Financial News from ABC

  • Atari founder Nolan Bushnell holds no regrets about turning down a third of Apple for $50k ABC - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 11:31 AM AEDT
    Atari founder Nolan Bushnell holds no regrets about turning down a third of Apple for $50k

    When Nolan Bushnell turned down his employee's offer for a large stake in his new technology company he did not realise he just passed up the opportunity to become "uber, uber, uber rich".

  • Superannuation: Malcolm Turnbull criticises push to change rules to allow young homebuyers to tap into … ABC - Thu, Mar 12, 2015 9:52 AM AEDT
    Superannuation: Malcolm Turnbull criticises push to change rules to allow young homebuyers to tap into …

    Senior Cabinet Minister Malcolm Turnbull says it would be a "thoroughly bad idea" to allow young people to tap into their superannuation savings to buy their first home.

  • Concerns national census may be axed to cut costs sparks outrage from demographers ABC - Thu, Feb 19, 2015 1:54 PM AEDT

    Uncertainty surrounds the future of the national census amid media reports the Federal Government is considering axing it.

  • Women under-represented in management positions, paid 24 per cent less than men according to Workplace … ABC - Tue, Nov 25, 2014 12:23 AM AEDT
    Women under-represented in management positions, paid 24 per cent less than men according to Workplace …

    A new study has found that women make up just a quarter of those employed in the key management positions of Australian companies. As well as an under-representation of women in management positions, the ...

  • Competition laws crippling independent supermarkets, Senator Nick Xenophon says ABC - Mon, Sep 22, 2014 10:42 AM AEST
    Competition laws crippling independent supermarkets, Senator Nick Xenophon says

    Independent senator Nick Xenophon says he will move to reinstate a part of the competition law that prevented companies from charging different prices to different companies for the same product or service. "[The] latest discounting gimmick of 85c loaves of bread might seem appealing to consumers, but in the long run it will cripple independent supermarkets who can't access bread at that price from suppliers," Senator Xenophon said in a statement. Senator Xenophon said both consumers and independent companies would suffer under Australia's current competition laws. Senator Xenophon is seeking to reinstate the then-Section 49(1) of the Trade Practices Act, which was in place until 1995.

  • Cost-benefit analysis of NBN reveals Government's $16 billion advantage ABC - Wed, Aug 27, 2014 9:55 AM AEST
    Cost-benefit analysis of NBN reveals Government's $16 billion advantage

    A cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network (NBN) shows the Federal Government's plan would provide an $18 billion boost to the economy.

  • ASIC takes Aldi to task over inadequate card surcharge warnings ABC - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 1:28 PM AEST
    ASIC takes Aldi to task over inadequate card surcharge warnings

    The corporate regulator has taken supermarket chain Aldi to task, accusing it of not adequately advising customers of its credit card surcharges.

  • Beijing coal ban another blow to Australia's exports ABC - Thu, Aug 7, 2014 8:50 AM AEST
    Beijing coal ban another blow to Australia's exports

    China's decision to ban coal-fired power from Beijing and other major cities by 2020 grabbed headlines this week, although it is unlikely to have any meaningful impact on the country's coal consumption.

  • Most Australian households not saving, retirees faring best: survey ABC - Mon, Aug 4, 2014 9:23 AM AEST
    Most Australian households not saving, retirees faring best: survey

    Since the global financial crisis, savings rates have jumped, but Australians are still struggling to put money aside.

  • Scammers sell Canberra house without owner's knowledge ABC - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 1:47 PM AEST
    Scammers sell Canberra house without owner's knowledge

    A house in Canberra's north has been sold through a South African real estate scam without the owner's knowledge.

  • Disgruntled bank customer offers up $2.6 million home ABC - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 3:55 PM AEST
    Disgruntled bank customer offers up $2.6 million home

    A very unhappy National Australia Bank customer is offering his home as a prize for people to join his campaign against the bank.

  • ACCC wins Federal Court case against Coles over bread 'baked today, sold today' claims ABC - Wed, Jun 18, 2014 3:36 PM AEST
    ACCC wins Federal Court case against Coles over bread 'baked today, sold today' claims

    The consumer watchdog has won a case against Coles over the supermarket's claims about its baked bread.

  • Berlin new home to technology hub for global start-up community ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 4:05 PM AEST
    Berlin new home to technology hub for global start-up community

    A community of successful and flourishing technology-based start-up companies has developed in Berlin, a city that has long attracted artists and musicians. With cheap living costs, ample space and a helpful business community, Berlin is getting a name as the next Silicon Valley. The audio platform SoundCloud was developed seven years ago by Swedish musicians Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss and has grown into a multi-million-dollar business with 250 million users worldwide. Mr Ljung says the company began as a platform for musicians to share music.

