08/05/2009 - 06:48

Today's Business Headlines

08/05/2009 - 06:48

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Swan slashes private health rebate; Razor gang does the trick in WA; Forrest’s lawyer presents evidence of binding deals; The worst is over – Murdoch; Telstra’s new face for a new era

Today's Business Headlines

Swan slashes private health rebate
Kevin Rudd will strip $1.9 billion from the pockets of middle-and high-income earners by slashing their taxpayer-funded 30 per cent private health insurance rebates in Tuesday's budget. The Australian

Razor gang does the trick in WA
The Barnett government's first budget will contain aggressive savings measures totalling $7.6 billion over four years, in a move that appears likely to preserve Western Australia's AAA credit rating in the short-term. The Fin Review

Forrest's lawyer presents evidence of binding deals
A five-week civil trial against Andrew Forrest and Fortescue Metals Group has wrapped up with Mr Forrest's lawyer presenting evidence he claims is proof that contracts with Chinese companies were binding and were given the nod by China's top approvals body. The Australian

The worst is over - Murdoch
News Corporation says the worst of the media sector's woes may be coming to an end despite a third-quarter earnings result affected by what the company's chairman, Rupert Murdoch, describes as a "dismal" advertising market. The Australian

Telstra's new face for a new era
Telstra has turned its back on the tumultuous Sol Trujillo era, choosing a peacemaker as its new chief executive as it is forced to adapt to a new telecommunications landscape. The Age

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: Australian business is defying the global recession by hiring staff, with figures showing the nation's unemployment rate falling after almost 50,000 people found work in April.

News Corp's Rupert Murdoch says the "worst is over" for the company and the US economy after the global recession and the weak advertising market savaged the media giant's third-quarter results.

Page 5: The state government has found $7.2 billion in savings, which it will detail in next week's budget, says Treasurer Troy Buswell.

Page 6: Resources Minister Norman Moore said yesterday he expected a uranium mine to be up and running in WA within three years, a target the Greens have described as ambitious and a concern.

Union heavyweight Joe McDonald was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $3,000 in court costs yesterday in line with an appeal decision that found he broke the law by staying and talking to building site workers in 2007 after being asked to leave.

Westralia Airport Corporation's commitment to the rapid development of Perth Airport has been questioned by claims it rejected conditional offers of government money and revelations that it has not allocated capital to the integration of the domestic and international terminals for at least four years.

Page 10: The business future of billionaire Andrew Forrest was uncertain last night as a Federal Court judge prepared to spend the next few months poring over hundreds of documents before deciding whether the Fortescue Metals Group chief should be banned from being a director of Australian companies.

Page 16: A few years ago it was touted as the next big thing in real estate in the North West, a project that would make Exmouth the new Broome.

Business: An alarming profit collapse at News Corp's newspaper empire has forced Rupert Murdoch to draw up plans to charge readers for online news.

The Australian dollar yesterday joined the stockmarket in hitting a new peak for the year, with global risk appetite and new-found confidence in economic growth prospects sending the currency to a seven-month high of US75.62 cents.

GPT has taken itself off the critical list by raising up to $1.7 billion and taking the knife to its ill-fated joint venture with Babcock & Brown.

Caper Lambert shares went into a trading halt yesterday amid speculation it is set to strike a deal to buy the assets of collapsed miner CopperCo.

The head of Avoca Resources says WA's gold sector has a once-in-a-decade chance for consolidation.

Carbon Conscious, the WA carbon credit company chaired by former WA opposition leader Matt Birney, is expected to announce the details of a major tree planting contract with an unidentified ASX top 50 company within weeks.

Fortescue Metals Group and its billionaire founder, Andrew Forrest, relied on what they believed was the qualified opinion of a senior company executive before treating a series of agreements with Chinese investors as binding in 2004, the Federal Court was told yesterday.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The sharemarket is heading for the 4,000 mark again as optimism that US banks can weather the recession and tentative signs of improving economic conditions in America and China extend a global rally.

Page 3: While the once-threatening levels of inflation in the economy have eased, the latest consumer price index figures show a string rise in men's underwear.

The federal government will introduce capital gains tax rules for fund managers in Tuesday's budget to bolster the battered $300 billion industry and its reputation as a financial services hub.

Australian consumers might be suffering the effects of the downturn, but it seems they're not cutting back on expensive steak.

Page 4: The Barnett government's first budget will contain aggressive savings measures totalling $7.6 billion over four years, in a move that appears likely to preserve Western Australia's AAA credit rating in the short-term.

Page 5: Qantas has struck an important workplace deal with about 1,7000 long-haul pilots as the airline seeks to reshape its labour relations under chief executive Alan Joyce.

Page 9: A shock surge in employment is not expected to last as the weight of the global recession and plunging business investment overwhelms the support jobs have been given by low interest rates and massive federal government handouts.

Page 17: The mining industry's key complaint about the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme has received a boost amid signs US politicians believe industry should be handed most of their permits for free under a proposed system.

Page 19: Andrew Forrest's barrister wrapped up his defence in the Federal Court yesterday, ending a five-week trial that threatens to strip the Fortescue Metals Group chief executive of the right to hold a board seat on the company he founded.

Page 21: A federal regulator has agreed that unions have raised "significant and important issues" about the performance of builder John Holland, in the latest of an escalating tussle over workplace safety.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Kevin Rudd will strip $1.9 billion from the pockets of middle-and high-income earners by slashing their taxpayer-funded 30 per cent private health insurance rebates in Tuesday's budget.

Financial markets believe an economic recovery is in prospect for Australia following much stronger-than-expected jobs figures.

An embattled Telstra board will try to improve relations with the Rudd government and the market by today announcing its business head, David Thodey, as the replacement for chief executive Sol Trujillo.

Page 3: Sky News has sacked its most senior presenter, John Gatfield, to make way for the return to television of the Nine Network's former star broadcaster, Jim Waley.

Page 4: The economy as a whole hasn't created a single job since October. It hasn't lost any either, but the only way from here is down.

Early this year, architect Sandy Law was on the brink of having to lay off staff from her family practice.

Page 5: The Rudd government has slashed spending on the "green loan" election promise funded in last year's budget, but decided the energy efficiency lending should be cost-free to borrowers for four years, citing the impact of the recession on its own budget and that of households.

Business: News Corporation says the worst of the media sector's woes may be coming to an end despite a third-quarter earnings result affected by what the company's chairman, Rupert Murdoch, describes as a "dismal" advertising market.

Troubled listed property trust GPT Group has gone back to the market for $1.7 billion to reduce its mountain of debt and hasten moves to get out of its toxic joint venture with collapsed investment bank Babcock & Brown.

Rio Tinto's Doug Ritchie would have us believe he has a touch of Margaret Thatcher about him. He is, apparently, not made for U-turns.

David Thodey is due to be appointed chief executive of Telstra today, after joining the company in 2001 from his previous position as IBM Australia and New Zealand chief executive.

Suncorp is priming its banking assets for sale and winding back commercial property lending in a move that could place further pressure on the struggling property sector's demand for refinancing.

Sims Metal Management, the world's largest recycler, has refused to forecast future guidance after reporting a $94 million net loss on weakened demand and plunging metal prices.

BlueScope Steel will have substantially more cash in the bank than expected after Credit Suisse yesterday agreed to underwrite the maximum $1.4 billion the company is trying to raise from shareholders.

Federal Reserve board senior member Janet Yellen has forecast the US economy should lift from recession by the end of the year, but the major risk to recovery is a credit event destabilising the global financial system.

The nation's Big Four banks are likely to continue racking up loan losses at a rate of more than $1 billion a month as the industry shrinks worldwide, employing fewer people, generating lower profits and paying less tax.

The Australian Securities Exchange is monitoring trade in BrisConnections to ensure there is sufficient liquidity to justify a public listing.

A five-week civil trial against Andrew Forrest and Fortescue Metals Group has wrapped up with Mr Forrest's lawyer presenting evidence he claims is proof that contracts with Chinese companies were binding and were given the nod by China's top approvals body.

The Federal Reserve directed at least seven of the US's biggest banks to bolster their capital levels by $US67 billion ($89.1 billion) while effectively blessing the stability of six others, marking for the first time a bold line between some of the stronger and weaker banks in the US.

A shock fall in unemployment punched the Australian dollar to fresh seven-month highs and prompted a sharp fall in interest rate futures, as market analysts predicted the downturn in Australia might not be as severe as first thought.

The market inched closer to 4000 points yesterday as growing confidence about the global economy drove equities and commodities higher.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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