Qantas could strike a merger deal in London, Hong Kong or
Auckland if an arrangement cannot be struck with Singapore
Airlines, reports The Smage.
Chief executive Geoff Dixon said Qantas was likely to merge with
international airline within the next five years, he said. Singapore
Airlines was not the only option: British Airways, Cathay Pacific and
Air New Zealand are other
possible suitors.

The Fin Review reports that thousands of employers risk breaching
new superannuation laws because they are unsure which workers are
eligible to switch retirement funds when the super choice system takes
effect on Friday. Industry advisers say many companies have yet to
grasp the basics of the new laws and face fines of $500 per employee
every quarter by the ATO if they fail to meet their obligations. Also
in the AFR,
the federal government is considering a highly attractive retail share
offer to soak up at least one-quarter of the $32 billion Telstra float,
after receiving warnings that it may struggle to generate demand from
international institutions.

There is cautious optimism in the Telstra camp about John
Anderson’s retirement as leader of the National Party and Mark
Vaile’s appointment to replace him, says Malcolm Maiden in The Smage. Vaile takes over as the Telstra sale process is accelerating and
the signs are that the new Nationals leader will be at least as
commercially pragmatic as Anderson was, perhaps more so.

Jersey’s 90,000 residents have learnt how best to squeeze money
from their moss-covered rock in the
English Channel. It involves squashing income tax to a flat 20%, eliminating inheritance, capital gains and local company
taxes, and sitting back to watch some of the world’s wealthiest and
greediest people finance their economy. 70% of government revenue is paid by offshore
entities and we’ve learned over the past fortnight,
Australians have been paying more than their fair share. John Garnaut in the SMH looks at the latest tax scandal that involves some of
Australia’s biggest names.

The Australian reports that the record oil price will again overshadow the
Australian share market this week after soaring crude knocked the wind
out of Wall Street on Friday night.

The war of words between Australia’s two key accounting
bodies is unlikely to be over by the time books are ruled off on
30 June, reports Leon Gettler in The Age. Australia’s chief rule maker for accountants has attacked the
branding campaign that has plunged Australia’s beancounters into
civil war, accusing the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Australia of being unprofessional and divisive.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey