Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Lateline Business -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) isn't a kind of horrible logic

to all of this where if they

are tortured then they'd havev

to be set free because the

trial - No, no - and the case

itself would be tainted? No,

no, of course not But in the

event of conVic then the pep at

of course - penalty could be

mitigate ed by the fact he'd

been put through up lawful

torture. Could you imagine a

situation where numbers of

these people turp around and

use the American justice system

against the American officials

and the American government

itself for having used the

enstrumt of torture against

them? Let's face it, the

Americans themselves can be

pretty good at investigating

eventually, and there is a

congressional committee at the

moment looking at the behaviour

of the Bush lawyers, as they

are in both sepss of the word,

- senses of the word who gave

such perverted advice as that

they defined torture as

something that caused pain the

equivalent of the loss of a

bodily organ. I mean, that's

absolutely wrong. They gave

advice that it wasn't

ill-treatment to have mep

standing naked with Alsatians

growling at their gep tals.

They gave advice that it was

entirely proper to subject

prisoners for hours on ed in to

high pitched noises, everything

from cats meowing to Yoko owno

singing, blastings them for 24

hours. I mean, this is a

currently ongoing inquiry as to

whether the lawyers who served

Bush administration and gave

their masters the advice that

was wrong but which they

thought they wanted. I mean,

lick spittle lawyers they've

always been, but these

particular lawyers went out of

their way to define torture in

a manner which meant that many

prisoners, between 2002 and

2004, this is thank goodness in

the past, were in fact

subjected to illegal physical

force. Just finally and briefly

can you imagine those lawyers

will be made to pay a price for

giving that advice? Yes, I

think there will. I mean, some

of them were appointed by the

Bushed a prin min traigs to

judgeships, I think they're

being hauled over the coals,

books are being written buildby

them, there are discussions in

various circles about whether

they could be prosecuted. I

don't know whether you remember

the film 'Judgment at

Nuremberg' but that was based

on the ol stoter case, which

was a case of corrupt lawyers

that gave advice they knew to

be wrong. It's a difficult area

but certainly there will be

consequences, I think, and they

will continue. And rightly so,

as a warning to all who are

involved in this difficult area

that they shouldn't as it were,

twist the law to subject people

to improper violence. Geoffrey

Robertson we will have to leave

it there. We thank you very

much for taking the time to

talk to us again on

'Lateline'. Good to talk to

you, Tony. Brisbane has been

declared a disaster zone and

the Army's been called in to

help after the worst storm in

25 years. Tore through the city

last night. Tomorrow morning

the Prime Minister will tour

the damaged areas after

diverting his plane to the

Queensland capital following

his North American visit this

report from Queensland. There

was no calm after this storm.

It was terrifying. Absolutely

terrifying. The severe

thunderstorm tore through north

western suburbs late yesterday,

at the height of the storm

winds reached 125km/h. It just

was pretty much white, I

noticed water coming in every

where, then the window smashed

through with roof tiles. Hail

stones and flash flooding

caused widespread damage, at

Chermside on the city's north a

20-year-old man drowned trying

to take photos of the rising

flood wars in this draib.

Rescuers were able to save his

mate who was clinging to the

grate over the drain. There

were more than 6,000 lightning

strikes recorded. Something

that's very hard to describe,

it's like a scene out of poter

giets. The Gap in Brisbane's

west was one of the hardest hit

areas. This is all that's left

of one teenager's bedroom. The

family had decided to take shelter downstairs just before

the roof and walls were ripped

off. Trees crashed into houses

and cars, streets were closed

for most of the day as

emergency service cruise tried

to remove the debris. Further

south near Beaudesert the

village of Wonglebong was hit

hard, residents Tracey Nash and

Michael Spaniak say they and

their baby Hayden are lucky to

be alive. I had fears of us

getting blown up with the roof

at Beaudesert or Rathdowney and and finding us somewhere over

not surviving. It was that

freaky. The couple says the

only safe place was the rented

home's bathroom. The rain

drenched almost everything they

owned. Powerlines were brought

down, more than 200,000 homes

lost power.. This has been

probably the biggest event

we've seen on the electricity

power system since 1984, 85.

