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(generated from captions) Tzippi Livni and the Likud,

headed by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have each

begun the scramble to form a

coalition with minor parties

after what was almost a dead

locked vote. The result signals

a major shift to the right.

Tzippi Livni's party remains

the country's biggest but

advantage over Benjamin barely, holding on a one-seat

Netanyahu's Likud. The big development is that Israel's

third biggest party is now the

far right nationalist group,

Yisrael Beiteinu, like - highly

likely to be included in a

coalition - coalition. 34 seats

are split between the religious

Shas Party and evener minor

group, almost ensuring

political instability. Matt

Brown reportings. Israelis are used to choosing their

governments amidst conflict and uncertainty. And this time they've produced a real cliff

hanger. Just a couple of

weeks ago, spores of the

Xstrataist Kadima party feared

a right wing walkover but on

polling day they came out on

top. Their leader Tzippi Livni

leaned heavily on her

untarnished reputation but she

might not get a chance to

negotiate because Israeli

governments always made up of a

coalition of parties. And in

this poll, the brotherer right

wing made the great est gains.

The lead over the Likud party,

Benjamin Netanyahu, was hope

ing to he would be number

one. A big day. A good

victory. Despite coming second,

he may yet get the chance to

implement his promise to put

the brakes on negotiations with

the Palestinians. His party

effectively doubled its vote

and he could form a wing block

with other right wingers.

Avigdor Lieberman from the

ultra-nationalist Israel party

also made significant gains.

His campaign focussed on confrontation with Israel and

their political lead rsz but in

some ways the clearest sign of

the public mood is in the fate

of the Labour Party which once

had a near monopoly on party.

While Ehud Barak could end up

in a coalition Government that

won't disguise the heavily -

heavy losses his party has

suffered. Whoever Israel's

President believies can forge a

coalition and keep it together

will now be asked to form a

Government. In that sense, the

struggle to control Israel's

Parliament, the Knesset has

only just begn. -

begun. Joining me live from

Jerusalem is Tom Segev, a

newspaper Col yimist at rats

rats. At this stage it's -

'Ha'aretz' rets. What do you

think is the most likely

outcome? There are various

possibilities but I think the

most logical thing four - would

be for Netanyahu to form a

coalition Government and the

backbone in that Government

would be for the first time

really in Israel a far right

party, headed by Avigdor

Lieberman, as you said. We

don't have experience with

bigotry and hatred. We used to

say to ourselves that we don't

hate, it's the enemies who hate

us. And with the election of

Lieberman leash, hatred has

been made legitimate in Israeli

plitds so that is a very

alarming development. How do

you explain the rise of that

party at the expense of Ehud

Barak's Labour Party, which as

we heard in that package used

to be in an almost un

assailable position? I think

the explanation is that

Israelis are very pessimistic

right now. They don't believe

in peace anymore or politics

anymore. And so they are

looking for a strong man, they

are afraid of Iran, they are

afraid of Palestinian

terrorism, they are economic

worries for the first time. You

also have to remember that many

of the supporters of that

particular man, Lieberman, are

immigrants from the former soef

yet Union and they don't bring

with them democratic

traditions. So if you take all

this together, as you said,

Israel has really shifted to

the right. The Labour Party is

almost nonexistent. The small

peace party is practically

non-existent. So that is a very

new situation in Israel. You

talk about the pessimism there.

When you look at the factors

you outlined such as the fear

of neighbours and the

disillusionment with the peace

process, it seems almost

logical that Israelis would be pessimistic. Yes, it is

logical. But apparently it took

the election to show how

pessimistic they actually are.

They are so pessimistic that

they are actually voting for a

really far right party that

appeals to bigotry and hatred.

When a party like that did very

well in Austria, Israeli

actually re called its

ambassador from Austria,

stateding that it cannot stand

idle by when far right parties

rise. So that was about eight

years ago and obviously -

unfortunately we've come a long

way since then. Australians may

not know very much about

Avigdor Lieberman's party,

Yisrael Beiteinu, you say they

appeal to bigotry and hatred.

Can you give me some examples

of that? Yes. The major idea is

to fence out of Israel about

1.5 million Israeli Arabs. They

are Israeli citizens and

according to Mr Lieberman they

should really belong to the

Palestinian population outside

of Israel. So they would lose

their Israeli citizenship and

he's talking about draw ing new

boarders. He is not talk about

expelling them physically but

he is talking about fencing

them out of Israel and that is

of course a terrible idea and

unfortunately many Israelis go

for that. What does the

election result there in Israel

mean for the peace process? In

particular the long talked

about possibility of a

two-state solution? I think

that the peace process did not

have very good chances, even

with the previous Government. I

think that at the moment the

conflict cannot be solved. I

think it can only be managed

and - but I would not be

surprised if under Netanyahu we

do get some agreement with

Syria. Because Syria is much

easier to serve, it is not

about emissions, history or religion , it is about

strategy. It is possible that

in the framework of some new

strategy led by America,

designed to draw Syria away

from Iran, we might reach some

agreementd with Syria. This is

speculating but perhaps. We

know that the Israeli

Government is in chaos. This

mirrors a split on the other

side within the Palestinian

Government between the Fatah

party that controls the West

Bank and Hamas controlling the

grip Gaza Strip. So presumably

their side is not particularly

united either in terms of its

approach to a potential peace

deal? No, it is not. Which

makes it much more difficult to

reach an agreement with them.

You are right. The new

President - the new President

Barack Obama has made Middle

East peace a key priority. I

think he appointeded George

Mitchell as his enjoy on his

second day in au.s given this complicated situation in

Israel, what can the US

practically do? Israel is very

heavily dependent on the United

States and there are some

things which Obama can do,

particularly to make life more

liveable. He cannot solve the

conflict. I think he can manage

the conflict or lead us to

manage the conflicted in a way

that would make life more

liveable. Of course the

political development in Israel

comes at a particular delicate

time when America, under Obama,

has totally new values which

are very, very different now

from our values, and you always

talk about the basis for the

relationship between Israel and the United States is common

values, so I think that with

the latest political

developments in Israel that is

also very prop attic now. You

were 23 at the end of the six

day war in 1967 and you wrote

recently that at that time you

wr certain that 40 years on the Arab-Israeli conflicted would

be over. Why do you think we've

not seen it in the past 40

years? Yes, I grew up - I

belong to a generation that

grew up to believe in peace f.s

you had asked me then I would

tell you that 2000 #9d we will

have peace. If you ask my son

today, who is 28, he would tell

you he doesn't believe in peace

anymore. So that is a very

marked change and relatively

new in the Israeli society,

that so many Israeli s - they

want peace, they're willing to

do something for peace, they're

willing to pay forpeace but

they don't believe it's

possible and that's the big

difference between us and them

and, to me, the major reason

why we didn't make more

progress is that we kept

developing Israeli settlement s

in the occupied

territories. That is to say

the West Bank which we occupied

in 1967. That I think is the

major obstacle for peace. Tom

Segev, many thanks for your

time tonight. The United

States Senate has passed Barack

Obama's tril dollar economic

stimulus package. The vote was taken as President Obama address add immediating in

Florida, one of the areas worst

hit by the financial crisis.

Only three Republican senators

supported the plan after some

of its spending provisions were

refuse deuced: By the way, I

just want to announce the

Senate just passed our recovery

and reinvestment plan. The plan

includes massive tax cuts and

infrastructure spending aimed

at stemming the job losses baus

caused by the financial losses.

The Obama admrtion has also announced a revamped rescue

plan for troubled banking

sector. Former hctd judge

Michael Kirby has condemned

what he called hypocritical

religions for obstructing safe

sex education and attempt ing

to stop the spread of AIDS.

Speak at the 25th anniversary

of the Bobby Goldsmith

Foundation, Michael Kirby said

education was the key to

protecting people. It has to be

said religion gets in the way

in many countries to get the

message over that the best way

to bring down tep demic

proportions is to protect

people who are at risk. And sex

worker s - nobody will talk

about it. Such hypocrisy, such

wicked and wrong headed

hypocrisy. Michael Kirby is a

patron of the foundation which

raises money for people

suffering from HIV. Now to the

weather - showers in Sydney,

Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart.

Mostly fine in Adelaide and Brisbane. Showers and storms in

Darwin. That's all from us. Lateline Business coming up in

a moment. If you would like to

look back at tonight's interviews with Christine Nixon

or Tom Segev or review any of Lateline's stories or

transcript , , you can visit

our website. Now Lateline Business with Ali

Moore. Thanks. Tonight - don't

bank on it. The CBA says it may

not pass on future interest

rate cut s in full. Just

flagging the fact that going

forward we not be able to pass

on all of the next reduction,

and certainly that's because of

increased cost of wholesale

funding. Science of life in the

houszing sector - lower

interest rates bring first home

buy ertion back into the

market. And all risk to the

downside - Stockland tables a

big loss and warns it may miss

its full-year tarpthd. The

builders can't afford the land

banks that we've held land for.

