Printing body blasts Ovato over restructure, redundancies

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 12-Jan-21

Listed printing and marketing services firm Ovato has attracted further scrutiny over its restructuring plan. Taxpayers will bear most of the cost of 330 redundancies at Ovato, via the federal government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme; this follows the company’s decision to transfer these workers to corporate entitles that have insufficient funds to pay creditors. Members of the print industry have described Ovato’s restructuring plan as an ‘asset strip’, while Print & Visual Communication Association president Walter Kuhn says the government should have stepped in and insisted that Ovato must pay all redundancy costs.

CORPORATES
OVATO LIMITED – ASX OVT, PRINT AND VISUL COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION

Don’t cut support too quickly: Judo

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Weekend Australian – Page: 19 & 24 : 9-Jan-21

Judo Bank’s joint CEO Joseph Healy has warned of the potential for a surge in small business insolvencies in the June quarter. Healy notes that insolvencies are currently about 35 per cent lower than comparable periods due to factors such as COVID-19 support measures, and he has cautioned the federal government against phasing out support packages for the small business sector too quickly. Meanwhile, Healy is upbeat about the outlook for the small business-focused ‘challenger’ bank, despite the recent decision of rival Xinja to withdraw from the banking sector.

CORPORATES
JUDO BANK PTY LTD, XINJA BANK LIMITED

Business must lead China peace mission, top executives say

Original article by Damon Kitney, Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 : 5-Jan-21

Company directors taking part in a round table discussion organised by the Australian Institute of Company Directors contend business should take the lead in trying to improve Australia’s strained ties with China. Penny Bingham-Hall, who is a director of BlueScope Steel, Fortescue Metals and Dexus, says there are very good personal relationships between Australian businesses and Chinese businesses, while Coles director Wendy Stops said "upfront criticism" is not the way to deal with China. Amcor chair Graeme Liebelt says there is a risk Australia could get "caught up in the crossfire" between the US and China.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, DEXUS – ASX DXS, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Smelter offered millions to stay put

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 2 : 14-Dec-20

Alcoa’s aluminium smelter at Portland in Victoria will receive $76.8m from the Australian Energy Market Operator for load-shedding during periods of peak demand for electricity. The payments from AEMO’s Reliability & Emergency Reserve Trade scheme will be guaranteed by the federal government. Energy Minister Angus Taylor stresses that the payments do not constitute a subsidy; instead, they will compensate Alcoa for its role in stabilising the electricity grid. The deal will in itself not ensure the future of the smelter, which remains under pressure due to high energy costs.

CORPORATES
ALCOA INCORPORATED, ALCOA OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY MARKET OPERATOR LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

Upgraded NBN a more attractive takeover target

Original article by Sally Patten
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 28-Sep-20

Telstra chairman John Mullen has welcomed the federal government’s decision to upgrade the national broadband network by rolling out fibre-to-the-premises to more households and businesses. He says the NBN will be easier to maintain than the current hybrid system, which includes fibre-to-the-node and the existing copper network. Amid speculation that the NBN will eventually be sold, Mullen says the upgraded network will be more attractive to potential investors, including Telstra’s own infrastructure division. However, InfraCo would need to be demerged in order to buy the NBN.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS,INFRACO,NBN CO LIMITED

Stimulus sparks 15pc surge in company profits

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 1-Sep-20

Government stimulus measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme contributed to a sharp rise in gross operating profits in the corporate sector during the June quarter. Seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that operating profits rose by 15 per cent overall. However, sectors whose sales have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic recorded much bigger growth in profits; these include hospitality (86 per cent higher than the March quarter), arts and recreation (up 84 per cent) and retailing (up 31 per cent). Economists had expected a six per cent fall in profits.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Migration, tax reform key to revival

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Aug-20

The Australian Industry Group has urged the federal government to pursue major changes to the nation’s tax system. The employers’ group says long-term tax reform measures should include an overhaul of the goods and services tax, the abolition of mining royalties and replacing fuel excise with road-user charges. It has also called for scheduled personal income tax cuts to be brought forward and business income tax relief to be extended. The AiGroup also wants the migrant cap to be increased, with priority given to skilled migrants.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Business groups push to open international borders for economic boost

Original article by Jennifer Duke
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 20-Aug-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson is among the business leaders who have urged the federal government to re-open the nation’s international borders as soon as possible. He describes it as a "critically important step" in the Australian economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and he argues that domestic markets cannot sustain high employment and living standards. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox and Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott have also called for international travel restrictions to be eased as soon as possible.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Thatcher claim fighting words to Labor, ACTU

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 27-Jul-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has backed a push to extend temporary changes to the Fair Work Act for employers that will not be eligible for the JobKeeper scheme after September. He has urged Labor and the ACTU to support extending the emergency measures, which allow bosses to vary the hours an employee works and the duties they perform. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has expressed concern that the federal government wants to adopt an industrial relation policy similar to that of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Business in push to fast-track tax cuts

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Jul-20

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has used its pre-budget submission to call for comprehensive tax reform, including bringing forward legislated personal income tax cuts. The ACCI also advocates a gradual reduction in the JobSeeker allowance to pre-coronavirus levels, while it says the domestic economy will be vulnerable to further shocks for several years due to the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, a Menzies Research Centre paper argues that all of the national cabinet’s decisions on coronavirus lockdowns measures should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. The report by economists Henry Ergas and Joe Branigan was written before the new virus outbreaks in Melbourne and Sydney.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED