Garry Barker and Leon Gettler - Australian Share Market Losing Streak - Talking Business 2010 Ep 23c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary

Leon and Garry look at the performance of the Australian share market, ending the year lower and producing the longest losing streak in two and half years. This will affect returns for super funds. Meanwhile the government is moving to a settlement with the miners while Telstra is trying to reinvent itself as a service company ahead of the NBN. Surf wear company Billabong makes a $110.4 million acquisition in the US and Virgin Blue has declared war on Qantas with plans for an increased Canberra presence and an attack on the Qantas corporate market. Major banks to cut discounts on mortgage rates to recover their costs which have escalated because of the European debt crisis. Australian paint maker Wattyl agrees to a takeover from US paint giant Valspar. G20 leaders cobble together an accord but the meeting still creates much discord in the ranks. Caltex says the stronger Australian dollar will cut its profit by 50%. ASIC will have the power to chase banks charging excessive mortgage exit fees and Citigroup has asked regulators to investigate a hoax email sent to news organizations claiming the bank was about to acquire a controlling stake in Telstra. Two signs of recovery, shareholders to get a better return on their dividends while Ford and Holden put on more employees. The recovery in home building in Australia is set to stall and fall 3% according to the HIA while data shows house price rises are starting to taper off. Westpac becomes the first company to make superannuation contributions to people taking parental leave, Tatts group runs into problems in Britain with a $140 million writedown on its Talarius poker machine business. David Jones is attacked by shareholders for its $1.5 million payout for disgraced former chief executive Mark McInnes. Optus chief executive Paul O’Sullivan is paid $4.5 million, more than Telstra’s David Thodey and questions are being raised about Downer EDI massaging its accounts.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler
RMIT, Business, Economics,