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Sydney Airport has agreed to accept a A$23.6bn (£13bn; $17.5bn) takeover bid from a group of investors, BBC.com reported. If completed, the deal will one of Australia's biggest ever buyouts. The agreement came after Sydney Aviation Alliance (SAA) raised its bid in response to the airport's owner rebuffing its earlier offer. However, the proposed sale faces a number of potential obstacles, which means the process could still take months to complete.
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Australia's banking watchdog said it was examining the regulatory implications of Commonwealth Bank's (CBA)'s planned introduction of bitcoin trading to unsophisticated retail investors - the first bank in Australia to do so, Reuters reported. CBA says that it would welcome a clear regulatory framework for crytpocurrencies, which are not formally regulated in Australia.
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The Reserve Bank of Australia bowed to market pressure Tuesday, abandoning a bond-yield target after an acceleration in inflation spurred traders to price in higher borrowing costs, Bloomberg News reported. The decision to scrap the 0.1% yield target on the April 2024 security comes after a bond market selloff last week and amid an improving domestic outlook underpinned by high vaccination rates. The RBA kept its cash rate at a record low 0.1%, as expected.
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Five years after its controversial creation, the Hilltops Council in southern NSW has backed a motion to implement tough budget cuts in a bid to balance the books, ABC.net reported. The council was formed in 2016 by the amalgamation of the Boorowa, Harden, and Young Shires. Since then, it has struggled financially and the motion passed at this week's meeting is designed to balance the books through a number of cost-cutting measures. It came after general manager Anthony O'Reilly warned: "continued annual deficits are unsustainable".
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Salt Lake Potash Ltd. said Wednesday that the company is insolvent or likely to become so in the future, MarketWatch.com reported. The Australia-focused fertilizers company has appointed administrators, receivers and managers to market the company and its assets for sale and recapitalization. The group had warned in July that it needed to raise money before the end of the year in order to continue operating its Lake Way project.
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Australia’s central bank kept its monetary settings unchanged, betting there’s enough stimulus to foster an economic recovery ahead of a gradual reopening of Sydney and Melbourne as vaccination rates climb, Bloomberg News reported. Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe kept the cash rate at 0.1% -- as expected -- at Tuesday’s meeting. Lowe cut weekly bond purchases to A$4 billion ($2.9 billion) last month, while pushing out their next review to mid-February to help cushion the economic impact of lockdowns along the nation’s east coast.
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Australian employment dived in August as coronavirus lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne forced businesses to lay off workers and slash hours, while the jobless rate was nudged lower by a sharp fall in the number of people looking for work, Reuters reported. Thursday's data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed employment fell by 146,000 in August, compared to median forecasts of a drop of 90,000. The unemployment rate dipped to 4.5%, having already fallen to 4.6% in July when lockdowns also distorted the data.
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Australia's competition regulator on Monday denied authorisation for Qantas Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) to coordinate flights between the two countries, citing competition concerns as international travel is set to resume, Reuters reported. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said the regulator was not satisfied that the public benefits of the proposed joint business agreement would outweigh harm to competition.
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A sale of Australia's biggest airport moved closer on Monday as an infrastructure investor group won permission to conduct due diligence on Sydney Airport Holdings Pt Ltd, after sweetening its takeover offer to A$23.6 billion ($17.4 billion), Reuters reported. The move sent the airport's shares up 5%, with analysts saying a rival bid appeared unlikely given the scale of the funding needed and foreign ownership rules that mean the airport must remain 51% Australian owned.
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An independent review of the Australian stock exchange outage last November found that the bourse operator's new trading system was not ready to go live, the country's corporate regulator said on Monday, Reuters reported. The outage on Nov. 16 last year nearly wiped out an entire session and damaged the reputation of the bourse operator ASX Ltd. The independent review conducted by IBM Australia found that while the ASX met industry practices in 58 out of 75 of the capabilities assessed, it missed in 17.
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