Top Stories

  • UK business stakes fall before EU poll AAP - 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    Business investment in Britain fell in annual terms for the first time in three years in the first quarter amid uncertainty around a vote on the country's European Union membership. The Office for National Statistics confirmed the economy slowed in the January-March period, rising by a quarterly 0.4 per cent as expected in a Reuters poll, and the data showed consumers continued to drive the economy.

  • Ecuador hackers moved $12m to 23 companies AAP - 2 hours 6 minutes ago

    Cyber thieves who stole $US12 million from an Ecuadorian bank in 2015 routed the funds through 23 companies registered in Hong Kong, some of them with no clear business activity, according to previously unreported court filings and judicial rulings. The court papers offer a first glimpse into where some of the money was moved after it reached accounts in Hong Kong. The filings stem from a lawsuit filed in early 2015 by Ecuador's Banco del Austro (BDA) in Hong Kong against the web of companies that received or handled more than $9 million in stolen funds, bank records submitted to the territory's Court of First Instance show.

  • Bangladesh probes 2013 hack AAP - 2 hours 10 minutes ago

    Bangladesh police are reviewing a nearly forgotten 2013 cyber heist at the nation's largest commercial bank for connections to February's $81 million heist at the country's central bank. The unsolved theft of $250,000 at Sonali Bank involved fraudulent transfer requests sent over the SWIFT international payments network. It is not widely known outside of Bangladesh, and in fact was treated as a cold case until Bangladesh police revived the investigation after thieves in February also used the SWIFT network to steal $81 million from Bangladesh Bank.

  • Disney's Magic Kingdom top theme park AAP - 2 hours 23 minutes ago
    Disney's Magic Kingdom top theme park

    Disney World's Magic Kingdom continues to be the top amusement park draw in the world with 20.5 million visitors in 2015, according to a report. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was No. 2 with an estimated 18.3 million visitors, followed by Tokyo Disneyland, which had an estimated 16 million, according to a report from AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association. Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld all saw a jump in attendance in 2015 over the previous year, according to the report released on Wednesday.

  • Iluka boss talks up miner's firepower AAP - 2 hours 38 minutes ago

    Outgoing Iluka Resources boss David Robb says the mineral sands miner has the firepower to invest in potential game changing technology as Chinese and European markets show signs of improvement. Mr Robb is stepping down from the top job after 10 years, and says he leaves the company with a strong, debt-free balance sheet. "We have a lot of firepower," he told a mining lunch on Thursday.

  • Strong greenback pushes $A lower AAP - 2 hours 52 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar has fallen back below 72 US cents as the greenback continues to strengthen due to US rate hike speculation. The Australian dollar got a brief afternoon lift after some traders saw a silver lining in the latest non-mining business investment figures, Westpac chief currency strategist Robert Rennie said.

  • Mining investment gap 'not being filled' AAP - 3 hours ago

    Businesses are unable or unwilling to step up their investments to make up for dwindling spending in the mining sector. Business investment in capital goods, which includes buildings and equipment, fell 5.2 per cent in the March quarter - much worse than forecasts of a 3.5 per cent fall. As expected, mining investment led the drop in spending, falling 12 per cent in the March quarter.

  • Business confidence unnerved by election AAP - 3 hours ago

    Business confidence has plunged after the budget and in response to the early stages of the lengthy federal election campaign. Roy Morgan Research's business confidence index fell 9.1 per cent in May, dragged back to its lowest level since the start of the year. "The large drop in business confidence is likely more tied to a poorly received federal budget ... in early May and the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming federal election," the pollster said on Thursday.

  • Share market higher after bumpy session AAP - 3 hours ago

    The share market has been boosted by mining and energy stocks, but investors are still looking for something to provide more significant drive. After a wild ride during the trading session, the market ...

  • New rum distillery planned for Sydney AAP - 3 hours ago

    Sydney's association with rum is about to enter an intoxicating new phase. More than 200 years after the Rum Rebellion, plans have emerged to build a rum distillery in the harbour city. Online platform Primary Markets is conducting a $25 million capital raising for Sydney Rum Distillery, which wants to open the world's most advanced rum distillery in 2019.

  • Bonds rise on lingering rate cut risk AAP - 3 hours ago

    Australian bonds have surprisingly risen as markets continue to price in further rate cuts. St George senior economist Janu Chan said it was slightly puzzling that bond prices had risen given equity markets ...

  • Linc CEO hit with protection order AAP - 3 hours ago

    An environmental protection order has been issued against Linc Energy's former chief executive Peter Bond. Queensland's environment department issued the EPO on Wednesday night to ensure environmental obligations were met at Linc's site at Hopeland. Linc Energy's dams have been a source of odour to the surrounding community, the department said in a statement.

  • RBA caps card payment surcharges AAP - 4 hours ago
    RBA caps card payment surcharges

    Shoppers will no longer be slugged with excessive surcharges on credit card payments under new rules, but could face other fees as banks look to make up for lost revenue. The Reserve Bank has announced that from September 1, surcharges on card transactions will be limited to the amount it costs a retailer to process the payment. "Merchants will not be able to impose high fixed-amount surcharges on low-value transactions, as has been typical for airlines," the RBA said.