700 Energex crews are working

around the clock to repair the

damage, but some areas could

remany without power until

Wednesday. Nothing could

prepare you for the enormity of

the sort of damage we're seeing

over the last 24 hours. Authorities will work

through the night to repair

homes before more wet weather

hits with storms forecast for

Wednesday. The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council and

police today offered a reward

for information about truck

drivers and other men targeting

Aboriginal children for sex.

Earlier this year 'Lateline'

broke the story about truck

drivers paying for sex with

Aboriginal girls in country

towns throughout north western

New South Wales. John Stewart

reports. Early this year a

group of Aboriginal women spoke

to Lateline about a secret sex

trade between truck drivers and

Aboriginal girls at truck stops

in country towns. We're scared,

we're worried and concerned

about the young girls and it's

affect ing the young girls so

badly like mentally, physically

and every other way. The

Aboriginal women said truck

drivers were using cash and

drugs to get sex from

Aboriginal girls as young as 8

in Moree and Boggabilla. We'd

say, yeah, if you go and get a

young girl there's money in ift

for you, you know, stuff like

they, did they that. What sort of age were

they, did they specify... Yeah,

like, 14, 15, nothing over 16.

Today the New South Wales Police, Crime Stoppers and the

New South Wales Aboriginal Land

Council launched a $5,000

reward for information about

truck drivers or any person

targeting Aboriginal children

for sex. As was exposed on the

late lp program on the ABC back

some months ago, the issue of

the sexual exploit agencies of

Aboriginal children along the

highways was revealed as being

more prevalent than most of the

community probably thought it

was. Posters will be placed at

truck stops warning drivers not

to pick up young Aboriginal

girls. The New South Wales

Aboriginal Land Council says

the truck sex trade has

destroyed lives. The effect it has, it

has, it changes their life and

it changes the families life

and it changes the whole

community's life. There's

bitterness, anger and sadness

that... Takes over their lives.

We have young people taking

their own lives. Police believe

that Aboriginal people may have

information which could lead to

arrests. We believe that the

children probably between

themselves know what is

happening to each other, and I think

think if we can tap into that

source of information that

would be important as well.

Early this year Aboriginal

women and girls told Lateline

truck drivers were the main

suppliers of marijuana and the

drug ice to country towns in

remote parts of New South Wales

and Queensland. The Aboriginal

women said that ice was not

just a city drug and was now

more popular than beer among itinerant workers in some itinerant workers in some small

country towns. The Australian

Crime Commission has also been

gathering intelligence about

the trucking industry and its

interaction with Aboriginal

communities. It's been the

most hyped and most expensive

Australian film ever made but

after budget blow-outs,

pressure and host of last minute changes director Baz

Luhrmann's film 'Australia' is

finally finished. While the

stars and 3,000 envited guests

are dusting off their evening

wear for tomorrow night's world

Premiere in Sydney, others have

had a preview but they're bound

by a signed agreement not to

say whether it's any good. When

one of those is ABC Arts

Reporter Anne Maria Nicholson

who has just filed this

sensored report. The

ingredients are all there, a

stellar cast led by Nicole

Kidman and Hugh Jackman, an innovative driector Baz Luhrmann and artistic designer

Catherine Martin. A story set

during world War II to pull the

heart strings.. I will come find you whatever happens,

whatever it takes. The budget

reportedly exceeded $150

million backed by Fox Studios.?

