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SP AusNet’s subsidiaries remain on CreditWatch with negative implications

Posted by gasweek on 11 October, 2007

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said that its ratings on SP AusNet Group (SP AusNet; A/Watch Neg/–) and SP AusNet’s subsidiaries remain on CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were initially placed on March 30, 2007. This update comes after SP AusNet’s board agreed to acquire assets formerly owned by Alinta Ltd. (BBB/Watch Neg/–) from parent Singapore Power Ltd. (AA/Watch Neg/–) for more than A$8.1 billion.

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Posted in Finance, South Australia, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Iron ore prices forecast to rise by between 20 per cent and 50 per cent after BHP abandons contract and goes for spot price, for new sales

Posted by gasweek on 11 October, 2007

Analysts predict iron ore prices to rise by between 20 per cent and 50 per cent — consensus estimates fall at about the 30 per cent mark. According to Michael Vaughan, in The Australian Financial Review, (4/10/2007), p. 15, BHP Billiton would be able to add more than $US500 million ($563 million) to its pretax profit by selling its additional iron ore production in 2007-08 on the spot market should it not convince customers to compensate it for the reduced freight costs of its iron ore.

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Posted in Finance, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

State and Fed Govt financial-reporting harmonised; AASB looks at more onerous standards for private companies, non-profits

Posted by gasweek on 11 October, 2007

The accounting standards-setter has agreed to harmonise Federal and State Government financial reporting and progressed talks with New Zealand to ensure the two countries’ standards were “as similar as possible”, wrote Patrick Durkin in The Australian Financial Review (8/10/2007, p.8).

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Posted in Finance, NZ, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

November oil delivery at $US83.17 a barrel: sliding US dollar draws investors to commodities as alternative investments

Posted by gasweek on 10 October, 2007

Crude oil traded near $US83 a barrel, after rising the most in four months as the sliding US dollar drew investors to commodities as alternative investments. “There are investors moving into physical assets to try and protect themselves against the weakening dollar,” said Tom Hartmann, commodity broker at Altavest Worldwide Trading. “Heating oil supplies may start to become a concern, especially with the low utilisation rates [reported by refiners],” reported The Australian Financial Review, 29/9/2007, p. 47

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Posted in Finance, oil, Price, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

US dollar drops below Canadian dollar; low-value dollar makes long term Treasury bonds less attractive

Posted by gasweek on 5 October, 2007

The US dollar dropped below the Canadian dollar last week and was barely hanging on to parity now, reported David Cho in The Sydney Morning Herald (27/9/2007, p. 27). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Canada, Finance, Gas, US, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Australia’s most successful indigenous financial conglomerate, Centrecorp, controls assets of more than $100 million; little evidence of spending on beneficiaries

Posted by gasweek on 3 October, 2007

A key figure in Australia’s most successful indigenous financial conglomerate, Centrecorp, was a co-shareholder in one of its largest investments, L. J. Hooker in Alice Springs, according to The Age (21/8/2007, p. 4).

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Posted in Finance, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

Former ACCC chair attacks Fed Govt reforms of predatory pricing laws: swinging pendulum too far in favour of small business

Posted by gasweek on 28 September, 2007

The former chair of the Aus­tralian Competition and Consumer Commission, Allan Fels, attacked the Federal Government’s reforms of predatory pricing laws, and said they have swung the pendu­lum too far in favour of small business and may drive up con­sumer prices, wrote Steven Scott in The Australian Financial Review (25/9/2007, p.8). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Finance, Gas, Regulation, Retail, Volume 2602 | Leave a Comment »

Bank of England offered emergency loans to Northern Rock; customers ignored assurances that bank was solvent, but raced to withdraw more than £2 billion

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

Last week the Bank of England offered emergency loans to Northern Rock, the nation’s fifth-largest mortgage lender, in­sisting that it was willing to help British banks overcome the liquid­ity crunch but would not under­mine market discipline by bailing out the shareholders of banks that ran into trouble. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Finance, UK, Volume 2601 | Leave a Comment »

Carbon-exposure survey of Aus companies: BHP, Rio, BlueScope, Qantas account for half top-200 emissions

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

A survey of the carbon exposures of Australia’s top 200 listed companies conducted for institutional investor VicSuper found three out of four did not disclose comparable emissions data, wrote Peter Hannam in The Age (26/9/2007, p.2). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Emissions, Finance, Volume 2601 | Leave a Comment »

Rating agencies do double-take: In July Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch downgrade hundreds of CDOs from A+ and BB to as low as CCC pushing them into junk status

Posted by gasweek on 21 September, 2007

But there are some curious default probabilities in S&P’s latest CDO model, released in mid-2006, which seem to suggest that historic or “idealised” defaults differ widely for corporate bonds, asset-backed securities and CDOs with the same rating, reported The Australian Financial Review (20/9/2007, p.68). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, Finance, Gas, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »