07/10/2009 - 06:51

Today's Business Headlines

07/10/2009 - 06:51

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Budget cuts cost 471 jobs at RPH; Perth high on list of powerful; Rates move sends wrong sign; Extra malt elevates GrainCorp; ConsMin misled exchange on Mindy Mindy, tribunal told

Today's Business Headlines

Budget cuts cost 471 jobs at RPH
More than 470 full-time jobs will be axed at Royal Perth Hospital to meet its reduced budget, including 52 positions in its cancer and neurosciences division, 90 in the surgical unit and 74 in critical care, a leaked internal document has revealed. The West

Perth high on list of powerful
Perth has become the third most important centre of corporate power and the only Australian city with a greater number of listed companies since the onset of the global financial crisis, a new study shows. The Fin Review

Rates move sends wrong sign
Business, retail and housing groups have warned the Reserve Bank's upward move on interest rates is premature, saying it sends mixed messages about the health of the economy. The Courier-Mail

Extra malt elevates GrainCorp
GrainCorp will be transformed into an international agribusiness group, and one of Australia's top 120 companies, with its $750 million acquisition of malting giant United Malt Holdings. The Age

ConsMin misled exchange on Mindy Mindy, tribunal told
Fortescue Metals' partner in the Mindy Mindy iron ore project, Consolidated Minerals, issued an apparently misleading statement to the stock exchange in 2006 claiming Fortescue would speed up development of the Pilbara project, the Australian Competition Tribunal was told. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: More than 470 full-time jobs will be axed at Royal Perth Hospital to meet its reduced budget, including 52 positions in its cancer and neurosciences division, 90 in the surgical unit and 74 in critical care, a leaked internal document has revealed.

Page 3: Crime syndicates are targeting West Australians with a new card skimming scam by stealing confidential financial data from point-of-sale EFTPOS machines, police warn.

Page 4: Business groups and retailers have warned that the move by the Reserve Bank to lift official interest rates could cost the country its shaky economic recovery.

Page 5: Homebuyers can expect interest rates to rise further after the Reserve Bank declared the economy strong enough to withstand a rates increase.

Page 7: Coral spawning at Ashmore Reef is under threat from the Timor Sea oil leak, following a delay in plugging the spill, an expert has warned.

Page 13: The dominance of supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths could be having a serious effect on public health, according to study.

Business: Fortescue Metals' partner in the Mindy Mindy iron ore project, Consolidated Minerals, issued an apparently misleading statement to the stock exchange in 2006 claiming Fortescue would speed up development of the Pilbara project, the Australian Competition Tribunal was told.

GrainCorp will be transformed into a global agribusiness group and one of Australia's top 120 companies with the $757 million acquisition of malting giant United Malt Holdings.

The price of gold hit an all-time high of $US1036.60 an ounce in London last night as the US dollar sank on a reported plan by Gulf states to stop using the greenback for oil trading.

A former lieutenant to Norm Carey has been hit with criminal charges over his role with the failed Westpoint property empire nearly four years after its collapse.

Fortescue Metals Group investors have seen $1.5 billion wiped off their company's market value since the Pilbara iron ore miner conceded last week it had failed to secure up to $6.8 billion in Chinese debt.

Myer has stepped up its bid to quell concerns over the pricing of its $3 billion float, with chief executive Bernie Brookes dismissing criticism from fund managers as "posturing" and an attempt to secure shares on the cheap.

The battle for control of Polaris Metals has begun in earnest after a long-anticipated $105.5 million rival bid yesterday emerged from a group linked to the WA iron ore hopeful's cornerstone shareholder and one of Malaysia's richest men.

The opening salvo in the landmark case by Australian and US film studios against the internet access provider iiNetover illegal film downloads featured gunshots when lawyers showed a bank robbery scene from The Dark Knight to illustrate the copyright piracy the company is alleged to allow customers.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: The Reserve Bank of Australia has become the first major central bank to begin raising interest rates as its confidence grows that the economic recovery will pick up pace next year, increasing pressure on the federal government to wind down its massive stimulus program more quickly.

After months of beating a path to the doors of private equity firms to try to get them to sell assets, the persistence of fee-hungry investment bankers is finally about to pay off.

Interest rates are going up, and those with a vested interest in artificially low rates - or a political interest in decrying rising rates - are making the predictable noises.

Page 3: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has brought criminal charges against two former Fincorp directors and a former Westpoint Group director for their roles in two of the biggest property group collapses in Australian history.

