10/11/2010 - 06:42

Today's Business Headlines

10/11/2010 - 06:42

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Wesfarmers cautions on performance – The Fin; Mt Gibson board row with Chinese owners – The West; Murchison fails to convince investors – The Fin; Shortlist for Perth contract – The Fin; Mining tax windfall shrinks as dollar climbs – The Aus

Today's Business Headlines

Wesfarmers cautions on performance
Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has dampened expectations that all of the group's divisions will deliver higher earnings in 2010-11, warning that unseasonable weather and "uncertain economic conditions" had weighed on performance. The Fin

Mt Gibson board row with Chinese owners
Neil Hamilton, one of WA's most respected company directors, has quit as chairman of Mount Gibson Iron following a breakdown in relations with the $2.4 billion-valued Mid West iron ore miner's controlling Chinese shareholders. The West

Murchison fails to convince investors
Murchison Metals' attempts to reassure investors that its joint venture with Japan's Mitsubishi on the $4.4 billion Oakajee port and rail development in Western Australia is not in jeopardy have missed the mark. The Fin

Shortlist for Perth contract
Lend Lease, Mirvac and Brookfield Multiplex have been shortlisted for a state government contract to redevelop four hectares of riverfront land at the eastern gateway to Perth. The Fin

Mining tax windfall shrinks as dollar climbs
Expected revenue from the mining tax has shrunk to $7.4 billion in its first two years, as the dollar's rise erodes resource company earnings. The Aus

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: In the fifth embarrassing blunder to mar this year's WA Certificate of Education exams, supervisors allowed some students to use handwritten notes in both parts of a maths paper, even though their use was permitted in only one section.

Sports Minister Terry Waldron wants assurances from the Australian Football League that West Coast and Fremantle matches will be shown on free-to-air television as part of the next broadcast rights agreement.

Page 4: The soaring Australian dollar has wiped almost 30 per cent off the projected returns from the federal government's mining tax but Treasurer Wayne Swan insists the economy remains on track to race back into the black.

Page 5: The worsening eruption of Indonesia's killer Mt Merapi volcano is playing havoc with Qantas flights between Perth and Singapore.

Page 6: Colin Barnett has warned international oil and gas companies to keep their hands off Woodside Petroleum.

Page 10: Potential jurors could defer jury service for up to a year rather than shirk their duty with excuses such as work commitments and illness under a WA Law Reform Commission plan for a big overhaul.

Page 11: The state government has refused to back down on its push to give police unprecedented stop and search powers, with Police Minister Rob Johnson revising the laws in the hope they will be passed.

Page 13: The owner of the Red Rooster, Chicken Treat and Chooks fast food brands has threatened to move its corporate headquarters - and 3800 WA jobs - east if a private member's Bill to change franchise agreement rules becomes law.

Page 14: Top-notch Margaret River wineries have had a rates reprieve of up to $20,000, sparking outrage from nearby tourism operators fighting rate rises of up to 80 per cent.

The median home in the western suburbs is selling for $115,000 under the asking price with a reduction of almost 10 per cent needed for a sale.

Page 16: Premier Colin Barnett yesterday labelled any suggestion that Liberal backbencher Troy Buswell was involved in the decision of his girlfriend, Fremantle independent Adele Carles, to pledge her support to the government as "fruit loop stuff".

Page 17: A land bridge should be built across Perth train station for a "direct and inviting" link between Forrest Place and the Cultural Centre, WA Government architect Steve Woodland says.

Page 26: Skywest Airlines' spectacular growth, fuelled by the resources boom, took another step yesterday with the introduction to service of its first 162-seat A320 jet.

Page 35: Perth's Gnangara Mound will come under more pressure after the state government said the Water Corporation could take an extra 45 billion litres from the underground aquifer next year.

Business liftout:

Page 1: Neil Hamilton, one of WA's most respected company directors, has quit as chairman of Mount Gibson Iron following a breakdown in relations with the $2.4 billion-valued Mid West iron ore miner's controlling Chinese shareholders.

Page 3: Wesfarmers has warned that its previously outperforming Target business may suffer from flat or declining earnings this year, as lingering cold weather on the east coast and a "cautious" consumer environment conspire to dampen discretionary spending.

Page 5: Kerry Stokes looks likely to avoid a financial hit from this year's merger of Seven Network and WesTrac following a better-than-expected performance by his new-look flagship, Seven Group Holdings.

Page 9: Murchison Metals is on a collision course with Premier Colin Barnett over its refusal to uncouple the crucial Oakajee port development from its troubled Jack Hills iron ore project.

Page 17: Commercial builder PACT Construction has accelerated its growth plans with new corporate headquarters, a key addition to the management team and a busy forward order book.

Page 24: The contenders to develop the $450 million first stage of the Riverside project have been reduced to three.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Australia's economic boom is set to intensify, according to the mid-year budget forecasts update, testing capacity constraints over the next year that will put pressure on inflation and interest rates, but the Gillard government is resisting calls for deeper spending cuts.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett vowed to fight any foreign takeover bids for Woodside Petroleum and declared his preference for the oil and gas group to remain independent.

