13/08/2009 - 00:00

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13/08/2009 - 00:00

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Business confidence hits two-year high

 Businesses are more optimistic about their future than at any time in almost two years in yet another sign that an economic recovery is on the way, a survey shows. The National Australia Bank monthly business survey's measure of business confidence rose six index points to plus-10 points in July.

Fortescue posts $609m maiden profit

 Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group was sold off sharply, despite a strong turnaround into profit after last year's near $1 billion loss, as weaker than expected production figures disappointed investors. Fortescue reported a net profit for the year ended June 30 of $609 million, compared to a loss of $926 million previously.

WAN profit drops 21% on ad slump

 West Australian Newspapers Holdings' full-year profit declined 20.6 per cent as advertising revenue was hit by the economic slowdown. Reported net profit fell to $87.2 million for the 12 months to June 30 compared with $109.9 million in the prior corresponding period.

ACCC rejects CBH Group port proposal

 The competition watchdog has rejected port access arrangements proposed by grain handlers CBH Group, ABB and Graincorp, saying there needed to be more clarity and transparency for wheat exporters. The proposals were submitted as part of the deregulation of Australia's wheat industry, where the sector has moved from a single exporter to 23 accredited wheat exporters in the past 12 months.

Iron ore demand to rise: BHP Billiton

 BHP Billiton, which is moving closer to a proposed WA iron ore joint venture with Rio Tinto, expects seaborne iron ore demand to rise strongly in the next 15 years as China continues to hunger for the steel-making material. Iron ore demand should rise from 800 million tonnes in 2009 to 1,800 Mt by 2025.

Appointments 24

Gene Tilbrook appointed to NBN

Former Wesfarmers finance director Gene Tilbrook has been appointed as one of five new directors to the board of NBN Co Limited, the company established to deliver the $43 billion national broadband network. Mr Tilbrook joins Doug Campbell, Peter Hay, Siobhan McKenna and Diane Smith-Gander. Michael Quigley had already been appointed executive chairman.

Former Lycopodium MD joins AECOM

Mark Ward has been appointed as industry director for minerals and industry with consulting engineering firm - AECOM. With more than 25 years' international experience, his most recent role was as managing director for project management company Lycopodium.

New Landcorp general manager

LandCorp has appointed Luke Willcock to the position of general manager metropolitan. He will be responsible for overseeing residential land developments such as the master-planned coastal community at Alkimos and Evermore Heights at Baldivis. Mr Willcock, will retain responsibility for the Western Trade Coast.

Changes to Indago board

Former Kimberley Diamond directors, Miles Kennedy and Karl Simich have been appointed to the board of Indago Resources. Accompanying them is Lonrho mining non-executive director Matthew Fitzgerald. The appointments follow the resignation of Indago directors George Bauk, Geoff Chapman and John Fitzgerald.

Directors' Interests 23

Premier Colin Barnett's son, Russell Barnett, has spent $35,720 acquiring 17.8 million shares in the recent Freedom Eye one-for-one rights issue.

The transaction boosted the non-executive chairman's shareholding to 25.7 million shares.

Director Grant Bennet spent $116,616 acquiring 58.3 million shares.

Financial services company Centrepoint Alliance chairman Richard Nelson pocketed $310,000 after selling 2 million shares off market. The sale leaves him with 17 million shares valued at $2.6 million.

Independence Group non-executive director John Christie sold $260,500 worth of shares on-market, leaving him with 545,000 shares valued at $2.8 million.

Close, but not that close, please

We can be a pedantic bunch down here and The Note is no exception.

Take for instance the University of Notre Dame's magazine In Principio, which drops into our in tray on regular occasions. People who send us this stuff must wonder if we ever read it, so let us reassure you we do - right down to the caption on page 26 describing a photo, which included Hillary Clinton (pictured).

That is when we couldn't resist peeling the strangely placed sticker off (as stubborn it was) to reveal what was under it.

Perhaps it was wishful thinking on behalf of the caption writer but it would appear that Mrs Clinton was accidently given the vice president's title.

As you know WA Business News is cautious about criticising such mistakes, due to the nature of our business - but everyone knows Barack Obama would never have risked being just one accident away from placing a Clinton back in the Oval office.

Flying high

The Note is happy to report that the GFC has in no way tempered the largesse of Perth business according to news from Strike a Chord for Cancer Foundation.

The charity, which seeks to support cancer patients through music, reckons it made around $200,000 at the weekend by 'selling' the services of UK entrepreneur Richard Branson, including one business committing $80,000 for an hour of his time next March.

While the donors remained unnamed, Strike a Chord's Roy Adams said he and foundation founder John Zaccaria flew to New York to secure Mr Branson some time ago to win over his gatekeepers with their proposal.

Mr Branson will spend a day in Perth on March 5, including several meetings at various WA businesses who can pick his brains.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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