BMW plans to take on 8,000 new workers

BMW plans to take on 8,000 new workers

German carmaker BMW has announced it will take on a record 8,000 new workers worldwide in light of its continuing commercial success in 2015. More than 5,000 of the new jobs will be created in Germany, according to chief human resources manager Milagros Caina-Andree. "High demand means that we need more skilled workers in our German plants as well as our international production network," she sa…

  • Credit card firms face fee class action AAP - 2 hours 55 minutes ago
    Credit card firms face fee class action

    Credit card holders who have been stung by $30 late fees are joining a class action over what lawyers call "unlawful penalties". Lawyers will argue GE Capital Finance and HSBC's late fees are an unlawful penalty because they don't reflect the actual loss to the finance companies. Steven Lewis from ACA Lawyers said the action was about justice for anyone who has had to pay a late fee to those credit card providers. "This includes people who have been stung by balance transfer deals and the customers of Australia's major retailers," Mr Lewis said on Sunday.

  • PM says strong start made on budget AAP - 5 hours ago
    PM says strong start made on budget

    The intergenerational report will show how far the federal government has come in sorting out the budget mess it inherited from Labor, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says. Treasurer Joe Hockey will release the intergenerational report on Thursday, a five-yearly review that outlines the challenges facing Australia over the next 40 years. "We have a big budgetary challenge, a very big budget challenge but a very substantial start has been made," Mr Abbott told reporters on the NSW south coast.

  • No advisers royal commission: Frydenberg AAP - 6 hours ago
    No advisers royal commission: Frydenberg

    Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg still sees no need for a royal commission into financial advisers despite the scandal that has rocked National Australia Bank. Renewed calls for a royal commission came after the bank's financial advice arm NAB Wealth confessed last month it had quietly paid out as much as $15 million to 750 customers during the past five years because it "didn't get it right the first time". NAB sacked 37 advisers and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission is further investigating the bank. It follows a series of other scandals, including the nation's biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank.

  • Gold output hits eleven year high AAP - 10 hours ago
    Gold output hits eleven year high

    Australia's gold output hit an 11-year high in 2014 but lower prices have caused job losses and may lead to mines shutting prematurely. Production rose four per cent to 284 tonnes in 2014, it's highest level since 2003, Sandra Close, a director of mining consultants Surbiton and Associates said. "Lower prices have forced Australian gold miners to increase the grade of ore that they are mining and treating, and they are also pushing their treatment plants harder in order to remain profitable," Dr Close said. Since mid-2011, Australian dollar gold prices have fallen from around $1800 per ounce to $1550 per ounce, as the Australian dollar's value against the US dollar dropped 25 per cent, and the US dollar gold price dropped 37 per cent.

  • Sydney rally as Greens oppose NorthConnex AAP - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 6:38 PM NZDT
    Sydney rally as Greens oppose NorthConnex

    The Greens will outline their opposition to the proposed NorthConnex project at a rally in Sydney's north. Greens NSW MP John Kaye will attend the community rally on Saturday in Wahroonga and explain the ...

  • Aussies splash out at Harvey Norman AAP - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 12:22 PM NZDT
    Aussies splash out at Harvey Norman

    Australians are splurging at Harvey Norman as their houses and share portfolios increase in value. The retailer is forecasting sales growth in its homemaker products this year thanks to improved consumer confidence following a 27.4 per cent boost to half year net profit. The robust result prompted the company to lift its interim dividend to nine cents and issue a special dividend of 14 cents per share. A strong housing market in Australia, record low interest rates, major infrastructure investment in NSW and stable consumer sentiment were pointing to positive trends, chairman Gerry Harvey said.

  • Council talking up investment in half-year results Newstalk ZB - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 8:46 AM NZDT

    Auckland Council's talking up its investments, in half-year results to December.

  • GrainCorp expects profit to halve AAP - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 12:32 AM NZDT
    GrainCorp expects profit to halve

    GrainCorp has warned its full year profit could dive more than 50 per cent due to smaller crops and weaker exports. Chief executive Mark Palmquist blamed the weaker outlook on a smaller winter crop and reduced exports.

  • RBA expected to cut rates again AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 11:36 PM NZDT
    RBA expected to cut rates again

    A growing band of top economists expect the Reserve Bank to take a razor to interest rates again next week, amid further signs the economy is deteriorating. All 17 economists surveyed by AAP expect the RBA will deliver at least one more rate cut in 2015, taking the cash rate to a new record low of two per cent. Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and AMP Capital are among those forecasting a March cut, with the general consensus being the RBA tends to deliver cuts in pairs. It's normally two," Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said.

  • Glencore slashes coal production AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 11:36 PM NZDT
    Glencore slashes coal production

    Global mining giant Glencore is cutting its Australian coal production by 15 million tonnes due to weak demand. Glencore currently employs 8,600 workers. It said it would make changes at several sites, including underground roster changes, scaling back of some open pit mining and revisions to its product portfolio, to better match its volume and coal quality to current market demand. "We will continue to review all our coal operations in the prevailing economic climate," Glencore said.