They're finding it incred ibly

hard to get land and that will weigh heavily on our results.

To the markets and Australian

shares held up pretty well,

given the large falls on Wall

Street overnight. The All Ords

closed 11 points weaker. Falls

in bank ing stocks helped push

the ASX 200 14 points down. In

Japan, the Nikkei was closed

for a holiday. The hang

essential ended its five hv

dayral yi, losing 2.5%. In

London, the FTSE is steady, a

short time too ago the Bank of

England warned the zuk in a

deep recession. The

Commonwealth Bank may be forced

to cut future dividends if bad

debts blow out and economic

conditions continue to

deteriorate. But for the moment

Australia's third biggest lend

ser doing relatively well and

today revealed cash

earnings. While many overseas

banks have either clapsds or

are teetderring on the edge,

Australia's big four are not

among them. This is the result

whichry flects the group's

cautious and conservative approach in the current

environment as well as the

underlying strength of our core

franchise. Net profit after tax

was up 9% to $2.6 billion,

however when one-offs were re

moved, the quement's cash

earnings were down 16%.

Contributing to that slide was

a 400% increase in the

provision for bad loans with

ABC Learning the worst

ofebdser. We've come out of a

very benign credit cycle and

moving into a downturn where

companies are getting stressed,

et cetera, $1.6 would not be

out of the question for six

months and it's expected for

CBA and other banks that this

number will increase as a

pactage of their loan base. The

dividend was the same as last

year and the first time in 16

years it haentd been raised.

Ralph Norris says the full year

dividend may in fact be cut but

Constellation Capital Peter

Vann says it is not a decision

the bank could take slight

light limit I would say they

would only agree to that at

board level fit helps shore up

the bank's balance sheet and

provides a safer institute. So

I would not be against

it. Having already gabble gobld

up BankWest and having taken a

stake in Aussie Home

Loans Ralph Norris is saying the current environment

provides unique opportunities.

The biggest jump in housing

finance apli kaetionzs in close

to a decade is providing some

much needed hope to builder s.

Many of the apli kantds are

first home buyers burd back

into the market by an

increasing government grant and historically low interest rates

but for major compliention

Boral and Stockland, the good

news is tempered by their

massive exposures to the US and

Europe. Desley Coleman reports.

It's not an enviable record.

Construction group Boral is on

track to deliver its fifth year

of declining profits. Boral

chief executive Rod Pearse says

high interest rates last year

and the economic downturn

around the world is take its

toll on the company. We said we

would get $80 million for the

first time and we've got $75

million for the first half and

that is not bad compared and we

have weaker second half and that's where we're

disapointsdsed. Boral flagged

in late January that it would

not immediate its octd

guideness. Today the company

turned in a 44% drop to just

under $75 million. The first

half - The first half has been

a very tough environment from a

residential perspective. You

started to see housing

approvals fall quite

considerably but more

importantly in the US business,

housing starts have reached an

average of - reached about 750,000 in the December

half. At its peak two years

ago, housing starts in the US

were over 2 million. Rod Pearse

expects houszing starts in

Australia to soften 150% this

year but he is - 15% this year

but he is optimistic that 2000

#9d will prove to be the

bottom. 400 basis pointses of

interest rate reductions in

four or five months compared to

300 basis points of increases

between 2002 and 2008. So that

is a lot of stimulation in a

short time from the RBA. And

it's a lot of stimulation come

ing through from the #23g9.

Those tlintion have an - things

settle have an impact. With the stimulus packages that have

been rolled out they're

targeted at the infrastructure

sector so in many ways Boral

will be a net been fishery of

the Government's spending on

infrastructure. While Boral's

first half was hurt by its presentation from the United

States, property developer

stocklands's first half numbers

were crunched by its

presentation in Europe.

Australia's top residential

property developer posted a

half year loss of $727 million.

Largely due to write downs on

asets in the UK and Australia.

Stockland has warned that it

may not meet its full year

guidance. The builders were

they can't afford the land

bank, we've effectively held

land for them, we will

subdivide for them to use,

they're finding it incredible

hard to get finance and that

will weigh on our results

because those sale also be hard

for us. As a result we've

downgrade for put some downward

risk into our forecast for

today. But December's home loan

approval figure, outtoday, will

be welcome news to builders and

developers. They show a #6.4

bctd in - 6.4% increase to just

under 53,000 approvaltsh

biggest increase in almost nine

years. Almost a quarter of the

the a pli - applicants were

first home buyers: They're faced with wild swings in

supply, demand and price and as

a consequence what we're seeing

here is a trough that is

longer, deeper, more protracted

than we wha we've seen in the

past. The good news is the

December housing finance

approval Fos the construction

of new dwellings were flat

compared to the year before and

that's after de-Kleins of 15%

or more over the ous couple of

months. So that is a real

posztive sign that the bottom

of the market has been

reached. And the bottom for

finance approval also lead to

more building on the ground by

the middle of the year. Ansell

was another company that failed

to impress the market with its

profit result today. First half

earnings rose 27% to $72

million, thanks to trang sales

of its medical f glo tbusz rub

esh products make er also slow

dr - - lowered its full year

profit result. For a look at

the day on the markets and the

lead in in Wall Street as it

heard noufrs the Obama

administration's new rescue

plans for the bank, I spoke to Wayne Flekser from ABN Amro

Morgans. The market closed well

off its lows but it could have

been a lot worse, given the

lead from the US? Yeah, that's

right, interesting night in the

US, everything focussed on Mr Geithner and what he had to

say. I wanted to show you what

happened on the trading. Floor.

It would have gone something

like this. - so o'clock US

market opens, no-one is really watching the screen, everyone

is quietly chatting, 11 o'clock

all eyes were on the TV scene,

Geithner gethd up there,

traders would have been going

is that a smile, is that a

grimace - ed is good news or

bad news? Then Timothy Geithner

started talking, what would the

traders do? Trying to pick up

on the point tanced word ing

and how it's said and when it's

said. I'm sure it would have

sounded like real political

jargon and rhetoric and then

Tim Geithner said they were

going to be stretion testing

the banks, what do you mean?

How are they going to do it?

What happens if the banking

fail the stress test? Does that

mean they won't get any anymore

and they - money and they will

go insolent. So the US market

was sold off and yet our market

didn't follow suit? No, it

didn't. That is right. And our

own market has the same

problem. We need some kind of

clarity. Have a look at today

what happened with Stockland

for example, same thing. What

is happening with the asset valuations, written down again

I think it was about 286

billion dollars. It's uncertain

. Questions are being asked.

The biggest problem with

Stockland and I don't mean to

pick on them, was on 5 February

they came out with an announcement confirming the

earnings guidance. Today, they

came out saying probably not

going to meet earnings

gietdance. Given that

uncertainty, why is it that you

think we performed relatively

well today? Probably the

Commonwealth Bank, everyone was

really watching that really,

really closely this morning.

Compare to that ANZ? Why is ANZ

underperform ing so much? Again

it: Again it's a lack of

clarity issue. It's the only

bank of the four banks that

hasn't done capital raising?

Why? We don't know. They should

simply come out with it and

tell us what ease going on. At

the moment everyone is going to

push the price down until

eventually ANZ does do a

capital raising. Rio Tinto had

a very hefty day, up 60%. Is

this more to do with the

expectation of a deal to deem

with their debt? I think

perhaps that's exactly right. Tomorrow Rio Tinto come out

with a full year earnings. What

is the market expecting? Today

adds you said up #6%, they're

thinking Chinalco is going to

buy some assets, maybe they're

going to ask for a seat on the

board, not sure, capital

raising issue? Maybe the market

is thinking right, no more

capital raising,: Ice simply

Chinalco coming in stronger and

for long. Which will find out

in the morning. To the other

major movers on our market

today - worries about debt

level saw ashiano slump.

The latest trade figures out

of China show just how quickly

the global recession has hit

economic activity. Ex ports

dropped 17.5% in January, while

imports have collapsed down 43%

on this time last year. The

sharp drop in im ports mean s

China still managed a $#39d

billion US dollar trade

surplus. But that will be cold

comfort for China's policy

makers as economists expect

demand among its major trading

partners to remain weak,

despite massive stimulus

packages. On that note and as

we heard earlier, the Obama

adnrtion has announced its revamped rescue plan for

financial institutions. Whiled

at the same time the trillion

dollar economic stimulus

package has been passed by the

Senate. It was a rescue plan

for the banks which captured

the market's attention, with up

to $2 trillion US to be made

available to clean up toxic

assets and restart credit

markets. But the market didn't

like what it heard, concerned

about a lack of detail. For his

analysis of the rescue package

and what lies ahead, I am

joined by soerkts Professor

James Angel from the school of business at scorjtown in

Washington. Welcome to the

program. What more can you tell

us about this revamped bank

rescue and the plan to buy up

toxic asets? Well, we were

expecting a detailed plan, and

instead what we got was a

campaign speech. And it's not

hard to see why the market

tanked when the speech was

released. Because the very

first thing it said was, "

We're going to put the banks

under a stress test." The banks

have had a lot of stress

already and one has to sort of

big deep into the plan to see

what 's new here. Can I just

say at the same time the Treasury secretary Timothy

Geithner did say he had waited

to finalise the de tail before

he put out the plan there would

be more uncertainty. Yes.

