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5 things you need to know this morning

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Published on: Thursday, December 01, 2016

  • OPEC has agreed to cut oil production by around 1.2 million barrels per day – more than three per cent – to 32.5 million barrels per day. In a bid to support prices, some of the world’s largest oil producers agreed to curb production for the first time since 2008. Global oil prices rose around 9% on the news, with brent crude up 8.8% to US$50.47 a barrel, while US Nymex rose 9.3% to US$49.44 a barrel. 
  • The Senate passed a heavily-amended bill to re-establish the construction industry watchdog (the Australian Building and Construction Commission) yesterday, but the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there’s much more to do on reform with the next key focus in the New Year to secure the passage of company tax cuts. “This legislation is not union-busting, it is economy boosting and job-creating,” Turnbull said. “We have made a clear statement, Australia’s economy will not be held to ransom” (The Australian Financial Review). 
  • Medibank boss Craig Drummond has promised to turnaround the decline in the private health insurer’s market share and says he will put customers first to stabilise the business over the next two to three years. At a briefing yesterday, Drummond said “our members have declined by 2.5% and our market share has continued to decline at a similar rate … this is not sustainable.” The health insurer has been spending money on new products like free dental check-ups, better digital channels, and stronger loyalty programs. 
  • Poker machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure says that there’s more growth in the pipeline after posting an 88% increase in net profit for the year. Net profit for the 12 months to September 30 was $350.5 million, from $186.4 million a year earlier. Aristocrat also said there was strong growth in the key market of the Americas. Revenue rose 34.5% to $2.13 billion and the final dividend was up six cents to 15 cents per share, unfranked. 
  • At 0645 AEDT on Thursday, the share price index was up 12 points at 5,454.

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