BHP retreats from contract mining

Original article by Matthew Stevens
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 30 : 6-Dec-18

The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance abandoned the direct employment model for workers at its Queensland coal mines in 2015. Contract labour now accounts for about 60 per cent of the work undertaken at BMA’s coal mines. However, the BHP Group-led joint venture has advised that it will directly employ 350 workers at the Daunia and Cavel Ridge mines in the Bowen Basin. BMA’s move may indicate that union influence at its Queensland coal mines is declining, and the new model is likely to be rolled out at BMA’s other mines in the state.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, BM ALLIANCE COAL OPERATIONS PTY LTD, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, DOWNER EDI LIMITED – ASX DOW, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WORKPAC PTY LTD, CHANDLER MACLEOD GROUP LIMITED, HAYS PERSONNEL SERVICES (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, CORE STAFF, LINKED GROUP, MONADELPHOUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX MND, ONE KEY RESOURCES PTY LTD

BHP weighs options in pursuit of growth

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 22-Nov-18

BHP’s CFO Peter Beaven has told investors that the resources group has made changes to its capital allocation policy over the last five years, after several ill-fated investments. He added that BHP is ready to start investing again and stressed the need to ensure a balance between over-investing and under-investing, as both can destroy shareholder value. Beaven also indicated that BHP is looking at a number of growth options for its existing portfolio.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Catalano reveals plans for $800m Fairfax asset sales

Original article by John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 22-Nov-18

Former Domain CEO Antony Catalano has outlined his strategy for Fairfax Media if his legal challenge to its merger with Nine Entertainment Company succeeds. Catalano has proposed to divest the bulk of Fairfax’s assets, allowing it to focus on core assets such as its metropolitan mastheads and its controlling stake in Domain. Amongst other things, Catalano estimates that streaming video service Stan could fetch around $300m and Fairfax’s stake in Macquarie Media could be sold for at least $180m.

CORPORATES
FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED – ASX FXJ, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, THORNEY OPPORTUNITIES LIMITED – ASX TOP, THORNEY TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED – ASX TEK, UPDATER INCORPORATED

Forrest says Fortescue will embrace new energy, AI

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 16-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest says the pure-play iron ore miner views thermal coal as a 20th century energy source and it will only invest in "new energy". Forrest adds that Fortescue is also committed to investing in automation and artificial intelligence, and says such technology should be embraced rather than feared. Fortescue is deploying automated haulage trucks at its iron ore mines in the Pilbara. A decision on a proposed expansion of its Iron Bridge magnetite concentrate joint venture is expected by the end of 2018.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, CHINA BAOWU STEEL GROUP CORPORATION LIMITED, FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION

CBA to turn fully green by 2030

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 14-Nov-18

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia aims to source 65 per cent of its electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2019, with a target date of 2030 for becoming solely reliant on renewables. As part of this strategy, CBA has secured a 12-year deal to source 96,000 megawatts annually from the Sapphire wind farm. CBA estimates that its direct emissions have been cut by 54 per cent since 2009. The bank will also become the first Australian company to join the global RE100 initiative, whose members have agreed to fully transition to renewables by 2050.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RE100, CWP RENEWABLES, PARTNERS GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, THE CLIMATE GROUP, CDP, SONY CORPORATION, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS, LYFT INCORPORATED, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY

BHP backs Scarborough project

Original article by Matt Chambers
The Australian – Page: 20 : 25-Oct-18

Woodside Petroleum aims to commence development of the Scarborough gas field in 2020, after buying ExxonMobil’s stake earlier in 2018. Development of the project will boost the struggling petroleum division of BHP Billiton, Woodside’s partner in Scarborough. Steve Pastor, the head of BHP’s oil and gas operations, says the resources giant is upbeat about Scarborough, whose development had stalled under the joint ownership of ExxonMobil. BHP’s oil and gas production could fall to its lowest level in 20 years in 2018, following the sale of its US shale assets.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, ENERGY INTELLIGENCE GROUP INCORPORATED, ORGANISATION OF PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES

Coles shifts focus from price to convenience

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 16-Oct-18

Coles’ Little Shop plastic groceries promotion helped it to achieve a 5.1 per cent increase in same-store food sales in the September quarter, as did its free plastic bags offer. However, new MD Steven Cain said it is unlikely to achieve the same sort of growth in the December quarter. With Coles in the process of becoming a stand-alone company as it demerges from Wesfarmers, Cain says his priorities include making life easier for customers by adopting new convenience store formats and improving its online business.

CORPORATES
COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Lion to ditch struggling dairy, stick to brewing

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 11-Oct-18

Australian beverages group Lion has flagged plans to divest its Lion Dairy & Drinks division in order to focus on its brewing assets. Lion CEO Stuart Irvine is upbeat about the outlook for Lion Dairy & Drinks in the wake of a turnaround program, but he adds that the Japanese-controlled company has opted to focus on other growth areas following a review of the dairy assets. Lion is particularly bullish about its prospects in the global craft beer market. Lion Dairy & Drinks’ brands include Pura milk, Dare Iced Coffee and King Island cheese.

CORPORATES
LION PTY LTD, LION-DAIRY AND DRINKS PTY LTD, KIRIN HOLDINGS COMPANY LIMITED, LITTLE CREATURES BREWING PTY LTD, FOURPURE, SAPUTO INCORPORATED, FONTERRA CO-OPERATIVE GROUP LIMITED, BEGA CHEESE LIMITED – ASX BGA, PARMALAT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WARRNAMBOOL CHEESE AND BUTTER FACTORY COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED, MURRAY GOULBURN CO-OPERATIVE COMPANY LIMITED

Banks urged to slash branches to offset rising costs

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 19 : 8-Oct-18

Morgan Stanley argues that Australia’s major banks could generate significant savings by closing bank branches and placing greater emphasis on mobile banking. This is one of four scenarios outlined in a new report; however, Morgan Stanley notes that banks are unlikely to significantly reduce the cost of their networks in the next year, given that the sector is under scrutiny at present. Morgan Stanley adds that the major banks could potentially generate large savings by reviewing their multibrand strategies.

CORPORATES
MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Ten lines up rebrand ahead of upfronts

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 8-Oct-18

The Ten Network is expected to release details of its strategy under new owner CBS Corporation at its annual "upfronts" on 31 October. Ten is preparing an overhaul of its branding, which is said to include minor changes to its logo and a repositioning of its digital channels with a view to targeting specific audiences. The network will also launch its Ten All Access subscription video-on-demand service later in 2018, while Ten is also establishing an in-house advertising sales team.

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, CBS CORPORATION, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK PTY LTD, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS