Today's Business Headlines

29/06/2009 - 06:54

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ASIC warns directors on valuations, solvency; Companies face 20pc profit cut; BHP benefits as Rio robots race to 'mine of the future'; West shapes as key to Rudd's second-term hopes; Hotels in rush to sign up workers.

Today's Business Headlines

ASIC warns directors on valuations, solvency
Auditor concerns about corporate collapses and directors' insolvent trading have more than tripled in the most recent financial reports of listed companies. The Fin

Companies face 20pc profit cut
Corporate earnings for the 2008-09 year are tipped to dive by more than 20 per cent as Australian companies struggle with their worst profit year since 1991. The Australian

BHP benefits as Rio robots race to 'mine of the future'
Rio Tinto is forging ahead with its ''mine of the future'' plans and will open its Perth operations centre one month ahead of schedule, a move that will benefit rival BHP Billiton. The Australian

West shapes as key to Rudd's second-term hopes
Western Australia will determine Kevin Rudd's fate at the next federal election, Immigration Minister Chris Evans has told the party's state conference in Perth. The Australian

Hotels in rush to sign up workers
Employers have struck 40 non-union workplace deals covering 5000 luxury-hotel employees over the past six weeks as companies rush to lock out unions before the introduction of new industrial relations laws this week. The Australian

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: Tea lovers may soon have to pay more for their daily brew because shortages have caused wholesale prices to jump by as much as a quarter.

Page 9: The WA Labor Party would set up a bereaved family support fund with up to $10 million of taxpayers' money to support the families of people killed in the workplace, opposition leader Eric Ripper said yesterday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd did not make it to Perth for the Labor conference but found time to rub shoulders with some stars on Channel 10's Rove last night.

Page 12: The state's building sites could return to the chaos of the 1980s when the construction industry was "held to ransom by union officials" after laws giving unions greater powers come onto force this Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned yesterday.

Page 13: Winds up to 125kmh battered Perth and the South-West as more storms and heavy rain passed over the state last night and into this morning. Fremantle Ports took the unusual step of closing its harbours a high winds and a swell of up to 8m made docking too dangerous.

The consumer group Choice is considering going ahead with its own website comparing grocery prices, depsite the federal government killing off at the last minute the service it commissioned the organisation to relaunch.

Page 15: A quiet revolution is taking place all over the Perth metropolitan area. Inconspicuous small bars are opening their doors on laneways and alleys to little fanfare but are welcoming small crowds of loyal customers.

Page 16: Tax cuts that heavily favour the rich take effects from Wednesday, but the state's leading industry group says they are not enough and wants the rate for high income earners slashed from 45c to 30c in the dollar to help fight the economic downturn and encourage more people into the workforce.

Business: The corporate watchdog will crack down on the disclosure requirements of struggling companies after a sharp spike in auditors' queries over their ability to continue as a going concern.

The team trying to roll the board of Indago Resources and install industry veteran Miles Kennedy at its helm has turned up the heat on its target, with a letters to shareholders accusing the board of frittering away their cash for little result.

Takeover target Dioro Exploration set tongues wagging last week when it cancelled an analysts' site visit to Coolgardie at the last minute.

There has been much discussion after the recent sharemarket rally and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report that the worst fo the global financial crisis might be behind us.

Those hoping to lock their mortgage at a low interest rate have probably missed the boat for the time being as lenders have raised their fixed rates in recent weeks.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Auditor concerns about corporate collapses and directors' insolvent trading have more than tripled in the most recent financial reports of listed companies.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon is in a stand-off with the powerful Pharmacy Guild of Australia and drug wholesalers over an $11 billion funding agreement, as the federal government seeks to contain pressures on the budget form the escalating cost of medicines.

The federal opposition will push Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to overhaul Australia's emissions trading scheme to be more like the US model that won a landmark vote in Congress over the weekend.

Page 3: Car maker Holden has flagged further cost cutting and restructuring to return to the black after posting a $70 million loss for the 2008 calendar year.

Figures due this week are expected to show retail sales and housing approvals continued to grow last month as consumers spent the government's economic stimulus package.

Page 4: The government has moved to cut red tape by ending duplication between the commonwealth and the states across five areas of financial regulation and consumer law in a bid to save billions of dollars a year.

Page 5: The federal opposition said the government's decision to scrap its GroceryChoice website had exposed as "reckless" Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's pre-election vow to bring down the price of everyday items.

Junior defence minister Greg Combet will move this week to reassure Australian defence firms that the federal government plans to give them more detailed and complete information about the $100 billion military modernisation program planned over the next decade.

Page 6: The Australian Tax Office is considering using tough promoter penalty laws for the first time to take legal action against marketers of shonky managed investment schemes.

Page 7: Charities are suffering after corporate donations fell by as much as 25 per cent in the past 12 months and many company-related philanthropy foundations put a stop to any new grants.

Those with incomes of $250,000 or more will have to convince the tax man about the business-worthiness of their hobby farm or vineyard if they want to claim a loss from the venture as a tax deduction under new rules in the new tax year.

Page 8: Gas utility Alinta will be forced to return to businesses and households some of the $38 million it may recoup over the Varanus Island explosion last year, Western Australian Energy Minister Peter Collier says.

Financial planners and legal experts are sceptical about the corporate regulator's new investor awareness campaign that will classify financial products as being "between the flags" or "outside the flags", warning that it could mislead investors.

Page 11: China's central bank has revived its campaign for the creation of a new international reserve currency to replace the US dollar and called for an expanded role for the International Monetary Fund in its latest annual report on the financial industry.

Page 13: Anglo American is expected to open talks with Chinalco and an unidentified Middle Eastern group about a major investment in its Latin American iron ore busines as soon as this week, in a bid to land an early defensive blow against Xstrata's $84 billion merger approach.

Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group has made major strides towards hitting its target of stripping $400 million in annual costs out of its business, after renegotiating better deals with its contractors and bringing some services in-house.

Page 15: Revenue-deprived media executives are set to receive a boost as the supermarket divisions of Woolworths and Wesfarmers' Coles Group head into an advertising war.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Employers have struck 40 non-union workplace deals covering 5000 luxury-hotel employees over the past six weeks as companies rush to lock out unions before the introduction of new industrial relations laws this week.

The Rudd government wants retailers to establish their own price information website to fill the gap left by the sudden axing of Grocery Choice.

Page: 2 Nhut Huynh is blessed with the kind of optimism that can see a person through the very worst of times. It's an outlook that has served him well, as the 44-year old Sydney chef has lived a life that would have daunted most.

Page 3: Teachers' unions and school principals will be able to line their pockets under new big brother laws in NSW banning the publication of statistics ranking the state's schools, which have been condemned by legal experts and civil libertarians.

Page 4: One of Adelaide's establishment families is suing IBM for almost $3 million in the Federal Court, claiming the technology giant bungled a wool computer system it was contracted to design and implement.

Page 5: Taxation cuts of $3.4 billion will start to flow from Wednesday, as the Rudd government prepares to roll out massive changes to social security and superannuation.

Page 6: Western Australia will determine Kevin Rudd's fate at the next federal election, Immigration Minister Chris Evans has told the party's state conference in Perth.

Page 7: "No one saw it coming.'' That's how Andrew McKellar, chief executive officer of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, sums up the peculiar turn of events that led to OzCar.

Business: Corporate earnings for the 2008-09 year are tipped to dive by more than 20 per cent as Australian companies struggle with their worst profit year since 1991.

The strength of China's economy is seen by the Reserve Bank and international institutions as the biggest source of hope for the Australian economy, but its growth may be less secure than they think.

Rio Tinto is forging ahead with its '' mine of the future'' plans and will open its Perth operations centre one month ahead of schedule, a move that will benefit rival BHP Billiton.

Anglo American is believed to be trying to sell part of its big Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil, possibly to spurned Rio Tinto rescuer Chinalco, to help fend off Xstrata's $80 billion merger approach.

While the nation's political groupies spent most of last week mesmerised by the saga of OzCar, Godwin Grech and the ute, the Senate was quietly passing legislation that will make a major difference to the lives of some of us.

National Australia Bank chief executive Cameron Clyne says rising bad debt will affect most banks' results over the '' next couple'' of half-years, particularly if unemployment rises.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has asked companies to pay special attention to the areas most affected by the economic downturn when preparing their end-of-year financial reports.

Australian-based absolute return and hedge funds are continuing to outperform despite the rising market, which usually causes returns to drop back due to their short positions.

Citi's regional head of global transaction services, Anthony Nappi, says the division will remain one of the group's fastest-growing areas as Australian banks move into the Asian market.

Furniture and electrical goods retailer Harvey Norman has reported a strong response to its winter clearance sales in a further signs of recovery in the retail sector.

BHP Billiton's base metals head, Diego Hernandez, expects it to be a ''good year'' for copper producers after a better than expected first half.

Former investment fund Goldlink Income Plus has stepped up its attack on Idago Resources in its campaign to oust the board and gain control of the latter's Nyanzaga gold project in Tanzania and $17.3 million in cash.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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