30/06/2009 - 06:58

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30/06/2009 - 06:58

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Stimulus a short-term hit: bank; ASX Seeks to cut small investors into bonds boom; Unions gear up to exploit IR changes; Iron men's bluff threatens deadlock; Australia to feel pain as China curbs its imports

Stimulus a short-term hit: bank
The Rudd government's fiscal stimulus packages may provide no more than a temporary boost to growth, and be followed by an extended period of economic stagnation. The Australian
ASX Seeks to cut small investors into bonds boom
Ordinary investors would be able to buy commonwealth and state bonds directly on the Australian Stock Exchange, under a proposal to throw open the market for burgeoning levels of government debt. The Fin
Unions gear up to exploit IR changes
Unions will use the Rudd government's new industrial relations regime to spread enterprise bargaining into sectors where it has had limited reach such as hospitality, cleaning, security and social welfare, and eventually small business. The Fin
Iron men's bluff threatens deadlock
Australian iron ore producers led by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto will start a new financial year without an agreed industry-wide price for the first time in the benchmark system's 42-year history. The Fin
Australia to feel pain as China curbs its imports
A record-breaking run of commodity exports to China that has sustained the Australian economy may be set to end, with Beijing officials and advisers announcing an end to "strategic" stockpiling and massive iron ore contracts likely to expire today. The West

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: The building industry watchdog has taken legal action to impose heavy fines on union boss Joe McDonald.

Babies raised by working mothers get as many cuddles as those born to sty-at-home mums, indicating that infants are not necessarily worse off with two working parents, a national study has found.

Page 5: Bunbury Port was brought to a standstill yesterday when high winds and drenching rain made shipping movements unsafe.

Page 12: Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest has devised yet another way to divest himself of Port Hedland land he bought from the state government on the understanding it would house Fortescue Metals Group workers.

Page 13: Environment Minister Donna Faragher was warned two weeks ago that the projected $156 million in revenue from the increased landfill levy would not be achieved, the head of WA's Waste Authority told a parliamentary committee yesterday.

Page 16: Powerful WA unionist Dave Kelly has defended allegations that he unfairly sacked a staff member, claiming she behaved unacceptably when badmouthing management and a colleague.

Page 19: Albany café owner Trish Flowers is fed up with WA's small businesses bearing the brunt of rising taxes and charges and says that many firms in the town will struggle to cope with the latest increase - a 20 per cent jump in gas prices from tomorrow.

Business: As investors today survey the damage at the end of the Australian sharemarket's worst financial year performance in 27 years, a select few stocks are still trading above water.

With the end of the financial year on them, small businesses are being warned to tread carefully in the changing tax landscape and keep thier wits about them.

Cliffs Natural Resources is looking to increase the size of its Koolyannobbing mining project near Southern Cross by tapping 30 million tonnnes of iron ore reserves as part of a long-planned expansion of its WA operations.

A record-breaking run of commodity exports to China that has sustained the Australian economy may be set to end, with Beijing officials and advisers announcing an end to "strategic" stockpiling and massive iron ore contracts likely to expire today.

Shares in Avoca Resources jumped 8 per cent yesterday on the back of a production upgrade for its Higginsville gold mine in WA.

Coles owner Wesfarmers will cut its losses on 45 underperforming supermarkets and eight liquor outlets, striking a deal to sell them to independent grocer FoodWorks in a move which will allow the conglomerate to focus on bigger, more porfitable outlets.

Timbercorp investors and growers last night voted to liquidate the affiliate company responsible for dozens of managed investment schemes, setting the scene for a Supreme Court showdown with administrator KordaMentha.

A survey into green marketing in Australia has found almost all products with environmentally friendly claims are guilty of greenwashing.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Ordinary investors would be able to buy commonwealth and state bonds directly on the Australian Stock Exchange, under a proposal to throw open the market for burgeoning levels of government debt.

Unions will use the Rudd government's new industrial relations regime to spread enterprise bargaining into sectors where it has had limited reach such as hospitality, cleaning, security and social welfare, and eventually small business.

Australian iron ore producers led by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto will start a new financial year without an agreed industry-wide price for the first time in the benchmark system's 42-year history.

Page 3: Investors in failed agribusiness group Timbercorp unanimously voted to wind up the parent company and 40 companies in the group after a heated meeting attended by more than 300 investors yesterday.

Small business groups have called on the Senate to block the Rudd government's proposed laws banning unfair contract terms unless protection for small businesses is reinstated.

Page 4: The federal opposition has played down the likelihood it will propose amendments to Prime Minster Kevin Rudd's emissions trading legislation in August, although it does appear prepared to start negotiations with the government before the end of the year.

Above-average earners will benefit the most from the $3.4 billion in tax cuts that start tomorrow when the 40 per cent tax rate drops to 38 per cent for taxable income between $80,001 and $180,000.

The banking industry is set to come under new political scrutiny with the establishment of a Senate committee looking at the Rudd government's bank deposits and wholesale funding guarantee.

Book publishers and retailers are set to ramp up their already fierce lobbying efforts when the Productivity Commission releases its report today on laws restricting the parallel importation of books.

Page 7: The Australian Industrial Relations Commission has called for Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard to spell out how it should keep costs down for restaurant employers.

