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Nov 17, 2010

Hunt hots up for next big digital thing | F & F I N | The Australian Business Briefing






Hunt hots up for next big digital thing
aus bus pix Zuckerberg Alexandra Frean THE SEARCH for the Twitter and Facebook of tomorrow is under way in Silicon Valley as venture capitalists hunt down the next big thing.
BHP confirms landmark rail talks
BHP David Fickling BHP Billiton and Atlas Iron have started discussions about co-operating on iron ore haulage and port access in the Pilbara.
Qantas A380 flight decision days away
Alan Joyce Steve Creedy, Aviation writer QANTAS is likely to decide in a few days when the first A380 will fly again after a final decision on whether 14 engines will be replaced.
Mining capex plans hit record $132.9bn
Mining David Fickling PLANNED capital spending in Australia's minerals and energy sector hit a record $132.9 billion, soaring 21 per cent in six months.
Axa directors recommend AMP bid
Axa APH Staff reporter AMP moved a step closer to winning Axa Asia Pacific today, with all six of Axa APH's independent directors now supporting the offer.
GM aims high with $US33 IPO price
aus bus pix GM IPO Sharon Terlep, Aaron Lucchetti and Randall Smith GM priced its historic IPO at $US33 per share, raising $US20.1bn in common and preferred stock in one of the largest US stock offerings.
China takes steps to control prices
China Andrew Browne and Alex Frangos CHINA says it is ready to clamp price controls on daily necessities to curb inflation, dusting off a measure from socialist central planning.
Arrow confirms toxins at gas project
Westside CSG deal David Fickling ARROW Energy has confirmed the existence of petroleum-related toxins in water samples around its Queensland gas project.
Financial Markets
Stocks edge up as BHP, Rio gain
sharemarket STOCKS edged into positive territory by early afternoon on light volumes as big investors sat on the sidelines awaiting more direction.
Wall St mixed as weak banks weigh
Gold dips on flat US consumer prices
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
BHP plays hard to get on Pilbara
Pilbara John Durie COLIN Barnett holds the cards as BHP Billiton blusters over its legal obligation to provide rail-haulage services in the Pilbara.
ERM Power seeks $100m in listing
Mt Gibson Iron set for change
More Mining & Energy Coverage

BHP Poised To Sign Pilbara Rail Deal. F & F I N : The Australian Business Brief

 
 
 
 
 
 

BHP poised to sign Pilbara rail deal
Iron ore Matthew Stevens BHP Billiton and iron ore junior Atlas Iron are believed to be in the final stages of a historic rail haulage agreement in the Pilbara.
 
Virgin checks out local hotel market
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson EXCLUSIVE: Damon Kitney RICHARD Branson's multi-billion-dollar Virgin Group has flagged a move into Australian hotels.
 
Rio sees commodity price risks in 2011
Tom Albanese Matt Whittaker RIO Tinto says the risk of commodity price volatility will extend into 2011 but China's moves to cool its growth are healthy.
 
Wall St mixed as retailers gain
Wall St UPDATE: Jonathan Cheng US stocks closed mixed in choppy trading today after a battering the day before, as gains among retailers offset sinking financials.
 
China takes steps to control prices
China Andrew Browne and Alex Frangos CHINA says it is ready to clamp price controls on daily necessities to curb inflation, dusting off a measure from socialist central planning.
 
Worley faces stiff rivalry on PSN
worley parsons EXCLUSIVE: Brett Clegg and Tracy Lee WORLEYPARSONS remains alret for offshore acquisitions but may have been trumped in its bid for global contractor Production Services Network.
 
QR likely to float at $2.50 or more
QR National Andrew Fraser THE bookbuild of QR National starts today with enough demand for the stock to guarantee a minimum price of $2.50 a share.
 
Gorman packages a good deal for Brambles
Chief executive of Brambles, Tom Gorman EXCLUSIVE: Tracy Lee TOM Gorman has spent just over a year as chief executive at Brambles, but it's already looking like the racing car fan will go the distance.
 
Financial Markets
Wall St mixed as retailers gain
Wall St UPDATE: Jonathan Cheng US stocks closed mixed in choppy trading today after a battering the day before, as gains among retailers offset sinking financials.
 
Gold dips on flat US consumer prices
China, Irish fears hit stocks
 
Financial Markets Coverage
 
Mining & Energy
Gold dips on flat US consumer prices
gold pour Tatyana Shumsky GOLD settled in the red today as flat US inflation data and a deteriorating debt situation in Ireland pushed investors to the sidelines.
 
Rio sees commodity price risks in 2011
Hot rocks at crossroads
 
More Mining & Energy Coverage

NBN, industrial espionage: F & F I N | The Australian Capital Circle




Capital Circle Newsletter
NBN, industrial espionage and gay marriage
Allegations of industrial espionage, intransigence over gay marriage and a show down over the NBN business plan are driving the day.

First off: THE builders of the Brumby government's $5 billion-plus desalination plant have funded Australia's most notorious strike-breaker and so-called "scab".  The secret operation allegedly spied on union members, union delegates, contractors and others. The Australian can reveal that an operation, named Pluto, was led by Tasmanian Bruce Townsend and his company Australian Security Investigations. (more from Hedley Thomas and Natasha Robinson).
Top talker: JULIA GILLARD has given the green light for Labor's national conference to be brought forward by more than six months so the party can have a full-blown fight over policy differences without hurting its election chances ... the Prime Minister has given the go-ahead for the conference to be held in the first week of December next year. With an election due in 2013, the conference would typically have been be held about July 2012. Ms Gillard told the Herald last night that it was ''too easy to use the national conference as an election campaign tool''. Bringing it forward ensured it would be ''a genuine forum for debate and a contest of ideas'' (more from Phillip Coorey)
The vote on the Greens MP Adam Bandt's motion on gay marriage will take place after 9AM today.
NBN Watch:  The federal government has failed to introduce crucial legislation mandating the installation of the fibre network into new property projects -- despite advice from the Department of Broadband that it must be urgently passed by parliament.
Labor will not release the NBN's business case until after Parliament has risen for the year (more here) and independent MPs are increasing the pressure on the Gillard Government to release it (Read more...

