Macquarie Group Ltd reported a steep fall in profit for 2012 and confirmed it has cut 1,300 jobs over the last 12 months.
Net profit plunged at the so called “millionaires factory”, falling 24% to $730 million for the 12 months to March 31, down from $956 million in the previous corresponding period.
However, shares in the bank rose as it confirmed plans to conduct a share buyback, saying it would spend up to $500 million to buy up to 10% of ordinary shares, subject to market conditions.
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Tony Abbott calls for more skilled migrants
Tony Abbott wants to lift the limits on business and skilled migrants entering Australia through 457 visas.
The Opposition Leader wants to lift the limits on 457 visas granted to skilled workers for temporary work for up to four years.
Abbott says workers on 457 visas are “the best immigrants”, who contribute immediately to the economy and provide the best long-term workers when they convert their visas to permanent residency.
The current skilled migrant intake is 125,850 people.
Sharemarket opens flat
The Australian market opened with little change after Wall Street lifted overnight despite a series of uneven data and corporate earnings reports that included poor results from oil giant ExxonMobil.
At the official market opening, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.13% to 4,380.9 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index moved 0.12% higher to 4,450.4 points.
Super funds to face tougher governance rules
The federal Opposition has welcomed reports Labor will crack down on conflicts of interest in the superannuation industry by imposing strict new rules on fund trustees.
Coalition superannuation spokesman Mathias Cormann said Labor had finally caught up to Opposition policy on reforming the superannuation industry.
“We have long argued that the disclosure of conflicts of interests must be mandatory,” Senator Cormann said in a statement.