The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia on October 8, 1997 · Page 1
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia · Page 1

Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 8, 1997
Page 1
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r n i i J i WEDNESDAY Young finances No. 49,953 FIRST PUBLISHED 1831 90c Sydney's mega cinema boom ARTS PAGE 13 fV l U H -"ate MONEY LIFTOUT mwm j AMP $10bi3 wlmdfal few How the figures add up For members, the float will provide a windfall of at least $880 while at the other end of the scale Mr George Trumbull, AMP chief executive, stands to take home over $17 million. 1.8 million members to receive estimated distribution of around $10 billion in AMP shares. NSW has 445,00 members who will receive average of 760 shares (estimated value $6,695). Directors value shares between $8.81 and $10.37 a share. Minimum allocation: 100 shares per policy owned. Policyholders to vote on demutualisation on 20 November. A 'Yes' vote will involve share allocations in January and sharemarket listing in mid-1998. He is set to become one of Australia's highest paid executives earning at least $17.8 million in the next three years if the insurance group lists on the sharemarket. AMP's board has proposed to give Mr Trumbull, above, one million free shares over the next three years which are potentially worth $10.37 million. He will also earn a base salary of $2.47 million annually t . S& I t - ; iff --, ' ' '-'U .-5 Lachlan tells his dad to By PIUTA CLARK Media Writer Not many try to tell Rupert Murdoch to shut up. Even fewer succeed. But the media mogul said yesterday that he was "not allowed" to talk about Australian politics because his 26-year-old son, Lachlan, had told him not to. "I'm now under very strong instructions from my son to keep my mouth shut because I can go back to America and he has to live with what I have said," he said. Lachlan Murdoch runs News Ltd, the Australian branch of his father's empire, while Rupert, an American citizen, is a resident of the United States. Rupert Murdoch has just been ranked as the second most powerful tycoon on Earth behind Microsoft's chairman, Bill Gates - by the US magazine Vanity Fair. In Adelaide for News Corporation Ltd's annual general meeting, he has used previous visits here to criticise the way Australia has been run. This time he had harsh words for those keen to tighten privacy laws after Princess Diana's death. Asked if he regretted that some I NTERNET Home delivery ,(02)92823800 ISSN 0312-6315 770312 631032 floato By ELISABETH SEXTON The AMP Society's 1.8 million members will each receive shares worth at least S880 if they approve the giant life office's $10 billion listing on the stock exchange next year. Some policyholders who have been contributing to life insurance products for 30 or 40 years could qualify for shares worth more than $100,000. The windfall for one in five Australian households will transfer $7 billion from the AMP to its owners. A further $3 billion will go to the AMP's 500,000 overseas customers. The society asks in return for approval from its members to change its mutual status for a corporate structure. Members will not have to pay any money for their shares. They will exchange their rights as owners of the mutual society for rights as shareholders. Hot on the heels of the apparently enthusiastic response to the partial float of Telstra, the AMP expects to widen share ownership even further. The chief executive, Mr George Trumbull, said yesterday that the change would allow the AMP to be more competitive and flexible in a fast-changing world. The AMP is discussing a banking licence with the Reserve Bank and has made no secret of its ambition to take over a large insurance company in Britain or the United States. Its chairman, Mr Ian Burgess, said: "It's a very important step for an old conservative organisation, a mutual with some monastic characteristics." Mr Burgess and Mr Trumbull predict that the sharemarket would price AMP shares somewhere between $8.81 and $10.37, valuing the whole company between $9.4 billion and $11.1 billion. While most company directors prefer to avoid second-guessing the market, AMP members need a valuation to help them decide whether to approve the change in status. The distribution will proceed if 75 per cent of members who vote for it at a meeting on November 20. If the valuation of about $10 billion proves correct, the AMP will be the 10th largest company on the Australian Stock Exchange. It will be about a third the size of BHP