Financial News from AAP

  • Porter in welfare talks with cross bench AAP - 10 minutes ago

    Social Services Minister Christian Porter is already in discussions with crossbench senators over his plans to revamp the welfare system. "Not everyone loves the idea of change inside the system, but if we don't change we are going to get the same results, and they are very grim in a range of key areas," Mr Porter told Sky News on Sunday.

  • GST carve-up change years away: Porter AAP - 1 hour 25 minutes ago
    GST carve-up change years away: Porter

    Western Australian federal Liberal MP Christian Porter insists the prime minister didn't put a time frame on when the government would change how GST revenue is carved up among the states. In his own mind, Mr Porter - the former WA state treasurer and now social services minister in the Turnbull government - expects it could be several years away. Mr Porter was at the state Liberal conference last month where Malcolm Turnbull flagged changes to the GST distribution.

  • Welfare outlook grim if no change: Porter AAP - 2 hours 10 minutes ago

    Social Services Minister Christian Porter concedes not everyone's happy with his ideas for revamping the welfare system. But he says benefits are presently doled out in a way where lives don't improve, ...

  • Tech firms talking about sale of Twitter AAP - 17 hours ago
    Tech firms talking about sale of Twitter

    Twitter Inc has initiated talks with several technology companies to explore selling itself, a person familiar with the matter says, signalling the start of what is likely to be a slow-rolling auction of the high-profile but money-losing social media company. A sale of Twitter has been the subject of on-again, off-again rumours for many months as the company grapples with stagnant user growth, soft advertising sales and losses running at hundreds of millions of dollars a year. CNBC, citing anonymous sources, reported on Friday Twitter was in talks with companies including Google and might receive a formal bid soon.

  • Govt vows to stand by Hazelwood workers AAP - 18 hours ago

    The Victorian government insists no decision has been made to close the Hazelwood power station but it's preparing for the plant to shut down amid speculation it could happen sooner rather than later. Up to 1000 jobs could be lost if the Hazelwood plant closes.

  • NBN stirs broadband cost fears AAP - 19 hours ago
    NBN stirs broadband cost fears

    NBN boss Bill Morrow says internet providers must do their part to ensure costs for consumers don't rise on the national broadband network, and not just rely on lower access charges. As smaller industry operators express concern about high access charges for high-speed services on the new national network, Mr Morrow says NBN Co will continue to reduce access charges. Industry experts say if access charges are not cut, broadband providers will struggle to make a profit and smaller companies could fail.

  • 7-Eleven disputes NSW Labor tax allegation AAP - 23 hours ago

    Convenience chain 7-Eleven has categorically denied claims by NSW Labor that it has paid no payroll tax for at least three financial years. A freedom of information (FOI) request revealed 7-Eleven is not registered for payroll tax in the state, according to NSW Labor. Labor's Daniel Mookhey said the FOI documents showed 7-Eleven had paid no payroll tax in at least the last three financial years.

  • Closure of Vic coalmine next year: report AAP - Sat, Sep 24, 2016 8:52 AM AEST

    The operators of Victoria's Hazelwood coalmine could close the power station as early as next year. French multinational energy company Engie in May told a French senate committee it was considering closing ...

  • Marriott buys Starwood to be largest chain AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 10:28 PM AEST
    Marriott buys Starwood to be largest chain

    Marriott International closed on Friday morning on its $US13 billion ($A17 billion) acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, bringing together its Marriott, Courtyard and Ritz Carlton brands with Starwood's Sheraton, Westin, W and St. Regis properties. In total, 30 hotel brands now fall under the Marriott umbrella to create the largest hotel chain in the world with more than 5800 properties and 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries. Marriott now eclipses Hilton Worldwide's 773,000 rooms and the 766,000 that are part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group family, according to STR, a firm that tracks hotel data.

  • Fiscal boost a common theme for economists AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 9:26 PM AEST

    One highlight of the new Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe's testimony to a parliamentary committee this week was his repeated mention of the need for more use of fiscal policy, notably government spending on infrastructure, to keep the economy ticking over. Not only was it a familiar theme for the central bank, having been featured by Glenn Stevens in his final speech as governor in August, but it was also brought up repeatedly by private sector economists in recent months. Dr Lowe said there were better ways to stimulate the economy than driving interest rates to zero or even into negative territory.

  • Telstra hiring 1,000 new technicians AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 9:23 PM AEST
    Telstra hiring 1,000 new technicians

    Telstra is recruiting 1,000 technicians to its field workforce to improve customer service by cutting installing and fault repair times and help with people switching to the national broadband network. Brian Harcourt, Telstra's executive director of customer service delivery, said the new staff will have the "dual benefit" of getting through more work and freeing up our more experienced technicians to deal with more complex tasks. About two-thirds of the new hires will be sub-contractors through workforce supply partner, ISGM, and the remainder will be Telstra employees, Mr Harcourt told AAP.

  • Get ready for cashless and cardless future AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 9:22 PM AEST
    Get ready for cashless and cardless future

    With the recent growth of digital wallets, PayPal, ApplePay and other electronic and mobile payments, cards are becoming less relevant for Australian consumers, and costly products for banks to service. With smartphones deeply entrenched in the Australian market, there will likely be stronger collaboration between banks and financial technology companies, particularly in the development of digital wallets, Capgemini Australia banking practice lead Phil Gomm said. "Australia is poised to enter a period of digital wallet transformation, as seamless payments begin to change the way we pay," he said.

  • Wells Fargo CEO resigns from US Fed body AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:40 PM AEST
    Wells Fargo CEO resigns from US Fed body

    Wells Fargo's embattled CEO is resigning his position on the Federal Reserve's advisory council amid a scandal over millions of accounts allegedly opened by the bank without customers' permission. The San Francisco Fed said on Thursday that John Stumpf is giving up his position as representative from the central bank's San Francisco region on the advisory council. Wells Fargo spokeswoman Jennifer Dunn said the move was a personal decision by Stumpf, saying that his top priority is leading the San Francisco-based bank.

  • UK PM May has tough road ahead: Rudd AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 8:06 PM AEST
    UK PM May has tough road ahead: Rudd

    Theresa May has "got her work cut out" in trying to deal with the fallout of Brexit and stabilising the UK, according to Kevin Rudd. The former Australian prime minister believes Mrs May's response has been sensible but warned the consequences of the decision by British voters to back Leave have 'not been good' for the world. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Rudd said of Brexit: "I'm a friend of the UK, have been throughout my life.

  • Better deals ahead for NSW gas customers AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 7:08 PM AEST
    Better deals ahead for NSW gas customers

    Regional NSW households are set to save up to $165 a year on their gas prices with the state government confirming the market will be deregulated from July 1 next year. The Baird government flagged plans to lift controls on gas prices last year on the condition that the level of competitive offers available for regional customers significantly increased. More than 80 per cent of the state's 1.3 million residential gas customers have already switched away from the regulated price, Minister for Energy Anthony Roberts said.

  • Whitehaven Coal to boost CEO's pay AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 7:04 PM AEST
    Whitehaven Coal to boost CEO's pay

    Whitehaven Coal chief executive Paul Flynn's annual pay barely changed in the 2015/16 financial year, but the miner plans to increase his potential remuneration in the current year. Mr Flynn earned $2.43 million in 2015/16, with a fixed salary of $1.33 million plus $770,000 in short term incentives, according to Whitehaven's annual report, released on Friday. Whitehaven shares have more than trebled in value in 2016, but the company has ruled out dividend payouts in the near term, saying it is focusing on consolidating performance and reducing debt.

  • Shares power to two week high AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 5:42 PM AEST

    Australian shares are at a two week high and may be positioned for further gains next week after an upbeat mood on global markets filtered through the final trading session of the week. CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner said the market gathered momentum through the afternoon. While there was little company news on Friday, the big four banks all made gains, with National Australia Bank up 48 cents, or 1.7 per cent, to $28.00, Westpac adding 38 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $30.32, Commonwealth gaining 52 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $73.40 and ANZ up 36 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $27.59.

  • $A hits four week high against the kiwi AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 5:37 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar has hit its highest level against the New Zealand dollar in a month and could continue to bounce back towards its mid-year highs. At 1700 AEST on Friday, the local unit was trading ...

  • Small health funds may be big value AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 4:39 PM AEST

    Three of the biggest health funds have been named the top insurance providers when it comes to value but smaller players are also worthy of attention, a new report says. The price and features of more than 620 health insurance products from 24 insurers were assessed by financial researcher Canstar to determine which funds offer the best value. Canstar research manager Mitchell Watson said the state winners are just as competitive as the big names.

  • Aust shares end week on a high AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 4:32 PM AEST

    Australian shares have ended the week in positive territory after a strong US market pushed local stocks to a fourth consecutive day of gains. At 1619 AEST the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 56.8 points, ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 4:30 PM AEST

    ASX - ASX - up 54 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $48.43 ASX boss Dominic Stevens has apologised for the "unacceptable" outage that stopped trading on the Australian stock market on Monday but defended ...

  • WA beef exports could grow to $1b by 2030 AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 4:00 PM AEST

    Western Australia's beef export industry to Asia could grow to $1 billion by 2030, according to a new report. The report by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre released this week analyses the contribution of agriculture to the WA economy and the state's capabilities to meet increased global demand. BCEC director Alan Duncan said the importance of Asia to WA's agricultural exports will grow as the economies develop and global demand for food changes.

