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Business News - Business, finance, political, & economic news.

Corporate Finance DealsView all

Pilbara signs new lithium buyer

Pilbara Minerals has signed a five-year offtake agreement with China-based Yibin Tianyi to supply lithium from its Pilgangoora project in Western Australia.

Strandline completes $6.5m raising

Strandline Resources has completed a raising announced in January, while Southern Gold has cut the size and pricing of a planned capital raising.

MinRes in $30m asset sale

Mineral Resources boss Chris Ellison has struck a deal with his brother Andrew Ellison’s company to sell two of its non-core manganese assets while also providing project funding and mining services assistance.

Ramelius reaches 50.5% interest in Spectrum

More than half of Spectrum Metals shareholders have accepted $208 million takeover by Ramelius Resources, resulting in a wholly unconditional offer.

Nordgold makes $227m Cardinal move

Russia-based Nordgold is looking to expand its operations in Africa by making a takeover bid for Cardinal Resources after increasing its stake in the West Perth-based company to nearly 20 per cent.

Politics & the EconomyView all

Government urged to widen wage subsidy criteria

Concerns have been raised that eligibility criteria for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s $130 billion bailout plan for business is too restrictive and many businesses with spiralling revenue projections could miss out, and with Parliament in recess, first payments are unlikely to be available until May at the earliest.

$130bn wage subsidy scheme revealed

Businesses and non profits suffering big falls in turnover will receive subsidies of up to $1,500 per worker per fortnight under the federal government's new Jobkeeper program, with up to 6 million people to be supported.

Confronting challenges with an eye on the future

Flexibility and clarity are two attributes business leaders need in times of economic upheaval.

Early sign of traction in COVID-19 fight

Movement in major city centres has dropped 80 per cent in the past two weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today, while flagging development of a policy to hibernate businesses until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

COVID-19 daily wrap: 26 new cases in WA

Roger Cook has confirmed 231 COVID-19 cases in WA. The state government will fund $3 million to coronavirus-related research. There will be easier access to some prescription medicines. New maternity hospital will be deferred.

PropertyView all

No ‘how-to’ guide on DIY rent relief

The operator of Metropolis Fremantle says the nightclub faces a difficult rebound from COVID-19 if and when it can begin operating again, with a stalled rent negotiation a demonstration of the uncertainty building over commercial property leases.

Perth house values up 0.5%

The value of Perth’s houses increased 0.5 per cent in the month of March, strengthening the recovery underway for the past six months, but the onset of COVID-19 means the recent gains are unlikely to continue.

Plan B for Cape Peron

Planning is again under way to determine the best use of Cape Peron, two years after Planning Minister Rita Saffioti put the kibosh on DevelopmentWA and Cedar Woods Properties’ contentious Mangles Bay Marina joint venture proposal.

Project pause for Finbar as uncertainty takes hold

Apartments developer Finbar Group has put new project launches on hold, including its $365 million Civic Heart in South Perth, and withdrawn its profit guidance as uncertainty spreads throughout the property sector.

Seven West tests for asset sale

Seven West Media is understood to have gauged market interest for its Osborne Park property assets, but any sales process has likely been placed on hold because of continuing economic turmoil.

Arts & CommunityView all

Minderoo pledges $160m for COVID-19 response

Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation is flying in tonnes of medical supplies from China and increasing COVID-19 testing in Western Australia, as part of a rescue package announced today.

Arts sector says the show must go online

The performing arts sector is coming up with new ways to ensure people are entertained, in light of government restrictions on indoor events attended by 100 people or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VisAbility happy to be home

A Victoria Park disability service provider was under financial pressure and planned to sell its specifically adapted building to stay viable, until management devised a new plan.

Perth Festival aims for visitor boost

Ambitious plans to attract more visitors from outside Western Australia for next year’s Perth Festival and beyond are top-of-mind for executive director Nathan Bennett.

Kosmic Sound offered lifeline

After going into liquidation in February, Kosmic Sound has been saved by South Australian business Dale Cleves Music Group, shortly after another iconic WA brand Jeanswest was also rescued.

EnergyView all

Forrest joins consortium to buy Windlab for $68m

Andrew Forrest has added to his diverse business portfolio, purchasing global renewable energy development company Windlab in a consortium with Sydney-based Federation Asset Management.

$241m saving for gas users

Domestic gas users will benefit by as much as $241 million over five years under Australian Gas Infrastructure Group’s latest pricing proposal for the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

Waste projects shift the dial

Western Australia is leading the country in the adoption of waste-to-energy projects, with $1.2 billion being invested in two path-breaking facilities under construction.

Seven hydrogen projects secure study funds

Kununurra and Mandurah could be hubs for renewable hydrogen production, while the gas could be blended with natural gas already supplied through the state’s main transmission pipeline, as part of a series of projects revealed today.

Australia becomes world’s largest LNG exporter

Australia has edged out Qatar to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on an annualised basis, according to national consultancy Energy Quest.

