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RBA warns on home loans, rates on hold

RBA warns on home loans, rates on holdThe Reserve Bank of Australia has fired a stern warning at mortgage lenders, knowing any change to interest rates is a risk to fragile economic growth. The central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at a record low of 1.5 per cent at its April board meeting on Tuesday, in line with the forecast in an AAP survey of 12 economists. RBA governor Philip Lowe is concerned soaring housing prices are pushing up the household debt to income ratio - which he said was already at a record high earlier this year.

Directors urge negative gearing cutback

The GST should be broadened and lifted to 15 per cent while negative gearing ought to be wound back, Australia's company directors say. Ahead of Treasurer Scott Morrison's second federal budget next month, the Australian Institute of Company Directors has called for major tax reform including boosting the rate of the GST, slashing personal income tax and reviewing negative gearing. The lobby group also argues for staged cuts in the corporate tax rate while questioning the federal government's recent advances in reducing the tax rate for businesses with a turnover up to $50 million.

Loan curbs no help on home prices: Moody's

New measures to restrict investor lending are unlikely to achieve their hoped-for goal of bringing down prices in Australia's surging housing market, ratings agency Moody's has warned. Moody's says recent steps taken by regulators the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC) to crimp investor lending and calm rampant house price growth are a positive for the stability of the banking sector.

Telstra denies it is taking back stores

Telstra denies it is taking back storesTelstra says it is not planning to take control of some of its high performing stores from long-standing retail partner Vita Group. Citing a leaked internal Telstra document, Fairfax Media has reported the telco giant has identified a number of stores it wants to bring back into its own retail network, including 11 that are operated by Vita Group. Shares in Vita Group, which operates 102 Telstra stores, dropped 21 per cent, or 68 cents, to $2.54 on Tuesday.

$A falls on RBA's house market warning

The Australian dollar has fallen to a three week low below 76 US cents after the Reserve Bank warned of the economic risks posed by rising household debt. The RBA kept the cash rate on hold as expected, ...

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