Top Stories

  • Govt to release report on competition AAP - 1 hour 3 minutes ago

    As the Abbott government's debate over taxation begins, so its review of competition policy will end with the release of a report. Competition Minister Bruce Billson will release the final Harper report ...

  • Businesswomen find their perfect match AAP - 4 hours ago

    Richard Branson, the billionaire businessman behind everything from record stores to space travel, wants to help Australia's women entrepreneurs find their perfect match. His not-for-profit foundation Virgin Unite is teaming up with Australian entrepreneurial support group Rare Birds to launch a new mentoring program for businesswomen. The program aims to have 500 women entrepreneurs matched with mentors within the next two years. Rare Birds founder Jo Burston says the entrepreneurs can seek confidential advice on the good, bad and ugly parts of their business.

  • Jetstar staff accept wage freeze AAP - 7 hours ago
    Jetstar staff accept wage freeze

    Jetstar pilots and workers have voted in favour of a new pay deal that includes an 18 month wage freeze. The low cost airline is part of the Qantas Group, which is cutting $2 billion in costs and has been implementing a company-wide wage freeze. After a long negotiation process, Jetstar's pilots have accepted a new enterprise agreement that includes a retrospective wage freeze between January 1, 2013 and the end of June 2014. Jetstar's 500 airport and office workers have also voted in favour of a new enterprise agreement, which included an 18 month wage freeze that began in October 2013.

  • Tax has been fixing past problems: Hockey AAP - 8 hours ago
    Tax has been fixing past problems: Hockey

    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 ...

  • Novogen shares surge on drug data AAP - 8 hours ago
    Novogen shares surge on drug data

    Shares in drug discoverer Novogen have surged after the company said its experimental anti-cancer drug Cantrixil killed human ovarian stem cells. Novogen, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange ...

  • Shares dive on Chevron twin exits AAP - 8 hours ago
    Shares dive on Chevron twin exits

    Chevron's exit from two major Australian investments has raised concerns about the nation's reliance on oil and gas earnings as shares in the sector dive. Late on Friday, the global oil and gas giant made ...

  • Skydiving deaths won't alter takeover plan AAP - 9 hours ago
    Skydiving deaths won't alter takeover plan

    Newly listed Skydive the Beach says its plans to buy Australia Skydive are not affected by the death of two skydivers during a jump at Byron Bay in NSW. Experienced skydivers Michael Vaughan and Alana ...

  • Market dives: Caltex shares plunge 9pc dragging market down ABC - 9 hours ago

    Australian stocks have tumbled across the board today, with energy and mining shares making the biggest falls. The All Ordinaries index lost 1.2 per cent to close at 5,816 while the ASX 200 fell by 74 ...

  • Oil prices drop on prospect of Iran nuclear deal AFP - 10 hours ago
    Oil prices drop on prospect of Iran nuclear deal

    Global oil prices sank Monday as traders mulled a potential deal over key oil producer Iran's controversial nuclear energy programme that could worsen the global supply glut, analysts said. Foreign ministers of Iran and major world powers meeting in the Swiss city of Lausanne raced to beat a midnight Tuesday deadline to nail down a framework deal they hope will put an atomic bomb out of Tehran's reach. In late afternoon London deals on Monday, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May slid 89 cents to $55.42 per barrel. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May shed 60 cents to $48.27 a barrel.

  • Gazprom proposes extending Ukraine gas deal for three months AFP - 10 hours ago
    Gazprom proposes extending Ukraine gas deal for three months

    Russian gas giant Gazprom on Monday offered to extend a supply deal with Ukraine for another three months ahead of a looming deadline that had raised fears for deliveries to Europe. Ukraine's gas operator Naftogaz said earlier that it had asked Gazprom to prolong an agreement -- inked after a cut-off last year that followed a collapse in relations between the ex-Soviet neighbours -- to spring 2016. A pact covering the crucial winter months -- that Moscow says gives Kiev a discount -- is due to end Tuesday but the arrival of spring has eased demand from Ukraine and pressure on negotiators. "Gazprom today sent a letter to the Russian government asking it to study the possibility of granting a discount on gas to Ukraine for a period of three months," Gazprom chief Alexei Miller told Russian state television.

  • Tax debate must lead to change: business AAP - 10 hours ago
    Tax debate must lead to change: business

    Implementing meaningful tax reform hinges on the preparedness of government to abolish Australia's most inefficient taxes and redraw the tax base. That's the view of the Property Council of Australia as ...

  • Ford to relaunch Lincoln Continental in US, China AFP - 10 hours ago
    Ford to relaunch Lincoln Continental in US, China

    The Lincoln Continental, the luxury car of celebrities and US presidents from yesteryear, is coming back. Ford Motor Monday unveiled a concept for a new full-sized sedan aimed at the American and Chinese markets and expected to be sold at dealerships starting in 2016. The Continental was last on the market in 2002. The revived Continental has Venetian leather seats and door panels, laser-assisted head lamps designed to reduce glare and a tinted sunroof that lets passengers control heat from direct sunlight.

  • European stocks close higher awaiting Greek deal AFP - 10 hours ago
    European stocks close higher awaiting Greek deal

    European stock markets closed solidly higher on Monday as traders focused on Greece's efforts to strike a bailout deal, while betting on the outlook for US interest rates. US stocks were also up in late morning trades in New York, among new activity in health services and energy sectors. The euro fell to $1.0818 from $1.0890 late in New York on Friday.

  • $A slips as traders eye April rate cut AAP - 11 hours ago

    Expectations of another interest rate cut after Easter have weakened the Australian dollar. The currency dipped on Monday afternoon to be worth 77.23 US cents at 1700 AEDT, down from 78.01 cents on Friday. ...

  • UnitedHealth buys Catamaran for $12.8 bn AFP - 11 hours ago
    UnitedHealth buys Catamaran for $12.8 bn

    UnitedHealth Group said Monday it will acquire smaller rival Catamaran for $12.8 billion, in a move they said would give them more pricing power in the pharmacy benefits business. UnitedHealth will combine Catamaran with its own pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) OptumRx, which would propel the combined company to third place in the industry behind Express Scripts and CVS Caremark. "This combination is expected to create a dynamic competitor in the PBM market by combining the strengths of Catamaran's industry-leading technology platform with the data and analytics capabilities of Optum," the two said in a statement. Pharmacy benefits managers manage prescription drug claims between health insurers and insurance plan members.

  • Shares plunge on weak commodity prices AAP - 11 hours ago

    The share market has tumbled more than one per cent as the energy sector bears the brunt of fresh falls in the oil price. Mining stocks also suffered as iron ore prices plunged four per cent to their lowest ...

  • Govt told not to change dividend tax rules AAP - 11 hours ago

    Shareholders have warned against tampering with rules that provide tax benefits on dividends. The federal government's tax discussion paper asks if the dividend imputation system - which prevents companies and shareholders both paying tax on profits - is serving Australia well as the economy opens up to overseas investors. The paper says the current imputation system may do little to attract foreign investment and questions whether it is appropriate in a global economy. "It's simple, it's straightforward, it's very understandable," chairman Ian Curry said.

  • Origin slapped with $2m fine AAP - 11 hours ago
    Origin slapped with $2m fine

    Origin Energy has been fined $2 million after the Federal Court found it guilty of illegal door-to-door sales. Federal Court judge Justice Anna Katzmann said Origin and its marketing company SalesForce had exploited vulnerable consumers in their own homes in order to get them to sign energy contracts. "In each case the sales representative practised deceptions on the consumers in order to secure their custom," she said in her judgment. Justice Katzmann found Origin and SalesForce guilty of unconscionable conduct, undue harassment or coercion, false or misleading representations and in breach of consumer law provisions.

  • Europe stocks close higher AFP - 11 hours ago
    Europe stocks close higher

    Europe's main stock markets closed higher on Monday, with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gaining 0.53 percent on the day at 6,891.43 points. Frankfurt's DAX 30 index jumped 1.83 percent to 12,086.01 ...

  • Aussie Beer made in China AAP - 11 hours ago
    Aussie Beer made in China

    A liquor wholesaler has been fined $10,200 for trying to pass off a beer brewed in China as Australian. Aussie Beer had green and gold labelling featuring the slogan `Australia's finest malt', plus the words `100% owned' within a map of Australia. The Independent Liquor Group, which includes the Little Bottler, Super Cellars and Pubmart chains of bottle shops, supplied Aussie Beer between March and August 2014. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the packaging was misleading and breached consumer law.

  • Hockey a hypocrite on bank tax: Bowen AAP - 11 hours ago
    Hockey a hypocrite on bank tax: Bowen

    Federal Labor says if Treasurer Joe Hockey goes ahead with a flagged bank tax it will show he stands for nothing. "More than all his other mistakes, more than everything else he's done, this underlines that Joe Hockey stands for nothing," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told reporters in Sydney.

  • Guangdong tells PanAust to take lower bid AAP - 11 hours ago

    Shares in gold and copper miner PanAust have rocketed after a heavily reduced takeover bid by Chinese company Guangdong Rising Assets Management. Shares in the Australian-listed Laos-focused takeover target closed 49 cents, or 40 per cent higher at $1.715. The Chinese state-owned resources company has made a $1.71 a share offer for PanAust, valuing the company at $1.11 billion. Guangdong said in a letter to PanAust shareholders that the offer provided them with the certainty of cash when there was a range of risks to its share price.

  • Aussie bonds firm as iron ore price slumps AAP - 11 hours ago

    Australian bonds have firmed as iron ore prices slumped to a seven-year low. This weakness in commodity prices is adding to expectations the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates in April to a new record ...

  • Aust shares fall on weak commodity prices AAP - 11 hours ago

    Australia's share market has tumbled more than one per cent as the energy sector bears the brunt of fresh falls in the oil price. Energy stocks fell more than 4.5 per cent amid talk of easing sanctions ...

  • Stocks to watch at close on Monday AAP - 12 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Monday: ANZ - ANZ BANKING GROUP - down 44 cents, or 1.2 per cent, at $36.36 CBA - COMMONWEALTH BANK - down $1.24, or 1.3 per cent, at $93.10 ...