Food & WineView all

Hospitality sector plans for uncertainty

Hospitality businesses are making difficult decisions about whether to stay open and offer takeaway options or close.

Foodie fights the viral downturn

Regulars at Rachael Torre’s cafe and convenience store Wholefood Circus would notice the differences as the hospitality entrepreneur adapts to the new environment, simultaneously seeking to save her business and “feed half of the Western suburbs".

Gage Roads increases packaged beer production

Gage Roads Brewing Company has increased its weekly production of packaged products by 80 per cent to meet a recent surge in demand but has cut production of draught beer and withdrawn its earnings guidance because of the uncertain outlook.

Alcohol restrictions considered, hospitality sector shuts down

Volume restrictions on alcohol sales will be required to ensure staff safety and avoid public panic buying, according to Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods.

Entertainment venues hit by new rules

A growing number of hospitality venues are either closing or revising their operations, after the Prime Minister announced the ban of all non-essential gatherings of 100 plus people. The ban is effective immediately and will impact religious services.

Special ReportsView all

Pandemic special report

Pandemic special report

30 March 2020

We assess the economic impact of COVID-19 on the state of Western Australia.

Digging in as pandemic pain hits
Corporates act to ease pressure
ICT sector - COVID19

ICT sector - COVID19

23 March 2020

How has Western Australia's ICT industry responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Virus creates new ICT opportunities
Cyber security on the front line
Great for the State 2020: A Caring Society

Great for the State 2020: A Caring Society

16 March 2020

Taking action to help Western Australia's most vulnerable should be a priority for everybody.

Homelessness: the view from the street
Strong support for battling addiction
Smarter welfare to engage all
Thinking beyond beds for mental health
Land developers 2020

Land developers 2020

16 March 2020

Major players optimistic recovery is taking hold

Optimism back but risk remains
Resources driving industrial rebound
Density debate reaches  the ’burbs
Junior miners 2020

Junior miners 2020

10 March 2020

Capital for the junior mining sector is drying up amid growing concern the traditional business model for small explorers is broken.

Investors balk at juniors risk

MiningView all

Flinders seeks $14.5m

Emerging iron ore company Flinders Mines is looking to raise up to $14.52 million under a non-renounceable rights issue, with the funds primarily used to repay a loan from its major shareholder Todd Corporation.

Woodside drops 14-week FIFO roster

UPDATED: Woodside Petroleum has dropped plans for a 14-week fly-in, fly-out roster after presenting the option to its staff, opting instead for a less radical change as the oil and gas giant, along with mining companies, seeks to reduce the amount of travel to its remote sites.

Rio awards Primero $20m in extra work

Engineering company Primero Group has secured further work with Rio Tinto under $20 million in contract variations, while at the same time maintaining its full-year earnings guidance.

Red 5 to raise $125m

Goldminer Red 5 is raising $125 million from a two-tranche share placement to fund the final feasibility study for its King of the Hills gold mine in Western Australia.

Buru Energy maintains production

Buru Energy said today it has maintained production at its Ungani oil project in the Kimberley but has joined other resources companies, including Australian Vanadium, in cutting salaries, directors fees and other spending to preserve cash during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OpinionView all

The soft side of capitalism has to be on display

This is a big moment for capitalism in democracies, especially Australia, which sits somewhere between the genuine version of the US and virtual socialism across big parts of Europe.

Delayed decisions can cost

Investors seem wary of a couple of WA stalwarts, with a lack of timely decision-making in a changing marketplace part of the problem.

Curveballs can be a positive

Western Australian Kate Leeming recently embarked on a cycling expedition through the Andes in South America, but the pandemic cut this short and she had to make a mad scramble to get out of Bolivia before the borders were shut. Here’s her story:

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Pownall and Mark Beyer discuss the market update, Nev Power, Premier's inner circle, leisure sector, retail, mining challenges, Woodside, and our special report on the pandemic impact on WA.

Tech, trust and discipline needed for home work

Some people find transitioning from an office environment to working from home difficult, but it needn’t be.

RetailView all

Webjet, Kathmandu announce capital raisings

Online travel agency Webjet will raise $275 million and retailer Kathmandu Holdings will raise $201 million, to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

Woolies hiring 20,000, others flag cuts

Woolworths is creating 20,000 new jobs to meet a surge in demand but the list of companies shutting stores and standing down staff continues to grow.

More retailers shut down in COVID-19 crisis

Just Jeans, Peter Alexander and Smiggle are among several Australian brands set to close their doors tonight due to the COVID-19 crisis, while commercial landlord Dexus has withdrawn its earnings guidance for 2020.

Michael Hill to close all 304 stores

Retailer Michael Hill International will close all 14 stores in Western Australia as part of its move to suspend operations nationwide, and in New Zealand and Canada, amidst growing COVID-19 concerns.

