25/03/2009 - 06:24

Today's Business Headlines

25/03/2009 - 06:24

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Wall St villains now saviours; Iron ore miners warned of slow China recovery; Walsh offers little comfort to juniors on access to railway; States split on federal debt deal; Commodities rally in big price rout

Today's Business Headlines

Wall St villains now saviours
Wall Street fund managers - the very people blamed for the sub prime crisis that sparked the global economic meltdown - will be given an almost free ride to buy $US1 trillion worth of toxic assets crippling the financial system. The Australian

Iron ore miners warned of slow China recovery
This year's brief rally in Chinese demand for iron ore was coming to an end and the $586 billion stimulus package from China's government, touted as a new hope for commodities markets, would take longer to kick in than was initially expected, a leading metals analyst warned yesterday. The West

Walsh offers little comfort to juniors on access to railway
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh has further dampened the hopes of Pilbara juniors to gain access to the mining giant's extensive Pilbara infrastructure after taking a fresh swipe at attempts to force it to share its rails and ports. The West

States split on federal debt deal
Investors have snapped up $500 million in state bonds before a crucial meeting today to negotiate the Rudd government's support for state borrowing programs, amid warnings that failure to reach a deal would jeopardise ambitious infrastructure programs. The Fin Review

Commodities rally in big price rout
First signs are emerging that the worst may be over for global commodities markets after the biggest price rout in more than five decades. Herald Sun

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: The federal government should axe its boosted first-homeowner's grant after June 30 because extending it would magnify the risk of big price plunges when it eventually, experts have warned.

Page 4: World sharemarkets soared yesterday on the hope that the global economy will turn the corner with the help of the US Treasury's $US1 trillion "toxic debt" investor fund plan, with the S&P-ASX200 index gaining 29.7 points to 3,580.

Page 6: The Liberal-Nationala government has come under fire for failing to unveil its wages policy six months after the election and two months from delivering its first budget.

The Education Department will fall $17 million short of its 3 per cent savings cut target this financial year, a parliamentary inquiry was told yesterday.

Page 7: Mining giant BHP Billiton has put the first of its Hopetoun houses on the market after its decision to mothball Ravensthorpe's nickel mine, prompting calls for the company to declare its plans for the region.

Page 9: Premier Colin Barnett has ruled out introducing legislation to force local government amalgamations, as the opposition claims his government's council reform policy is a shambles.

Page 15: Motorists who use shopper dockets to get a discount on petrol are not getting the full four cents a litre saving on nine out of 10 days, according to the RAC.

Page 16: Drinkers face another $40 million hit from the tax increase on alcopops in the next six weeks, despite parliament killing the measure.

Business: This year's brief rally in Chinese demand for iron ore was coming to an end and the $586 billion stimulus package from China's government, touted as a new hope for commodities markets, would take longer to kick in than was initially expected, a leading metals analyst warned yesterday.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh has further dampened the hopes of Pilbara juniors to gain access to the mining giant's extensive Pilbara infrastructure after taking a fresh swipe at attempts to force it to share its rails and ports.

Perth Glory founder and former fast food supremo Nick Tana has quietly bought the St Georges Centre office tower in the CBD from Macquarie Bank for nearly $39 million in an off-market deal, picking up a bargain in his first venture into this class of asset.

With the financial world on its head, few would have predicted a year ago that Australia's big four banks would be ranked in the world's top 20 by market capitalisation.

Terry Streeter's Fox Resources has struck an early blow in its hostile battle to take over Perth explorer Hannans Reward by securing the conditional support of shareholders controlling 18.9 per cent of the target.

OZ Minerals shares slumped 15 per cent yesterday after a key regulator extended its review period for Chinese state-owned Minmetals Nonferrous Metals Company's $2.6 billion takeover of the company.

Myer is closing the gap on the previously unrivalled performance of David Jones, with the private equity-backed retailer growing margins, shrinking costs and gaining market share from its upmarket competitor in the past six months.

"Lonely" was how Western Areas managing director Julian Hanna described the state of the nickel industry yesterday at the official opening of the group's $30 million Cosmic Boy concentrator.

The Obama administration's $US100 billion ($141 billion) plan to lure private investors into taking on $US1 trillion in toxic debt is as much about stabilising its own political fortunes as it is about reinflating America's faltering economy.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Investors have snapped up $500 million in state bonds before a crucial meeting today to negotiate the Rudd government's support for state borrowing programs, amid warnings that failure to reach a deal would jeopardise ambitious infrastructure programs.

