Fund manager AMP Capital has increased the number of executive remuneration protest votes by 25 per cent over the last year, but has announced it believes it will not likely cause board spills under the two-strikes rule.

AMP Capital has voted against 40 per cent of remuneration reports this finacial year, up from 25 per cent in the first half of last year.

“AMP Capital has long been a supporter of companies having a transparent remuneration policy that is aligned with shareholder interests, thereby addressing any concerns before the need for a spill motion. We continue to encourage companies to focus on good disclosure and our preferred approach is to engage with those companies where we have concerns well before the AGM,” AMP Capital’s Head of Sustainable Funds Dr Ian Woods said.

Institutional investment manager QIC has announced its long serving CEO Dr Doug McTaggart will depart the company as of 30 June 2012 after 14 years at the helm of the company.

The Inspector-General has released the Report into the Australian Taxation Office's large business risk review and audit policies, procedures and practices.

Latest ABS figures show that in seasonally adjusted, current price terms, the current account deficit fell $3,696m (33%) to $7,419m in the June quarter 2011. Exports of goods and services increased $5,837m (8%) and imports of goods and services increased $2,985m (4%). The primary income deficit fell $870m (7%).

In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the net goods and services deficit rose $1,643m (19%) to $10,224m in the June quarter 2011. This is expected to detract 0.5 percentage points from growth in the June quarter 2011 volume measure of Gross Domestic Product.

Australia's net international investment position decreased $1.2b to a net liability position of $781.1b in the June quarter 2011. Australia's net foreign equity liability decreased $1.6b to a liability position of $106.1b. Australia's net foreign debt liability increased $0.4b to a liability position of $675.0b.

Further details can be found in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia.

Latest ABS figures show that GDP, in seasonally adjusted volume terms, grew 1.2% in the June quarter 2011, after a revised fall of 0.9% in the March quarter. Growth for the 2010-11 financial year is 1.8%.

The growth for the quarter was driven by a 0.8% contribution to growth from changes in inventories and a 0.7% contribution from final consumption expenditure. These increases were partially offset by a -0.5% contribution from net exports.

On the back of this GDP growth and a 5.4% increase in the Terms of Trade, Real gross domestic income grew 2.6% for the quarter. The Terms of Trade has more than doubled over the past decade, rising from an index number of 60.5 in the June quarter 2001 to 122.6 in June quarter 2011. Real gross domestic income grew 6.5% in the 2010-11 financial year, the largest growth since 1987-88.

Further details can be found in Australian National Accounts: National Income, expenditure and Product

A report commissioned by the mining industry and published Deloitte Access Group shows that mining companies are paying slightly more tax as a percentage of their income compared to the same time three years ago.

International executive search specialists E.L Consult has published its E.L Executive Demand index, finding that executives should expect to face a continuing weakening job market for the remainder of 2011.

A planned advisory board to oversee the operations of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been slammed as being pointless and unnecessary by a senior ATO official.

Mining giant Rio Tinto has announced that former BHP Billiton CFO Chris Lynch will be appointed to the company's board.

The Federal Government has announced the invitation list, program and facilitators for the Tax Forum to be held in Canberra on 4 and 5 October.

Treasury has released an exposure draft legislation for the extension of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) for public comment.

The Federal Government has launched an online mapping service to assist people in financial difficulty find their nearest financial counsellor.

Difficulties navigating the quagmire of educational bureaucratic red tape has been cited as the main contributing factor to KAPLAN, the education arm of the Washington Post, deciding to pull out from its plans to establish a university specialising in financial services education in Adelaide.

RBA Chairman Glenn Stevens has told a Federal Government committee hearing that household spending continues to remain low in the wake of dropping consumer confidence and global economic uncertainty.

Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSAs) have grown a further $3 billion in the last financial year, making further inroads into the $1.4 trillion industry.

The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) have joined the call for the Reserve Bank to cut interests rates as part of a package to rescue the ailing Australian manufacturing industry.

The Bank of Queensland has announced that Stuart Grimshaw will take the role of chief executive officer of the company after David Liddy departs the role.

The spate of natural disasters in Queensland earlier this year has shredded 42 per cent off Suncorp’s net profit, reducing the company’s net profit to $483 million after the company processed over 100,000 claims relating to floods, Cyclone Yasi and earthquakes. The massive hike in insurance claims was about $600 million more than the company had provided for.

The Federal Government has introduced a new Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) legislation before Parliament.  If passed, the legislation will see the formation of the new office that will have regulatory powers that will seek to introduce increasing levels of transparency and dissemination of information regarding budget policy proposals.

Official interest rates are likely to hold steady until Christmas, according to National Australia Bank chief Cameron Clyne.

Despite a number of high profile executives leaving the company in the recent months, Fairfax chief Greg Hywood has voiced his confidence in his company’s robustness.

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