23/04/2009 - 06:50

Today's Business Headlines

23/04/2009 - 06:50

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Global rebound 'next year' - IMF; PM to raid nation's reserves; Rio's China deal will save jobs; Renewed talk for BHP bid for rival; Stokes sees $500m Telstra stake as 'safe investment'

Today's Business Headlines

Global rebound 'next year' - IMF
Australia is now in a recession that will cut its living standards by about 4 per cent over 2009 and 2010 as the world goes through its worst slump for 75 years, the International Monetary Fund has predicted. The Age

PM to raid nation's reserves
Wayne Swan will be able to fund billions of dollars of stimulus spending in next month's budget without adding to the spiralling deficit by raiding a "hollow log" created last year. The Australian

Rio's China deal will save jobs
Chinese mining group Chinalco has promised to save thousands of Australian jobs in a spirited defence of its plan to invest $US19.5 billion ($27.5 billion) in Rio Tinto, despite growing dissent from shareholders over the deal. The Australian

Renewed talk for BHP bid for rival
The drums are beating about a renewed BHP Billiton bid for Rio Tinto, as anger smoulders over Rio's deal with Chinalco, and BHP has added fuel to the fire with comments that it is "well-placed" to make acquisitions during the commodities downturn, despite reporting output declines in most of its key sectors yesterday. Herald Sun

Stokes sees $500m Telstra stake as 'safe investment'
WA Newspapers Holdings chairman Kerry Stokes said he had no intention of interfering in the running of Telstra Corp after amassing a stake of about $500 million in Australia's top telecommunications company. The West

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: A quarter of a million Australian will be thrown out of work within 18 months, the International Monetary Fund has warned in a report that says the world is in the grip of a severe recession that may last another two years.

Page 7: WA taxpayers are forking out more than $80,000 a week for the operation and routine maintenance of the Northbridge Tunnel, including washing its walls and removing rubbish.

Page 10: Perth shoppers face a confusing mix of trading hours this Anzac Day long weekend, retailers have warned.

Business: WA Newspapers Holdings chairman Kerry Stokes said he had no intention of interfering in the running of Telstra Corp after amassing a stake of about $500 million in Australia's top telecommunications company.

BHP Billiton is forfeiting hundreds of millions of dollars of sales revenue after admitting yesterday it was selling almost a third of its Pilbara iron ore production into the spot market.

The world's oldest champagne labels, including Moet & Chandon, Krug and Dom Perignon, could become British-owned under a tentative plan for a $22 billion bid by Diageo for the wine and sprits arm of LVMH, the French luxury goods company.

Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has reported the most significant drop in sales since the Great Depression because of waning demand from the construction industry and miners.

Caltex Australia has poached the head of fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot as its new chief executive, ending a nine-year practice of seconding a manager from parent company Chevron Corp.

WA Premier Colin Barnett has weighed into the debate over plans to merge the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA with 10 other industry bodies, warning that success stories like the Kimberley LNG precinct would not have developed without it.

Chevron's $50 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas project could receive its final environmental tick within days after Premier Colin Barnett said approvals were imminent.

Cash-strapped iron or miner Fortescue Metals Group could receive a much-needed $644.8 million injection from Chinese group Hunan Valin Iron and Steel as early as next week after the deal cleared its last major regulatory hurdle yesterday.

A National Australia Bank senior official has warned WA's small and medium-sized businesses to be more realistic when trying to secure bank finance in uncertain economic times.

Yahoo's profit slumped nearly 80 per cent in the first three months of the year and the company will trim its workforce by 5 per cent.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The fund established by James Hardie to compensate asbestos victims faces a significant shortfall this year and may be unable to meet its commitments by 2013 if the downturn in the United States housing market lasts into the next decade.

The Australian Taxation Office is poised to overhaul its procedures for sharing highly sensitive information with other federal law enforcement agencies after a damning report raised serious concerns about mismanagement and inappropriate collusion between the ATO, the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police.

The International Monetary Fund has said Australia faces a recession almost as deep as the 1990s downturn amid signs that the cost of living is not falling as fast as expected, increasing the pressure on households in a rapidly deteriorating labour market.

Page 3: Treasurer Wayne Swan has dismissed reports that dividend imputation could soon be scrapped and signalled that self-funded retirees are unlikely to lose their retirement benefits.