  • Rallying Australian dollar worrying Reserve Bank, board minutes show ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 2:05 PM AEST
    Rallying Australian dollar worrying Reserve Bank, board minutes show

    The minutes from the latest meeting of the Reserve Bank board indicate the recent strength in the Australian dollar is becoming a problem for the central bank. The Australian dollar remains around 93 US cents despite a sharp fall in commodity prices which would normally see the value of the dollar drop. "That's not really what they want in a sense that as commodity prices come off, that's a negative for the economy," she said. "I think they look to the Aussie dollar to being lower as a way to offset that and that's not happening at the moment."

  • Royal Dutch Shell's Woodside share sell-off a long time coming ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 12:14 PM AEST
    Royal Dutch Shell's Woodside share sell-off a long time coming

    It has been the longest corporate divorce in Australian history. More than 13 years after then treasurer Peter Costello controversially denied Royal Dutch Shell the right to launch a takeover bid for the then highly prospective Western Australian oil and gas giant Woodside, the two companies have been examining ways to end the marriage. With no chance of ever moving to full control, and clearly unhappy about being stuck with a 33 per cent stake, speculation ever since has swirled around Woodside's ownership structure, with the massive share overhang effectively capping Woodside's share price. Despite the ownership unease, both companies will remain business partners with strong operational links and this morning's announcement neatly fits the ambitions of both, delivering a $5.3 billion cash injection for Shell and shoring up Woodside's balance sheet.

  • Royal Dutch Shell offloading $5.32 billion in Woodside shares ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 10:55 AM AEST
    Royal Dutch Shell offloading $5.32 billion in Woodside shares

    Global oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is selling almost all of its stake in Australia's biggest oil and gas producer, Woodside. Shell announced the sale of about 157 million shares in Woodside, netting Shell about $5.32 billion after tax. Shell is Woodside's biggest shareholder, currently holding 23 per cent or 190 million shares in the company. Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says the decision does not reflect the confidence the company has in Australia as a key energy producer.

  • Beetles in imported pallets from China put timber industry at risk ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 9:35 AM AEST

    Authorities have tracked down shipping pallets infested with beetles in an effort to avert a risk to the timber industry. Federal Liberal MP Tony Pasin says he has been told 2,100 pallets of gypsum plasterboard taken to a container depot in Adelaide now have been located. Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce earlier said Asian longhorn, brown mulberry longhorn and Japanese sawyer beetles had been found in pallets which were shipped to Australia from China in 337 containers.

  • SA Film Corporation defends $2 million loss ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 7:26 AM AEST
    SA Film Corporation defends $2 million loss

    The South Australian Film Corporation has reported a $2 million loss for last financial year. The Corporation's annual report says the Glenside studios in Adelaide helped produce three feature films and a television series in 2012-13. Film Corporation CEO Richard Harris has defended the loss, saying the value of production at the site during the time was about $50 million. The annual report says cleaning and information technology costs of the film studios are an ongoing concern.

  • Cannabis goes corporate: Dot-bong boom explodes as Big Marijuana flexes its muscles ABC - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 7:00 AM AEST

    Decades of marijuana prohibition are coming to an end, on the back of a sea change in public opinion. Next month, Washington State will be the second state to fully legalise cannabis. Hundreds of new marijuana businesses - and 2,000 existing medical marijuana sellers - are gearing up for the recreational market to take off. And one of that argument's chief proponents is former congressman Patrick Kennedy, the nephew of John F Kennedy and the son of senator Ted Kennedy.

  • Resources sector leads a modest increase across the Australian share market ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 6:30 PM AEST

    Strength in the resources sector has led a modest increase across the share market in an otherwise uneventful day of trade. Gold miners have benefited from higher spot gold prices with Newcrest closing up nearly 3.5 per cent OzMinerals, adding 1.75 per cent. Resources giant BHP Billiton has gained 33 cents to close at $35.62 while Rio Tinto added 42 cents to finish at $58.02. Super Retail Group, which owns chains like Rebel Sport and Supercheap Auto, has cut its projections for its annual earnings, blaming weaker than expected sales in the wake of the budget and the warmer autumn weather.

