Regional lender Bank of Queensland has hiked interest rates by as much as 18 basis points, once again blaming funding cost pressures for the move. From Friday, Bank of Queensland’s Economy Owner Occupier Principal and Interest rate will increase by 11 basis points while several other home loans and lines of credit rates will increase by 18 basis points. The lender said it would leave its Clear Path principal and interest rate package unchanged. Yesterday’s move presents another headache for home owners facing falling house prices. It comes after Bank of Queensland lifted interest rates out-of-cycle last June, hiking rates across a range of owner occupied and investor loans buy as much as 15 basis points. It also comes amid mounting speculation the next move in official cash rates will be down rather than up.
BHP Group Limited (BHP):
BHP Coal has been ordered to reinstate a veteran mine worker and pay him $44,000 in lost earnings after the Fair Work Commission found he was unfairly dismissed for refusing to train a contractor. In a 572-paragraph decision, commissioner Jennifer Hunt said Gregory Macklin, who had worked at BHP since 1980, could be considered a “workplace dinosaur”, likening him to the -institutionalised fictional char-acter Brooks Hatlen in The Shawshank Redemption. She castigated him over two workplace incidents that led to two warnings by BHP. In 2016, he told a female bus driver who asked him to put on his seat belt that “you need to concentrate on driving as you are female”, and last year he made derogatory comments during a training course after a female manager said women returning to work needed breastfeeding facilities.
BHP Group Limited (BHP):
BHP will consider boosting investment in its US petroleum business after joint venture partner BP approved a $US1.3 billion ($1.8bn) expansion of the Atlantis oil field in the Gulf of Mexico with first supplies due online in 2020. Atlantis Phase 3 will lift production by 38,000 barrels a day at its peak with an additional 400 million barrels of oil in place at the field, according to BP, following breakthroughs in seismic imaging and reservoir characterisation. BHP, which owns 44 per cent of the project, is expected to make its own final investment decision in early 2019. BP operates Atlantis and owns the remaining 56 per cent of the project, which is located about 240 kilometres south of New Orleans.
Bingo Industries Limited (BIN):
Waste management operator Bingo Industries has offered to sell its south Sydney processing facility to ease concerns raised by the competition regulator over its $577 million takeover of rival player Dial A Dump Industries. In November, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission flagged issues with the deal and the impact it would have on competition in waste processing, landfill and collections in eastern and inner-city Sydney. While Bingo repeated its view, the acquisition would not substantially lessen competition in any relevant market, it’s prepared to offload the Banksmeadow operation in a bid to win regulatory clearances with any funds from a deal to be considered for a share buyback.
Boral Limited (BLD):
Building materials supplier Boral could pay as little as $800 million to buy the remaining half-stake in the Asian venture it runs with US plasterboard maker USG Corporation, according to Ord Minnett. Boral is weighing whether to acquire the other 50 per cent holding of the USG Boral joint venture it doesn’t own after the German group Knauf bought its Chicago-based rival in a $US7 billion ($9.8 billion) deal in June. USG is Boral’s joint venture partner in its Asia Pacific plasterboard business with options including a buyout of the rest of the venture, or a new and expanded partnership with Knauf or with rivals like Saint-Gobain.
National Australia Bank Limited (NAB):
National Australia Bank’s head of consumer banking Mike Baird is set to speak at a NSW Liberal Party fundraiser ahead of a state election, despite the engagement coming as the finance sector reels from the fallout of the Hayne royal commission. The Australian can reveal that Mr Baird will headline a February 4 boardroom lunch for NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet at Deloitte’s Sydney offices. A letter promoting the lunch put the cost for a seat at the table at $1500 and said a $500 donation was “optional”. The appearance by Mr Baird will come just days after royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne submits his landmark final report on the banking royal commission, due by February 1.
Seven Group Holdings Limited (SVW):
The Seven Network has claimed victory with its inaugural coverage of the cricket Test series between Australia and India, despite the home side’s disappointing 2-1 loss. The four-Test series, which began on December 6 in Adelaide, has delivered bumper -ratings with Seven scooping up 56 per cent of the daytime commercial television ratings. Seven secured 60 per cent of the key 18-49 demographic and 58 per cent of the 25-54 demographic during the day. Seven said its first Test series had been more than just a ratings success for the network, with -series sponsors KFC and Vodafone pleased with the success of their campaigns.