The Northern Territory news Mon 18 Jan 2010
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www.ntnews.com.au Northern Territory News, Monday, January 18, 2010 29 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 8 -J A N -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 2 9 C O L O R : C M Y K In brief .... Drugs and kickbacks NEWYORK: Johnson& Johnson paid leading US pharmacy groupOmnicare to promote its antipsychotic drug Risperdal for elderly patients, the US government alleges in a lawsuit. The Justice Department, which announced the lawsuit on its website, said Johnson& Johnson paid Omnicare, which is the largest US pharmacy for nursing homes, to push drugs including Risperdal. The complaint filed in Boston on Friday targets Johnson& Johnson and its subsidiaries Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson& JohnsonHealth Care Systems. They are accused of payingmillions of dollars in kickbacks toOmnicare. Medical tourism push SEOUL: It built its economy on ships, steel and semiconductors but now South Korea is pushing a new growth engine: amajor share of theworlds boomingmedical tourismmarket. The governments goal is one million foreign patients a year by 2020 and hospitals have launched aggressivemarketing campaigns since theywere allowed to advertise for foreign patients under a law that took effect last year. Demand formedical services is higher than ever andmedical tourism is growing rapidly, Vice Knowledge EconomyMinister KimYoung-Hak told the opening of a three-day medical tourism expo recently. Job ads up again SYDNEY: Job advertisements rose in December for the second consecutive month to reinforce the rebound in the labourmarket, a survey says. TheOlivier Job index rose 0.48 per cent in December, following a 5.88 per cent rise the previousmonth, survey results released yesterday show. This rise rounds off a remarkable recovery over the last sixmonths in the Australian jobsmarket, director of Olivier Group, Robert Olivier, said. The continuing underlying confidence of Australian consumers and employers has shown howdeeply resilient our economy is. Rates could rise to 6pc SYDNEY: Official interest rates could hit 6 per cent by the end of 2010, as Australias economic story enters a new chapter of higher inflation. Analysts say the recent run of positive data, including last Thursdays record-breaking jobs report, point to an economy that is speeding up faster thanmany policymakers andmarket players had anticipated last year. The latest unemployment figures show the economy is speeding up, with less spare capacity than previous economic upswings, potentially putting upwards pressure on inflation and therefore interest rates. Analysts says there is a risk the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)will push the cash rate from its current expansionary setting, through the neutral range of 4.5 to 5 per cent, and into restrictive territory by the end of the year. The cash rate is currently at 3.75 per cent. Teetering JAL pins hopes on billionaire monk TOKYO: Japan Airlines CEOHaruka Nishimatsu cut his pay, ate in the company cafeteria and even took the bus towork to help cut costs, but he couldnt stop the once-venerable carriers financial tailspin. His anointed successor Kazuo Inamori (pictured), a respected entrepreneur and ordained Buddhist monk, is expected to overseemuch more radical cutbacks at the debtridden airline, expected to file for bankruptcy this week. Inamori, the honorary chairman of Japanese hitechmaker Kyocera Corp, is being parachuted into JALs cockpit by the government to replaceNishimatsu, who is set to step down despite being hailed for his humble management style. Inamori admitted this week hewas a novice in the airline industry. But he is one of Japansmost well respected business executives and management gurus, having founded both Kyocera and a company that later became part of KDDI Corp, now Japans No. 2 telco company. Hes a great entrepreneur, and perhaps entrepreneurship is what JAL badly needs, said Geoffrey Tudor, a former JAL employee. Inamori is a very successfulman in his own right. He didnt have any personal connectionswith important or influential people. Heworked hard. He has a great personal ability, Tudor said. Inamori, who turns 78 years old on January 30, is a champion of deregulation and a philanthropist who entered the Buddhist priesthood at a temple in Kyoto in 1997 after retirement. Many shareholders have already bailed out and JALsmarket value now stands at just $A225.56million, down by $A1.93 billion in aweek. Decline limited as bank profits soar PAY UP: Luxury limo parked in front of JPMorgan headquarters in New York Well have upgradesto bank profits in the weeks ahead ByDAVIDMcINTYRE in Sydney THEAustralian share market is expected to open weaker today after stocks in the US slumped as loan losses continue tomount at JPMorgan and a disappointing consumer sentiment survey. But any Australian decline will be limited and shortlived, as the full impact of Commonwealth Bank of Australias first-half unaudited profit figure is yet to be seen in local stocks. CBA reported just before themarket close on Friday that its profit for the six months to December would be close to $3 billion, well above analysts forecasts. AMPCapital Investors chief economist Shane Oliver said there weremixed signals for ourmarket. The fall in the US, on various factors including the JPMorgan profit, are suggesting a fall in our own market, Dr Oliver said. On the other hand, the CBA announcement caused a rally andwell have upgrades to bank profits in theweeks ahead. I suspect well open down (but) I doubt anywhere near theweakness of the US. On the Sydney Futures Exchange, theMarch share price index futures contract closed 29 points lower at 4842. The benchmark S&P/ ASX200 index closed up 1.6 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 4899.6 on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.1 point to 4929.5. In the US on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 per cent, the Standard&Poors 500 index slipped 1.1 per cent and the Nasdaq composite index declined 1.2 per cent. While JPMorgan reported a fourth-quarter profit, the lender one of the strongest US banks posted a loss at its retail banking division andwarned it was too soon to say losses onmortgages and other loans had peaked. The preliminary Reuters/ University ofMichigan consumer sentiment index for January rose to 72.8 but came inweaker than economists had forecast. In contrast, both company and economic reports in Australia have reassured investors that the country is now headed formuch stronger growth. CBA said first-half profit would rise 44 per cent from a year earlier on solid income growth and as impairment charges declined, which suggests other bankswill also benefit. Woes for mortgage fund industry THE embattledmortgage fund industry, which holds $25 billion of frozen investor funds, will be forced to restructure following the financial crisis if it is to attract investors, analysts say. Fourteenmonths after the federal Government guaranteed bank deposits, which sparked a run onmortgage funds, the sector has shrunk as existing investors capitalise on limited withdrawal windows, while new investors shun the sector. Ratings agency Morningstar spokesman Phillip Greg said mortgage fundmanagers would need to better educate investors about the nature of funds. Many investors were angered to discover their fundswere illiquid when they rushed to withdraw funds amid the financial downturn. A number of providers are looking to change the way they handle the mismatch between people whowant to be able to getmoney out immediately and those arewilling to enter into fixed-term investments, Mr Greg said. The fallout from themortgage fund freezemeant funds would probably be forced to draw a clearer distinction between funds that were liquid and those that were not, he said. Currently,most funds were illiquid but offered redemption facilities forced to bewithdrawn whenmarkets soured.
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