  • Solomon Lew making life difficult for David Jones suitor Woolworths ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 4:55 PM AEST

    Solomon Lew appears to have tightened the bear hug on his South African nemesis Woolworths. With less than 48 hours before Woolworths shareholders meet in Cape Town to vote on whether to proceed with the company's biggest international foray â the $2.2 billion takeover of David Jones â a mystery buyer has waded into the Australian market seeking more than 5 per cent of the upmarket retailer. The buyer, widely believed to be the Melbourne-based clothing retailer, was offering $3.90 a share for 28 million shares, well below the $4 offer from Woolworths. Mr Lew, who has been at loggerheads with the South African group for almost two decades, was unmasked as the owner of a tiny 0.65 per cent stake in DJs several weeks ago.

  • Breath test car locks to keep repeat drink-drivers off Canberra roads ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 2:48 PM AEST
    Breath test car locks to keep repeat drink-drivers off Canberra roads

    Repeat drink-drivers in Canberra must now have special locks fitted to their cars to prevent them driving while under the influence. From Tuesday, motorists convicted of serious drink-driving offences will have to pay for an alcohol interlock to be fitted to their vehicle. An alcohol interlock is an electronic breath testing device wired into the ignition of a vehicle. A driver must blow an alcohol-free breath sample into the device before the car will start.

  • RBA says falling labour costs are making Australia more competitive ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 1:35 PM AEST
    RBA says falling labour costs are making Australia more competitive

    The Reserve Bank says Australian labour costs are now falling relative to other countries, making the nation's export-exposed industries more competitive. In a speech hosted by the Wall Street Journal, the bank's assistant governor (economic) Christopher Kent said recent strong productivity growth and low wages growth means that labour costs have remained stagnant. "Over the past year-and-a-half, the growth in nominal wages has been matched by growth in labour productivity," he observed. Dr Kent says Australia's unit labour costs have stopped rising relative to the nation's main trading partners, and even fallen a little since mid-2012, after a big run up in relative labour costs over the previous decade.

  • State of the Regions report: 'Bleak outlook' for Tasmania ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 12:31 PM AEST
    State of the Regions report: 'Bleak outlook' for Tasmania

    Tasmania's economy faces significant challenges in the year ahead, the Australian Local Government Association's latest State of the Regions report has found. Disposable incomes in the state's north and north-west were found to be some of the lowest in the country with two regions in the top 10 lowest disposable incomes. North-west Tasmania has the 5th highest dependency in the country on 23 per cent. Mayor of Dorset in the state's north, Barry Jarvis, said recent Federal Government cuts to local councils would make the situation worse.

  • Maggie Beer's daughter Saskia's pig claims don't fly: ACCC ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 12:06 PM AEST
    Maggie Beer's daughter Saskia's pig claims don't fly: ACCC

    The consumer watchdog says it has warned Saskia Beer's Barossa Farm Produce over false pork claims. Ms Beer, daughter of Barossa Valley food icon and television chef Maggie Beer, has agreed to a court enforceable undertaking for making representations about its products that it acknowledged were likely to be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's chairman Rod Sims says Saskia Beer's Barossa Farm Produce made various misleading claims about the sources of its pork between December 2010 and May 2013. "Barossa Farm Produce made false or misleading claims that Berkshire, Black, or free range pork was used in its Black Pig products, when this was not the case," he said in a statement.

  • Retail set for tough year in 2016 ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 9:39 AM AEST

    A prominent economic forecaster is tipping the federal budget will not make a significant dent in retail sales for more than a year. There have been worries the budget will cause households to stop spending, dragging on economic growth. The latest forecasts from Deloitte Access Economics forecast sales growth to accelerate to a solid 3.6 per cent next financial year. Deloitte partner David Rumbens says, while turnover probably dropped last month at the time of the budget, that may just be a temporary decline.

  • Scams cost Australians $89 million in 2013, says Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 8:35 AM AEST
    Scams cost Australians $89 million in 2013, says Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

    Tens of thousands of Australians are being scammed each year, with dating and romance scams topping the list of financial losses for 2013, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC's Targeting Scams Report says Australians lost $25 million to dating and romance scams. ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard says the figures are only a small snapshot of how much money people are losing to scams. She says dating and romance scams are very concerning.

  • Federal budget: Deficit levy expected to pass Senate this week ABC - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 6:01 AM AEST

    The deficit levy, one of the more controversial federal budget measures, is expected to pass the Senate this week. MPs and senators are back in Canberra for the final fortnight before the current Senate expires and the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014 is listed for introduction into the Senate today. It has the support of the major parties and independent senator Nick Xenophon, meaning it is set to pass the Parliament. However, Labor is criticising the Government for delaying other, more-contested budget measures, like changes to a range of family payments.

