Improve culture, ASIC tells fin advisors

The corporate watchdog will scrutinise the internal working cultures at financial advice firms in an attempt to stop more customers being "fleeced". Australian Securities and Investments Commission commissioner Greg Tanzer says poor corporate cultures had contributed to the mis-selling of financial products and bad advice within the financial services sector. "Sadly those who get fleeced are usu…

  • Small business ombudsman planned: minister AAP - 34 minutes ago

    New laws to put in place a small business and family enterprise ombudsman will be introduced in this session of parliament. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said the government would also bring forward ...

  • McGuigan winemaker's profit warning AAP - 44 minutes ago

    McGuigan wines owner Australian Vintage is warning of a 10 per cent drop in full year profit. The company says yields from its vineyards had been disappointing and that the amount of grapes crushed for ...

  • Adelaide Brighton predicts steady sales AAP - 44 minutes ago

    Adelaide Brighton predicts sales volumes of cement and clinker will be similar to or higher than the three per cent increase achieved in 2014. Chief executive Martin Brydon said a recent fall in cement sales to a major customer in South Australia were expected to be offset by increased demand. "The threat of small scale lime imports in Western Australia and the Northern Territory remains, however the weaker Australian dollar is likely to reduce the competitiveness of these imports," he said.

  • Market retreats after four days of gains AAP - 55 minutes ago

    The Australian share market has fallen into the red after four straight sessions of gains. It was led downwards by market heavyweight BHP Billiton, despite another overnight rise in the iron ore price ...

  • $A weaker at noon on $US rally AAP - 1 hour 4 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar hit successive one-month lows against the surging US dollar in Wednesday morning trade. It dipped as low as 77.26 US cents just before noon after a slow, tentative rally topped out ...

  • Tax breaks to benefit Thorn Group AAP - 1 hour 9 minutes ago

    Tax breaks for small businesses announced in the federal budget are expected to deliver an earnings boost for financial services company Thorn Group. Thorn, which owns Radio Rentals, lifted its profit 8.7 per cent to $30.6 million in the year to March 31, with the result aided by the group's acquisition of Cash Resources Australia. Thorn says it will continue to look for acquisitions and expects its commercial finance business, Thorn Equipment, to benefit from tax cuts and asset write-offs announced for small businesses in the May budget.

  • Fortescue defends Singapore company AAP - 1 hour 10 minutes ago
    Fortescue defends Singapore company

    Fortescue Metals has confirmed reports that it set up a company in Singapore, but insists it has not used it to avoid paying tax. The report comes after Fortescue's recent attacks on its bigger rivals Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton for using the same type of marketing hubs as tax shelters. Chief financial officer Stephen Pearce said the company, Fortescue International Marketing, had undertaken "no other activity".

  • Economy showing signs of recovery AAP - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
    Economy showing signs of recovery

    The Australian economy is gaining some momentum but growth remains sluggish. The latest Westpac/Melbourne Institute Leading Index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months ...

  • Black Saturday action settles for $300m AAP - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    Black Saturday bushfire victims will share in $300 million after a settlement between them and energy company AusNet Services was approved by a Melbourne court. The settlement involves the Murrindindi Bushfire Class Action and is separate to the near $500 million payout agreed over the Kilmore East - Kinglake Fire. In approving the settlement on Wednesday, Justice Karin Emerton noted those involved in the class action could possibly receive more money if the case went to trial.

  • Fortescue Metals set up Singapore company AAP - 1 hour 21 minutes ago
    Fortescue Metals set up Singapore company

    Fortescue Metals set up a company in Singapore that could buy and sell its iron ore before ahead of its attacks on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for using the same type of marketing hubs. The Australian Financial Review reports the iron ore miner set up a company called Fortescue International Marketing in Singapore in January last year but has so far kept it dormant. Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest has attacked Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton's Singapore marketing hubs, labelling them as "tax shelters".

  • US rate hikes good for Aussie dollar: RBA AAP - 1 hour 28 minutes ago

    The Reserve Bank has welcomed indications the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates later this year, saying such a move will probably weaken the Australian dollar. RBA deputy governor Philip Lowe says comments last week from US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that the Fed's funds rate would rise later in 2015 was good news for the future direction of the local currency. "At some point when they (US Fed) raise interest rates the US dollar will probably strengthen further against the Australian dollar," Mr Lowe told the Thomson Reuters Australian Regulatory Summit on Wednesday.

  • UPDATE: Bob Jones ejected from Air NZ flight as fellow … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    Property magnate Bob Jones was ejected from an Air New Zealand flight after refusing to take instructions from cabin crew. Jones kept reading when the staff member sought to deliver him and other passengers a routine safety briefing and became argumentative when asked to stop reading, again refusing to be instructed on emergency procedures. Told he could be moved to another seat if he was unable or unwilling to assist in an emergency, he refused to be moved and asked to be left alone, according to passengers in the same row, who witnessed the incident.

