder, Malone Mitchell, notifying the corporate regulator of its concerns that the Texan oil millionaire may be in breach of takeover policy.

The looming showdown between Cazaly Resources and Rio Tinto may have slipped below the radar over the past few months but you can expect this David versus Goliath battle to return to the headlines this week when the parties face off in the Warden's Court on Thursday.

The stockmarket is expected to open stronger this morning after a Rally on Wall Street, before the focus turns to the next interest rate cut and the latest economic growth figures.

Chastened executives from the big three US carmakers will return to Washington this week in a bid to convince lawmakers their companies are worth saving with $US25 billion ($38 billion) in government-backed low-cost loans.

Software giant Microsoft is understood to be in talks with Yahoo to buy the struggling internet company's online search business for about $US20 billion ($30.7 billion).

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Investors are mounting an unprecedented protest against the re-election of directors to the boards of some of the country's biggest sharemarket-listed companies amid increasing shareholder anger over poor performance and excessive executive remuneration.

The Rudd government is rushing out $3.5 billion in extra payments for health and education to the states over the next seven months in a bid to create jobs and shield Australia from the global economic downturn.

The deposit guarantee scheme has stymied the federal government's $8 billion plan to revive the mortgage industry because investors are still shunning mortgage funding-type investments and opting instead for the security of government-guaranteed deposits.

Page 3: The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to deliver another substantial interest rate cut tomorrow amid fears the economy has begun to contract under the weight of a deep downturn in the United States.

Optus has called on the federal government to stick closely to the tender process for the $4.7 billion national broadband network project after the government said it might still consider the proposal from Telstra even though it failed to comply with the rules.

Page 4: Construction unions will push ahead with national protests tomorrow, despite the dropping of a prosecution that could have resulted in a union official being gaoled for refusing to answer questions from the federal government's building industry regulator.

Page 5: Childcare union official will hold an emergency meeting with Labor backbenchers and Education Minister Julia Gillard in Canberra tonight to call for guarantees of worker entitlements and places at the 386 ABC Learning centres under threat of closure.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Kevin Rudd will identify the nation's poorest-performing schools and flood them with $1.1 billion over the next five years in a front-on attack on inequality of access to education.

Page 3: Stamp duty on the typical home has soared 59 per cent over the past five years, almost double the rise in household income over the same period.

Page 5: ABC Learning's biggest landlord is in rescue talks with rival childcare operators to take over 297 centres it leases to the collapsed company.

Business: Australian borrowers could get a significant interest rate cut on Tuesday by the Reserve Bank.

The immediate future of Babcock & Brown is hanging in the balance with two European banks not ready to commit to a $200 million short-term rescue plan.

The government's biggest concern about the economy is that commodity prices will fall further and faster than expected.

Though it is the worst year in decades for US stocks, American investors would have been better off keeping their money at home rather than ploughing it overseas.

Local banks are expected to issue a wave of corporate bonds and commercial paper into the money markets after the federal government guarantee of their wholesale funding programs came into effect on Friday, helping to free up the sclerotic credit market.

Giant US conglomerate GE's Australian retail finance operations are showing that even the best-run companies in the world can hit potholes where there operations involve non-bank housing loans, high interest rate credit cards and defaulting unsecured personal loans.

Feisty iron ore explorer Cazaly Resources is set for another legal stoush with mining giant Rio Tinto next week, this time over the Rhodes Ridge project.

General Motors is trying to lure some of its debt holders into exchanging debt for equity, as it tries to steer clear of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy law filing, sources say.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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