Financial

  • Hockey angry if RBA rate cut not passed on AAP - 1 hour 11 minutes ago

    Treasurer Joe Hockey will be "very angry" if the nation's banks don't pass on the latest official rate cut in full. The Commonwealth Bank, Australia's largest home lender, will pass on just 20 basis points of the Reserve Bank's 25 basis point reduction, while increasing rates on deposits. "The banks are making very good profit and we need our banks to be profitable but when the Reserve Bank acts, we expect the banks to also act in full as well," Mr Hockey told reporters in Queanbeyan on Wednesday.

  • CBA shares down on flat profit AAP - 1 hour 50 minutes ago
    CBA shares down on flat profit

    Commonwealth Bank shares have fallen to their lowest level in more than three months after it posted a flat $2.2 billion quarterly cash profit. Net profit, which includes one off-items, fell to $2.2 billion in the three months to March 31, from $2.3 billion for the same period a year ago. CBA said competition among lenders had weighed on its group net interest margin, the profit it makes on loans, during the quarter.

  • CBA's odd rate cut move AAP - 3 hours ago
    CBA's odd rate cut move

    The Commonwealth Bank has passed on a portion of the Reserve Bank's 0.25 per cent interest rate cut, cutting its standard variable rate by 20 basis points. The cut puts its standard variable rate to what it says is the lowest in its history at 5.45 per cent. Announcing the changes, Matt Comyn, group executive retail banking services said: "While the circumstances of each RBA cash rate decision will always vary, we've carefully considered the impact of the current environment and moved to balance the needs of our customers. The CBA was responding to the Reserve Bank's lowering of the official interest rate to a historic low of two per cent on Tuesday.

  • 5 years of bailouts: the grim legacy of Greece's crisis Associated Press - 9 hours ago
    5 years of bailouts: the grim legacy of Greece's crisis

    The sculpture shows a shabbily-dressed man slipping off what appears to be a graph, an economic index perhaps, that is crumbling under his feet. His mouth is distended in something less than a scream, ...

  • Greek officials lobby EU, ECB for swift loan payout Associated Press - 12 hours ago
    Greek officials lobby EU, ECB for swift loan payout

    With Greek ministers dispatched across the European Union on a whirlwind goodwill tour, the EU's top finance official said he expected Athens and its creditors to make "good progress" by next ...

  • Stocks cautious after plunge in Chinese market Associated Press - 14 hours ago
    Stocks cautious after plunge in Chinese market

    Stock markets were subdued on Tuesday after Chinese stocks plunged as the start of an IPO wave cooled investor sentiment. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC-40 edge up 0.1 percent to 5,084.85 and Germany's ...

  • Greece blames EU-IMF row for blocking deal AFP - 15 hours ago
    Greece blames EU-IMF row for blocking deal

    Greece and its creditors on Tuesday ruled out any bailout deal to avoid bankruptcy at a make-or-break meeting next week, as the IMF said Athens may need debt relief to survive its crisis. Athens blamed divisions between its international creditors for a three-month impasse in talks aimed at unblocking 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in bailout cash. Hoping to win breathing space and to avoid a possible catastrophic exit from the eurozone, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis led a high-level delegation on a tour of European capitals. Ahead of a meeting of eurozone ministers on Monday in Brussels, hopes had been high for an end to the standoff over the radical left government's refusal to implement reforms in exchange for the funds.

  • WA govt seeks to finalise Bell Group case AAP - 17 hours ago

    The Bell Group legal saga began in 1995, four years after the Alan Bond-controlled group collapsed, and centred on loans of about $265 million provided to various Bell companies by a consortium of 20 banks. While the WA Supreme Court approved a settlement between the liquidators and banks in 2013, litigation between creditors is underway in the state and in the UK to determine how the $1.7 billion will be apportioned. WA Treasurer Mike Nahan told parliament on Tuesday that legislation would be introduced to finalise the matter and "inject some certainty into the timing of the distribution of funds". "There is limited confidence there will be a timely conclusion that does not involve further complex and protracted litigation across multiple jurisdictions," Dr Nahan said.

  • Aust dollar up on interest rate outlook AAP - 18 hours ago

    The Australian dollar has risen on market expectations that the rate cut cycle has ended after the Reserve Bank lowered the interest rate to a record two per cent. It dipped to an intraday low of 78.23 shortly before the RBA released its interest rate decision at 1430 AEST.

  • EU upgrades outlook but Greece woes deepen AFP - 19 hours ago
    EU upgrades outlook but Greece woes deepen

    The EU upgraded its growth outlook for the eurozone Tuesday on the back of cheaper oil and a weak currency, but a sudden worsening of Greece's economic woes cast a pall over the brightening situation. "The European economy is enjoying its brightest spring in several years, with the upturn supported by both external factors and policy measures that are beginning to bear fruit," said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. The European Commission forecast that the eurozone would grow 1.5 percent in 2015, better than the 1.3 percent predicted in February, and by an unchanged 1.9 percent for 2016. Growth for the 28-nation European Union as a whole -- including major non-euro nations such as Britain -- is forecast at 1.8 ?percent in 2015 and 2.1 percent in 2016.

  • RBA cut could be its last for a while AAP - 19 hours ago
    RBA cut could be its last for a while

    Home loan borrowers might want to savour the Reserve Bank of Australia's latest interest rate cut, with many economists tipping it to be the central bank's last trim for some time. The RBA slashed the cash rate by 0.25 of a percentage point at its monthly board meeting on Tuesday, taking rates to an historic low of two per cent. In a statement accompanying the RBA's decision, governor Glenn Stevens cited weakness in business capital expenditure in both the mining and non-mining sectors, while noting that the bank was working to contain risks in the housing market. CommSec chief economist Craig James said he believed the RBA was "quietly confident" it had now slashed rates enough, given there were signs of recovery in the economy.

  • ANZ passes on RBA rate cut AAP - 20 hours ago
    ANZ passes on RBA rate cut

    ANZ is the first of the big banks to pass on the Reserve Bank's interest rate cut. ANZ says its variable retail home loan rates will fall by 25 basis points from May 8. The RBA on Tuesday cut its cash ...

  • Macquarie boss says bank should behave AAP - 20 hours ago
    Macquarie boss says bank should behave

    Macquarie Group chairman Kevin McCann has acknowledged his banking firm needs to do better in the wake of the financial advice scandal. Victims of dodgy financial ideas lost millions of dollars in savings after consulting Macquarie's private wealth division. The Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank were also implicated in the financial planning drama. A fortnight after banking executives and financial advice victims fronted a Senate inquiry Mr McCann, who chairs Macquarie Group and Macquarie Bank, said the shortcomings were being addressed.

  • RBA cuts rates to new historic low in May AAP - 20 hours ago
    RBA cuts rates to new historic low in May

    Home loan borrowers will be cheering after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official cash rate to a new record low of two per cent. The RBA trimmed the cash rate by 0.25 of a percentage point at its monthly board meeting on Tuesday. Commonwealth Bank of Australia senior economist Michael Workman said soft investment outside the mining sector had probably been a key factor in the RBA's decision. "It remains quite weak and business surveys are telling people that there's quite low confidence among the private sector," Mr Workman told AAP.

  • RBA cuts interest rates to record low of two per cent Yahoo7 Finance - 21 hours ago
    RBA cuts interest rates to record low of two per cent

    The Reserve Bank has slashed the official cash rate to two per cent – a new record low.

  • HSBC bank Q1 net profit edges higher AFP - Tue, May 5, 2015 11:51 AM AEST
    HSBC bank Q1 net profit edges higher

    Scandal-hit global bank HSBC said Tuesday that net profits climbed by almost one percent in the first quarter, aided by a "strong" performance at its investment banking division. During the quarter, HSBC was forced to apologise for "unacceptable" failings at its Swiss division following allegations that the unit helped rich clients hide billions from the taxman. The lender was meanwhile fined late last year by US and British regulators for attempting to rig foreign exchange markets. HSBC has faced a storm over claims that it helped clients from around the world dodge taxes on accounts containing 180 billion euros ($204 billion) between November 2006 and March 2007, in cases that are being investigated in several countries.

  • Greece outlook slashed as eurozone improves AFP - Tue, May 5, 2015 11:05 AM AEST
    Greece outlook slashed as eurozone improves

    The EU on Tuesday sharply slashed its growth outlook for Greece this year due to its ongoing battle with its international creditors, dampening an otherwise improved outlook for the eurozone. The Greek economy slumped severely in the first three months of the year, the European Commission said in its Spring forecasts, cutting its overall 2015 growth outlook for Greece to 0.5 percent, a huge tumble from its earlier prediction of 2.5 percent. The sharp downturn will heap pressure on the radical leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to reach a deal with its EU-IMF creditors, who are demanding radical reforms that Athens is so far refusing. "In light of the persistent uncertainty, a downward revision has been unavoidable" for Greece, Pierre Moscovici, the EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner, told a news conference.

