Today's Business Headlines

22/04/2009 - 06:39

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Ravensthorpe closure 'leaves scar on land'; Forrest in self-censorship bid; Long march for a great haul; Mining giants to combine power; No early recovery, says IMF

Today's Business Headlines

Ravensthorpe closure 'leaves scar on land'
The mothballed Ravensthorpe nickel project has left an ugly scar on an environmentally diverse site that may not be rehabilitated for years, the WA Conservation Council has warned. The West

Forrest in self-censorship bid
Lawyers for Fortescue Metals Group chief Andrew Forrest are trying to stop the Federal Court from considering comments he made without protection from self-incrimination during investigations into whether he used exaggerated statements to mislead investors. The Fin Review

Long march for a great haul
Chinese steel mills continue to target Australian iron ore miners to secure long-term contracts as domestic ore production dries up. The Australian

Mining giants to combine power
Australia's big miners are pushing for a merger of 11 industry bodies in a bid to cut costs and centralise lobbying power under the Minerals Council of Australia. The Age

No early recovery, says IMF
The International Monetary Fund has dashed hopes of an early world economic recovery, warning that the credit crunch will be deep and long-lasting, with the worst yet to come. The Australian

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has signalled a big-spending budget next month top save jobs after Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens admitted Australia was already in recession.

Page 5: A marina hedged by French Riviera-style luxury apartments and shops will be the key plank of a major development by property developer Port Bouvard at Point Grey near Mandurah, which is tipped to be worth more than $1.1 billion when complete.

Page 9: Farm group WAFarmers is urging young voters on daylight saving to consider its impact on communities and families, particularly in the bush.

Page 11: The mothballed Ravensthorpe nickel project has left an ugly scar on an environmentally diverse site that may not be rehabilitated for years, the WA Conservation Council has warned.

Page 18: State Health Minister Kim Hames has distanced himself from his department's harsh criticism of the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate, declaring he does not want it to be scrapped.

Page 19: Conservationists have blasted Griffin Energy as hypocritical over a potential plan to use centuries-old native jarrah trees as fuel for a new "eco-friendly" power plant.

Business: Wesfarmers is making headway in its battle to bridge the gap between its Coles supermarket unit and Woolworths, more than doubling its 2007-08 growth rate in the March quarter with a 6.6 per cent jump in sales.

The struggling Wesfarmers-owned Kmart business "can work" with a simplified business structure and a stronger focus on customers, new chief executive Guy Russo said yesterday.

The Australian sharemarket slumped 91.6 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 3,677.4 yesterday, the fifth biggest fall of the year and the biggest since the market depths of early last month.

A former board member of uranium company Extract Resources, Steve Sikirich, has emerged among the big winners out of directors who braved one of the worst bear markets in history to buy up shares in their charges last year.

Delays in receiving approvals have blown out Gindalbie Metals' development timetable for its $1.8 billion iron ore project in the Mid West by as much as 12 months, with the miner saying yesterday it did not expect to start magnetite production until 2011.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA chief Reg Howard-Smith says he is "concerned" the group will sacrifice its credibility and brand if a push by the Minerals Council of Australia to merge 11 industry bodies is successful.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Few people have taken a keener interest in the Future Fund's campaign against Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie than Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes, who has emerged as one of the largest individual shareholders in the embattled telecommunications provider.

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens has declared that the long-term growth prospects for the economy are sound despite the deep global downturn, as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd indicated yesterday that more big spending measures to spur activity would be included in the federal budget next month.

Page 3: Lawyers for Fortescue Metals Group chief Andrew Forrest are trying to stop the Federal Court from considering comments he made without protection from self-incrimination during investigations into whether he used exaggerated statements to mislead investors.

Page 5: The federal government is expected to unveil major infrastructure measures in the budget, which Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed will provide further stimulus.

Page 7: Emissions trading experts have warned that the federal government risks distorting its scheme for little environmental benefit if it follows Labor senators' advice to give greater recognition to "voluntary" emissions cuts.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The International Monetary Fund has dashed hopes of an early world economic recovery, warning that the credit crunch will be deep and long-lasting, with the worst yet to come.

Anthony Pratt is preparing to assume control of the $5 billion Visy packaging empire as his father, Richard Pratt, lies close to death with terminal cancer.

Macquarie Group has thrown a lifeline to investors in BrisConnections, enabling mum-and-dad unitholders to avoid potential bankruptcy.

A Merck scientist involved in developing the company's antiarthritis drug Vioxx admitted in an internal email two years before the drug was released that the possibility of increased heart attacks was "of great concern".

Page 2: Australia's banking system holds up better than most other countries under disaster scenarios developed by the International Monetary Fund.

Having almost caught up with Australia's recession, Kevin Rudd is now talking about further budget stimulus.

Page 3: Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has moved to water down his claim that sea levels could rise by 6m as a result of the melting of Antarctic ice.

Seventy job cuts and a possible move to a nine-day fortnight are being proposed by Fairfax Media as it continues to slim its New Zealand operations.

Page 4: Nicholas Bolton has taken steps to extricate himself from the whole BrisConnections saga, lodging a transfer form with the toll-road company that hands his entire holding of 76 million units to a family friend.

Business: The sharemarket and Australian dollar plunged yesterday after the US market's six-week rally hit the wall and the Reserve Bank admitted the domestic economy was in recession.

The turnaround of Coles is starting to take shape, with the country's second-biggest supermarket chain gaining market share to deliver a 7.6 per cent lift in food and liquor sales to $5.3 billion for the third quarter ending March 31.

Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Australia is attracting global attention, with confirmation its Queensland asset is the world's highest-grade molybdenumrhenium deposit.

Mark Rowsthorn's enigmatic dawdle to endgame in his so-called "monetisation" process must be as baffling to some Asciano shareholders as it is intriguing for we disinterested observers.

Oil Search and its partners have struck the maiden liquefied natural gas sales deal for the $US12.5 billion Papua New Guinea LNG project, agreeing to supply a state-owned Chinese company.

Chinese steel mills continue to target Australian iron ore miners to secure long-term contracts as domestic ore production dries up.

The board of Babcock & Brown Capital will return most of its cash to shareholders if a buyer for the whole group does not emerge in the next two months, effectively foiling the takeover proposal of former Babcock executives led by Rob Topfer.

Dexus Property Group, a leading owner of prime offices in Australia, yesterday announced a $750 million equity raising plus asset sales to gather a further $600 million.

A Sydney judge yesterday sent former stockbroker Stephen Lewis Matthews to jail for six months for his fourth conviction for breaching a succession of orders over the past 10 years banning him from providing financial advice.

Clothing manufacturer Pacific Brands has won more time to pay its debts.

Australia's coal seam gas producers are struggling to line up offshore customers at a time when energy demand is slipping, presenting them with tough challenges that not everyone thinks they will overcome.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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