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Today's News & Views
ADELE FERGUSON 4:28pm The Commonwealth Bank might have escaped a royal commission into its scandal-ridden financial planning division but its chairman David Turner will be called to address “concerns” in a public forum next year.
3:43am Newcrest Mining holds its annual general meeting on Friday, as the company continues to work through its financial troubles.
3:28am A record $7.1 billion cash profit is expected to be unveiled by ANZ on Friday, and Macquarie Group is also set to report strong earnings growth.
ESTHER HAN 12:15am Halloween is becoming a bigger treat for retailers every year as the growing number of parties fuels demand for lollies, spooky costumes, decorations and pumpkins for carving.
BRIAN ROBINS 12:15am The closure of oil refineries has heightened Australia's exposure to disruptions in fuel supplies now the reliance on imported products has topped 90 per cent, motorist lobby the NRMA has warned.
7:09pm Barclays has set aside $A912.66 million "relating to ongoing investigations" into foreign exchange trading.
6:29pm AMP has paid $240 million to take a stake in a major player in the Chinese pension market.
Clancy Yeates and Joyce Moullakis 6:16pm National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn is ramping up a campaign to rid the bank of poorly performing assets, declaring that selling its British business is a top priority as he looks to lift lacklustre shareholder returns.
Greg Roberts 6:17pm NAB's boss says it has not lowered its lending standards amid booming house prices.
Sally Rose, Joyce Moulakis and James Eyers 6:14pm Speculation is building that National Australia Bank could divest its life insurance assets, or even sell-off its problematic wealth management business MLC Australia entirely.
Jenny Wiggins 6:13pm UGL has received a first strike against its remuneration report as investors protested a $3 million sign-on bonus to the new head of its DTZ property arm and succession incentives to outgoing chief executive Richard Leupen.
Ruth Liew 6:19pm AMP is snapping up a 20 per cent stake in China's largest pension group, China Life Pension Company, in a $240 million deal as the Australian wealth giant seeks to ramp up its growth ambitions in one of the world's biggest economies.
NASSIM KHADEM 6:08pm Self-managed super funds are gearing into property more heavily amid regulator concerns that debt is fuelling growth in house prices and creating risk for the financial system.
Neil Chatterjee and Rieka Rahadiana 4:57pm The tax man cometh. And next year in Indonesia, there will be more of them.
NASSIM KHADEM 1:11am Multinationals operating in Australia paid almost $40 billion in company income tax in 2013 and transacted $400 billion worth of related party deals.
MAX MASON 1:11am The Australian sharemarket bounced on Thursday, defying a weak lead from Wall St, as investors responded positively to slew of corporate updates including from NAB, Wesfarmers and Coca-Cola Amatil.
Madeleine Heffernan 4:05pm Resources and media billionaire Kerry Stokes says he's not talking with the government about media ownership laws, but he'll be pleased when a complete package is presented.
PETER HANNAM 5:22pm Opinion Direct Action, the centrepiece of the Abbott government’s efforts to address climate change, remains a largely unknown quantity even in the wake of this week’s breakthrough deal between the Coalition and Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party.
ELIZABETH KNIGHT 12:32am National Australia Bank"s new chief executive Andrew Thorburn has further demonstrated the intensity of his crusade to rid the organisation of its troubled and distracting UK legacy assets and get on with the job of improving the core Australia and New Zealand operations.
Su-Lin Tan 3:45pm The majority of companies that received a strike to their remuneration report during the 2013 annual general meeting season have given their 2014 pay packages a nip and tuck to avoid another strike this year.
Jessica Gardner 4:48pm Casino operator Echo Entertainment Group said that after a strong start to the financial year, underpinned by record business from high rollers, earnings in the first six months of the 2015 fiscal year could rise by almost a third from last year.
SIMON JOHANSON 5:25pm Live music lovers have sounded the alert as another of Melbourne's iconic venues, the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda, is offered for sale.
Drew Cratchley 4:39pm Echo Entertainment has forecast growth in its annual earnings of up to 31 per cent after a strong start to the year in all of its businesses.
Petrina Berry 3:03pm Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder is tight lipped about speculation the conglomerate is eyeing off wealth management giant AMP.
7:02pm Lower sales and prices have contributed to a fall in revenue for Origin Energy's production business in the three months to September.
2:45pm Following the consensus view has proven to be a losing strategy for investors in Melco Crown Entertainment. Despite a flurry of 'buy' ratings on the Macau casino operator, the company's American depositary receipts have lost almost a quarter in market value over the last year.
Stephen Johnson 1:37pm Ardent Leisure says Australia has more mortgage stress than the US, which may explain why its American operations are doing better.
Ruth Liew 1:14pm Insurance Australia Group is targeting up to 20 per cent revenue growth in fiscal 2015 as the company continues to consolidate one of the biggest acquisitions in its corporate history – the $1.85 billion Wesfarmers' insurance buy.
