21/03/2013 - 07:07

Today's Business Headlines

21/03/2013 - 07:07

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Gillard, Rudd in limbo – The Fin; Barnett refuses to rule out merger – The West; Bleak outlook for iron ore as prospects sliced – The Aus; Ultimatum to get NBN on track - The Fin; Retailers to fight union on youth pay rates – The Aus

Today's Business Headlines

Gillard, Rudd in limbo

Julia Gillard's supporters hit the phones to rally support from Labor MPs as the government media package hung in the balance and Kevin Rudd's backers worked to trigger a leadership contest as early as Thursday. The Fin

Barnett refuses to rule out merger

Premier Colin Barnett has re-opened a can of worms about the future of state-owned utilities Verve Energy and Synergy, refusing yesterday to rule out a re-merger of the electricity generator and retailer. The West

Bleak outlook for iron ore as prospects sliced

The prospects for Australia’s biggest commodities export continue to worsen in the eyes of forecasters, with the federal government’s forecaster wiping $66 billion from expected iron ore export revenue out to 2016-17 and leading global commodities trader Goldman Sachs giving a more dire outlook on prospects for the mineral. The Aus

Ultimatum to get NBN on track

Senior NBN Co executives are pushing major contractors to get the nation's largest infrastructure project back on track ahead of a critical board meeting that will see chairman Harrison Young stand down. The Fin

Retailers to fight union on youth pay rates

The nation’s largest union will seek 10 per cent pay rises today for young adult retail workers in a landmark case that has implications for employees across the hospitality and fast food sectors. The Aus

 

TOP RESOURCES HEADLINES

Sundance chief heads to China to press for bid

Sundance Resources chairman George Jones plans to fly to China to try to salvage Sichuan Hanlong's $1.3 billion purchase of his company following media reports that Hanlong chairman Liu Han had been taken into police custody. The Fin

Huge export earnings rise tipped for resources sector

Australia's earnings from resource exports will soar by 50 per cent over the next five years as projects are completed, but the government needs to brace for a dip in the current financial year. The Aus

Bleak outlook for iron ore as prospects sliced

The prospects for Australia’s biggest commodities export continue to worsen in the eyes of forecasters, with the federal government’s forecaster wiping $66 billion from expected iron ore export revenue out to 2016-17 and leading global commodities trader Goldman Sachs giving a more dire outlook on prospects for the mineral. The Aus

Sirius boss ignores price 'noise'

Despite meeting analysts' expectations, the maiden resource at Sirius Resources' breakthrough Nova deposit failed to spark the market, with investors pushing its shares down yesterday. The West

 

TOP POLITICS HEADLINES

Gillard, Rudd in limbo

Julia Gillard's supporters hit the phones to rally support from Labor MPs as the government media package hung in the balance and Kevin Rudd's backers worked to trigger a leadership contest as early as Thursday. The Fin

A Cabinet full of 'fresh ideas'

Colin Barnett heralded the arrival of “fresh ideas and new approaches” from five new Cabinet ministers yesterday, before declaring he would take a broad oversight role driving policy in individual portfolios. The West

Barnett refuses to rule out merger

Premier Colin Barnett has re-opened a can of worms about the future of state-owned utilities Verve Energy and Synergy, refusing yesterday to rule out a re-merger of the electricity generator and retailer. The West

 

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

Page 1: Perth drinkers out for a night on the town have twice the blood alcohol levels of those in Sydney and are among the nation's biggest pre-loaders, a major study has found.

Page 3: An Estonian martial arts fighter is believed to have become the first West Australian to face Commonwealth debt bondage charges over an alleged scam involving migrant labour.

Page 4: Colin Barnett heralded the arrival of “fresh ideas and new approaches” from five new Cabinet ministers yesterday, before declaring he would take a broad oversight role driving policy in individual portfolios.

Page 5: The number of children in WA public schools surged at more than twice the rate of those in private schools last year as the state also recorded the biggest proportional rise in the nation.

