Today's Business Headlines

09/02/2009 - 06:43

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Oakajee 'the only long-term option'; Sage snaps up $73m debt; Coke deal loses its fizz; LNG aid irks gas alliance; BHP rules out Rio bid, concedes Ravensthorpe flawed

Oakajee 'the only long-term option'
Yilgarn Infrastructure's $2 billion proposal to build a rail network and export iron ore through Geraldton port should be seen as an interim option but should not jeopardise the proposal for a port at Oakajee, the local mayor said yesterday. The West

Sage snaps up $73m debt
Cape Lambert chairman Tony Sage has acquired the secured debt of collapsed miner CopperCo for $72.7 million in an unusual deal that could net his company a multi-million-dollar return on its investment within three months. The West

Coke deal loses its fizz
Lion Nathan's $8 billion takeover tilt at Coca-Cola Amatil has been brought to an abrupt end by the Coke bottler's major investor, the Coca-Cola Company. Sydney Morning Herald

LNG aid irks gas alliance
Domestic gas consumers in Western Australia have cried foul over the federal government's decision to offer assistance to liquefied natural gas exporters under the emissions trading scheme, claiming the move penalises local users. The Australian

BHP rules out Rio bid, concedes Ravensthorpe flawed
BHP Billiton's chief executive Marius Kloppers has ruled out a cash bid for Rio Tinto plc on technical grounds while conceding BHP's decision four years ago to build the recently shelved Ravensthorpe nickel mine was flawed. Daily Telegraph

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 11: Yilgarn Infrastructure's $2 billion proposal to build a rail network and export iron ore through Geraldton port should be seen as an interim option but should not jeopardise the proposal for a port at Oakajee, the local mayor said yesterday.

Page 16: WA's one million health insurance fund members are more likely to be slugged with hefty out-of-pocket expenses for medical care than those in other states, new figures reveal.

Page 17: Kevin Rudd has rejected a late bid from Malcolm Turnbull for the government to negotiate a makeover of its $42 billion economic rescue plan with the opposition in favour of horse-trading with the Greens and Independent senators.

Business: Cape Lambert chairman Tony Sage has acquired the secured debt of collapsed miner CopperCo for $72.7 million in an unusual deal that could net his company a multi-million-dollar return on its investment within three months.

A pit wall collapse is a setback even at the best of times, and right now are the best times for gold producers like Dioro Exploration.

The economic slowdown has forced Myer to scrutinise its spending, but the majority private equity-owned department store chain says it is still pushing ahead with its major projects.

Suncorp Metway will this week brief an executive search firm for the replacement of chief executive John Mulcahy, with the board determined to recruit an outsider to steer through a further shake-up of the banking and insurance company.

WA's newest credit union is well-placed to capitalise on further rationalisation at the smaller end of the financial sector as the global economic crisis deepens, United Community chief executive Kevin Benger says.

The sharemarket is expected to open higher this morning but investors' attention will be focused further ahead, with analysts warning the Commonwealth Bank could become the first of the Big Four to cut its dividend when it hands down its interim results on Wednesday.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Lion Nathan has been forced to abandon a $7.3 billion merger proposal for Coca-Cola Amatil after its Japanese parent, Kirin, baulked at a series of controversial asset sale requests from CC Amatil's major shareholder, The Coca-Cola Co.

The Obama administration is poised to secure Senate approval for a $US780 billion ($1.1 trillion) spending package and unveil a raft of new measures to bolster the financial system, after s urge in unemployment to a 17-year high highlighted the depth of the worsening US recession.

Federal cabinet is finalising a series of labour market training reforms pitched at school leavers, as the government seeks to allay crossbench senators' concerns that its $42 billion stimulus package does not do enough for the jobless.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission was aware that Storm Financial Services was in serious trouble and that its investors faced heavy losses about two months before it had launched an investigation, the regulator has admitted.

Page 3: The tax expert conducting the review of the country's tax system for opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has revealed winding back deductions, reducing the tax welfare churn and reforming state taxes will be major priorities.

Page 4: Key players in the Senate will scrutinise legislation for the Rudd government's car industry plan and may require changes to the 12-year industry blueprint.

Page 5: The Senate's crucial vote on the federal government's $42 billion fiscal stimulus package is set to coincide with evidence the ranks of the unemployed are swelling rapidly as companies quickly reduce hiring.

Page 7: Three months after energy giant BP said it would close Australia's only solar panel factory, a $60 million photovoltaic manufacturing plant has become the first business proposal to be granted major project facilitation status by the Rudd government.

Page 12: Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co has been linked to a potential $US5 billion ($7.4 billion) asset sale by Rio Tinto ahead of an expected update on the strategies the world's third-largest miner is pursuing to reduce its crippling debt.

Page 13: When Jetstar's reservation system comes back online today following a weekend upgrade, the low-cost carrier is not worried the temporary shutdown will have driven away customers.

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The Black Saturday firestorm that swept across Victoria on its hottest day on record is feared to have claimed up to 100 lives, making it the nation's worst bushfire disaster.

A smoky orange dawn rose over Marysville yesterday, revealing what emergency workers had dreaded throughout the long night.

Page 4: Former Nine Network newsreader Brian Naylor and his wife, Moiree, have been found dead after bushfires destroyed their family property at Kinglake West.

Page 7: A fire threatened homes in Perth's north and another in the southwest of Western Australia forced the evacuation of 370 people from a holiday resort on the weekend.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged insurance companies to show some heart when they are hit by massive claims from Victorian bushfire victims.

Page 10: The Rudd Government has dismissed an opposition call to sit down and talk about its $42 billion economic stimulus package, despite non-government senators failing to reveal their support for the measures.

The Rudd Government's economic management and $12 billion cash giveaway have been strongly endorsed and have given Labor the same big boost it got before the pre-Christmas $10 billion cash splash.

Country people could be slugged with higher ATM fees than city customers under new Reserve Bank rules set to take effect next month.

Electricity privatisation, the most divisive political issue in NSW, is firmly back on the state's agenda, courtesy of the global financial crisis.

Sydney's property clearance rate soared to a two-year high at the weekend, while savage weather and the bushfire crisis took a heavy toll on the Melbourne market, where sales crashed to record lows.

Business: Coca-Cola Amatil shares are likely to come under sharp selling pressure this morning after Coke's Atlanta parent torpedoed brewer Lion Nathan's $8 billion cash scrip takeover bid.

The reporting season gains momentum this week with a slew of companies including Rio Tinto, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Leighton Holdings due to provide a clearer picture of how they are faring in the eye of the economic storm.

Rio Tinto, which is continuing its scramble to raise cash and reduce its big debt load, is considering a possible asset sale to Japan's Mitsui, people familiar with the matter say.

More than 50 per cent of Australia's business chiefs believe they have not received adequate information about the impact of climate change on business.

The International Monetary Fund believes the world is at risk of a deflationary spiral as rate cuts and fiscal stimulus packages to date fail to halt the collapse in demand.

Selling chilled fruit juices and smoothies in central London right now is a business challenge not too far short of the proverbial flogging of ice-creams to Eskimos.

Buoyed by strong cash flow, BHP Billiton is eyeing off the assets of its rivals as they struggle to cope with the slump in commodity prices and depressed global economic conditions.

Domestic gas consumers in Western Australia have cried foul over the federal government's decision to offer assistance to liquefied natural gas exporters under the emissions trading scheme, claiming the move penalises local users.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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