Thursday, January 31, 2019

Australian dollar and Wall St surge after Federal Reserve keeps interest rates steady

The Australian dollar has surged to its two-month high, as the greenback weakened after the US Federal Reserve decided keep interest rates on hold. 

Instead of aiming for "further gradual increases" in rates, the Fed said it would "be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range" — which suggests the central bank may not raise borrowing costs in the foreseeable future. 

ABC's Peter Ryan analyses the Fed's decision.

Chief bank lobbyist Anna Bligh braces for possible criminal referrals as Royal Commission final report looms

Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh is bracing for possible civil or criminal referrals when the final report of the banking Royal Commission is released on Monday. 

The former Queensland Labor premier says the report will "make for some very sobering reading" but says if charges are referred bankers are entitled to a defence under the criminal justice system. 

Ms Bligh tells ABC's Peter Ryan only a brave person would speculation on the sharemarket reaction when the report is released.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Inflation edges up, but not enough to take interest rate cut off the agenda

Official inflation has strengthened marginally but is still well below the Reserve Bank's target band of two to three percent. 

The ABS says the consumer price index rose 0.5 percent in the December quarter and 1.8 percent over the year. 

Combined with the housing correction and credit squeeze stemming from the banking Royal Commission, some economists are tipping the RBA will cut interest rates this year.

Here's my report from The World Today

AMP's male only board one of four outliers as gender diversity improves

AMP's male-only board has been outed as the latest gender diversity survey shows women now account for 29.7 percent of ASX 200 board positions. 

Australian Institute of Company Directors chief executive Angus Armour says Australia is the first country in the world to achieve the 30 percent target without quotas or regulatory intervention. 

Other companies with no women on their boards include TPG Telecom, ARB Corporation and Emeco Holdings. 

Angus Armour speaks with ABC's Peter Ryan

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

TPG stops mobile network rollout after Huawei 5G ban in Australia

TPG has ceased its rollout of its mobile network after the federal government banned the use of Huawei equipment for Australia's 5G mobile network. 

Huawei spokesman Jeremy Mitchell tells ABC's Peter Ryan the reduced competition means consumers will end up paying more.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Burford Capital bankrolling AMP class action as Royal Commission final report looms

The world's biggest litigation funder has set up shop in Australia to get a slice of the booming class action business, with some high profile ones stemming from the banking Royal Commission.

Read the story here

The US-based Burford Capital is already bankrolling one of the potential class actions against the troubled wealth manager AMP which has had its reputation and market value smashed by Royal Commission revelations including the "fee for no service" scandal. 

Burford chief executive Chris Bogart speaks from Washington with ABC's Peter Ryan.