Page 4: Perth has become the third most important centre of corporate power and the only Australian city with a greater number of listed companies since the onset of the global financial crisis, a new study shows.

Page 5: Popular property investment group The Investors Club is suing consumer advocate Neil Jenman for aggravated damages after he published a series of allegations about the club on his website.

Page 7: Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull will hold a special party meeting to thrash out the latest compromise position on climate change, which is to negotiate but not pass the government's emissions trading scheme legislation by the December Copenhagen climate change meeting.

Page 47: GrainCorp has joined the list of agribusinesses bulking up after buying the world's fourth-largest maltster, United Malt Holdings, in a deal that will double the size of eastern Australia's largest grain handler.

Babcock & Brown Infrastructure may struggle to win investor support for its $850 million rescue after details of the package were delayed again yesterday.

Page 48: Former Ford Australia boss Tom Gorman will steer Brambles Industries through a $298 million investment over three years to turn its US pallet operations around in an operational and management revamp designed to win back market share and boost margins in its biggest market.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: At least three further interest rate rises are likely in the next six months after the Reserve Bank signalled the end of the economic downturn with a 25-basis-point increase and predicted growth would top 3 per cent next year.

Godwin Grech, whose forged email threatened to lower the curtain on Malcolm Turnbull's turbulent political career, has resigned from Treasury, ending two decades with the public service.

Malcolm Turnbull's internal opponents on climate change say the coalition should reject all forms of emissions trading if the UN conference in Copenhagen fails to clinch a global deal.

Page 2: Western Australia's Corruption and Crime Commission has issued a pointed warning over the Barnett government's plans to shift the watchdog's focus from the public sector and government and on to organised crime.

Page 3: Thousands of litres of oil were last night continuing to spew from a stricken rig off Western Australia after a long-awaited attempt to plug the leak with mud failed.

Page 4: Elizabeth Blackburn's Nobel Prize was a great day for Australian science and would be an inspiration for young women considering a career in science, Kevin Rudd said yesterday.

Page 6: The federal opposition seized on yesterday's interest rate rise to attack the government's "reckless spending", while business warned that the Reserve Bank's decision threatened the nation's economic recovery.

The nation's banks will start lifting their variable interest rates, possibly as early as today, in response to yesterday's 25 basis-point hike in the official cash rate by the Reserve Bank.

Page 7: Liberal frontbencher Peter Dutton has ruled out running for preselection in the new seat of Wright in southern Queensland, ramping up pressure on the state's merged conservative party to find a way to keep him in parliament.

Business: Corporate Australia has raised fears that the Reserve Bank's decision yesterday to start a new cycle of interest rate rises will constrain business investment and capital expenditure plans and derail the sharemarket's strong recovery.

Just as things were looking up for small business owners such as Koula Zerefos, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to start raising interest rates.

The world's largest pallet supplier, Brambles, yesterday unveiled its biggest management and operational shakeout in almost a decade with the appointment of a new chief executive and an overhaul of its operations in the US.

Grain handler and trader GrainCorp has taken a major step towards underwriting future earnings growth by acquiring the world's fourth-largest malt manufacturer, United Malt Holdings, for $757 million.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has called on the Rudd government to expand its infrastructure plans and modernise the nation's air traffic control system to make Australian skies safer, smarter and more environmentally sustainable.

Mongolia has finally approved an investment framework for Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines' $US6 billion ($6.76bn) Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project, giving the government a 34 per cent stake and paving the way for development.

Telstra will today lay bare its response to the government's threats to dismember the company, in its submission to a Senate inquiry into the biggest shake-up of the communications sector in a generation.

Leading legal firm Minter Ellison is facing pressure over its role in a botched takeover bid and capital raising that almost destroyed a biotech company chaired by one-time health minister Michael Wooldridge.

Conde Nast Publications, facing a steep drop-off in advertising, will chop four magazines from its roster including 68-year-old Gourmet, one of the world's most prestigious food magazines.

The Obama administration's pay tsar is planning to clamp down on compensation at firms receiving large sums of government aid by cutting annual cash salaries for many of the top employees under his authority.

Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has replaced two executives just four months after he promoted them to key positions as part of his prescription for reviving the auto maker.

The Australian sharemarket closed stronger yesterday, but well off its early highs after the central bank decided to raise the key cash rate.

The Australian dollar closed higher yesterday after the Reserve Bank of Australia lifted the overnight cash rate for the first time in 19 months.

 

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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