  • HSBC bank says Q1 net profits edges higher AFP - Tue, May 5, 2015 9:55 AM AEST
    HSBC bank says Q1 net profits edges higher

    Scandal-hit global bank HSBC said Tuesday that net profits climbed by almost one percent in the first quarter, aided by a "strong" performance at its investment banking division. During the quarter, HSBC was forced to apologise for "unacceptable" failings at its Swiss division following allegations that the unit helped rich clients hide billions from the taxman. The lender was meanwhile fined late last year by US and British regulators for attempting to rig foreign exchange markets. HSBC has faced a storm over claims that it helped clients from around the world dodge taxes on accounts containing 180 billion euros ($204 billion) between November 2006 and March 2007, in cases that are being investigated in several countries.

  • EU slashes Greece growth outlook AFP - Tue, May 5, 2015 9:43 AM AEST
    EU slashes Greece growth outlook

    The EU on Tuesday sharply slashed its growth outlook for Greece this year due to its ongoing battle with its international creditors, dampening an otherwise improved outlook for the eurozone. The Greek economy slumped severely in the first three months of the year, the European Commission said in its Spring forecasts, cutting its overall 2015 growth outlook for Greece to 0.5 percent, a huge reduction from its earlier prediction of 2.5 percent. The sharp downturn in the state of the Greece economy will heap even more pressure on the radical leftist government of premier Alexis Tsipras to come to terms with its EU-IMF creditors, who are demanding radical reforms that Athens is so far refusing. "In light of the persistent uncertainty, a downward revision has been unavoidable" for Greece, Pierre Moscovici, the EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner, told a news conference.

  • How the RBA makes interest rates decisions (Infographic) Yahoo7 Finance - Tue, May 5, 2015 9:42 AM AEST
    How the RBA makes interest rates decisions (Infographic)

    What does a rate cut mean for you, and how does the RBA make the rate decisions it does?

  • Cramer: Warren Buffett's biggest diet nightmare CNBC - Tue, May 5, 2015 9:03 AM AEST
    Cramer: Warren Buffett's biggest diet nightmare

    Jim Cramer talks to Ali Partovi on the growing trend of organic farming and three major trends flipping the table on how the world eats.

  • Prudential Bancorp posts 2Q profit Associated Press - Tue, May 5, 2015 8:09 AM AEST

    The Philadelphia-based company said it had net income of 18 cents per share. The bank holding company posted revenue of $5.4 million in the period. Prudential Bancorp shares have risen roughly 5 percent ...

  • May rate cut still possible, but that's it AAP - Tue, May 5, 2015 7:29 AM AEST
    May rate cut still possible, but that's it

    The Reserve Bank is expected to make only one more interest rate cut in the foreseeable future - and it's mostly likely to happen on Tuesday. Twelve out of the 15 economists surveyed by AAP last week, expect the RBA to cut the cash rate to a new record low of two per cent at its May board meeting, after the bank made a similar reduction in February. All but three of them say the interest rate won't go any further below two per cent for the foreseeable future. After the RBA failed to cut the cash rate in April, the futures market was pricing in an almost 100 per cent chance of an interest rate cut in May.

  • ANZ Bank rallies after interim profit rise AFP - Tue, May 5, 2015 7:19 AM AEST
    ANZ Bank rallies after interim profit rise

    Shares in ANZ Bank rallied on Tuesday after its first-half net profit rose three percent to Aus$3.5 billion (US$2.7 billion), spurred by growth in both domestic and international operations. The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's cash profit, which strips out one-off and other items and is a measure often preferred by financial institutions, jumped five percent to Aus$3.7 billion in the six months to March 31. The better than expected result came a day after fellow banking giant Westpac disappointed with a flat interim net profit of Aus$3.61 billion, which sent its shares plummeting. ANZ shares soared as much as 3.75 percent before a decision by the central bank to cut interest rates to record lows took some wind out of its sails.

  • Australia's central bank cuts interest rate to 2.0 percent AFP - Tue, May 5, 2015 7:16 AM AEST
    Australia's central bank cuts interest rate to 2.0 percent

    Australia's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2.0 percent on Tuesday to try to reinvigorate the struggling economy as a long China-fuelled mining boom fizzles out. Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said the board considered that "the inflation outlook provided the opportunity for monetary policy to be eased further, so as to reinforce recent encouraging trends in household demand". "This interest rate cut is going to help to facilitate those green shoots," he added.

  • RBA rate cut also needs budget help AAP - Tue, May 5, 2015 7:01 AM AEST
    RBA rate cut also needs budget help

    If Glenn Stevens pushes the button on an interest rate cut at Tuesday's monthly Reserve Bank board meeting, he'll be hoping for back-up from a confidence-building federal budget in a week's time. Financial markets are tipping a greater than 60 per cent chance the RBA governor will oversee a 25 basis point reduction in the official cash rate to an all-time low of two per cent.

  • 6 Habits of Successful 401(k) Savers US News - Tue, May 5, 2015 12:07 AM AEST

    For the majority of U.S. workers, the 401(k) plan has become the single largest source of retirement savings. The bad news is that you have more control over your retirement money. Moreover, if you do not manage it well, the 401(k) can become, at best, a savings account and, at worst, a high-risk gamble with your retirement money. Remember that 401(k) money is retirement money, and everybody has different dreams about what their retirement will entail -- traveling, boating, etc. Also, you may have some preretirement goals that you need to save for.

  • 4 Credit Lessons Every Graduate Must Know US News - Mon, May 4, 2015 10:40 PM AEST

    Part of that reality is they might not be able to get by without a credit card. Say you have $1,000 in debt on a credit card with a 19.9 percent interest rate.

  • Wall Street rebound shores up markets at start of busy week Associated Press - Mon, May 4, 2015 10:01 PM AEST

    Global stocks rose sharply Monday at the start of a potentially big week for markets as they tracked an end-of-week rebound on Wall Street. A promise by China's leaders to shore up growth and hopes of ...

  • Do I have to keep my kid on my health insurance? Bankrate.com - Mon, May 4, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    How can we remove her from our health insurance? If my 18-year-old is able to get health insurance through his employer, am I still responsible for covering him on my health insurance until he turns 26? If my daughter, who's 24, has a full-time job without health insurance, must I pay for her health coverage until she reaches age 26? Parents have a right to continue to insure their children on their health plans until age 26.

  • Tips for boosting your credit score Bankrate.com - Mon, May 4, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The interest rate you'll pay for the money you borrow will be determined, in large part, by this three-digit number that's generated from the information in your credit report. Most lenders have carved-in-stone rules about handing out the best terms, and those rules almost always place a major emphasis on your credit score. According to MyFICO.com, the consumer website of popular scoring model FICO, the interest rate difference between those two scores is about one-third of a percentage point. On a $165,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, that difference could cost you more than $13,378 in interest charges, assuming a 4.5 percent interest rate with a 700 credit score and a 4.875 percent rate on a 698 score.

  • Survey: Americans embrace free credit scores Bankrate.com - Mon, May 4, 2015 8:00 PM AEST
    Survey: Americans embrace free credit scores

    Nearly half of Americans -- 46 percent -- have checked their credit score within the past year, according to a new Bankrate Money Pulse survey. Many have never pulled their credit scores. Case in point: A 2013 study from the American Bankers Association found that 56 percent of U.S. consumers did not know their score. Bankrate's survey found that a majority of consumers are getting their credit score for free.

  • No irregularities in dollar spike: ASIC AAP - Mon, May 4, 2015 9:20 AM AEST

    The corporate watchdog has been unable to uncover any irregularities surrounding a spike in the Australian dollar moments before the Reserve Bank's surprise interest rate cut in February. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) says preliminary findings from its investigation reveal that moves in the dollar before the rate cut announcement were a result of normal market operations. "Much of the trading reviewed to date was linked to position unwinds by automated trading accounts linked to risk management logic and not misconduct," ASIC said on Monday.

  • Shares in Australia's Westpac slump after H1 net profit miss AFP - Mon, May 4, 2015 7:08 AM AEST
    Shares in Australia's Westpac slump after H1 net profit miss

    Shares in Australian banking heavyweight Westpac slumped on Monday after a worse than expected first-half net profit of Aus$3.61 billion (US$2.82 billion), with solid mortgage lending growth offset by its institutional arm taking a hit. The cash profit of Australia's second largest bank, the industry's preferred measure which strips out volatile items, was Aus$3.77 billion in the six months to the end of March. ANZ Bank ended down 2.67 percent, National Australia Bank was off 1.41 percent and the nation's biggest company, Commonwealth Bank, fell 1.02 percent. Despite the flat result, Sydney-based Westpac lifted its interim dividend to 93 cents per share.

  • Australia's Westpac H1 net profit flat AFP - Mon, May 4, 2015 3:22 AM AEST
    Australia's Westpac H1 net profit flat

    Australian banking heavyweight Westpac posted a first-half net profit of Aus$3.61 billion (US2.82 billion) on Monday, unchanged from the same period last year with solid mortgage lending growth offset by its institutional arm taking a hit. The cash profit of Australia's second largest bank, the industry's preferred measure which strips out volatile items, was Aus$3.77 billion in the six months to the end of March, also in line with the previous year. Chief Executive Brian Hartzer, who took over from Gail Kelly in February, said Westpac's retail and business banking divisions performed well. "However, the headline result was impacted by derivative adjustments in our Westpac Institutional Bank business and a lower treasury result," he said.