Page 4: Qantas has launched legal action the Transport Workers Union, seeking millions of dollars in damages, penalties and costs over a wildcat strike last month, vowing to stamp out industrial action that damages its brand.

Page 5: Engineers, miners and IT professionals working in the resources industry will be targeted by an Australian Taxation Office investigation into suspected tax avoidance in the sector.

Page 14: BHP Billiton has promised to keep its operations under review and tackle cash-negative businesses or those suffering lack of demand for their products as it remains downbeat on the medium-term outlook for commodity markets.

Page 17: Telstra has issued its most conciliatory public message to the Rudd government since it was threatened a fortnight ago with a four-way break-up by the administration.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Wayne Swan will be able to fund billions of dollars of stimulus spending in next month's budget without adding to the spiralling deficit by raiding a "hollow log" created last year.

Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma is attending the controversial UN anti-racism conference in Geneva.

The global Stella tourism empire, which owns the Harvey World Travel chain and manages one in five Gold Coast holiday apartments, is in danger of collapsing, threatening to cost banking giant UBS hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the week leading up to Anzac Day, the death toll among World War 11 veterans is likely to top 300.

The third boatload of Sri Lankans to arrive since September was stopped as it entered Australian waters on Wednesday.

Sea ice around Antarctica has been increasing at a rate of 100,000 sq km a decade since the 1970s, according to a study.

Page 2: Border-protection authorities are on high alert for more unauthorised boat arrivals after the Australian navy intercepted a boat carrying 32 Sri Lankans less than 100km from the Western Australian city of Exmouth.

US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has dismissed claims that Chinese computer spies hacked into top-secret files containing information on the $500 billion Joint Strike Fighter program.

Page 3: Two of three emergency call operators who took calls from a dying teenage boy in the NSW Blue Mountains had no memory of taking the calls.

Page 4: After six months of continuous decline, superannuation funds have recorded their first positive result, returning a 2.24 per cent gain last month.

Australia will escape relatively lightly from this year's recession compared with other countries and its own history, the International Monetary Fund says.

Page 6: A new dedicated ABC children's channel and $50 million to develop the bionic eye are two of only nine big plans adopted by the Rudd Government after last year's 2020 summit came up with a staggering 962 ideas.

Page 7: Failed childcare centres reliant on taxpayer funding have been sold to a charity for $1 each.

World: Barack Obama has opened the possibility of prosecution for Bush-era lawyers who authorised the brutal interrogation of terror suspects.

Business: Chinese mining group Chinalco has promised to save thousands of Australian jobs in a spirited defence of its plan to invest $US19.5 billion ($27.5 billion) in Rio Tinto, despite growing dissent from shareholders over the deal.

There are two substantive conclusions from the altogether sobering third-quarter production report BHP Billiton delivered to its owners yesterday.

Japanese imports slumped more than 4 per cent in the year to March 31 - and by 23 per cent in the second six months - but Australia, almost alone among Japan's major trading partners, prospered through the debacle.

Origin Energy has agreed to pay $660 million for fresh Queensland coal seam gas ground, delivering a huge windfall to little-known Sydney prospector Paul Fudge.

Australia's two big steelmakers have presented a united front against the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme, warning hundreds of jobs would be lost under the proposed plan, and that the Port Kembla steelworks would struggle to maintain its world-class status.

Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group's $645 million agreement with Fortescue Metals Group has received Chinese regulatory approval, making it the second-largest shareholder in the iron ore miner.

Telstra has landed the Holy Grail of local telecoms contracts, a $1 billion deal with the Commonwealth Bank to supply managed communication services over the next 10 years.

About 130,000 businesses across the country face a higher risk of financial distress in the next 12 months, a survey finds.

Global carmakers are flocking to China to tap into government-boosted record sales that has seen the country pass the US as the world's biggest market, with most major manufacturers promising to lift production or build new facilities to press home their brands.

Britain's Chancellor Alistair Darling drew the battle lines for the next election last night when he announced a new 50p top rate of tax for high-earners to help rein in record public borrowing.

Regulators will begin briefing banks this week about how they fared in government-performed "stress tests", giving lenders an opportunity to debate the findings before they are made public just over a week later, according to government officials.

Gaming company Aristocrat Leisure faces tough trading conditions across its global markets, analysts warn.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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