Cough up: Mandatory code of conduct for digital giants to support Australian publishers

Cough up: Mandatory code of conduct for digital giants to support Australian publishers

A proposed mandatory code of conduct for overseas digital platforms will be designed to support Australian publishers and level the imbalanced playing field. Included in the government's proposal are arrangements to ensure the sharing of data between publishers and digital platforms and the monetisation and sharing of revenue generate...

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Mayfair 101 restrained from promoting debenture products

Mayfair 101 restrained from promoting debenture products

The Federal Court has restrained Mayfair 101 from promoting its debenture products and prohibited the company from using specific words and phrases in its advertising. The Australian company was taken to the Federal Court last week by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) after allegedly producing misleading and decep...

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US launches three-phase reopening plan as cases pass 670,000

US launches three-phase reopening plan as cases pass 670,000

US President Donald Trump has put the wheels in motion to ease coronavirus-related restrictions if certain benchmarks are hit within fortnightly periods. In an announcement that pushed Wall Street higher overnight, the White House released "gating criteria" that must be met before states and regions can enter a new phase within ...

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Flight Centre founders see shareholding drastically diluted

Flight Centre founders see shareholding drastically diluted

Flight Centre's (ASX: FLT) proposed $700 million raise was always going to result in a major dilution of ownership for shareholders, but the impact on the company's founders has been severe. Prior to the raise, which ultimately saw the company issue around 78.1 million new shares at a 27.3 per cent discount, the Flight Centre...

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Australian universities facing a $19 billion cumulative loss

Australian universities facing a $19 billion cumulative loss

Losing international student revenue could result in Australian universities posting a $19 billion cumulative loss from 2020 to 2023. According to the latest research from think tank Mitchell Institute the impact from Australia's borders being closed on the higher education industry could be a loss in the range of $10 billion to $19 b...

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Michael Hill sales dive as executives take pay cuts

Michael Hill sales dive as executives take pay cuts

Covid-19 trading restrictions have taken the shine off jewellery group Michael Hill (ASX: MHJ) with total store revenue down 11.9 per cent in the third quarter of FY20. The results come as the listed retailer cuts board fees and slashes executive bonuses entirely to manage the fallout from the financial crisis. The effects were felt t...

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Master Builders Australia survey shows orders have "fallen off a cliff"

Master Builders Australia survey shows orders have "fallen off a cliff"

A survey of builders and tradies around the country has found new work could run out in the next few months if orders don't pick up. Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn describes the results of a recent Covid-19 impacts survey as "alarming", with 73 per cent of respondents reporting substantial fall in f...

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Government props up Virgin, Qantas to keep critical flights and freight alive

Government props up Virgin, Qantas to keep critical flights and freight alive

The Federal Government will underwrite $165 million for domestic flights run by Qantas (ASX: QAN) and Virgin Australia (ASX: VAH) during the Covid-19 pandemic. The investment from the Government will allow both Qantas and Virgin to reinstate some domestic services, and is a big support for Virgin in particular which is currently suspended...

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PM outlines triggers for easing of restrictions

PM outlines triggers for easing of restrictions

The Australian Government has set a four-week goal to achieve surveillance, tracing and response milestones if social distancing measures are to be eased, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison emphasises there will be "sobering" economic news along the way.  While 63 people have lost their lives so far to Covid-19 in Australia ...

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Cbus to build $300 million CBD office building for SA Government

Cbus to build $300 million CBD office building for SA Government

Cbus Property will deliver a $300 million 20-storey CBD office building in Adelaide for the South Australian Government. The build will be managed in partnership by the SA Government and Cbus Property, and the building will house the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) as an anchor tenant. Cbus...

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Harris Scarfe sold to Spotlight Group

Harris Scarfe sold to Spotlight Group

Australian department store chain Harris Scarfe has been sold to Spotlight Group, leaving unsecured creditors in the lurch. A deed of company arrangement (DOCA) has been agreed upon by creditors which will see Harris Scarfe continue to trade under the ownership of Spotlight Group, the parent company of craft retailer Spotlight and outdoor...

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Bapcor launches $210 million capital raise

Bapcor launches $210 million capital raise

Car parts retailer Bapcor (ASX: BAP) is raising $210 million in an effort to reduce debt and build a cash foundation to see the Covid-19 crisis through. The fully underwritten institutional placement of $180 million and a non-underwritten share placement plan of $30 million will be used to reduce the company's net debt position. F...

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QLD Government to tackle "hefty" food delivery fees

QLD Government to tackle "hefty" food delivery fees

The Queensland Government has called a meeting for Monday to address ways of tackling the delivery fee burden on restaurants and cafés. Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman says key stakeholders will come together to discuss the issue of "exorbitant delivery fees as a matter of urgency". &q...

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Sewage the next frontier in tracking Covid-19 cases

Sewage the next frontier in tracking Covid-19 cases

Researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) and the CSIRO have taken the first steps to develop a sewage-based early warning surveillance system to track Covid-19 prevalence in the community. Scientists have successfully demonstrated the presence of SARS-CoV2, the virus which leads to the disease COVID-19, in untreated wastewa...

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Shine expands PFAS contamination class action against Department of Defence

Shine expands PFAS contamination class action against Department of Defence

Emboldened by a $212.5 million settlement for victims of toxic chemicals from military sites, Shine Lawyers (ASX: SHJ) is taking its class action up a notch against the Department of Defence. In October last year the law firm announced it was investigating a class action over polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination from firefightin...

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Virgin suspended from ASX

Virgin suspended from ASX

Two days after entering into a trading halt Virgin Australia (ASX: VAH) has requested an immediate suspension of its ordinary shares and unsecured notes on the ASX. The suspension relates to internal discussions at Virgin regarding how the airline intends to continue during the Covid-19 crisis, including deliberation over financial assist...

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Watchdog slams Sportsbet over ASX betting

Watchdog slams Sportsbet over ASX betting

Sportsbet has blamed work from home (WFH) arrangements for a lapse of judgment that led it to offer bets on the S&P/ASX 200 Index. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) intervened in the matter following concerns the bets constituted a financial product that Sportsbet was not licensed to offer, and the produc...

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Aussie Disposals enters administration, 11 stores to close

Aussie Disposals enters administration, 11 stores to close

Australian camping store chain Aussie Disposals appointed voluntary administrators yesterday after bearing the brunt of shopper impacts from bushfires and the Covid-19 crisis. A notice filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) shows the company appointed Melbourne-based administrators Magnetic Insolvency....

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The last thing companies should be doing right now is paying dividends

The last thing companies should be doing right now is paying dividends

The economic heart attack induced by COVID-19 has revealed an ugly truth many very large companies have too little cash to ride out sharp downturns. Cash flow variability, and the inability to retain earnings to buffer that variability, is one of the most common reasons small businesses fail. Because large companies have raised large ...

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Bubs sales surge in March quarter

Bubs sales surge in March quarter

Goat's milk formula producer Bubs Australia (ASX: BUB) continues to herd in more consumers with its expanded range of products and channels, delivering 67 per cent year-on-year sales growth in the third quarter. The $19.7 million revenue figure also represents 36 per cent growth on the December quarter, while operating cash flow was p...

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GO1 remote learning gets a lift with Microsoft Teams

GO1 remote learning gets a lift with Microsoft Teams

A Queensland-based training and content provider known as the "Netflix for the workplace" will soon be part of Microsoft's answer to business communications tool Slack. GO1, which 13 months ago raised more than $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Microsoft, has announced today its integration with Microsoft Teams....

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Trump suspends funding for WHO

Trump suspends funding for WHO

As the world grapples with containing the Covid-19 pandemic and total deaths now stand at almost 126,000, US President Donald Trump has announced a suspension of his country's funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO). Trump has today alleged the WHO severely mismanaged the health crisis, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan...

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NSW Premier appoints special commissioner for Ruby Princess inquiry

NSW Premier appoints special commissioner for Ruby Princess inquiry

The NSW Government has today announced a special commission of inquiry into events surrounding the Ruby Princess cruise ship, whereby thousands of passengers disembarked the vessel in Sydney on 19 March despite the known presence of Covid-19 onboard.  The ship is single largest source of coronavirus cases in Australia, and its h...

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Relaxed financial advice rules praised by industry groups

Relaxed financial advice rules praised by industry groups

Several industry bodies have praised regulators for relaxing rules around how financial advice is given during the Covid-19 crisis. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced yesterday that registered tax agents (RTAs) would be allowed to temporarily give advice about early access to superannuation without ...

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Genetic Signatures' Covid-19 testing kit receives regulatory approval

Genetic Signatures' Covid-19 testing kit receives regulatory approval

A new rapid testing kit that can detect the virus which causes Covid-19 has been given the tick of approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Genetic Signatures' (ASX: GSS) SARS-CoV-2 Detection Kit has been approved for inclusion in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), giving the company greater access t...

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Smiles Inclusive CEO Tony McCormack steps aside

Smiles Inclusive CEO Tony McCormack steps aside

Smiles Inclusive (ASX: SIL) CEO Tony McCormack (pictured below) has resigned within a week of the embattled dental company announcing the majority of its workforce had been stood down. With most dental practices closed on an "on call" basis, the company was already struggling with cash flow problems prior to the Covid-19 outbrea...

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Sales rise for Afterpay as online drives growth

Sales rise for Afterpay as online drives growth

Shares in Afterpay (ASX: APT) are up 26 per cent today after the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) powerhouse reported March was its third-highest underlying sales month on record, up 12 per cent on January and February. The group claimed it was "difficult to identify any sustained trends" in any region as a result of Covid-19 impac...

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800,000 businesses register for JobKeeper package

800,000 businesses register for JobKeeper package

Australian businesses have applied en masse for the Federal Government's $130 billion JobKeeper package, keeping the projected unemployment rate much lower than it would have been otherwise. This afternoon Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) announced more than 800,000 businesses had registered for the scheme so far, while Treasury f...

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Funeral operator InvoCare to raise $150 million

Funeral operator InvoCare to raise $150 million

InvoCare (ASX: IVC) is set to raise $150 million to strengthen its balance sheet as social distancing measures impact its memorial services business. The net proceeds of the raise will be used to reduce net debt and increase liquidity to support the business during the Covid-19 financial crisis. The placement will be conducted at $10....

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Westpac slashes earnings by $1.4 billion due to AUSTRAC and customer remediation

Westpac slashes earnings by $1.4 billion due to AUSTRAC and customer remediation

Australia's second-largest bank Westpac (ASX: WBC) is counting the cost of a money laundering compliance scandal investigated by AUSTRAC, while the aftershock of the Royal Commission continues with hundreds of millions of dollars set aside for customer refunds. The company announced this morning its cash earnings for the first half of...

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