Victoria risk of blackouts as grid wilts

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Aug-19

The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that there is a significant risk that Victoria will face electricity blackouts during the 2019-20 summer. It has released a report which notes that the state will not meet the required standard for electricity supply reliability during the coming summer months, citing factors such as unplanned outages at AGL Energy’s Loy Yang power station and Origin Energy’s Mortlake gas plant. AEMO also says there is a high risk of blackouts in Victoria over the next decade unless there is increased power generation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY

Discrimination rise feeds gender pay gap

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 22-Aug-19

Research by KPMG has concluded that discrimination against women accounts for 39 per cent of the gender pay gap. The research also found that although women are just as likely as their male colleagues to ask for a pay rise, women are much less likely to actually receive an increase. Workplace Gender Equality Agency director Libby Lyons says addressing the gender pay gap requires action on the issue of "ingrained" gender stereotypes.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. WORKPLACE GENDER EQUALITY AGENCY, GLASSDOOR INCORPORATED

Potash bull sees upside in BHP push at Jansen

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 22-Aug-19

BHP expects to have a capital expenditure budget of about $US8bn for fiscal 2021, and CEO Andrew Mackenzie has indicated that less than $US500m will be allocated to the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia and the Jansen potash project in Canada. A decision on whether to proceed with the Jansen project is likely within 18 months. Getting it to the production stage is slated to cost between $US5.3bn and $US5.7bn, and Tal Lomnitzer of Janus Henderson says rising global demand for food means the project will deliver long-term benefits for BHP and its shareholders.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, JANUS HENDERSON GROUP PLC – ASX JHG, ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

PM expects Pell to be stripped of his honours

Original article by Liz Main, Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-Aug-19

Cardinal George Pell may seek special leave to appeal to the High Court after Victoria’s Court of Appeal rejected his bid to have his conviction on historical child abuse charges overturned. The court ruled 2-1 against Pell’s appeal, and legal experts say the dissenting judgment by Justice Mark Weinberg may increase the chances of special leave being granted. Justice Weinberg ruled that Pell’s conviction should have been overturned. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Pell could be stripped of his Order of Australia. Pell was jailed for a minimum of three years and eight months in March.

CORPORATES
COURT OF APPEAL (VICTORIA), HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL

Shorten’s union faces probe over inflated figures

Original article by Brad Norington
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Aug-19

The Australian Worker’s Union is under scrutiny over its membership data, with the issue being the subject of long-running correspondence between the union and the Registered Organisations Commission. The ROC asked the AWU to undertake an internal audit of its membership numbers in 2018, amid concerns that the numbers may have been overstated. A preliminary analysis shows that the AWU had 69,786 members in 2017, compared with 139,329 in 2012. Former Labor leader Bill Shorten headed the AWU prior to entering parliament in 2007.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GETUP LIMITED

Chinese trade pullback could cost $25bn

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 22-Aug-19

Andrew Boak of Goldman Sachs warns that the fallout from the US-China trade war could eventually hit Australia. He says growing tensions between Australia and China could potentially result in a sharp fall in Chinese demand for key Australian exports, including education and commodities such as iron ore and coal. Goldman Sachs suggests that in a worst-case scenario, lower Chinese demand could reduce Australia’s GDP growth rate by 130 basis points in 2020.

CORPORATES
GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Fixed rate falling to new lows under 3pc

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 21 : 22-Aug-19

Australia’s residential property market has received a boost in the lead-up to the key selling season, with a number of banks reducing their fixed mortgage interest rates to new lows. Greater Bank has slashed its one-year fixed rate to just 2.79 per cent, while some owner-occupier loans offered by St George and the Bank of Melbourne have been reduced to 2.94 per cent. Sally Tindall of RateCity cautions that fixed home loan interest rates may fall even lower, given that the Reserve Bank may further reduce the cash rate.

CORPORATES
GREATER BANK LIMITED, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED, BANK OF MELBOURNE LIMITED, BANK OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RATECITY PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, CANSTAR PTY LTD

PM commits warship, planes to Gulf mission

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Simon Benson, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 22-Aug-19

The federal government will join a US-led coalition that aims to protect oil tankers when passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The national security committee approved Australia’s participation on 19 August; the nation’s contribution to the coalition will include a frigate, a surveillance aircraft and 187 personnel. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed the need to safeguard the nation’s oil supplies and to protect global sea lanes. He notes that 30 per cent of Australia’s refined oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, UNITED STATES. DEPT OF STATE, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, GROUP OF SEVEN (G-7), AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Where’s the crisis? Westpac skewers talk of quantitative easing

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 22-Aug-19

Lyn Cobley, the head of institutional banking at Westpac, says unconventional monetary policy was necessary in response to the global financial crisis. However, she says there is no need for the Reserve Bank to pursue quantitative easing at present, as the Australian economy and the nation’s banking system are "far from crisis". She adds that Westpac’s senior institutional bankers generally agree that further reducing interest rates would have little impact on the borrowing and investment intentions of their clients.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Claims of underquoting an odd sign of a market rising

Original article by Su-Lin Tan, Nila Sweeney
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 34 : 22-Aug-19

Some buyers’ advocates have expressed concern that the residential property market is again being affected by underquoting. Melbourne-based Scott Hall notes that there has been a significant decline in underquoting by real estate agents since legislation to crack down on the practice was introduced in 2017. Real Estate Institute of New South Wales CEO Tim McKibbin agrees that underquoting has become less prevalent in recent years.

CORPORATES
THE REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF NEW SOUTH WALES, FAIR TRADING NSW, VICTORIA. DEPT OF JUSTICE AND REGULATION. CONSUMER AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS VICTORIA, RAINE AND HORNE PTY LTD