Page 6: Julia Gillard is being assured she has the numbers to resist any push from Kevin Rudd but the likely failure of the more contentious media Bills looms as another pressure point for the Prime Minister.

Page 9: One of Gina Rinehart's key lieutenants has called for a “rational” debate over visas for foreign workers, saying it is not reasonable to expect foreign companies to invest in Australia if they are unable to import project management and skilled workers.

Page 11: Australian superannuation funds are likely to enjoy a double-digit boost this year as the sharemarket injects more cash into retirement nest eggs.

Page 12: Australia's debt levels will soar as high as the level reached after World War II if future governments fail to curtail spending on an ageing population.

Page 13: WA households could have to pay a higher fixed charge for their electricity bills under a shake-up that would be aimed at recouping the spiralling cost of solar panels to the network.

Page 20: Voters in the Liberal-held Federal seat of Canning have been left tens of millions of taxpayers' dollars worse off than those sitting in key independent-held electorates on the east coast.

An underground mine worker at La Mancha Resources' Frog's Leg gold mine near Coolgardie was seriously injured in a rock fall yesterday.

Business: Sundance Resources' $1.37 billion takeover by Hanlong Mining was last night on the brink of collapse amid reports the suitor's billionaire owner, Liu Han, had been arrested by Chinese police.

Despite meeting analysts' expectations, the maiden resource at Sirius Resources' breakthrough Nova deposit failed to spark the market, with investors pushing its shares down yesterday.

David Jones says efforts to keep up with the new world order of retail are hitting its bottom line but insists the strategy will eventually pay off.

Premier Colin Barnett has re-opened a can of worms about the future of state-owned utilities Verve Energy and Synergy, refusing yesterday to rule out a re-merger of the electricity generator and retailer.

Dairy farmers have hit out after processor Harvey Fresh ruled out passing on a wholesale milk price rise announced yesterday by Coles.

The key Saudi Arabian live export market will remain closed to WA farmers indefinitely at a cost of millions of dollars a year under controversial Australian Government regulations that supersede a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.

The chief executive charged with developing Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill project says the mining magnate is considering a further sell-off of her stake in the iron ore asset as part of the funding mix.

The battle for control of cashed-up tiddler Aviva Corp has turned increasingly ugly, with unnamed shareholders requisitioning a meeting to try to sack dissident director Pieter Britz

 

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

Page 1: Julia Gillard's supporters hit the phones to rally support from Labor MPs as the government media package hung in the balance and Kevin Rudd's backers worked to trigger a leadership contest as early as Thursday.

Senior NBN Co executives are pushing major contractors to get the nation's largest infrastructure project back on track ahead of a critical board meeting that will see chairman Harrison Young stand down.

Sundance Resources chairman George Jones plans to fly to China to try to salvage Sichuan Hanlong's $1.3 billion purchase of his company following media reports that Hanlong chairman Liu Han had been taken into police custody.

Page 3: Australia's biggest union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, plans to relaunch a test case to convince the Fair Work Commission to award the full adult wage to 18- to 20-year-olds who work in retail.

Page 6: Big polluters have been warned to engage auditors now to check their complex emission reports under the carbon scheme.

Page 7: Southern Cross Media chairman Max Moore-Wilton has accused Ten Network chief executive Hamish McLennan of being “increasingly emotional” but says the regional broadcaster will continue discussions with Ten over a new affiliation agreement.

Page 8: The National Farmers Federation has backed Woolworths' plans to buy milk directly from farmers, bypassing processors, and use it for a new brand designed to counter perceptions the supermarket exploits dairy producers.

Page 9: Australia's dollar will remain painfully high for the rest of the decade, eroding profits of the biggest exporters and weighing on federal budget revenue for years to come, a high-level government report predicts.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has dumped three ministers from his cabinet in a broad reshuffle of his second-term government.

The re-elected Liberal government in Western Australia is facing a revenue shortfall that puts its AAA credit rating at risk, despite a recent rebound in mineral royalties.