  • Rinehart feud with kids to go to trial AAP - 4 hours ago
    Rinehart feud with kids to go to trial

    Billionaire Gina Rinehart's two eldest children have won the right to have the next stage of their family's long-running dispute over mining profits heard in open court. Bianca Rinehart and John Hancock are fighting for a larger stake in the family's mining empire, claiming their mother wrongly transferred valuable mining assets away from a family trust set up to benefit them by their grandfather, Lang Hancock. On Thursday Federal Court Justice Jacqueline Gleeson ruled that a dispute over the validity of a number of deeds preventing the Rinehart children suing their mother should go to trial and not to confidential arbitration, as Gina Rinehart had sought.

  • Share close slightly higher AAP - 4 hours ago

    The share market has edged higher due to gains by mining and energy stocks. At 1615 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 15.6 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 5,388.1 points, and the broader ...

  • Digital gaming a boost for Aristocrat AAP - 4 hours ago
    Digital gaming a boost for Aristocrat

    Strong growth in its Australian operations and digital social gaming have helped poker machine developer Aristocrat Leisure more than double its half year profit. Aristocrat made a net profit of $159 million in the six months to March 31, up from $78 million a year earlier - a result it had flagged to the market earlier in May. Aristocrat's Australian and New Zealand operations lifted earnings in constant currency terms by 96 per cent to $90.6 million as it gained significant market share, partly driven by the top performing Helix poker machine cabinet, and the Lightning Link and Lightning Cash poker machine games.

  • Labor backs down on schoolkids bonus AAP - 4 hours ago
    Labor backs down on schoolkids bonus

    On Thursday, the Labor leader dumped that promise. Up until then the ALP website was running an online petition calling for the bonus to be restored once it's phased out from July. It also means Labor has made a $4.5 billion saving to its budget costings in a bid to blunt a vicious government attack on its "black hole".

  • MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain as earnings boost lifts Mainfreight, Air NZ rebounds BusinessDesk - 4 hours ago

    New Zealand shares gained as Mainfreight posted stronger full-year earnings, giving investors more confidence about its outlook while Air New Zealand rebounded and Metro Performance Glass fell. Mainfreight gained 2.7 percent to $16.92. The transport and logistics group reported a 6.3 percent gain in full-year profit as improved trading in New Zealand, Asia and Europe was offset by weaker results in Australia and the Americas.

  • RBA sets new rules for card payments AAP - 4 hours ago
    RBA sets new rules for card payments

    Shoppers will no longer be slugged with excessive surcharges on credit card payments under new rules set out by the Reserve Bank. From September 1, surcharges will be limited to the amount it costs the ...

  • Gina Rinehart topples down rich list AAP - 5 hours ago
    Gina Rinehart topples down rich list

    Gina Rinehart has lost her crown as Australia's richest person due to a bitter court battle with her two eldest children and plunging iron ore prices. Ms Rinehart's eldest daughter Bianca made the list for the first time after taking ownership of 23 per cent of Hancock Prospecting as a result of the family's legal battle. Bianca Rinehart's wealth of $905 million put her at 60th on the list.

  • Vic coal mine could close: owners AAP - 5 hours ago
    Vic coal mine could close: owners

    Victoria's Hazelwood coalmine could be closed or sold, owners Engie have told a French Senate committee, but the state government insists "no decision has been made". Engie chief executive Isabelle Kocher told the committee in Paris that: "For the Hazelwood plant we are studying all possible scenarios, including closure, or a sale if the state of Victoria tells us that it cannot meet power-generating needs without this plant". "Any decisions on investment, divestment or closure are made by the Engie board with approval by shareholders," Engie Australia said in a statement.

  • Rinehart feud to go to trial AAP - 5 hours ago

    Billionaire Gina Rinehart's two eldest children have won the right to have the next stage of their family's long-running dispute over mining profits heard in open court. Bianca Rinehart and John Hancock ...

  • NZ dollar falls as Fonterra forecast disappoints market, argues for rate cut BusinessDesk - 5 hours ago

    The New Zealand dollar fell after Fonterra Cooperative Group gave a lower-than-expected opening forecast for the 2017 milk payout, which it said partly reflected a strong currency, stoking expectations the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates sooner rather than later. The kiwi fell to 67.16 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 67.51 cents late yesterday. Fonterra forecast a 2016/17 payout of $4.25 per kilogram of milk solids, below market estimates of $4.60-$4.80/kgMS, saying its estimate took account of a strong kiwi dollar, global over-supply, international inventory levels and the economic outlook for major dairy importers.

  • More charges laid in reponse to Waikato bobby calves footage BusinessDesk - 5 hours ago

    The Ministry for Primary Industries has laid a second set of charges as part of an investigation into the alleged abuse of bobby calves in the Waikato. MPI began investigating after TVNZ's Sunday programme broadcast footage which showed the calves being thrown onto trucks and being left for dead. Four charges have been laid against a company and a different individual today, with a hearing due at Huntly District Court on June 21.

  • Bangladesh Bank heist trail goes cold AAP - 6 hours ago

    More than three months have passed since $US81 million ($A112.12 million) was stolen in a brazen cyber-heist from Bangladesh's central bank and sent to Manila - yet authorities in the Philippines appear no closer to nabbing those who laundered most of the money through a bank and casinos here. Nobody has been arrested, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) - the nation's equivalent of the FBI - has not been allowed to get fully involved in the probe, and a Philippines Senate investigation petered out last week. Several official and private investigators said they'd hoped to make headway by following the money trail in the Philippines, but it had gone cold.

  • Ross Asset Management investor McIntosh allowed to appeal to Supreme Court BusinessDesk - 6 hours ago

    The Supreme Court has granted former Ross Asset Management investor Hamish McIntosh leave to appeal the Court of Appeal's ruling that he could keep the $500,000 he managed to extract from the Ponzi scheme before its failure, but not the fictitious profits he earned. In March, the Court of Appeal dismissed McIntosh's bid to hold on to the $454,000 return he received when he withdrew almost $1 million from RAM before it collapsed, which he claimed he was entitled to keep because without it, he wouldn't have pursued a speculative property investment. The judges rejected McIntosh's position, calling it "factually untenable for a number of reasons", including that he was already interested in purchasing the leaky home before he started withdrawing funds from RAM.

  • SkyCity deal to prepare ground for Adelaide expansion BusinessDesk - 6 hours ago

    SkyCity Entertainment Group, New Zealand's only listed casino, has signed a deal with the South Australian government on preliminary works to prepare for the expansion of its Adelaide casino and the wider redevelopment of the site. SkyCity is planning to spend A$300 million to overhaul its Adelaide Casino with new restaurants, a hotel, and new VIP gaming areas. SkyCity's Adelaide Casino expansion will bring high-net-worth visitors to South Australia, providing a significant boost to the tourism industry".

  • Sydney to host new rum distillery AAP - 7 hours ago

    Sydney's association with rum is about to enter an intoxicating new phase. More than 200 years after the Rum Rebellion, plans have emerged to build a rum distillery in the harbour city. Online platform Primary Markets is conducting a $25 million capital raising for Sydney Rum Distillery Pty Ltd which wants to open the world's most advanced rum distillery in 2019.

  • KAP pushes for Qld rural bank by year end AAP - 7 hours ago

    A state-owned bank aimed at preventing debt-ridden farmers from being forced to leave rural Queensland towns could be in place by the end of the year. Katter's Australian Party MP Rob Katter introduced legislation in parliament on Thursday to implement a reconstruction board, which he says will act like a normal bank. "You create an alternate lending instrument that may operate like a bank but takes viable customers that don't fit the banks criteria," Mr Katter said.

  • Aust share market down at lunchtime AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian share market is in negative territory, hurt by retail giant Wesfarmers and financial stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 lost early morning gains to be down 0.17 per cent at 1244 AEST, despite ...

  • Australia to get national cancer database AAP - 7 hours ago
    Australia to get national cancer database

    Australia's first national cervical and bowel cancer screening register is being established to help the public be more vigilant about their health. The federal department of health has awarded a five-year $225 million contract to Telstra's health division to build and operate the Australian National Cancer Screening Register, believed to be a world first. Telstra Health described it as a "ground-breaking" initiative in the fight against cancer.

  • Another delay for Asciano takeover AAP - 7 hours ago

    The $9.05 billion takeover of rail and ports giant Asciano has hit another stumbling block, with the competition regulator raising concerns. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has received a large number of objections from the industry about the proposed deal, which would see Asciano's port and rail assets divided among local and foreign owners. Asciano in March agreed to a joint takeover by rival bidders - local logistics firm Qube and Canadian infrastructure giant Brookfield, plus six other global investment funds.

  • Macquarie agrees to sell majority of NZ retail wealth management unit BusinessDesk - 7 hours ago

    Macquarie Group, the Australian financial firm, agreed to sell the majority of its New Zealand retail wealth management business to local investment manager Warren Couillault and some of its employees, retaining a cornerstone shareholding. Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand operates a team of 31 wealth advisers across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, according to a statement from the group's local unit Macquarie Capital (NZ) based in Auckland. Couillault, a former chief investment officer at Fisher Funds, has 25 years experience in financial markets and will head the unit.

  • Want a $US468,449 raise? - be a CEO AAP - 7 hours ago

    CEOs at the biggest US companies got a 4.5 per cent pay raise in 2015. "There's progress generally in aligning compensation with shareholder returns," says Stu Dalheim, vice president of governance and advocacy at Calvert Investments, whose mutual funds look for socially and environmentally responsible companies.

  • Female CEOs see pay rise, but no more AAP - 7 hours ago

    By comparison, male CEOs' median pay was $US10.5 million ($A14.58 million), up just three per cent from a year earlier, according to an analysis by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. Only 17 of the 341 CEOs analyzed by Equilar and the AP were women. Of the 10 highest paid CEOs on the list, only one was a woman: Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, whose own position is in jeopardy amid questions about the company's future.