27/08/2009 - 06:51

Today's Business Headlines

27/08/2009 - 06:51

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Sage chases backing for $200m Lady Annie float; Australia Post in $700m shake-up; Media moguls face off; PM's cash cure fails to lure nurses; Long haul for Asciano with gloomy outlook

Sage chases backing for $200m Lady Annie float
Less than a year after the collapse of WA miner CopperCo, the new owner of its flagship copper mine is eying an ambitious bid to revive it in what could become the state's biggest resources float this year. The West

Australia Post in $700m shake-up
Australia Post will invest $700 million in the next three years to offset pressures on traditional mail by using its massive retail network to expand fast-growing revenue sources such as identity verification and logistics. The Fin Review

Media moguls face off
James Packer moved late last night to cement his control of Consolidated Media Holdings and head off a predatory Kerry Stokes, unveiling a buyback of the investment vehicle's shares worth up to $226 million. Courier-Mail

PM's cash cure fails to lure nurses
Kevin Rudd has failed to meet his targets in delivering a key election promise to use cash incentives to attract nurses back to hospital wards, as the number of health programs causing problems for the government mounts. The Australian

Long haul for Asciano with gloomy outlook
Australia's largest port and rail operator, Asciano Group, expects conditions in the first half of this year to remain difficult after posting a 3.2 per cent rise in fiscal 2009 earnings. The Australian

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The WA Health Department is planning mass immunisation clinics throughout the state within weeks to cope with thousands of people who will be offered first batch of the swine flu vaccine.

Page 3: Federal MPs spent the equivalent of more than four years on their taxpayer-funded mobile telephones last year, racking up a combined bill of almost $850,000.

Page 4: Work on the Gorgon gas project could begin this year now that federal environmental approval has been given for it to go ahead on Barrow Island, Chevron Australia said yesterday.

WA Labor wants all new mining projects valued at more than $50 million to include a local industry participation plan in submissions to government.

Page 10: Relations between Treasurer Troy Buswell and the builder of the Arena stadium deteriorated further yesterday when BGC revealed the project would miss the government's scheduled completion date by up to a year.

Page 12: Colin Barnett has vowed to keep the pressure of city Labor MPs by bringing his shopping hours legislation before state parliament on a regular basis.

Page 18: WA will need to build the equivalent of more than 30 major wind farms, each covering the area of about seven Kings Parks and costing almost $200 million apiece, to meet the mandatory renewable energy target by 2020, industry experts say.

Page 19: The state government will not merge publicly owned power generator Verve with electricity retailer Synergy, announcing yesterday that it will change industry rules that have hamstrung Verve's financial position.

Business: Fledgling WA company Desert Plains has launched a new version of the worker's "donga", giving it a green makeover, a set of wheels and a former Liberal party leader to lobby its cause.

Less than a year after the collapse of WA miner CopperCo, the new owner of its flagship copper mine is eying an ambitious bid to revive it in what could become the state's biggest resources float this year.

A new Perth-based company is aiming high as it moves to tap into the growing number of small businesses migrating online to spruik their wares.

Shares in Woolworths' takeover target, Danks Holdings, have remained above the $13.50-a-share offer, leading to speculation that Woolworths might have to increase its bid.

Westfield Group will slash it payout to shareholders from next year to help conserve cash for acquisitions and development projects.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Australia Post will invest $700 million in the next three years to offset pressures on traditional mail by using its massive retail network to expand fast-growing revenue sources such as identity verification and logistics.

James Packer has cut his ties with online advertising company Seek, reaping $441 million by selling Consolidated Media's entire stake in a move set to escalate the battle with Seven Network executive chairman Kerry Stokes for control of the pay-television investment group.

The shoppers and retailers in Westfield Group's malls are showing the way.

Page 3: Banks and credit card companies have failed to bring enough competition and innovation to the non-cash payment system, the Reserve Bank of Australia said yesterday.

Page 5: The $50 billion Gorgon gas project has cleared its last major regulatory hurdle after federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said he was satisfied the development would not affect a threatened population of flatback turtles near Western Australia's Barrow Island.

Page 6: Banks and big business want changes to federal reforms to unfair contract laws, which they claim will impose heavy costs and result in consumers paying higher prices for goods and services.

