24/09/2009 - 06:45

Today's Business Headlines

24/09/2009 - 06:45

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Gas giant takes tax office to court; Investors take $125m Gwalia settlement; ACCC not happy with grain traders; ETS ultimatum a stunt: Turnbull; Recovery could stall: Henry

Gas giant takes tax office to court
BHP Billiton and its six partners in Australia's biggest resources project, North West Shelf LNG, are taking the tax office to court in an attempt to get back about $500 million in payments they made after the Rudd government closed a tax loophole on the project. The Australian

Investors take $125m Gwalia settlement
Sons of Gwalia creditors have overwhelmingly approved a $125 million settlement with the collapsed miner's former auditors, all but closing the book on a fiver-year saga that has become a landmark corporate case. The West

ACCC not happy with grain traders
Three major grain trading companies could lose their rights to export wheat from next week if they failed to guarantee rivals access to their ports, the competition regulator ruled yesterday. The Fin

ETS ultimatum a stunt: Turnbull
The battle over the Government's emissions trading scheme has become a trans-Atlantic game of bluff, after Malcolm Turnbull rejected Kevin Rudd's ultimatum to draft amendments within four weeks or risk an early election. The West

Recovery could stall: Henry
Ken Henry has warned Australia's economic recovery is not yet assured and would come to a standstill if the Coalition succeeded in curbing the Rudd government's stimulus spending. The Australian

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 7: The grandson of former Perth electrical king Archie Martin has handed his assets over to a trustee after amassing person debts of $5.4 million, while his boat building company has collapsed owing $8.8 million to almost 250 creditors.

Page 9: Russian-born technology mogul Eugeni "Zhenya" Tvetnenko has been ranked WA's richest young man with a fortune estimated at $107 million.

Page 11: The battle over the Government's emissions trading scheme has become a trans-Atlantic game of bluff, after Malcolm Turnbull rejected Kevin Rudd's ultimatum to draft amendments within four weeks or risk an early election.

Page 12: The global financial crisis has delivered a bumper profit to the Government-owned Perth Mint as investors rushed to gold as a safe haven.

Winding back the Government's $52 billion stimulus package would push up unemployment and risk the economy long-term, Treasury Secretary and Reserve Bank board member Ken Henry told business leaders yesterday.

Business: AWB is in talks with a major international rival and has moved to tap investors for $459 million as managing director Gordon Davis puts the finishing touches to his bid to transform the group into a globally competitive business.

The corporate watchdog must get on the front foot in dealing with the investment community but it's a two-way street when it comes to the media, its WA chief says.

The sharemarket yesterday surged 1.5 per cent to a new closing high for the year as stronger commodity prices and news of an economic recovery in New Zealand boosted trading.

Major shareholder John B. Fairfax has rejected plans to install Roger Corbett as chairman of Fairfax Media in place of Ron Walker.

Sons of Gwalia creditors have overwhelmingly approved a $125 million settlement with the collapsed miner's former auditors, all but closing the book on a fiver-year saga that has become a landmark corporate case.

A question mark was hanging over Lynas Corp's proposed $500 million Chinese funding deal last night amid mounting speculation it might have to revise the terms of the long-awaited cash injection.

Perth Mint operator Gold Corp, cashed up after a record year during which nervous investors turned to the safety of gold, has rewarded its 232 employees with handsome bonuses.

Cape Lambert Iron Ore has flagged a potential $20 million-plus spin-out of its phosphate assets in what is likely to be its second float over the next 12 months.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Asian investment in Australia surged almost 40 per cent last year as the global financial crisis failed to slow the growing interest in local expansion opportunities from the increasingly capital-rich region.

The federal government is considering charging companies for the public cost of protracted "mega-litigation", forcing government agencies to slash legal budgets and giving regulatory agencies a larger role in class actions.

Troubled Canadian media player CanWest Global Communications is poised to quit the register of Ten Network in a $680 million sell-down of its 50.1 per cent holding to institutional investors.

Page 3: In comments that are likely to reinforce Liberal Party gloom about the party's political prospects, former treasurer Peter Costello has predicted that the coalition is looking at a second term in opposition.

Page 4: Three major grain trading companies could lose their rights to export wheat from next week if they failed to guarantee rivals access to their ports, the competition regulator ruled yesterday.

Page 5: The global financial crisis has delivered an unprecedented windfall to Australia's bullion coin producer, the Perth Mint, which has posted a tenfold increase in annual profit to $38 million as investors flock to the safe haven of gold.

Page 6: Treasury Secretary Ken Henry has warned against scaling back the Rudd government's stimulus package, saying it could stall the economic recovery and lead to higher unemployment.

Demand for skilled workers rose for the second consecutive month in September, signalling improved conditions in the hard-hit labour market may be on the horizon.

Page 7: The federal opposition will meet with officials from the Department of Climate Change next week in the first step towards a possible deal this year on an emissions trading scheme.

Page 14: AWB is in talks with an international company to spin of its Geneva division and take a joint venture partner in its local commodities business, as it looks to transform itself by gaining footing in the global commodities game.

Page 15: Coca-Cola Amatil will step up efforts to introduce cashless vending machines, GPS (global positioning system) tracking for delivery trucks and mobile phone marketing to consumers after signing a 10-year telecommunications and technology agreement with Telstra.

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Kevin Rudd has appealed to world leaders, specifically to US President Barack Obama, to act after 65 years of international organisational stagnation and to form a dynamic and effective '' driving centre'' of nations to create a new world order.

Employers lodged a record number of non-union workplace deals during the dying days of Work Choices, signing up 122,000 employees to agreements lasting, on average, more than four years.

Page 2: Ken Henry has warned Australia's economic recovery is not yet assured and would come to a standstill if the Coalition succeeded in curbing the Rudd government's stimulus spending.

Small and medium businesses are becoming less worried about the global financial crisis and more concerned about attracting skilled staff, a new survey has shown.

Page 4: Kevin Rudd has praised new offers from China and Japan on cutting greenhouse gas emissions before the Copenhagen climate change conference, but he has given limited approval to the offering by US President Barack Obama.

The Coalition has upped the ante in the emissions trading debate by demanding the Rudd government provide critical regulations determining compensation for major export industries before putting the carbon pollution reduction scheme to a vote.

Page 7: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has been forced to defend Community Services Minister Robyn McSweeney after she justified her decision to axe taxpayer-funded paupers' funerals by declaring dead people had no future.

Business: Major shareholders are refusing to accept Roger Corbett's ascent to the chairman's role at Fairfax Media as a fait accompli, arguing that the company would be best served by an external candidate.

Large institutional shareholders have written to the chairman of Telstra, Catherine Livingstone, condemning the government's plans for the effective ''appropriation'' of Telstra's assets and requesting a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the threat to the company's future.

Telstra has signalled its resolve to not let the government's looming regulatory changes get in the way of business, by signing a 10-year telecommunications contract with Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA).

Australian agribusiness AWB plans to raise $459 million through the issue of new shares, and has issued guidance for a swing to a massive loss in the year ending September 30.

The Global Airports consortium may seek an injunction to delay a shareholder vote on internalising the management of Macquarie Airports after the satellite fund refused to reveal details of poison pills in its proposed deal with Macquarie Group.

Woolworths' $87 million joint venture takeover of hardware distributor Danks Holdings has been given a fillip by Perpetual, which has accepted the offer for its 13.5 per cent shareholding.

US and European leaders, who have committed to using the financial crisis to strengthen the global banking system, are increasingly at loggerheads over how much capital the world's largest financial institutions should keep on hand in case of unexpected losses.

Ford is making a major push this week in Asia -- long a weak link in its global operations -- as part of an ambitious strategy started three years ago by chief executive Alan Mulally.

BHP Billiton and its six partners in Australia's biggest resources project, North West Shelf LNG, are taking the tax office to court in an attempt to get back about $500 million in payments they made after the Rudd government closed a tax loophole on the project.

Junior iron ore and gold explorer Cazaly Resources has posted a substantial annual loss but says it has enough cash to continue exploring and to focus on bringing its first mine into production by mid-2011.

The New Zealand economy expanded in the June quarter for the first time in more than a year, signalling the country may be emerging from recession.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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