30/09/2009 - 06:48

Today's Business Headlines

30/09/2009 - 06:48

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Mining magnate attacks 'racist' treatment of Chinese; Delay for Forrest's $7bn loan; $12m bill for Lynas chairman; Port Bouvard hoses down big debt rollover concern; Reserve Bank warns on house prices

Mining magnate attacks 'racist' treatment of Chinese
The nation's fifth-richest man, Clive Palmer, has denounced the federal government's foreign investment rules as racist, claiming they are weighted against Chinese companies seeking to buy into Australian resource projects. The Australian

Delay for Forrest's $7bn loan
Fortescue Metals Group's ambitious plan to secure $US6 billion ($6.8bn) of cheap funding from Chinese banks is likely to be delayed today as the miner scrambles to finalise a deal. The Australian

$12m bill for Lynas chairman
Lynas Corp executive chairman Nick Curtis will be asked to come up with more than $12 million to maintain his stake in the group under a $50 million plan to resurrect its stalled WA rare earths project. The West

Port Bouvard hoses down big debt rollover concern
Port Bouvard last night moved to douse concern over its ability to renew more than $70 million in bank loans due to expire in the next two months after its auditor warned there was "material uncertainty" over the WA property developer's future. The West

Reserve Bank warns on house prices
Australia could face a damaging resurgence of house price inflation as construction lags behind population growth and the economy recovers, the Reserve Bank has warned. The Age

 

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: The federal budget could be back in the black within three years and debt levels $100 billion lower than expected after Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed a major turnaround in the nation's finances yesterday.

Page 6: The head of the biggest superannuation fund in WA is paid up to $70,000 more than her nearest private peer despite working for the government, according to one of the leading superannuation analysts in Australia.

Page 10: So-called low-cost vacant land in Perth was actually some of the most expensive in the country, the Reserve Bank said as it warned yesterday that Australia was on track for another property bubble unless state governments and local councils changes their ways.

Page 15: Footage of hardline unionist Joe McDonald abusing management at a John Holland construction site, where he refuses nearly demands to leave, could be used to try to get a permanent restraining order against him.

Business: Port Bouvard last night moved to douse concern over its ability to renew more than $70 million in bank loans due to expire in the next two months after its auditor warned there was "material uncertainty" over the WA property developer's future.

Lynas Corp executive chairman Nick Curtis will be asked to come up with more than $12 million to maintain his stake in the group under a $50 million plan to resurrect its stalled WA rare earths project.

Leighton Holdings chief executive Wal King received $12.6 million in remuneration last financial year, including a $5 million cash bonus, although his total package was down 24 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Australians pay higher administration fees on their super accounts than workers in comparable countries because Australian super funds invest more often and with more diversity than their foreign peers, a study by actuarial firm Deloitte has found.

Are the 100 or so exploration stocks listed on the ASX that declare uranium as their main focus living in dream land?

Iron ore billionaire Clive Palmer has launched a scathing attack on the federal government's foreign investment rules, branding them racist.

Days after announcing plans to reopen one mine and buy another, the world's biggest zinc producer, Nyrstar, has taken a $6.6 million punt on WA junior Ironbark Gold.

Asset management group PearlStreet plans to accept a recapitalisation proposal from Catalyst Investment Managers, which could see the private equity group acquire as much as 63 per cent of the Perth company.

Vmoto's boardroom is in the middle of a dramatic shake-up, after the resignation of chairman Lee Verios and executive director Blair Sergeant yesterday.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Major banks are carrying about $6 billion in surplus capital, giving them scope for further expansion and putting them on track to return to record profits in 2010.

Stronger than expected company tax receipts have helped slash $5 billion off the federal budget deficit in another indication that a domestic rebound from the global recession is under way.

The Chinese government has responded positively to the federal government's new foreign investment guidelines, paving the way for a potential easing of tensions over how to manage the $40 billion in potential Chinese investment since the Rudd government came to office.

Page 3: The Reserve Bank of Australia has warned that Australia could face another price bubble and called for reforms by state governments and local councils to increase the supply of new homes.

Page 5: The head of Western Australia's $9 billion superannuation fund has been handed successive pay rises of about $100,000 a year since her position was removed from the scope of the Salaries and Remuneration Tribunal due to a planned privatisation that has since been shelved.

