23/10/2012 - 06:54

Today's Business Headlines

23/10/2012 - 06:54

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Swan juggles to save slim surplus – The Aus; Monthly bills will cost real money – The Fin; Yara's Pilbara plant hit by breakdown – The West; HBF vows to limit increases – The West; Weak nickel price forces Panoramic to find savings

Today's Business Headlines

Swan juggles to save slim surplus

Wayne Swan has delivered an $8 billion hit to big business and cut the generosity of the baby bonus and private health insurance rebates in a last-ditch effort to preserve his budget surplus in the face of a worsening global economic outlook. The Aus

Monthly bills will cost real money

The business community believes it is being forced into an unnecessary, expensive and administratively complex change to help Treasurer Wayne Swan meet his political goal of budget surpluses. The Fin

Yara's Pilbara plant hit by breakdown

Norwegian fertiliser giant Yara has suffered a major setback since resolving its long-running dispute with Pankaj Oswal, declaring that a planned three-week maintenance break at the flagship Burrup ammonia plant had turned into a nine-week forced shutdown. The West

HBF vows to limit increases

HBF expects to hold the line on premium rises, despite growing pressure on claims from WA's ageing baby boomers and lifestyle-related health issues. The West

Weak nickel price forces Panoramic to find savings

WA nickel producer Panoramic Resources has joined the increasing list of resources companies cutting costs, revealing it has started measures to find up to $15 million in annual savings from its business. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN:

Page 3: The revitalisation of Claremont town centre is almost complete, with a multi-million dollar “pedestrian first” upgrade of Bayview Terrace to be officially opened this week.

Leading racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse, one of Australia's most recognisable women, believes the nation's female workforce is still predominantly trapped under a glass ceiling.

Page 4: The Gillard government has signalled it might ditch its promise of a budget surplus if its latest round of savings cannot protect the country from a global downturn.

Businesses have accused the government of building the budget surplus on their backs after an $8.3 billion cash grab.

Page 5: Labor has launched a fresh raid on families, targeting private health insurance rebates and the baby bonus to save $1.6 billion over four years.

Page 9: Tensions in the construction union have hit a high with state secretary Mick Buchan taking out a full page advertisement to support firebrand Joe McDonald ahead of the union's election next month.

Page 16: An unprecedented movement is under way in Perth to create and enliven public spaces which are changing the way people interact with the city.

Business: HBF expects to hold the line on premium rises, despite growing pressure on claims from WA's ageing baby boomers and lifestyle-related health issues.

Craig Coleman's three-year restructure of Amadeus Energy has ended in a friendly takeover that will see the Perth company join the US shale gas frenzy.

Norwegian fertiliser giant Yara has suffered a major setback since resolving its long-running dispute with Pankaj Oswal, declaring that a planned three-week maintenance break at the flagship Burrup ammonia plant had turned into a nine-week forced shutdown.

A red-faced Forge Group has made a last-minute alteration to tomorrow's annual meeting after leaving out the representative of its biggest shareholder.

The manufacturing union will stage a “Buy Australian” campaign amid government projects the industry is on track to lose $85,000 jobs nationally in the next five years.

WA nickel producer Panoramic Resources has joined the increasing list of resources companies cutting costs, revealing it has started measures to find up to $15 million in annual savings from its business.

Lingering doubts surrounding Hanlong Mining's drawn-out takeover bid for Sundance Resources eased yesterday, with the Chinese suitor securing loans to finance the $1.37 billion deal.

Uranium explorers in Queensland are unlikely to begin producing yellowcake any time soon despite the state ban on mining being lifted.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW:

Page 1: A shift to monthly company tax payments will shuffle $8.3 billion into the budget in a mid-year review which pledges surpluses that the Gillard government says will give the Reserve Bank of Australia more room to cut official interest rates.

The business community believes it is being forced into an unnecessary, expensive and administratively complex change to help Treasurer Wayne Swan meet his political goal of budget surpluses.

Page 2: BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance employees will get an annual pay rise of 5 per cent over three years, a $15,000 bonus and increased superannuation payments.

Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young Australia has retrenched 89 staff amid rumours that partner performance is under review and will result in further redundancies within weeks.

Page 3: The potential $2.7 billion takeover of Australia's largest agricultural company, GrainCorp, has ignited debate among politicians and business leaders over the merits of increasing foreign ownership of strategic assets.

Page 4: Treasurer Wayne Swan says he didn't bring forward the budget review to avoid revealing how little revenue the government is getting from the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

Page 5: A $2.31 billion hit to company tax receipts amid a global slowdown and commodity price slump accounts for more than half the cash write-down this year, according to the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Page 13: One of Australia's largest professional services groups has called for action to hasten economic integration with Asia after a survey revealed large differences between how Australians and foreigners view the issue.

A long-running case involving the West Australian Governor Malcolm McCusker returned to court on Monday, when the philanthropist was accused of failing to properly analyse documents for a client.

Page 19: Some of GrainCorp's biggest shareholders are betting on a rival offer for Australia's largest agricultural company, pressuring Archer Daniels Midland to increase its $2.7 billion bid for the grains handler.

Treasury Wine Estates boss David Dearie has defended the company's shock earnings downgrade and urged investors to focus on the longer-term outlook and opportunities in the China and United States markets.

Page 21: ConocoPhillips' Australian boss has taken aim at the “deliberate misinformation” that he says has plagued the emerging shale gas industry in Australia, warning the industry requires mis-statements to be addressed and policy support to realise its potential.

CHAMP private equity group is believed to have offered the struggling Ten Network about $110 million for its outdoor advertising business, Eye Corp, or 24 per cent below the original agreed sale price.

Page 22: Uranium producers have welcomed the Queensland government's decision to overturn a ban on mining the nuclear fuel.

Oil and Gas Junior Amadeus Energy will reinvent itself with a focus on the booming shale sector in the US through a scrip-based takeover of Texas explorer Lonestar Resources for about $117.5 million.

Sundance Resources is a step closer to putting a takeover offer to shareholders, after suitor Hanlong Mining provided financing commitment letters from two Chinese banks to fund the $1.37 billion deal.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN:

Page 1: Wayne Swan has delivered an $8 billion hit to big business and cut the generosity of the baby bonus and private health insurance rebates in a last-ditch effort to preserve his budget surplus in the face of a worsening global economic outlook.

Corporate Australia has lashed Labor’s shock move to raise $8.3 billion by forcing large businesses to pay tax earlier, warning it could cause a cash crunch and lead to higher compliance costs that would weaken the wider economy.

Environment Minister Tony Burke banned the super-trawler Abel Tasman after Fisheries Minister Joe Ludwig rejected such a move under his own powers, believing it was unjustified and would ‘‘ open the commonwealth to significant legal and reputation risk’’.

Page 2: Campbell Newman has overturned a decades-old ban on uranium mining in Queensland, opening the door to renewed development of the resource worth up to $18 billion.

Page 3: The government’s determination to preside over a wafer-thin budget surplus this financial year has prompted it to find a raft of savings as falling commodity prices have sliced $20 billion from projected tax revenues over the next four years.

Against an uncertain global outlook and falling commodity prices, the government has trimmed its forecast for economic growth but remains optimistic that unemployment is close to its peak.

Wayne Swan faces a political battle to gain the parliamentary numbers to pass the savings and revenue measures to maintain the $1.1 billion surplus unveiled in his mid-year economic statement after Tony Abbott, the Greens and key independent Rob Oakeshott all failed to endorse the plans.

Page 5: About 87,000 families a year will receive a baby bonus worth $3000 instead of $5000 for their second or subsequent children, prompting warnings from welfare groups that the poor would suffer and criticism from the Coalition that it was an attack on larger families.

Labor now expects its mining tax to generate just two-thirds of the revenue it had predicted at this year’s May budget due to a sharp slump in commodity prices.

Page 6: Australia's elite universities yesterday attacked the $500 million cut to promised increases in research funding, claiming the government was wasting money instead on opening university places to ill-prepared students.

Page 7: Treasury has conceded that the carbon price represents a risk to the budget bottom line if world carbon permit prices are below the $29 estimate contained in its modelling when the scheme floats in 2015.

Page 10: Surging Chinese demand has helped fuel an increase of nearly $1 billion in Victorian food and fibre exports while NSW has sharply increased its national market share, analysis of the primary production sector shows.

Australians are being asked to boycott this Christmas hams, chicken and turkey made from animals confined to cramped pens and cages in darkened sheds.

Business: Investors are betting on a higher bid for Graincorp, pushing shares in the east coast grain handler to record highs as it mulls a $2.7 billion offer from US giant Archer Daniels Midland.

The government’s decision to make companies pay their tax monthly rather than quarterly has been criticised for being introduced while corporate earnings are under pressure.

Foxtel is turning the tables on pay-television piracy and putting the heat on the free-to-air networks after signing a landmark deal with US TV giant HBO, maker of the popular hits like Game of Thrones, to give consumers access to shows within hours of them airing in the US market.

Deposits containing an estimated $18 billion of uranium are back as candidates for development after Queensland’s Newman government overturned a 23-year ban on the mining of the nuclear fuel in the state.

