CEOs say big stick unlikely to be deployed

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Robert Guy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 17-Oct-19

Alinta CEO Jeff Dimery says the federal government’s legislation to force energy companies to divest assets will probably never be triggered. Dimery argues that conditions in the energy market would have to be dire for the ‘big stick’ legislation to be used. Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria has in turn questioned whether the legislation will increase energy affordability and reliability, while Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott has doubts about the effectiveness of the government’s Underwriting New Generation scheme.

CORPORATES
ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD

Savers come out second best as banks quietly slash interest rates on deposits

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 11-Oct-19

Lenders have cut interest rates on term deposits by between one and and 35 basis points since the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points on 1 October, according to data from ­RateCity. National Seniors Australia’s chief advocate Ian Henschke notes that a third of its members have their money in term deposits, with interest rates on term deposits now at their lowest since the 1950s. He claims that the federal government is "profiteering off the backs of pensioners", by not reducing the deeming rate.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, RATECITY PTY LTD, NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN

Big energy: big-stick rules hamper firm investment

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Simon Evans, Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: S1 & S2 : 10-Oct-19

Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria has told an energy summit that the federal government’s proposed legislation to force energy companies to divest assets is deterring investment in the sector at a time when it is urgently needed. The issue of government intervention in the energy market attracted criticism from some of the summit’s delegates, but Energy Minister Angus Taylor says such action is justified given the rise in electricity prices in recent years as renewable energy generation has increased.

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

Strong economies need profitable banks, says Wilson

Original article by James Frost, Vesna Poljak, Aleks Vickovich, Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 9-Oct-19

Wilson Asset Management chairman Geoff Wilson has rejected criticism of Australia’s major banks for failing to pass on the latest official interest rate cut in full. He contends that strong and profitable banks are essential for a strong economy, and he estimates that the sector’s earnings would be $4.5bn-$6bn lower if banks had reduced their mortgage interest rates by 0.75 per cent since June, in line with the Reserve Bank. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank chairman Robert Johanson has also dismissed claims by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the banks are profiteering by withholding interest rate cuts.

CORPORATES
WILSON ASSET MANAGEMENT, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN FOUNDATION INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED – ASX AFI, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Squeeze on banks a risk to economy

Original article by Jemima Whyte, Jonathan Shapiro, Aleks Vickovich, Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 4-Oct-19

The ANZ Bank’s chief economist Warren Hogan has rejected claims by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the nation’s major banks are ‘profiteering’ by failing to pass on the latest official interest rate cut in full to their home loan customers. He says the banks are merely seeking to protect their margins. Meanwhile, the Australian Banking Association has stressed the importance of ‘strong, stable and profitable banks’ to economic growth and the free flow of credit.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, HYPERION ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, UNISUPER LIMITED, IFM INVESTORS PTY LTD, EVANS AND PARTNERS PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Banks blasted for holding back on cuts

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 3-Oct-19

Westpac has reduced its mortgage interest rates by 15 basis points in response to the latest official interest rate cut, while the ANZ Bank has cut its rates by 14 basis points. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have criticised the four major banks for failing to reduce their mortgage rates in line with the 25 basis point reduction in the cash rate. Meanwhile, analysts warn that the banks’ margins will come under pressure due to official interest rate cuts.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, REGAL FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, SUNCORP BANK, MACQUARIE BANK LIMITED – ASX MBL, ATHENA HOME LOANS PTY LTD, RATECITY PTY LTD

‘We’re here to help’ pledge challenged

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 23 : 30-Sep-19

Australia’s commercial free-to-air TV networks argue that regulation of digital giants such as Google and Facebook is necessary. Nine Entertainment’s group director of regulatory affairs, Clare Gill, has stressed the need for a regulated response from the federal government, to ensure a level playing field for traditional media companies and digital platforms. Ten’s COO Annabelle Hird has expressed concern that digital platforms’ behaviour will not change unless they are subject to a code of conduct or monitoring by the ACCC.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, CBS CORPORATION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, INTERNATIONAL NEWS MEDIA ASSOCIATION

BHP backs government over Kyoto loophole

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 24-Sep-19

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie is said to have expressed support for the Coalition’s proposal to use Kyoto carryover credits to meet Australia’s carbon emissions reduction targets under the Paris agreement. Sources have confirmed that Mackenzie did so in a private call with institutional investors on 20 September, although a BHP spokesman has declined to comment. The Minerals Council of Australia and the Business Council of Australia also support the use of carryover credits. Mackenzie had advocated greater action to address climate change earlier in 2019.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, VISION SUPER PTY LTD, INVESTOR GROUP ON CLIMATE CHANGE, UNITED NATIONS

Albo to dump class war and try to charm business

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 6 : 18-Sep-19

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will speak at the Business Council of Australia annual forum at Parliament House on 18 September. It will be his first major speech to big business since he replaced Bill Shorten as Labor leader. His speech will indicate a desire by Albanese to work with big business, and will see him dump Shorten’s anti-corporate rhetoric. Albanese will also defend the right of big business to speak out on social issues, despite recent calls by the federal government for corporate Australia to "stick to its knitting".

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Always independent? Lapping it up with the Libs has Fairfax throwbacks foaming

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 4-Sep-19

Nine Entertainment Company’s newspaper journalists have criticised the media group for hosting a fundraising event for the Liberal Party. They contend that the event has undermined the newspapers’ charters of editorial independence, arguing that ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, ‘The Age’ and ‘The Australian Financial Review’ had been politically impartial under the ownership of Fairfax Media. Senior federal government ministers and business leaders were amongst those who attended the event, which raised $700,000 for the Liberal Party.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE