Top Stories

  • Google Paris HQ raided in tax inquiry AAP - 3 hours ago

    French investigators have raided Google's Paris headquarters as part of a tax evasion inquiry, the financial prosecutor's office says. Google said it was fully complying with French law. Facing public anger at the way multinational companies use their footprints around the world to minimise tax, France, Britain and others have sought ways to make sure Google, Yahoo! and other digital giants, who often have their tax bases in other countries, pay their taxes locally.

  • NZ heading towards hotel shortage: NZTE AAP - 6 hours ago

    Visitors to New Zealand could find themselves struggling to find accommodation unless the tourism sector ramps up the construction of hotels, the government says. A new report from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has found 26 new hotels above what is already planned will need to be built in the next decade to keep up with growth in the tourism sector. Commissioned as part of a government scheme aimed at boosting private-sector investment, the report says the country will be short about 4500 hotel rooms across Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown by 2025 at current projections.

  • NT budget fires first campaign shots AAP - 8 hours ago
    NT budget fires first campaign shots

    As the Northern Territory government delivers its fourth budget, it has fired the first official shots in the campaign for the August election. Outgoing Treasurer David Tollner handed down his final budget on Tuesday, saying it was part of a "battle between style and substance". The $6.46 billion budget stimulates the economy, which is in a lull following the slow-down of the $39 billion Inpex LNG project, and is waiting for other major projects to commence, Mr Tollner says.

  • Outgoing NT Treasurer Tollner 'blessed' AAP - 8 hours ago

    David Tollner is leaving politics at the August NT election after failing to win preselection for the newly-created seat of Spillett. The Country Liberals won power in 2012 and he currently holds the portfolios of treasury, mines and energy, and lands and planning, having also served as deputy chief minister, and health and housing minister. "I have been absolutely extraordinarily blessed," Mr Tollner told reporters on Tuesday as he handed down his fourth and final budget.

  • Digital payments firm targets Americas AAP - 9 hours ago

    Australian-listed technology minnow DigitalX is hoping a deal with Spanish telecom giant Telefonica will create opportunities for its money transfer app across Latin America. DigitalX revealed on Tuesday that Telefonica is its partner in an agreement that was first flagged - without the telco being named - to the market in February. Telefonica will market the AirPocket app to its customers, who have 232 million connected devices, across Latin America and Mexico, offering potential connections to those customers' friends and relatives across North America.

  • $A plummets amid RBA rate cut talk AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Australian dollar is in freefall after the Reserve Bank indicated another rate cut was in the offing. ANZ senior FX strategist Dan Been said traders has already been selling Aussie ahead of the final official appearance by RBA governor Glenn Stevens on Tuesday. "Stevens's comments really confirmed market pricing for the next policy move, so once we got through that risk event selling of the Australian dollar resumed as it has for a few sessions now," Mr Been told AAP.

  • Nigeria's central bank agrees to flexible forex policy AFP - 10 hours ago
    Nigeria's central bank agrees to flexible forex policy

    Nigeria's central bank on Tuesday agreed to introduce greater flexibility in the foreign exchange market after shortages that have hurt investment and sparked a petrol shortage. President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to devalue the naira, despite a growing gulf between the official exchange rate of 197/199 to the dollar and black market rates nudging 350. The difference has led to a shortage in foreign exchange, hitting businesses and leaving fuel importers unable to buy supplies, causing pumps to run dry.

  • Monsanto rejects Bayer $62 bn bid as 'financially inadequate' AFP - 10 hours ago
    Monsanto rejects Bayer $62 bn bid as 'financially inadequate'

    US agribusiness giant Monsanto rejected Tuesday the $62 billion takeover bid by Germany's Bayer AG as too low, but said it was willing to entertain further talks on a merger. Monsanto chairman and chief executive Hugh Grant said in a statement that the offer "significantly undervalues our company" and does not give enough assurance on how Bayer would finance the deal or overcome possible regulatory challenges. Monsanto's board "unanimously views the Bayer AG proposal as incomplete and financially inadequate, but is open to continued and constructive conversations to assess whether a transaction in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be achieved," the statement said.

  • Battle for Viacom: Redstone names 'loyals' to trust AFP - 10 hours ago
    Battle for Viacom: Redstone names 'loyals' to trust

    Billionaire Sumner Redstone named new "loyal" trustees to the trust that controls media giants Viacom and CBS Tuesday, days after firing two long-time allies he has fallen out with. The move appeared to strengthen the hand of Redstone's daughter Shari in the battle over the future of the $40 billion broadcast entertainment business which controls hit names like MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, as well as Hollywood giant Paramount Pictures. Redstone, 92, said he had selected Tad Jankowski and Jill Krutick for the board of his National Amusements Trust, which through National Amusements Inc. controls the two companies.

  • Aust share market closes lower AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Australian share market has closed lower as investors continue to ponder the possibility of another cut to local interest rates and await the federal election vote on July 2. IG market strategist Evan ...

  • Adidas to launch robot-made shoes in Germany from 2017 AFP - 10 hours ago
    Adidas to launch robot-made shoes in Germany from 2017

    Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, announced Tuesday that it will start marketing its first series of sportshoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017. More than 20 years after Adidas ceased production activities in Germany and moved them to Asia instead, chief executive Herbert Hainer, unveiled to the press the group's new prototype "Speedfactory" in Ansbach in southern Germany. The new state-of-the-art 4,600-square-metre plant is still being built, but Adidas showed off a foretaste of it to the press, promising to automatise shoe production, currently done mostly by hand in Asia, and enable the shoes to be made more quickly and closer to its sales outlets.

