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THE NEWS WRAP: Banks called on to pass on rate cut

Wednesday, 2 May 2012 | By Oliver Milman

Business industry groups are calling on the big banks to pass on yesterday’s Reserve Bank 50 basis point interest rate cut.


The RBA has lowered rates to 3.75%, their lowest level since 2009, with the bank’s governor, Glenn Stevens, hinting that the large cut was made to allow commercial banks to ease their own rates.


The Australian Industry Group said that the big banks should pass on the cut, pointing out that it will help Australian exporters and non-mining sector business. 


Howard in China trade warning


Former Prime Minister John Howard has warned Australian businesses to not become “mesmerised” with China.


In a speech to a mining group in Western Australia yesterday, Howard said: “When you look at the Australian economy over the last forty to fifty years, it’s fair to say that we owe more to Japan than we do to China."


“In more recent years China has overtaken Japan and has become the best market for Australia.”


“There is no reason why that shouldn’t continue, there’s a reasonable expectation that that should continue, but we shouldn’t lose reality when it comes to China. The world runs the risk of being mesmerised by China.”


Murdoch labelled “unfit” to run business


A committee of British MPs has labelled Rupert Murdoch “unfit” to lead a major media organisation in the UK.


The finding, on Murdoch, his son James and three other executives, comes in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that resulted in the closure of the News of the World.




The Dow Jones industrial average was up 65.69 points, or 0.50%, to 13,279.32. The Australian dollar edged down to 103.24 US cents.