Over-runs included shooting

varioused innings, one where the drover Hugh Jackman died,

answer the one where the

handsome hero lived to ride

again. Tourism Australia also

jumped aboard the 'Australia'

juggernaut, a $50 million ad

campaign cashing in on the

stars and scenery will screen

internationally in an attempt

to entice dwindling numbers of international visitors to our

shores. The film's been

labelled epic and having just

seen the 22.5-hour-plus movie,

there's no doubt this film

Australia is indeed a landmark

in Australian picture making -

2.5-hour plus. extraordinary

screens, drama. Is it destined

to become our 'Gone With The

Wind' or 'Titanic'? While the film-makers staged a special

screening for the media they

insisted no critics can voice

their opinion of 'Australia'

until after the world Premiere.

Sot verdict about the movie

will have to wait. Sydney will

host the Premiere with

simultaneous openings where the

film was shot, Darwin,

Kununurra, in Western Australia

and Bowen in Queensland.

Australia are rr will open -

'Australia' will open in

cinemas next week. A quick look

at the weather - rein,

thunderstorms or showers are

forecast for most of the

capitals, Hobart an exception -

late drizzle. Perth - forecast

for a fine sunny day. If you'd

leak to look back at tonight's

interview with Geoffrey

Robertson QC you can visit our

web site at Lateline www.. here's

Tonight - revaluing the farm,

how the financial crisis will

force all companies to check

the true value of their assets.

This whole question of

volatility of asset portfolios

and what that does to the

requirements of capital has to

be rethought. Shaken but not

stirred - Coca-Cola Amatil says

a takeover offer from Lion

Nathan is one it can afford to

refuse. In terms of Lion Nathan

they would be drawing strength

in from Coca-Cola Amatil

distribution networks which is

one of their real strengths

snrsm and dragged down by the

United States, James Hardie has

a Bill big fall in first half profit. Hadt hit us a little

bit later, about 9 months.

We're well into the third year

of our - industry downturn in

the US. First to the markets -

following Wall Street's weekend

fall - Australian shares began

the week in negative territory.

growing concerns about global


The ASX 200 dropped 2.5%,

settle ing at a four-year low.

The NIKKEI gained ground

despite the news Japan has

slipped into a recession. The

Hang Seng closed flat. In

London the FTSE 100 index is

down nearly 2%.

Rum and Coke may go together

but nate has so far been

rebuffed in its takeover offer

for Coca-Cola Amatil the. The

merger would create an $11 billion beer and softdrink

giant. The Coke board says the

bid under-values the company.

At a time when deals are

scarce and credit is tight beer

and wine company Lion Nathan

has put together a $7.6 billion

deal for the Australian arm of

soft drinks giant Coca-Cola. In

terms of Lion Nathan, they

would be drawing strength from

Coca-Cola Amatil's distribution

networks which is one of their

real strengths. Coca-Cola

Amatil shareholders have been

offered a cash and scrip deal

made up of $6.15 cash, plus

nearly half a Lion Nathan

share. Against Friday's closing

price of $8.25, the deal values

Coca-Cola Amatil shares at a

25% premium. Today the

Coca-Cola Amatil board did not

warm to the proposal. It said

that it's reviewed its position

and believes that there are a

number of material deficiencies

in the proposal. Which many

have read as the offer is not

high enough. The number we think they've probably got in

mind is closer to the 13 times

EBITDA that you've seen paid in

other transactions in the bef

rages space recently. That said

we think Lion Nathan may

struggle to pay to that level

of earnings. If the deal goes

ahead it would create an $11

billion company that would sell everything from beer, wine,

softdrinks, bottled water and

juices, and overtake Foster's

as Australia's biggest befage

company. Lion Nathan is

observing the lessons learnt

from Foster's' disastrous multi-beverage strategy and

confirm it had would keep its

sales forces strat. The Union

would produce a cost savings

for Lion Nathan of between 100

and $130 million. We struggle

to see where there is a step

change in the earnings profile.

If anything, both businesses

are reasonably mature at

delivering high single earnings

growth taking those costs out probably gives you a 1, 2,

3-year period where you can

maintain low double digit

earnings growth. Beyond that

it's difficult to see there is

any huge synergies at this

point. While the Coke board

would need to be convinced so

will its major shareholder the

US based Coke. It owns 30% of

the Australian business, and

without its support a merger

would be out of the question.

