The Australian stockmarket is unlikely to maintain its
record-breaking run over the coming financial year due to falls in
earnings growth and a weaker economy, reports The Smage. While the profit-reporting season – which kicks off this morning
when building materials group Rinker releases its interim results –
should reflect the buoyant economic conditions of the past year,
the outlook for this financial year is less certain.

Company boards are reviewing policies for disclosing price-sensitive
information, amid concerns over the market’s “overreaction” to bad
news, reports the Fin Review. So far this year, more than 150
companies have warned that earnings may be softer than expected, with
many subsequently suffering a sharp fall in their share prices. Also in
the AFR, the business community is pleading with the federal
government to speed up decision-making on its industrial relations
reforms, saying the “information vacuum” is giving the union movement a
head start in the public opinion battle.

When Peter Costello carries on about how NSW taxpayers are being
ripped off on state taxes, he’s dead right. But it’s him that’s
doing the ripping, not the state government, says Ross Gittins in The SMH. It’s true that NSW is the highest taxing state government, but
that situation is forced on us by the antiquated and unreasonable
way the GST revenue is divided between the states. And it can never
change until Costello agrees to reform the system.

Peter Fray

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