A sharp rally on global sharemarkets raised hopes yesterday of an end to the 16-month-old bear market, after the US government releases details of a $US1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) rescue package aimed at enticing private investors to help clear toxic assets from bank balance sheets.

Page 3: Banks and other home-loan providers are struggling to cope with the rush of people taking advantage of the boosted first-home buyers' grant and lower interest rates.

A $450 million plan to introduce paid maternity leave is still on the federal budget agenda despite the recession and a deepening budget deficit.

Page 5: The Reserve Bank of Australia might be more inclined to take its time in cutting interest rates because of the US government's bold plan to purchase toxic assets from stricken US banks, according to market economists.

Page 12: The head of Western Australia's Treasury admitted yesterday he was "extremely frustrated" that many of his fellow bureaucrats were resisting moves to cut their budgets to help achieve the Barnett government's controversial 3 per cent efficiency drive.

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Wall Street fund managers - the very people blamed for the sub prime crisis that sparked the global economic meltdown - will be given an almost free ride to buy $US1 trillion worth of toxic assets crippling the financial system.

More people, including a majority of Coalition voters, think Peter Costello has a better chance of beating Kevin Rudd at the next election than Malcolm Turnbull. people, including a majority of Coalition voters, think Peter Costello has a better chance of beating Kevin Rudd at the next election than Malcolm Turnbull.

Greed is good again, at least if it helps clean up the toxic assets on US bank balance sheets that are clogging global credit.

The public will have access to much more government information online and embarrassment will no longer be an excuse for withholding documents under an overhaul of Freedom of Information laws.

Page 2: Coalition indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott has called for a ban on houses being built in remote indigenous communities where there are no jobs available.

Page 3: Australia's first mainstream, road-legal electric car took off on a three-week tour of the country yesterday to drum up support for the technology from politicians, businesses and vehicle buyers.

Qantas has contradicted AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty's version of the response to the fatal bikie brawl at Sydney airport.

Page 4: Australian banks earned billions of dollars in fees and charges on customer accounts in the weeks leading up to the federal government's move to protect the sector from the global financial crisis.

Gordon Brown has boosted Kevin Rudd's hopes that China will be given a greater role in the global financial system by hinting that some European nations have privately agreed to surrender some of their voting rights in the International Monetary Fund.

Page 5: Unions have criticised the Rudd government's bid to limit wage rises for low-paid workers, as Julia Gillard urged the pay regulator to consider the "unprecedented crisis" facing the global economy.

The number of Australians going bankrupt has soared over the past 10 years, even as the nation experienced a period of strong economic growth.

Page 7: Former millionaire MP Evan Thornley met executives of the company he quit politics to run while a parliamentary secretary to Victorian Premier John Brumby and now concedes he offered the company "advice about doing business in Australia".

Page 8: The public will have access to much more government information online and embarrassment will no longer be an excuse for withholding documents, under an overhaul of freedom of information laws unveiled by the Rudd government yesterday.

The top business lobby in NSW has joined the chorus of voices urging Labor to embrace nuclear power as a way of keeping the lights on and ensuring Australian manufacturing products stay competitive in a carbon-trading world economy.

Several of the nation's best-performing job agencies are about to be stripped of their government contracts as two new British players enter the market.

A claim by climate adviser Ross Garnaut that Australia could contribute to the rise of "green protectionism" by compensating polluting industries under its emissions trading scheme was the sign of an "ego gone mad", according to Australian Workers Union chief Paul Howes.

Page 9: Fifteen employees who received the largest bonuses from the bailed-out insurance giant American International Group have agreed to return more than $US50 million ($71 million) worth of payments.

Business: Global investors are hoping that the US government's latest attempt to bundle the toxic assets of the nation's banks will free up clogged credit markets and set equities on a solid recovery path.

Storm Financial founders Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis were "misleading" clients with a document on their website that would allow them to get off "scot free" after the company's collapse, corporate regulator ASIC has told a court.

Rio Tinto has sought to ease concerns about conflicts of interest in its proposed $US19.5 billion ($27.8 billion) tie-up with Chinalco, saying the Chinese state-owned company would not influence iron ore price negotiations.

Tabcorp Holdings is hoping to resurrect the corporate bond market with its $200 million public offer of Tabcorp bonds. If the raising is a success, it may prompt other corporates to follow suit.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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