Wesfarmers unable to quantify impact

Wesfarmers has disclosed that nearly every part of its business has been affected by COVID-19, with Bunnings and Officeworks doing better while Target is suffering.

SkylineView all

Skyline

Property Council WA supports efforts to ease virus pain

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer has offered the State Government industry support to protect incomes, jobs and solvency.

Project 90K sets out bold vision for Perth’s CBD

Property Council WA has unveiled a bold vision to set aside the areas needed for foundation infrastructure to support a central Perth population of three times its current level.

Property Council WA advocates for affordable medium density

Perth’s so-called missing middle must be affordable and well-designed, Property Council WA says.

Primewest selects Sheffield to manage significant Perth office assets

Primewest has appointed WA-owned commercial office specialist Sheffield Property to manage a key group of office assets in the city.

Reclaiming residential: How Perth is going bill-free, mixing up our communities and helping the homeless

The Property Council of Australia's Reclaiming Residential conference in March will showcase the changing face of suburban residential living.

Bulls N' BearsView all

Bulls N' Bears

Anglo back on site at Mandilla

Anglo Australian Resources has managed to get a drilling program going at its Mandilla project near Kalgoorlie in WA as many mining and exploration companies come to terms with operational restrictions as a result of COVID-19. The company has started on a program of three diamond drill “tails” that will test the extents of gold mineralisation at Mandilla East to 200m. It will also drill 27 RC holes at the project.

Venus eyes new gold targets at Bellchambers

Venus Metals has completed a heliborne EM survey over its Bellchambers gold project east of Sandstone in WA. The company has zeroed in on ten new high priority targets that are sitting on the Western Ridge ‐ Mickey Well gold mineralised trend. It has identified 25 new targets in total at Bellchambers as a result of a recently completed “Xcite” airborne electromagnetic survey.

Novo increases exposure in Victorian goldfields

Novo Resources is continuing to execute on its strategy of picking up nuggety gold projects and has increased its presence in the goldfields of Victoria, famed for its long and rich mining history. Novo has entered into a deal that could see it land up to 75% of GBM Resources’ Malmsbury gold project and just over 4% of the ASX-listed company.

88 Energy oil well reaches total depth with good early shows

ASX-listed oiler, 88 Energy, has logged multiple hydrocarbon shows over several prospective oil zones whilst drilling its highly anticipated “Charlie-1” oil appraisal well on Alaska’s oil-rich North Slope. The well has now reached total depth and the company said its hydrocarbon zones are looking remarkably like the oil zones identified in a nearby offset well. With drilling operations now complete, wireline logging is underway.

Legend nails Fraser Range hole

After a year or two of scientific vectoring in on a nickel ore body in the famed Fraser Ranges, things are hotting up now for ASX-listed Legend Mining after it hit what may well be pay dirt in its latest drill campaign at the Rockford project. The company said this week it had hit an impressive, combined 42 metres worth of nickel and copper sulphides intersected at the Mawson prospect.

Most viewed people

Nev Power

Nev Power

Non-Executive Chair, Foundation for the WA Museum
Non-Executive Chair, Perth Airport
Non-Executive Deputy Chair, Strike Energy
Executive Chair, National COVID-19 Coordination Commission
Chair, Federation Board, Royal Flying Doctor Service

Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

MLA - Rockingham, Parliament of WA
Leader, Australian Labor Party WA
MLA, Rockingham District
Premier, Minister for Public Sector Management, State Development, Jobs and Trade, Federal-State Relations, Parliament of WA
Premier, Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Premier, Public Sector Commission
Vice Patron, Leadership WA
Vice Patron, Auspire - Australia Day Council of WA

Jane Halton

Jane Halton

Non-Executive Director, ANZ Banking Group
Non-Executive Director, Clayton Utz
Non-Executive Director, Crown Resorts
Board Member, National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

Greg Combet

Greg Combet

Non-Executive Director, ME - Former ME Bank
Board Member, National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

Catherine Tanna

Catherine Tanna

Board Member, Reserve Bank of Australia
Board Member, National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

Thought LeadershipView all

Digital transformation a boost for business

As technological advancements continue to accelerate at pace, businesses are faced with the reality of constant innovation and transformation, but what does that actually look like?

Flexible Workspaces

True to the long history and traditions of the company, the new workplace of this international oil and gas company was inspired in both the work style and design by their cultural origins.

Is it time to outsource your ICT? Get support during COVID-19

Outsourcing your Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) services to a specialist solutions provider is something to be embraced in the age of rapidly changing technology.

Online Learning Can Work if it is Designed for Gen Z

Lessons from Crimson Education, online learning experts. As the global pandemic COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has spread, the fast-growing virus has begun disrupting education, forcing schools to question how to best educate students remotely.

APIL finds renewed confidence in Perth’s office market

Market commentators are reporting that the Perth CBD office market is on the road to recovery, but it will take more than positive comments to restore investor faith in one of the property industry’s most volatile sectors.