Minor gain from GST fed tax cuts:Treasury

Income tax cuts and increasing the GST rate to 15 per cent would deliver only "negligible" economic growth gains. Senior frontbencher Christopher Pyne, lampooning the opposition in parliament on Thursday, said their "not very scary campaign" had fallen flat. The modelling undertaken by Treasury and two independent consultants - KPMG and Independent Economics - found that increasing the GST would…

  • Qld sailors rally against foreign labour AAP - 32 minutes ago

    Sailors are expected to hold a rally in Brisbane in another bid to keep their jobs on board bulk carrier ships. The Maritime Union of Australia claims large businesses, such as mining giant Rio Tinto, are sacking Australian seafarers and replacing them with cheap foreign labour. Workers from several unions will take part in a rally outside Rio Tinto's Brisbane office at midday on Friday.

  • RBA boss to be grilled on economy AAP - 33 minutes ago

    Volatility on global financial markets and the possibility of a further rate cut will be key issues facing the head of the Reserve Bank as he fronts a parliamentary committee. RBA governor Glenn Stevens faces his bi-annual grilling by the House of Representatives economics committee in Sydney on Friday, a week after the central bank said it could cut the official cash rate further, but believed the current setting was right for the time being. Mr Stevens has offered an upbeat appraisal of the Australian economy, but expressed concern over the global economy and volatile financial markets.

  • Sales at David Jones better than expected AAP - 8 hours ago
    Sales at David Jones better than expected

    The new owners of David Jones say the department store is performing well above expectations despite a fall in its operating profit. David Jones sales rose 11.2 per cent in the half year to December, while those in comparable stores grew 9.7 per cent. South Africa's Woolworths Holdings bought David Jones for $2.1 billion in 2014 and took control in August that year.

  • CIMIC poised to take over Sedgman AAP - 8 hours ago

    Mining services group Sedgman has told shareholders to accept a $243 million bid from construction giant CIMIC, despite the takeover target's belief that the offer is too low. Sedgman says CIMIC, formerly known as Leighton Holdings, has effectively gained control of the company and now holds about 46.4 per cent of the company's shares. Sedgman considers CIMIC's $1.07-a-share offer to be inadequate, noting that an independent expert thought $1.11-$1.22 represented fair value.

  • Censure of NT deputy leader fails AAP - 8 hours ago

    In his controversial personal business dealings with a Vietnamese company, the Northern Territory's deputy chief minister betrayed good judgment and community expectations, the Labor opposition says. Mr Westra van Holthe maintains there was no conflict of interest because he pulled out of the deal after signing the shares offer in September. "This is a betrayal of common sense, good judgment, community expectations, prudence, the ministerial code of conduct and potentially the criminal code," he said.

  • Indonesia frees up foreign investment AAP - 8 hours ago

    Indonesia has opened dozens of sectors to foreign investors in what President Joko Widodo has described as a "Big Bang" liberalisation of its economy, Southeast Asia's largest. President Joko Widodo's administration loosened foreign investment restrictions on Thursday, on everything from restaurants and agriculture to health facilities and movie theatres. "Today's revisions represent our largest opening to international investment in 10 years," Trade Minister Tom Lembong told Reuters.

  • Rio shareholders face dividend cuts AAP - 8 hours ago

    Rio Tinto shareholders will have their returns slashed as the mining giant tightens its belt after falling to a $US866 million ($A1.22 billion) annual loss. Rio will end its current progressive dividend policy in favour of a more flexible approach to reflect the company's performance. It will pay dividends of $US2.15 per share for 2015, and said it intends for 2016 full year dividends to fall to no less than $US1.10.

  • Rio to cut dividend after falling into red AAP - 10 hours ago

    Rio Tinto has fallen to a $US866 million ($A1.22 billion) annual loss and warned dividends to shareholders could almost halve in 2016. Chief executive Sam Walsh said 2015 had been a tough year. Rio announced an end to its current progressive dividend policy in favour of a more flexible approach to reflect the company's performance.

  • Property boom returns Transurban to profit AAP - 10 hours ago

    Tollroad operator Transurban has steered itself back into profit, largely thanks to the booming property markets in Sydney and Melbourne. Transurban made a net profit of $81 million for the six months to December 31, a turnaround from its $185 million loss a year earlier when it bought Queensland Motorways. The result was driven by an 8.4 per cent rise in average daily traffic on its network of 12 Australian tollroads, which include Melbourne's CityLink and Sydney's cross city tunnel.

  • Windsor doubts Watermark mine future AAP - 10 hours ago

    Former federal MP Tony Windsor says he believes the controversial Shenhua Watermark coalmine will not go ahead despite the NSW government rejecting rumours the mine's owners want to exit the project. The NSW government said on Thursday that Shenhua, the Chinese company behind the Watermark mine, had not asked for its exploration licence to be bought back. The denial came after Mr Windsor tweeted this week that there was a "very strong rumour" that Shenhua had asked the government to buy back the licence for the proposed Liverpool Plains mine.

