The Border Watch : January 13th 2015
BUSineSS Job ads rising, but not by enough SYDNEY: More jobs are being advertised but it won’t be enough to stem Australia’s rising unemployment rate, economists say. Job ads have risen for the seventh month in a row, rising 1.8 per cent in December and 11.4 per cent for the year, according to the ANZ Job Ads survey yesterday. Although job ads were growing at a brisk rate compared to the previous few years, new opportunities were not keeping up with the rise in unemployment, Scutt Partners market strategist David Scutt said. “You’ve got a whole lot of people exiting university, exiting school, that are looking for jobs and when the economy is not growing at a very fast rate, there’s simply not enough jobs being created for those people to be absorbed into the labour market,” Mr Scutt said. “We’re seeing a lot in the youth unemployment statistics that are showing multi-decade highs at this point in time.” ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said new job opportunities were not keeping up with the number of new entrants to the workforce or job losses in certain sectors. Soft labour market conditions would cap wage increases, he said, and along with declining oil prices could feed through to subdued inflation this year. Mr Hogan said ANZ would await consumer confidence and jobs figures, due to be released this week, to ascertain the likelihood of another rate cut. “We think the best course of action is for the RBA to maintain a steady hand on interest rates,” he said. “But with global energy costs falling substantially and inflation likely to be lower than previously thought, there is increasing scope for Australian interest rates to fall a little.” Good year for coal seam gas Extraction industry set for bumper figures in 2015 MELBOURNE: The coal seam gas extraction industry is set for a bumper year in 2015, but the petroleum exploration sector isn’t. Industry analysis firm IBISWorld expects the CSG industry to grow very strongly, followed by online grocery sales, fast fashion, private equity and hydroponic crop farming. But petroleum exploration looks like it will be the big loser with the plunge in oil prices. The mining and construction machinery manufacturing, cigarette manufacturing, motion picture and video distribution, and electricity distribution sectors also aren’t expected to do well. more viable due to new and improving extraction techniques, it is the development of export capabilities that is expected “It is the development of export capabilities that is expected to drive rapid industry growth.” IBISWorld said Australia’s CSG industry was undergoing a significant transformation, with revenue forecast to rise 148 per cent over the next year, to $1.83 billion. “While coal seam gas projects have become to drive rapid industry growth,” IBISWorld said yesterday. Australia was well positioned to meet strong demand from big natural gas importers Japan, China and South Korea, it said. Supply to these markets from coal seam reserves in Queensland would be boosted in 2015 as the Curtis Island LNG plant near Gladstone came online. The Curtis Island LNG plant will be the world’s first project to turn coal seam gas into liquefied natural gas. In contrast, the outlook for Australia’s petroleum exploration is poor. Global oversupply and a refusal by OPEC, the US and Russia to cut production targets has led to a plunge in oil prices. AAP Woodside partners with Adani SYDNEY: Woodside Petroleum is positioning itself for an expected boom in demand for gas in India by partnering with one of the country’s largest conglomerates. The Perth-based oil and gas producer will work with Adani Enterprises to identify and develop potential LNG projects in India under a newly signed memorandum of understanding. “India is an important emerging LNG market in which we see enormous supply potential as infrastructure is developed,” Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said. The agreement also signifies a growing relationship with Adani, he said, which is best known in Australia for its planned coal mine in Queensland. IG market strategist Evan AAP Lucas said the Woodside and Adani deal indicated Woodside’s long-term interest in India. AAP Exciting move: Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman has announced a new partnership with Adani Enterprises in India. Small businesses plan to cut workers MELBOURNE: A third of Australia’s small and medium-sized businesses plan to cut jobs over the next 12 months as they lose confidence in the economy. They are also looking for more overseas customers in order to grow, according to a survey of 2300 Australian small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) by money transfer firm Western Union Business Solutions. The results show that 68 per cent of businesses surveyed believe the Australian economy has deteriorated in the past year. “As a result of this negative outlook, 33 per cent of SME operators plan to decrease head count over the next 12 months, with just 1 per cent planning to hire additional staff,” Western Union Business Solutions said yesterday. “This comes in the wake of the recent rise in unemployment figures to 6.3 per cent, the highest rate in 12 years.” Many businesses are looking towards emerging international markets for growth, such as Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa. 10 - The Border Watch, Tuesday, January 13, 2015 AAP Picture: AAP in Brief Weak US data boosts dollar SYDNEY: The Australian dollar has hit its highest level in almost a month as it continued to rally on disappointing US wage growth figures. At the close yesterday, the Australian dollar was trading at US82.52c, up from US81.40c on Friday and its highest level since December 16. The dollar jumped above US82c late on Friday when official figures showed slower-thanexpected wages growth in the US in December, just keeping up with inflation. Fairfax takes control of Metro Media SYDNEY: Fairfax will pay $72 million to buy the remaining 50 per cent of Victoria-based Metro Media Publishing Holdings as it looks to expand its digital property business. The media giant previously held 50 per cent of Metro Media and will buy the remainder of the company through $53.5 million in Fairfax shares and $18.5 million in cash. Fairfax boss Greg Hywood yesterday said the move was part of the media group’s efforts to expand its Domain real estate business. Cardno boss quits after 10 months SYDNEY: Cardno chief executive Michael Renshaw has quit the infrastructure development firm after just 10 months in the job. Chairman John Malay said Mr Renshaw and Cardno’s board had mutually agreed that he step down immediately. Mr Renshaw will be replaced by chief financial officer Graham Yerbury until a permanent replacement can be found. Cardno’s diverse operations include engineering services for oil and gas drillers and consulting on climate change. MissChu restaurants in debt, up for sale Housing market shows signs of cooling off SYDNEY: Home loan approvals took a surprising drop in November, suggesting a welcome slow down in the housing market and a cooling of investor activity. Approvals fell 0.7 per cent in the month, according to official figures, disappointing economists’ expectations of a 1.7 per cent rise. “The overall theme is that the housing market is slowing down a little bit from some very high levels,” JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy said. “It’s still going in the right direction but things are cooling.” That will please the Reserve Bank, after recent concerns about the potential for investor-fuelled housing bubbles in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets. Investor loan approvals remained high but their value fell for the first time since May, down 2.2 per cent in November. “These monthly numbers are pretty choppy but even so, the dip we have seen in November might help to cool any perceptions, at least for now, of overheating in the housing market,” National Australia Bank senior economist David de Garis said, adding the dip may be temporary. AAP SYDNEY: The Sydney operations of Vietnamese street food group MissChu are up for sale after the business collapsed under $4 million in debts. Just under 30 inquiries from potential buyers have already been received by administrators KordaMentha, who will advertise the sale from today. Six MissChu branded tuckshops and a commercial kitchen, all in Sydney, are being offered in the sale. Founder Nahji Chu, a former refugee who founded the business in Sydney in 2007, has appealed to diners to support the business to keep it alive.
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