THE NEWS WRAP: New small business minister to be announced in cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is set to announce a new small business minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle, following the mass-resignation of ministers aligned with Kevin Rudd.


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has named Jason Clare, Sharon Bird, Mike Kelly, Andrew Leigh and Gai Brodtmann as potential beneficiaries of the reshuffle.


Aside from the small business portfolio, other key ministries to be filled include resources, tourism, tertiary education, science and research, local government and the arts.


Cyprus set to re-introduce one-off bank deposit tax


The government of Cyprus is set to reintroduce plans for a one-off levy on bank deposits, with the government needing to raise $7.74 billion in order to obtain a $13 billion bailout package from European banking authorities.


While the tax would not affect people with deposits less than $125,000, all deposits above that amount at the Bank of Cyprus will be taxed at 20% under the revised plan.


The original proposal, which was voted down amidst large protests, would have seen all deposits impacted by the one-off tax.


Tougher loans for “at-risk” businesses: Report


Banks are imposing tougher loan conditions on businesses in sectors deemed to be at risk, according to a new survey of more than 30,000 businesses published by Macquarie and research company East and Partners.


Around 10% of business in the mining sector surveyed for the report have seen their loans re-priced, compared to a national average of 6%.


Businesses in the “at risk” retail, manufacturing and media sectors are also burdened with tougher loan conditions, according to the survey.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.63% at 14,512.26. The Aussie dollar is steady at US104.38 cents.


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