  • $A firmer as US rate rise chances fade AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Australian dollar is stronger against the greenback, which softened in response to dovish comments from the US central bank boss. The greenback weakened after US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen expressed concerns over China, which has exposed fault lines in the global economy, Westpac chief currency strategist Robert Rennie said. Mr Rennie said the US dollar collapsed against the Japanese yen, but this may ease up when Japan returns from a public holiday on Friday.

  • Salmon prices, costs slash Tassal's profit AAP - 10 hours ago

    Fish farmer Tassal says the integration of De Costi Seafoods is going swimmingly, despite the group's first half profit dropping 16.6 per cent. Tassal acquired De Costi in July through a $50 million deal which saw the company expand its business from salmon to include other seafood. Chief executive Mark Ryan said on Thursday a restructure of De Costi had focused on automating operations at its main processing plant in Sydney.

  • Aust share market ends stronger AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Australian share market has clawed back some of its recent losses, ending the session one per cent higher as investors flocked to defensive stocks after a mixed bag of company earnings results. Healthcare, ...

  • Rio Tinto slumps to a loss AAP - 10 hours ago

    Mining giant Rio Tinto has posted an annual loss of $US866 million ($A1.22 billion). MORE TO COME

  • Property boom boosts Mirvac profit AAP - 11 hours ago

    The housing boom may have peaked, but Mirvac expects its healthy property development pipeline to keep earnings growth strong. The developer's net profit in the six months to December jumped 69 per cent from a year earlier to $473 million, driven by revaluation gains and property booms in Sydney and Melbourne that are now starting to cool. "The residential market is now set for a lower volume and price growth phase," chief executive Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Subway: Review finds 'serious' complaint about Jared Fogle Associated Press - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 1:30 AM NZST
    Subway: Review finds 'serious' complaint about Jared Fogle

    The Subway restaurant chain said it received a "serious" complaint about Jared Fogle when he was the company's spokesman but that the complaint did not imply any criminal sexual activity. The ...

  • Holden keeps 100 design jobs in Australia AAP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 1:06 AM NZST
    Holden keeps 100 design jobs in Australia

    Holden will keep more than 100 design jobs and add 18 new positions after manufacturing ends in Australia in 2017. The powertrain engineering and development team will stay in Australia after General Motors reversed a decision to send the jobs overseas. "More than 100 additional Holden engineering staff will continue to apply their skills and talents to local and global vehicle programs," managing director Mark Bernhard said on Saturday.

  • Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7M trucks for air bag, weld troubles Associated Press - Fri, Sep 11, 2015 6:18 AM NZST
    Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7M trucks for air bag, weld troubles

    Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 1.7 million trucks to fix problems with air bags and welds in the steering system. The biggest of three recalls announced Thursday covers 1.35 million Ram 1500, 2500 ...

  • McDonald's to switch to cage-free eggs over next decade Associated Press - Thu, Sep 10, 2015 9:12 AM NZST
    McDonald's to switch to cage-free eggs over next decade

    McDonald's says it will switch to cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada over the next decade, marking the latest push under CEO Steve Easterbrook to try and reinvent the Big Mac maker as a "modern, ...

  • Survey shows big gaps in knowledge about auto safety tech Associated Press - Wed, Sep 9, 2015 9:24 AM NZST
    Survey shows big gaps in knowledge about auto safety tech

    Adaptive cruise control has been an option on some cars for almost a decade. But in a recent national survey, 65 percent of U.S. drivers didn't know what it was. The survey, by the University of Iowa Public ...

  • Toyota invests $71m in driverless cars AAP - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 8:10 PM NZST
    Toyota invests $71m in driverless cars

    Toyota is investing $US50 million ($A71 million) with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the hope of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment announced on Friday by the Japanese carmaker will be made over the next five years at joint research centres located in Silicon Valley and another technology hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Toyota has hired robotics expert Gill Pratt to oversee research aimed at developing artificial intelligence and other innovations that will enable future car models to navigate the roads without people doing all the steering and stopping.

  • Harley riders rumble into Milwaukee for rally, bike show Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 12:06 PM NZST
    Harley riders rumble into Milwaukee for rally, bike show

    Gearheads converged on the Harley-Davidson Museum on Friday to show off, talk shop and get started on a weekend motorcycle rally and custom bike show. Tents outside the museum featured T-shirts, trinkets ...

  • Toyota to invest $50M in car-tech research at Stanford, MIT Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 7:36 AM NZST
    Toyota to invest $50M in car-tech research at Stanford, MIT

    Toyota is investing $50 million with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in hopes of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment ...

  • From eggs to trees, USDA promotional programs controversial Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 6:37 AM NZST
    From eggs to trees, USDA promotional programs controversial

    The slogans are familiar: "The Incredible Edible Egg," ''Pork: The Other White Meat," and "Got Milk?" They've all been part of promotional campaigns overseen by the Agriculture ...

  • Recalls this week: windshield deicer, bicycles Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 5:00 AM NZST
    Recalls this week: windshield deicer, bicycles

    More than 4 million bottles of windshield deicer and frost reducer are being recalled because the trigger assembly can be removed by children, posing a risk of poisoning. Other recalled consumer products ...