Today's Business Headlines

04/06/2009 - 06:50

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Stocks soar on rise in GDP; Kagara poised to raise close to $200m; Ore price fall puts China on spot, boosts miners; WA may privatise assets to aid books; Union fury as Gillard talks tough

Today's Business Headlines

Stocks soar on rise in GDP
The economy's escape from a technical recession yesterday powered Australia's stockmarket to a seven-month high, prompting warnings that the rally could have a short life. The Australian

Kagara poised to raise close to $200m
Kagara was last night finalising plans to tap investors for nearly $200 million in one of the biggest capital raisings by a WA miner this year. The West

Ore price fall puts China on spot, boosts miners
Australia's iron ore miners have been given a lifeline as slumping spot prices have forced their major buyer, China, to cut domestic production and increase imports. The Australian

WA may privatise assets to aid books
West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell is considering privatising some state government assets as part of a number of moves aimed at shoring up the state's balance sheet after a collapse in revenue because of the abrupt end to the mining boom. The Fin Review

Union fury as Gillard talks tough
The Rudd government faces a union backlash at the next federal election after Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a stunning rebuff to unions at the ACTU Congress. The Age

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Police have stepped up their industrial campaign for more pay, refusing to issue fines for traffic offences and threatening wider action after claiming the state government's latest offer was worse than its first.

Page 4: Cashed-up consumers and exporters who had capitalised on a falling Australian dollar helped Australia become the developed world's fastest growing economy.

Page 5: Australia has defied the global recession and become the developed world's strongest economy, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd claiming his big spending stimulus packages had saved jobs and protected families.

A bumper season and a deregulated wheat export market have led to a rush of grain shipments from WA, replicating a jump in rural export volumes across Australia.

Page 6: The state government faces a new industrial relations flashpoint after a union representing about 22,000 of the lowest-paid public sector workers vowed it would not accept Treasurer Troy Buswell's new inflation-based wages policy.

Page 16: More than 100 jobs have been made redundant at Western Power in a cost-cutting measure aimed at saving the utility millions of dollars.

Business: Kagara was last night finalising plans to tap investors for nearly $200 million in one of the biggest capital raisings by a WA miner this year.

Alan Eggers, the uranium promoter credited with developing Summit Resources from an exploration play into a $1 billion takeover target, is set to return to public life through a backdoor takeover of WA junior Uranio.

Two of the country's biggest and most colourful bookmakers are set to join forces after Darwin's International All Sports agreed to a $40 million takeover bid from rival Sportsbet in a move which will create a betting giant turning over $2 billion a year.

Sinosteel Midwest Corp's management team will fly to Geraldton today in a bid to harness community support for its iron ore project as it prepares to appeal against the environmental watchdog's push to stop it mining a high-grade deposit.

A security breach has allowed confidential Westpac shareholder information to be included in an official document published on the Australian Securities Exchange website.

Restrictions on the size of shopping centres in the metropolitan area could soon be removed, potentially paving the way for a new era of mega shopping centres in WA.

OZ Minerals' $US1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) asset sales deal with China's Minmetals would provide a better return for shareholders than the alternative recapitalisation deal being proposed, analysts say.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has warned of more tough times ahead after a surprise bounce in growth at the start of the year, making Australia one of the best performing economies in the developed world.

The Australian dollar's unprecedented volatility over the past year is proving a massive challenge for companies which import large volumes of goods or generate healthy export sales.

Page 3: Companies rushing to cash in on the federal government's tax break for new cars have slowed the slump in sales to 7 per cent for business buyers, about half the 15 per cent fall registered by the rest of the market.

Page 4: Unions will establish a strategic litigation fund to push the boundaries of Labor's new workplace bargaining system while also pushing for "enhanced accountability processes" for Labor MPs.

Big retailers say they will have to raise prices or cut staff unless the federal government plans to introduce a new industrial award for the sector.

Page 5: The federal government is likely to reject coal industry demands for free carbon permits in the emissions trading system but will leave the way open for revamping its assistance offer to the industry.

Page 7: West Australian Treasurer Troy Buswell is considering privatising some state government assets as part of a number of moves aimed at shoring up the state's balance sheet after a collapse in revenue because of the abrupt end to the mining boom.

Page 10: Good luck and good management have combined to save the economy from a second successive quarter of negative growth.

Page 12: Agriculture has sustained economic growth in the past year and buoyed exports in the March quarter, helping Australia avoid an official recession.

Page 16: The OZ Minerals board is expected to receive a formal $US1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) recapitalisation proposal from RBC and RFG Group today - just one week before shareholders meet to vote on its asset sale deal with China Minmetals.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Australians have shrugged off the economic gloom, uniting with China's steelmills to propel Australia to the best economic growth in the industrialised world and defy predictions the economy has been shrinking for six months.

Unions have threatened to reduce their political support for Labor at the next federal election after Julia Gillard repudiated union demands to scrap the building industry watchdog and commit to a second wave of workplace changes.

Page 2: The Defence Department expects to save almost $9 billion over the next decade by overhauling its maintenance and procurement budgets, according to its first published guide on achieving the goal of $20 billion in savings by 2019.

Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon will keep his job despite another pecuniary interests gaffe that prompted a warning from Kevin Rudd that his patience was running thin.

Therese Rein's British job placement agency has won two more contracts, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to help put the long-term unemployed into work.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong began work yesterday on her "plan B" for getting the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme through the Senate by starting negotiations with Greens leader Bob Brown.

Page 3: Three states last night placed Victoria in the same category of swine flu threat as Mexico and the US as the spread of the virus across the country risked tipping the World Health Organisation's global flu alert status to "full-blown pandemic".

A technology firm chaired by former federal Liberal leader John Hewson has been swept into administration.

Page 4: Queensland and NSW are in recession after recording two consecutive quarters of negative growth, and Victoria and Western Australia also contracted sharply as private investment plummeted in the March quarter.

The record iron ore exports to China that helped Australia dodge a recession have been driven by speculation and anticipation of demand by steelmakers that has not yet eventuated - and volumes, as well as prices, are likely to fall in the second half of the year.

Kevin Rudd has seized on figures showing Australia has avoided falling into recession as vindication of his economic stewardship and evidence of the opposition's policy bankruptcy.

Page 5: Households have cautiously raised their spending despite rising unemployment, cutbacks in overtime and plunging investment income.

Department store David Jones kick-started its annual winter stocktake sale with a $20,000 handout for early-bird shoppers, deeper discounts and dolly birds.

The car industry claims it can see light at the end of the tunnel after sales figures for May revealed its best result this year.

Watching your new plasma television in your freshly purchased townhouse is all the sweeter when there's a shiny Italian coffee machine pumping out espresso in the kitchen.

Page 8: Unions have threatened to reduce their political support for Labor at the next federal election after Julia Gillard repudiated union demands to scrap the building industry watchdog and commit to a second wave of workplace changes.

Business: The economy's escape from a technical recession yesterday powered Australia's stockmarket to a seven-month high, prompting warnings that the rally could have a short life.

Australia's top retailers have welcomed news of a rebound in economic growth during the first quarter of 2009, but warn that job security is essential for further recovery.

Once an international highflyer, Carolyn Van Hecke is part of an emerging new aspect of the global financial crisis.

A combination of weak consumer demand and plummeting commodity prices has prompted one of the most savage pullbacks in investment on record, threatening Australia's economic recovery.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has broadened his campaign for withdrawal of the wholesale funding guarantee, urging the federal government to lobby a global forum such as the G20 to enable its removal worldwide.

The federal opposition has accused Wayne Swan of bungling a $675 million budget tax rise for Australians working overseas, saying a Senate inquiry will expose the impact on companies sending staff offshore on fixed-price contracts.

New research shows that fewer than 10 per cent of Australian reverse mortgage holders have used the equity in their homes to pay for holidays, hobbies and luxury items.

Timbercorp administrators KordaMentha will today ask the Victorian Supreme Court to decide whether the group's olive and almond Managed Investment Schemes (MISs) should be wound up because they are out of money.

Australia's iron ore miners have been given a lifeline as slumping spot prices have forced their major buyer, China, to cut domestic production and increase imports.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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