  • More WA public sector 'efficiencies' ahead AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 11:33 PM NZDT

    Facing three straight deficits, West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan says there's "great scope" for more belt tightening in the public sector. Dr Nahan told a business briefing on Friday the state budget was still heading for the red after about a 50 per cent plunge in the iron ore price during the past 12 months. "I think the time is right ... and I've got good feedback from the Commonwealth government, but I haven't banked it yet and it's yet to be achieved," Dr Nahan later told reporters. "For the last two years, the treasurer - first Wayne Swan and then Joe Hockey - overrode the Grants Commission on the system for iron ore fines.

  • High-income welfare set debt trap: Fraser AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 9:23 PM NZDT
    High-income welfare set debt trap: Fraser

    The new head of Australia's Treasury department has blamed years of spending on "middle and higher-income welfare" for creating costs the nation won't be able to afford in the future without serious reform. In his first public address as Treasury Secretary, John Fraser flagged superannuation and middle-class welfare as areas that must be reassessed if Australia is to be able to meet its future health and ageing costs. Mr Fraser also criticised the level of political debate in Australia about the economy, saying both sides of politics were guilty of taking too much joy in knocking ideas instead of serious discussion. A former investment banker, Mr Fraser told a business lunch in Sydney that in the six weeks since his return to Australia from London he had been disappointed by the level of public debate.

  • ACCC OKs Fairfax-Macquarie radio merger AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 8:21 PM NZDT
    ACCC OKs Fairfax-Macquarie radio merger

    The merger of Macquarie Radio Network and Fairfax Media's radio business is one step closer after the national competition regulator gave the green light to the proposed venture. The ACCC said on Friday that it wouldn't oppose the merger as the combined business would "continue to face strong competition from other commercial radio stations". "The ACCC considered the effect of the proposed transaction on the price of radio advertising, as well as the quality of news and other content provided to audiences," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. Fairfax owns Sydney's 2UE, Melbourne's 3AW, Brisbane's 4BC and Perth's 6PR, while John Singleton's Macquarie Radio owns 2GB, home to Alan Jones, and easy listening 2CH.

  • $A under pressure after US inflation data AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:35 PM NZDT

    The Australian dollar is struggling to hold above 78 US cents after strong core inflation figures from the US strengthened the greenback. At 1700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 78.03 US cents, down from 78.47 cents on Thursday.

  • PaperlinX falls to $91m half year loss AAP - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:10 PM NZDT

    Packaging group PaperlinX has announced an even deeper half year loss stemming from problems in Europe, a week after its chief executive was sacked and replaced. The company behind industrial packaging, fine paper and signs blamed surprisingly poor market demand and unsustainably low prices in the UK and midwestern Europe for a loss of $90.8 million in the six months to December 31. The bad news comes nine days after the company sacked and replaced chief executive Andrew Price after just over a year in the top job. Chairman Robert Kaye said its poor performance in Europe had overshadowed its healthier operations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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  • AP Exclusive: Wal-Mart CEO talks workers, customers, critics Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 12:08 PM NZDT
    AP Exclusive: Wal-Mart CEO talks workers, customers, critics

    When Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon took the top job at the world's largest retailer last year, he inherited some big problems. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries, has ...

  • Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 8:24 AM NZDT
    Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look

    The curvy Coca-Cola bottle is celebrating its 100th birthday, and an art museum is exploring the origins and influence of a bottle design that's so recognizable, you'd know the brand if you held it in ...

  • Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:53 AM NZDT
    Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

    What if cauliflower got the same type of marketing firepower as candy bars and potato chips? A campaign being launched Thursday plans to put that premise to the test by enlisting celebrities including ...

  • Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:17 AM NZDT
    Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more

    You may think you're immune to transparent sales pitches like "Do you want fries with that?" But the tactics restaurants use to nudge you into spending a little extra may be subtler than you ...

  • Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what's in food Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:00 AM NZDT
    Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what's in food

    In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offers this idea: Use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that consumers ...

  • Vilsack: Smartphones could tell consumers what's in food Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 2:29 AM NZDT
    Vilsack: Smartphones could tell consumers what's in food

    In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he has an idea: use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that ...

  • Book review: Kim Gordon is more than just a 'Girl in a Band' Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 1:48 AM NZDT
    Book review: Kim Gordon is more than just a 'Girl in a Band'

    "Girl in a Band" (Dey Street Books), by Kim Gordon As the front woman for influential indie band Sonic Youth for three decades, Kim Gordon had a ringside seat as experimental music left the grimy ...

  • Nissan's Z sport coupe remains an affordable performer Associated Press - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 6:04 AM NZDT
    Nissan's Z sport coupe remains an affordable performer

    Thank you, Yutaka Katayama. Katayama, who died last week at age 105, was the executive who renamed the sports car Nissan exported to the United States in the late 1960s. It had been called the Fairlady, ...

  • Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash Associated Press - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 1:13 AM NZDT
    Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash

    After a horrific crash a decade ago that killed 11 people and injured 180 more, Southern California's commuter train network began investing heavily in passenger cars designed to protect passengers from ...

  • Expanding food group lifts profit forecast AAP - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 11:07 PM NZDT
    Expanding food group lifts profit forecast

    The owner of Gloria Jean's and Michel's Patisserie expects earnings to continue to rise despite sluggish consumer confidence. Retail Food Group, which also owns the Crust pizza chain and Brumby's bakeries, achieved a 24 per cent rise in half year net profit to $21.5 million. The profit growth was driven by its purchase of new businesses, including Gloria Jean's and Cafe2U. Retail Food Group's coffee roasting operations have more than tripled in size, taking annual production to 5.9 million kilograms.