23/07/2009 - 06:49

Today's Business Headlines

23/07/2009 - 06:49

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Cashed-up NAB to cast its net; Poor safety record hits BHP output; Federal support on WA uranium; Union wants 20% pay rise for school workers; Expert to review GESB plan

Today's Business Headlines

Cashed-up NAB to cast its net
National Australia Bank is expected to use some of its $2.75 billion capital raising to fund further piecemeal acquisitions, but chief executive Cameron Clyne insists the lender is not building a war chest to fund its global expansion. The Age

Poor safety record hits BHP output
BHP Billiton's poor safety record in Western Australia has affected its iron ore production volumes for the financial year, as pressure mounts on the resources giant to take urgent steps to address the causes behind a series of workplace fatalities. The Fin Review

Federal support on WA uranium
Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will today launch the approvals process for a major uranium project tipped to become the first of several in Western Australia since the Liberal state government lifted a ban on uranium mining last year. The Fin Review

Union wants 20% pay rise for school workers
The union representing about 10,000 school cleaners and teaching assistants has put more pressure on the state government's battered finances by demanding pay rises worth more than double the amount on offer. The West

Expert to review GESB plan
The WA government has stopped the clock on a plan to transfer ownership of the Government Employees Superannuation Board to its public servant members and appointed an independent expert to review whether it should proceed. The West

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The union representing about 10,000 school cleaners and teaching assistants has put more pressure on the state government's battered finances by demanding pay rises worth more than double the amount on offer.

Page 5: Premier Colin Barnett's dream of heavier Chinese involvement in the crucial Oakajee port and rail project and new gas developments off the North West coast inched forward at talks in Beijing yesterday.

Perth entrepreneur Warren Anderson vowed to take his battle to recoup millions of dollars he lost during the WA Inc saga to the High Court after he lost a second bid yesterday to recover the money from the state government.

Page 7: There were at least 54 vacancies for general practitioners in WA country areas and also sever shortages of a range of other health care workers, rural health groups warned yesterday.

Page 10: A fall in the cost of fruit and vegetables and cheaper overseas travel has given the Reserve Bank room to cut official interest rates if the global economic conditions worsen.

Business: The WA government has stopped the clock on a plan to transfer ownership of the Government Employees Superannuation Board to its public servant members and appointed an independent expert to review whether it should proceed.

Perth's broking community has been hit by its second scandal in as many weeks, with litigation funder IMF to bankroll a multi-million-dollar claim by former clients of one-time Stripe Capital adviser Todd King.

National Australia Bank is expected to use some of its $2.75 billion capital raising to fund further piecemeal acquisitions, but chief executive Cameron Clyne insists the lender is not building a war chest to fund its global expansion.

Multi-millionaire Jack Bendat's son is stepping up his anti-gambling campaign against Australia's supermarket giants by targeting Wesfarmers chief Richard Goyder in his own backyard.

Tap Oil is bracing for a Supreme Court showdown with its aggrieved customer, Indian fertiliser tycoon Pankaj Oswal, after yesterday applying for a declaration to try to limit damages from a potential failure to supply Mr Oswal with gas to about $US25 million ($30.8 million).

BHP Billiton is headed for a 35 per cent full-year profit fall despite a better than expected production effort in the final quarter.

Questions have been raised over the shock exit of former BHP Billiton chief Chip Goodyear from Temasek Holdings, three months before he was due to take the reins of Singapore's state-owned wealth fund.

Newcrest Mining has put the wind up China's tungsten industry by revealing that its O'Callaghans tungsten discovery near the Telfer gold-copper mine in the Pilbara is shaping up as a world-class find.

Shares in market darling Extract Resources jumped 9.8 per cent to fresh highs yesterday as a bigger-than-expected resource upgrade at its flagship uranium project renewed speculation it could soon find itself in the corporate crosshairs.

Woolworths has underscored its retailing supremacy by generating bumper sales growth of 7.5 per cent for the year to June 30 as turnover in consumer electronics and apparel notched up double-digit growth despite the global financial crisis.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: National Australia Bank will raise $2.75 billion form investors, increasing its buffer against loan losses while amassing funds for acquisitions.

The biggest superannuation funds suffered losses of up to 18 per cent last year as equity-laden portfolios were buffeted by the plunge in sharemarkets, but returns over the past decade and a half remain in line with long-term expectations.

Inflation has fallen to its lowest point in a decade in a sign the Reserve Bank of Australia has little to fear from keeping interest rates at historically low levels as it looks for evidence of a sustainable recovery.

BHP Billiton's poor safety record in Western Australia has affected its iron ore production volumes for the financial year, as pressure mounts on the resources giant to take urgent steps to address the causes behind a series of workplace fatalities.

Page 3: Amcor has agreed to a last-minute, multi-million-dollar deal to pay customer Cadbury Schweppes, as compensation for its price-fixing cartel with rival Visy, just before the complex case was due to start in Melbourne.

Page 4: The federal government and the coalition have each accused the other of shunning negotiations on an emissions trading scheme, highlighting the political deadlock that has enveloped the landmark reform.

Page 5: Treasurer Wayne Swan has cautioned against upgrading the government's budget outlook, even though official figures show federal tax receipts are $4.6 billion ahead of forecasts made two months ago.

Page 6: Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson will today launch the approvals process for a major uranium project tipped to become the first of several in Western Australia since the Liberal state government lifted a ban on uranium mining last year.

Page 7: Former West Australian premier Brian Burke has launched a stinging attack on besieged Labor leader Eric Ripper over his claims that the Liberal-Nationals state government would come under Mr Burke's legendary influence by accepting former Labor MP Vince Catania into its ranks.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Electricity generators are pleading for between $5 billion and $20bn in extra assistance from the Rudd government to avoid an "industry crisis" under the emissions trading scheme, with some suggesting the compensation could be tied to new investments in renewable power.

Not one house has been built under the Rudd's government's $673 million remote housing scheme for indigenous Australians, in contrast to the 1000 homes constructed as part of Canberra's $42 billion stimulus package.

Page 2: Wayne Swan has acknowledged that the worst of the global recession could be over as new figures show the crisis has slowed inflation to its lowest level in a decade.

Kevin Rudd's economic stimulus package has delivered the 1000th social housing dwelling in his own federal electorate of Griffith.

Superannuation is spluttering back to life, with earnings up by as much as 9 per cent in the three months to June in an early recovery from the worst slump in 25 years.

Imprisoned Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu could face life in prison after China said publicly for the first time it had sufficient evidence that the Australian obtained state secrets through illegal means.

Page 3: Graham Kelly, the eminent scientist who became a major target of the $300 million Operation Wickenby offshore tax probe, is close to settling his $10m tax bill as the likelihood of criminal action against him fades.

Page 7: The coalition has done a reasonable job in recent years of rejuvenating its Senate team. But that doesn't mean there isn't still a good deal of dead wood that needs to be ushered out of the parliament.

The first water auctioned out of the great artesian basin in NSW will be used to fill the hot spring baths of Moree -- much to the chagrin of farmers.

An enraged Labor Party in Western Australia has released emails showing how it pursued MP Vince Catania for months over a campaign account deficit, threatening him with disendorsement and a lawsuit, before his defection to the Liberal-Nationals government.

Perth property developer Warren Anderson is considering a High Court challenge to recover almost $90 million from the West Australian government after losing an appeal to recoup the fortune he poured into the failed Rothwells Bank.

Australia's $76 billion a year not-for-profit sector is being forced to rely more heavily on government funding as the corporate dollar dries up in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Business: January 4, 2003 is a day deep-etched in BHP Billiton's brief, spectacular history. It was the day The Don finally did in The Brian, delivering BHP Billiton with its very own version of The Dismissal.

National Australia Bank has made a decisive move to capitalise on the market's recent strength, tapping investors for $2.75 billion to counteract rising bad debt levels and provide a base for expansion.

Woolworths, the country's biggest retailer taking almost a third of every dollar spent at the tills, has defied market concerns about the slowing economy with a solid 7.5 per cent lift in full-year sales to $49.6 billion.

Newcrest Mining is in talks with potential Chinese joint venture partners to quickly develop the O'Callaghan's tungsten deposit at its Telfer operations in Western Australia, which holds one of the world's biggest resources of the metal.

A new generation smaller, "non-threatening" nuclear power plants being developed in South Africa could open the door to nuclear power in Australia years earlier than expected.

Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer, apparently undeterred by the breakdown of talks with China's Shougang over development of the Balmoral South magnetite iron ore project, has flagged an ambitious plan to produce 165 million tonnes of magnetite a year from his ground in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Australia needs to form part of a global exit strategy from government guarantees, debt experts warned yesterday, rather than leave the major domestic banks exposed to potential capital market outflows.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia achieved growth in funds under management, funds under administration and enforce insurance premiums during the June quarter, as market conditions improved.

Wheat trader AWB will close its Brazilian business, which is expected to make a pre-tax operating loss of between $55 million and $65m.

Kerry Stokes' main private company, Australian Capital Equity, is understood to have benefited from a better than expected performance from its Chinese dealership for earthmoving machinery giant Caterpillar.

When American Chip Goodyear, the former chief executive of BHP Billiton, walked into the legal department of the Singapore government's $100 billion investment fund Temasek earlier this year, he looked around and saw files everywhere.

Virgin Blue now faces a two-pronged attack on its plan to join forces with Delta Air Lines across the Pacific but Qantas will not formally oppose the move.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke made a guarded declaration of success yesterday before a sceptical and sometimes combative audience, saying Fed policies had helped to set the stage for a modest recovery this year.

Morgan Stanley's second-quarter income plunged 87 per cent thanks to charges related to mergers and weakness at its wealth management and institutional securities businesses.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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