THE NEWS WRAP: Trade Minister in free trade talks with China

Trade Minister Richard Marles is in talks to sign a free trade agreement with China, hoping to reach a deal before the end of the year.


However, Chinese demands for a lift in the threshold requiring Foreign Investment Review Board approval remain a key stumbling block.


Currently, the threshold for Chinese investment in Australia requiring FIRB approval is $248 million, with all state-owned enterprise purchases needing approval regardless of value. China is hoping the limit will be lifted to $1 billion.


“We need to put these on a path to conclusion; there is so much for the Australian economy to benefit by having a trade agreement in terms of expanding the breadth of our economic engagement with China beyond resources,” Marles says.


“The growing middle class in China is going to be one of the most significant social phenomena that the world is going to see over the next decade and we have to be a part of that.”


Facebook’s mobile ad revenue surges


Facebook’s second quarter revenue has surged by 53%, with mobile ads now accounting for 41% of its total advertising revenue, up from 30% the previous quarter.


Net income for the social media giant stood at $US333 million for the quarter, up from $US157 million loss for the same quarter last year.


While the social media giant’s total number of users grew from 1.11 billion during the quarter, its number of mobile users increased by 51% to 819 million.


Visa’s net profit grows as consumers pull out their credit cards


Visa has reported a second quarter net profit of $US1.23 billion, up from a $US1.84 billion loss for the same quarter last year, with its operating revenue up 17% to $US3 billion.


The growth came off the back of an increase in consumer spending, with payment volume worldwide increasing 13% to $US1.1 trillion for the quarter.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.16% to 15542.24. The Aussie dollar is steady at US91.67 cents.


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