Page 14: The Business Council of Australia has joined Crown Ltd chairman James Packer, Qantas, Wesfarmers and National Australia Bank in pushing for business-led training for the long-term unemployed among indigenous people to make better use of public funding.

Page 19: CSL's new chief executive, Paul Perreault, has warned the federal government against restricting 457 skilled working visas for foreigners and will push ahead with research and development in a bid to maintain earnings growth.

Page 21: David Jones is launching a range of private label products, cutting back on discounting and accelerating its exit from low-margin categories such as DVDs in an attempt to boost profits by growing gross margins while sales remain in the doldrums.

Brickworks is set to draw a line in the sand on its cross-holding arrangement with Washington H Soul Pattinson, declaring it will not “waste time, effort and resources” on “half-baked” unsolicited proposals from Perpetual Investments and investor Mark Carnegie.

 

THE AUSTRALIAN

Page 1: Julia Gillard is heading for a bruising defeat on media policy after stepping in to rescue Labor’s controversial reforms but failing to win over the key independents.

The federal government is at risk of a second parliamentary stand-off with the independents after Andrew Wilkie revealed he was disappointed with the content of the government’s long-delayed scheme to protect whistleblowers.

Australia's biggest companies have warned that a key plank of Labor’s plans to prop up the May budget pose a risk to the operating environment for business, could punch a hole in the capital available for crucial investments and burden companies with more red tape.

Page 2: Australia's earnings from resource exports will soar by 50 per cent over the next five years as projects are completed, but the government needs to brace for a dip in the current financial year.

Indigenous communities could be disadvantaged by Labor’s $37 billion National Broadband Network and its design should be changed, Australia’s first indigenous head of government says.

An NBN Co contractor that was this week dumped from the $37.4 billion rollout is facing union scrutiny for potential misuse of 457 visas.

The nation’s largest union will seek 10 per cent pay rises today for young adult retail workers in a landmark case that has implications for employees across the hospitality and fast food sectors.

Page 3: Investigators with the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are probing numerous alleged breaches, including serious fraud and misleading behaviour, in a historic cleanout of non-compliant charities.

Page 4: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has batted away suggestions he has been shelved from negotiations to salvage the media reform package.

Page 6: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s second-term cabinet will be sworn in today after a reshuffle in which five new ministers were appointed and three others sent to the backbench.

Business: The growth of the middle class in emerging markets, especially in Asia, will underpin high commodity prices and position Australia as a base to export hi-tech mining products to the world, according to one of the world’s most powerful chief executives, GE chairman Jeff Immelt.

The prospects for Australia’s biggest commodities export continue to worsen in the eyes of forecasters, with the federal government’s forecaster wiping $66 billion from expected iron ore export revenue out to 2016-17 and leading global commodities trader Goldman Sachs giving a more dire outlook on prospects for the mineral.

Australian-listed Sundance Resources will hold emergency talks today with officials from Hanlong Group after reports the head of the Chinese company was detained by police — a move that could derail the protracted $1.3 billion deal between the two parties.

GE chief executive and global chairman Jeff Immelt has rejected suggestions that Australia should follow the US policy of restricting its natural gas exports to provide cheaper domestic energy.

David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra has staked his future on continued expansion of profit margins, distancing the upmarket retailer from the recent sales-driven approach of rivals such as Myer.

IAG is looking to expand its new Chinese joint venture as it remains on track to meet its target to source 10 per cent of its gross written premiums from its growing Asian businesses in the next three years.

The head of Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project says the group is just days away from announcing the award of a multi-billion-dollar contract that will cover the project’s construction, with South Korean giant Samsung in the box seat to win the lucrative deal.

 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

 Page 1: Internal Labor polling from 2010 shows Kevin Rudd was rebounding before the coup that saw Julia Gillard take the leadership.

Page 2: Kevin Rudd has consistently been the people's choice to lead the Labor Party, even as far back as 2010.

Page 3: Kevin Rudd has no plan for a tilt at the ALP leadership unless he has an overwhelming majority of support.

World: A girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out on women's rights is well enough to attend school in the UK.

Business: David Jones is threatening to close a number of stores unless there's relief on rents from landlords.

Sport: At least two current NRL players have been told they are wanted for questioning by ASADA.

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Page 1: Kevin Rudd's supporters were on Wednesday night weighing up a high-risk tilt at the Labor leadership. Dumped Nationals' candidate Richard Torbay has alleged links to Eddie Obeid.

Page 2: A Sydney woman who disappeared more than a decade ago had her property stolen by a man who said she was never coming back, a court's been told.

Page 3: Men aren't taking jobs as primary school teachers because of the low pay and status, and because of fears about the perception of men who work with kids.

World: (Nicosia) Cyprus has turned to Russia after the island's parliament rejected a bailout package that would impose a tax on bank deposits.

Business: Nine Network and its financial adviser UBS are believed to be working on a big money merger with Southern Cross Broadcasting.

Sport: The NRL has wide ranging powers in relation to the players of interest to ASADA, and can even deregister players if they don't play ball with the anti-doping body.

 

THE AGE

Page 1: Kevin Rudd backers consider a tilt at the leadership as supporters on both sides scramble to lock in votes before the final sitting day of Parliament. The numbers don't add up for a Rudd challenge, not yet anyway.

Page 2: Court ruling that former immigration minister Chris Bowen illegally ordered a refugee back to Afghanistan opens the door for more than 100 asylum seekers to challenge their failed assessments. Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave raises concerns about the welfare of a dozen asylum seekers who have been in detention for more than two years.

Page 3: Fashion designer Bettina Liano says Melbourne's sky-high store rents are turning the CBD into a ghost town. Survey estimates that Australian scientists spent more than 500 years worth of time preparing research funding applications for the country's largest grant scheme in 2012. Student population soars but Victoria has less schools than 15 years ago to accommodate them.

World: Barack Obama visits Israel for the first time as US president on a mission to ease tensions.

Business: Nine pressing ahead with a $4 billion plan to merge with regional operator Southern Cross Broadcasting.

Sport: AFL looks at ways of bridging the gap between rich and poor clubs which could include an in-season mini-draft and a ban on top clubs poaching free agents.

 

THE HERALD SUN

Page 1: The next 24 hours are crucial for Julia Gillard as it is revealed that Labor polling taken on the eve of Kevin Rudd's overthrow in 2010 showed he was on the way back with voters. Australia charging towards population of 23 million.

Page 2: Infrastructure Australia boss Sir Rodd Eddington backs ConnectEast call to sell the Eastern Freeway and then put a toll on it.

Page 3: Seven and Nine squabble in court over Mel B's switch of TV talent shows. A sell-out crowd of 25,000 expected to see Black Caviar at Moonee Valley on Friday night as she chases her 24th consecutive victory.

World: Ten years on, the war in Iraq has changed US military tactics.

Business: Slash the rents or we'll close our weaker stores, David Jones tells landlords.

Sport: Hawthorn to spend $35 million revamping their training ground at Waverley Park, doubling the size of the football facilities.

 

THE ADELAIDE ADVERTISER

Page 1: Thousands of property owners are winning tax discounts on bills - ranging from council rates to water charges - by challenging the SA government's valuation of their home.

Page 2: Critical internal Labor polling in SA, taken on the eve of Kevin Rudd's political assassination, revealed a rebound and suggested Labor could still have won an election in 2010 under his leadership.

Page 3: Media regulations proposed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy were last night on the brink of collapse as Prime Minister Julia Gillard scrambled in a bid to salvage a new compromise deal with key independents.

World: Wearing a T-shirt with "killer" written on it, a teenager cursed and gestured obscenely as he was given three life sentences for shooting to death three students in an Ohio school cafeteria last year.

Business­: David Jones will expand its private label range to include everything from casual wear to kitchenware as it attempts to cash in on its upmarket retail reputation.

Sport: Adelaide believes the solution to the widening gulf between the barons and the battlers in the AFL lies in a prime-time tax for clubs which are exposed to the biggest audience - Friday night football.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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