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Today's News & Views

Southbank's Sunday Apartments celebrate the weekend every day

Stephen Crafti 12:15am The Sunday apartments in Coventry Street Southbank, focus on the pleasures of relaxing on a weekend.

Singapore developer out to make his mark

Marc Pallisco - Capital Gains - dink - dinkus

Marc Pallisco 12:15am A listed Singaporean developer is making its first foray into the Australian property market.

BHP Billiton: After the break-up

BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie.

PETER KER 12:15am By shedding BHP's weakest assets in a single manouevre, Andrew Mackenzie is on the cusp of achieving one of the major ambitions of his reign.

Graham Kerr's star rising at BHP Billiton

Respected: Graham Kerr.

PETER KER 12:15am If he can get it right, Graham Kerr will be uniquely positioned for a shot at the top job in world mining when BHP goes looking for its next chief executive.

Leak at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp spreads the pain around

News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch.

Anne Davies 12:15am For media companies, leaks are an important part of journalism.

Fairness most harmonious for national unity

Harold Mitchell dinkus Dinkus

HAROLD MITCHELL 12:15am Two of my great passions in life are music and national unity. And there are great moments when they come together.

Sims falls short of earnings expectations

Sims Metal boss Galdino Claro.

Tim Binsted 12:15am Sims Metal boss Galdino Claro said his turnaround plan to quadruple earnings to $300 million is gathering steam as the metal recycler resumed dividend payments despite hopelessly missing analyst earnings expectations.

Financial advisers finally told to get smart

Malcolm Maiden - dink - dinkus - thumbnail

MALCOLM MAIDEN 12:15am The Australian financial planning industry may have crossed a Rubicon this week with AMP, NAB, Westpac and Macquarie indicating that they are moving to impose much tougher education standards on financial advisers.

Monopoly money sinks economic theory

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

MICHAEL WEST 12:15am Contrary to conventional economic theory since the time of Thales, who cornered the market for olive presses in western Anatolia in the sixth century BC, another Australian government is poised to transform a competitive market into a monopoly.

Press Council chairman Julian Disney pulls out of adjudicating News Corp complaints

Julian Disney

SAFFRON HOWDEN 7:36pm The chairman of Australia's main print media watchdog will no longer be involved in adjudicating any complaints against publications belonging to the nation's biggest print media company, News Corp.

Earnings reports spur surge in trades

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank chief Mike Hirst sold 300,000 shares.

CHRISTOPHER WEBB 10:18pm Trades picked up this week thanks to a collection of directors venturing into the market following the release of their companies' earnings reports.

Santos gas find fires shares

Santos gas

Angela Macdonald-Smith 5:24pm A large gas discovery by Santos and its partners off the north-west coast has prompted chief executive David Knox to started talking about the potential for “multiple” liquefied natural gas trains to be added in Darwin fed by gas in the Browse Basin and the Timor Sea.

Narendra Modi faces balancing act in opening India's economy

Welcoming: India’s Narendra Modi faces a balancing act.

Unni Krishnan 10:36pm Narendra Modi must balance his need to keep nationalists onside with pressures from pro-business supporters to spur investment and revive growth.


Earnings, optimism enough to lift Australian shares to new six-year high

Generic photo of the ASX  board in Melbourne.I

SALLY ROSE 5:39pm August company reporting season has provided enough good news to drive Australian shares up over seven consecutive sessions to a fresh six-year high.

IOOF posts profit jump and rewards investors

IOOF Holdings logo.

Su-Lin Tan 5:24pm Record low interest rates will continue to drive Australians into the equities market in search for yield and heighten the demands for share investments this new financial year, according to wealth management group IOOF Holdings.

Dividend bonanza rolls on as RBA urges asset building

Person and ASX

Mark Mulligan 10:44pm Equity investors had billions of reasons to be happy this week as this reporting season's dividend and share buyback deluge continued unabated.

Iluka hopes for mineral sands rebound

Iluka sands

BRIAN ROBINS 4:53pm Optimism that the mineral sands ­market may be through the worst of its prolonged downturn helped to push Iluka’s shares higher Friday.


David Leckie resigns as director of Seven

David Leckie

Chris Jenkins 6:55pm Seven West Media director David Leckie has resigned his post but will stay on as a consultant to billionaire Kerry Stokes' conglomerate.


Citigroup earns less in Japan than it pays its CEO

The US bank is considering selling its consumer business in Japan as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies crush loan returns.