A much wider range of workers will have access to unfair-dismissal claims from tomorrow, when the Rudd government unwinds exemptions for small business and redundancies.

Page 8: The Australian Industry Group has warned against any loosening of anti-dumping rules during the global financial crisis, when more cheap products are likely to flood into local markets.

Page 9: Kangaroo farmers are expecting a leap in demand for the national emblem after Chinese trade authorities approved protocols for the importation of roo meat for human consumption.

The federal government will pump a further $7 million into a strategic car component supplier to ensure that Australian car production is not disrupted.

The Adelaide-based Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance has dumped hull section supplier NQEA after it failed to come to up with a $20 million guarantee required for an $8 billion project to build three warships for the navy.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has ruled out an attack by hackers as the cause of an unexpected shutdown of its main retailing banking portal, NetBank.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The Rudd government's fiscal stimulus packages may provide no more than a temporary boost to growth, and be followed by an extended period of economic stagnation.

Federal Labor's revamp of the award system faces fresh delays after the Australian Industrial Relations Commission took the unusual step of calling on Julia Gillard to set out the hours of work, penalty rates and overtime that should apply in the restaurant sector.

Page 2: Australia's largest defence company, BAE Systems, has snatched a $300 million share of the hull construction contract for the navy's new air warfare destroyers, generating 400 new jobs and underwriting the future of Victoria's Williamstown naval dockyard.

As the clock runs out today for the first schools charged with kick-starting the economy through major building projects, only a handful of public schools around the country will have construction workers on site.

Page 3: Grocery shoppers bewildered by nutritional information disclosing a product's fat content and sugar levels may soon be confronted with a new label revealing its greenhouse gas emissions.

Page 4: Coalition MPs have urged the Rudd government to amend its emissions trading scheme further to ensure proposed US emissions laws do not disadvantage Australian farmers.

Page 6: Taxpayers will contribute $7 million to keep a Tasmanian bearing manufacturer afloat, a move the federal government claimed would avert the shutdown of Australia's car industry.

Page 7: Barack Obama has warned against the US imposing trade penalties on countries that decline to limit carbon emissions, after a late amendment was added to climate change legislation approved by the House of Representatives.

Business: Banks will be forced to take account of sharemarket levels and the health of the economy when making provisions for bad loans under new rules being drawn up by the banking regulator.

Wesfarmers' Coles Group has offloaded 45 underperforming supermarkets to independent retailer Foodworks, as it steps up moves to improve returns as part of turnaround plans.

Creditors voted yesterday to wind up both Timbercorp and its subsidiary, Timbercorp Securities.

The rush of recent raisings will see equity capital markets finish the financial year in the strongest shape since the bull-market days and bankers expect more overseas interest in Australian corporate refinancings.

The Australian sharemarket closed slightly lower yesterday, with directionless trade ahead of the end of the financial year today.

The ASX share ownership study shows that some investors have been overcome by recent events.

The James Packer-backed gaming group Crown can afford a casino acquisition of up to $1 billion after ditching a proposed takeover of US-based Cannery Casino Resorts earlier this year, according to an analyst's report from investment bank Merrill Lynch.

The proponents of a controversial pulp mill in South Australia's southeast are refusing to abandon the $1.5 billion project, despite losing a 35-year woodchip contract after the collapse of Timbercorp.

The takeover of brewer Lion Nathan by Kirin of Japan has cleared its last major regulatory hurdle, with the competition watchdog saying it will not intervene.

Shareholders in Funtastic have given the green light to the toy wholesaler's acquisition of Hong Kong-based NSR (HK) and a $22 million capital raising to secure an extension of its banking facilities.

Anglo American's defence against Xstrata's $80 billion ''merger of equals'' proposal seems to be focused on the Persian Gulf after Chinalco denied it was interested in Anglo's Brazilian iron ore assets.

FKP Property Group has demonstrated with its capital raising that it is possible to do the right thing by shareholders.

The latest delay to hit Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has complicated an intricate set of negotiations, giving airlines a chance to wrangle concessions from the plane maker on delivery dates, instalment payments and even the final purchase price.

Convicted Ponzi-scheme operator Bernard Madoff was due to learn overnight whether he would spend the rest of his life behind bars for running a decades-long swindle that bilked thousands of investors out of billions of dollars.

Porsche has rejected the sale of a 49.9 per cent stake to Volkswagen.

Concert promoter AEG Live spent the weekend after Michael Jackson's death planning what could be one of the biggest ticket refund programs in history, a challenge likely to be complicated by the possibility that the company might have trouble collecting on its insurance.

Only 16 per cent of senior managers in Australia's corporate sector expect to hire staff in the next 12 months and about a third intend to reduce their headcount, research shows.

The international community fears that major changes to the world's internet addressing system being attempted by its peak regulator will destabilise the global network.

Creators of the largest spam blacklists in the world, developed in Australia, is up for sale and the creator has already received offers of more than $1 million.

A new strategy at National Australia Bank could mean more technology job cuts as chief executive Cameron Clyne demands greater accountability and productivity from IT.

Stress caused by problems plaguing Telstra's customer service and billing system is forcing the telco's retail employees and even some dealers into new lines of work.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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