  • Construction work down 2.4pct in Mar qtr AAP - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    The amount of construction work done in Australia fell 2.4 per cent in the March quarter, which was short of economists' expectations. In the 12 months to March it was down 8.8 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

  • SkyCity says 2H revenue up 17.9% to date, considers … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 14 minutes ago

    SkyCity Entertainment Group, the listed casino company, says group revenue is up 17.9 percent to $415.6 million for the second half of the 2015 year-to-date, accelerating from the pace of sales growth posted in the first half. The Auckland-based company provided the trading update as part of an investor presentation today and attributed the revenue rise to strong growth in its international business which has had a 63 percent turnover boost in the second half of the 2015 financial year to $8.62 billion. The rise in international business reflected an improved win rate of 1.37 percent compared to 1.12 percent in the previous corresponding period.

  • RESEND: Turners' profit surges 120% on the back of … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 15 minutes ago

    Turners, formerly known as Dorchester Pacific, more than doubled annual profit, beating guidance, reflecting its car auction house acquisition and its financing businesses performing ahead of forecast. Profit rose to $18.1 million in the year ended March 31, up from $8.2 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. The company got a new lease of life in 2010 when Auckland private equity firm the Business Bakery got involved with a recapitalisation plan in which some 7,200 investors owed about $84 million converted their debenture stock for four different types of security to keep the firm afloat while many other finance companies were failing in the wake of the global financial crisis and a local recession.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Latest in food-track tech: Swipe a code, meet your fisherman Associated Press - Tue, May 26, 2015 7:01 AM NZST
    Latest in food-track tech: Swipe a code, meet your fisherman

    After eyeing a piece of haddock on the supermarket counter, a customer scans a code and finds out the fish was caught in the waters of Georges Bank and learns the name of the fishing boat — and maybe even ...

  • Automakers to reveal models covered by wider air bag recall Associated Press - Sun, May 24, 2015 1:01 AM NZST
    Automakers to reveal models covered by wider air bag recall

    Eleven automakers are expected next week to reveal which models are being added to a massive recall of air bags made by Takata Corp. On Tuesday, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ...

  • Wal-Mart's push on animal welfare hailed as game changer Associated Press - Sat, May 23, 2015 5:17 AM NZST
    Wal-Mart's push on animal welfare hailed as game changer

    Wal-Mart's push to get its suppliers to give farm animals fewer antibiotics and more room to roam is expected to have a big impact on the food industry, experts say. Though the steps are voluntary, Wal-Mart, ...

  • Chef Sentenced to Three Years in Jail for Spitting in Customer's Food Entrepreneur - Sat, May 23, 2015 2:32 AM NZST
    Chef Sentenced to Three Years in Jail for Spitting in Customer's Food

    The New Jersey cook spat on an overly demanding customer's roll.

  • McDonald's CEO 'proud' of pay hike AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 11:05 AM NZST
    McDonald's CEO 'proud' of pay hike

    McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook says he's "incredibly proud" of a recent decision to bump pay for some workers, even as hundreds of protesters outside called on the company to do more ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. Easterbrook, who stepped into his role in March, is fighting to revive sluggish sales and convince people that McDonald's is a "modern, progressive burger company". Easterbrook said at the meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois, that he was proud of the decision announced last month to raise pay for workers at company-owned stores to $1 above the local minimum wage, as well as offer help with college tuition to workers at all stores.

  • 5 of the Most Controversial Ads in Recent History Entrepreneur - Fri, May 22, 2015 8:24 AM NZST
    5 of the Most Controversial Ads in Recent History

    From puppy mills to beauty standards, the themes of these commercials provoked polarizing reactions.

  • 5 Uncomfortable Questions Asked at McDonald's Company Shareholders' Meeting Entrepreneur - Fri, May 22, 2015 6:40 AM NZST
    5 Uncomfortable Questions Asked at McDonald's Company Shareholders' Meeting

    Like to complain about McDonald's? You'd fit right in at the company's shareholders' meeting.

  • McDonald's CEO faces shareholders amid protests, sales woes Associated Press - Fri, May 22, 2015 2:16 AM NZST
    McDonald's CEO faces shareholders amid protests, sales woes

    McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is set to make his debut before shareholders at the company's annual meeting Thursday at a time when the chain is facing declining sales and ongoing protests over worker ...

  • Uniroyal celebrates 50th anniversary of giant tire Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 11:48 AM NZST
    Uniroyal celebrates 50th anniversary of giant tire

    Generations of motorists have passed by the world's largest tire, which sits alongside a busy stretch of Detroit-area freeway. On Wednesday, however, dozens of visitors enjoyed a different vantage point ...

  • House panel votes to repeal country-origin meat labeling law Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 8:35 AM NZST
    House panel votes to repeal country-origin meat labeling law

    A House committee has voted to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The House Agriculture Committee voted 38-6 to repeal a "country-of-origin" ...