12:37pm The Australian Industry Group is confident that new government infrastructure projects will help offset the fall in engineering construction.
Jessica Gardner 5:43pm Stockbrokers have bid for $12 billion worth of Medibank shares on behalf of their retail clients, more than double the maximum value of shares on offer of $5.5 billion.
ELIZABETH KNIGHT 1:30pm National Australia Bank”s new chief executive Andrew Thorburn has further demonstrated the intensity of his crusade to rid the organisation of its troubled and distracting UK legacy assets and get on with the job of improving the core Australia and New Zealand operations.
CAROLYN CUMMINS 5:47pm Mirvac Group will focus on more residential and mixed use projects to take advantage of the buoyant housing market and to help directors achieve the forecast 1 to 3 per cent earnings growth for the 2015 financial year.
Sue Mitchell 1:27am Coca-Cola Amatil has sacrificed economic control of its Indonesian bottling business in return for a $570 million cash injection from major shareholder The Coca-Cola Co as part of a five-year plan aimed at restoring profit growth across the group as early as 2015.
Bianca Hartge-Hazelman 1:05pm Australian businesses could be starting to unleash their animal spirits as fresh data suggests that more companies are focusing on growth rather than cost cutting.
MARK MULLIGAN 12:37pm Confidence among small business operators remains patchy despite improving conditions, according to a private sector survey, which also found that larger stock market-listed companies are starting to feel more upbeat.
Stephen Cauchi 5:41pm Christmas is shaping up to be sluggish for retailers, weighed down by Australia's lacklustre economy and poor consumer sentiment, with fund managers and analysts remaining wary of companies exposed to household spending.
11:11am New home sales were flat in September, but sales of multi-unit dwellings were up 11 per cent, the Housing Industry Association said.
Kim Christian 1:15pm Travel group Flight Centre says achieving its profit growth targets will not be a "formality" amid volatility in Australia and strength overseas
10:20am Nine Entertainment has begun acquisition talks with outdoor advertising firm oOh!Media, but says there is no certainty a deal will be struck.
Evan Schwarten 5:28pm Australians don't have to worry too much about their insurance premiums rising this year, according to one of the country's largest insurers.
GEORGIA WILKINS 9:05pm Australia's consumer watchdog has joined other regulators in broadcasting its concerns about resources to the Abbott government.
MATT O'SULLIVAN 11:59am Flight Centre is banking on growth accelerating in the second half of this financial year as it anticipates a gradual recovery in demand and consumer confidence in the Australian travel market.
Petrina Berry 5:06pm The recent spike in fresh fruit prices is expected to ease soon, says supermarket giant Coles after it reported a solid lift in quarterly sales.
12:37pm Visa has posted a lower fourth quarter profit of $US1.07 billion, but beat Wall Street expectations.
Madeleine Heffernan 9:30am Seven West Media is banking on "piracy-proof" sport and Australian programming as key planks of its bid to stay the top-ranking free-to-air network for the rest of the decade.
Patrick Bartley and John Stensholt 9:31am The federal government and the Victorian government will announce a crackdown on the illegal offshore gambling industry, which is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion annually.
Paul McBeth and Tina Morrison 9:59am The kiwi has tumbled twice, firstly after the Federal Reserve's upbeat assessment of the US economy and then after a "dovish" Reserve Bank statement.
Sue Mitchell 6:24pm Strong sales growth at Coles, Bunnings and Officeworks has countered weak sales at Target, lifting total retail sales at Wesfarmers by 4.6 per cent to $13.6 billion in the three months ending September.
Belinda Merhab 11:25am A housing supply shortage rather than investor activity is driving the housing market, property developer Mirvac says.
5:09pm Upbeat comments from the US Federal Reserve have weighed on Australian bond futures prices.
Trevor Chappell 1:42pm US drinks giant Coca-Cola is investing $US500m in Australia's Coca-Cola Amatil to help it expand in the growing Indonesian market.
CLANCY YEATES 9:52am National Australia Bank is examining a float of its United Kingdom business, after a fall of nearly 10 per cent in full-year profits due to hefty write-downs in the UK.
8:13am The Australian dollar has dropped more than one US cent after the Federal Reserve issued an upbeat assessment of the American employment market.
4:25pm Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at close on Thursday
7:45am Commodities news from around the world
7:27am Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened a formal criminal investigation into accounting errors at Tesco, raising the stakes in a scandal that has hammered the reputation of the country's biggest grocer.
10:44am The Greens say interest rate rises weren't necessary and the Council of Trade Unions wants them cut.
7:17am News from the world’s major stock markets
Bloomberg News 7:08am China is on course this year to build four times the total wind power installed in all of Denmark as developers push to build the turbines ahead of cuts to incentives originally designed to spur the industry.
Stephen Johnson 5:07pm Local banks have benefited from an end to US quantitative easing but worsening terms of trade figures hit the miners.