The Courier-Mail

Economists warn Chinese growth may go below 6.5pc


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.


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.



Comiskey Family,


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