  • RBA governor's comments lift bonds AAP - 10 hours ago

    Australian bonds are marginally higher after the Reserve Bank affirmed its commitment to the inflation target. Deutsche Bank fixed income strategist David Plank said the market's main focus on Tuesday ...

  • French government breaks blockades as petrol runs short AFP - 10 hours ago
    French government breaks blockades as petrol runs short

    France's government stepped up efforts Tuesday to break blockades and strikes at refineries that are threatening to paralyse the country just three weeks ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament. Police used tear gas and water cannon to clear a blockade erected by CGT activists at the key Fos-sur-Mer refinery near the southern city of Marseille. At least six out of the eight refineries in France have either stopped operating or have reduced output due to strikes and blockades.

  • Labor outspending us 20 to 1: Turnbull AAP - 10 hours ago
    Labor outspending us 20 to 1: Turnbull

    Consumers appear to be taking a long election campaign in their stride as the major parties lock horns over spending commitments. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull again chastised Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for joking about his "spend-o-meter". "The real issue is the flagrant wastefulness and recklessness of the Labor Party outspending us by 20 to 1 in this campaign," Mr Turnbull told reporters near Geelong on Tuesday.

  • Election spending row gathers pace AAP - 10 hours ago
    Election spending row gathers pace

    With over five weeks to go until polling day, the government is already pointing out Labor's supposed spendathon, claiming there is a $67-billion black hole and a deficit that will grow to almost $200 billion over the next decade. Shadow finance minister Tony Burke described the numbers as "fictitious". Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull again chastised Bill Shorten for joking about his "spendometer", a comment that the opposition leader says was taken out of context.

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 11 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: BHP - BHP BILLITON - up one cent, or 0.05 per cent, at $18.38 FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - down six cents, or 2.06 per cent, at $2.85 RIO - RIO TINTO ...

  • RBA warns of hard budget repair job AAP - 11 hours ago
    RBA warns of hard budget repair job

    Outgoing Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says there's years of hard budget repair work ahead for the next federal government. In his final official appearance after 10 years as the central bank head, Mr Stevens warned that the budget faced a number of risks over the medium term. Mr Stevens also defended the RBA's inflation target as the best monetary policy framework in Australian history.

  • Confidence again creeps higher AAP - 11 hours ago
    Confidence again creeps higher

    Consumer confidence continues to tick higher as the housing, jobs and stock markets perform and the Reserve Bank's rate cut comes into play. The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose 0.5 per cent last week, to be 3.6 per cent higher over the past four weeks. ANZ senior economist Jo Masters says confidence is now 2.6 per cent above its long-run average, underpinned by stronger optimism around household finances.

  • European stocks bank higher AFP - 11 hours ago
    European stocks bank higher

    European stock markets rebounded Tuesday, led sharply higher by banking shares boosted by an apparent ebbing in the chances of a leave vote in Britain's upcoming referendum on EU membership. London's benchmark ...

  • NT budget shows big deficit blow-out AAP - 11 hours ago
    NT budget shows big deficit blow-out

    Treasurer David Tollner handed down his fourth and final budget for the Country Liberals on Tuesday, worth $6.46 billion, which represents the initial official salvo in the first-term government's campaign for the August 27 election. The NT economy is in a "lull" following the slow-down of the $39 billion Inpex LNG project, as it waits for other major projects to commence, and the government is trying to balance fiscal prudence with an election-year budget that stimulates the economy, Mr Tollner said. "You throw a $39 billion project into a community of 130,000 people, you're going to have some pretty dramatic economic impacts," Mr Tollner said.

  • Brazil president urges economy reforms, slams 'psychological aggression' AFP - 11 hours ago
    Brazil president urges economy reforms, slams 'psychological aggression'

    Brazil's acting president Michel Temer on Tuesday called for reforms to haul Latin America's biggest economy back from crippling recession and slammed what he called "psychological aggression" against his government. Temer, who took power May 12 after the suspension of president Dilma Rousseff pending her impeachment trial, is seeking to cement his authority in the face of multiple challenges on both the economic and political fronts. Juca, a pointman on economic reforms, was sacked Tuesday, the government announced.

  • New rules to boost Chinese imports: Nomura AAP - 11 hours ago

    Recent measures by Beijing to curb overseas shopping by Chinese tourists could end up boosting imports into the country through regular channels. Chinese tourists have remained the highest spending group in the world for three years in a row, spending $US229 billion ($A317 billion) on overseas travel in 2015. Analysts at financial holding company Nomura have estimated nearly $US135 billion of this was spent on purchasing merchandise.

  • Annual minimum wage decision imminent AAP - 11 hours ago

    Improving the national minimum wage to a fair or "living" wage would have productivity benefits, researchers say. Days out from Australia's annual minimum wage decision, Australian Catholic University and British researchers say minimum wages generate positive productivity effects and slash the number of working poor. The findings are based on British data but also apply to Australia, the ACU's Professor Thomas Lange said.

  • WA minimum wage rise call amid high costs AAP - 11 hours ago

    Unions WA says it is a disgrace the Chamber of Commerce and Industry proposes a standstill in the minimum wage for low-paid workers, especially considering high costs in the state. CCI WA wants no change to the minimum wage, saying it is already $24 per week higher than the national rate at $679.90 per week and hampers small businesses trying to create jobs. "WA is currently facing a challenging business environment as a result of the sharp decline in the state's economic performance," the business lobby group said in a submission to the WA Industrial Relations Commission.

  • Prices don't show house supply glut: RBA AAP - 12 hours ago
    Prices don't show house supply glut: RBA

    Gradually rising house prices don't indicate any imminent supply glut, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says. Mr Stevens says despite reports of a impending glut of new homes, particularly in the apartment ...