Barely two weeks into his role as ANZ’s
Asia chief, Bob Edgar is already talking big about the bank’s regional push, reportsThe Australian, with plans to begin exporting staff and technology to markets as far afield as Cambodia
and Vietnam,
while also eyeing the potentially lucrative Indian market.

Banks are a bit like teabags, says Stuart Oldfield on the Financial Review‘s
back page (not online) – “you only ever find out if they’re any good
when they get into hot water.” Which makes now the perfect time to see
how good NAB is.

Ericsson’s millionaire chief Car-Henric Scanberg is in
town (Australia,
that is), says the paper’s Michael Sainsbury,
to watch the Swedish telco giant’s boat compete in the Volvo Round the World
Race while also nutting out a new $1 billion national
mobile network with Telstra and meeting with customers.

What’s this? A non-aggressive business statement from Rupert
Murdoch? “No way will we do a frontal assault on Google and Yahoo,” said the
News Corporation chief – but don’t worry, the company still intends on making
“a conservative one billion dollars” from the internet by 2010.

Looks like another record grape harvest for Australia,
reportsThe Sydney Morning Herald – which is
bad news for a wine industry still recovering from the glut that flooded
the market last year.

Meanwhile, not everyone at PBL is happy about the imminent appointment of omnipresent TV host
Eddie McGuire as chief of the Nine Network, reportsThe Smage. But if newly empowered PBL
chair James Packer is feeling the heat over the decision, no matter, says the
SMH‘s James Chessell, he can bug out in the circa $40 million Bombardier Global
Express he is rumoured to have bought from fast food chain McDonald’s.

Also in the SMH, Jessica Irvine assesses the future prospects of Australia’s
fledgling biofuels industry.

The argument that AWB was doing what everyone does in
countries like Iraq – paying kickbacks to officials – and just had the
misfortune to be noticed, might be comforting for some, says Malcolm Maiden in The Smage, but
it’s wrong. And the only way to kick the habit, says Andrew Field,
in The Age, is for Australia
to support international laws aimed at eradicating it.

And in international news, The Guardianreports
that BHP Billiton could face criminal charges over its involvement in
the AWB Iraqi corruption scandal; and looks at the war of words

between the prime minister of Luxembourg and Indian steel
tycoon Lakshmi Mittal over the latter’s bid for Arcelor, Europe’s
metals behemoth.

And Fortune‘s Andy Serwer (via CNN Money)
looks at the serious hitch facing satellite radio company Sirius – that
pirated versions of Howard Stern’s show are now appearing on
file-sharing networks just hours after the big ticket shock jock goes
off the air. “Ironic that a company based on disruptive
technology is itself being disrupted by new tech.”

Peter Fray

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