The Northern Territory news Sat 23 Jan 2010
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40 Northern Territory News, Saturday, January 23, 2010 www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 3 -J A N -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 4 0 C O L O R : C M Y K BUSINESS ACCC targets retail giants CANBERRA: Retail giants Woolworths andWesfarmers, owners of Coles,may have to adjust their plans to buy out smaller rivals and develop new outlets after the Federal Government announced plans to toughen up market protection. TheGovernment will give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission power to stop creeping acquisitions. Tech titan bounces back SANFRANCISCO: In another sign of a tech sector recovery, Google yesterday surpassedWall Streets expectations and reported a record fourth-quarter profit of nearly $US2 billion ($A2.2 b). This was up on its $US382 million ($A423.69 m) profit in the final threemonths of 2008. Fourthquarter revenuewas $US6.7b ($A7.43b), up 17 per cent. Harvest beats expectations MELBOURNE: Canadian-based agribusiness Viterra, which acquired Australias ABBGrain for $A1.6 billion in September 2009, says grain receivals from its Australian operations have been better than expected. Viterra said that total grain production in Australia was forecast to be 36.3 million tonnes, with about 7.5million tonnes being produced in South Australia, and an increase of 40 per cent over the five-year average. ABA nabs new chief MELBOURNE: The Australian Bankers Association (ABA) has appointed Steven Munchenberg as chief executive, replacing David Bell who served in the post for nine years. Mr Munchenberg has spent the past three years as National Australia Banks chief lobbyist. He has 20 years experience in public policy, both in Canberra and the corporate sector, including a stint as the Business Council of Australias deputy chief executive. ASIC probes couple SYDNEY: A Coffs Harbour couple whose investment group collapsed leaving investors $63 million out of pocket, plan to move to London, but the corporate regulator is trying to stop them. Former solicitors Rolf Koops and Sandra Martin, the founders of LKM Capital, are under investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. They are facing allegations of breaching their trust deeds liquidity requirement and exceeding the maximum loanto-value ratio. Agency cops fine SYDNEY: A NSW real estate agency and its director have been fined more than $50,000 by the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman for paying a salesman just $6.58 an hour. Richardsons at Umina Beach Agency, on the states Central Coast and operated by Gateway Real Estate (Sydney) Pty Ltd, employed the man between April and December 2007 and underpaid him $8694 in pay and leave entitlements. Chemical deal a goer PERTH: The board of Japans Sumitomo Chemical Company Ltd has approved its strategic investment in agricultural chemicals supplier Nufarm Ltd. Nufarm said in a statement yesterday that its board would now recommend shareholders accept Sumitomos proposal to acquire a stake of up to 20 per cent in the company for $14.00 cash per share in the absence of a better proposal. Lihir forecasts drop SYDNEY: Lihir Gold Ltd has forecast a drop of up to 14 per cent in full year production in 2010 but says expansion will see annual production rise again in 2012. The gold miner met market expectations with annual production in 2009 of 1.12 million ounces, 27 per cent higher than the previous year. Chinese deal for Moly PERTH: Chinas top economic planner has approved a private Chinese entitys plan to take control of molybdenum mining hopeful Moly Mines Ltd. The National Development Reform Commission has approved Hanlong Mining Investment Pty Ltd acquiring a more than 51 per cent stake in Moly Mines for $US140 million ($A155.18m). Swan dangles tax reform carrots FAIRNESS AND INCENTIVE: Treasurer Wayne Swan (below) says part of the Governments proposed tax reforms could give harder workers a tax break BySTEPHEN JOHNSON inCanberra So that when people worka few extra hours, when theyre on average incomes, they dont get hit for six TREASURER Wayne Swan wants harder-working Australians to be given a tax break. Unions and business agree. With tax reform on the Federal Governments agenda, Mr Swan said workers who put in overtime deserved a softer tax burden. So that when people work a few extra hours, when theyre on average incomes, they dont get hit for six, he told ABC Radio yesterday. The Treasurer also stressed the need for fairness and incentive in the tax system. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that, as the population aged, workers would need incentives to work longer if they want to work longer. The ACTU weighed in, calling for low-paid and part-time workers to be spared tax penalties and welfare cuts the longer they stayed at work. This acts to discourage low and middle income working people from seeking work or increasing hours, ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons said. Reforms to the tax system should focus on fairness for working people, increasing participation and productivity, and maintaining a robust revenue base, ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons said. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) also believes existing tax arrangements are discouraging people from working harder. By reducing personal income tax, it encourages people back to the workforce, ACCI economics policy director Greg Evans said. Treasury Secretary Ken Henrys long-awaited tax review is not expected to be released until the first quarter of 2010, but Dr Henry hinted on Thursday at the need to reward older workers. Asked about Dr Henrys suggestions, Mr Swan said the government had already given retirees incentives to engage in part-time work. When were talking about increasing productivity were talking about working smarter, not necessarily working longer, he said. Dr Henry is reportedly also pushing for a clawback of fringe benefits tax (FBT) concessions. Mr Swan said if there were any rorts in the FBT system then of course they should be eliminated. The ACCI says releasing snippets of tax reform ideas is creating uncertainty among business. It wants the government to instead release details of the entire tax review now. These are major issues Mr Evans said yesterday. They affect the investment climate of Australian business. Big Gold Coast sale tests realty waters GOLD COAST: More than $20 million worth of property listed for sale on the Gold Coast this weekend has already been snapped up before Australias largest residential auction tomorrow. Fifteen properties have already sold, with a further 125 ready to go under the hammer. Promoters say the auction, marketed as The Event, will test what to expect in the year ahead. The Event is the idea of Ray White Surfers Paradise group chief executive Andrew Bell, who says it will gauge the level of buyer confidence and interest in the property market. Mr Bell said the high rate of pre-auction sales reflected positive signs in the market following the global downturn. Tiger claws into Singapore exchange SINGAPORE: Tiger Airways has made its debut on the Singapore Exchange, becoming the first Asian carrier to be listed in five years. Shares in the budget carrier opened at its initial public offering price (IPO) of $S1.50 ($A1.19) yesterday. They rose to $S1.58 ($A1.25) before dropping back. Singapore-based Tiger Airways said funds raised from the IPO would go mainly towards financing the carriers expansion plans in Asia, which is expected to become the worlds biggest travel market by 2020. T i g e r A i r w a y s r a i s e d $S247.7 million ($A195.64m) in gross proceeds from the IPO and planned to set aside $S166m ($A131m) to buy new jets. The carrier wants to expand its current fleet of 17 Airbus A320s to 68 by December 2015 as it moves to increase the number of destinations it serves. Tiger, which began its first commercial flights in September 2004, flies from Singapore to destinations across Asia, including popular holiday spots such as Penang in Malaysia.
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