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QBE hit with first strike against exec pay

Shareholders of QBE have delivered a first strike against the insurance giant and its executive pay packets. More than 45.5 per cent of shareholder votes cast at QBE’s annual general meeting on Thursday were against the company’s remuneration report for 2017. That is well above the 25 per cent level that constitutes a strike against…

Stocks to watch

Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: AMP – AMP – down 2 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at $4.13 The credit rating of the financial services giant is at risk of a downgrade from global ratings agency S&P over scandals exposed at the banking royal commission. CBA – COMMONWEALTH BANK – up 13…

NAB flags advice sale amid restructure

National Australia Bank is spinning off its financial advice and superannuation businesses but says the move has nothing to do with the “shameful” industry scandals heard by the royal commission. NAB, which on Thursday reported a 16 per cent fall in first-half profit because of restructuring costs, said it was considering options including a demerger…

Gold extends gains as US dollar

Gold prices extended their gains on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve’s dovish remarks weakened the US dollar against a basket of currencies, yet bullion remained vulnerable to a possible rising greenback and weak investment demand. In a statement following the end of a two-day policy meeting, the Fed held interest rates steady as expected….

Most want a tax cut in federal budget

More than half of Australians want to see personal income tax cuts in next Tuesday’s federal budget. Given the many hints by the Turnbull government, they won’t be disappointed. An Ipsos poll of 1000 people across the country conducted on behalf of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand found 60.2 per cent of respondents…

Australian stocks open higher

The Australian share market has opened higher as gains in base metals and oil prices give the energy and mining sectors at boost. At 1015 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 38 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 6,088.2, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 38 points, or 0.62 per…

Don’t let economy muddle along: business

The Business Council of Australia has warned if the economy is allowed to just ‘muddle along’ the nation will be laden with an extra $50 billion of debt every year. In a new report released ahead of next Tuesday’s federal budget, it says without stronger growth, Australia will sleepwalk into a state of widening deficits,…

Credit rating warning another blow to AMP

A potential credit rating downgrade on AMP from Standard & Poors adds to the mounting woes of the scandal-hit wealth manager and its shareholders. S&P has placed AMP on a so-called ‘creditwatch’ with negative implications as it assesses the damage to AMP’s brand and the risk posed to its business by revelations at the financial…

News Corp leads charge against tech giants in Australia probe

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation accused Facebook and Google of ‘anti-competitive practices’ in one of dozens of submissions to a probe of the tech giants released Thursday by Australia’s competition watchdog.A total of 57 media companies, advertisers and journalist groups put forward their cases for changes in the operations of the internet titans, the Australian Competition…

Confident Adidas reports Q1 profit leap

German sporting goods firm Adidas said Thursday efficiency savings had powered a leap in profits in the first quarter, staying confident of hitting its full-year targets as the World Cup looms.Net profit attributable to shareholders surged 18.7 percent year-on-year, to 540 million euros ($647 million) between January and March.Operating or underlying profit increased 17.1 percent…