and National Australia Bank, and I ml il Mum's the word . . . son Lachlan Murdoch and dad Rupert. of his tabloids had used paparazzi photographs of the Princess, he said, "Oh, I think our newspapers paid far too much for them", adding that he now hoped for "major cost savings". More seriously, he said he hoped journalists and publishers would resist strongly any attempt to strengthen privacy laws in the wake of the Princess's death W EATHER TODAY Sydney 14 to 23. Mild to warm with sunny breaks. The risk of showers or storms. Liverpool 14 to 24. Richmond 13 to 24. NSW: Rain in the south-east, showers or thunderstorms in the remainder. Sunrise 5.23 am Sunset 6.03 pm. " re about equal pegging with Coca-Cola Amatil, Woodside Petroleum and Lend Lease. The AMP has promised members a minimum parcel of 100 shares, transferring a value of between $881 and $1,037 to every member. Some members will be eligible for tens of thousands of shares. In NSW, 445,000 policyholders will qualify for more than $3 billion worth of shares. Letters revealing individual allocations will be sent over the next three weeks. The complicated formula for deciding how many shares each policyholder receives is contained in a 190-page memorandum sent with the letters. It is based on the number of policies, size of policy and type of policy. Only the AMFs life insurance customers will join in the bonanza. Those who miss out include holders of general insurance policies such as house insurance or third-party green slips, those with mortgages or term deposits sold under the Priority One brand, and investors in unit trusts. The AMP has been sending letters to all the customers it thinks are eligible since last December, and has fielded 200,000 telephone inquiries. It is not offering a cash alternative to the parcel of shares, but will make arrangements to bring buyers and sellers together as the company lists on the sharemarket. A final price will be determined just before the float. Members who want to cash in their shares at that price can do so without having to deal through the sharemarket. Mr Trumbull has promised that policies will not be affected by the change. "The proposal delivers maximum value to members by allowing them to benefit from the value of the AMP group as a whole," he said. "That includes capital, anticipated future profits and the goodwill build-up over the past 149 years." The AMP has talked in recent months about the boost to the economy from the $7 billion that will go to Australians. But given the growing enthusiasm for share ownership, it seems likely that most members will hang on to their shares, rather than cashing in the windfall and provoking a retail recovery with the proceeds. because "privacy laws are for the protection of the people who are already privileged". "Princess Diana, who we all had great respect for, generally worked with the photographers to her satisfaction," he said. But Mr Murdoch's rare but revealing appearance with his son provided some of the day's more intriguing moments. 0- ' New hurdles go up ATHLETICS IN TURMOIL THEJEAMJHAISIGNED John Boultbee Australian Institute of Sport Director Marlene Matthews Olympic medallist and President of Coaches' Association THE SPLIT IN AUSTRALIAN SPORT mm J. ' 6 He sounds like a good get. I'm in favour of bringing in outside influences. But if ... they don't want to work with him, I hope they have an out clause.9 Australia's head swimming coach, Don Talbot Arthur Tunstal I Commonwealth Games Chief smm i We should not employ this man; the doubt and therefore the risk is too great for the athletes and Australia's reputation. 9 International Olympic Committee executive member and S0C0G director, Kevan Gosper Jane Flemming Commonwealth champion Lisa Ondieki Olympic medallist By LOUISE EVANS The Federal Government moved yesterday to block the arrival of former head East German athletics coach Ekkart Arbeit by calling for a review of one of the most controversial appointments in Australian sporting history. In his last days as Sports Minister, Mr Warwick Smith intervened in the international debate over Arbeit's appointment as Australia's head athletics coach because of growing public concern surrounding his drug-stained past. Mr Smith said that because taxpayers' monev would be used to pay for Arbeit's $400,000 four-year term, the public had to be satisfied he did not bring the stain of drugs to Australia. In other developments yesterday: International Olympic Committee (IOC) member John be quiet In a news conference after the meeting, Mr Murdoch confidently referred questions about some of his Australian operations to "Murdoch jnr", and Lachlan, referring to "my dad", explained why he had to rein in his opinionated father, saying: "I just don't think ... the AGM is really the appropriate venue to make comments about the political agenda or the political landscape in Australia." Lachlan also interrupted his father to give his own views on Australian matters, such as the troubled Super League negotiations, and conspicuously handed him a note to take only two more questions when he felt it was time to go. Their relationship is of more than passing interest, given that Rupert Murdoch is now 66 and has yet to name a successor to head his global empire. While Lachlan has been running News Ltd, his older sister, Elisabeth, has headed BSkyB, the company's successful European satellite TV operation. Their younger brother, James, was recently appointed vice-president of music and new media at News Corp in the US. TOMORROW Sydney The chance NSIDE ot an eany snower. souin-westeny winds with a maximum of 19. NSW: Showers clearing in the south-east. Fine in the remainder. FULL DETAILS Page 23. Terry Dwyer President of Athletics Australia John Coates President, Australian Olympic Committee It is a good decision. Because he is from the East German machine he is an easy target. former Olympic javelin thrower Sue Howland 6 1 competed against drugs and lost to drugs. I think Australian athletics has a fairly clean home front and I wonder if this is Australia saying we really don't care what happened in the past.9 Olympic medallist, Raelene Boyle 'Athletics needs someone who can set a firm direction, and make the hard decisions. International coaches are so often the ones capable of delivering and I for one will give him the chance because the potential return is worth the risk. ' Robert de Castella Page 44 Winning at any cost. Page 1 1 AA chiefs reap storm Page 42 Peter FitzSimons. Page 42 Coates split with executive the procedures followed by member Kevan Gosper by Athletics Australia, while backing Arbeit; wholly conducted in good faith, Marathon hero Robert de were "not sufficiently thorough Castella said the risk of appoint- and did not adequately consider ing Arbeit was worth the medal the national and international success he would bring; reaction to, and ramifications German investigator Werner appointing a former East Franke continued his attack on German athletics coach. Arbeit, revealing that the coach Mr Smith's replacement, Mr was involved in the evaluation Andrew Thomson, also weighed of doping in East Germany, a in, saying the nation's reputation charge Arbeit denies. was at stake and that AA must Mr Smith said in a statement: prove Arbeit was free of the taint "From the information that is of sports-enhancing drugs, publicly available, there are Mr Thomson promised to sufficient grounds for believing give priority to the issue when Tourist's murder alarms Japanese As headlines in one of Japan's largest-selling daily newspapers warned that "unwholesome" Australian men could kill a Japanese woman with a single blow, the Federal Government moved to limit damage to the multi-million-dollar Japanese tourist trade from the murder of a tourist in north Queensland. In the accompanying report, carr'ed just a day after the naked body of 22-year-old Ms Michiko Okuyama was found in a Cairns swamp, the Sankei newspaper claimed Australian "yobbos" were sexually harassing Japanese women tourists on the streets of Cairns. As police examined the suspected murder scene, the new Federal Minister for Tourism, Japanese-speaking Mr Andrew Thomson, flew north to conduct interviews with Japanese media crews in Cairns to cover the story. Police were expected last night to lay charges against a 16-year-old youth following a raid a few hours earlier on premises in the Cairns business district in which they found evidence of a violent Crosswords 23 Opinion 15 p HONE tanonais 14 personal Notices ji Classified Index 44 Features 11 Sport 44 Editorial ..92822822 Amusements...: 20 Law Notices 39 Stay in Touch 24 Classified Arts 12,13 $2 Lottery 6358 39 Television 24 13 25 35 Business 25 Obituaries 31 World 8-10 General. ...9282 2833 for German coach ................... -it ..sSSs-.i" ' V ................ Martin Soust Executive Director of Athletics Australia S attack, including bloodstains. They were also questioning another person over the murder of Ms Okuyama, who died from facial fractures and blood inhalation, indicating that she was savagely beaten. She went missing in Cairns late last month and her disappearance and murder have been widely publicised in Japan. Mr Thomson, who has yet to be sworn in as a minister, said he asked the Japanese journalists not to overreact to the murder and they were "very sober and reasonable about it". "I put it to them that this was the first such incident and that with the large number of Japanese visitors it's bound to happen sooner or later, but please will they not try and maintain that Cairns is some kind of frightful place," he told ABC radio. "I think they were surprised that a minister from the Federal Government would turn up and give a press conference in their language," said Mr Thomson, who was handed the tourism Continued Page 4 ret, ' T r ,"4 1 X -, i- ' - . w - Ekkart Arbeit he was sworn into the sports ministry tomorrow. Mr Thomson said: "As a host nation of the Sydney 2000 Olympics you have to be extra careful about these matters. "The burden of proof is on them (Athletics Australia to explain, given the circumstances of this man's background." The political intervention rebuffs the strong support Arbeit has received from the head of the Australian Olympic Committee, Mr Coates. The director of the Government-funded Australian Institute of Sport, Mr John Boultbee, head-hunted the Berlin-based Arbeit and was on the four-person interview panel which selected him over the Australian candidate Mr Tudor Bidder. Sources within Athletics Australia said the body would not buckle under the enormous Continued Page 4 We specialise in every aspect of commercial property and development finance. A close-knit specialised team focussed on secure, tailor-made solutions adds value to every project. Make a decisive move. Call Max Leslie, Chief Manager, St.George Commercial Property. You'll quickly discover we're small enough to respond, big enough to count on. 1800500208 You know where you stand with Tnc Sttvcf Pawefstftp SGPfl 3W2 SMH COLUMN 8 A RURAL myth or not? Driving to Canberra on Saturday for the Floriade, Max and Anne Drum-mond, of Thornleigh, saw that Lake George appeared empty. Returning on Monday, it was half full. Where did the water come from? Seeking the answer, we were told of various myths that when the lake is full, lakes in MexicoChinaAfricaMt Gambier empty, and vice versa. BUT Maurice Barnes, editor of the Bungendore Bulletin, has the answer. The lake is shallow, and when there's a strong wind, as on Saturday, the water backs up to one end. When the wind drops, the water flows back. Simple. GEORGE Salman, a Burwood accountant, got his quarterly office Telstra bill. The usual S500? Noooh. $14,800.55 (after rebate), the equivalent of 60,000-odd 25c calls. He rang Telstra. Very sorry, they said, they'd check, and in the meantime, Don't pay it. Mr Salman says he had absolutely, positively no intention of paying. A TRAVEL AGENCY advertises in the Camden Haven Courier a special honeymoon deal on Lord Howe Island. The prices are given "per person" and "twin share". Says Eric Bedford, of Kendall: "A bit of superfluity there, I think." YES, YES, we make mistakes, too. But we will still take a report from Jeremy Eccles, of Clifton Gardens, in which he accuses the Mosman Daily of hoarding old press releases. It announced in last Thursday's issue that the Asthma Foundation was holding a preview of the musical Beauty and the Beast at Her Majesty's on October 10. Nice of them to promote it, but it was October 1 0 last year. A good excuse, though, to mention that Asthma Week runs from next Monday, on the theme Asthma in Schools. FROM a true blue Aussie, Pete Fyfe, of Kirribilli: Shakespeare's Pies at Neutral Bay is selling "ANZAC COOKIES". Cookies? Anzac biscuits, please. Is nothing sacred in the Ameri-canisation of our culture?" THE VIEW from abroad. Jens Young, of Newtown, has had a letter from Ingrid Clanchy, of Concord West, now in Johannesburg: "I met a guy the other day who wanted to know where I was from, and said he knew of Australia. He said he knew there was a right-wing uprising at the moment, led by a shopkeeper, and he also knew that Australia has a good cricket team. How's that for summing up a nation?" HOORAY for real estate agents. From the Balmain agency ad in First National's brochure: LARGE, light and sunny. This is a very roomy one bedroom apartment, more aptly described as a two bedroom unit without the second bedroom -3E t i. Commercial Property UN COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SLGeorge Bank Limitad ACN 055 513 070 1 . - -"J

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