4:11pm Citigroup earned less from running a bank in Japan than its global chief executive officer's salary last year, helping explain why the U.S. lender is considering selling the consumer business as Abenomics crushes loan returns.


Jackson Hole could trigger further gold falls

Hawkish comments from the Jackson Hole meeting could further dent gold prices.

Misa Han 4:11pm Gold plunged to its lowest price in two months after the US Federal Reserve’s minutes sparked fear of an earlier-than-thought interest rate rise in the US.

Bega surge in profit after WCB windfall

Bega cheese

Tim Binsted 4:16pm Bega Cheese chairman Barry Irvin said growing milk supply will be critical to exploit Asia’s booming demand for dairy products as he unveiled a 160 per cent surge in full-year profit to $66 million.

Retailer Globe cuts value of its brand

5:34pm Streetwear and skateboarding company Globe has cut the value of its trademark, in part because of the challening retail environment.

Asia's appetite for Aust dairy grows

Paul Purcell 3:52pm Australian dairy continues to sell in Asia, as cheese producer Bega earmarks the orient for future expansion.

Bank of America to pay $16.65b penalty after sale of toxic loans

The largest government settlement in history.

Michael Corkery and Matt Apuzzo 3:12pm Bank of America and the US Justice Department have a reached a record $16.65 billion settlement, capping the most sweeping federal investigation into the sale of toxic mortgages by a Wall Street bank since the 2008 financial crisis.

Former CEO pleads guilty to fraud

2:58pm Former Phosphagenics chief executive Dr Esra Ogru has pleaded guilty to her role in defrauding the company of $6.1 million.


Iron ore hits 2-month low, headed for second weekly fall

High rates of production continue to put pressure on iron ore prices.

2:29pm Iron ore dropped below $US92 a tonne to its lowest since June and is poised to stretch its losses to a second straight week.

Former Phosphagenics chief pleads guilty in $6.1 million fraud case

GEORGIA WILKINS 3:10pm Esra Ogru, the former chief executive of biotech group Phosphagenics, has pleaded guilty to defrauding the company millions of dollars over a nine year period.

Ferry operator SeaLink lifts profit

12:47pm SeaLink Travel expects growth in the year ahead due to new charter and ferry contracts and improving tourism.


Call centre jobs 'will not exist' in five years, says Telstra chief David Thodey

Telstra chief executive David Thodey.

David Ramli 4:53pm Telstra chief executive David Thodey says call centre jobs across a range of sectors will not exist in five years thanks to the internet and smartphone applications.

Comments 22

Sears posts a first-half loss of nearly $US1 billion

Sears lost  $US975 million during the first half of the year.

Elizabeth Harris 12:30pm US department store stalwart Sears Holdings announced Thursday that it had lost nearly $US1 billion in the first six months of the year.


Why women are left off the CEO track

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors.

12:38pm Mary Barra made corporate history seven months ago when she became the first female chief executive officer of a major global carmaker.

China home falls could benefit Iluka

Kim Christian 3:40pm Property price falls in China could be good news for mineral sands miner Iluka Resources' after first half net profit fell 66% to $11.7 million


Australian business calendar August 26-30

10:07am What's on in the world of business this week.

Santos hikes dividend as gas price rises

Greg Roberts 5:20pm Santos has suffered a 24 per cent slide in its first half profit but has lifted its dividend to shareholders.

Sims Metal narrows its loss

Trevor Chappell 5:13pm Loss making recycler Sims Metals expects its five year turnaround program to generate substantial benefits from the current financial year.

Kathmandu to rebuild in Christchurch

10:12am Kathmandu has signalled plans for a new $20m head office in Christchurch, the city where it began.

Tower's minimum solvency margin reduced

Suze Metherell 10:12am The Reserve Bank has shaved $30 million off the minimum amount of money insurer Tower needs to have at its disposal.


Gold slips to two-month low

Encouraging US housing and jobs data also stirred economic optimism, putting downward pressure on the gold price.

8:45am Gold slid 1.3 per cent to its lowest in two months on Thursday, extending losses to a fifth consecutive session, as fears about an early interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve sparked a technical selloff after prices broke below a key support level.


Tinkler won't budge on Wilkie Creek deal, having lost his horse empire

Nathan Tinkler.

Gretchen Friemann 8:49am Nathan Tinkler's pursuit of a $150 million coal mine in Queensland may have taken another turn for the worse but the fallen tycoon refuses to raise the white flag, even after the ­seizure of his thoroughbred racing empire, Patinack Farm.


