BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has turned down a request by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for cheaper iron ore prices. According to The Australian, during a private meeting between the Chinese leadership and foreign business leaders, Li leaned over to Mackenzie and said "lower prices, lower prices." “I met him privately later and he kind of said it with a cheeky grin,” Mackenzie said, insisting it was a friendly quip. “[The] Chinese are becoming more comfortable with the way in which they get their supply from world markets. And they are more accepting about the price-setting mechanism that happens through many of the things that my predecessor (Marius Kloppers) and others have introduced.” Heather Ridout urges states to lease assets to super funds to pay for infrastructure Australian Super chairman and Reserve Bank Board member Heather Ridout has urged states and the federal government to follow the NSW model in leasing assets to superannuation funds in order to pay for new infrastructure. “The model in NSW where the government makes an asset available and uses the returns on that asset to reinvest is a good one. We need leadership at the state government level and also the federal level," Ridout said during a speech in Sydney. “Industry funds are ideally placed to invest in infrastructure because of our relatively passive investor base compared to retail funds.” US consumer credit grows, fails to meet analysts’ forecasts The US Federal Reserve has released new figures showing US consumer credit grew during June, albeit by less than the amount anticipated by analysts. The figures show total consumer instalment credit grew by $US13.8 billion to $US2.7 trillion, which was less than the $US15 billion rise tipped by analysts. However, revolving facilities including credit cards fell by $2.7 billion, with the loss made up for in non-revolving credit, including car and student loans, which grew by $US16.5 billion. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 15470.67. The Aussie dollar is down to US 89.97 cents.
New Reserve Bank of Australia board member Heather Ridout has accused the Greens of having a “hard-nosed, ideological stance” that threatens investment, jobs and living standards.
The review of the Fair Work Act is broad enough for people to get their views across, experts say, but the one-month timeframe and the Government's willingness to change the laws if need be are still in question, experts say.
Nearly eight in ten Australian manufacturing and services businesses have invested in new technologies in the last three years, with computer hardware and software the focus of most of the spending, according to a new report.
Employers are being urged to review the working environments of their employees, including home-based staff, with a new report revealing 90% of employees work in unsafe environments.
The Reserve Bank looks set to cut interest rates at its next meeting on Melbourne Cup Day, but not before it reviews the next inflation figures due on October 26.
The Australian dollar has dropped to its lowest level in 10 months, dipping to a low of US95.63 cents this morning, with the fall triggering a mixed response from struggling sectors.
The average business spends nearly 4% of its annual expenditure complying with regulation and one-third of businesses say the level of red tape hinders willingness to take on more employees, a survey has found.
Start-ups have been urged to review their health and safety policies, particularly in relation to home-based workers, ahead of a looming national OH&S regimen next year.
Labor’s new R&D Tax Credit was passed through the Senate yesterday with amendments brokered by the Greens, including a quarterly payment option for small businesses.
Employers are being encouraged to apply for government funding as part of the new $558 million National Workforce Development Fund, enabling businesses to purchase training for workers.
Retail sales fell unexpectedly in June as consumers remain nervous about the global economy – a sentiment also being felt by the business sector, particularly SMEs.
Business loan balances contracted by the biggest monthly amount in June since September 2010, the Reserve Bank has revealed, as business sentiment remains at a low.
Insolvency experts are urging retailers, manufacturers and tourism operators to downgrade growth targets in light of new insolvency figures revealing that those sectors are the hardest hit.
Small businesses will be exempt from petrol price increases under Labor’s carbon tax but industry groups are divided over the plan, with some saying it could distort the economy.
Employers are being urged to review their obligations ahead of a minimum wage rise that kicks in tomorrow, along with higher weekend penalty rates in some states.
Small businesses will be the main beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s $1.8 billion R&D Tax Credit, thanks to a request by the Greens that small firms receive quarterly cash incentives.
Less than a quarter of SMEs believe their business has been hurt by the rising Australian dollar contradicting claims that exporters have been badly hit by the currency’s strength, a new report says.
The Australian Trade Commission has announced it will shift its focus to emerging markets by removing some of its resources from North America and Europe.
Industry groups have welcomed Fair Work Australia’s “careful and methodical approach” in delivering equal remuneration for social and community service workers.