Top Stories

  • Banks oppose the federal deposits tax plan AAP - 6 minutes ago

    Australia's banks and credit unions want the federal government to scrap plans for a tax on bank deposits. The bank deposits insurance levy is likely to be unveiled in the May budget as part of a move to raise $500 million a year. Sources have told the Australian Financial Review the coalition government would proceed with a bank tax, a tax first proposed by Labor ahead of the 2013 election. The Australian Banker's Association (ABA), which represents 23 banks operating locally, said the tax would hurt savers and self-funded retirees already struggling with low interest rates.

  • Aust shares open lower AAP - 41 minutes ago

    The Australian share market has opened one per cent lower. At 1010 AEDT on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 61.7 points, or 1.04 per cent, at 5,858.2, while the broader All Ordinaries index ...

  • Georgians hit by Ruble troubles AAP - 48 minutes ago

    The 64-year-old woman spends much of her meagre pension of 150 lari ($A86) a month on medicine and has long lived off selling cheap jewellery at a flea market to tourists, mainly from Russia and Ukraine. "There were some signs of life in January, when suddenly some tourists from Russia, Ukraine and Poland appeared, but since then it's been a complete catastrophe," said Matiashvili. Georgia, a mountainous nation in the South Caucasus, relies heavily on wine exports and on tourists attracted to the mountains and beaches that for decades made the country a favoured holiday destination for the Soviet elites. While tourists might ordinarily be enticed as Georgia's currency sinks, making travel cheaper, many of those who visit Georgia come from countries facing their own economic problems.

  • Slater and Gordon in $1.3b UK takeover AAP - 55 minutes ago
    Slater and Gordon in $1.3b UK takeover

    Slater and Gordon will try to raise $890 million in new equity to fund a STG700 million ($A1.34 billion) UK acquisition. The law firm has announced a deal to buy British insurance claims processor Quindell's ...

  • Chinese rival French for French vineyards AAP - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    Chinese investors now rival the French in buying vineyards in Bordeaux: a sign both of the region's global prestige and China's seemingly unquenchable thirst for wine, according to local property agencies and industry associations. Although most of the Chinese owners stay discreet, French wine industry groups are publicly welcoming the new money flowing in. These purchases lift the profile of the Bordeaux brand and have advanced the vineyard property market, even if there are still vineyards for sale," said the head of the CIVB Bordeaux wine growers' association, Bernard Farges. One name dominates the list of Chinese arrivals: Qu Naijie, an industrialist with net worth estimated at $US800 million ($A1.03 billion) who comes from sea transport and theme parks, and owns nearly 30 Bordeaux vineyards.

  • No immediate changes to super: Hockey AAP - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
    No immediate changes to super: Hockey

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has poured cold water on any immediate tightening of tax concessions for superannuation. Tinkering at the edges would change a system many expected to remain the same during their ...

  • Labor wants to lead tax reform talks AAP - 1 hour 8 minutes ago
    Labor wants to lead tax reform talks

    Labor has promised to take a constructive and proactive role in the debate on tax reform. "We want to lead from opposition on tax reform," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told ABC radio on Monday following the government's release of a discussion paper.

  • Macfarlane resigns from Woolies board AAP - 1 hour 10 minutes ago

    Former Reserve Bank governor Ian Macfarlane is stepping down from the board of Woolworths. The supermarket retailer says Mr Macfarlane, who joined the board in 2007, will retire as a Woolworths director ...

  • PanAust receives takeover offer AAP - 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    Australian miner PanAust has received a takeover offer from its major shareholder Chinese group Guangdong Rising Assets Management. Guangdong has offered $1.71 a share, or nearly $859 million, for the ...

  • Tax has been fixing past problems: Hockey AAP - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    Treasurer Joe Hockey says for too long Australia's tax system has been about fixing past problems rather than creating a system for the future. At the official launch of the government's discussion paper ...

  • Bond prices rise on Yellen speech AAP - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    Australian bond futures prices have rallied on the back of Friday's speech by US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. "US bond yields fell (prices rose) after Fed chair Yellen's speech, which was similar ...

  • Slater and Gordon in trading halt AAP - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    Shares in Slater and Gordon have been placed in a trading halt ahead of an announcement by the law firm. London's Financial Times newspaper reported the company was close to acquiring the professional ...

  • Govt won't move yet on income tax creep AAP - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    The federal government is in no hurry to prevent more Australians paying higher rates of income tax. Wages growth and inflation will lead to more people paying higher average rates of tax due to so-called bracket creep over the next decade. "But certainly over time we do not want to see people go into the higher tax brackets," he told ABC television on Monday.

  • Tax has been fixing past problerms:Hockey AAP - 1 hour 54 minutes ago

    Treasurer Joe Hockey says for too long Australia's tax system has been about fixing past problems rather than creating a system for the future. At the official launch of the government's discussion paper ...

  • Labor backs 'appropriate' pay rise AAP - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    Federal Labor is backing an increase in the minimum wage, but won't say by how much. In its first ever submission to the Fair Work Commission, the opposition argues for an appropriate increase taking into ...

  • Australian market set to open lower AAP - 2 hours 54 minutes ago

    The Australian market looks set to open lower despite a positive lead from Wall Street in its last session. At 0645 AEDT on Monday, the June share price index futures contract was down 34 points at 5,883. ...

  • Stocks to watch on Monday AAP - 3 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Monday, March 30: CBA - COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA - up 50 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at $94.34 A second Commonwealth Bank IT executive has been charged ...

  • Weak iron ore price weighs on $A AAP - 3 hours ago

    A slide in iron ore prices has whacked the Australian dollar back below 78 US cents. At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the local currency was trading at 77.54 US cents, down from 78.01 cents on Friday. Commodity ...

  • Commodities markets summary AAP - 3 hours ago

    Oil prices sank along with the euro after the European Central Bank forecast that the eurozone would continue to contract next year and only return to growth in 2014.

  • Finance News Update, what you need to know AAP - 3 hours ago
    Finance News Update, what you need to know

    WORLD FINANCE UPDATE: The Australian dollar has weakened, falling back below 78 US cents following a slide in commodity prices. At 0630 AEDT on Monday, the local currency was trading at 77.54 US cents, ...

  • International markets roundup AAP - 3 hours ago

    A roundup of trading on major world markets: NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks have risen, snapping a four-day losing streak as traders shrugged off weaker-than-expected US economic growth in the fourth quarter. ...

  • Payday lender Good2Go Loans under ASIC microscope accused of lending to drug addicts, gamblers ABC - 3 hours ago
    Payday lender Good2Go Loans under ASIC microscope accused of lending to drug addicts, gamblers

    Corporate watchdog ASIC is investigating a payday lender accused of lending to drug addicts, gamblers and people who are illiterate as well as changing the terms of loan contracts after they have been signed. The ABC's Four Corners uncovered disturbing conduct by online lender Good2Go Loans, triggering an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. "I've had someone with multiple payday loans from other lenders and it's clear they've got a gambling problem - they've got all these online gambling payments on their bank statements. Four Corners has seen evidence that Good2Go Loans changes the terms of contracts which allow it to get around legislated caps on fees and charges.

  • $A back below 78 US cents AAP - 4 hours ago

    The Australian dollar has weakened, falling back below 78 US cents following a slide in commodity prices. At 0630 AEDT on Monday, the local currency was trading at 77.54 US cents, down from 78.01 cents ...

  • Can't risk falling behind on tax: Hockey AAP - 9 hours ago

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has released his much-awaited tax paper to help guide discussion on a "lower, simpler and fairer" taxation system. Many of Australia's international competitors are changing their tax systems to make them more competitive. "Australia can't risk falling behind," Mr Hockey said releasing the discussion paper on Monday. About 70 per cent of commonwealth tax revenue is collected from personal and company income taxes.

  • Renewable energy target: Peak bodies call for end to 'detrimental' deadlock in open letter to politi … ABC - 10 hours ago
    Renewable energy target: Peak bodies call for end to 'detrimental' deadlock in open letter to politi …

    Peak bodies representing clean energy companies and electricity users have written an open letter to Australia's politicians urging them to resolve the renewable energy target (RET) impasse. Last week the Government emphatically rejected a proposal from the Clean Energy Council for a compromise on the RET. A group of peak business associations including the Business Council of Australia, Clean Energy Council (CEC) and Energy Users Association of Australia warned time was running out. "The uncertainty of this unresolved review is having a material and detrimental impact on the renewable energy sector, energy users, the traditional energy sector and the broader business community.