It's believed our Coca-Cola

Amatil with SAB Miller are

building a brewery north of

Sydney at the moment. There are

whispers of that. It could be

the case they're already

allowing for the potential to

move into that alcoholic

business themselves. Whether

the Coke board cap be convebsed

the Lion Nathan offer is worth

recommending, in a market where

capital gains are rare, the 6 o

0% cash component could be very

attractive to institutional

shareholders. The building

products maker James Hardie has

reported a big fall in first

half profit as troubles in the

US housing market weigh on the

group. The American slowdown

has caused James Hardie to

temporarily shut down two of

its US plants. In a further plo

for investors the group has

cancelled its interim dividend

this financial year. Neal

Woolrich reports. The United

States housing market is ground

zero in the global financial

crisis. For businesses like

James Hardie it remains the key

drag on profits. It's obvious

toive the US housing market is

in a very severe cyclical down

turn. The peak housing market

in the US was in late 2005,

early 2006.. It hit us a little

bit later, about 9 months. So

we're well into the third year

of our - industry downturn in

the US. Answer the continuing

weakness in the US helped push

James Hardie's first half

earnings down 33% to $188

million. The result for Q 2 has

been adversely affected by the

US position and we've had a

decline in earnings, a declean

in cash flow, and also a

decrease in capital expenditure

because we don't have the

expansion plans in a down

market that we had in earlier market that we had in earlier

times. James Hardie says it's

Australian and New Zealand

operations have outperformed

domestic competitors during a

local downturn. And while the

half-year result was better

than market expectations,

analysts say James Hardie still

has some key issues to deal

with, aside from the US housing

slump: Unfortunately the

company has quite a high level

of obligation that is it needs

to meet, particularly when you

consider the as bes asbestos

claims, they have issues

ongoing with the ATO as well as

with ASIC. Unfortunately until

they're able to ierp those out

and until the US situation

improves over there, there is

going to be continued pressure

on earnings in the near term.

The American housing malaise

has led James Hardie to shut

down two of its nine plants in

the United States. As it aims

to run the business more

economically in the downturn.

We also see these plants

probably shut down around 2

years. In other words f it was

just gonna be six and 9 months

we wouldn't have shut 'em

downment everything over a year

became iffy. When we started

looking at it saying we could

probably run on 7 plants for a

two-year period it become as

pretty easy decision. In an

effort to shore up its balance

sheet James Hardie has decided

to not pay an interim dividend

this financial year. We're

talking about a $50 million-odd

injection into the business.

The company desperately needs

the cash. They have quite high liabilities particularly when

you take into account the

asbestos claims as well. They

have negative reteaned earnings

in the bank, we know profits

are the cheapest form of business funding. It wasn't

surprising to see that. ... surprising to see that. ... In

our view we are being cautious

for good reason. That being the

current uncertainty in the

global economic environment,

and the other is we do see

potential for some cash

outflows for the company in the

fore seeable future. Today' results sparked a plunge in

James Hardie's share price

which was down by 14% during

the day. It recovered half of

those losses toed in the day -

end the day just over 7% lower

at $4.40. Any hope of a

sustained recovery depends on a

revival in the US which now

appears a long way off. Now for

the local market news I spoke

to George Kanaan from UBS. It

looks like the lows continue to

get lower on the market. That's

correct. The market finished

today down 2.5%. It was down as

much as 3.5% at its worst t did

stage a recovery. The market

today was - continued to see

more capital raisings, it's

been trying to find those

capital raising by selling

other stocks in our market, as

well as the lead from-off shore

and Wall Street. What about the

G20 leaders meeting in

Washington at the weekend, how

big a thumbs down has the

market performance been? It was

kind of a good meeting but I

don't think there was anything

concrete the market could take

out of that to give a lot of

confidence. Wait to see how

Wall Street responds tonight.

