Today's Business Headlines

06/01/2009 - 06:43

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Business braces for the worst; Lenders repossessing homes at soaring rate; Bosses eye early job cuts; ATO pursues new business dispute plan; NAB denies planning withdrawal from Britain

Today's Business Headlines

Business braces for the worst
A survey has found that four out of five Australian businesses plan to raise prices to counter the economic downturn. The Daily Telegraph

Lenders repossessing homes at soaring rate
The number of homes reposed in WA soared by almost 80 per cent last year and there are fears the figure might continue to climb this year on the back of rising unemployment and depressed sharemarket. The West

Bosses eye early job cuts
Unemployment is set to rise over the coming three months, as executives prepare to lay off staff. The West

ATO pursues new business dispute plan
The Australian Taxation Office is stepping up its attempts to resolve disputes with large companies before resorting to court action, as tax lawyers warn that the economic downturn is likely to trigger more corporate litigation.

NAB denies planning withdrawal from Britain
National Australia Bank has scotched speculation it will offload its British banks despite the ongoing banking crisis in that country. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The number of home reposed in WA soared by almost 80 per cent last year and there are fears the figure might continue to climb this year on the back of rising unemployment and depressed sharemarket.

Page 4: The heat is increasing on Local Government Minister John Castrilli over Cockburn City Council, with the opposition claiming yesterday that a vague deal he struck with mayor Stephen Lee showed he was "inept" and "out of his depth".

The state government was being deceptive by making taxpayers wait five months before it releases details of how departments would cut spending by 3 per cent, unions said yesterday.

Page 5: Anti-whaling activists yesterday dared the federal government to ban them from docking at an Australian port to refuel after Environment Minister Peter Garrett would not dismiss a call from the Japan Whaling Association to veto their entry.

Page 11: Apache Energy's $800 million Devil Creek gas project, which is tipped to become the state's next major source of domestic gas, has received conditional approval from the Environmental Protection Authority.

Page 17: Australia's 1.9 million independent contractors could become dictated to by enterprise agreements under the Rudd government's proposed workplace laws, a move advocates say would be a disaster for productivity.

The Department of Environment and Conservation has delayed issuing the Esperance Port Authority's licence to export bulk nickel after receiving last-minute submissions.

Business: Unemployment is set to rise over the coming three months, as executives prepare to lay off staff.

Waterford Wedgwood, the china and crystal group, has lost its battle for survival, yesterday calling in receivers after failing to secure new finance.

CityView Corp chief Mark Smyth has criticised what he calls "unsubstantiated gossip" on the internet for exacerbating the oil minnow's woes as he prepares to face a push by shareholders to oust him at an extraordinary general meeting later this month.

Thousands of Telstra workers are set to resume rolling strikes and overtime bans this weekend after a lull in industrial action over the Christmas-New Year break.

Lead and zinc miner Perilya says it will have to find another way to raise about $45 million by the end of March if shareholders do not approve a Chinese tie-up, which an independent expert's report has described as "not fair but reasonable".

Po Valley Energy has cashed in on the Russia-Ukraine gas row, yesterday unveiling a $78 million offtake deal over its flagship Italian gas fields.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Australian Taxation Office is stepping up its attempts to resolve disputes with large companies before resorting to court action, as tax lawyers warn that the economic downturn is likely to trigger more corporate litigation.

Aggressive interest rate cuts and massive government spending plans underpin hopes for a rebound in global economic growth later this year, as policymakers scramble to soften the impact of the sharpest downturn in two decades.

Page 3: A fall in petrol prices and the steep depreciation in the exchange rate would help deliver a "very substantial stimulus" to the Australian economy at the start of what might be a tough year, Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday.

Page 4: The economy may have already gone backward and further interest cuts appear all but certain, but the gloom surrounding both the local and global outlook hasn't deepened noticeably in recent weeks so the cash rate won't shift today.

The global financial crisis has claimed another victim - Australia's recycling industry.

Page 7: Some of Australia's biggest companies are calling for new tax incentives for broad-based employee share schemes that have plunged in value because of the sharemarket rout.

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Final approval for the $2.2 billion Gunns pulp mill is now more than two years away after federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett imposed new conditions, casting further doubt over the controversial project.

An unlimited guarantee of bank deposits may encourage reckless lending, making the financial crisis worse, the OECD has warned.

Page 6: The acrimonious gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia was blamed yesterday for disrupting supplies across Europe, with six countries reporting cuts in the middle of the new year cold snap.

World: A corruption scandal has forced Governor Bill Richardson to pull out as nominee for Commerce Secretary in the United States' incoming Obama administration.

Business: Australian businesses are fearing that the next quarter could be the toughest yet in the long-running financial crisis.

National Australia Bank has scotched speculation it will offload its British banks despite the ongoing banking crisis in that country.

The Australian dollar surged to US71.34 cents yesterday after a rally on Wall Street, higher commodity prices and talk of further interest rate cuts in Europe inspired demand for the high-yielding asset.

The ANZ Bank will streamline its funding models by turning its New Zealand business into a branch of the Australian operations.

Initial public offerings are expected to decline further this year as the global financial crisis continues to make it difficult to access capital markets, Ernst & Young says.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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