Gail Kelly


THE NEWS WRAP: Disappointing post-election results for Harvey Norman

11:35PM | Monday, 4 November

Harvey Norman has posted a 1.2% increase in sales at its Australian stores during the September quarter, with chairman Gerry Harvey saying an expected post-election boom in sales failed to materialise.   “I don't think the result is good. Sales are up… but they're marginally up," Harvey says.   "We haven't got the kick from the election that we expected. There's been a little bit of a pick-up, it's only small.”   Westpac profit up 14% to $6.8 billion   Westpac has announced a full-year profit of $6.8 billion for the year to September, up 14% year-on-year.   The strong result places it ahead of the $5.5 billion reported by the NAB and the $6.3 billion reported by ANZ, but behind the $7.7 billion reported by the Commonwealth Bank.   “We will continue to remain disciplined, due to global uncertainties and structural change in the Australian economy,” chief executive Gail Kelly says.   “However, I'm encouraged by signs of improving confidence, which we expect to lead to increased lending activity, in particular in New South Wales.”   Reserve Bank expected to hold rates on hold   The Reserve Bank is expected to keep rates on hold when it meets later today, with all 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expecting no change.   The cash rate is currently at a historic low of 2.5%.   Overnight   The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.05% to 15623.39. The Aussie dollar is up to US95.17 cents.

THE NEWS WRAP: Possible $20 billion deficit next year prompts rate cut speculation

5:15PM | Monday, 6 May

The federal budget deficit could reach $20 billion next financial year, following a $17 billion shortfall in the current budget.   The news has prompted speculation about pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut rates at its official board meeting today.   “That case is the high Australian dollar, the lack of consumer confidence, the lack of business confidence, and the relatively low level of growth that's in the economy," Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly told The Australian.   Speculation George Soros could be shorting the Australian dollar   There is mounting speculation in financial markets that financier George Soros could be shorting the Australian dollar and was planning a raid ahead of the Reserve Bank’s official rate announcement later today.   “Someone ... seems to be betting on a rate. I've heard the George Soros rumour tonight. A billion dollars sounds like a lot, but it's not enough to move the Australian dollar and it's not a lot for George Soros, but there is a play happening in the FX market,” one Sydney-based foreign exchange trader told Fairfax.   "If it is him, it's probably a bet on a rate cut. These days a billion bucks can't do much to the Aussie.”   Tabcorp and Tatts threaten to sue the Victorian government over poker machine levy demands   Victorian Treasurer Michael O'Brien is demanding the full-year rate of $82 million in poker machine levies, rather than a pro-rata rate, despite the fact the companies ceased operating the machines 46 days into the financial year.   “The Health Benefit Levy is applied consistent with the Gambling Regulation Act, and has been levied in the same way for more than a decade. There is no discretion under the (legislation) to apply the levy in any other way,” a government spokesperson said.   The news has prompted the gaming giants to threaten legal action against the state government unless a lower pro-rata rate is applied.   “Tabcorp is considering whether to commence legal proceedings to ensure the levy is applied on a pro rata basis,” a Tabcorp spokesperson said.   Overnight   The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down slightly to 14968.9. The Aussie dollar is up to US102.53 cents.

THE NEWS WRAP: Financial markets hope for decisive victory either way in US election

3:04AM | Monday, 11 March

Voting is underway in the US presidential election, with the race considered too close to call, although most polls point in the direction of a narrow victory for incumbent Barack Obama.

No Cup day cut as interest rates hold at 3.25%

3:05AM | Monday, 11 March

The Reserve Bank has confounded expectations by leaving the cash rate unchanged at 3.25%, despite widespread predictions of a 25 basis point cut, and an appeal from Westpac chief Gail Kelly to help lift flagging consumer sentiment.

We put Small Business Minister Brendan O’Connor under the start-up spotlight

5:42AM | Wednesday, 23 May

Starting a business may feel like a solo struggle, but it may be of some comfort that smaller enterprises now have a representative at the top table of government for the first time in a decade.

Big four banks “couldn’t give a toss” about small business credit: O’Connor

5:10AM | Thursday, 17 May

The big four banks “couldn’t give a toss” about providing credit to new enterprises, federal Small Business Minister Brendan O’Connor has claimed.

Banks remain cautious over rate cuts

5:47AM | Thursday, 3 May

The Commonwealth Bank has become the second major lender that has failed to pass on the Reserve Bank’s interest rate cut in full, cutting its standard variable home loan rate by 0.4%.

Do you have the ability to thrive in ambiguity?

8:59AM | Monday, 15 August

Today, I heard Gail Kelly, CEO of Westpac, speak at a Westpac Women’s Luncheon, hosted by Larke Riemer, Head of Women’s Markets.

BRW executive rich list dominated by mining

3:46PM | Thursday, 24 March

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has bumped media mogul Rupert Murdoch off the top spot in this year’s BRW Executive Rich List, with mining companies dominating the list of Australia’s 200 wealthiest executives.

THE NEWS WRAP: Bryce calls for boardroom quotas to break Australia’s ‘old boys’ club’

3:53PM | Monday, 7 March

Governor-general Quentin Bryce has called for boardroom quotas to break the ‘old boys’ club’ mentality in Australian businesses.

THE NEWS WRAP: Australian business leaders express optimism over the global economy

1:13AM | Monday, 31 January

Australian business leaders have expressed their optimism over the global economy following the conclusion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

THE NEWS WRAP: Westpac latest ‘big four’ bank to hint that interest rates will rise

12:47AM | Monday, 6 December

Westpac has become the latest of the ‘big four’ banks to hint that interest rates will have to rise.

THE NEWS WRAP: Australian dollar hits a record breaking high of US99.18 cents overnight

12:52AM | Tuesday, 7 December

The Australian dollar is on the verge of parity with the US dollar after surging to its highest level since it was floated in 1983.