Is it time to sell Xero as cloud rivals rev up?

Dismissing the skeptics, Xero chief Rod Drury says the software maker is just at the beginning of its journey.

ROSE POWELL 4:04pm Accounting software and stock market darling Xero has revealed its latest growth rate. But not everyone is convinced.

Commodities markets summary

8:08am Commodities news from around the world.


Nine, Fairfax Media close in on $100m video streaming deal

Channel Nine, Fairfax TV deal on the table.

Sarah Thompson, James Chessell and Jake Mitchell 5:20pm Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media are close to forming a $100 million video streaming service, signalling a closer relationship between the two companies and underscoring how subscription movies and television has become the new battleground in Australia media.

International markets roundup

7:42am News from the world’s major stock markets


Bank of America in record $US16.65b settlement with US government

Bank of America

1:19pm Bank of America reached a record $US16.65 billion settlement with the US government to settle charges that it and companies it bought misled investors into buying troubled mortgage-backed securities, helping the bank close a major chapter tied to the financial crisis.

Stocks to watch at close on Friday

4:26pm Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at the close on Friday.

Share market ends week at six-year high

Rebekah Ison 5:12pm The Australian share market has closed higher for the seventh session in a row, reflecting the positive reaction to recent coporate earnings.

Wall Street

S&P 500 hits record on strong economic data

Data from housing to employment and manufacturing bolstered optimism that growth in the world's largest economy is accelerating

Jeremy Herron and Oliver Renick 6:55am The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose to a record, while oil advanced with bonds, amid optimism the Federal Reserve is committed to supporting a strengthening economy. Gold sank on speculation of higher interest rates.

$A lifts ahead of Fed Reserve meeting

5:12pm The Australian dollar has lifted ahead of the US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

Gap beats Wall Street 2Q forecasts

8:17am Clothing chain Gap Inc has topped Wall Street expectations with a second-quarter income of $US332 million.


need2know: Stocks set to edge higher

No signs of crisis despite sharp market falls: AFR (Thumbnail)

Local shares are poised to edge higher at the open, bolstered by Wall Street which advanced on a slew of positive economic data and corporate news.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.10%

Freddie Mac says the US average for a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.10 per cent from 4.12 per cent last week.

US home sales rise for fourth year

Christopher S Rugaber US home sales in July rose 2.4 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million, the highest since last September.

AMP and big banks rush to lift planners' qualifications

AMP chief Craig Meller: AMP aims to upgrade all its advisers.

Adele Ferguson, Ben Butler Australia's big four banks and AMP have moved to beef up educational standards for financial planners as they struggle to stem a crisis of confidence in the advice industry.

Proper standards of education would be a good start for the financial advice sector

Adele Ferguson dinkus

ADELE FERGUSON It is little surprise that the crisis in confidence gripping the financial planning industry and the intense scrutiny on vertical integration and low education levels has reached the boards of the country's biggest advice businesses.

Fairfax Media recognised for excellence at PANPA awards

Mercy Daguil and her daughter Andrei Michael 5 months of age in the village of Lat-Osan.

The Sydney Morning Herald chief photographer Brendan Esposito's pictures of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines have been recognised with a prestigious news award.

Super Retail Group to cut out middle man in bid to boost profits

Super Retail Group CEO Peter Birtles.

ALANA SCHETZER Leisure and sport giant Super Retail Group✓ will investigate sourcing products directly from factories overseas as it seeks ways to boost its flagging outdoor leisure division.

James Packer's Crown Resorts wins extension for Crown Casino

James Packer's Crown Resorts will be able to run its casino in Melbourne until 2050.

Jessica Gardner, Mathew Dunckley James Packer’s Crown Resorts has squeezed a 17-year extension on its Melbourne casino licence out of the Victorian state government as a peace offering in return for a hike in poker machine taxes announced last December.

Hong Kong billionaire Fung's Australian gaming push clears regulatory hurdle

An artist's impression of the $8.15 billion Aquis project in Cairns.

Australian regulators won't block the purchase of a casino in Cairns by Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung, boosting his ambitious push into a gaming market that could become a haven for big-spending Chinese gamblers.

ASX still looking for an old-fashioned boom

Malcolm Maiden dinkus

MALCOLM MAIDEN Some of the numbers the Australian Securities Exchange throws off in its profit reports makes the big banks look like ordinary investment conveyances. It spends roughly half what the banks spend to earn a dollar, for example.

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