Page 3: Business conditions slumped to a 15-month low in October, suggesting that the Reserve Bank of Australia may have room to adopt a less aggressive stance when it comes to raising interest rates next year.

Evidence is mounting of a glut of house listings on the market this spring without the demand to meet it.

Page 6: State and territory governments will get $4.8 billion less in goods and services tax revenue over the next four years than previously expected, a cut likely to intensify the fight over next year's carve-up of the tax.

Page 10: Federal Treasury has raised its forecast for economic growth but warned there is risk of an inflation flare-up and growing wage pressures as the economy approaches full capacity over the next year.

Treasury has slashed its forecast for dwelling investment growth in 2010-11 from the 7.5 per cent it expected at budget time to 4.5 per cent as rising interest rates crimp borrowing for home building.

Page 11: Company tax receipts will slump by more than $8 billion over the next four years as businesses rush to offset future profits against their previous years' losses.

Page 13: Treasury has used a "technical assumption" to estimate that the Australian dollar would remain close to parity with its US counterpart beyond the next year and punch a multi-billion-dollar hole in government revenues.

Page 14: The government's move to delay full tax breaks on bank deposits for two years could make bank competition and funding pressures worse, according to the Australian Bankers Association.

Page 19: Fuel companies are demanding the government consult them on proposed price-signalling laws which are aimed at the banks but would have a bigger impact on the petrol industry.

National Australia Bank chairman Michael Chaney yesterday launched a blistering attack on politicians and regulators whom he said we indulging in a "populist debate on banks".

Page 22: The federal Coalition has seized on the collapse of a planned national broadband network joint venture in Tasmania to accuse the federal government of being "rushed and unconsidered" in creating a "white elephant".

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and mining magnate Clive Palmer exchanged hundreds of emails, despite the government saying there were none, the opposition has claimed.

Page 53: BP remains at risk of billions of dollars in fines and legal costs, even after a US commission of inquiry said safety had not been sacrificed in the name of profit in the lead-up to the worst US offshore oil spill.

Page 54: Queensland's $50 billion liquefied natural gas industry received its second major boost in a little over a week after Origin Energy and joint venture partner ConocoPhillips received state environmental approval for a $35 billion project.'

Page 55: The strength of the Australian and Chinese mining sectors combined with the health of Australia's media advertising markets have put Kerry Stokes's Seven Group Holdings in a bullish mood.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has dampened expectations that all of the group's divisions will deliver higher earnings in 2010-11, warning that unseasonable weather and "uncertain economic conditions" had weighed on performance.

Page 58: Murchison Metals' attempts to reassure investors that its joint venture with Japan's Mitsubishi on the $4.4 billion Oakajee port and rail development in Western Australia is not in jeopardy have missed the mark.

Page 59: Xstrata Coal is ratcheting up efforts to win over shareholders of African iron ore explorer Sphere Minerals before its $514 million takeover bid expires on Friday.

The focus of the investigation into the engine explosion that has grounded Qantas's A480 fleet has been squarely switched to engine manufacturer Rolls Royce.

Page 64: Lend Lease, Mirvac and Brookfield Multiplex have been shortlisted for a state government contract to redevelop four hectares of riverfront land at the eastern gateway to Perth.

Page 65: The West Australian state government has called for expressions of interest to develop up to five parcels of land in Karratha's city centre and 168.4 hectares of residential land in the coastal suburb of Mulataga.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Treasury says the economy is hitting full capacity, increasing concerns that inflation will rise much higher and generating calls for the government to do more to rein in spending.

Page 2: Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says she is open to a push by Aboriginal leaders for recognition of indigenous Australians in the body of the Constitution, but has ruled out a treaty

The Gillard government will fasttrack the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program to help tackle the appalling living conditions in Northern Territory indigenous communities.

Page 3: James Packer may have formally secured his seat on the Ten Network board but it is business as usual for the broadcaster's expanded news team.

Page 4: Treasury has abandoned its belief that the economy can manage a resources boom with low inflation, bringing its forecasts into line with those of the Reserve Bank.

Expected revenue from the mining tax has shrunk to $7.4 billion in its first two years, as the dollar's rise erodes resource company earnings.

Page 5: Labor is facing a significant budget blow-out on immigration expenses due to a surge in boat arrivals this financial year.

Page 8: Qantas said last night it had cleared the backlog caused by the grounding of its A380 fleet as new suggestions emerged that a spectacular engine failure near Singapore last week caused more damage to the plane involved than first thought.

Julia Gillard has attacked claims that pricing carbon will force up electricity prices, as she launched a spirited defence of her government's ambitions on long-term economic reforms.

Ship owners and exporters have demanded greater competition at the ports, warning that a flatlining of capital productivity on the waterfront could be worse than was thought.

Business: Royal Dutch Shell's shock move to slash its controlling stake in Woodside Petroleum will spark global interest in the Perth-based company that could test the Labor government's policies on foreign ownership of Australian resources assets.

Seven Group Holdings executive chairman Kerry Stokes says the decision to merge his media and earthmoving interests this year has been vindicated after the conglomerate forecast strong profit growth for the 2010-11 financial year.

The federal government has forecast that a business investment boom will help Australia repair the budget erosion caused by the strong Australian dollar and lower tax revenue.

Fortescue Metals Group is poised to approve construction of an $US8.4 billion ($8.3bn), 100 million-tonnes-a-year expansion of its Pilbara region iron ore operations in Western Australia that it aims to complete in record time.

Xstrata Coal's global chief says Sin-Tang Developments' rival proposal for Sphere Minerals has frustrated its iron ore ambitions, but failed to outline a possible plan B in a last-ditch plea for control.

Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder has warned that Christmas trading at its retail businesses could be hit by rising interest rates, unseasonably cool weather on the east coast and wider economic uncertainty.

Mount Gibson Iron chairman Neil Hamilton is quitting the company because of concerns the iron ore miner's Chinese investors plan to take control of the board.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: The federal government has resisted pressure to make deeper cuts to government spending. The delay in lifting interest rates at the level sanctioned by the Reserve Bank is costing three of the big banks more than $3 million a day.

A same-sex couple were banned from their high school formal. An inquest into the disappearance of Jason Whyte may not solve the mystery.

Page 2: The sale of the state-government owned power industry is under threat.

Page 3: Kevin Rudd gatecrashed the special ABC television broadcast with Hillary Clinton.

World: (Jerusalem) Israel said it would build another 1300 homes on annexed land in east Jerusalem.

Business: The federal government has lopped $3 billion off its revenue estimates for the mining tax.

Sport: South Sydney boss Shane Richardson ha broken his silence on the club's bid for Greg Inglis.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: More than $250,000 donated to the NSW Labor Party by a company linked to Ron Medich will stay in the party's coffers pending his court case.

Page 2: A giant residential tower is expected to be approved under a deal that does away with height restrictions.

Page 3: Story continued.

World: (London) The most seriously injured survivor of the 2005 London bombings has told of how he watched a suicide bomber explode in front of him.

Business: The share market took talk of a possible takeover of Woodside Petroleum with a deal of scepticism.

Sport: The England cricket team is bringing a sports psychologist and life coach to Australia for the Ashes.

 

THE AGE:

Page 1: The Gillard government is investigating the use of sweeping federal taxation powers to impose new curbs on poker machines across Australia.

The National Trust has abandoned its year-long campaign against the controversial Hotel Windsor redevelopment as part of a secret deal with developers to avoid legal costs.

Page 2: A plan to deploy Australian special forces deeper into hostile Taliban territory - at the risk of greater casualties - was canvassed at this week's summit of American and Australian political leaders in Melbourne.

Page 3: For the first time on record the median cost of land in the outer growth area suburbs is likely to eclipse the cost of building a house, research shows.

World: Israel seemed to have led peace talks with Palestinians to the brink of collapse after it unveiled plans to build 1,300 new homes for Jewish settlers in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

Business: The delay in raising mortgage rates following the Reserve Bank's lift in the official cash rate is costing three of the big banks more than $3 million a day between them as they agonise over whether to follow the Commonwealth Bank lead.

Sport: Tiger Woods touched down in Melbourne yesterday to the news that his opponents are still in awe of him.

 

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: Students are being dumbed down by poor resources, red tape and stressed principals, a scathing report hidden from parents reveals.

Page 3: A judge wiped tears from her eyes as a woman who lost her unborn child in a crash caused by a dangerous driver told the court about the daughter she will never know.

Page 5: Stamp duty reform is shaping as a key issue at today's Herald Sun/Sky News Peoples Forum.

World: Former US president George W. Bush has defended waterboarding of terrorist suspects, claiming it prevented deadly attacks in Britain.

Business: Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says he will not over-react to the rapid leap in the value of the Australian dollar that has punched a $10 billion tax hole in his Budget in just five months and could cause more damage if it continues to rise.

Sport: England has brought a secret weapon to Australia: an expert to stop the team from choking in the Ashes series

THE CANBERRA TIMES:

Page 1: The Canberra Raiders and the NRL will not pursue any other players over the photo scandal that forced Joel Monaghan to quit the club.

Page 2: The federal government's Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook has predicted another 380,000 people will get jobs in the next 18 months but warns the Australian dollar is forcing up budget deficits.

Page 3: A man who killed himself in a private Canberra hospital's mental health facility had been prescribed medication that had the possible side-effect of suicidal thoughts.

World: US president Barack Obama has endorsed India's seat on an expanded UN Security Council, a move that's likely to trouble China and Pakistan.

Business: Media barons James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch have taken seats on the Ten Network Holdings board.

Sport: Canberra Raiders coach David Furner watched Joel Monaghan struggle through his resignation statement from a Brisbane hotel room and says his thoughts were for his player's well-being and family.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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