UK House Prices and Executive Pay - Talking Business 2011 Ep 19b

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

Garry and Leon talk about the Euro, UK house prices and executive pay. In Australia, home owners are spared a June interest rate increase, for now. Australian retailers face their worst financial year in two decades. Melbourne’s first Zara store opens. New home loans rise by 4.8 per cent in April. Housing affordability has increased over the past year thanks to sizeable falls in property prices and wages growth, but the proportion of first home buyers falls to a 17 year low. Mineral exploration spending jumps in the March quarter. The unemployment rate remains steady at 4.9 per cent. The 11 billion deal for the National Broadband Network is to be completed next week. Former Victorian premier John Brumby and Howard-era minister Alexander Downer join the Australian board of Chinese telco giant Huawei. The Gillard government suspends all live cattle exports to Indonesia. The humble cheque to go the way of the ill-fated Bankcard, with the banking industry set to review the long-term future of paying by paper. Sigma’s underlying earnings to rise almost 20 per cent. The security of hundreds of thousands of electronic key fobs used by Australian banks and their customers, the Defence Force and organisations such as the Tax Office to access computer systems is in doubt after a cyber attack. Virgin Australia announces a deal with Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways Ltd top cut a deal with China Eastern Airlines and American Airlines, Qantas chair Leigh Clifford denies there is a rift between himself and CEO Alan Joyce, Qantas expects more fare increases going forward due to higher oil prices, despite the recent hikes in fares and Tiger Airways is under investigation. The International Energy Agency predicts Australia will be the world's largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas by 2020. The fourth attempt by Clive Palmer's Resourcehouse mining company to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange has been called off. Former Leightons chief Wal King will not seek a seat on the company's board. Mining veteran Andrew Forrest approaches the court to stay as head of his company. Disgraced former HIH chief Rodney Adler is back in business after three and a half years out of jail. New South Wales records the largest number of new start-ups among the states in the March quarter but is also the state with the greatest percentage of failures, according to a new report. The number of job advertisements in May posts their largest monthly drop in more than two years. A private gauge of Australian consumer prices points to a slight easing in inflation pressures. Iluka shares have soared after the mineral sands producer announced a new price deal with titanium dioxide customers. Constructor and property developer Lend Lease Group says it has won two pieces of work worth a total of more than $1 billion. Queensland's Galilee Basin will become the site of a multi-billion-dollar thermal coal mine planned by Meijin Energy, China's largest private coke producer. The mining industry has established a fund specifically designed to finance court challenges opposing rulings by Fair Work Australia, setting the stage for a confrontation with government over industrial relations. Newcrest Mining says problems at its big Lihir Island goldmine in Papua New Guinea could wipe out $170 million of full-year revenue. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is set to investigate broking-style services not licensed by the Australian Securities Exchange. The $5.8 billion MTAA Superannuation Fund, one of the country's largest superannuation funds, is under investigation.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler