Today's Business Headlines

06/03/2009 - 06:30

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China billions set to benefit WA economy; Rio shareholders still unhappy with deal; Axe to fall at NAB; Short-selling ban 'in the national interest'; Agencies in spotlight as banks push for ratings reform

Today's Business Headlines

China billions set to benefit WA economy
Hopes of a China-led financial recovery for Western Australia were boosted yesterday when the trading giant signalled a massive boost in infrastructure spending as part of its package to revive its economy. The West

Rio shareholders still unhappy with deal
Angry Rio Tinto shareholders have labelled as "completely wrong" suggestions by chief executive Tom Albanese that investors are warming to the Chinalco deal. Daily Telegraph

Axe to fall at NAB
National Australia Bank is set to slash its 40,000-strong workforce in a revamp of its Australian and offshore operations. Herald Sun

Short-selling ban 'in the national interest'
The federal government has defended the corporate regulators decision to extend the ban on short-selling, saying the move was the "national interest" and not designed to benefit any single sector. The West

Agencies in spotlight as banks push for ratings reform
The Australian banking and financial services industry has intensified its push for a new era of regulation of credit rating agencies, which have been widely blamed for triggering the global financial crisis. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Hopes of a China-led financial recovery for Western Australia were boosted yesterday when the trading giant signalled a massive boost in infrastructure spending as part of its package to revive its economy.

Business: The federal government has defended the corporate regulators decision to extend the ban on short-selling, saying the move was the "national interest" and not designed to benefit any single sector.

One of the biggest offshore banks operating in Australia has rejected suggestions that foreign lenders have been pulling out of the domestic market.

ABC720 has kicked off the first Nielsen radio survey of 2009 with a win in the breakfast timeslot and has held its lead over AM rival 6PR in the 9am to noon morning spot.

General Electric investors are treating the big US company as if it is on the verge of collapse, ahead of a potential cut in its top-level AAA rating.

Millionaire petroleum geologist Max de Vietri has called time on his bid to turn Baraka Petroleum into the next Hardman Resources after striking a recapitalisation deal that will see him step down from the board.

Korea Gas Corp is considering farming to Woodside Petroleum's Browse Basin acreage in a move that would further strengthen ties between the Perth oil and gas group and one of its most important customers.

AnSteel, one of China's biggest steel mills and the controlling stakeholder in the $1.8 billion Karara magnetite iron ore project in the Mid West, is calling for a price cut of up to 50 per cent in the steel-making ingredient.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: China plans to increase its overseas direct investment by 13 per cent this year as it steps up its engagement with the global economy, although it has dashed market hopes of a new stimulus package to spur growth in the world's third-largest economy.

The Rudd government has begun scaling back initiatives slated for the May federal budget as the economic contraction threatens tax revenue, while economists warn future budget deficits could be billions of dollars larger than official forecasts.

Page 3: Gold Coast businessman Matthew Perrin was worth an estimated $150 million a year ago, today his list of assets starts with a $100 laptop, $200 watch and $3,000 in clothes.

It's official: economic gloom makes us gloomy, and talk of recession brings on depression.

The federal government and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have extended a ban on short-selling for a third time, until May 31, bowing to pressure from the banks despite evidence the ban has exacerbated volatility and has many loopholes.

Page 4: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has postponed a meeting with state premiers that was to consider major infrastructure projects.

Page 5: The recession could be deepening and there is mounting evidence that activity in the economy continued to contract early this year under pressure from the global slowdown and weak domestic demand.

Page 9: The federal government is preparing to strike a deal with the minor parties to get its workplace relations reforms through the Senate, as it clears the decks of political problems to concentrate on new economic stimulus measures.

Page 15: Beef exporters have urged the federal government to conclude a free trade agreement with South Korea within 18 months, after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said yesterday that talks would start in May.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: China is the last line of support for Australia's exporters, taking record quantities of iron ore in January while exports to other key markets dived.

The Rudd Government is being warned it will threaten the nation's eventual economic recovery if it slashes the immigration intake in response to the global economic crisis.

Page 2: Pacific Brands workers have urged the public to reject a boycott of the company's products, saying it would threaten the livelihood of employees lucky enough to keep their jobs.

Kevin Rudd has rejected Opposition demands he protect the economy by postponing the introduction of his promised carbon emissions scheme and industrial relations reforms.

The nation's peak union council insists the pay and conditions of its officials are modest as they call for limits on "excessive" executive salaries.

Small-business owners will today urge the banks to ease access to credit, rethink their risk margins and adjust their attitudes to small business lending at a government convened emergency summit.

Paul Keating has downplayed the benefits of budget stimulus packages, suggesting they have not provided the confidence boost needed to turn around the global financial crisis.

Beleaguered Gold Coast lawyer Matthew Perrin owns a unit worth $4.3 million - but carrying a mortgage of $13.5 million; has debts of $1.62 million to seven different bookmakers; and owns a $130,000 Mercedes he can't use.

The national operations manager behind a technology company that borrowed $13 million from now-failed Elderslie Finance Corporation says he has "no idea" where it went.

Page 5: Kevin Rudd has declared it inevitable that Peter Costello will seize the leadership of the Liberal Party after the former treasurer gave a series of interviews yesterday on the government's handling of the global recession.

Page 6: The Rudd Government has been told to resist pressure to slash Australia's permanent immigration intake in the face of lengthening dole queues, or risk stifling the nation's eventual economic recovery.

The Australian banking and financial services industry has intensified its push for a new era of regulation of credit rating agencies, which have been widely blamed for triggering the global financial crisis.

An Australian fertiliser company has secured state government approval to build a $3.5 billion urea fertiliser plant at a new 200ha industrial park two hours south of Perth.

Rio Tinto shareholders have bristled at suggestions they are warming to the $US19.5 billion ($30.3 billion) Chinalco deal.

Australia's corporate watchdog has split the investment community by taking the controversial decision to remain the only developed country to continue the ban on short selling of financial stocks.

Mirabela Nickel is likely to secure significant funds to complete its massive South American project despite indicating that there could be risks in finalising the capital.

Iron ore exports slipped in February as heavy rains impeded production in the Pilbara.

Another big Queensland property group has collapsed, taking with it $1 billion of planned residential and tourism development in the state's north.

As the credit crisis threatens to kill off a few private equity operators in the next few months, the Future Fund is looking at ways to exploit opportunities to boost its returns.

The Australian arm of the world's largest bank, HSBC, is gearing up to capitalise on the withdrawal of other foreign banks from the local syndicated lending market.

One of Australia's leading media analysts has forecast more gloom for the media sector, saying the recovery in the advertising market may not begin until 2012.

After a decade of beating his head against a brick wall called AWB, Peter Howard's headache is over.

As bad as 2008 was for Merrill Lynch, it was very good for Andrea Orcel, the firm's top investment banker.

Foreign lenders that rushed into China in recent years are watching nervously as a number of companies there teeter on the brink of insolvency.

General Motors and its auditor have expressed substantial doubt about the carmaker's ability to continue as a going concern in its delayed annual report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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