16/12/2008 - 06:51

Today's Business Headlines

16/12/2008 - 06:51

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Gas giants win millions in carbon scheme compo; Telstra barred from broadband; Investors on edge as Centro talks drag on; Mine exports slashed by $30bn; Property slump is building

Today's Business Headlines

Gas giants win millions in carbon scheme compo
WA's lucrative liquefied natural gas industry will get free carbon permits worth millions of dollars after winning a major concession in Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme, which commits Australia to cutting its greenhouse gas pollution by at least 5 per cent by 2020. The West

Telstra barred from broadband
Shares in Telstra fell to a two-year low yesterday after it was booted out of the tender process for the national broadband network. The Age

Investors on edge as Centro talks drag on
Shopping centre group Centro Properties last night remained locked in talks with bankers in New York over a debt refinancing which will determine its future. The West

Mine exports slashed by $30bn
After crippling markets and bringing banks to their knees, the global economic meltdown will slash almost $30 billion from Australia's energy and mineral exports earnings in 2008-09, officials warn. The Australian

Property slump is building
Property developers are deferring, or abandoning, billions of dollars' worth of new projects because of a lack of finance, the need to preserve cash and uncertainty about the outlook for valuations.

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: WA's lucrative liquefied natural gas industry will get free carbon permits worth millions of dollars after winning a major concession in Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme, which commits Australia to cutting its greenhouse gas pollution by at least 5 per cent by 2020.

Page 3: A former chief of WA education has attacked the proposed national maths curriculum, labelling it a "one-size-fits-all model" that would dumb down education.

The historic Cottesloe pylon has been saved from demolition after town councillors voted last night to spend on repair works the $122,000 the council received from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's local government fund.

Page 4: This week's key mid-year review of the state's finances will show WA plunging nearly $500 million into deficit by 2011-12 and bursting through debt levels that protect the state's triple-A credit rating if spending is not slashed in the meantime.

Telstra risks losing its stranglehold on the telecommunications sector after the Rudd government declared yesterday it could not accept the company's bid to build a national broadband network because it had failed to meet the basic tender requirements.

More companies are contemplating shutting over the Christmas period and force employees to take leave as a result of the global financial meltdown, according to the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Page 6: WA country shires will share in a $100 million bonanza today when Nationals leader Brendon Grylls reveals details of the government's Regional Local Government fund.

The state government has thrown more money at WA's bid to win the Square Kilometre Array projects, announcing that it will spend $4 million to buy Boolardy Station, 300km north-east of Geraldton, to accommodate the $2.5 billion space telescope.

Page 10: Big business has stepped up its demands that the Rudd government delay introducing an emissions trading scheme despite conceding the pay-to-pollute plan had been significantly watered down from the original.

Business: Shopping centre group Centro Properties last night remained locked in talks with bankers in New York over a debt refinancing which will determine its future.

More than 200 investors who bought million-dollar apartments in the $185 million Altus residential tower in the CBD will be given their deposits back, following the decisions by Saville Australia to scrap the project.

CBH Resources says its bid for Perilya is still on the table after the takeover target urged shareholders to reject its hostile scrip offer.

Confidence in major Japanese manufacturers has see its sharpest drop in 34 years, a key central bank survey showed yesterday.

Australian banks and investment funds have distanced themselves from an involvement in a $US50 billion Wall Street scandal that has sent shockwaves around the world and counts wealthy investors, superannuation funds and charities among its victims.

Listed stockbroker Euroz is facing a second claim in the wake of the collapse of Opes Prime stockbroking, with Busselton businessman Hilton Oscar Yelverton launching legal action over the loss of a $3.3 million portfolio.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Concerns about whether Australia's economy can avoid a recession amid a deepening slowdown among our largest trading partners were stoked by the weakest pace of Chinese industrial production in nearly a decade and the biggest slump in Japanese business sentiment since the 1970s.

Property developers are deferring, or abandoning, billions of dollars' worth of new projects because of a lack of finance, the need to preserve cash and uncertainty about the outlook for valuations.

The federal government has dismissed Telstra's proposal to build a $9.7 billion national broadband network in a shock rejection that unnerved investors and put the company's rivals in the lead to secure the mammoth project.

Business has won major concessions in the federal government's plan to tackle climate change, after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded to concerns about the slowing economy by adopting a cautious emissions target and significantly expanding assistance to heavy industry.

Page 3: The federal government has doubled the number of commissioners running the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to reflect the regulator's greater responsibilities as a result of the global financial crisis.

The Australian Taxation Office has been relegated down the pecking order when liquidators wind up businesses, after a landmark court ruling that could trigger more receiverships.

Page 4: The residential property market has further to fall as the economy softens next year, despite aggressive interest rate cuts and federal government financial stimulus, according to economists who have readjusted their outlook on housing.

Page 5: The official forecast for Australia's earnings from commodities exports has been slashed by 10 per cent due to falling minerals prices.

Western Australia's peak business lobby group has slashed its economic growth forecasts following a plunge in demand for the state's commodities, but believes the state's longer-term outlook remains strong.

Page 6: The long-term auditors of collapsed childcare giant ABC Learning Centres are set to come under fire as a Sydney law firm begins organising a new shareholder group action for damages worth "hundreds of millions of dollars".

Page 9: The proponents behind tens of billions of dollars of proposed liquefied natural gas developments have cautiously welcomed the federal government's emissions trading white paper, but stopped short of saying the scheme would not jeopardise the projects.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Telstra is preparing for war with the federal government, marshalling its lawyers for legal action and gearing up to go it alone with a high-speed broadband network after being tossed out of the tender process for a $15 billion publicly backed national network.

Page 4: Wayne Swan will help states struggling to raise money on frozen credit markets by issuing a further $5 billion in commonwealth bonds and using some of the proceeds to buy state-issued bonds.

Business: The investment community delivered a savage vote of no confidence in the management of Telstra yesterday after the telco was dramatically kicked out of the tender for the federal government's $15 billion national broadband network.

British gas giant BG Group has suspended a senior executive who is being investigated in relation to Australian share trades made before a key deal with Queensland Gas was signed off in February.

After crippling markets and bringing banks to their knees, the global economic meltdown will slash almost $30 billion from Australia's energy and mineral exports earnings in 2008-09, officials warn.

Australian banks were still locked in talks last night over Centro's rescue plan, amid expectations they would extend its deadline to pay back about $6 billion worth of debt to March next year.

BHP Billiton is eyeing Rio Tinto's stake in the huge Escondida copper mine in Chile as its former target looks to sell assets to pay down debt.

Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group is set to lose more than $500 million in the first half of this financial year, a research report put out last night by Morgan Stanley says.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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