Packer, Ho told to front Crown inquiry

Original article by Deborah Cornwall
The Australian – Page: 3 : 22-Jan-20

Businessman James Packer has been ordered to appear before the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s inquiry into Crown Resorts’ casino operations. Macau-based gambling tycoon Lawrence Ho has also been asked to appear before the inquiry, which was prompted by Packer’s decision to sell a 19.9 per cent stake in Crown to Ho’s Melco Resorts. This deal will be scrutinised by two of the inquiry’s five separate hearings, amid concern that the transaction could potentially breach Crown’s NSW gambling licence. Other hearings will examine issues such as allegations of money-laundering.

CORPORATES
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, MELCO RESORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED, NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT LIQUOR AND GAMING AUTHORITY

NAB hit with class action on super rip-off

Original article by Aleks Vickovich
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 & 17 : 22-Jan-20

A class action lawsuit will contend that National Australia Bank’s superannuation customers incurred substantial losses due to the bank’s tardiness in shifting them to a MySuper product. Law firm Maurice Blackburn will argue that NAB subsidiaries MLC Nominees and NULIS Nominees breached their duties as superannuation trustees by keeping customers in funds that had higher fees than MySuper products. The allegations were first raised before the Hayne royal commission in 2018.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, MLC NOMINEES, NULIS NOMINEES (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Massive clean-up bill set to top $320m

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Jan-20

Insurers are facing another hit in the wake of the bushfires crisis, with storms wreaking havoc in several states on 20 January. Some 29,000 claims for storm damage have been received to date, including more than 16,000 arising from a hailstorm in Canberra. A hailstorm in New South Wales has also resulted in about 2,900 insurance claims, while storms and flash flooding in Victoria have prompted more than 9,800 claims.

CORPORATES
INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Bushfire loans, grants should be easier to get, small businesses say

Original article by Nick Bonyhady
The Age – Page: Online : 22-Jan-20

Small business owners in bushfire-affected areas have criticised the excessive amount of paperwork required to apply for the federal government’s concessional loans and grants. Shadow small business minister Brendan O’Connor says the government needs to provide greater clarity as to eligibility for the grants and loans, and when businesses will begin to receive financial assistance. The government will also make 10 financial counsellors available, but O’Connor says this is clearly inadequate given that the bushfires have affected about 200,000 small businesses.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

PM: cut fire fuel, not just emissions

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Jan-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison argues that undertaking bushfire hazard-reduction burns is just as important as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, he notes that unlike carbon emissions, there is no national system for reporting progress on reducing fuel loads in national parks and forests. The issue of prescribed burning has come under scrutiny in the wake of the bushfires crisis, which has claimed 29 lives to date. Labor leader Anthony Albanese claims that climate change has contributed to the intensity of the bushfires and the length of the bushfire season.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Henry sharpens BHP’s iron will

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 & 20 : 22-Jan-20

BHP still expects its 2019-20 iron ore production in the Pilbara to be within the range of 273 to 286 million tonnes, after reporting output of 137 million tonnes for the first half. This suggests that production in the second half could be up to 149 million tonnes. BHP received an average of $US78.30 per tonne for iron ore in the first half, which is 41 per cent higher than previously. Meanwhile, BHP has advised that production at its Mount Arthur coal mine in New South Wales was affected by the drought and bushfires during the first half.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP

Streaming services deliver surge in internet data downloads

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 22-Jan-20

Data from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission shows that internet users’ data downloads increased by 47 per cent in 2018-19. The ACCC has indicated that growing use of subscription video-on-demand services was a major contributor to the sharp increase in data usage. The ACCC also notes that 88 per cent of the data downloaded during the financial year was via fixed broadband services, while the proportion of broadband plans with unlimited data has risen from six per cent in 2014-15 to 57 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, KAYO SPORTS, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, OPTUS SPORT

Rate cuts not working says CBA economist

Original article by Sarah Turner
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 27 : 22-Jan-20

National Australia Bank’s chief economist Alan Oster says the Reserve Bank needs to reduce official interest rates twice in 2020 in order to stimulate the economy. He expects the first rate cut to be in February. The Commonwealth Bank’s chief economist Michael Blythe also anticipates a rate cut in February, although he opposes such a move. Blythe contends that the three rate cuts in 2019 have not been effective, and they have resulted in outcomes such as a decline in consumer confidence.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Music to replace sport talk at Nine

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 : 22-Jan-20

Nine Entertainment Company intends to phase out its Macquarie Sports Radio network, which has not resonated with consumers. Nine will instead relaunch former radio station brands such as 2UE in Sydney and Magic in Melbourne. The Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane will adopt a music format, featuring songs from the 1970, 80s and 90s. Nine has advised that the stations will honour their existing sports broadcasting rights contracts.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE SPORTS RADIO, RADIO 2UE SYDNEY PTY LTD, MAGIC FM

Bushfire experts say it’s time to revisit Black Saturday recommendations and stop people rebuilding in highly dangerous areas

Original article by Loretta Florance, Norman Hermant
abc.net au – Page: Online : 21-Jan-20

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires recommended a voluntary buy-back of properties in high-risk areas. However, then-premier John Brumby did not accept the recommendation, although the buyback idea was adopted with significant modifications by new premier Ted Baillieu after the Coalition was voted into government in 2010. Melbourne University fire ecologist Kevin Tolhurst says there are some parts of the Australian bush where houses should never have been constructed – or rebuilt.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE