Australia Business & Economics
Kochie looks at the impacts investors are feeling from a global trade war
Labor plan to scrap a little-known tax rebate would hit weathly investors, self-funded retirees and save $59 billion
NAB is first of big four banks to get grilled at Royal Commission
Supermarkets offering refunds on Australian rock melon purchases amid expanded recall
Super Investment: How to use super to buy property
Forbes rich list: Gina Rinehart's children join billionaires' club
Trump promised Australia would be exempt from trade war
Global Economy Week Ahead: Eurozone Inflation, U.S. Jobs, Australia Rate Decision
2018-04-02 13:02:17 April 1, 2018 3:00 p.m. ET This week features inflation and unemployment figures in Europe, the March U.S. jobs report, and an interest-rate decision by Australia’s central bank. TUESDAY: The Reserve Bank of Australia releases a policy statement and is widely expected to keep rates steady, which would mark the 20th consecutive month without a change. The inflation   Read More ...
Kochie looks at the impacts investors are feeling from a global trade war
2018-03-13 11:06:00 It was in a similar position as China is today. We lived in awe of the economic miracle which was rebuilt after World War 2. It didn’t last. That early success was built on the back of post-war reconstruction, strong regulations and tariffs which protected Japanese companies from international competition. What followed that period of prosperity was 30 years of Japan repeatedly suffering a series economic recessions   Read More ...
Eateries forced to introduce ‘no vegans’ policy after diners fail to show up to bookings
2018-03-13 11:05:49 FRUSTRATED chefs are banning vegans from their restaurants after spending hours preparing special plant-based meals — for diners who then fail to show up for their bookings.   Read More ...
Labor plan to scrap a little-known tax rebate would hit weathly investors, self-funded retirees and save $59 billion
2018-03-13 08:06:39 And it revolves around measures to ensure shareholders are not subjected to double taxation on their dividends. The Government called a new Labor policy to abolish a cash rebate for shareholders who pay little or no tax, a “cruel slug” on seniors receiving a pension and a class warfare assault on self-funded superannuants. Top economic ministers were mobilised by the Government to accuse Labor of wanting to rob voters of tax refunds, similar to those many PAYE workers received if their deductions exceeded the tax paid   Read More ...
'Staggering': $90 billion lost in resources tax
2018-03-13 02:08:45 It has come under increasing pressure as energy prices climb by six times the average pay rise for east-coast consumers while multinationals extract record levels of liquefied natural gas for export to overseas markets. Despite calls for reform to the tax deductions system from former Treasury secretary Ken Henry, the Tax Justice Network, Labor leaning think tank the McKell Institute and economist Ross Garnaut, Australia has been reluctant to consider an alternative royalty model of 10 per cent of all exports, on the basis that it would discourage marginal projects from getting underway   Read More ...
NAB is first of big four banks to get grilled at Royal Commission
2018-03-13 01:36:23 NATIONAL Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn has admitted there are problems with one of its home loan programs that is regrettable and unacceptable. The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will hear its first witnesses today at a public hearing in Melbourne. The first public hearings will narrow in on consumer lending, the area where most Australians encounter banks   Read More ...
Bloomberg billionaires: Five international retail billionaires whose wealth is on the rise
2018-03-12 12:15:37 Retail moguls have experienced a slump in personal wealth across the globe, according to the latest version of Bloomberg Billionaires List, but some lesser-known retail players are still on the rise. The Bloomberg Billionaires List is based on stock figures provided at the end of each trading day in New York. Australian entrepreneurs and Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes had made headlines for sneaking into the rankings for the first time, at 499 and 500th place, reports Fairfax   Read More ...
Help us find this year’s Smart 30 Under 30
2018-03-12 12:15:27 It’s that time of the year again: we’re looking for the best Australian entrepreneurs aged 30 or younger to feature in ‘s annual Smart 30 Under 30 list. If you’re an entrepreneur at the helm of a fast-growing Australian business we want to hear from you. Each year publishes a list of 30 entrepreneurs aged 30 or younger who are involved in leading a fast-growing business, or have been recently   Read More ...
