03/12/2008 - 06:52

Today's Business Headlines

03/12/2008 - 06:52

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Qantas, British Airways plot $8bn merger; US officially in recession; Wesfarmers re-jigs as Tilbrook steps down; Barnett betting on Browse to anchor Kimberley LNG hub; Venture giants pull plug on clean-coal plan

Today's Business Headlines

Qantas, British Airways plot $8bn merger
Qantas Airways is in advanced merger talks with British Airways to create an $8 billion global carrier as airlines battle the worst industry conditions in decades. The Fin Review

US officially in recession
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has signalled he is willing to use unconventional policies to combat the deepening economic downturn after the first recession in the US for seven years was made official. The Fin Review

Wesfarmers re-jigs as Tilbrook steps down
Wesfarmers has been forced to re-jig management responsibility for its $7.2 billion debt refinancing program after the sudden retirement of its highly regarded finance chief. The West

Barnett betting on Browse to anchor Kimberley LNG hub
Colin Barnett is hoping Woodside Petroleum will fill his Christmas stocking with a pledge to anchor the proposed Kimberley LNG hub, one of the most controversial projects facing his government. The West

Venture giants pull plug on clean-coal plan
The high price of capital and increased construction costs have forced mining and energy giants Shell and Anglo American to shelve development of an Australian-based clean-coal-to-liquids project worth an estimated $5 billion. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Borrowers will enjoy some of the lowest interest rates in history for several years, economists said yesterday, after the Reserve Bank slashed official rates by another one percentage point and financial markets began factoring in a similar cut in the new year.

Page 3: British Airways revealed last night it is in talks with Qantas about a potential merger, sending the British company's shares soaring as it confirmed expectations of consolidation in the hard-hit aviation industry.

Page 4: Independent Upper House MP Shelly Archer faces up to seven years gaol after becoming the first serving state politician to be charged with corruption by the Corruption and Crime Commission.

Extended weekday shopping hours are expected to be introduced by the middle of next year, with Colin Barnett indicating yesterday that shops could be allowed to stay open until 8pm.

Page 6: A campaign of civil disobedience is the unleashed against the building industry watchdog after union leaders told rallies yesterday to break the law and not co-operate with the powerful body.

Page 16: Kevin Rudd has signalled more spending next year to head off further economic trouble, as Malcolm Turnbull told opposition MPs the global financial crisis had left the prime minister "rattled" and the government vulnerable.

Page 17: Housing construction in WA is at its lowest since the introduction of the GST eight years ago, new figures reveal.

Business: Wesfarmers has been forced to re-jig management responsibility for its $7.2 billion debt refinancing program after the sudden retirement of its highly regarded finance chief.

Paladin Energy has pounced on its junior peer's low share price, last night unveiling a friendly $17.9 million scrip takeover bid for Fusion Resources.

Colin Barnett is hoping Woodside Petroleum will fill his Christmas stocking with a pledge to anchor the proposed Kimberley LNG hub, one of the most controversial projects facing his government.

Texan oil millionaire Malone Mitchell has launched his long-awaited bid for Incremental Petroleum but failed to scrap two key conditions, prompting a warning from the company's major shareholder and failed suitor, Cooper Energy, that the bid is doomed.

Independent supermarket owner Metcash will revamp its private label offering and more than double the number of products in its own-brand portfolio as it moves to cash in on consumers' increasing demand for lower-priced groceries.

Atlas Iron is expected to mark the end of a turbulent fortnight, dominated by the sacking of its chairman and a war of words with major shareholder IMC Resources, by dispatching its maiden iron ore shipment within days.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Qantas Airways is in advanced merger talks with British Airways to create an $8 billion global carrier as airlines battle the worst industry conditions in decades.

The Reserve Bank of Australia took another decisive step towards fending off a recession by cutting interest rates to their lowest level in seven years, marking the swiftest reduction in the cash rate in nearly two decades.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has signalled he is willing to use unconventional policies to combat the deepening economic downturn after the first recession in the US for seven years was made official.

Page 3: Rising tensions within the federal government over emissions trading spilled over yesterday as MPs urged Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to ensure the scheme did not hurt large export industries such as steel and liquefied natural gas.

The ABC has sacked former South Asian correspondent Peter Lloyd, who was yesterday sentenced to 10 months' gaol in Singapore on drug charges.

Page 5: Australia's population grew at its fastest pace in almost two decades in 2007-08, eclipsing the growth rates of India and Indonesia, and beating Britain's by five times.

Tourism operators are warning that the $80 billion industry is on its knees, with people staying home over the holiday season to save money because of the gloomy economic outlook.

Unions plan to tap into fears about job security in next year's enterprise bargaining rounds, yesterday claiming that up to $37 billion in workers' entitlements were at risk in the economic downturn.

Australia and the European Union have signed a long-awaited agreement under which Australian producers of tokay, sherry and other fortified wines will have to find other names for their product.

Page 7: Small business owners who sign up to run a franchise would gain greater protection against their franchisors under reforms urged yesterday by both sides of politics, preparing the ground for federal government reforms next year.

Page 11: The federal government faces growing calls to provide more money to prop up ABC Learning Centres slated for closure to stem a flight of parents seeking new childcare places in the new year.

Page 13: Major banks passed on all, or close to all, the cut in official rates to mortgage customers yesterday, characterising the move as doing their bit for the economy rather than a sign their funding dramas had eased.

Page 14: Millions of small- and medium-businesses will receive immediate credit relief, as major banks slash variable rates following yesterday's one percentage point cut to the official cash rate.

Page 15: The weakening international growth outlook poses a threat to the local economy despite some signs global financial markets are stabilising and inflation pressures are moderating, the Reserve Bank has warned.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The Reserve Bank has injected $10 billion into the economy through another dramatic one percentage point rate cut it believes will be enough to keep Australia out of recession.

Business: The RBA has escalated efforts to protect Australia from the global downturn with its aggressive rate cuts campaign.

The high price of capital and increased construction costs have forced mining and energy giants Shell and Anglo American to shelve development of an Australian-based clean-coal-to-liquids project worth an estimated $5 billion.

British Airways said last night it was exploring a potential merger with Qantas, four years after selling its 25 per cent stake in the Flying Kangaroo.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has laid out new steps the fed might take to lift the economy, as the panel that monitors the US business cycle said the nation had been in recession for a year.

Major shareholders who believed MYOB should have agreed to an offer of $1.90 cash a share from Archer Capital earlier this year may now feel vindicated following the release of the company's target statement.

Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley has emerged with a key stake in OZ Minerals amid increasing speculation about the future of the struggling miner.

Tough retail conditions and plummeting consumer confidence have not dented discount electronics chain JB Hi-Fi's appetite for opening 24 new stores this financial year.

Takeover target Incremental Petroleum says it will respond soon to an $83.7 million takeover bid by its joint venture partner in a Turkish project - Texan oil explorer TransAtlantic Petroleum Corporation.

Macquarie Media Group has revealed the general economic slowdown has continued to affect "local" advertising at its regional radio and TV stations since its annual general meeting in late October.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options