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Australia’s largest home building company Metricon Homes has announced that it is still in a strong position when confronted with reports about its insolvency. The company officials had a meeting with Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas on May 19, and Metricon chief executive Peter Langfelder affirmed that everything was normal. “We’re always in contact with government,” he told reporters. “We had a fantastic engagement with them.
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Liquidators for failed cryptocurrency exchange MyCryptoWallet claim the business may have traded whilst insolvent for three years before its collapse, and have drawn into question $3.4 million in ‘unfair or preferential’ transactions made by the company’s founder, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. MyCryptoWallet was a Melbourne-based exchange founded in 2017 by Jaryd Koenigsmann, which allowed users to buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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Passengers are starting to arrive in Australia as it allowed travel by double-vaccinated visitors, following almost two years of strict travel bans introduced to stem the spread of Covid-19, Bloomberg News reported. It’s also a long-awaited day for the tourism sector -- which employed about 5% of the nation’s workforce and contributed 3% to the economy prior to the pandemic -- and was already reeling in early 2020 from devastating wildfires.
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Australia concluded its quantitative easing program, leaving the Reserve Bank with more than 40% of government bonds on issue and raising questions about what it will do with the pile of assets, Bloomberg News reported. The RBA on Thursday conducted its final A$1.6 billion purchase of securities under a program that tripled its balance sheet to about A$650 billion ($465 billion). Indeed in 2021 it bought more than three times more debt than the government issued, the largest ratio across the world’s six largest developed bond markets.
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Australia's core inflation flew to its fastest annual pace since 2014 in the December quarter as fuel and housing costs led broad-based price pressures, a shock that will stoke market speculation of an early hike in interest rates, Reuters reported. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Tuesday showed the headline consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter and 3.5% for the year, topping forecasts. The trimmed mean measure of core inflation favoured by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) jumped 1.0% in the quarter, the largest increase since 2008.
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Australia's government said the milder impact of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 meant the country could push ahead with plans to reopen the economy even as new infections hit a record of more than 37,000 and the number of people hospitalised rose, Reuters reported. Record daily case numbers were reported on Monday in the states of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as the Australian Capital Territory.
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A chain of Hawaiian-themed salad bars called Poked have collapsed, with the directors attributing repeat COVID-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne as the driving factors, SmartCompany reported. Founded in 2016, Poked Group operates eight restaurants employing about 50 staff, with seven located across Melbourne’s CBD and one on Sydney’s George Street. The restaurants sell customisable salad bowls, including options for people with alternative dietary requirements.
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Australia on Friday won a landmark court ruling against Singapore Telecommunications, a victory in the country’s battle against tax avoidance by multinational companies through cross-border financing arrangements, Bloomberg News reported. The Federal Court of Australia on Friday dismissed the company’s appeal of a tax assessment related to the acquisition financing of Singtel Optus in 2001.
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Australian securities regulator said on Tuesday it has filed six civil penalty proceedings against Westpac Banking Corp., the country's third-largest bank, alleging widespread compliance failures across its business over many years, Reuters reported. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), in a statement, alleged multiple Westpac brands were involved in fees-for-no-service, distribution of duplicate insurance policies and sale of credit card and flexi-loan debt with incorrect interest rates, among others.
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Australia’s central bank will closely monitor risk premiums to judge whether asset prices appear “sensibly valued,” especially at a time of record low interest rates, said Marion Kohler, head of the domestic markets department, Bloomberg News reported. “Asset prices increase when risk-free rates are low, and this is part of the monetary transmission mechanism,” Kohler said in the text of a speech Tuesday.
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