Top Stories

  • Nairobi building collapse kills seven AAP - 6 hours ago
    Nairobi building collapse kills seven

    Rescue workers are searching for more people feared trapped in the rubble of a six-storey building that collapsed in Nairobi after days of heavy rain, killing at least seven people. President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the site of the building in a poor Nairobi suburb, his spokesman said. It was not immediately clear how many people were trapped or killed under the building rubble in Nairobi's Huruma district, though the regional police chief said seven people were confirmed dead.

  • Melb real estate funds gone, office locked AAP - 7 hours ago

    The locks have been changed on six Melbourne LJ Hooker offices after a franchisee told head office her husband misused money from trust funds. Money totalling in the millions for house deposits and rent has gone missing from LJ Hooker Glen Waverley, Keysborough, Mount Waverley, Burwood, Doncaster and Box Hill, which have all been closed since April 21. Consumer Affairs Victoria says more than 100 customers have been affected by the closure of the franchise run by Judy Nguyen, also known as Judy Thanh Truc, and husband Joseph Ngo.

  • Exxon's 1Q profit plunges 63 per cent AAP - 9 hours ago
    Exxon's 1Q profit plunges 63 per cent

    Exxon Mobil has produced its weakest quarter in more than 16 years as lower oil prices pushed its profit down by 63 per cent. Exxon continued to slash capital spending to cope with lower prices, which this week cost the company the perfect AAA credit rating that it had held for more than six decades. Exxon said on Friday that it earned $US1.81 billion ($A2.37 billion) in the first quarter, down from $US4.94 billion a year ago.

  • Melb real estate agent 'misused funds' AAP - 9 hours ago

    An LJ Hooker franchisee told head office her partner misused money missing from the trust funds of six Melbourne real estate agents. LJ Hooker Glen Waverley, Keysborough, Mount Waverley, Burwood, Doncaster and Box Hill have been closed since April 21 while under investigation. Consumer Affairs Victoria says more than 100 customers have been affected by the closure of the franchise run by Judy Nguyen, also known as Judy Thanh Truc, and husband Joseph Ng.

  • Middle class tipped as budget winners AAP - 11 hours ago
    Middle class tipped as budget winners

    The winners in the 2016 budget will be small and medium businesses and middle class workers earning more than $80,000, media reports suggest. On Saturday, The Australian reported the budget will contain tax cuts for middle class workers on $80,000 due to take effect on July 1, the day before the election is held. Treasurer Scott Morrison said small and medium businesses will be the biggest budget winners, telling the Australian Financial Review they are the "hope of the side" as the economy transitions following the mining boom.

  • Kidman decision confused, irregular: Labor AAP - 11 hours ago

    A furore has erupted over the decision to knock back a bid by a foreign-led consortium for Australia's largest single landholding, with Labor and a farmers body warning it risks future foreign investment. Treasurer Scott Morrison halted the sale of S Kidman and Co properties, which cover about 1 per cent of Australia's land mass, to a consortium of Chinese and Australian companies on Friday. Labor has slammed the treasurer's handling of the decision, calling it highly irregular and saying it creates uncertainty and confusion among foreign investors.

  • Middle class may be in for tax cuts AAP - 12 hours ago
    Middle class may be in for tax cuts

    Millions of middle class Australians may be set to receive a tax cut the day before the federal election. The tax cuts will be announced in the federal budget due to be handed down on Tuesday, The Australian has reported. Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said he would like to see tax cuts put in place quickly if they are announced.

  • Cambodian trains return after 14 years AAP - 12 hours ago
    Cambodian trains return after 14 years

    Cambodia's train service to the coast has resumed after a 14-year hiatus, pulling out of Phnom Penh station with Prime Minister Hun Sen on board. The passenger rail service on Saturday was the first to run anywhere in the country for about seven years. Hun Sen rode the train with senior ministers and a retinue of bodyguards headed for the coastal town of Sihanoukville, a popular tourist destination.

