Stephen Bartholomeusz

Freeing the markets from HFT claws

Weighing in on the high-frequency trading debate, Joseph Stiglitz has reminded us that markets exist to provide a fundamental social purpose rather than to deliver profits for short-term traders.

A new direction for the BHP board?

A new appointment will add depth to the oil and gas expertise of the BHP Billiton board. But it may also presage a far broader shake-up of the 14 mainly non-executive directors of the mining giant.

Taking a notch out of BHP’s fifth pillar

BHP has decided to trim its spending on the Jansen potash project in Canada as it reins in boom-time capital investment plans, but argues that will not affect the longer term development of the project.

Correcting an NBN Co disconnect

Behind the expected red numbers NBN Co revealed some encouraging trends, albeit off a low base. And Bill Morrow is moving decisively to clear obstacles in the network’s path.

NBN Co ups the ante in the broadband battle

NBN Co's swift response to TPG's roll-out shows it is prepared to do whatever it takes to remain competitive amid direct threats to the NBN's business model.

The Westfield empire's defining moment

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There is strong logic to the splitting of the Westfield group. Two independent endorsements may just get the proposal, and its controversial terms, across the line.

Discounting a hollow shopper-docket victory

The ACCC won a battle but lost the campaign with a court case that never asked whether or not supermarket shopper docket schemes substantially lessen competition.

MMG's new copper means a proper metamorphosis

The acquisition of Glencore Xstrata’s Las Bambas copper mine is a transformational deal -- for MMG, for the seller and for China’s commodities dreams.

Bernie needs to sew up a custom-fit plan

With a big transforming acquisition off the table, Bernie Brookes will be thinking hard about Myer’s options to release pressure -- and aware that improved earnings would make his store even more vulnerable to predators.

Three strikes and out for NBN managers

Bill Morrow needs to move swiftly and decisively to re-make the NBN Co and given the sheer number of issues he has to deal with, the latest round of blood-letting may not be the last.

Can a switch in time save Ten?

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Ten Network's investment in sports programming has failed to deliver a halo effect on ratings. Time is running out for Hamish McLennan to transform the struggling network.

How Woolworths snatched DJs from Myer's grasp

The South African Woolworths takeover bid for David Jones will see Myer cut off from its only obvious means of transformation in a low-growth environment. But there is a vulnerability to the bid that a rival may exploit.

Treasury sours on cheap wine

A focus on premium brands and a US restructuring could be just the tonic Michael Clarke needs to restore shareholder faith in the battered and bruised business… if it pays off.

What to do with Wesfarmers' war chest?

Following the sale of its insurance broking arm, Wesfarmers now faces the rather pleasant dilemma of either returning capital to shareholders or looking for another group re-shaping acquisition.

Breaking up BHP is hard to do

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A demerger of BHP Billiton's non-core assets aligns with the company's desire to simplify its structure, but its status as a dual-listed entity would make for an unwieldy unwinding process.

How Clyne cleared the hurdles in NAB's path

Departing NAB chief executive Cameron Clyne inherited an underweight retail bank with damaging UK exposures, but his legacy ensures his successor will be free of those structural challenges.

AGL makes its case for MacGen

The Competition Tribunal will have to consider several arguments from AGL as the energy giant tries to prove its $1.5 billion acqusition of Macquarie Generation would be in the public interest.

BP refines its long-term vision

BP's closure of its Bulwer Island plant is the latest in a line of sub-scale refinery shutdowns in Australia, as an oversupply of product forces oil companies to rethink their corporate strategies.

'Flash Boys' lights a fire on Wall Street

The latest book by Michael Lewis has turned the spotlight to the tactics of high-frequency traders and raised questions about whether they detract from market liquidity and fairness.

BHP weighs the value of non-core assets

BHP has said it is considering all its options for divesting some of its non-core assets including aluminium, nickel and bauxite, but a demerger is not the only possibility.