10/12/2008 - 07:01

Today's Business Headlines

10/12/2008 - 07:01

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RBA signals caution on big rate cuts; Westpac taps market for $2.5bn; Rudd trims emissions target to 10pc; Sino Iron on track, insists Citic Pacific; Macquarie warns profit will fall as deals wither

Today's Business Headlines

RBA signals caution on big rate cuts
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens has signalled the bank's unprecedented series of deep interest rate cuts may have come to an end, saying it will take time to assess the impact of the stimulus it has delivered over the past three months. The Fin Review

Westpac taps market for $2.5bn
Westpac tapped its institutional investors for $2.5 billion yesterday in a move which reflected the high cost of buying its smaller rival, St George Bank. Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd trims emissions target to 10pc
Federal cabinet has endorsed a carbon trading scheme that assumes an eventual emission reduction target of 10 per cent by 2020, as senior ministers respond to growing signs that the global financial crisis is making voters more conservative about climate change solutions. The Fin Review

Sino Iron on track, insists Citic Pacific
Hong Kong conglomerate Citic Pacific yesterday insisted its $5.2 billion Sino Iron magnetite project at Cape Preston in the Pilbara was on track and that it had sufficient gas for at least the first year of production. The West Australian

Macquarie warns profit will fall as deals wither
Macquarie Group has warned that profits across the main businesses of the bank will be weaker in the year ahead, as it wrestles with fewer corporate transactions and global market turmoil. The Australian

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Taxpayers could face a bill of about $1 billion to replace or upgrade more than 2,000 dilapidated houses in remote WA indigenous communities, including many homes that have been abandoned.

Australia will lobby for the right to hold the 2018 Soccer World Cup after the federal government agreed to inject $45.6 million into the ambitious bid.

WA's fruit growers have been hit by an unseasonably cool spring, which has prevented fruit from ripening and crops from being harvested.

Page 3: The head of the Public Transport Authority has given the clearest indication yet that train and bus services will be cut to meet the state government's planned 3 peer cent reduction in public service spending next year.

Business: Westpac is pushing ahead with a bigger-than-expected $3 billion capital raising to bolster its balance sheet as it absorbs St George Bank, which ran a riskier lending book.

Broadwater Hotels & Resorts chief Scott Cogar has bought the lion's share of the group in a management buyout from Futuris Corporation and gone into partnership with multi-millionaire developer Barry Humfrey.

Allco Finance Group, ABC Learning Centres and Babcock & Brown were rated a buy at the start of the year by most of the equity analysts who tracked them.

Hong Kong conglomerate Citic Pacific yesterday insisted its $5.2 billion Sino Iron magnetite project at Cape Preston in the Pilbara was on track and that it had sufficient gas for at least the first year of production.

Iluka Resources has defied the gloom engulfing the WA mining industry, last night crediting a loyal customer base as well as the falling Australian dollar for a second upgrade in three months.

Virgin Blue will consider further capacity cuts elsewhere but is confident it can strengthen its WA business by poaching customers from Qantas as the corporate sector looks to reduce travelling costs.

CBH Resources will reassess its hostile bid for Perilya after the emergence of a white knight deal to hand Chinese zinc giant Shenzhen Zhongjin Lingnan Nonfemet control of the Broken Hill miner.

Merrill Lynch chairman John Thain is to forgo a bonus for 2008 after a furore over whether he earlier suggested to the board he should receive a $US 10 million ($15 million) payment for the year.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens has signalled the bank's unprecedented series of deep interest rate cuts may have come to an end, saying it will take time to assess the impact of the stimulus it has delivered over the past three months.

Westpac Banking Corp joined the rush to raise capital yesterday, bringing the total amount of equity issued by Australian companies in 2008 to well over $50 billion, as credit markets remain all but closed for debt refinancing and boards brace for tougher economic conditions.

Federal cabinet has endorsed a carbon trading scheme that assumes an eventual emission reduction target of 10 per cent by 2020, as senior ministers respond to growing signs that the global financial crisis is making voters more conservative about climate change solutions.

Page 3: The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has flagged it will seek wage rises that at least match inflation when it starts to negotiate more than 1,300 agreements in 2009.

Clients of collapse stockbroker Opes Prime have been hit with an urgent demand to repay $258 million in outstanding borrowings by Monday or face legal action to recover the debt.

Page 6: A new round of reductions to credit rates gained momentum after Westpac Banking Corp became the latest major bank to announce a cut yesterday.

Page 7: Business confidence has slumped to a record low as plunging orders and sales mark the worst trading conditions since the last recession, prompting warnings of a sharp rise in unemployment.

Page 12: Democratic politicians and the White House appear to be close to agreeing on the terms of a $US 15 billion ($22.8 billion) financial rescue package for the Big Three Detroit carmakers but doubts remain as to whether the companies can keep to strict requirements to prove their long-term financial viability.

Page 14: Japan's economy shrank in the third quarter faster than the government initially estimated after businesses cut spending and slashed inventories in anticipation of a prolonged recession.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The first signs the battered finance sector is turning the corner have emerged, with banks lending more money to households and businesses, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens said last night while flagging further interest rate cuts to shore up the economy.

Jesuit priest Frank Brennan will lead a panel appointed by the Rudd government to examine the creation of a bill of rights.

Page 3: Coal freighters heading for the port of Newcastle will be asked by the NSW government to stay at sea, rather than form a queue of ships waiting to be loaded.

Environmental groups last night blasted Australia as the single biggest disappointment at climate change talks in Poland, saying it was "Groundhog Day" with the Rudd government acting like the Howard government.

Page 4: The Rudd government appears to be reversing the biggest collapse of public confidence in decades, because of the global financial crisis, with its $10 billion pre-Christmas giveaway.

Page 7: Unions have called for an industry policy package to limit job losses in vulnerable sectors by retraining and retooling workers during the economic downturn.

Page 8: Perth businesses and investors are stunned and angry after many received pre-Christmas land tax bills double last year's based on revaluations before the property bubble burst.

Premier Colin Barnett has warned WA could face power shortages within a year because its network is in disarray.

World: The masterminds behind the 2001 attacks on the United States say they intend to plead guilty to war crimes charges.

Business: The Commonwealth Bank is under pressure to raise more capital after Westpac tapped institutional investors for $2.5 billion.

Macquarie Group has warned that profits across the main businesses of the bank will be weaker in the year ahead, as it wrestles with fewer corporate transactions and global market turmoil.

Past and present shareholders of beleaguered OZ Minerals are banding together to sue the troubled miner for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct" and breaches to its continuous disclosure obligations.

Speculation is growing that likely new Fairfax Media chief executive Brian McCarthy could restructure senior management roles at the group, possibly elevating more former key Rural Press executives to top positions.

The international financial crisis has prompted national law firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques to abandon merger talks with one of the world's biggest firms, Britain's Clifford Chance.

Chinese steel mills are likely to succeed in their push to bring forward the starting date for iron ore contracts, because the sector is in a critical conditions with companies struggling to remain profitable.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce will update the Qantas board today on the progress of the airline's $8 billion merger talks, amid suggestions a structure for the deal could be ready early in the new year.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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