  • New Manus, Nauru operator plots exit AAP - 15 hours ago

    The Spanish company taking control of the business operating the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres has signalled it plans to step away from the offshore processing facilities in the future. Ferrovial Services, which now owns more than 50 per cent of ASX-listed Broadspectrum, formerly Transfield, says it does not plan to stay in the business of operating offshore detention centres. "In relation to the provision of services at the regional processing centres in Nauru and Manus province, these services were not a core part of the valuation and the acquisition rationale of the offer, and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial's portfolio," the company said in a statement.

  • Local bidder hopeful in Kidman land battle AAP - 16 hours ago

    An Australian bidder for the S Kidman and Co cattle stations says it has a good chance of success despite a cashed-up Chinese bidder still potentially being in the race for the vast land holdings. Treasurer Scott Morrison rejected the $371 million bid from Dakang Australia Holdings for the Kidman portfolio - Australia's largest private holding - on Friday, saying the deal may not be in the national interest. Arthur Naoumidis, chief executive of DomaCom, which has mounted a crowdfunded bid to buy the Kidman properties said the local group now has an excellent chance of buying Kidman after receiving more than $72 million in pledges from 5000 investors who want to keep Kidman in Australian hands.

  • Australia still open for business: Joyce AAP - 17 hours ago

    The decision to block the sale of one of Australia's largest farms to a foreign consortium doesn't mean Australia is closed for business, the deputy prime minister has argued. Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce defended the decision in response to warnings from the National Farmers Federation and Labor that it may send a signal that Australia is no longer open to foreign investment, especially from Chinese investors.

  • Nine ditches WIN for Southern Cross AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 10:04 PM NZST

    The Nine Network has severed ties with its long-standing regional partner WIN and is switching to rival broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo from July. In a major blow to WIN, owned by billionaire Bruce Gordon, Nine has signed a five year deal that will see its content shown in regional Queensland, Southern NSW and regional Victoria on channels owned by Southern Cross. The relationship between Nine and WIN, who have been affiliates since the late 1980s, has soured in recent months, culminating in this week's failed legal bid by WIN to block Nine from streaming its content via the internet into regional areas.

  • Colgate fined for dirty detergent deal AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 10:02 PM NZST

    Colgate-Palmolive has been fined $18 million over an illegal deal to control the price and supply of laundry detergents. In a deal with competitor Unilever Australia, Colgate stopped selling laundry concentrate in 2009 and started selling ultra concentrate, the company has admitted after a legal battle with the consumer watchdog. At the time, Colgate produced the Cold Power, Omo and Radiant products.

  • MG 'comfortable' despite legal threat AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 8:49 PM NZST
    MG 'comfortable' despite legal threat

    Murray Goulburn is comfortable with its actions despite the prospect of a possible shareholder class action over a big profit downgrade by Australia's biggest dairy producer. Law firm Slater and Gordon says it and litigation funder IMF Bentham are weighing legal action after Murray Goulburn this week downgraded its full-year profit guidance for the current financial year to between $39 million and $42 million. Slater and Gordon and IMF are investigating whether Murray Goulburn misled investors but Murray Goulburn says it has met its obligations.

  • Local bidder still keen for Kidman AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 8:42 PM NZST
    Local bidder still keen for Kidman

    An Australian bidder says it still wants to buy the country's largest private land holding after the sale to a Chinese buyer was blocked by the treasurer on national interest grounds. Treasurer Scott Morrison rejected a $371 million bid by Dakang Australia Holdings for the vast S Kidman and Co cattle stations portfolio on Friday, saying the purchase may not be in Australia's interest. "My preliminary view of the proposal that has been put to me is contrary to the national interest," Mr Morrison said.

  • Reliance soars in plum ASX debut AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 8:41 PM NZST

    Plumbing supplies business Reliance Worldwide has capped the largest market listing of 2016 with a roaring ASX debut as investors bought into the company's growth plans in North America and Europe. Morgans Brisbane client adviser Bill Chatterton, whose firm acted as co-lead managers on the float, said the result was "fabulous" for Reliance and its directors. More than 28 million shares were traded in the first five minutes of the company's market debut, and 117 million shares had swapped hands by the close of trade.

  • LG Electronics' 1Q profit soars 96 fold AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 8:35 PM NZST
    LG Electronics' 1Q profit soars 96 fold

    LG Electronics Inc has reported a stunning jump in its first-quarter earnings. Operating profit jumped 66 per cent to 505 billion won even as sales declined 5 per cent to 13.4 trillion won. The big jump ...

  • Budget day rate cut too close to call AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 8:17 PM NZST
    Budget day rate cut too close to call

    Not really, but economists expect the decision to slash rates to a record low of 1.75 per cent will be extremely close at the RBA's May board meeting on Tuesday. Ten of the 15 economists surveyed by AAP forecast rates to be held at 2.0 per cent for a thirteenth consecutive month. The RBA has consistently said continuing low inflation would allow a rate cut "should that be appropriate to lend support to demand".

  • Budget will be economic plan: Morrison AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:52 PM NZST
    Budget will be economic plan: Morrison

    Treasurer Scott Morrison says the budget will be an economic plan that backs Australians who want to drive jobs and growth. Mr Morrison will deliver his first budget on Tuesday, days before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seeks a double-dissolution election on July 2, the treasurer says. "But they're out making it happen every day, and the budget I will hand down next week on behalf of the Turnbull government will be all about backing them in," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

  • Nine switches regional TV partners AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:48 PM NZST
    Nine switches regional TV partners

    The Nine Network has signed a new affiliation deal with Southern Cross Austereo in what shapes as a major shakeup of regional TV media. Nine is currently alligned with WIN in a deal that ends on June 30, ...

  • Broadspectrum shares up as it backs bid AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:43 PM NZST
    Broadspectrum shares up as it backs bid

    Broadspectrum shares have surged more than 30 per cent after the detention centre operator recommended the $769 million takeover bid it had previously rejected. The Broadspectrum board had urged shareholders to reject a bid by Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial, but had an abrupt change of heart following the Papua New Guinea government's announcement that it will shut the Manus Island unit run by the Australian firm. Broadspectrum shares closed 36.0 cents, or 32.14 per cent, higher to $1.48 on Friday, following a trading halt imposed on Thursday.

  • Telstra's NBN presence concerns small ISPs AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:26 PM NZST

    New data showing Telstra's large holding of wholesale services on the National Broadband Network have sparked competition and pricing concerns among smaller internet players. The NBN Wholesale Market Indicators report shows Telstra has the most NBN wholesale access services across a number of technologies, including fibre to the node. Telstra has more than 47 per cent of NBN market share when it comes to fibre to the premise, and more than 58 per cent of market share for fibre to the node, the ACCC's report shows.

  • Banks lead market higher AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:17 PM NZST

    The share market ended the week with a modest gain as investors await next week's Reserve Bank rate decision and earnings reports from three of the big four banks. CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said it was a lacklustre session. "A significant event now for the Australian market now will be next week's Reserve Bank meeting," Mr Spooner said.

  • $A marginally higher ahead of RBA decision AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:12 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar is slightly higher as traders largely wait on the sidelines ahead of the Reserve Bank's interest rate decision. National Australia Bank global co-head of FX strategy Ray Attrill said trading volumes were weak on Friday as people wait for Tuesday's Reserve Bank interest rate decision.

  • Probe into Melb real estate branches AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:11 PM NZST

    Six LJ Hooker branches run by the same Melbourne couple have been closed as the state's consumer affairs regulator investigates large financial losses affecting more than 100 customers. LJ Hooker Glen Waverley, Keysborough, Mount Waverley, Burwood, Doncaster and Box Hill have been closed since April 21. Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) said on Friday it had taken possession of the offices as it investigated allegations its directors Judy Nguyen, also known as Judy Thanh Truc, and husband Joseph Ngo spent customer funds that were meant to be held in trust.

  • Motorcycle dealer revs up on market debut AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 7:07 PM NZST

    Shares in Australia's largest motorcycle dealership operator have surged nearly 30 per cent in a strong market debut. Motorcycle Holdings shares were expected to trade at a premium after the company's $46 million initial public offer attracted strong interest, resulting in investor allocations being scaled back.

  • Aust bonds flat ahead of RBA decision AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:51 PM NZST

    The Australian bond market has hardly moved as investors nervously wait for the Reserve Bank's upcoming interest rate decision. The 10-year bond futures contract closed slightly lower, while the three-year ...

  • Media companies want level playing field AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:45 PM NZST
    Media companies want level playing field

    Australia's media companies have one hand tied behind their back as they struggle to compete with international online giants like Netflix and Google, an inquiry has heard. Ten Network chief executive Paul Anderson says they are not asking for a handout but for a level playing field as they compete for viewers and advertisers against billion-dollar global internet companies. "We are simply asking you to level the playing field somewhat for Australian companies in our efforts to compete with overseas-based online giants," Mr Anderson told a Senate inquiry into media law reform.

  • Banks lead Aust market modestly higher AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:39 PM NZST

    The Australian share market has closed modestly higher, led by the banks, as investors await next week's Reserve Bank of Australia decision on interest rates and financial reports from three of the big four banks. CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said although the local market had finished higher on Friday, trading was lacklustre. "A significant event now for the Australian market now will be next week's Reserve Bank meeting," Mr Spooner said.

  • Auditor-General extends Housing NZ $2.3m procurement probe BusinessDesk - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:28 PM NZST

    The Office of the Auditor-General is extending its probe into Housing New Zealand's procurement processes after finding "significant weaknesses" in the way it managed conflicts of interest and shortcomings when contracting Auckland investment banker Andrew Body to advise on social housing policy between 2011 and 2013. Body advised the government on social housing reforms that involve selling state houses to social housing enterprises. At the same time, his company, Andrew Body Ltd, was representing a UK-based investment fund, John Laing, that "may seek to become involved in the provision of social housing".

  • Stocks to watch AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:25 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: AGO - ATLAS IRON - up 0.1 cents, or 4.6 per cent, at 2.3 cents Atlas Iron has received court approval to proceed with a debt restructuring that could save ...

  • Banks lead Aust market higher AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:20 PM NZST

    The Australian share market has closed modestly higher, led by the banks, as investors await next week's RBA decision on interest rates and financial reports from three of the big four banks. At 1615 AEST, ...

  • Ranger uranium mine to rehabilitate site AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:12 PM NZST

    Kakadu's traditional owners have welcomed news a neighbouring uranium mine will be able to borrow $100 million, if needed, to rehabilitate it back into the park. Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) said on Friday it expects to have enough money to fully fund rehabilitation itself by 2026.

  • Crowdfund group still wants Kidman AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:11 PM NZST

    A crowdfunding group says it has a good chance of buying Australia's largest private landholder S Kidman and Co after the government blocked the sale to a Chinese-led consortium. Property crowdfunding business DomaCom says it has received more than $72 million in pledges from 5000 investors who want to keep Kidman in Australian hands and run it as a commercial business. Chinese firm Dakang Australia Holdings Pty Ltd tried to take an 80 per cent share in Kidman, with the remaining 20 per cent to go to Australian Rural Capital, whose shares were 25 per cent lower at 56 cents at 1545 AEST.

  • Probe into six Melb real estate branches AAP - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 6:10 PM NZST

    More than 100 customers have been left out of pocket following the closure of six Melbourne real estate branches amid an investigation into the misuse of funds. LJ Hooker Glen Waverley, Keysborough, Mount ...