Obviously they haven't had a

chance to respond to that

meeting. All our market did

really was follow the lead from

the Friday night close of Wall

Street. To the local banking

sector to what extent have the

banks been plagued by more

fears of write-downs and debt

provisioning? I don't think

that's the thing that's been

driving the sharis I - prices

in the banks in the last few

weeks, it's more about the

capital being raised by the

banks. Automatic cof weeks ago

CBA raised 2 to fund the

acquisition. Last week NAB

raised $3 billion to replace a dividend reinvestment plan dividend reinvestment plan and

an additional bit of capital

there. At the moment we're in a

pricing periods of ANZ and

Westpac, dividend reinvestment

pricing period where normally

the broke thars underwrite that

deal will sell any where

between 2-3 million shares a

day to hedge that position.

That's putting applied pressure

on those banks. There has been

a weaker than expected reading

of retail trade activity.

National turpover was up National turpover was up just 0.1% adjusted for inflation in the September quarter. What

sort of reaction have we seen

from investors in listed retail

stocks? The retail sales

numbers are when you exclude

restaurants, was stronger than

what we expected. It was a good

read. The first quarterly

positive read X - restaurant

people oating out that we've people oating out that we've

sfeen a while. Consumerings

storks, JB hi fi, David Jones,

billabong, down 10%. That has

let lest to do with the actual

retail sales and more to do

with the short selling ban

that's going to be lifted on

non-financial stocks Wednesday.

I think a few people out there believe the Australian economy

is going to deteriorate, as a

result investors at the moment

this can the short sellers are going to come back in

going to come back in and short

those retail names. I think the

long-only institution s have

about.selling ahead of that. We

experienced that kind of

selling in the Macquarie

vehicle such as M crsmt CG and MiG

which were down heavily today.

To the other major movers -

BHP fell 5%. The mining giant

said it won't cut production

despite some of its customers

asking it to defefr fer shims.

Goodman Group defied the trend,

climbing 5% after telling

investors at its AGM it was

well placed to ride out the

global credit crisis.

As we've heard, the markets

have been little impressed with

the meeting of global leaders

at the G20 summit in

Washington. What can the G20

communique and its working

groups do to turn around global

fortunes? One of the captains

of industry advising on how to

resolve the crisis is Sam

DiPiazza, chief executive of Price Waterhouse Coopers international and based in New

York. I spoke to Sam DiPiazza

in Sydney earlier this evening. Sam Sam DiPiazza, welcome to late

lp business. Thank you. We're

all pour ing over the tea

leaves on G20. What marks out

of 10 do you give the summit? I

think it was a good first step

just as the Prime Minister

said. So on having the

dialogue, high marks. On actual

outcome we'll have to see, not

that much in the early

stage. There is no

coordinatored stimulus pack age

greeed to globally. What feel

do you get from different

nations and different sectors

under particular stress? The

stress is all over the world.

You feel it in the financial

services side, real estate

side, in developed and emerging side, in developed and emerging

markets. Some market like here

in Australia, it feels much

better than in some other parts

of the world. but it is a

connected world so you are

clearly seeing how this is

flowing from the US and now

it's pretty much every wrsmt

Japan has just slipped into

recession. That's obviously

very significant for Australia.

What can be done about this?

