Business News

6 things you need to know today

  • Corporate crooks are set to face tougher penalties under new rules to be revealed by the Government. Dodgy bankers and other corporate crims could face a maximum 10 years imprisonment and financial services companies risk maximum fines of $210 million under the new penalties regime. The ramped up penalties coincide with dmissions at the financial services royal commission that a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank, Count Financial, charged advice fees for years after some clients had died.
  • The Federal Government has decided to go after almost 170,000 Australians who have welfare debts, threatening to charge them interest on the funds owed which have topped more than $900 million nationally. Those in the Government's sights are no longer claiming welfare benefits, but racked up debts from former false claims. Some debts go back up to 15 years snd the Department of Human Services has started contacting people owing money.
  • The Queen has expressed her desire that Prince Charles succeeds her as the head of the Commonwealth in an unsusually direct message to political leaders after months of speculation over who should take the position. Her remarks make no change to her position and do not mean she is preparing to step down in favour of her son, but show that she wants the issue resolved before Prince Charles ascends to the throne.
  • Russia has demanded compensation from the United States for its decision to impose global tariffs on steel and aluminum. The action comes as metal prices surge following sanctions. Traders have also suggested that U.S. sanctions on Russia could now expand to affect nickel, which has seen its price rise more than 10% this week.

  • The construction of Sydney's $2.1 billion light rail project will now not be completed until March 2020, a whole year later than promised. Delays have infuriated business owners and residents along the 12-km route from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kensington and the latest timetable for conclusion has raised concerns for business owners, whose earnings have slumped, will not survive the extended period. 

  • Australian shares are set to fall at the open, after a tumble on Wall Street led by consumer staples and technology stocks. In markets, the Dow Jones finished 0.3% lower at 24,665, the S&P 500 also finished 0.6% lower at 2,693 and the Nasdaq -0.8% at 7,238. Over to Europe, the FTSE finished higher, 0.2% at  7,329, the German DAX -0.2% at 12,567 and the Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1% at 3,487.

Published on: Friday, April 20, 2018

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