Business and Finance

  • Baker Hughes

    No opposition to GE’s acquisition of Baker Hughes

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes Incorporated (Baker Hughes) by General Electric Company (GE). On 6 January 2017, G... more
  • Are you being genuine? – Small business roll-over relief for ‘genuine’ restructures

    Under the Small Business Restructure Roll-over (Div 328-G), which was introduced to much fanfare last year, small business owners are allowed to change the legal structure of their businesses without incurring ... more
  • workers

    Pay rises of below 3% ahead for half of Australia’s mining workers

    50% of Australia’s mining employers will give their staff a pay rise of up to 3% in their next review, but 35% will not increase salaries at all. The annual Hays Salary Guide shows that 19% of overall empl... more
  • Non-bank

    Non-bank growth brings benefits and risks

    Non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) are playing an increasingly significant role in financial intermediation in a number of Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets, with rapid growth over the last five years spurred by... more

Misunderstood: Understanding memoranda of understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is generally used to record the basic terms of a transaction, in advance and in anticipation of more detailed and legally binding terms and conditions. An MOU is not usually legally binding, however, it can be binding if it satisfies the six elements of a contract, set out below: Offer and acceptance – a contract is formed when an offer by one party is accepted by the other party; Intention to create legal relations – the parties to the agreement must intend to enter into a legally binding agreement; Consideration – consideration is the price paid (not necessarily money) for the promise of the other party; Legal capacity – not all people are completely free to enter into a valid contract (eg people with a mental impairment, minors); Consent – the consent of each party to the contract must be genuine; and Not illegal or ... more

Australian business unprepared for the fourth industrial revolution

A new Ai Group report has found that while Australian businesses are investing in new technologies to enhance profit and performance, industry as a whole is lagging in adoption of key innovations. The report also shows that businesses have been slow to adopt cyber security technology. Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said technology is transforming whole sectors, including through the fusion of digital and physical production systems: the so-called 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' (referred to as Industry 4.0 in manufacturing). However, the report finds that many businesses are yet to embrace the technologies that can grow – or protect – their operations. Ai Group's Business Beyond Broadband report is based on a wide survey of Australian businesses, and confirms a close association between investment in digital technologies and higher business performance. B... more

GE and South32 enter digital transformation strategic partnership

GE and South32 have signed a three-year strategic partnership to assist in the development of South32’s technology roadmap ad activation of the Company’s digital transformation. The partnership, GE’s first with an Australian mining company in the digital space, is a step towards playing a much bigger role in the global mining sector. For South32, GE is the ideal partner, having recently undertaken their own digital transformation. This partnership marks the beginning of an exciting journey. South32, with its diverse mining portfolio spanning 10 operations and five countries, sees a real opportunity for technology and innovation to drive safety and productivity improvements. Through this partnership South32 will utilize GE’s PredixTM platform, which is designed specifically for industry and connects industrial equipment, data analysis and instant insights. The system wil... more

Review into GST revenue distribution to commence

The Federal Government recently announced it will task the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the impact on the national economy of Australia’s system of horizontal fiscal equalization (HFE) which underpins the distribution of GST revenue to the States and Territories. Fiscal equalisation has been a feature of Commonwealth-State financial relations since the early years of Federation. Under Australia’s current approach, the Commonwealth Grants Commission recommends a GST distribution to the States that provides each State with the capacity to provide its citizens with a comparable level of government services. The current system was agreed by all States prior to the introduction of the GST in 2000. In recent years, views have been put to the Government that the current approach to HFE creates disincentives for reform, including reforms to enhance revenue rais... more

Chevron recovers from last year’s loss

Chevron Corporation has reported earnings of $2.7 billion ($1.41 per share – diluted) for first quarter 2017, compared with a loss of $725 million ($0.39 per share – diluted) in the 2016 first quarter. Included in the quarter was a gain of approximately $600 million from the sale of an upstream asset. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings in first quarter 2017 by $241 million, compared with a decrease of $319 million a year earlier. Sales and other operating revenues in first quarter 2017 were $32 billion, compared to $23 billion in the year-ago period. UPSTREAM Worldwide net oil-equivalent production was 2.68 million barrels per day in first quarter 2017, compared with 2.67 million barrels per day in the 2016 first quarter. Production increases from major capital projects and base business were largely offset by production entitlement effects in several locations, nor... more

Seven handy hints for cash flow success

Cash flow is vital to the success of any business and is especially important to the small and mid-market looking to grow and develop. The mismanagement of cash flow will more often than not leave your business vulnerable and could potentially lead to failure. However, the benefits of positive cash flow stretch beyond simply keeping your business afloat. By managing your cash flow effectively you're able to better maintain your finances and can properly invest your money in gaining a competitive edge in your market. The following are 7 handy hints to help you effectively manage your cash flow. Invoice on Time So many businesses struggle with invoicing dramas because they don’t invoice until the end of the week or month. The best way to keep cash flowing in your business is to invoice same day. The value of your great work is fresh in your customer’s mind and the sooner they r... more

PM announces abolition of 457 visa, introduces 458 visa instead

The Prime Minister captured national headlines following a surprise Facebook livestream on the 19th of April, in which he that his government would be abolishing the 457 Temporary Work visa. The 457 visa has been subject to significant criticism and public concern in recent years as local economic conditions have slowed and numerous cases of misuse of the visa have been uncovered. The Prime Minister stated that public confidence in the program had failed and the proposed changes will ensure that Australians are offered the first opportunity for all jobs. The full detail of the changes remain to be announced however the below information is based on the publicly available statements of the Department of Immigration and limited regulations released to date. Abolition of the 457 visa - creation of the 458? The 457 visa may soon be abolished but the proposed changes will result ... more

Mining notches up strong export growth

The mining industry’s contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity has been highlighted by the latest trade statistics which show strong year on year growth in export earnings from Australia’s key minerals commodities. Australian Bureau of Statistics trade data shows exports of iron ore were worth $5.39 billion in February, an increase of 53 per cent compared to February last year. Coal exports in the month were valued at $4.26 billion, an increase of 76 per cent over the year, while exports of gold were worth $1.38 billion, up 55 per cent compared to a year earlier. While Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath may cause some disruptions to Queensland coal shipments in the coming period, the latest figures show coal exports in the first eight months of 2016-17 have already reached close to the level achieved over the full 2015-16 financial year. The increases in export earning... more

The heat is on directors when it comes to climate change

In a recent ASIC liaison meeting, a number of corporate governance items were flagged as being a current focus of ASIC. Of particular interest is the emerging focus on climate change risk management by directors and implications for directors' duties. The opinion 'Climate change and directors' duties' published by the Centre for Policy Development in October 2016 promoted wide spread discussion about the implications of climate change risk for directors. It argues that Australian company directors who fail to consider such risks now could be found liable for breaching their duty of care and diligence under section 180 of the Corporations Act in the future. A director will breach this duty when damage is caused to the company by reason of the breach, or where it was reasonably foreseeable that the conduct might harm the company's interests. Harm is not limited to financial harm but ... more

Investors seek out companies with high ESG ratings

Against the backdrop of recent environmental and social scandals, and a greater call for organisations to create long term value, institutional investors are increasingly considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions. According to recent research by EY however, many organisations are not meeting their expectations around non-financial disclosures. EY’s third Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) survey, Is Your Nonfinancial Performance Revealing the True Value of your Business to Investors, found almost two-thirds of institutional investors globally (60%) don’t think companies are adequately disclosing their ESG risks – an increase of more than 20% on the previous year’s survey. Based on a survey of more than 320 global institutional investors on non-financial reporting and the role ESG issues play in their deci... more

Bringing greater certainty to an uncertain world

We live in a world that is increasingly complex, and yet businesses and other organisations want to understand their operations more clearly. They want detailed insight into what could go wrong; what impact it will have; and what it will cost. They want high levels of confidence for all of this, and more. Fortunately, risk advisory can provide the answers, as Simon van Wyk of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon explains. Modern day risk analyst, statistician and essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb, believes that in today’s evolving world, uncertainty is rising with increasing severity. Because rare events are impossible to predict, he argues that we need to make peace with uncertainty and reduce our negative exposure. Yet ‘uncertainty’ remains one of the most prevalent issues in the lives of many people. Whether related to the global economy or geopolitic... more