Weekly Digest – 25 October 2023

Weekly Digest – 25 October 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

LoanOptions.ai crosses the ditch to launch in NZ market

A Sydney-headquartered fintech that allows users to apply for loans in under eight minutes is expanding its services with a market entry into New Zealand, following a year of major growth for its Australian operations where the LoanOptions.ai platform has a panel of more than 70 lenders including Macquarie Group, CBA, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, Latitude, Plenti and Prospa.

Australia in ‘the midst of a food security crisis’ as 3.7m households struggle to buy enough to eat

Across Australia, 3.7m households have experienced food insecurity over the past 12 months, a jump of almost 350,000 on the previous year, Foodbank’s annual hunger report has revealed.

Business welcomes national skills agreement

The Business Council of Australia welcomes the Government’s five-year National Skills Agreement that will see an additional $3.7 billion invested into Australia’s vocational education and training sector, Business Council chief executive Bran Black said.

AUKUS, critical minerals in focus for Australian PM on US trip

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will seek progress on the AUKUS defence technology partnership and critical mineral supply chains during a visit to Washington, as Canberra tries to reduce its long-term trade exposure to China.

Country Garden sells down a barely started Australia project

Four years after Chinese property giant Country Garden (2007.HK) launched a A$2 billion ($1.27 billion) development of 3,600 homes an hour’s drive southwest of Sydney, the outer suburban site remains a sparse field with fewer than 50 houses under construction. The cash-strapped Chinese property giant is now seeking mostly to offload as it scrambles to pay creditors.

Government knocks back calls for superannuation on paid parental leave

Parents will soon be able to share in up to six months of paid parental leave, but the government has knocked back calls from its own taskforce to pay superannuation on the support measure.

Roy Morgan Business Confidence down 7.6pts to 87.1 in September – lowest for three years since September 2020

In September 2023 Roy Morgan Business Confidence was 87.1 (down 7.6pts since August). This is the lowest Business Confidence for three years since September 2020 when Victoria was in an extended lockdown and New South Wales was enduring significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

Australia says ‘not necessary’ to cancel Chinese firm’s lease on Darwin port

Australia said a security review of a 99-year lease held by Chinese company Landbridge on the northern port of Darwin, a key focus of its defence strategy, found it was “not necessary to vary or cancel the lease”.

Stay on top of this, and you won’t run out of retirement savings

One of the most surprising things about Australia’s age pension is that four out of five of us end up receiving one, a statistic that can come as a shock to self-funded retirees who often assume if they start retirement by living off their savings and superannuation, that’s how they’ll end it. But this is not the case. It’s highly likely that many who assume they’ll never qualify will never bother to apply, and end up missing out.

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