Financial Services Talking Points 18-02-16

financial talking points

Turnbull not beating ‘round the bush about a GST increase

Malcom Turnbull has reaffirmed government standing on rumours of a possible GST increase. Despite Senator Cash telling Sky News on Monday night that the idea has not be completely dropped, Turnbull firmly stated that the Australian Government “will not be taking a proposal to increase the GST to the election”. He said that the expected growth dividends will not result from the GST tax mix switch and that the dividend is somewhere between nil and very small. Turnbull’s firm stance was likely a retort to a statement made by Labor leader Bill Shorton on Monday where he accused the government of still being wedded to changing the tax. Click here for full article.

Penfolds and Wolf Blass making big strides in the Asian market

Treasury, the makers of both Penfolds and Wolf Blass, have experienced booming growth in recent months with total revenue rising 22 per cent in the first half to $1.138 billion. The company has lifted its interim dividend to 8₵ from 6₵ previously. With this trend in sales growth likely to continue, Treasury is estimated to surpass half the profits earned from the core Australia and New Zealand business. This growth has been attributed to Treasury’s Asian operations, where profit margins have reached a steady 30 per cent, pushing sales to an overall 72 per cent rise in first-half earnings to $146.8 million. Click here for full article.

$6.4 billion battle for Australian port and rail firm Asciano

Asciano said on Tuesday it was rejecting Canada’s Brookfield’s initial offer of A$8.9billion (US$6.3 billion) with Qatar’s sovereign fund in favour of a A$9billion bid from Qube Holdings Ltd in concert with China Investment Corp. Sources close to the deal say that Brookfield is intending to raise the offer to A$9.05 as soon as Thursday. Brookfield had expected to allow its original binding offer to lapse by 17th February so that it could raise the offer with new partners. Qatar’s fund has been buying assets around the world; if Brookfield is successful, this would be Qatar’s first deal in Australia. Click here for full article.

Rising unemployment creates doubts about Australia’s future economy

Unemployment in Australia has risen to 6.4 per cent, with the number of employed falling by 12,200. This is likely to have contributed to the Australian dollar hitting a near six-year low. A JP Morgan economist, Tom Kennedy, said that the recent ABS report was a “shocking report all round”. The report cited full-time employment falling by 28,100 in January with the number looking for work sticking close to 552,000. The report is more bad news for the federal government as it tries to relaunch itself after the defeat of this week’s leadership spill attempt. Click here for full article.