08/06/2009 - 06:49

Today's Business Headlines

08/06/2009 - 06:49

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Increase GST, lift taxes on 4WDs, says Barnett; China fails in ore price deal; Bid to derail Rio-BHP exclusivity; OZ rejects $1.5bn, sticks with Minmetals; Sage poised to close deal on platinum play

Increase GST, lift taxes on 4WDs, says Barnett
The WA government has proposed lifting the 10 per cent GST rate, hitting four-wheel-drive owners with higher taxes and giving the states a slice of federal income taxes in its submission to a national review of Australia's taxation system. The West

China fails in ore price deal
China's attempts to force a bigger cut in iron ore prices appear to have failed, in another blow to Beijing, which is already reeling after the collapse of Chinalco's $US19.5 billion alliance with Rio Tinto. The Australian

Bid to derail Rio-BHP exclusivity
Plans by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton to guard jealously the rail and port infrastructure assets of their newly created $US115 billion Pilbara iron ore joint venture from third party access have come under immediate attack. The Age

OZ rejects $1.5bn, sticks with Minmetals
OZ Minerals has rejected an alternative proposal to solve the miner's debt problems and will push ahead with its China Minmetals deal. The Australian

Sage poised to close deal on platinum play
It has taken more than a year but the long-awaited friendly takeover of Tony Sage's International Goldfields by joint venture partner Nkwe Platinum is on track to be wrapped up sooner rather than later. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The WA government has proposed lifting the 10 per cent GST rate, hitting four-wheel-drive owners with higher taxes and giving the states a slice of federal income taxes in its submission to a national review of Australia's taxation system.

Page 4: The state government's decision to push ahead with commercial trials of genetically modified canola has the potential to devastate the lucrative agricultural trade with Japan, WA's trade commissioner in Tokyo has warned.

As firms nationwide slash thousands of jobs, on workplace can't recruit staff fast enough - Centrelink.

Tens of thousands of WA homebuyers are set to gain hundreds of dollars extra in their wallet every month as mortgage rates they locked in three years ago plummet.

Page 6: The historic Palace Hotel, a hub for social activity in Perth's CBD until the mid 1980s when it was closed by Alan Bond to make way for a bank and multi-storey tower behind the fa├žade, could be revived under plans by developer Luke Saraceni.

Page 7: The controversial Smiths Beach tourism development in Yallingup, which has been dogged by scandal in its 10-year history, is set to enter the spotlight again with new plans to be released today.

Page 11: Police union president-elect Russell Armstrong gas denied a new 44-hour week for some officers over summer - an extra shift each fortnight - is a trade off in the new pay deal.

A union representing about 22,000 public sector workers due for a pay rise said it would use the police pay deal as a minimum benchmark for its own wage negotiations with the state government later this year.

Page 16: Premier Colin Barnett kept the heat on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto yesterday to agree on a deal with the state over stamp duty and mining royalties on their proposed $7.2 billion tie-up of their Pilbara iron ore operations, saying tax concessions "were for first-homebuyers" not multi-national mining companies.

Business: Premier Colin Barnett conceded yesterday the issue of third-party rail access had become more pressing in the wake of the proposed alliance between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which was threatening to leave Pilbara junior miners stranded.

Global steel producers have come out swinging against the proposed BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto alliance, arguing it will allow them to set the world price for iron ore and called on the European Commission to intervene.

It has taken more than a year but the long-awaited friendly takeover of Tony Sage's International Goldfields by joint venture partner Nkwe Platinum is on track to be wrapped up sooner rather than later.

The US antitrust regulator has made startling new allegations against CSL, accusing Australia's biggest healthcare company of exploring means of "punishing firms" that do not comply with industry agreed output levels and seeking to conceal its litigation with the regulator from the public.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

(No publication today due to Queens Birthday Public Holiday in Eastern States)

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The Melbourne Cricket Club, the nation's largest sporting club and a pillar of the establishment, has been accused by one of its most prominent members of being a closed and undemocratic old boys' retreat that has lost touch with the modern world.

Kevin Rudd has signalled the battleground on which he will fight the next election by promoting key backers to the politically sensitive areas of jobs and infrastructure in his weekend reshuffle.

China's attempts to force a bigger cut in iron ore prices appear to have failed, in another blow to Beijing, which is already reeling after the collapse of Chinalco's $US19.5 billion alliance with Rio Tinto.

Page 2: Victoria has already exported more than a dozen swine flu infections to other states, territories and countries, including an NRL player who contracted the illness after last week's State of Origin clash in Melbourne.

The federal opposition had additional information to use against former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon over his links with the health fund his brother runs and its plans to expand its business.

Page 4: Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co planned to set up patient loyalty programs with the public goal of increasing "quality of life" but privately to "improve patient compliance" and double the '' sales potential'' of its anti-arthritis drug Vioxx.

Taxpayers will cover the legal costs of an opposition spin doctor in the fake documents affair rocking the South Australian Liberal Party.

Business: China's attempts to force a bigger cut in iron ore prices appear to have failed, another blow to a Beijing already reeling after the collapse of Chinalco's $US19.5 billion ($24bn) alliance with Rio Tinto.

State and federal governments need to do more to encourage Chinese investment in Australia, says West Australian Premier Colin Barnett, who wants a new relationship with China after the BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto deal.

Rio Tinto iron ore boss Sam Walsh is not just the most recognised name in the iron ore sector, he is now being pegged as the man to take over the helm at the mining group.

OZ Minerals has rejected an alternative proposal to solve the miner's debt problems and will push ahead with its China Minmetals deal.

The death of the controversial $US19.5 billion deal between mining giant Rio Tinto and the Chinese government's state-owned aluminium company Chinalco signals a great day for shareholder activism.

Chinalco will consider a range of options for its 9 per cent shareholding in Rio Tinto, including selling the stake, buying into the $US15 billion ($18.9bn) rights issues announced and agitating for changes to Rio's board and management.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have started in-depth discussions with governments and authorities who will need to approve their $US5.8 billion ($7.3bn) deal to create the world's single largest iron ore producer.

Brazilian mining giant Vale sees the joint venture planned by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto limiting China's chances of arbitrating supplier iron ore prices, the Estado news agency reported at the weekend.

Rio Tinto's decision to terminate its alliance with China to pursue an iron ore deal with BHP Billiton may have renewed investor support for the miner, but chief Tom Albanese's future at the company remains in doubt.

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith has shown no mercy to regional banks struggling in the difficult funding environment, saying that they should "fix their balance sheets", and that BankWest had been a "maverick operator" without a sustainable business model.

Asciano has received "five or six" proposals from parties interested in buying all or part of the indebted port and rail operator, or else putting up equity, says chief executive and major shareholder Mark Rowsthorn.

Crude oil prices ended modestly lower at the weekend on profit-taking after hitting seven-month highs amid lingering concerns about the state of the US economy.

Pimco the world's biggest manager of bonds, is proving the standout winner in the fund management industry as Australians continue to flee to safe havens in the wake of the global financial crisis.

GM Holden is not for sale and is viable under its current business model and dealership coverage of 300 outlets, according to managing director Mark Reuss.

The Obama administration rushed an alliance between Chrysler and Fiat despite Chrysler's worries about Fiat's financial health and its willingness to share technology, according to internal company emails.

China says it is willing to buy as much as $US50 billion ($63bn) in bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund, part of a deal made by the world's major economies earlier this year to boost the resources the global agency has to combat financial crises.

The prosecution of Julian Tzolov, a former Credit Suisse Group broker charged with lying to clients about placing more than $US1 billion of their money in mortgage-related securities, was thrown into turmoil after the US government declared him a fugitive.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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