The Japanese are deeply

engaged in creating

engaged in creating stimulus

and as are most of the

regulators. You have to give

the policy makers a lot of

credit here. They've been very

aggressive in dealing with this

issue. Jach an may be - Japan

may be in technical recession

now but we have felt that

malaise in Japan for For some

time. Soy think at this point

we have, for Japan it has to be

a question of getting domestic

consumption moving. In China's

well? No question, to me that

is the issue in China. China is

feeling the issue on exports,

in our view the real question

for cheen is how robust will

their domestic consumption be

over the next 12-24 months in

China. If it slips then China

could have more serious

problems than they've even

thought. The other big area is

regulation and there will be,

we imagine increased

regulation, we're we re-leeing

on the national regulators to

deliver this. Are we right to

do so? These are the same

regulator that is presumably

got us into trouble in the

first place? We live in a world

of national regulators. I think

we have to rely on national

regulators. The G20 discussion

was a good example of policy

makers coming together to

decide how do we begin to do

things connected? In many ways

the Mal policy makers and

regulators have been sharing

ideas, adapting plans to be

more aligned but in the end it

is the national regulator that

is have to take action. On the

banks in particular, their

capital adequacy requirements,

do you think they will need to change?

change? I think they need to

change.? In what way? It is

clear the inflexibility around

capital requirements has been

part of this cyclicality that

that is has gone on in this

environment. We've had much

more volatility in these

marketplaces and frankly the

capital adequacy ought to

reflect some of that. So I do

think there will be people

looking to see how to adapt to that

that place. Should banks be

fearful of greater regulation

around capital adequacy or are

you looking at potentially a

freeing up in some

situations? I think it will be

a bit of both. I think there

will be more focus a round the

level of capital requirements.

But I think this whole

question of volatility of asset portfolios and what us that

thank does to the requirements

of capital has to be rethought.

Part of that plays right to

where we operate around fair

value accounting and should you

be adjusting the adequacy rules

for some of these mark down in

assets. There has been a lot of

talk about regulating derev

tefs, has the horse not bolted

there? I think you have to have

regulation. I you will see more

regulation in this space. In

hedge funds as well. The

capital markets are much more

complex today than they were

tep years ago. Do we understand

them enough to be able to

regulate them? I hope we must.

We have to understand them,

because I think some of that

complexity and the lack of

transpearnsy about this has

created some of these problems.

We have to be careful. If you over-regulate, then you will

hurt the efficiency, the flow

of capital. So there is a fine

line. But we know what we've

had in the past has not quite

been as robust as it needs to

be the . Other area of

regulation could be over

executive packages. Is that

placating the masses? Or is it

going to really make a

difference?? And perhaps go too

far and affect growth?. What we

knro is that governments today

have equity stakes in many

businesses that just section

months ago they didn't. They're

going to impact the policy and

executive compensation will be

part of that. In some respects

yes. Maybe it is reacting to

the public concern, but

executive comp needs to be

measured. I think there will be

some changes there as well. some changes there as well. How

important is market confidence

to the way that the G20 summit

might take thing in the future?

The markets have not reacted

particularly well to it, have

they? Well, it's all about

confidence. It's all about

credibility, about confidence,

about transpearnsy, maybe there

was an expectation that this

G20 summit was going to deliver

the silver bullet. We the silver bullet. We knew

better. One of our big issues

is our global enstoogs are not

robust enof, whether it's the G

7, the IMF. We need a more

robust environment around all

these institutions. Until we

get there, which is probably

years away we're going to have

sto rely on the national gort

Of governments. Thank you for

coming in answer talking to

us. My pleasure. Shares in

Babcock & Brown slid over 14%

despite selling one of the

company's European assets. The

distressed fund and asset

manager made a $285 million

profit from the sale of its

Enersis wind energy business in

Portugal. The deal was

overshadowed by news that

Wachovia Bank is threatening to

close a US joint venture it has made with GPT Trust.

made with GPT Trust. A move

that would cost Babcock & Brown

$63 million. The operators of

Australia's largest uranium

mine say they've discovered

another enormous deposit.

Energy Resources Australia

says it could extend the life

of the mine by up to. Years. 7

years. The Ranger mine near jab

issue - Jabiru is already the

second largest producing 11% of

the world's yellow cake. Energy

Resources Australia says it has

found another deposit, almost

as big as the existing one..

