The Courier-Mail

Econ­o­mists warn Chi­nese growth may go be­low 6.5pc

- GLEN NOR­RIS

CHINA’S eco­nomic growth could slow be­low 7 per cent this quar­ter, an­a­lysts warned.

Re­tail sales, in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion and fixed-as­set in­vest­ment, three key in­di­ca­tors for the Chi­nese econ­omy, have all come in be­low mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions.

ANZ econ­o­mists Liu Li­gang and Louis Lam warned that Chi­nese eco­nomic growth could fall be­low 6.5 5 per cent in the

ef third quar­ter if con­di­tions did not t im­prove in com- ing months. China

ar recorded 7 per cent growth in the

es first two quar­ters of the year.

China yester- day cut the yuan’s s ECHO En­ter­tain­ment Group re­mains con­fi­dent it can fund the Queen’s Wharf pro­ject with­out new cap­i­tal rais­ings af­ter an­nounc­ing an al­most 60 p per cent gain in an­nual profit.

The com­pany re­ported a net profit of $169.3 mil­lion, up from $106.3 mil­lion a year earl lier, as it cap­tured more reve enue from pokie ma­chines and g gam­ing ta­bles in NSW and Q Queens­land.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Matt Bekier value against the US dol­lar for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day. The move took the cuts to 3.5 per cent this week, the largest in more than two decades.

The In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund wel­comed the move, say­ing it would al­low mar­ket forces to play a greater role in de­ter­min­ing China’s ex­change rate. But it rat­tled fi­nan­cial mar­kets. Aus­tralia’s ASX200 in­dex fell 91.1 po points,in

or 1.66 per ce cent, to 5382.1 po points. Among re­sourceso stocks, BHPBH Bil­li­ton closedcl down $1.14 at $25.20, Rio Tin­toTi fell $2.95 to $51.65,$ 5 and Fortes­cuesc Met­als lost 15.515 at $1.79. said there had been a broad im­prove­ment across all of the com­pany’s oper­a­tions, boosted by bet­ter loy­alty pro­grams and up­beat eco­nomic con­di­tions.

“The per­for­mance has not just been a lucky punt in one par­tic­u­lar area,” he said.

“There has been an in­creased fo­cus on loy­alty pro­grams and mar­ket­ing.”

Mr Bekier said Echo would fo­cus on Queens­land over the next few years as the re­de­vel­op­ment of Jupiters Gold Coast was com­pleted and work be­gan on Queen’s Wharf in Bris­bane.

Echo and Asian con­sor­tium part­ners Far East Con­sor­tium and Chow Tai Fook En­ter­prises last month won a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar ten­der to re­de­velop Queen’s Wharf into a shop­ping, ho­tel and casino com­plex in the heart of the CBD.

“We ex­pect to fi­nalise doc­u­men­ta­tion with the State Gov­ern­ment in the next cou­ple of months,” Mr Bekier said.

“The Gov­ern­ment has to pass leg­is­la­tion to al­low us ac- cess to the land and then we ex­pect to break ground in 2017.”

Mr Bekier said the pro­ject, which is ex­pected to be com­pleted by 2022, woild be funded by in­ter­nal re­sources although no fi­nal in­vest­ment fig­ure had been de­cided.

“We have one of the strong­est bal­ance sheets in Aus­tralia for a gam­ing com­pany, with only $400 mil­lion of debt,” he said.

Earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, tax, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­tis- ation for Echo’s Queens­land gam­ing oper­a­tions climbed 21.5 per cent to $165 mil­lion, and by 25.5 per cent to $356 mil­lion at The Star casino in Syd­ney.

Wealthy high-stakes gam­blers, also known as high rollers, con­tin­ued to boost Echo’s bot­tom line, with gross rev­enue from its in­ter­na­tional VIP cus­tomers climb­ing 53 per cent to $662 mil­lion.

Echo will pay a fi­nal fully franked div­i­dend of 6 . Its shares were 12 lower at $4.98. bars, also re­port­edly has an op­tion on another 93ha of ad­join­ing land.

He is un­der­stood to have snared the site from the State Gov­ern­ment, which has been of­fload­ing real es­tate in the area since 2009 when the Traveston Dam pro­ject was scut­tled.

Nut­tall is be­lieved to have com­pleted a cer­tifi­cate in agri­cul­ture dur­ing his time in­side Palen Creek prison and even took top hon­ours for his work.

While Nut­tall is con­sid­ered des­ti­tute, the land pur­chase was

ip ap­par­ently made in a

ef fam­ily-con­trolled com­pany.

EKKA RE­GRETS

ar A BRIEF thun­der­storm

couldn’t dampen the es en­thu­si­asm of the crowds yesterday for Peo­ple’s Day at the Ekka.

Your diarist wan­dered over and, against his bet­ter, in­stincts, tried a gi­ant dag­wood dog.

The re­gret set in even be­fore di­ges­tion kicked off.

In­stead of the deep fried mys­tery meat on a stick, City Beat should have gone for some­thing a bit more real, like the beast that came out top in the Ekka’s an­nual auc­tion for cham­pion steer.

The which runs the Ea­tons Hill Ho­tel, snared the 590 kilo “black limousine cross’’ af­ter bid­ding $61 a kilo. Do the math and that’s $35,990.

The steer has form, of course. Ex­hib­ited by

of Tam­worth, it pre­vi­ously won at Rock­hamp­ton Beef Week and the re­cent Too­goolawah Steer event. De­mand from hote­liers and butch­ers was strong, with bid­ding kick­ing off at $15 per kilo.

The Comiskeys also walked off with a few other cham­pion beasts.

WITH AN­THONY MARX

Ri­ley

Comiskey Fam­ily,

Don

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 ??  ?? FO­CUS: Echo En­ter­tain­ment Group boss Matt Bekier.
FO­CUS: Echo En­ter­tain­ment Group boss Matt Bekier.
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