Fund industry objects to limits on certain fees. MarketWatch -Personal Finance Daily

MarketWatch

Personal Finance Daily
NOVEMBER 17, 2010

Wednesday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch



Don't miss these top stories:
Ah, holiday air travel. How fun is that? Rushing to reach the airport on time. Squeezing everything you need into your carry-on. Paring down your liquids to tiny bottles stashed in a Ziploc bag. Now there's more: You get to enjoy the "wow" factor of entering a full-body scanner and wondering how much the security people really do see when they strip you, in a virtual sense.

Or, if the X-rays worry you, you can decline that in favor of letting the security folks touch your body for a two- to four-minute pat down. Just the thing to get you in that holiday mood. Luckily, the head of the Transportation Security Administration told Congress on Wednesday that kids 12 and under won't get patted down (question: should the TSA really let the terrorists know that?).

Read our Travel stories today for more on what to expect when you head off for the holidays next week, plus lawmakers' response to the uproar over full-body scans, and our story on the great divide between airplane seats in economy versus business class. (You'll wish you'd paid up for that recliner.)

Also, don't miss our story on how a bill that aimed at eradicating gender-based wage discrimination failed in the Senate today, and see why the mutual-fund industry is objecting to limits on certain fees.

Fare thee well this holiday, travelers. All I can say is, the rewards of living within driving distance of family appear to be growing.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor

TRAVEL

Airport security roils Thanksgiving travelers

After licking their chops just a week ago over what is shaping up to be their biggest Thanksgiving weekend in years, the nation's airlines are now anxious over whether a public backlash against tighter airport security might spoil the holiday.
Read more: Airport security roils Thanksgiving travelers.


Airline seats: Posh upfront, cramped behind

Call it the Great Divide of airline accommodations. For more than a decade, airlines and their suppliers have been developing lavish premium-class seats to command higher ticket prices and drive up profits. Meanwhile, they've let economy-class seating devolve into something akin to a crowded park bench.
Read more: Airline seats: Posh upfront, cramped behind.


Airport security chief defends tougher screening

The chief of security for U.S. airports got the kid-gloves treatment in Congress Wednesday during a hearing on controversial new practices to screen passengers.
Read more: Airport security chief defends tougher screening.


CAREERS

Paycheck-fairness bill fails in Senate

A bill aimed at stamping out wage discrimination based on workers' sex failed Wednesday because too few senators voted to move forward with the legislation.
Read more: Paycheck-fairness bill fails in Senate.


HEALTH CARE

Medicare changes are coming

If you're a Medicare beneficiary, you have from now until Dec. 31 to switch your health and drug coverage if you find a plan you like better. MarketWatch's Kristen Gerencher details some of the plan changes that go into effect in 2011.
 Watch video: Medicare changes are coming.


INVESTING

Fund industry objects to limits on certain fees

The mutual-fund industry has come out firmly against securities regulators' efforts to change and cap certain fees now charged to some fund investors.
Read more: Fund industry objects to limits on certain fees.


Commentary: Market optimism is ominous sign

As if Tuesday's sell-off on the stock market weren't enough to be worried about, now comes some more ominous news. Global money managers have just turned dangerously optimistic.
Read more: Market optimism is ominous sign.


Vote for the MarketWatch CEO of the Year

This year, we're asking you — the readers — to select the chief executive officer who has done the best job for his shareholders, customers and employees in 2010.his year, you decide. For the first time, MarketWatch readers will determine whom we will anoint as our CEO of the Year.
Read more: Vote for the MarketWatch CEO of the Year.


ETF risks — real and imagined

The boom in exchange traded funds, or ETFs, has created unknown risks for investors, IndexUniverse.com Founder Jim Wiandt tells MarketWatch reporter Alistair Barr.
 Watch video: ETF risks, real and imagined.


REAL ESTATE

U.S. new-home construction off 11.7% in October

Construction of new U.S. homes sank in October to the lowest level in 18 months, but the number of building permits issued rose slightly, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Read more: U.S. new-home construction off 11.7% in October.


J.P. Morgan focused on mortgage fix: CFO

J.P. Morgan Chase Co. Chief Financial Officer Doug Braunstein said Wednesday the bank remains working very hard with regulators and enforcement officials about the investigations into home foreclosures, and that he is hoping for a conclusion soon.
Read more: J.P. Morgan focused on mortgage fix, CFO says.


ECONOMY & POLITICS

U.S. consumer prices up 0.2% in October

U.S. consumer prices edged up 0.2% in October as the growing cost of gasoline offset flat or declining costs in other parts of the economy, a report said Wednesday.
Read more: U.S. consumer prices up 0.2% in October.


Commentary: Republican bullies, Democratic wimps

You'd think Barack Obama would have learned the hard way that with bullies, taking a stand — and a punch — is the best way to show leadership, writes Rex Nutting.
Read more: Republican bullies, Democratic wimps.


Commentary: Why Ireland's troubles matter to you

Forget bank runs, Ireland's troubles are indicative of runs on entire nations.
Read more: Why Ireland's troubles matter to you.


Uneven recovery underway in Las Vegas

By most accounts and even some measures, Las Vegas seems to be finally bouncing out of its recent trough as visitor traffic improves and casino revenue, at least on the upper end, twitches upward.
Read more: Uneven recovery underway in Las Vegas.