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THE AUSTRALIAN (www.theaustralian.news.com.au)
The chief executive of the Australian operations of
investment bank UBS, Matthew Grounds, yesterday said
he believed the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to lower
interest rates will start to reduce the gap between the booming
and underperforming sectors of the local economy in 2012.
Mr Grounds, who is also joint global head of investment
banking at UBS, added that small resources companies had found
it difficult due to the lack of institutional funding. Page 15.
Businessman Greg Poche has been revealed as the donor behind
a A$40 million grant to the Melanoma Institute of Australia,
although the philanthropist has insisted on shining the
spotlight on the centre's staff.
"The heroes are the modest geniuses of the institute
itself," Mr Poche said. Reg Richardson, chairman of the
institute and a long-time friend of Mr Poche, said the exposure
of the philanthropist's generosity could encourage others to
make "significant donations". Page 15.
The chief executive of Boeing, Jim McNerney,
yesterday said one of the aviation industry's greatest
challenges will be the ability of carriers to restructure,
either through targeting niche markets or consolidation.
"[Consolidation is] hard because you're putting together
combinations across national boundaries and airlines are often
viewed as national treasures," he said. Page 15.
Investors sent KBL Mining shares up 17 percent to
close at A27 cents yesterday after news broke that the company
had sold a 15 percent stake to foreign trader Guangdong Guangxin
The Chinese state-owned firm paid A$89 million for the
holding, which also grants it the right to acquire KBL's copper
output from the Mineral Hill mine in New South Wales. Page 17.
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (www.smh.com.au)
The Australian stockmarket closed lower yesterday, with the
S&P/ASX 200 Index being dragged down by another poor performance
from retailers. Stocks in JB Hi-Fi, Myer,
David Jones, Premier Investments, Harvey
Norman and Kathmandu have all lost a sizeable
chunk of their value this year, although some analysts see an
opportunity in the market's recent downturn.
Stuart Smith from broker Bell Potter yesterday said he
believed the stockmarket was significantly undervalued at its
current level. Page B13.
The former chief executive and founder of mining group
Oxiana, Owen Hegarty, yesterday reaffirmed his enthusiasm for
the resources sector, despite the market's recent turmoil. "If
we get frightened by a poor market then we are not doing our
job," he said.
Mr Hegarty added he was a "supporter" of junior explorer
Tigers Realm Coal, after acquiring 500,000 shares in the group.
"There are plenty of people who will tell you there is lots of
good value out there in the market . but here is one that I'm
absolutely committed to and know plenty about," he said. Page
A proposed joint marketing venture between Namoi Cotton and
the Chinese government-owned China National Cotton Group has
been postponed, the Australian cotton producer announced to the
The news saw investors push Namoi shares down by 11 percent
to A15 cents. "The complexity of the proposed joint venture
operations and the time frame associated with the oncoming 2012
season has resulted in the parties not being able to reach
agreement on all facets of the joint venture," Namoi said in a
statement. Page B14.
Fears about the European debt crisis saw the Australian
dollar yesterday fall nearly US1 cent before rebounding to
Robert Rennie, chief currency strategist at Westpac Banking
Corporation, said developments in Europe were the main influence
on the dollar's movements. "I would categorise the flow through
the morning as one of good selling of euro crosses," he said.
The price of gold also continued to fall, slipping by US$32.41
to finish the day's trade at US$1555.60 an ounce. Page B16.
THE AGE (www.theage.com.au)
A survey of 20 economists by The Age has uncovered an
expectation that interest rates will fall and the Australian
sharemarket will rebound in 2012. Michael Blythe, chief
economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, predicted Asia to
be "the stronger part of the global economy in the year ahead".
Shane Oliver from diversified financial services group AMP
warned that a risk to Australia was any reduction in demand for
commodities from China, a possibility should Europe slide into a
deep recession. Page B1.
Analysts have predicted the price of diamonds to outpace
gold over the next four years, with the spot price of the
precious gem expected to grow by 9 percent next year to US$145 a
carat, while gold was expected to decline from 2013 to 2016.
"Diamond prices have not been inflated by artificial demand
. therefore as countries like China and India keep growing .
more people will be able to afford diamonds," Rob Henderson,
chief economist at National Australia Bank, said. Page B2.
Derek Fisher, managing director of Moly Mines,
yesterday said the miner was hunting for takeover targets after
abandoning plans to establish the A$700 million Spinifex Ridge
molybdenum mine in Western Australia.
"We're on the prowl and there's a lot out there . we've got
two things that we're looking at very closely," Mr Fisher said.
Moly will continue to operate its Western Australian iron ore
venture. Page B3.
A panel of economists polled by The Age were divided over
whether Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan would be able to deliver a
budget surplus for 2012-13.
Nine forecasters predicted the Treasurer would succeed,
while one predicted a perfectly balanced budget and six forecast
a deficit. "Whether its achieved in 2012-13 or a year or so
later is neither here nor there given that Australia's budget
deficit is small by global standards and net public debt is
trivial," Shane Oliver from financial services group AMP said.