Asia-Pacific News Australia & New Zealand


  • Macquarie Bank, Australia's top listed investment bank, said it raised $625 million from a sale of new shares to fund its international expansion.

  • A key indicator of wages in Australia rose by much less than expected last quarter, easing fears that a drum-tight labor market would stoke inflation and lead to higher interest rates.

  • Australian consumer confidence jumped to record highs in May, boosted by a heady mix of tax cuts, strong employment, low inflation and stable interest rates, a survey showed on Wednesday.

  • Macquarie Bank posted a 60% jump in 2006 profit, earning $1.2 billion and beating analysts' forecasts, boosted by strong deal flows and robust equity markets.

  • The auction process for Australia's second largest retailer, Coles Group , has kicked into gear, with a private-equity consortium led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts the first group to start due diligence.

  • Australia's largest telecom Telstra said on Monday it would consider all its options if it received any takeover approaches. 

  • Alinta, Australia's largest energy infrastructure firm, said it had recommended an improved offer from investment bank Babcock & Brown worth up to $6.74 billion, scuttling Macquarie Bank's rival bid.

  • Australian employment surged in April, driving the jobless rate to a 32-year trough and stoking concerns a super-tight labor market would eventually threaten higher inflation and interest rates.

  • National Australia Bank, the nation's top lender, beat forecasts with a 23% rise in first-half cash earnings on Thursday, on strong loan growth and rapid progress at its U.K. divisions.

  • Qantas passenger jets parked at their terminal at Sydney Airport.

    Australia's Qantas Airways indicated on Wednesday it would not back a new takeover offer pitched at the same price as the failed $9 billion bid from a consortium including Macquarie Bank.

  • Qantas passenger jets parked at their terminal at Sydney Airport.

    The buyout group bidding for Australia's Qantas Airways declared its $9 billion offer dead on Tuesday after deciding not to pursue a legal case over shareholder acceptances.

  • Australia's Publishing & Broadcasting said on Tuesday it would split its gaming and media assets into two listed companies, sending its shares up as much as 8.5%.

  • Qantas passenger jets parked at their terminal at Sydney Airport.

    The buyout group bidding for Australia's Qantas Airways said on Monday it was considering launching a new offer for the airline following the collapse of its previous $9 billion bid.

  • Australian investment firm Macquarie Bank has raised its offer for energy infrastructure firm Alinta to at least $6.5 billion, a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.

  • AGL Energy, Australia's largest energy retailer, said on Friday it would team up with Macquarie Bank to acquire the 67% of the AlintaAGL retail business it does not own, if Macquarie makes a revised bid for Alinta.

  • Australia's central bank on Friday cut its forecast for underlying inflation this year to 2.5%, right in the middle of its target band and suggesting a much-reduced risk of a rise in interest rates for  the next few months.

  • Westpac Banking, Australia's fourth-biggest lender, said on Thursday first-half cash profit climbed 11%, spurred by higher demand for loans and a strong performance by its wealth management business.

  • Australia's central bank kept interest rates steady at 6.25% on Wednesday, as slowing inflation gave it scope to skip a tightening despite strong domestic demand and a drum-tight labor market.

  • St. George Bank, Australia's fifth-biggest lender, met expectations with a record first-half profit on Tuesday on strong loan growth and a booming wealth management business, andupgraded its full-year forecasts.

  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Australia's third-biggest bank, said Thursday its first-half net profit rose 16% to $1.752 billion in the six months ended March 31 from A$1.81 billion a year earlier helped by the sale of the bank's vehicle leasing arm, Fleetpartners.