Although one problem we've had

is that one of the things which

cause confidence to crumble

last year was the sietd of our

secretary Treasury running

around going, "I don't know

what I'm doing." We saw more of

that yesterday. We haven't

figured out the details yet. So

the seeing a Bush-like response

when we were ex pegging an

Obama level of competence is

one of the things that made the

sell-off happen yesterday. Now,

that being said, there are some

new things in the plan. I think

one of the things that is very

important is the expantionz of

the Fed's plan to back

securityised assets. One of the

reasons this financial crisis

is difrntd from the ones we had

in the 19th hth and 20th

century is one of the big

problems is the major failure

was not in the banking system

but in the capital markets. The

fact that our marketings

evolved in the 20th century in

a very elegant and official way

to bypass the banks so. That

when a borrower has a credit

card, a car loan, a mortgage,

that loan gets repackaged and

sold directly to the capital

markets. That is what broke

down and so one of dd t good

things in yesterday's plan is

that the Fed is understanding

that, hay, we've got a problem

here. We have to restart the

non-banking part of the

financial system as well. This

plan to buy up the sort of

toxic assets ise they're being

called in a public-private

partnership. How will that

work? Well, that's what

everybody is asking right

now. Private capital has been

flowing or let me say it did

flow into the bank ng sector.

In 2007, early 2008, tense of

billions of dollars were

invested. And the private

investors got bleeped as a

result. So private capital

right now is a little bit gun

shy, so we want to see the

details. Around the other quee

part of it of course is - key

part of it is to try to put up

to $1 trillion to try to get

credit moving. Is there any

hope that this will actually

work. It will be the huge kicka

long that is needed? Yes.

Certainly the actions that have

been maken and the actions

underder way will do a lot to

stim laetd the economy.

However, it does take time for

this to happen. Whoen you plant

a) seed it doesn't turn into a

growing tree overnight. So even

if litling is done at this

point, the actions taken to

this point will gradually turn

around the economy and get us

back to economic growth. But we

don't want to wait that

long. Iven - given the issue of

the lack of detail, some

comment others have said that

the Obama administration have

in fact, I guess, failed their

very first test and their first

test of credibility. Do you

think it's that sersz? I think

it was a big PR blunder. I

think the speech writer should

have been shot because you put

the most important things first

and to have the very first

thing in the erm sheet that was

being passed around and

circulated on the Internet as

the speech was going out was

saying, "We're going to put the

banks under a stress test."

Indicated that they didn't have

a really good understanding of

the impact of their words on

the population. At the same

time am I write right in sthaig

any of the banks that want this

Government money will have to

pass a stress test? Yes, that

goes almost without saying that

we need transparency and

accountability for the capital

injections into the banks. But

to make that the centre piece,

to make that the very first

point in the document,

certainly fails the good

communications test. So when do

you think we will get good

communications? When do you

think we will get real detail

about how this is going to

work? I've been very helpful.

