By Paulina Duran
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp is exiting banking operations in China and some other Asian markets to focus on its core domestic and New Zealand businesses, as it grapples with capital constraints amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s second-largest lender, whose capital has been eroded by a record lawsuit settlement and a surge in bad-debt provisions due to the pandemic, said on Wednesday it will exit operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Jakarta, where it does business with institutional clients.
It will instead consolidate its international operations into branches in Singapore, London and New York.
Under pressure from regulators to increase their capital bases, and from investors to show higher returns from their investments, Australian banks have been selling non-core assets, including their offshore operations.
Following a failed big push
Australia’s home affairs secretary says state security must be ‘ubiquitous without being oppressive’
The head of Australia’s home affairs department contends security in 2020 is no longer a matter of protection or survival, but increasingly a shared societal responsibility – a question of “how we should band together and pool our capacities for living”.
Mike Pezzullo, the high-profile and periodically controversial head of Peter Dutton’s mega department, used a university lecture on Tuesday evening to float his concept of “the extended state” as a relevant construct for managing contemporary threats.
The “extended state”, Pezzullo told the National Security College at the Australian National University, was “a networked and dynamic conception of security which comprehends sectors across society and the economy”.
Pezzullo said the concept was comprised of public institutions in the executive analysing risks and threats and deploying operational capacity – the “vital centre” as he put it.
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As consumers become more sustainably conscious, the typical kitchen design has been turned on its head by revered Italian kitchen brand Snaidero, with the company unveiling its first Australian project to feature precision-engineered porcelain fronted joinery.
Designed and crafted in Italy, the fully integrated Snaidero kitchens at Seafarers combine porcelain benchtops with beautiful lacquered joinery to create an eco-friendly, high-end quality finish that is unmatched in the local market.
When designing the Seafarers kitchens, the Snaidero research and design team looked for a material that was sustainable and innovative yet still functional for the kitchen environment. The end result is porcelain stoneware made from natural raw materials including clay, with the manufacturing process producing little waste with the raw materials and water used able to be recycled.
Embedded in the company’s philosophy is its dedication to sustainable practices and processes with the use of low emission panels, water-based lacquers, energy-efficient