Tuesday , September 26 2017
Breaking News


Australian gas supply crunch squeezes east coast LNG exporters

Morocco to shortlist 3 firms for LNG imports deal

MELBOURNE: The Australian government on Monday warned that the country’s east faced a worse-than-expected natural gas shortfall in 2018, but the competition watchdog said the gap could easily be filled by diverting uncontracted exports to the local market. It is now up to the government to decide by Nov. 1 whether to pull the trigger on its Australian Domestic Gas ... Read More »

Commonwealth Bank of Australia eyes IPO for money management unit


CANBERRA: First State Investments is under strategic review by its owner, Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The Sydney-based bank’s money management business is known in Australia as Colonial First State Global Asset Management. Options under consideration include an initial public offering, said a news release on the bank’s website. First State has A$219 billion ($175.2 billion) in assets under management. “This ... Read More »

Australia’s Origin Energy to trial blockchain power trading


CANBERRA: One of Australia’s largest utility providers is working with blockchain startup Power Ledger to test a new energy trading platform. Origin Energy works in a number of energy fields, including power plant operation, natural gas processing and both commercial and domestic power delivery. As such, the project will see the company using the trial platform to connect customers who ... Read More »

Australia c.bank sees no “automatic implications” from global rate hikes


SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank does not have to follow a general move globally to raise interest rates, Governor Philip Lowe said on Thursday, as policymakers keep a watchful eye on the dangerously high levels of household debt. Global rate rises would ultimately flow through to the country but the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has the independence to decide on ... Read More »

Australia-Indonesia free trade talks going round in circles


JAKARTA: The latest press conference on free trade deal negotiations between Australia and Indonesia felt a lot like Groundhog Day. Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo and Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita proudly told the assembled media that Indonesia will reduce tariffs on imported Australian raw sugar and Australia will eliminate import duties on Indonesian herbicides and pesticides. Only problem is ... Read More »

Australia watchdog takes aim at LNG exporters

lng logo

MELBOURNE: Australia’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday the country’s east coast gas exporters have not done enough to shore up local supply, in a warning shot ahead of a decision by the government on whether to curb LNG exports in 2018. The comments by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims hint at what the watchdog may recommend to ... Read More »

Australia’s central bank sees solid jobs growth ahead


CANBERRA: Australia’s central bank expects to see solid employment growth ahead as the economy gradually picks up, while noting risks from housing debt outpacing household income. In minutes of this month’s policy meeting, where interest rates were left unchanged, the Reserve Bank of Australia gave no signal policy was set to change any time soon. The RBA’s board again highlighted ... Read More »

Australian Taxation Office looks to the cloud to end crashes as tech exec quits


CANBERRA: The ATO has lost a key tech executive, but says a plan to push into cloud computing will make it perform better and avoid a future recurrence of its tax-time crash. Long-standing Assistant Commissioner for service operations Craig Fox, who has been helping the ATO devise its move to host its systems in the cloud, has resigned after 34 ... Read More »

Australia, China seek to boost economic ties as US pulls back


CANBERRA: Australian and Chinese officials held talks in Beijing on Saturday aimed at tightening trade and economic ties between the two countries, just as the Donald Trump administration increases scrutiny on the trading practices of the world’s biggest exporter. The two nations worked across “a whole range of issues, starting off first and foremost with our combined commitments to grow ... Read More »

Australia shares set to trade in a narrow range, NZ flat

enhance trade relations

CANBERRA: Australian shares are expected to shuffle sideways on Friday, reflecting the mixed stance on Wall Street where the Dow struck a record high while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged lower. Oil prices picked up while iron ore prices sank after data showed that China’s crude steel output hit a record in August. The local share price index futures ... Read More »

South Australia’s unemployment rate drops to 5.7% for August, best in five years


CANBERRA: South Australia’s unemployment rate has continued its marked improvement, dropping to the lowest rate it has been since 2012. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the state’s seasonally adjusted employment rate has plummeted by 0.5 percentage points to 5.7 per cent in August, its lowest since November 2012. The drop comes on top of a 0.4 percentage points decrease ... Read More »

Australian Newcastle coal prices hit 2017-high on strong Asian demand

newscastle port

CANBERRA: Australian coal cargo prices for export from its Newcastle terminal hit a 2017-high of $103.5 per tonne at their last close, driven by strong Asian demand. The Newcastle free-on-board (FOB) contract is seen as a benchmark for Asian thermal coal prices. In particular, robust demand is coming from China, the world’s top consumer, where August imports rose to 25.27 ... Read More »

Australian Tax Office plans TP probe of pharma sector


CANBERRA: Senior officers from the Australian Taxation Office are to undertake a broad review of the transfer pricing practices of Australia-based subsidiaries of pharmaceutical companies. In a September 7 statement, the ATO said it is “assessing a range of domestic and international tax risks associated with related-party financing, thin capitalization, intellectual property migration, consolidation, business restructures, and research and development.” ... Read More »

CBS Paying A$201.1m for Australia’s Ten Network


CANBERRA: CBS Corp is paying A$201.1m ($162m) for Ten Network Holdings, according to a report from the embattled Australian company’s receivers. The US broadcaster said late last month that it had agreed to buy the Australian television network, fending off a rival offer linked to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Details of the transaction, released today as part of a report ... Read More »

Australia focusing on pharmaceutical industry tax, transfer pricing practices


CANBERRA: The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced September 7 that it is conducting an in-depth review the tax and transfer pricing practices of the pharmaceutical industry to make sure that the correct amount of tax is being paid. A team of senior officers has been tasked with conducing the review, the ATO said. The assessment covers related party financing, thin ... Read More »

Australian gov’t rules out tax cut for electricity bills amid energy price crisis


CANBERRA: The Australian government on Thursday ruled out making the electricity bills tax-free, voting down legislation which would have resulted in the 10 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) being removed, giving relief to Australians from rising energy costs. Australia is currently in the middle of an energy price crisis, with annual prices hundreds of dollars higher compared with 12 ... Read More »

Australia trade surplus continues to narrow in July on fall in resources exports


CANBERRA: Australia’s trade surplus continued to sharply narrow during the month of July, driven by a broad-based weakness in the value of resources exports, down 2.2 percent m/m in July, with lower exports of other mineral fuels (-12.4 percent m/m) driving the change. Import growth was weaker, helping the trade surplus, with the recent strength in the AUD likely to ... Read More »

Australian economy shows solid expansion in June quarter


CANBERRA: Australia’s economy shrugged off the effects of a cyclone in March to grow strongly in the second quarter, helped by soaring business confidence and higher commodity prices. Gross domestic product grew by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter from the first quarter and 1.8 per cent from a year earlier, new data shows. Economists had expected 0.9 per ... Read More »

Australian gas exports continue to rise


CANBERRA: Australia’s natural gas output reached a record 3 770 PJ in 2017, up 27% on the 2016 financial year, energy market analyst EnergyQuest reported on Wednesday. EnergyQuest CEO Dr Graeme Bethune noted that gas production from the east coast was catching up with demand, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) production and domestic gas production in the region both increasing ... Read More »

Australia’s central bank holds fire as economy on rebound

Sun reflects off the front door sign of the Reserve Bank of Australia building in Sydney in this July 5, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files

SYDNEY: Australia’s economy likely rebounded sharply last quarter as exports and public spending proved surprisingly upbeat, an outcome that would cheer the country’s central bank which left interest rates at record lows on Tuesday. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kept rates at 1.50 percent since last easing in August 2016 as it bets on a pick up in ... Read More »