Business groups have welcomed Kevin Rudd’s announcement of an election on September 7, saying the certainty that comes with an election outcome will boost consumer and business confidence.
“Business will be looking to the major parties to offer policies and strategies focused on creating a vibrant and sustainable economy for the decades to come,” Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox told Fairfax.
“Business confidence is highly elastic and will not be salved until there is a clear plan for the future and an unequivocal mandate for its execution,” Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke told The Australian.
ATO concerns over Lisa Ho comeback
The Australian Taxation Office has raised concerns Lisa Ho could be attempting to establish a ‘phoenix’ company after a holding company controlled by the fashion designer purchased key intellectual property from Lisa Ho Designs, which recently collapsed with $17 million in debts.
However, administrator Todd Gammel of HLB Mann Judd is denying there is anything untoward in the transaction, according to the minutes of a creditors’ meeting filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said.
“The administrators had gone through the sale process and that the best offer they had received was from the director [Ho] … The business was offered for sale to the general public, the transaction that took place was at arm’s length and the business was not continuing to trade,” the minutes said.
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Chinese turf war spooks investors
A turf war has broken out between the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) over the future of China’s foreign investment and trade rules, with analysts warning the news risks spooking international investment.
“The PBOC is taking a more open approach (to reform), whereas SAFE sees itself as a gatekeeper,” a lead representative of a foreign business association in China told Reuters.
“There’s a perception, particularly outside of China, that policy is unfolding according to some great plan,” said Mark Williams, chief China economist at Capital Economics in London.
“Clearly that’s never actually been the case, but evidence of conflict within the government will certainly dent confidence.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.19% to 15658.36. The Aussie dollar is up to US89.12 cents.