Former Bond Corporation executive Tony Oates may not serve any
more time in jail despite entering surprise guilty pleas over his
role in Australia’s biggest corporate fraud, reports The Age. After more than ten years fighting his high-profile prosecution,
the 62-year-old stepped into the dock of the WA Supreme Court and
admitted to three counts of improperly using his position as a
director of Bell Resources to gain an advantage for the ailing Bond
Corporation between 16 September and 3 November 1988.

Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo has backed
a termination notice issued to the telco’s second-largest mobile phone
dealer, Crazy John’s, in an effort to renegotiate the $60 million-plus
payment the telco makes to its partner each year, reports The Australian. At the same time, Telstra has ramped up construction plans for 33 new
company-branded retail stores this financial year, as it strives to
push more sales through its direct channels.

From all accounts, Trujillo’s attitude towards the prospect of tougher
regulation as the trade-off for T3 has been hardening since he
joined Telstra, says Stephen Bartholomeusz in The Smage. Trujillo was always going to have a different approach to
regulation and the regulator, the ACCC, than his predecessor, Ziggy Switkowski, and if he’s confronted by the prospect of tougher regulation
of Telstra’s core at the point where that core is under more
pressure than at any time in its history, the elements for a
confrontation between the new CEO and his minister are falling into
place.

Booming residential construction markets in the
southern states of the US are fuelling a surge in profits at Rinker
Group, Australia’s largest construction company, raising its earnings
forecast for the second time in two months on the back of robust
first-quarter earnings, reports The Australian. First-quarter profits rose 62% to $242 million and profits in the US, where
80% of the business is based, are expected to rise 30% this year.

Major resources companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars
on new computer systems to slash costs and improve their supply chains
as they race to meet China’s insatiable appetite for Australian mineral
exports, reports the Fin Review. Rio Tinto is expected to spend $200 million on IT upgrades over the next five years.

On Wall Street, US stocks ended lower overnight – the Nasdaq
and the S&P 500 snapped seven-session winning streaks – as
weaker than expected earnings from Citigroup prompted investors to lock
in recent gains. The Dow Jones fell 65.84 points to 10,574 –
MarketWatch has a full report here.

Peter Fray

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