Today's Business Headlines

13/07/2009 - 06:48

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LNG boom big boost to economy; Karoon Gas 'bullish' on Browse Basin project; Investors sweat on Fortescue update to $400m costs drive; Stokes' power play tipped to escalate; China shuts the door on diplomats

Today's Business Headlines

LNG boom big boost to economy
Australia's biggest proposed resources project, the $50 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas plant, could be signed off within weeks in a major boost to the Rudd government's measures to stimulate the economy. The Fin Review

Karoon Gas 'bullish' on Browse Basin project
Karoon Gas Australia Ltd chief Robert Hosking says indications are his company's Browse Basin project is comparable to Woodside Petroleum Ltd's original North West Shelf discovery. Daily Telegraph

Investors sweat on Fortescue update to $400m costs drive
Fortescue Metals Group will today be asked by investors to detail progress of its $400 million cost-cutting initiative amid expectations the Pilbara producer will suffer a 33 per cent cut to iron ore prices this year. The West

Stokes' power play tipped to escalate
The power play between moguls James Packer and Kerry Stokes is tipped to escalate, with one of Seven Network's key institutional shareholders warning that Mr Stokes will not be content being a passive shareholder in Mr Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings after his aggressive share raid. The Age

China shuts the door on diplomats
China has rebuffed the Rudd government and may force Australian officials to wait a further month for a second visit to detained Rio Tinto iron ore executive Stern Hu. The Australian

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: Chinese President Hu Jintao personally endorsed the probe into Rio Tinto that led to Australian executive Stern Hu and three staff being arrested, according to Chinese government sources.

Page 6: Workers whose hours are cut or lose overtime are rushing to use new banking hardship provisions to re-negotiate mortgage repayments even before interest rates and unemployment rise sharply.

Page 7: Motorists could soon be enjoying much cheaper petrol as world oil prices plummet on fears the global economy is going to last much longer than expected.

Page 11: Health ministers will consult health and privacy groups about developing safeguards for patient identity numbers before they are assigned to every Australian by the middle of next year.

Page 12: WA wine producers are celebrating a stellar 2009 vintage - hailed as among the state's finest - but are also battening down the hatches as the economic storm breaks over wineries and vineyards from the Perth hills to Porongurups.

Page 18: Planning Minister John Day yesterday announced work on the $880 million riverside precinct in East Perth would begin next year but came under fire over the timing of the project, which will be competing with the city foreshore and Northbridge Link for private investment money.

Business: A confidential document is circulating through the global sugar industry asking for expressions of interest to by a cornerstone 20 to 25 per cent stake in CSR's sugar business as a prelude to the planned demerger and float of the division.

Virgin Blue is poised to announce a significant capital raising this week, bolstering its balance sheet and cementing its relationship with its new joint venture partner Delta Airlines.

The need to pay back the bankers is pressing, but not even the receivers of Great Southern's cattle stations can go against the way of life in the outback.

Fortescue Metals Group will today be asked by investors to detail progress of its $400 million cost-cutting initiative amid expectations the Pilbara producer will suffer a 33 per cent cut to iron ore prices this year.

Back in March, Moly Mines placed its $1.1 billion molybdenum plans on the backburner, put $127 million on the table and went shopping.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Australia's biggest proposed resources project, the $50 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas plant, could be signed off within weeks in a major boost to the Rudd government's measures to stimulate the economy.

The largest and most prestigious universities have delivered a major blow to the federal government's ambitious plan to boost the proportion of degree-qualified workers, saying they have no plans to significantly increase student numbers.

The Coles supermarket chain will today fire a new shot in the war with arch-rival Woolworths, offering extraordinary levels of petrol discounts to customers who spend up big at grocery outlets.

The federal government is preparing for a long diplomatic battle with China over the fate of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu, amid concerns that his arrest reflects a push by Beijing to reassert centralised control over iron ore price negotiations.

Page 3: The Rudd government said it was too early to say how much money developed nations should give developing countries to help them cut greenhouse emissions as it talked down the chances of a breakthrough at a major climate change summit in Copenhagen in December.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: China has rebuffed the Rudd government and may force Australian officials to wait a further month for a second visit to detained Rio Tinto iron ore executive Stern Hu.

Electricity generators are cutting back major maintenance work, raising the risk of California-style power brownouts, because of uncertainty caused by the federal government's carbon pollution reduction scheme.

Page 2: The Rudd government has left open the idea of lifting the compulsory superannuation contribution above its current 9 per cent rate as unions prepare to push for their long-held goal of 15 per cent contributions by 2015 at this month's ALP national conference.

Page 3: Motorists across the nation are paying higher prices for petrol because the oil companies are slow to pass on cost savings, a Queensland-based fuel watchdog has found.

Page 4: Canberra has pumped more than 10 times as much money into Murray-Darling buybacks in 2008-09 than a year earlier and overshot its water purchase budget by almost half, despite underspends on water-saving infrastructure.

Al Gore has challenged the Rudd government to show leadership by rolling out its carbon pollution reduction scheme before the global climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

NSW and the Australian Capital Territory have been cleared to receive federal money to combat homelessness, ending a funding logjam that had left them empty-handed.

Page 5: High-flying internet tycoon Daniel Tzvetkoff has denied claims that he diverted more than $35 million out of his embattled company to fund a lavish lifestyle of imported cars, beachfront mansions and parties.

Page 6: Airlines have warned the Rudd government that its policy of establishing a second Sydney airport outside the Sydney basin is flawed and are pushing for the facility to be located at the Richmond RAAF base.

Business: All eyes are on media moguls Kerry Stokes and James Packer as speculation mounts that the Seven Network boss could be gearing up to launch a full takeover bid for Consolidated Media Group.

The giant GE group has called for a major broadening of the corporate reporting system in Australia to protect lenders and limit the soaring level of personal bankruptcies.

Local companies and government agencies face an anxious wait for news from finance group CIT Group Australia, after reports that its US parent CIT Group was preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing.

Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are moving slowly and quietly towards the ambitious merger of their West Australian iron ore operations while the mining world focuses on China's detention of four Rio staff.

Here's a way to end the debate about whether the ASX or ASIC should manage surveillance of the Australian sharemarket: why don't they both do it?

The local sharemarket is expected to take its lead from foreign markets this week, as the US reporting season kicks off and key economic data is to be issued in China and the US.

Lloyds Banking Group is poised to write off £13 billion ($27bn) on its loans to commercial property, businesses and mortgage holders as the crisis engulfing the taxpayer-backed bank deepens.

Virgin Blue boss Brett Godfrey says the airline expects to slash costs again this year, but believes it will be well placed to take advantage of the industry upturn when it eventually arrives.

After a hard-fought battle to sever ties with collapsed investment bank Babcock & Brown, there is more than a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for Miles George, the boss of Infigen Energy -- the recently renamed B&B Wind Partners.

One step back, two steps forward for nuclear power over the past week.

Financing options for the ambitious Fortescue Metals Group continue to broaden, as another global bank with access to European markets initiates research coverage of the company.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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