  • Terminal at LaGuardia airport reopened AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 3:52 PM AEST
    Terminal at LaGuardia airport reopened

    US authorities reopened a terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York on Friday after an abandoned vehicle earlier prompted its evacuation. Authorities evacuated Terminal B at about 11pm local time after a car was left unattended with its doors open.. "Just landed at LGA and entire arrivals have been closed and there are soldiers with AR-15s everywhere," Dan Chen tweeted.

  • Abandoned car sparks LaGuardia evacuation AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 3:33 PM AEST
    Abandoned car sparks LaGuardia evacuation

    Authorities evacuated a terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York late on Thursday after a vehicle was abandoned outside the terminal, local media reported. Authorities told passengers to leave Terminal ...

  • ASX defends handling of market outage AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 2:29 PM AEST
    ASX defends handling of market outage

    ASX boss Dominic Stevens has apologised for the "unacceptable" outage that stopped trading on the Australian stock market on Monday but defended its handling of the situation. A report by the exchange operator into the outage has revealed the trading chaos was caused by an unprecedented hardware malfunction that resulted in the trading system not properly connecting to a backup database at the ASX disaster recovery site, or DRS. Friday's report states there was a "degradation and ultimately failure" of the database supporting the ASX Trade trading system at 0657 AEST on Monday, and the "fail-over" to the backup DRS database did not occur fully.

  • Venezuela pets go hungry as crisis hits AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 2:01 PM AEST

    Carlos Parra used to love waking up to see his pet albino boxer, Nina. Now, seeing her skeletal body on the floor next to his bed has become a daily reminder of the economic crisis engulfing Venezuela. As Venezuela's economic crunch worsens, food shortages and rising poverty are forcing once middle-class Venezuelans to do the unthinkable: let their pets starve or abandon them in the streets.

  • Abe first Japanese leader to visit Cuba AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 1:52 PM AEST
    Abe first Japanese leader to visit Cuba

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become the first Japanese leader to visit Cuba. Abe met Cuban President Raul Castro and discussed the economic and trade relationship between the two countries. "Japanese companies are becoming more interested in Cuba," Abe told Cuban communist party newspaper Granma.

  • Big names win best value health insurers AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 1:17 PM AEST

    Health funds Bupa, HCF and Medibank have been named the top health insurance providers when it comes to value. The price and features of more than 620 health insurance products from 24 insurers were assessed ...

  • Amazon guilty on dangerous goods charge AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 1:13 PM AEST
    Amazon guilty on dangerous goods charge

    Online shopping giant Amazon is to be sentenced after being found guilty of attempting to ship dangerous goods by air in the UK. The items included lithium ion batteries and flammable aerosols, which were destined for flights within and outside the country in four shipments between January 2014 and June 2015. The items were only discovered when the shipments were screened by Royal Mail before their intended departures and seized before they could reach the aircraft.

  • 'Unprecedented' fault behind ASX breakdown AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 1:02 PM AEST
    'Unprecedented' fault behind ASX breakdown

    Technicians have never encountered the fault that caused a dramatic outage of the Australian stock exchange on Monday, a report on the incident reveals. Exchange operator ASX says an "unprecedented" ...

  • Tesla not alone with driverless cars AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 1:01 PM AEST

    With all the attention paid to Tesla Motors' Autopilot system, you'd think the company was the only one making cars that can almost drive themselves. The difference: Tesla debuted Autopilot, a suite of semi-autonomous driving features, with a swagger, while others tread more carefully. Tesla's Autopilot allows the car to maintain a set speed, brake automatically and stay centred in its lane.

  • The business week in numbers AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 12:34 PM AEST

    The total value of Australia's housing stock rose to over $6 trillion for the first time in the June quarter. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated there were 9,703,000 residences with an average value of $623,000. The new RBA governor Philip Lowe says that's where he sees the glass when it comes to the Australian economy.

  • Shares on track to extend winning run AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 12:33 PM AEST

    The share market is tracking higher for a fourth straight session as the week's interest rates decisions by central banks in the US and Japan continue to stoke investor demand. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 ...

  • Maasai women take livestock lead AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 12:01 PM AEST

    Mary Nkaru, Susan Tonuo and Charity Kokwai - used to find enough grass for their cattle on their community's big communally owned ranches in southern Kenya. "Decades ago, it was men's role to search for pasture for the livestock but of late women are looking after livestock," Kokwai said.

  • Brazil police arrest ex-finance minister AAP - Fri, Sep 23, 2016 11:58 AM AEST
    Brazil police arrest ex-finance minister

    Brazilian police have arrested former Finance Minister Guido Mantega as a sweeping corruption investigation struck further at the heart of the Workers Party (PT) that ran the country for 13 years. Police investigators told a news conference they took Mantega, long a confidant of recently impeached former President Dilma Rousseff and an early member of the PT, into custody at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. The investigators said Mantega in 2012 requested a payment of 5 million reais, about $A3.3 million, at the time, from Brazilian business tycoon Eike Batista, a billionaire who has since lost his fortune, to pay PT campaign debts.