Aryan Nations white supremacist couple guilty of bludgeoning man to death in insurance plot
2018-03-12 10:16:17 The president of a WA white supremacist group known as the Aryan Nations and his female lover have been found guilty of murdering her partner so they could access his life insurance. Robert Edhouse and Melony Attwood had been on trial for the past month accused of murdering Alan Taylor at his home in the northern Perth suburb of Girrawheen in April, 2016   Read More ...
S&P accused of weakening ratings model to win business in landmark Australian lawsuit
2018-03-12 09:08:17 SYDNEY (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s weakened its risk assessment criteria to win business and turn out high ratings on opaque debt products that started to unwind during the global financial crisis, an Australian court heard on Monday. The U.S.-based ratings agency is being sued for at least A$190 million ($150 million) by two local governments and two pension funds in Australia, which lost money on synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs) when the U   Read More ...
Westpac boss braces staff for 'uncomfortable' revelations
2018-03-12 08:10:53 Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer has braced staff for "uncomfortable" revelations of the banking giant mistreating customers, on the eve of the first round of hearings at the banking royal commission. Tuesday marks the start of hearings that will scrutinise how Australia's biggest financial institutions have treated consumers when selling products including home loans, car loans, credit cards and credit insurance   Read More ...
Former union boss allegedly spent $440,000 on corporate credit card, court told
2018-03-12 06:10:11 A former union official accused of racking up $440,000 in personal expenses on his corporate credit card used it to pay for cars, household items and accommodation, a court has been told. Derrick Belan, who was the National Union of Workers' (NUW) New South Wales secretary, is facing 62 charges. It is alleged he made false invoices and fraudulent electronic transfers, and misused his corporate credit card between 2011 and 2015   Read More ...
Embattled real estate agency McGrath slashes profit forecast
2018-03-12 04:08:51 The newly minted board of embattled property agency McGrath Ltd has moved swiftly to slash its expected profit for the listed company. In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday morning, McGrath said it now expected the company to generate underlying profit before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of between $5 million and $5.5 million. This more than halves the figure (between $10   Read More ...
Consumer watchdog to investigate ServiceSeeking’s review function that lets tradies “rate themselves”
2018-03-12 00:19:04 The consumer watchdog says it will look into a reviewing function on tradesperson services platform ServiceSeeking that allows tradies to review themselves for the jobs they complete. ServiceSeeking is one a growing number of online marketplaces for trades. Since it was founded in 2007, the marketplace says it has registered 140,000 businesses and transacted $3.2 billion worth of jobs. On Monday, Fairfax reported it had raised the company’s “Fast Feedback” function with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and ACCC chairman Rod Sims responded by saying “we will certainly escalate the matter for further consideration”   Read More ...
Unfazed or anxious? Why global markets have been all over the shop in a very odd week
2018-03-11 00:10:20 After a fraught week waiting for the White House to drop its trade bombshell into already on-edge global markets, the reaction appears to be a bit of head scratching and "what was that all about". Wall Street rebounded strongly at the end of the week, although that may have been due to the joyous mix of unexpectedly high job creation coupled with unexpectedly low wages growth in January   Read More ...
Nicole helps ... sort out the bank accounts when a spouse dies
2018-03-10 10:48:56 I suspect you saw my recent column, sharing my mother-in-law’s difficult administrative time on my father-in-law’s unexpected death. There’s also a nice, simple check list to help prepare, on moneysmart.gov.au . Meanwhile a joint bank account would solve the timing issue, where money necessary to pay for a funeral might be locked up in an account only the deceased can access   Read More ...
Supermarkets offering refunds on Australian rock melon purchases amid expanded recall
2018-03-09 15:45:18 SINGAPORE - Supermarkets are offering customers refunds on recent purchases of Australian rock melons, following a recall announcement on Thursday night (March 8) of all of the fruit, also known as cantaloupe, imported from the country. A deadly listeria outbreak in Australia linked to contaminated melons from a farm in New South Wales has killed at least four people, though Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Thursday that there were no reported cases of listeriosis linked to the consumption of rock melons here   Read More ...
NZ dollar falls vs Aussie on Australian trade surplus
2018-03-08 09:14:08 NZ dollar falls vs Aussie on Australian trade surplus, little changed vs greenback By Rebecca Howard. March 8 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar slipped against the Australian dollar after figures showed a bigger-than-expected trade surplus across the Tasman. The kiwi was little changed against the US dollar. The kiwi dollar traded at 93.08 Australian cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 93   Read More ...
German discount supermarket Kaufland beefs-up recruitment drive ahead of local launch
2018-03-08 07:07:11 KAUFLAND is coming. And when it does, Aussie shoppers are set to hit the jackpot with plummeting grocery prices across the country. KAUFLAND is preparing to mount its attack on Australia’s supermarket giants — and shoppers are set to benefit. The German discount supermarket heavyweight has launched a high-level recruitment drive ahead of its launch into the Australian market. The chain’s owners, the Schwarz Group, have already purchased a former Bunnings site in Dandenong, Melbourne for $16   Read More ...
James Packer's bromance with investment banker is over - but who jilted who?
2018-03-08 05:08:45 It was a bromance of epic proportions. Billionaire heir to a media and gaming empire, James Packer and the high profile and successful investment banker from UBS Matthew Grounds. The relationship that endured both Packer’s corporate triumphs and blow-ups has now itself imploded. But who jilted who? While the break-up only became apparent this week when Packer’s Crown Resorts replaced UBS as its adviser on a share buyback transaction, some say the fraying in the relationship started a few years back during negotiations between James and his sister Gretel over the spoils of the family inheritance   Read More ...
Half of Aussie workers get online shopping delivered at work — and bosses aren’t happy
2018-03-08 03:06:40 MORE than half of us do this at work — every single month. But chances are, your boss might not be too thrilled about it. A Navy veteran in Alvin, Texas, has criticized the Postal Service after a deliveryman left a parcel on the back of his pickup truck instead of delivering it to his door. “This is how people’s packages get stolen,” wrote Patrick D Aldridge in an October 15 Facebook post showing surveillance video of the halfhearted delivery   Read More ...
Super Investment: How to use super to buy property
2018-03-08 00:17:04 For most Australians, superannuation is a relatively simple proposition. You or your employer make regular contributions into an industry superannuation fund of your choice, and that money is then invested on your behalf – usually into shares – so that by the time you reach retirement, your super balance has grown large enough to allow you to live comfortably for your remaining years   Read More ...
Police question Bureau of Meteorology staff over cryptocurrency operation
2018-03-07 22:18:24 Two Bureau of Meteorology employees are being investigated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for allegedly running an elaborate operation involving the use of the bureau's powerful computers to "mine" cryptocurrencies, ABC News has learned. Federal police officers executed a search warrant at the bureau's Collins Street headquarters in Melbourne on Wednesday last week (February 28). The officers spoke to two IT employees, according to people with knowledge of the raid   Read More ...
How Trump’s Tariffs Would Affect Australia
2018-03-07 13:30:06 Photo MELBOURNE, Australia — As President Trump stood fast by his vow to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, many of his fellow Republicans warned of the impact they would have on key trading partners. One of those key trading partners is Australia. Though it exports relatively little steel and aluminum to the United States, it has a lot to lose   Read More ...
Australia slows as weak exports weigh on economic growth
2018-03-07 12:44:46 SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's economic expansion slowed in the last three months of 2017 despite a lift in consumer spending as net exports weighed on growth, official data showed Wednesday. The expansion in the last three months of the year took the annual rate of growth to 2.4 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. The figures came in slightly below analysts' expectations and the central bank's forecasts   Read More ...
Have you bought CBA insurance add-ons? You might be in for a refund
2018-03-07 08:16:36 Commonwealth Bank dumps insurance add-ons and will pay back $16m to customers The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is set to refund up to $16 million to customers who bought questionable add-on insurance policies, as it dumps the sale of the controversial products. Key points: CBA's "CreditCard Plus" and "Personal Loan Protection" products will be withdrawn immediately from the market The move comes days after banking royal commissioner dealt reality check to banks hoping to keep sensitive documents under wraps Consumer advocates say "junk insurance" on its death bed The announcement comes just days after banking royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne delivered a blunt warning to the banks about secrecy   Read More ...
Forbes rich list: Gina Rinehart's children join billionaires' club
2018-03-07 06:09:57 She also was ranked the world's seventh richest woman, with Alice Walton, daughter of the founder of US retail giant Walmart, taking out the top spot with her $US42 billion fortune. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took out the top spot with a $US112 billion fortune, ahead of Bill Gates ($US90 billion) and Warren Buffett ($US84 billion). One year after taking office, President Donald Trump’s fortune is down an estimated $US400 million to $US3   Read More ...
Australia's central bank chief slams U.S. tariffs, confident on domestic growth
2018-03-07 05:08:19 SYDNEY (Reuters) - The head of Australia’s central bank is upbeat about domestic economic growth despite a disappointing end to last year, but fears the specter of a trade war calling threatened U.S. tariffs “highly regrettable.” President Donald Trump intends to slap duties on imports of steel and aluminum, a pledge that has met with warnings of retaliation from the rest of the world and spooked financial markets   Read More ...
Forbes rich list: Gina Rinehart's children join billionaires' club
2018-03-07 04:08:28 She also was ranked the world's seventh richest woman, with Alice Walton, daughter of the founder of US retail giant Walmart, taking out the top spot with her $US42 billion fortune. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took out the top spot with a $US112 billion fortune, ahead of Bill Gates ($US90 billion) and Warren Buffett ($US84 billion). One year after taking office, President Donald Trump’s fortune is down an estimated $US400 million to $US3   Read More ...
MACC to investigate Bukit Aman CID director over Aussie bank account
2018-03-07 02:49:54 KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will investigate Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd over the A$320,000 (RM971,483) found in his Australian bank account. MACC deputy chief commissioner (Operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki, when contacted, confirmed the matter, saying that the commission had opened an investigation paper after receiving a report on the case. He also called on all parties to give time and space to the MACC to carry out the investigation   Read More ...
RBA lowers economy's investment outlook on manufacturing decline
2018-03-07 00:17:26 The decline in Australian manufacturing is likely to weigh on the recovery in business investment over coming years, Reserve Bank governor Dr Philip Lowe has warned. Speaking ahead of today's release of official economic growth figures, Dr Lowe signalled that non-mining investment will eventually account for a lower share of gross domestic product (GDP) than once was the case. "This largely reflects the decline in manufacturing as a share of the economy and the fact that the ratio of investment to output in the manufacturing industry is higher than in most other industries," Dr Lowe told a business forum in Sydney   Read More ...
Foxes take $28 million bite out of Australian agricultural sector, so farmers fight back
2018-03-06 22:14:26 Australia's agricultural sector took a $28 million hit at the hands of feral foxes last year with the wool and sheep meat industry particularly hard hit. It's thought foxes inhabit two thirds of the lower part of Australia with Tasmania the only state to have successfully eradicated the pest, which was introduced as early as 1845. Sheep farmers across Australia have long reported losses of lambs to fox predation, however their veracious appetite for small animals is also severely impacting endangered native species   Read More ...
Health Minister orders investigation into health insurer Bupa after alarming announcements
2018-03-06 20:24:50 Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has ordered the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman to investigate health fund Bupa for its decision to overhaul its medical gap scheme, which doctors have blasted as "one big leap towards US-style managed care". Bupa, one of Australia's biggest health insurers, told doctors that insured patients will only be eligible for gap cover if they are treated at a Bupa-contracted hospital or day-stay facility   Read More ...
Negative gearing law overhaul should exclude wealthy property investors from hefty tax deductions, research says
2018-03-06 20:24:12 Wealthy property investors should be excluded from making hefty tax deductions if negative gearing laws are overhauled, according to controversial research out today. Key points: A report by AHURI says negative gearing overhaul will reduce impact on lower income investors Investors in the top 25 per cent will receive zero rental deductions under proposal Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ says reducing CGT discounts means high income investors will pay more tax In a proposal certain to be rejected by the Federal Government, a report by the Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute (AHURI) says $1   Read More ...
Pet matchmaking service raises $5m from backers including Qantas
2018-03-06 17:16:11 Pet sitters set their own prices on the platform which average $20 a night with the average booking value $150. Mad Paws takes around a 20 per cent booking fee on every transaction. The start-up employs 30 staff and while Soulopoulos will not disclose yearly turnover he says it is "a multimillion-dollar figure". "Our revenue has tripled every year since we started three and a half years ago," he told Fairfax Media   Read More ...
$100 note should be dumped to starve black economy, economist and Labor suggest
2018-03-06 14:18:49 If you're not currently in possession of at least $3,000 in cash, someone else has your share. Key points: Nearly half of Australian cash is stored in $100 notes 'Kermits' are associated with criminal enterprise There is also a suggestion to remove $100 notes one year and $50 notes the next That's not how much money you have stored in bank accounts   Read More ...
Australia's central bank keeps interest rate unchanged, expects growth to be faster in 2018
2018-03-06 12:17:44 Australia's central bank left its cash rate at 1.5 percent on Tuesday, a widely expected decision given policy makers have signalled a steady outlook for some time to come. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) made the announcement following its monthly policy meeting. In a Reuters poll of 27 analysts, all but one saw a steady outcome this week. It also expects the Australian economy to grow at a faster pace this year as compared to 2017, and that a gradual pick-up in inflation is expected as the economy strengthens   Read More ...
Supermarket Monsters: Seven insights into how Coles and Woolworths came to dominate Australian groceries
2018-03-06 12:14:31 Every man, woman and child in Australia spends on average $100 a week at Coles and Woolworths or one of their related retail businesses. That’s the startling fact that author and journalist Malcolm Knox uses to demonstrate the sheer dominance of Australia’s two market leading supermarket chains in his book, Supermarket Monsters. There are other equally staggering statistics that Knox uses to set the scene for his exploration of how Coles (or its parent company Wesfarmers) and Woolworths have come to rule over Australia’s retail sector   Read More ...
Aussie Farmers Direct was quick to blame Coles and Woolworths for its demise — that wasn’t the whole story
2018-03-06 10:08:28 FORMER franchisees and retail experts have questioned failed grocery delivery business Aussie Farmers Direct’s insistence that supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths were responsible for their downfall. Rather, those on the inside have said the company’s over expansion, increasing pressure on franchisees and a tightening consumer wallet all put paid to the retailer which launched more than a decade ago promising fresh food and a fair deal to farmers   Read More ...
William Hill exits Australia, to sell unit to CrownBet
2018-03-06 09:42:02 (Reuters) - British bookmaker William Hill Plc () said on Tuesday it agreed to sell its Australia business to a unit of CrownBet for an equity value of A$313.7 million ($243.6 million) as a ban on credit betting pressured its profit in that country. The deal represents an enterprise value of A$300 million, the company said. The Australian business, which operates licensed betting, over the telephone, internet and mobile phone platforms, has about 284,000 customers   Read More ...