15-20 million tonnes, possible

resource in there, and that

could ultimately deliver

between 30 and 40,000 tonnes of

uranium ok ied. That news gave

the share price a boost on an

otherwise rough day for the

Australian stock market..

generally the uranium sector is

coming back into favour a bit

more. This was just a bit of a

turbo charge for the ERA price

today. ERA says it's been

largely insulated from the

world financial crisis by

international demand in the

USA, Europe and Asia. On world

standards to give you an

indication, currently at the Ranger mine

Ranger mine we are frus

producing between 5,000 and

6,000 tonnes a year. That would

potentially extend the life or

give us optionality for another

six, 7 years. There are

concerns about what impact the

mine will have on the

surrounding cack ado national Park. Mining operations were

meant to shut in 2008. There

will be many Aboriginal people

disappointed about this. The Northern Land Council representing traditional owners

in the area isn't commenting

yet. The company would have to

get Federal Government approval

to expand. A new survey has

highlighted the cash flow

pressures that businesses are

facing during the global

financial crisis. According to

the joint study by the

Australian Industry Group and

American Express keep ing the

money flowing is becoming a major

major issue. Daniel Galea is

one of the founders of the

session Sydney Essential Oil

Company, it provides

ingredients for the cosmetics

industry answer has a turn

overof $10 million a year. I've

been in business for 11 years

in this, 3 years prior 14-odd

years for myself. This is the

toughest time I've seen

toughest time I've seen it. Sto

to survive the tough times fli

gli is focusing on one issue

above all others, fli gli is..

Daniel Galea. Cash flow.

According to the survey,

strategies to manage cash flow

include more aggressively pursuing customers to pay pursuing customers to pay their

bills, cutting spending and

delaying investments. Many

businesses, particularly at the

smaller end are up prepared for

the situation they find

themselves in. Small businesses

felt they didn't really have

any business strategies to deal

with this kind of economic

crisis. Which is understandable

because these are unprecedented

times, they haven't been

through this kind of economic

downturn before. Also

understandable is that the

survey showed only 12% of

businesses are prepared to take

significant risks in order to

expand. According to Australian

Industry Group's Heather Ridout

that carries long-term risks of its own for both the business

and the economy. If you don't have capital expenditure that

contributes directly to lower

economic growth and the big

firms surveyed here enKate

they're going to cut cap ek as

do a number of SMEs. Another

issue raised was the ability of

firm it is pass on to their

customers increases in enput costs. Sydney Essential Oil

Company is typical of many who

are feeling their margins

squeezed. Nobody likes to pass

costs on to customers because

they're nervous of whether

they're going to tolerate that

cost or go shopping elsewhere. So we've copped a lot

So we've copped a lot of price

increases on our shoulders. Which is another

blow to cash flow. Fli gli says

in the short

Daniel Galea says he is concentrating on the basic

principle of looking after his

customers as well as he can.

One steel has joined the

growing queue of steel makers

warning production may have to

be cut. One steel rr described

its overall performance as

solid but told investors today

that demand continues to sov as

the impact of the financial

crisis widens. Predicting a

challenging second half of the

year OneSteel said it was

adjusting production to reflect

reduced demand. Investors took

note of the warning and sold

out of the stock, OneSteel

shares closed at $2.97. A look

at tomorrow's business diary -

the minutes in from the minutes in from this

month's Reserve Bank board meet

rg released. Brewing giant Lion

Nathan publishes its annual

profit. Creditors of failed

child care giant ABC Learning

meet for the first time.

Overseas - the latest US

industrial production numbers

are out. Making news in the

business sec sections of

tomorrow's newspapers - 'The

Age' looks at the exposure of

Fun taskic following the demise

of ABC Learningch 'The Australian Financial

Review' examines the impact of

jap ap's slide into recession.

The 'Sydney Morning Herald'

says Chinese steel mills are

considering taking a stake in

Fortescue metals. That's all

for tonight. As I leave you the

Dow futures are down 56 points,

just over one half of a per

cent. The FTSE has dropped 2%.

- $0.02. I'm ticky fullerton.


Closed Captions by CSI