  • Giant carbon dioxide absorber transported across Northern Territory in state's largest road haul ABC - Sun, Jun 15, 2014 3:22 PM AEST
    Giant carbon dioxide absorber transported across Northern Territory in state's largest road haul

    A giant carbon dioxide absorber has been transported to the Conoco Phillips gas and oil plant, outside Darwin, in an operation that was almost two years in the planning. Crowds of onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the huge piece of equipment as it was pulled by four prime movers and accompanied by a convoy of police cars. Together, the absorber and prime movers stretched 85 metres and weighed more than 750 tonnes - making it the largest road haul in the state's history. The machine, which is used to remove carbon dioxide from incoming natural gas before it is super-cooled and liquefied, will replace an old absorber.

  • State of the Regions report recommends boosting infrastructure, addressing youth unemployment ABC - Sun, Jun 15, 2014 3:18 PM AEST
    State of the Regions report recommends boosting infrastructure, addressing youth unemployment

    A new economic report warns Australia must boost infrastructure spending and address youth unemployment as the mining boom subsides. The Australian Local Government Association's latest State of the Regions report, produced by National Economics, examines how the fortunes of metropolitan areas relate to the mining boom between 2007 and 2013. It notes the boom favoured construction activity, particularly in Perth, while Melbourne and Adelaide â the cities the report said were worst-affected by the downsides of the boom â are only gradually responding with infrastructure investment. It finds Australia as a whole has serious deficiencies in its infrastructure capital stock and there is scope for governments to raise investment levels, especially in transport and communications.

  • Coal to fuel human progress for decades, Tony Abbott tells Texan business leaders ABC - Sat, Jun 14, 2014 7:02 PM AEST

    Coal will fuel human progress for many decades to come, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told business leaders at the Asia Society Texas Centre in Houston, adding that that had contributed to the Government's decision to scrap the carbon tax. Mr Abbott says the Government will take action on climate change without ostracising any particular energy resource. "Discussion about developing our natural resources often goes hand in hand with conversation about climate change and impacts on the environment," Mr Abbott told the audience. "It is prudent to do what we reasonably can to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Angasi oysters: High export hopes for forgotten native Australian oyster ABC - Sat, Jun 14, 2014 9:29 AM AEST
    Angasi oysters: High export hopes for forgotten native Australian oyster

    The lure of a lucrative European market is prompting a growing number of Australian shellfish producers to invest in native angasi oysters. The flat oyster already fetches around double the price of the better known Pacific oyster domestically, and the industry says it could potentially fetch up to five times the price in countries like France. "Their native flat oyster is identical in flavour and appearance to ours," South Australian oyster grower Brendan Guidera said. Mr Guidera, a Coffin Bay producer, is one of the country's most awarded shellfish farmers.

  • Woolworths recalls baby food after Adelaide mother finds metal blade inside packet ABC - Fri, Jun 13, 2014 8:54 PM AEST

    Woolworths have issued a product recall after an Adelaide mother found a metal blade inside a baby food product. The retailer is recalling any of the product bought at any Woolworths, Safeway or Thomas Dux supermarket with a best before date of August 7 this year. Woolworths released a statement advising customers who have purchased the product to return it to their nearest Woolworths store for a full refund.

  • Smash repair concerns: Investigation reveals repairers putting potentially deadly vehicles back on r … ABC - Fri, Jun 13, 2014 7:25 PM AEST

    There are calls for urgent reform of the smash repair industry after an ABC investigation revealed significant concerns that repairers linked to Australia's major insurers were putting vehicles back on the road with potentially deadly faults. A special investigation by 7.30 NSW has found evidence of repairs allegedly authorised by insurance companies to be inadequate and in some instances dangerous and unlawful. Allegations that insurance companies are putting profit ahead of safety and that corners are being cut in repairs have been put to a NSW Parliamentary inquiry into smash repairs, which is currently underway. NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads Ray Williams is assisting the inquiry and says the committee's final report has been delayed due to huge volumes of evidence.

  • Free-range eggs: States agree to proposal on national standards to combat potentially misleading cla … ABC - Fri, Jun 13, 2014 6:37 PM AEST
    Free-range eggs: States agree to proposal on national standards to combat potentially misleading cla …

    State and territory ministers have agreed to a New South Wales proposal to develop a national standard for free-range eggs. New South Wales Fair Trading has been pushing for a national standard after an investigation found current arrangements are ambiguous and could potentially mislead consumers. The ministers agreed to the proposal at a meeting in Cairns, with New South Wales to take a leading role in developing a draft National Information Standard for free-range eggs. Currently, only the ACT and Queensland have standards for free-range and there is no enforceable national standard.