Page 10: The West Australian government will not re-merge the state's power retailer and supplier - Synergy and Verve - although it had been mooted earlier in the year by Premier Colin Barnett.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Kevin Rudd has failed to meet his targets in delivering a key election promise to use cash incentives to attract nurses back to hospital wards, as the number of health programs causing problems for the government mounts.

Many of the nation's most recognised Aboriginal leaders have had no input into the creation of a national indigenous body, raising concerns that the new council will fail to bridge the divide between urban and remote indigenous communities.

Page 2: The certain win for the Democratic Party of Japan in Sunday's election threatens to wreck Australia's hopes for a comprehensive free trade agreement with its second-largest trading partner.

New powers to throw out illegally recruited members, reduced membership fees, telephone checks on all new members and a system of US-style primaries to decide candidates are among ideas being considered to try to stamp out branch stacking in the Victorian ALP.

A union organiser sacked for allegedly swearing at senior officials and vilifying a junior colleague for having lunch with the union's secretary has lost her unfair dismissal action.

Page 3: The maker of top clothing brands such as Bonds and Berlei has admitted suffering a backlash after its controversial decision last February to slash local jobs and shift production work offshore.

Page 4: Liberals expect long-dormant political ambitions of corporate and legal high-flyers to come to life for the Liberal preselection in the blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Bradfield now that former John Howard chief-of-staff, Arthur Sinodinos, has pulled out.

Education Minister Julia Gillard has defended the government's decision to delay changes to the youth allowance and called on the Senate to pass a bill the Coalition says leaves thousands of rural students out in the cold.

Page 5: Environment Minister Peter Garrett has conceded that stimulus subsidies for housing insulation, which were designed to boost the domestic economy, were being spent on Chinese imports.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has given his blessing to Western Australia's proposed $50 billion Gorgon LNG project, ruling it will not threaten the future of the flatback turtle or other vulnerable species.

Infrastructure Australia chairman Rod Eddington has warned the Rudd government its plan to tap Australia's $1 trillion superannuation fund to bankroll its nation-building plans may fail.

Julia Gillard has described as '' stupid'' the system of different pay tribunals that has led to thousands of small businesses being forced to pay wages up to $25 a week higher than the federal minimum wage.

Page 6: Australia's supreme military disciplinary body has been ruled illegal by the High Court in a decision that has thrown military justice into turmoil.

Business: Renowned Wall Street analyst Abby Joseph Cohen says the US economy is already out of recession, downplays the risk of a double dip and reckons the rebounding sharemarket ''has got it right''.

James Packer's massive restructure of his empire will escalate today when his listed Crown gaming group unveils writedowns of $1.5 billion as part of a scorched earth policy on its troubled US casino assets.

Kerry Stokes's Seven Network said yesterday there was ''nothing before the board'' that indicated it would have to pump more money into the Seven Media Group, the private equity joint venture that owns its flagship television and magazine assets.

Pacific Brands' business performance has again come under attack, with an influential analyst suggesting yesterday that the company was ''cooked'' and would need to raise more capital if it failed to achieve its forecast restructuring benefits.

Mongolia's parliament has taken a significant step forward in paving the way for the development of the $US3 billion ($3.5bn) Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, which is seen as a blueprint for billions of dollars worth of future mining investments in the country.

ANZ Bank has publicly pledged that none of its customers will lose their homes as a result of the bank's entanglement with Storm Financial.

The Commonwealth Bank is one of at least six financial institutions Dutch banking and insurance company ING Group has picked to enter the second round of bidding for its Swiss and Asian private banking assets.

Australia's largest port and rail operator, Asciano Group, expects conditions in the first half of this year to remain difficult after posting a 3.2 per cent rise in fiscal 2009 earnings.

Retail shareholders have warned they could oppose the re-election of National Australia Bank directors later this year, after the bank scaled back applications for the share purchase plan component of its capital raising.

Sino Gold directors have endorsed a share-based takeover offer from largest shareholder Canada's Eldorado Gold in a deal that values the China-focused gold miner at $2.2 billion.

Australia's resources sector needs to position itself to maximise opportunities in the next upswing as increasing interest from China will push skilled labour back on to the critical list.

Plunging tax receipts, soaring spending and a sluggish recovery will push the nation's deficits dramatically higher over the next decade, creating new complications for President Barack Obama's domestic agenda.

Businesses and consumers continued to repay debt last month despite credit conditions in the markets easing towards an all-time low.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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