Sundance Resources has confirmed that China’s $1.37 billion takeover of the iron ore hopeful is firmly on track, with letters of support received from the suitor’s bank.

BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers says the company is not restoring curtailed US onshore gas production despite a recent rise in prices to levels his petroleum boss recently said could trigger a revival.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has flagged the possibility of more flights to Japan as a result of the introduction of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Shares in Treasury Wine Estates recorded their biggest oneday fall since last year’s split from Foster’s, after the company warned that a slow start to the financial year would cut first-half earnings by up to 20 per cent.

The future earnings growth of the big four Australian banks is under question, with fears they will be hit by the economic slowdown forecast by NAB.

 

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:

Page 1: The federal government is prepared to jettison its promise to return the budget to surplus this financial year rather than make further harsh cuts should economic conditions continue to deteriorate, it has been revealed.

Page 2: Coles will stop selling pork, ham and bacon from pigs kept in crammed stalls as well as company branded caged eggs from January, meeting a commitment by the company to phase out the factory farming practices a year early.

Page 3: TAFE courses that do not fill skills shortages and directly lead to jobs will no longer receive state funding, threatening their affordability and future.

World: Weeks ago it sounded like a mismatch. The final presidential debate would focus on foreign policy - a sitting president who had overseen the death of Osama bin Laden pitted against a one-term governor, so new to diplomatic thinking he had managed to offend a good chunk of Britain during a brief trip this northern summer.

Business: Big business will be forced to hand over company tax payments to the government earlier, in an overhaul that will bring forward $8.3 billion in tax receipts as Labor seeks to protect the budget against a weakening economy.

Sport: Cadel Evans says the only reason he met disgraced sports doctor Michele Ferrari was to have a field test of his road cycling abilities.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH:

Page 1: Middle Australia has again become the fall guy for the federal government, with cuts to the baby bonus and health insurance rebates announced to give Treasurer Wayne Swan the budget surplus he so desperately wants.

Page 2: The long-time partner of Tweed MP Geoff Provost was stunned and deeply offended by comments from an upper house MP likening her to a "B-grade porn star".

Page 3: One of the nation's leading swimming bodies is calling for compulsory learn-to-swim programs at school to halve the number of drowning deaths across the state by 2020.

World: A gunman burst into a day spa where his estranged wife worked and shot seven women, killing three of them and injuring four others.

Business: Corporate Australia is picking up the tab as the government scrambles to maintain a surplus with commodity and tax revenues falling.

Sport: He was once one of Australia's richest men - now he's refusing to pay the full amount of ground rental for his NRL and A-League teams.

THE AGE:

Page 1: Overwhelmed public maternity hospitals are rejecting bookings for pregnant women, forcing them to find hospitals further away or switch to expensive private care. The Yarra River's exclusive rowing clubs are paying a peppercorn rate of $1 a year for central Melbourne land worth $30 million. The federal government would dump its promise to file a budget surplus rather than make more harsh cuts if economic conditions worsen. State inquiry hears that at least one in 20 Catholic priests in Melbourne was a pedophile.

Page 2: The Baillieu government says a new national real time prescription tracking system to prevent the growing abuse of painkillers is not a magic bullet.

Page 3: IMF says the Australian dollar is the third most expensive currency in the world. City traders and residents want Flagstaff station reopened on weekends, saying its closure deadens city life in that end of the CBD. Toorak construction of luxury house could cost up to $20 million for lawyer and property developer Daniel Besen. Melbourne councillor wants all fellow councillors to tell police or the Ombudsman about any alleged attempts of bribery or seeking of undue influence.

World: Mitt Romney closes the gap to where it is now neck and neck in the US presidential race.

Business: Big business angry that it is being forced to hand over company tax payments to the government earlier, bringing forward $8.3 billion in tax receipts.

Sport: Think of the progeny if unbeaten champions Frankel and Black Caviar hook up.

 

THE HERALD SUN:

Page 1: The Gillard government targets families, through cuts in baby bonus and private health insurance, and big business to keep its promise of a budget surplus.

Page 2: Racing Victoria goes to court to review the state Treasurer's report on new taxes on wagering.

Page 3: Special forces soldier dies in roadside bombing while on patrol in Afghanistan. Tough new law will close loophole for motorists who claim they did not know they were driving offending vehicles.

World: 100 hurt in protest in Kuwait.

Business: Mining slowdown will shrink growth and increase unemployment, according to budget update.

Sport: With 59kg on his back, Dunaden will have to do what Australian greats Kingston Town, Gunsynd and Super Impose could not, if he is to win a second Melbourne Cup.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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