Today's Business Headlines

21/07/2009 - 06:47

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Labor defector gives Nationals more power; Dioro set for tie-up, blocking Avoca bid; Bank results boost shares; Produce prices lowest in 10 years; Coalition torn over climate

Today's Business Headlines

Labor defector gives Nationals more power
North west MP Vince Catania dropped a political bombshell last night, saying he would quit the Labor Party and sit as a Nationals MP in state Parliament. The West

Dioro set for tie-up, blocking Avoca bid
Dioro Exploration is expected to announce soon a deal with Canadian miner Northgate Minerals that will potentially trump a hostile offer by Avoca Resources. The West

Bank results boost shares
The rush of energy into global equity markets gathered pace yesterday with investor confidence boosted by the surprise return to profit of the world's largest banks. The Australian

Produce prices lowest in 10 years
Prices paid to Australian producers have had their sharpest fall in 10 years, in a sign that inflationary heat is fading rapidly. The Age

Coalition torn over climate
Climate change is looming as a major challenge for Malcolm Turnbull's leadership after he angered some senior colleagues yesterday by publicly floating a new strategy despite failing to get shadow cabinet support for it. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: North west MP Vince Catania dropped a political bombshell last night, saying he would quit the Labor Party and sit as a Nationals MP in state Parliament.

Page 3: The launch of a once-a-month government-funded drug today is set to benefit the one in 10 Australians with osteoporosis.

Page 4: Land will be carved up from up to five state schools and put on the market as part of a sell-off by the Education Department expected to raise nearly $160 million.

The federal opposition looks increasingly certain to play ball with the government on emissions trading in response to business pressure.

Page 6: It was the golden age of Perth property, when a new breed of super-buyers riding the crest of WA's mining boom drove the luxury property market towards new heights never seen before.

An economic forecaster says WA's unemployment rate will hit the same peak as the rest of the nation within two years as the economic crisis hits home.

Page 15: A fishermen's group has warned the WA rock lobster fishing fleet will shrink by one third if proposed tough restrictions are introduced.

Business: Dioro Exploration is expected to announce soon a deal with Canadian miner Northgate Minerals that will potentially trump a hostile offer by Avoca Resources.

Engineering and waste management company GRD has defended its decision to accept a $106 million takeover bid from UK group AMEC on the same terms as first mooted six weeks ago, saying it could not push for a higher bid price because of a lack of support from shareholders.

The federal government's finance management body says it has been left out of the loop on government plans to issue billions of dollars in bonds to partly fund its broadband plan.

Shares in Sandfire Resources soared to a record high yesterday as first diamond drilling at its Doolgunna project in the Murchison seemed to confirm the presence of a huge copper-gold orebody.

Rio Tinto's listed uranium subsidiary, Energy Resources of Australia, has delivered Rio some good news on the profit front.

Belief that global economies are recovering is driving financial markets backs towards year highs, with Australian investors lifting the S&P-ASX 200 by 49.5 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 4050.3, just short of the 4062 top reached last month.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Almost 60 federal government agencies, representing close to a third of the Commonwealth public sector, ran at a loss last financial year after the global financial crisis battered the value of government assets and investments.

Australian retailers are clicking back onto the internet to compete with their global rivals as a second wave of e-commerce rejuvenates plans abandoned during the dotcom crash.

The sharemarket is close to an eight-month high after rising for five sessions in a row, as economic data and better than expected financial results from American companies spurred optimism about the global economy.

Page 3: A chief adviser to the Rudd government's national broadband network admitted yesterday that no comprehensive business case had been made for the $43 billion project.

Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has declared the coalition may be prepared to vote in support of Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme before the end of the year, provided the prime minister makes appropriate changes.

Page 4: Federal government stimulus measures have helped the economy skirt the most dangerous phase of the global recession relatively unscathed but the fiscal legacy is set to cripple public spending and possibly force up taxes, forecaster Access Economics has warned.

Page 5: Directors and employers who do not adequately provide for employee redundancy entitlements should be sanctioned, say the unions, which plan to push for federal government agreement on "corporate responsibility" measures at the ALP conference later this month.

Page 7: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett will today begin a round of sensitive high-level meetings with Chinese state-owned companies and senior business leaders as he attempts to mend strained political and commercial relations with his state's largest trading partner.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Climate change is looming as a major challenge for Malcolm Turnbull's leadership after he angered some senior colleagues yesterday by publicly floating a new strategy despite failing to get shadow cabinet support for it.

Union leaders have increased their industry protectionist push ahead of the ALP national conference on July 30 with a campaign highlighting the use of cheap Chinese steel in the Carlton Football Club redevelopment in Melbourne.

Strong consumer spending and China's economic growth have prompted Access Economics to reduce its predicted peak unemployment rate for next year to 7.5 per cent, down from 8.5 per cent.

Page 2: Strong consumer spending and China's continuing economic growth have prompted Access Economics to reduce its predicted peak unemployment rate for next year to 7.5 per cent.

Second-generation West Australian state Labor MP Vincent Catania is today expected to announce he has defected from the Labor Party to the Nationals, giving Liberal premier Colin Barnett's minority government an important extra seat.

Page 4: Preselections cause opposition leaders endless headaches. They can't stay out of them, but they can't get too involved in them, either.

Business: The rush of energy into global equity markets gathered pace yesterday with investor confidence boosted by the surprise return to profit of the world's largest banks.

So really has been reduced to the Jacques or John show. After two years of very private diligence, Don Argus, assisted by headhunter Heidrick & Struggles and BHP Billiton's senior independent director, John Buchanan, has delivered the Global Australian with two final options for his succession.

Just five months after their surprise defection from the giant Queensland Investment Corporation to run property minnow Trinity, Laurie Brindle and Steve Leigh have now left the troubled fund manager.

Kerry Stokes's Seven Network is set to exit one of its less successful recent investments with a loss of more than $34 million, after GRD yesterday announced it was recommending British group AMEC's $106m takeover bid.

Inflows into agribusiness managed investment schemes have plummeted 77 per cent and are unlikely to fully recover following the collapse of the sector's two biggest players, Timbercorp and Great Southern.

The worst is not yet over for the Chinese economy, Citigroup's chief Asia economist Huang Yiping has warned.

Dioro Exploration says it is in advanced talks with a Canadian copper and gold miner about a potentially superior transaction to the hostile Avoca Resources takeover bid.

Grain trader AWB halted trading on the ASX late yesterday, pending an announcement today or tomorrow on its Brazilian operations and the impact on full-year result expectations.

Listed investment company Djerriwarrh believes the market is fully priced, with stocks already reflecting the improved outlook from the dire situation in March.

Waste manager Transpacific Industries Group has raised about $560 million from the institutional component of its share entitlement offer.

The Singaporean investors behind Regional Express have sold their stake in Virgin Blue.

CIT Group was close to securing $US3 billion ($3.7bn) in last minute rescue financing from its bondholders yesterday in a deal that should keep the struggling lender out of bankruptcy court.

The first two weeks of the US earnings season have buoyed investors' spirits and given the stockmarket a much-needed boost. But the real test will come over the next two weeks, when the pace of reports picks up.

AEG Live and the estate of Michael Jackson are negotiating with several Hollywood studios, seeking at least $US50 million ($62m) in exchange for the theatrical and DVD distribution rights to a documentary about the final days of the late pop singer.

Roger Jenkins, a high-profile Barclays executive who played a central role in raising billions to shore up the British bank last year, is leaving to launch his own advisory firm.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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