China warms to a flexible ore price; Miners push for right to use strike-breakers; Morgan Stanley and Citi in merger talks; Lifeline for Babcock & Brown; Rudd told to ease up on public service
China warms to a flexible ore price
China is making increasing noises about backing a new pricing system for iron ore that could include quarterly adjustments based on the spot market for the key steel ingredient. The West
Miners push for right to use strike-breakers
Australia's mining industry is pushing for the right to use strike-breakers in disputes so unions cannot cause maximum financial damage to employers under the Rudd government's proposed workplace laws. The West
Morgan Stanley and Citi in merger talks
Morgan Stanley may pay Citigroup as much as $US3 billion ($A4.3 billion) for control of a venture that would combine their brokerage units and overtake Bank of America as the largest financial adviser to individuals. The Age
Lifeline for Babcock & Brown
Babcock and Brown is expected to resume trading on the ASX on Monday morning after a $2.7 billion deal struck by its 25-member banking syndicate. Herald Sun
Rudd told to ease up on public service
The Rudd government has been urged by one of its top officials to moderate its demands on senior staff, amid fears its heavy schedule places an unsustainable load on the public sector. The Fin Review
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:
Page 1: Australia's mining industry is pushing for the right to use strike-breakers in disputes so unions cannot cause maximum financial damage to employers under the Rudd government's proposed workplace laws.
Page 6: Investors who ploughed money into bank accounts to escape the crashing sharemarket face losing money in real terms as falling interest rates push returns on term deposits below the rate of inflation, sparking calls for tax breaks for pensioners.
Page 7: This year's Perth Fashion Festival will be shortened by four days while designers brace for a slow season, fearing the pinch of the global economic crisis.
Page 9: The aged care industry says the federal subsidy for nursing home beds needs to be increased so more homes can be built for ageing baby boomers.
Page 11: WA's lucrative pearling industry - once worth $200 million a year - has been brought to its knees with a slump in global demand leading to mass job losses in the state's north.
Page 15: The Rudd government is being urged to fast-track its review of food labelling laws after a survey of the Fremantle Markets yesterday revealed continued breaches of the law.
Business: China is making increasing noises about backing a new pricing system for iron ore that could include quarterly adjustments based on the spot market for the key steel ingredient.
The global financial crisis put a dent in corporate deal-making last year, and activity will likely be subdued in 2009 with many deals being "mergers of necessity", analysts say.
A deal to combines the brokerages of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley - which would give Citi more cash and Morgan Stanley more manpower - appears just days away.
Quickstep Holdings has taken another step towards its ambition of establishing an aerospace parts manufacturing base in Perth with the installation of three large autoclaves at its North Coogee headquarters.
A US judge has delayed a decision until today on whether alleged fraudster Bernard Madoff should be sent to gaol for sending more than $US1 million ($1.43 million) worth of jewellery to family and friends over the holidays.
THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:
Page 1: The Rudd government has been urged by one of its top officials to moderate its demands on senior staff, amid fears its heavy schedule places an unsustainable load on the public sector.
United States president-elect Barack Obama has stepped up pressure on Congress to support his $US775 billion ($1.1 trillion) economic recovery package, calling for "immediate and dramatic action" and outlining plans to create up to four million jobs, after data showed the biggest yearly rise in unemployment since 1945.
Page 3: The economic slowdown and reduced credit supply has triggered a rush of business owners trying to divest small and medium enterprises.
Bank lenders to failed Allco Finance Group are refusing to accede demands from about 50 former employees that they pay out up to $10 million in statutory entitlements owed to employees made redundant in the first weeks after the company collapsed.
The Rudd government is under pressure to further ease the impact of taxes and government charges to give immediate relief to businesses and save jobs as the global financial crisis escalates rates of insolvency.
Page 4: Telstra union members launched a second wave of industrial action on the weekend to push their case for an improved enterprise agreement while pressing the telco on its moves to shift non-union agreements.
Page 1: Fair Pay Commissioner Ian Harper has warned low-paid workers that the protection of jobs will be the guiding force in his final deliberations on the minimum wage.
Discount domestic airfares have hit their lowest level since 1992, according to a new survey that shows the cheapest fares are nearly 30 per cent lower than a year ago.
Page 3: Stay-at-work bonuses that reward older Australians who do not claim a pension, even though they are eligible, are too complicated and need streamlining.
Business: Chinese steel mills are about to turn the tables on Australia by demanding a 40 per cent cut in the price of iron ore shipped from the Pilbara.
Morgan Stanley is poised to make a major entry into the Australian retail stockbroking market, with the global purchase of trader Citi Smith Barney.
Australia's annual wine exports have declined for the first time in 13 years as the global financial crisis and volatile exchange rates have crimped demand in the key markets of Britain and the US.
The positive run of the Australian sharemarket is forecast to end today, as signs increase that the global economic crisis is worsening in the US.
The future of Babcock & Brown looks to have been secured in the short-term, but the company has not been able to reach agreement with all of its bank backers on its revised business plan.