22/03/2013 - 07:04

Today's Business Headlines

22/03/2013 - 07:04

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Bloodletting after Labor farce – The Fin; Walk-on call to non-runner – The Aus; Media packages get the axe – The West; Policy imperils $530m energy funds – The Fin; BJD splits WA pastoralists - The West

Today's Business Headlines

Bloodletting after Labor farce

Two of Kevin Rudd's top backers, Chris Bowen and Kim Carr, face the sack from the ministry as Julia Gillard reasserts her authority after Thursday's aborted push to dump her ended in humiliation for Mr Rudd. The Fin

Walk-on call to non-runner

Kevin Rudd is facing calls to quit parliament to end Labor’s internal strife as his own supporters give up on leadership change and decide to ‘‘walk on’’ from the turmoil.The Aus

Media packages get the axe

The federal government's hotly contested media reform controls are dead, with Labor pulling its remaining Bills after conceding it lacked the numbers to force them through Parliament. The West

Policy imperils $530m energy funds

Volatile energy policy, unfavourable tax changes and continued government ownership of power assets are deterring foreign investment in Australia's energy sector and jeopardise the $530 billion of investment needed through to 2030, a report to be released on Friday at the Energy State of the Nation conference in Sydney says. The Fin

BJD splits WA pastoralists

Kimberley pastoralists are on a collision course with cattle and dairy farmers in WA's south over management plans for a wasting disease detected in the far north. The West

TOP RESOURCES HEADLINES

Policy imperils $530m energy funds

Volatile energy policy, unfavourable tax changes and continued government ownership of power assets are deterring foreign investment in Australia's energy sector and jeopardise the $530 billion of investment needed through to 2030, a report to be released on Friday at the Energy State of the Nation conference in Sydney says. The Fin

Altona attracts suitors for Roseby

About 40 groups have contacted copper producer Altona Mining to express an interest in buying into the Roseby project in Queensland, Altona managing director Alistair Cowden says. The Aus

Sundance may walk away from Hanlong

The Sundance Resources board may consider terminating its $1.3 billion takeover deal with Sichuan Hanlong Group after the suitor's chairman, Liu Han, was detained in China. The Fin

Creditors close on Apex Minerals

Apex Minerals is pinning hopes for its corporate survival on the speedy resolution of key assets to Chinese parties to pay off increasingly angry creditors. The West

Sage appoints advisers for Cape Lambert uplift

A week after offering one of its key assets for sale, Tony Sage's Cape Lambert Resources effectively put itself on the block as well by instigating a strategic review with the help of corporate advisory firm Canaccord Genuity. The West

TOP POLITICS HEADLINES

Bloodletting after Labor farce

Two of Kevin Rudd's top backers, Chris Bowen and Kim Carr, face the sack from the ministry as Julia Gillard reasserts her authority after Thursday's aborted push to dump her ended in humiliation for Mr Rudd. The Fin

Let voters pick PM: Abbott

Opposition LeaderTony Abbott as called on key independents to withdraw their support for the Gillard government and allow Australians to vote in a snap election. The West

Walk-on call to non-runner

Kevin Rudd is facing calls to quit parliament to end Labor’s internal strife as his own supporters give up on leadership change and decide to ‘‘walk on’’ from the turmoil.The Aus

Media packages get the axe

The federal government's hotly contested media reform controls are dead, with Labor pulling its remaining Bills after conceding it lacked the numbers to force them through Parliament. The West

Swan may have to raise an extra $32bn

Treasurer Wayne Swan may be forced to borrow an additional $32 billion over two years from increasingly wary global investors, after the government admitted it would struggle to generate a surplus in coming years. The Fin

TOP PROPERTY HEADLINES

Brickmaker faces green fuel hurdle

The head of Brickworks has described WA's environment regime as unreasonably strict over efforts to tap alternative power sources for the building products maker's operations. The West

Board cuts NBN target as rollout slows

A crisis meeting of NBN Co's board cut targets to roll out the high-speed network past houses and apartments by up to 44 per cent, a concession that construction of the network is three months late. The Fin

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

Page 2: Julia Gillard has stared down another attempted Kevin Rudd comeback but the Labor Party is shattered after a day of division and chaos.

Page 3: Kevin Rudd has sold his party a “dummy” and made it look silly by not contesting the leadership spill, according to the man who brought on the ballot.

Page 4: The federal government's hotly contested media reform controls are dead, with Labor pulling its remaining Bills after conceding it lacked the numbers to force them through Parliament.

Page 5: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as called on key independents to withdraw their support for the Gillard government and allow Australians to vote in a snap election.

Colin Barnett yesterday hit out at the federal Labor government's “self indulgence and bickering”, saying Australians were tired of the instability in Canberra.

Page 9: An aborted bid for Kevin Rudd to return as prime minister has cost one senior minister his job, with others likely to be in the firing line.

Page 10: WA households can expect modest price rises under the re-elected Barnett government after new Energy Minister Mike Nahan vowed to honour the election pledge to keep increases “at or about inflation.”

Page 13: Water Corporation customers in Perth are among the least happy in Australia's major cities, with figures showing the utility fielded the second-highest level of complaints in the past financial year.

Page 20: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has told victims of forced adoption practices: “We apologise”.

Business: Kimberley pastoralists are on a collision course with cattle and dairy farmers in WA's south over management plans for a wasting disease detected in the far north.

Resources industry veteran Guido Staltari says he is unlikely to take on another full-time job after yesterday announcing he would hand over the top job at Saracen Mineral Holdings to chief operating officer Raleigh Finlayson.

The Thai-owned Timor Sea project behind one of Australia's worst oil spills has been delayed again, with first production pushed back up to three months.

Global grain giant Glencore will offer struggling WA farmers a cash advance before they plant this year's crop in a multi million dollar fillip for the industry. 

Singapore engineering company MTQ says it will push for a delisting of Neptune Marine Services even if its takeover bid falls short of a 90 per cent threshold. 

Information technology group ASG risks an investor backlash today after rejecting a takeover proposal from a US industrial giant after six months of negotiations.

The head of Brickworks has described WA's environment regime as unreasonably strict over efforts to tap alternative power sources for the building products maker's operations.

Former tax scheme promoter Greg Dunn yesterday pleaded not guilty in the WA Supreme Court to an alleged tax fraud conspiracy involving wealthy mining contractors Peter Bartlett and Ron Sayers.

A week after offering one of its key assets for sale, Tony Sage's Cape Lambert Resources effectively put itself on the block as well by instigating a strategic review with the help of corporate advisory firm Canaccord Genuity.

THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

Page 1: Two of Kevin Rudd's top backers, Chris Bowen and Kim Carr, face the sack from the ministry as Julia Gillard reasserts her authority after Thursday's aborted push to dump her ended in humiliation for Mr Rudd.

A crisis meeting of NBN Co's board cut targets to roll out the high-speed network past houses and apartments by up to 44 per cent, a concession that construction of the network is three months late.

Page 5: Two more ministers who backed Kevin Rudd face the sack while three party whips, including Joel Fitzgibbon, the man who urged Mr Rudd to “have a crack”, quit their posts after the campaign to replace Prime Minister Julia Gillard failed.

Page 7: Simon Crean's bold bid to force a Labor leadership change has backfired, costing the veteran MP and former leader his spot on the front bench after Julia Gillard heeded his ultimatum to bring on a ballot but Kevin Rudd refused to stand.

Page 8: Despite his humiliation, a return of Kevin Rudd as prime minister is still being tipped by analysts as Labor's best hope of dragging itself into election-winning contention.

Page 9: Australia's top business group has slammed Labor for further undermining confidence among companies and the community, and called on the government to return to its focus to policy matters that would benefit the nation.

Page 13: Media bosses have expressed a collective sigh of relief after the government abandoned the remainder of its controversial media package that had been described as an attack on free speech and as anti-democratic.

The federal government will not seek to create a government-appointed auditor of the media industry or introduce a public interest test for media proprietors after abandoning the policies which triggered its leadership crisis.

Page 14: Treasurer Wayne Swan may be forced to borrow an additional $32 billion over two years from increasingly wary global investors, after the government admitted it would struggle to generate a surplus in coming years.

Industrial relations laws are the single biggest barrier to business becoming more efficient, former Productivity Commission chairman Gary Banks says.

Page 15: The Gillard government has raised eyebrows by appointing a former management consultant with limited direct experience and close links to the Murdoch family as the new chairman of its national broadband network.

Labor has made a last-minute concession to business in its second round of changes to the Fair Work Act, dropping plans to allow arbitration of deadlocked bargaining such as that at bionic ear maker Cochlear.

Page 17: Nine Entertainment Co received a preliminary approach from its regional affiliate, WIN Corporation, in another sign the fierce debate over free-to-air television regulation has networks considering their strategic options.

