07/08/2012 - 06:56

Today's Business Headlines

07/08/2012 - 06:56

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Don't mix politics and deals: FIRB – The Aus; Gillard hits states on power bills – The Fin; High dollar is a good thing, says ex-IMF boss – The West; Labor hits six month high but voters unconvinced by both leaders – The Aus; Calibre confident despite share tumble – The Aus

Today's Business Headlines

Don't mix politics and deals: FIRB

State-owned companies and sovereign wealth funds must not be driven by a political agenda when buying into Australia, the new chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board has warned in a strong signal to overseas investors. The Aus

Gillard hits states on power bills

Julia Gillard will ramp up pressure on state governments to reform their energy markets, a strategy designed to shift the blame for big retail electricity price rises from the carbon tax to the “gold plating” of transmission networks. The Fin

High dollar is a good thing, says ex-IMF boss

The former head of the International Monetary Fund has praised the role the Reserve Bank has played in managing the Australian economy. The West

Labor hits six month high but voters unconvinced by both leaders

Labor's primary vote has climbed five percentage points to its strongest position since February but a near-record one in four Australians remain undecided about whether they would prefer Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott to be prime minister. The Aus

Calibre confident despite share tumble

Rod Baxter, the managing director of newly listed mining services company Calibre Group, has moved to allay investor fears in the sector, saying the major miners’ committed capital spending left him confident in the China-driven resources story. The Aus

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 4: The former head of the International Monetary Fund has praised the role the Reserve Bank has played in managing the Australian economy.

Borrowers are likely to miss out on interest rate relief today despite new data showing slower demand for workers, rising petrol prices, lagging business confidence and profits plummeting for one of Australia's biggest retailers.

Page 7: Julia Gillard will today accuse state governments of unjustifiably increasing electricity prices over the past four years by abusing their dual positions as owners and regulators of power assets.

Page 14: Tony Abbott has called on the Gillard government to join the coalition in rejecting a proposal for a new media watchdog, saying it could become a “political correctness enforcement agency”.

Page 15: Jabirr Jabirr spokesman Warren Greatorex said he and former Greens Senator Bob Brown had to “agree to disagree” about the James Price Point gas hub after a “long hard discussion” in Broome yesterday.

Business: Investors in WA's gold sector have flexed their muscles in pursuit of better returns, supporting Silver Lake Resources' well-timed $426 million takeover of Integra Mining.

Fortescue Metals Group has ensured it has sufficient contingency cover for any extra blowout for its $US9 billion ($8.53 billion) Pilbara expansion after announcing yesterday it had secured a bigger than expected $US1.5 billion in debt.

Wooldridges is looming as one of WA's worst business failures in recent years, with creditors likely to lose tens of millions.

Harvey Norman boss Gerry Harvey says he may have to close some former Rick Hart electrical stores in WA as the retail slump continues to bite.

Apache Energy has reignited the debate over the state's high domestic gas prices, with the US petroleum giant revealing that WA is now its second-most lucrative market in the world.

Atlantic has asked for another cash handout from biggest shareholder Droxford International, this time securing $50 million to help pay for the production ramp-up at the struggling Windimurra vanadium operation.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: Julia Gillard will ramp up pressure on state governments to reform their energy markets, a strategy designed to shift the blame for big retail electricity price rises from the carbon tax to the “gold plating” of transmission networks.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has appealed directly to individual shareholders in Fairfax Media to support her campaign for two board seats.

Former prime minister Paul Keating has broken with the Rudd-Gillard government's close alignment with the US to criticise President Barack Obama's approach to the relationship with China.

A sweeping inquiry into banking will be extended to the $1.8 trillion funds management sector because of its rapid increase in size and importance to the economy, if the Coalition wins the next election.

Page 3: The federal opposition has signalled it opposes the Reserve Bank of Australia intervening in currency markets to weaken the dollar, preferring to let market forces determine its value.

Page 4: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has played down a recent dip in applications to the investment agency, saying it is nothing to be concerned about.

Page 5: The market sentiment for commodities is too pessimistic relative to the true demand from China, meaning prices should hold at current levels unless conditions in Europe and the United States deteriorate significantly, says the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The Business Council of Australia has called for an overhaul of the GST split based on the number of people in each state, a proposal strongly opposed by smaller states.

Page 6: Accountants have backed opposition claims that the federal government is understating the cost of the national broadband network by excluding the financing cost.

Page 13: Harvey Norman is returning to its roots as a homewares and small appliances retailer and reducing its reliance on technology products after unveiling its biggest decline in sales and earnings.

Former Reserve Bank of Australia board member Warwick McKibbin, who last week urged the central bank to consider intervening in the dollar's strength, has stuck to his call for an increase in the official interest rate.

Page 14: China's Hanlong Mining has cut back its offer for Sundance Resources to 40c a share.

Page 15: Dented investor confidence in the ability of Santos's $US18.5 billion LNG project in Gladstone to guarantee coal seam gas supplied for the large plant has driven an overhaul of responsibilities at the venture.

Page 16: The federal government is under pressure to agree to a full-scale review of the financial system after banks backed the idea, despite denying accusations that the sector was plagued by a lack of competition.

Page 17: Shareholder pressure to increase scale and dilute risk is seen as the key driver behind West Australian goldminer Silver Lake Resources' $426 million friendly all-scrip merger deal with neighbour Integra Mining.

West Australian nickel miners are confident the price of the stainless steel raw material will rebound, despite pessimistic comments by BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers.

Junior miners have retaliated against federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, describing his attack on industry billionaires Andrew Forrest, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer as “vitriolic and divisive”.

Page 21: One of the key independent MPs who delivered Labor to government has warned that its national broadband network corporate plan must “start to really tell the truth” or risk a backlash from voters and Parliament.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: State-owned companies and sovereign wealth funds must not be driven by a political agenda when buying into Australia, the new chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board has warned in a strong signal to overseas investors.

Labor's primary vote has climbed five percentage points to its strongest position since February but a near-record one in four Australians remain undecided about whether they would prefer Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott to be prime minister.

Page 2: The Reserve Bank is braced for a rise in the unemployment rate and will keep its cash rate steady at 3.5 per cent at today’s board meeting in Sydney.

Service industries have outstripped mining as the nation’s dominant source of new jobs, according to official figures that show the economy has created almost 10 times as many jobs as it has lost in manufacturing.

Aborigines should not have to trade their land for the rights enjoyed by all Australians, federal Labor MP Melissa Parke says in opposing one of the key arguments for Woodside’s gas precinct near Broome.

Page 5: Labor has accused Tony Abbott of ‘‘sucking up to media barons in search of a political dividend’’ after the Opposition Leader attacked the government for attempting to muzzle the media by threatening to create a new watchdog over journalistic standards.

Business: The nation’s biggest electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman has been hit by a triple whammy of sharp price deflation, poor sales and a high dollar, prompting it to pre-empt its profit results later this month by warning there would be a near 40 per cent plunge in pre-tax earnings.

Business leaders have called on politicians to do more to explain foreign investment rather than pandering to populist opinion, and to set clear rules for inbound capital.

For all the trepidation evident in resources markets, a positive mood emanated from the podium and sidelines of the 20th Diggers & Dealers mining conference in the nation’s gold capital, Kalgoorlie, yesterday.

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals has moved to protect itself from further falls in iron ore prices by increasing the size of new short-term debt facilities to $US1.5 billion.

Goldminer Silver Lake Resources has moved on Integra Mining in a $426 million agreed takeover deal, answering the call of major institutions for consolidation in the sector.

Rod Baxter, the managing director of newly listed mining services company Calibre Group, has moved to allay investor fears in the sector, saying the major miners’ committed capital spending left him confident in the China-driven resources story.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: A corruption inquiry is set to expose graft among former NSW Labor treasurer Eric Roozendaal, powerbroker Eddie Obeid and disgraced former minister Ian Macdonald.

Page 2: The coalition wants to pay farmers to store carbon in their soil for 25 years.

Page 3: A second champion jockey has become embroiled in a race-fixing scandal.

World: A man shot his sister in front of witnesses in a packed Pakistani courtroom.

Business: Retailer Harvey Norman has warned investors its full-year profits could dive by as much as 40 per cent.

Sport: Canterbury to fight a $10,000 fine against coach Des Hasler.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: The Australian Olympic Committee wants an end to Australian coaches being poached.

Page 2: A fiery car crash in Sydney's west has killed a teenage girl and left her boyfriend fighting for his life.

Page 3: Sydney's Steve Solomon is a 19-year-old champion for being the first Australian since the Seoul Olympics to make the 400-metre final.

World: A gunman killed six people in a Sikh temple near Milwaukee in the US state of Wisconsin before police shot him dead.

Business: The Australian dollar has surged as investors tipped interest rates staying on hold.

Sport: Des Hasler is on course to become the first Australian rugby league coach in the game's 104-year history to coach two teams to premiership glory in consecutive seasons.

 

THE AGE:

Page 1: A second champion jockey, Mark Zahra, has become embroiled in the Smoking Aces race-fixing scandal. A class action by victims of the devastating Marysville bushfire on Black Saturday is to be launched against power company SP Ausnet, whose power lines have been found by police to be the likely cause of the blaze.

Page 2: The first figures in on the price impact of the carbon tax show its effect contained and inflation low.

Page 3: Ballarat University is leading a push to bring the majority of regional Victoria's TAFE institutes under one umbrella named after former prime minister Sir Robert Menzies.

World: The priests had gathered in the lobby of the sprawling Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, and lunch was being prepared as congregants were arriving for Sunday services when a gunman entered and shot six people dead.

Business: Furniture and electricals superstore Harvey Norman has sounded a warning to investors on the eve of the corporate reporting season, revealing that woeful sales through much of 2012 would strip away as much as 40 per cent off its profits for the full year.

Sport: Rodney Eade is a potential candidate while Scott Burns was endorsed as a coach-in-waiting after Matthew Primus parted ways with crisis-torn Port Adelaide on Monday.

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: Five weeks after imposing a 10 per cent hike in electricity bills with the carbon tax, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says power prices are rising too far and fast but blames states and power companies for the rise.

Page 2: Violent and dangerous criminals are being released up to 35 days before completing their minimum sentences because of generous cuts agreed by prison bosses. AFL great and media personality David Schwarz says he fears for his family after being harassed by a serial stalker.

Page 3: A seven-minute hell ride through blast-furnace heat, a pinpoint landing and two happy snaps have begun the most ambitious and expensive attempt to prove there is life on Mars.

World: Police and the FBI are refusing to identify a white gunman with a 9/11 tattoo who killed at least six people at a Sikh temple before he was shot dead by police in a gunfight.

Business: The Reserve Bank will keep interest rates on hold on Tuesday despite fresh evidence that inflationary pressures have all but vanished, giving it a licence to cut, economists say.

Sport: Port Adelaide great Warren Tredrea has called on the club to break the bank in a bid to lure Mick Malthouse or Paul Roos to replace sacked coach Matthew Primus.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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