Australia & New Zealand


  • Australian Jobs Surge, Unemployment at 32-Year Low Wednesday, 9 May 2007 | 10:55 PM ET

    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 Says APA Will Have to Do Better Next Time Tuesday, 8 May 2007 | 10:42 PM ET
    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.

  • Australia's Macquarie Makes New Offer for Alinta Sunday, 6 May 2007 | 9:01 PM ET

    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 Eyes Deal with Macquarie for AlintaAGL Thursday, 3 May 2007 | 10:46 PM ET

    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 Lowers 2007 Inflation Forecast Thursday, 3 May 2007 | 10:01 PM ET

    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 Posts 11% Rise in First-Half Profit Wednesday, 2 May 2007 | 8:34 PM ET

    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 Holds Rates Steady at 6.25% Tuesday, 1 May 2007 | 8:12 PM ET

    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.

  • ANZ Posts 16% Rise in First-Half Net Profit Thursday, 26 Apr 2007 | 12:25 AM ET

    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. 

  • Australian Inflation Slows, Curbs Rate Risk Monday, 23 Apr 2007 | 11:21 PM ET

    Underlying inflation in Australia was surprisingly subdued in the first quarter while consumer prices rose at their slowest pace in two years, radically lessening the risk of a rise in interest rates.

  • Bendigo Rejects Bank of Queensland $2.3 Billion Bid Monday, 23 Apr 2007 | 10:40 PM ET

    Australian regional lender Bendigo Bank rejected on Tuesday a $2.3 billion takeover bid by Bank of Queensland saying the deal does not offer sufficient value and certainty for its shareholders.

  • Australia's producer prices were unchanged in the first quarter, confounding forecasts for a rise and offering hope that inflationary pressures were slackening enough to avoid another increase in interest rates.

  • Buyout Group says Qantas Offer Will Not Be Extended Sunday, 22 Apr 2007 | 10:17 AM ET

    A buyout group including Macquarie Bank said on Sunday it would not extend its A$11 billion ($9 billion) bid for Australia's Qantas Airways beyond May 4, but would speed up payments to shareholders who accepted.

  • Australian businesses reported strong trading conditions last quarter, generating more demand for labor and leaving the economy with little spare capacity, a survey showed on Tuesday.

  • The Australian dollar climbed to a fresh 17-year peak against the U.S. dollar on Monday, buoyed by gains against the Japanese yen after the weekend Group of Seven ministers meeting appeared unconcerned about carry trades.

  • Australian Jobless Rate Falls to 31-Year Low Wednesday, 11 Apr 2007 | 11:06 PM ET

    Australia's jobless rate fell to three-decade lows in March while employers took on more full-time workers in a sign of underlying strength in the economy which may yet require a restraining rise in interest rates.