Page 19: Leading fund manager Perpetual Investments said Brickworks directors are not committed to “constructive dialogue” regarding corporate governance and management strategies after the building products company said it would not review any more restructuring proposals unless it could prove a new structure would benefit all shareholders.

ANZ Banking Group has signalled a shift in its growth strategy back to home markets following a period of heavy investment in Asia, saying more capital would be focused back on Australia and New Zealand that it has in recent years.

Page 20: Volatile energy policy, unfavourable tax changes and continued government ownership of power assets are deterring foreign investment in Australia's energy sector and jeopardise the $530 billion of investment needed through to 2030, a report to be released on Friday at the Energy State of the Nation conference in Sydney says.

The Sundance Resources board may consider terminating its $1.3 billion takeover deal with Sichuan Hanlong Group after the suitor's chairman, Liu Han, was detained in China.

Page 21: John Symond's Aussie Home Loans will be swallowed up by one of the big banks he spent his career battling, after the competition watchdog gave the green light to a takeover by Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Intense competition for deposits has put upward pressure on bank funding costs over the past year and future developments in deposit pricing will be the key determinant of funding costs, the Reserve Bank of Australia says.

THE AUSTRALIAN

Page 1: Julia Gillard's supporters have called for the heads of the party plotters who attempted to overthrow the Prime Minister and install Kevin Rudd as leader in yesterday's failed coup.

Verdicts on Simon Crean’s singular intervention are emphatic: he is now variously described by his colleagues as a goose, a suicide-bomber, delusional and a disgrace, but also courageous, a hero and a Labor true believer.

Page 2: Julia Gillard will be forced to reshuffle her frontbench after the exits of senior minister Simon Crean and up-and-coming parliamentary secretary Richard Marles.

Page 3: Kevin Rudd is facing calls to quit parliament to end Labor’s internal strife as his own supporters give up on leadership change and decide to ‘‘walk on’’ from the turmoil.

Page 4: Minority government has failed and Labor is locked in an intractable civil war, Tony Abbott has declared, challenging the Prime Minister to go to the polls.

A frustrated business community has rounded on Labor over its ongoing leadership wars, warning the situation is stifling confidence, the economy and the ability to exploit the opportunities of the Asian Century.

Page 5: The number of homes and businesses that will be passed by Labor’s lightning-fast cable network by the end of the financial year has been slashed by as much as 44 per cent, or 150,000, adding further to the pressure on Communications Minister Stephen Conroy over Labor’s flagship infrastructure project.

Business has declared the review of the renewable energy target a missed opportunity to cut electricity prices after the government yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that at least 20 per cent of the nation’s power comes from wind, solar and hydro sources by 2020.

Page 6: A health survey of a Darling Downs town where residents complained of medical problems from coal-seam gas has failed to find a link between their malaise and the expanding industry.

Page 9: Cyprus was left yesterday with narrowing options to rescue its outsize financial services sector from collapse — something that could end its membership in the eurozone — after international lenders rejected an alternative government plan to secure a multi-billion-euro bailout and Russian officials remained cool to a Cypriot gas-for-cash deal.

Business: Investors traded through the political leadership drama in Canberra yesterday with an eye firmly on the federal election in September, encouraged that almost three years of minority government that has contributed to uncertainty on policy would soon end.

Struggling surfwear retailer Billabong last night moved to reassure the market that two US private equity consortiums remained interested in bidding for the company after a dramatic 22 per cent plunge in its share price forced directors to halt trading yesterday.

The global chairman of investment bank UBS believes interest rates in Australia do not need to fall any further, and has painted an optimistic outlook for the local economy, but believes ongoing instability in Europe will continue to weigh on corporate deal-making and capital markets activity in the year ahead.

Brickworks’ half-year result presentation descended into a fiery row yesterday between the board and Hunter Green, the broking house that has been advocating for the unwinding of the company’s cross ownership structure with Washington H. Soul Pattinson

About 40 groups have contacted copper producer Altona Mining to express an interest in buying into the Roseby project in Queensland, Altona managing director Alistair Cowden says.

Premier Investments, owner of fashion chains including Just Jeans, Peter Alexander and Portmans, has closed more than a dozen stores across Australia in recent months and is threatening to close more as structural pressures continue to cloud the outlook for business.

 

A US bankruptcy judge has approved a million ($43.3m) settlement between Lehman Brothers Holdings’ Australian unit and a group of insurers over claims the bank misled a group of councils, charities and churches into buying risky securities backed by US mortgages.

John Symond is set to reap an expected $200 million after the competition regulator waved through the Commonwealth Bank’s move to take control of mortgage broker Aussie Home Loans.

The banks have welcomed Reserve Bank analysis showing lenders’ overall funding costs are yet to fall because of hot competition for deposits, despite the sharp improvement in wholesale debt markets and easing term deposit rates.

Mining billionaire Robert Friedland has argued that the Congo and South Africa are more attractive destinations for resources investments than Australia, as he took a swipe at the federal government.

Foreign investors are the overwhelming force behind Australia’s resources investment boom, which has been so profitable that resource companies haven’t needed to tap shareholders or banks for extra funds.

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Page 1: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a tough job ahead of her in rebuilding the Labor Party after Thursday's farcical leadership crisis. Tony Abbott is the big winner from Thursday's dramatic events in Canberra.

Page 2: Page one stories continue.

Page 3: Tony Abbott is the only winner from one of the most bizarre days in Australian political history.

World: Britain will fly chemical weapons detection and protection kits to Syrian rebels in its first shipment of battlefield supplies to the area.

Business: Billabong has been forced into a trading halt after its share price crashed on Thursday.

Sport: An alarming injury suffered by a former Cronulla fullback was the trigger for sports scientist Stephen Dank being dismissed from the club.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Page 1: Julia Gillard survived a farcical Labor leadership spill on Thursday when Kevin Rudd failed to take her on in a ballot.

Page 2: Kevin Rudd's bid to return to the prime ministership failed in spectacular fashion on Thursday after an abortive attempt to topple Ms Gillard.

Page 3: The Labor Party came close to suffering a fatal motion of no confidence against it from the coalition on Thursday.

World: The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has been given a "Baby on Board" badge on a trip on the London Underground rail system.

Business: Surf retailer Billabong has been placed in a trading halt after the corporate watchdog launched an investigation into a plunge in the company's share price.

Sport: Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater has been placed on report in the team's 22-18 win over the Bulldogs.

THE AGE

Page 1: Julia Gillard has triumphed in her third party-room showdown with Kevin Rudd, but Tony Abbott is the biggest indeed the only winner from one of the most bizarre days in Australia's political history.

Page 2: Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces an uphill battle rebuilding her shattered party after Labor's crippling leadership crisis ended in farce on Thursday with a partyroom spill devoid of a challenger. Labor has managed to inflict serious new damage on its current leader, fatally wounded its only real alternative, exposed itself as deeply riven, and subjected itself to ridicule.

World: Britain is to fly hundreds of chemical weapons detection and protection kits to Syrian rebels as part of its first shipment of non-lethal equipment since a European Union arms embargo was relaxed to allow battlefield supplies.

Business: Billabong was forced into a trading halt on Thursday while it confirmed that its two suitors were still interested, after its shares crashed to a record low, suggesting both parties had walked away from the embattled group.

Sport: Essendon coach James Hird is hopeful the way his players have handled their endless summer will create a tighter bond among them, but knows that emotion alone cannot help the Bombers make up the ground they lost last year.

THE HERALD SUN

Page 1: Tony Abbott has demanded an immediate federal election after a bizarre day of drama saw Julia Gillard win her second showdown against Kevin Rudd in just 13 months.

Page 2: The coalition will exploit Labor's civil war as it starts to crank up election advertising in coming weeks.

Page 3: The paralysed Gillard government is harming the nation's wealth and an election is the only solution, business and industry leaders say.

World: One in seven adult Americans (14 per cent) says they've changed their mind on gay rights, often because they have a friend or relative who's gay, according to a poll by the independent Pew Research Centre.

Finance: Australia's corporate chiefs have issued a desperate plea for stability from Canberra, saying the federal government's bitter leadership dispute and drawn-out election campaign is damaging the business climate.

Sport: Sydney's contentious $900,000 salary cap allowance is paid by the AFL.

THE ADELAIDE ADVERTISER

Page 1: Prime Minister Julia Gillard is scrambling to unite a party fractured by an extraordinary leadership spill, in which her position was confirmed unopposed.

Page 3: Ms Gillard may still have her job - but she presides over a party irrevocably split in two.

World: Seeking a fresh start to a strained relationship, US President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have demonstrated solidarity on key issues that have stirred tensions between them.

Business: Clean Seas shares have dived as the market reacted to a plan to raise $3.6 million to expand its commercial kingfish farming and sales operations.

Sport: Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane has warned that Taylor "Tex" Walker has never been stronger and backed him to handle the extra attention as the Crows begin their premiership tilt.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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