O’Dwyer lashes out at ‘tricky’ insurers

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 21 : 27-Jul-17

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has criticised the way life insurance providers have handled requests by superannuation fund members to opt out of life and disability coverage via their super fund. O’Dwyer says life insurers have been "tricky" regarding the issue of opting out. She also argues that life insurers must demonstrate that the products they offer have value to super fund members, and notes that such coverage may not necessarily be relevant to people under the age of 25.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Canavan crisis is bad for Adani

Original article by Matthew Stevens
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 26 : 27-Jul-17

Matt Canavan’s decision to step aside as Resources Minister over dual citizenship concerns could have implications for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine. Canavan is a keen advocate of both coal and the Carmichael project, and he is highly likely to have approved a federal loan to Adani via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. A final investment decision on the first stage of the Carmichael project is conditional on NAIF funding for the rail line component of the project. The question of whether the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism will be triggered in 2018 is also uncertain after Canavan stood aside.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, ADANI ENTERPRISES LIMITED, ADANI MINING PTY LTD, NORTHERN AUSTRALIA INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, GLADSTONE LNG PTY LTD, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIAN PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION ASSOCIATION LIMITED, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

‘No quick fix’ in tax plan for family trusts

Original article by Joanna Mather
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 27-Jul-17

There is speculation that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will propose subjecting family trusts to the same tax regime as companies. However, Bob Deutsch of the Tax Institute has questioned the merits of such a strategy, arguing that the dividend imputation system means that some beneficiaries of a trust would entitled to a full refund of the taxes paid. The recommendations of the Ralph Review of Business Taxation in 1999 included taxing trusts in the same way as companies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE TAX INSTITUTE, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GREENWOODS AND HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD

‘Dangerous’ bank levy may have domino effect: Bligh

Original article by David Crowe, Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 27-Jul-17

Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Anna Bligh has expressed concern that more state governments could implement their own version of the federal levy on banks. The levy is intended to boost government revenue by $A6.2bn, but Bligh has told the National Press Club that this impost could double if all states introduced their own levy. Bligh also supports Peter Costello’s call for banking industry executives to justify their high salaries, while she has questioned whether a royal commission into banks – as advocated by Labor – is appropriate and necessary.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Plea to revive growth economy

Original article by Laura Tingle
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 10 : 27-Jul-17

Members of the Business Council of Australia’s board have called for the corporate tax rate to be reduced in order to lift the nation’s economic growth rate to at least three per cent. They argue that the economy needs to expand at such a rate to increase wages and create jobs. BCA president Grant King adds that regulatory and industrial relations reform is necessary to encourage jobs growth, particularly given the impact of digital disruption on the labour market.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Sims urges energy price competition

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 27-Jul-17

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says state governments have contributed to the spike in electricity prices over the last decade. He cites factors such as appeals against the Australian Energy Regulator’s decision to reduce electricity network tariffs, mergers between electricity retailers and generators, and high solar feed-in-tariffs. Sims has also called for measures to curb the market dominance of established electricity retailers, such as making it easier for more companies to enter the market.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET COMMISSION

More MPs under threat

Original article by Mark Kenny
The Age – Page: 1 : 27-Jul-17

Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale says an audit should be taken to determine the eligibility of all federal MPs to hold public office in the wake of the dual citizenship saga. University of New South Wales law expert George Williams says more MPs may fail the eligiblity requirements under section 44 of the Constitution. This would have major implications for the Federal Government, given that it has a one-seat majority in the lower house.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Small caps ‘offer best opportunity’

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 24 : 27-Jul-17

Allan Gray Australia’s Simon Mawhinney is upbeat about the outlook for small-capitalisation stocks, forecasting that they are set to outperform their larger peers. Smaller Australian companies have tended to have lower returns over the last several decades, but Mawhinney expects non-S&P/ASX 100 companies to outperform over the next five years. Allan Gray particularly likes stocks such as Capral, Mineral Deposits and HT&E.

CORPORATES
ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 100 INDEX, CAPRAL LIMITED – ASX CAA, MINERAL DEPOSITS LIMITED – ASX MDL, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, ALUMINA LIMITED – ASX AWC, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, METCASH LIMITED – ASX MTS, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 300 ACCUMULATION INDEX

RBA dampens rate cut hopes

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 27-Jul-17

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has signalled that the central bank will maintain its inflation target of 2-3 per cent. Meanwhile, new data shows that CPI growth in the June quarter was below expectations at 1.9 per cent, although growth in core inflation was in line with forecasts at 1.8 per cent. Shane Oliver of AMP Capital expects the RBA to leave the cash rate at 1.5 per cent until at least the end of 2018.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, THE ANIKA FOUNDATION

Copper prices tipped to reach boomtime high

Original article by Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 20 : 27-Jul-17

The copper price has risen to its highest level in two years, at around $US2.84 a pound, due to factors such as supply constraints and China’s economic growth. Freeport-McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson says rising demand for copper is likely to push the price of the metal above $US4/pound for the first time since 2011. He notes that a mooted large increase in global copper supply in 2016 did not eventuate, and he add that developing new copper mines is not viable at prices of $US2.50/pound or less.

CORPORATES
FREEPORT-McMORAN COPPER AND GOLD INCORPORATED, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, OZ MINERALS LIMITED – ASX OZL