The Obama campaign was very

smoothly run, very competently

ex cuted. We and we expected to

same level of competence

yesterday and I think that they

will learn quickly from their

mistake and when they get the

details we will see them. James

Angel, many thanks for your analysis. Thank you for asking

me. Back to our top story and

the Commonwealth Bank's result

which was fairly well received

by the market, with attention

focussed on the outlook for bad

debts, CEO Ralph Norris says

while some businesses are

struggling and arrears in

consumer lend ing are creeping

up, there's no evidence of

systemic deterioration. I spoke

to CBA chief Ralph Norris

earlier. Are well flagged

profit result, no dividend

increase in the first time in

16 years. Is it possible that

for the full year sharehold ers

could be look at a quutd in

diffend? The cut is always an a

ternive but certainly we

flagged the fact that while we

are maintaining the current dividend for the interim there

is no guarantee that we will

maintain the final diff debd at

last year's level tha. Is

really precautiony advice

because we don't know exact ly

how the full year is going to

pan out. So, therefore, it is

really a mat over caution. A

plat ore f caution but, give

wren the uncertainty, there

would be a pretty high risk,

there will be a cut? It's all

around uncertainty. Underlying businesses performing very

well. Our bank ing bnces are

performing better than they've

performed at a long time. So

from that perspective I am

quite confident that the

underlying performance of the

business will be strong. It

will really be a case of where

we end up with loan impairment

expense and our view on what

the situation is going to be

like over the next 12 to 18

months which will really be the

way which we will assess yornt

we will change our policy. What

is your best guess of what lies

ahead. Conditions are expected

to become more difficult in the

second half, you said. How much

more difficult? Again, that is

hard to assist. There are a

number of factors that we're

seeing in the economy which are

a little contradictedry. Of

course the retail sales growth

in December was lot higher than

people had anticipated. So the

fiscal stimulus obviously had

an impact. But we also have to remember we're seeing a

significant increase in

disposable income: It's up 11%

on the back of interest rate

cuts, lower fuel prices and tax

cuts. That is obviously going

to have some softdenning impact

on the - softening img pactd on

the economy. That sort of

increase is the highest

increase that we've probably

seen in Australia's history. Impairment charges in the first half jumped

dramatically to $1.6 billion

for the bull ng of that was for

a number of specific companies.

Does that mean for the current

half that charge will come back

sphcially I hope it does and I

think that experience thus far

and it's very early into the

first half, situations probably

not much different to what we

said back in December. You've

also warned that you won't be

able to continue to pass on

official rate cuts. Politically

that will make you were

unpopular, isn't it? If you

look at our history to date,

we've passed on more rate cuts

than most of our competors but

just flag ing the fact that

going forward we may not be

able to pass on all of the next

reduction. Certainly that's

because of increased cost of

wholesale funding. Do you think

there could be political

ramifications if you don't pass

on any future interest rate

cut? Do you think the

government could do more than

just jawbone and could they for

example increase the cost to

you of the bank guarantee? All

that does is increase our cost

of funds k and I think the

benefit s that Australia has

got out of good strong profits Aboriginal banks is the fact

that the banking system has

continued to operate and if you

look at the props that are manifesting themselves in the

United States and the UK, it's

because you have banks that are

in disarray and when you have

banks in disarray that is the

worst thing that can happen to

an economy. And I think we're

seeing significant negative

impact on the US and the UK. So

I make no apology for wanting

to make sure that I maintain

our bank in a strong position,

that it is tofrtdable and that

it is able to Jenerate good

levels of capital and generate

return ing for shoelds and

giving the shareholderings the

government in the

system. Indeed, in relation to

that in a speech just last

night the Reserve Bank governor

Steve Steve Steve - Steve Steve

Steve vehicling - Glenn Stevens

said the banks are dis playing

a damaging reluctance to lend -

it makes much more sense for

you to be more cautious but

right now that is not what the

system needs? Certainly if you

look at our increase in lending

across the board, we had an

increase of 22% in lending

assets over the previous

period. 22% in anybody's

language is certainly proof

that there's no credit

rationing going on. There will

be individual customers who

have having difficulty because

of the - because of the

business model or the lack of

fundamentals in their business

which is causing their problems

and financing. But you will see

that 22% is a very significant

increase in lending assets in a

12-month period. You You've

been in the top job at the bank

for 3.5 years. There were

reporting this week that the

board has started looking for

successor. Are you on the way

out? I think reports of my

demise are somewhatagerated. I

think every chief executive has

to make sure there's a

succession plan in place. The

board has to make sure there is

a succession plan in place.

Certainly that issing that something that has been

obviously ongoing for some

time. So I think that is just

good gofrance and good

practice. Yier nowhere near

tend of your tenure? Not that I

know of! Thank you for talking

to Lateline Business. My

pleasure. Now a look at

tomorrow's business diary. All

eyes will be on Rio Tinto as

the troubled mine er report tsz

- reports its full year profit.

Coca-Cola Amatil and Leighton

Holdings also able earnings. I

will be speaking to their heads

tomorrow. Away from the

earnings season, unemployment

number also be released and

trade figures are also

published overseas. Now a look

at the business papers. The 'Australian' previews

tomorrow's profit announce frmentd Rio Tinto. The the

'Age' warn s Rio's deal with

chinral co could sacrifice

future stratsz jik options an

the 'Sydney Morning Herald'

predictings Chinalco will end

up owning up to 19% of Rio. And

that's all for tonight. As I

leave you the footszy is down

16 pointings. I am Ali Moore.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI