05/10/2009 - 06:52

Today's Business Headlines

05/10/2009 - 06:52

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Woodside backs move to longer trading hours; Contractor VDM eyes options to tackle debt; Boom states accused of waste; Telstra plots vote to test network deal; ASX to probe capital raisings

Today's Business Headlines

Woodside backs move to longer trading hours
WA's biggest company, Woodside, has entered the retail trading hours debate, with the firm's legal chief saying yesterday the lack of flexible shopping hours in Perth was hampering its efforts to attract international staff. The West

Contractor VDM eyes options to tackle debt
Struggling civil and mining contractor VDM Group is marketing its head office to potential investors, reining in expenditure and considering options - including raising capital - as it searches for ways to slash its debt. The West

Boom states accused of waste
Victoria has accused Western Australia and Queensland of squandering the proceeds of the mining boom and then coming cap in hand to demand a greater share of federal cash. The Australian

Telstra plots vote to test network deal
The Telstra board is weighing a provocative move to put any deal it strikes with the federal government to separate its retail and wholesale businesses to a shareholder vote, in a tactic that could expose the ambitious $43 billion national broadband network to a growing investor backlash. The Fin Review

ASX to probe capital raisings
The Australian Securities Exchange is considering clamping down on rules surrounding capital raisings. The Age

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: WA's biggest company, Woodside, has entered the retail trading hours debate, with the firm's legal chief saying yesterday the lack of flexible shopping hours in Perth was hampering its efforts to attract international staff.

Page 3: A state government-run rehabilitation program used by hundreds of patients to prevent future heart attacks and strokes after they leave hospital could be facing the axe.

Page 4: Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, already staring down his backbench over emissions trading, is now putting his authority on the line to insist frontbencher Peter Dutton gets a safe seat after his weekend preselection loss.

Page 9: Woolworths says its new logo is a stylised W, or a piece of fresh produce, but Apple thinks its an apple, and the US technology giant wants to stop Australia's biggest retailer using it.

Page 14: WA's independent grocers claim there is no link between extended trading hours and lower grocery prices.

Page 15: An end to the West Atlas oil spill is in sight, more than six weeks after oil and gas began leaking into the Timor Sea.

Business: Struggling civil and mining contractor VDM Group is marketing its head office to potential investors, reining in expenditure and considering options - including raising capital - as it searches for ways to slash its debt.

The Australian Securities Exchange is considering clamping down on rules surrounding capital raisings.

The battle for Troy Resources is just over a week old but the board is starting to up the ante in its battle against the gold miner's once undisputed leader John Jones, who is vehemently opposed to plans for an equity raising that will see his 13.8 per cent stake diluted.

WA-based scooter company Vmoto has agreed to buy out the minority parties in its Chinese factory joint venture, in a deal it says will increases profitability by 50 per cent as it begins exporting from the factory next month.

The last four remaining directors of failed investment group Babcock & Brown are being investigated for a breach of the Corporations Act after resigning en masse from its board within weeks of the company going into administration.

Australia's $200 billion pipeline of LNG projects presents huge opportunities for contractors and engineers, but closer scrutiny reveals only a handful of companies appear likely to benefit in a big way.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Telstra board is weighing a provocative move to put any deal it strikes with the federal government to separate its retail and wholesale businesses to a shareholder vote, in a tactic that could expose the ambitious $43 billion national broadband network to a growing investor backlash.

The Reserve Bank of Australia faces a key test tomorrow when it decides whether the economic recovery is strong enough to warrant Australia becoming the world's first economy to raise interest rates from emergency lows instituted during last year's global financial crisis.

Page 3: Up to $14 billion could be slashed from the federal government's interest bill over the next four years as Canberra scales back its debt program and benefits from much stronger economic gains than it forecast in May.

Boards will have to be more careful about pay once they face the threat of being ousted unless they can secure investor agreement on remuneration issues, says Allan Fels, co-author of the Productivity Commission's report on executive pay.

Page 5: Opposition demands for more information about the effect of the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme could delay a vote on the legislation until next year, Queensland Liberal senator Ian Macdonald said, suggesting the government could be denied a trigger to call a double dissolution election.

Page 7: Taxpayers could face harsher penalties for undeclared offshore income, under changes being considered by the Australian Taxation Office to its offshore voluntary disclosure program.

Page 9: Western Australia's $9.5 billion superannuation fund, GESB, has refused to release a Hay Group report it says recommended chief executive Michele Dolin be awarded a $160,000 annual salary increase.

Page 13: Babcock & Brown Infrastructure is expected to launch an $850 million capital raising on Wednesday, as part of a $1.8 billion recapitalisation program aimed at cutting its massive debt pile.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Malcolm Turnbull faces another stern test of his leadership after demanding yesterday that one of the Liberal Party's top talents, frontbencher Peter Dutton, be found a new seat in Queensland following his stunning rejection by preselectors.

Page 2: Victoria has accused Western Australia and Queensland of squandering the proceeds of the mining boom and then coming cap in hand to demand a greater share of federal cash.

Page 3: Billionaire property developer Harry Triguboff has warned the Reserve Bank that any interest rate rise would undermine the rebounding property market, kill off new developments and drive up rents.

All eyes in Australia will be on the Reserve Bank board tomorrow as it debates when to crank up official interest rates, which have sat at 3 per cent level since April.

Page 4: Claims that cattle and sheep are responsible for 10.9 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions have been called into question after scientists discovered considerable variation in the amount of methane produced by individual animals.

Business: The Australian sharemarket is shaping up for a pullback this month, to draw breath after a jump of just over 20 per cent in the September quarter -- one of the strongest ever.

Commercial property is feared by the International Monetary Fund to be the biggest threat to the fragile world economic recovery.

Increasing jobs cuts from US employers have raised the unemployment rate to a 26-year high, prompting fears that the persistently weak labour market could undermine the nation's economic recovery.

Rio Tinto and partner Ivanhoe Mines are tipped to finally sign the long-awaited investment agreement for the $US4 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine tomorrow.

Australia continues to be the preferred target for the region's deal-makers, as the value of corporate transactions involving local companies tipped over $US100 billion ($115bn) during the first nine months of the year.

The government's proposed new short-selling disclosure rules, creating tighter controls on the practice, should have been introduced earlier, according to market observers.

An attempt by Standard Chartered to buy Asian assets of the Royal Bank of Scotland has failed due to disagreements over how much it should pay for the deal, says an official briefed on the negotiations.

It's all very well for Richard O'Brien, chief executive of Newmont Mining (NEM) to be comfortable and relaxed about the impending carbon tax's impact on the gold industry.

It was hard to miss the elaborate and frighteningly well-choreographed show that China put on last week to mark the 60th anniversary of its founding as a communist state.

Despite signs of the US economy improving, employers do not appear to be in a hurry to hire.

China is expected to remain the fastest-growing economy in Asia, the International Monetary Fund has said, as it raised its growth forecast for the world's third-largest economy to 8.5 per cent for this year and 9 per cent for 2010.

Toyota's president has warned that the rising yen will make it harder for the company to return to profitability, illustrating the effect of the strengthening Japanese currency on the nation's key exporters.

A court-appointed trustee has filed a lawsuit against Bernard Madoff's brother, sons and niece, alleging they owe the bankrupt securities firm run by the imprisoned swindler almost $US200 million ($231m) in ill-gotten gains that should be returned to investors in the Ponzi scheme.

Was it a masterful piece of media manipulation or, in the parlance of the web 2.0 era, an epic fail for PR? More than a week after Kraft unveiled the name for its Vegemite spinoff, iSnack 2.0, the fiasco has become a serious contender for advertising's hall of shame, joining reformulated Coke, the Chevy Tahoe user-made ad backlash and Cadbury Australia's clumsy effort earlier this year to tailor an award-winning ad for the local market only to find it bombed.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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