Page 10: Two former directors of Chameleon Mining used company funds to help finance the purchase of a valuable mining tenement for rival company Murchison Metals, in breach of their duties, the Federal Court in Sydney was told yesterday.

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: The nation's fifth-richest man, Clive Palmer, has denounced the federal government's foreign investment rules as racist, claiming they are weighted against Chinese companies seeking to buy into Australian resource projects.

Indigenous leader Noel Pearson's tough welfare reforms in Cape York, which financially punish the parents of children who repeatedly miss school, have dramatically boosted attendance rates.

Housing prices are ready to explode, as demand from potential home owners to buy into the property market outweighs the supply of new housing, prompting the Reserve Bank to increase pressure on state governments to cut the cost of developing land.

Page 2: Eye surgeons have hit back at federal government claims they are simply protecting their own incomes in opposing Medicare rebate cuts, saying the attacks misrepresent both the complexity and cost of cataract surgery.

Page 3: A wealthy Sydney property developer expressed outrage yesterday at being asked under oath whether he had had "any involvement" in the murder of a standover man who allegedly owed him millions of dollars.

Page 4: Opposition emissions trading spokesman Ian Macfarlane has been forced to distribute the Coalition's 2007 election policy supporting an emissions trading scheme to his own back bench, after several MPs suggested an ETS had never been party policy or had been "slipped" past them.

Malcolm Turnbull, who as environment minister gave conditional approval to the Tasmanian pulp mill, pleaded with anti-mill campaigners to stop "killing" his career and confided that he shared their views.

Page 5: The government's finances enjoyed a $5 billion turnaround in the six weeks between the May budget and the end of the financial year, but Labor has hosed down expectations that this heralds a revival in revenue.

Commonwealth Bank staff who had to form a business relationship with Storm Financial were wined and dined at the lavish Townsville home of company founders Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis.

Up to a quarter of the retirement savings of some Australians is being gobbled up by fees, according to a study to be released today by The Australia Institute.

Page 6: Canberra pumped more than $400 million into depleted public hospital services in NSW at the same time as the state government actually cut spending, a new report has revealed.

Business: ANZ has sealed a world-first partnership to help the powerful China Development Bank achieve its goal of amassing a $25 billion portfolio of Australian assets by the end of the year and dramatically boosting its presence across the Asia-Pacific region.

Mining identities Greg Barnes and Phillip Grimaldi used Chameleon Mining as a "milch cow" -- fraudulently extracting cash and shares used to buy lucrative mining tenements for a rival company, Murchison Metals, a Sydney court has heard.

Foster's has made the first major sale in its winery asset disposal program, selling an 862 hectare vineyard back to wine industry veteran Bob Oatley, four years after he effectively triggered its purchase.

Fortescue Metals Group's ambitious plan to secure $US6 billion ($6.8bn) of cheap funding from Chinese banks is likely to be delayed today as the miner scrambles to finalise a deal.

Junior explorer Western Plains Resources is refusing to let the Defence Department scupper its $45 million iron ore deal with China, and will use support from the South Australian government to lobby the Commonwealth to intervene.

Foxtel chief Kim Williams is challenging Australia's major telecommunications companies -- including Foxtel's major shareholder Telstra -- to drop internet download limits for subscribers downloading movies.

Australian property groups Macquarie CountryWide and Dexus have between them raised almost $609 million in capital in the US.

Government of Singapore Investment Corp suffered a loss of about $S59 billion ($47.6bn) in the fiscal year ended March, making it one of the worst years for the sovereign wealth fund since it was established in 1981.

Amid rising concern about the threat of influenza pandemics, three big drug makers announced deals yesterday that give them rights to new flu vaccines, placing bets on one of the pharmaceutical industry's brightest, but riskiest, segments.

Xerox is hoping to cure a chronic case of slow growth with the biggest acquisition in its 103-year history, buying technology outsourcer Affiliated Computer Services for $US5.6 billion ($6.4bn) in cash and stock.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has approved a deal to ensure fair access to the port facilities of the three major grain export terminal operators.

The Australian sharemarket closed firmly in the black yesterday after strong gains across the board on the back of a buoyant US lead and higher commodity prices.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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