ASIC a cash cow gouging millions in excessive fees

Original article by Anthony Klan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 24-Apr-18

Data shows that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission generated revenue of $A801.7m in fees during 2016-17, while it issued $A118.5m worth of fines. ASIC received a total of $A341.6m in federal government funding for the financial year, down from $A350m in 2012-13. However, the government has since ended taxpayer funding of ASIC in favour of an industry-funded system. The government had previously announced in 2014 that ASIC’s funding would be reduced by $A120m over four years.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Rudd cautions Shorten over CFMEU

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 24-Apr-18

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has dismissed suggestions that he is too close to the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says Shorten should distance himself from the militant union, as he did when he was in office. Meanwhile, Workplace Relations Minister Craig Laundy says Labor’s industrial relations policy is being driven by unions and will result in job losses. Labor intends to scrap the Australian Building & Construction Commission if it wins the next election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION

Fuel and education could flatter CPI result

Original article by Vesna Poljak
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 24-Apr-18

Analysts are expecting Australia’s consumer price index for the March quarter to be up 0.5 per cent when official figures are released on 1 May. This figure would mean an annual CPI increase of 1.9 per cent. Andrew Ticehurst of Nomura, who has proven to be the most accurate forecaster taking part in Bloomberg’s survey, is tipping a headline figure of 0.6 per cent. Ticehurst thinks increases in education, fuel, electricity and tobacco costs will have the most impact on the CPI result.

CORPORATES
NOMURA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BLOOMBERG LP, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Turnbull vows to go harder on the banks

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 24-Apr-18

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull concedes that it was a "political error" not to have set up a banking royal commission in 2016. However, he states that the inquiry now has much wider terms of reference than it would have had at that time. The Federal Government has cracked down on the sector in recent years, with reforms such as the Banking Executive Accountability Regime and a requirement that bank executives appear before a parliamentary committee on a regular basis. Turnbull has committed to implementing any additional reforms that are recommended by the royal commission.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

ABC gives soft-sell China website the chop

Original article by Primrose Riordan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 24-Apr-18

The ABC will shut down a series of news websites that are published under the Australia Plus banner, including a Mandarin-language version of the site. There have been allegations in the past that a version of the site that is accessible in China has censored content that is critical of the Chinese government. A spokesman for the public broadcaster said the closure of the Australia Plus sites is in response to a review of the ABC’s digital assets.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Newcrest gives up gold to replace tailings dam

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 24-Apr-18

Newcrest Mining was forced to halt operations at its Cadia mine in New South Wales after a wall in its northern tailings dam was partly breached in March. It has since resumed production, but at reduced levels, due to the limitations of its southern tailings dam. Newcrest has now been given conditional permission to dump tailings in part of its old Cadia Hill open pit mine while it looks at how best to fix the northern tailings dam. However, its decision means forgoing potential resources of up to 270,000 tonnes of unmined copper and up to three million ounces of unmined gold.

CORPORATES
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS

Barossa fires up Santos hopes of Darwin LNG

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 24-Apr-18

The partners in the Barossa gas field have committed to undertaking front-end engineering and design work on the project, with a view to making a final investment decision by the end of 2019. The partners propose to process gas from Barossa at the Darwin LNG plant, which will be underutilised when the Bayu-Undan gas field is depleted in coming years. Santos has a 25 per cent stake in the Barossa gas field and an 11.5 per cent stake in the Darwin LNG project.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, CONOCOPHILLIPS, SK GROUP, HARBOUR ENERGY LIMITED, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

Emergency key to $1bn costs shift

Original article by Sean Parnell
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Apr-18

Health insurers claim that they are being billed more $A1 billion a year for treatments in public hospitals that patients are otherwise entitled to receive for free. Much of the problem appears to lie with emergency admissions, with a 144 per cent increase in private emergency admissions over the past decade. The number of public patient admissions in the same period has only risen by 26 per cent. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has made it known that he wants changes to the way that emergency departments operate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH, QUEENSLAND HEALTH

CBA looks at selling advice firms

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 24-Apr-18

The Commonwealth Bank is said to be reviewing its ownership of the Count Financial and Financial Wisdom financial planning groups. An announcement on a possible sale of the two groups could be made in the second half of 2018. The banking royal commission’s revelations have prompted banks to consider their ownership of financial planning groups, amid concern about the potential for conflicts of interests. The CBA paid $A373 million for Count Financial in 2011, while it assumed ownership of Financial Wisdom when it acquired the Colonial Group in 2000.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COUNT FINANCIAL LIMITED, FINANCIAL WISDOM LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COLONIAL GROUP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

Three lawsuits looming for AMP

Original article by Ben Butler, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 24-Apr-18

AMP has declined to comment on reports that it may face multiple class action lawsuits after the misconduct of its financial planners was exposed by the banking royal commission. Slater & Gordon and Shine Lawyers have advised that they are considering class actions on behalf of AMP clients, while Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan expects to launch its own class action within weeks. Meanwhile, the inquiry has been told that many clients who received poor financial advice from AMP have yet to be informed that they have lost money.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, SHINE LAWYERS, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, PROPERTY SAINT, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION