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  • Bernard Tomic likely to return at Monte Carlo after hip surgeries

    The Monte Carlo Masters in mid-April is the probable where and when of Bernard Tomic's tournament return, but it may be the how that proves to be most significant, with Tomic's physiotherapist predicting he will eventually move up to 30 per cent more freely than before January's pair of hip surgeries.
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    Having managed Lleyton Hewitt's successful rehabilitation from twin hip operations, performed 17 months apart in 2008 and 2010, Ivan Gutierrez is overseeing Tomic's recovery from procedures on his left and then right hip in the week after he controversially retired from his Australian Open first round against Rafael Nadal.

    The surgeries corrected a lifelong structural problem by reshaping the head of the 21-year-old's femur, or thigh bone, to allow more range of movement, and also repaired labrum and ligament tears. Gutierrez said world No.5 Juan Martin del Potro suffered from a similar issue that tended to tighten and worsen with age.

    Some can be managed; Tomic's ultimately could not.

    ''For having had bilateral hip surgery, he's doing very well, a little bit better than I thought he would at this time,'' said Gutierrez, the Australian Open's head physio, who also has extensive AFL experience.

    ''All the time that we've been working together he's been committed to the treatment, and he knows the importance of it because all his career is just going to hinge on that, and hopefully he will be back soon and be able to play without pain, and regain more flexibility than he used to have.

    ''He's been very restricted, because tennis being a flexion, or bent-over type of a sport, and him being so tall, his limitations were significant, especially playing on grass and hard courts. It forced him to bend a little bit more than he had to, hence irritating the hip joints a little bit more than you normally would.

    ''Now he has much more rotation both ways - internal and external - so he'll be able to displace and change direction a little bit better, so I think he'll be much more comfortable with his movement on court … I'm expecting between 20 to 30 per cent on what he had. We're hoping for 30, but 20 would be great.''

    Tomic has been swimming and cycling, and recently resumed hitting balls from a largely stationary position. A Monte Carlo comeback suits the time frame, 12 weeks post-operative, and clay the most suitably benign surface.

    Hewitt, too, has been physically compromised in recent times, having withdrawn with a shoulder injury one set into his all-Australian clash with Marinko Matosevic last week at Delray Beach.

    Hewitt will rest and continue with strengthening exercises ahead of an exhibition next Monday in Hong Kong, with Indian Wells and Miami to follow.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Transfield Services shares soar after it wins offshore detention centre contract

    Investors in Transfield Services have turned a blind eye to political risk attached to a $1.22 billion immigration detention centre contract, sending shares in the facilities management group soaring.
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    Transfield shares climbed 24.5 per cent to 99¢ in heavy trade on Monday after the company said the Abbott government had granted it a 20-month contract to operate a centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea that has been beset by deadly violence.

    The new deal expands on Transfield's existing contract to run the government's other offshore detention centre, on Nauru, and increases the amount the government will pay to run the two centres from about $39 million a month to about $61 million a month.

    Transfield, which was until October chaired by Tony Shepherd, who is heading the government's Commission of Audit, replaces UK-listed G4S. Violence at the centre last week claimed the life of one detainee and forced the Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, to admit he had initially provided incorrect information about the fracas.

    G4S is to be investigated by the Immigration Department over its role in the deadly violence. It faces a separate criminal investigation in the UK for allegedly overcharging the British government.

    Simon Fitzgerald, an analyst at Moelis & Company, said the Manus Island contract was ''very politically sensitive and controversial''.

    ''This is where companies can get into a lot of trouble, because there'll be a lot of scrutiny of how smoothly it operates,'' he said.

    But he pointed to Transfield's work cleaning up the government's troubled pink batts program as evidence it had experience working on politically sensitive projects.

    Transfield said the increased cost of the contract was due to higher security costs, more complex travel needs and tax rates in PNG being higher than in Nauru.

    Spokesman David Jamieson said Mr Shepherd's role at Transfield had nothing to do with it winning the contract. ''We believe our success on this bid was due to our ability to rapidly mobilise for Nauru and our ability to manage that facility to the department's satisfaction.''

    The company will subcontract security on Manus to Wilson Security, as it already does on Nauru.

    It will continue to use some PNG locals as security, even though G4S local staff have been accused of perpetrating some of last week's violence.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Matildas look to fake turf foredge

    Matildas' Lydia Williams with Sports Technology International and Steve Jones ASC General manager of Corporate operations have signed a contract to develop a FIFA two star outdoor synthetic pitch at the Australian Institute of Sport which will assist the Matildas in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Photo: Elesa KurtzCanberra United goalkeeper and player of the year Lydia Williams thinks it's bizarre they will be playing next year's World Cup on synthetic pitches in Canada, but the installation of a new artificial pitch at the AIS will give the Matildas an edge on the sport's biggest stage.
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    And the Matildas stopper called for a women's equivalent of the FFA Cup, which was launched in Sydney on Monday.

    The AIS will start installing a new $600,000 artificial pitch next week - the same surface German giant Bayern Munich train on. It will be completed by the end of April.

    It will form a vital cog in the Matildas' preparation for the 2015 Cup, which will be predominantly played on synthetic turf.

    While Williams said it would be nice to play on grass, she felt artificial turf could be the way of the future.

    She was one of three keepers named in the Matildas' 23-woman squad for the Cyprus Cup from March3-13, where they will play France, Holland and Scotland in the group games.

    Striker Michelle Heyman was the only other Canberra United player selected.

    ''It's a little bit bizarre I guess [to play on artificial pitches], but … a lot of fields are getting changed to synthetic so maybe the next couple of years we might all be playing on synthetic pitches,'' Williams said.

    ''It would be nice to play on grass since all the league is on grass.

    ''The newer the pitch the better it is and hopefully that will give us the edge we really need to start focusing in on the [World Cup] competition.''

    The FFA announced the structure of its new national knockout cup competition, which gives local clubs such as Tuggeranong United the chance to play against A-League teams.

    Williams said it would be great for the women to have a similar competition as well, pitting the eight W-League clubs against state league teams from around the country.

    Williams will leave for Europe with the Matildas on Wednesday, with their first game a week later against Scotland.

    MATILDAS SQUADTeigen Allen, Laura Alleway, Nicola Bolger, Hannah Brewer, Tameka Butt, Kim Carroll, Stephanie Catley, Emma Checker, Brianna Davey (goalkeeper), Casey Dumont (gk), Caitlin Foord, Kathryn Gill (captain), Katrina Gorry, Michelle Heyman, Elise Kellond-Knight, Alanna Kennedy, Sam Kerr, Leena Khamis, Chloe Logarzo, Hayley Raso, Gema Simon, Emily Van-Egmond, Lydia Williams (gk).

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • New ways to fund infrastructure needed, says World Bank chief Bertrand Badre

    The World Bank's managing director, Bertrand Badre, concedes global rules to make banks safer will restrict lending for infrastructure needed to reignite economic growth.
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    But, in a swipe at banks hoping to have the regulations watered down, he says there is ''no way back'' and the world must find new ways to fund large projects from outside the banking sector.

    Speaking in Sydney on Monday, Mr Badre argued that mobilising trillions of dollars for infrastructure investment should be one of the world's top priorities. ''If you don't have a proper flow of credit, if you are not able to finance infrastructure properly, there is no way that global growth will come back to the way it was before the crisis,'' he said.

    Bank balance sheets previously played a key role in funding such projects but, he said, this would no longer be the case, because of tougher rules on bank risk-taking.

    ''You have to get used to a different model, a different financing model. I think that's where we have to adapt, there is no way back,'' he said. ''I don't think you will have massive leverage of financial institutions authorised by any regulator in the near future.''

    His comments highlight a key dilemma facing officials at the recent G20 meetings in Sydney.

    Governments want to foster private sector investment to create jobs, and see infrastructure as critical to these goals. However, they also want tighter rules on bank risk-taking.

    Senior global bankers including UBS global chairman Axel Weber and Goldman Sachs chief operating officer Gary Cohn warned that overly cautious regulations will restrict banks' ability to lend, undermining hopes of economic recovery.

    Mr Badre, a former chief financial officer of Societe Generale and Credit Agricole, said there was no turning back on finance regulation, and the world had to find new ways to fund infrastructure.

    He said institutional investors such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies must play a bigger part in funding infrastructure. ''Banks will be less involved with their balance sheets than they were before. Now we need to turn to the regulation of institutional investors.''

    According to estimates quoted by Mr Badre, institutional investors have some US$79 trillion ($88 trillion) in assets. Governments would like to see more of this ploughed into infrastructure such as transport or green energy developments. But key institutional investors at a G20 conference last week said they still faced roadblocks, including unfavourable regulations and policy uncertainty.

    Mr Badre said governments needed to make infrastructure a ''simple and attractive'' asset class.

    Mr Badre is the latest senior official to dismiss bank lobbying for watering down post-GFC regulation. Bank of England governor Mark Carney rejected claims the tighter rules would lead to an explosion in shadow banking, while Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman John Laker argued against ''turning back the clock on regulatory reform''.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Boart Longyear $691m loss may prompt sale of division

    Boart Longyear faces challenging times.Mining services company Boart Longyear may be forced to hive off one of its divisions after it plunged to a $US620 million ($691 million) loss in 2013 due to a sharp downturn in spending from global miners.
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    Boart has appointed investment bank Goldman Sachs to lead a strategic review of the company, with its products and drilling services divisions potentially in line to be sold as it grapples with weakness in its core markets.

    The Utah-based company's shares closed down 15 per cent after it failed to provide earnings guidance for 2014 due to ongoing industry volatility.

    The company has again negotiated new financial covenants to cover its debt, with quarterly checks to be performed on the business to include minimum cumulative earnings over the last 12 months of $US45 million until March 31, 2015.

    It blamed the weak result on an ''extremely challenging year'' for the global resources industry as major miners slashed exploration, development and capital expenditure budgets during the 12-month reporting period.

    It warned that analysts estimates of $US979 million in revenue and $US77 million in earnings may not be based on current industry conditions.

    Boart also said the number of drill rigs being used by its clients has fallen below 2009 levels to just 38 per cent in 2013, from 56 per cent in 2012. ''We continue to work hard to hold price,'' Boart chief executive Richard O'Brien said. ''But as I said about 60 per cent of the world's drill rigs [are] not utilised, [so] we are expecting price pressure.''

    Boart said the review aimed to preserve the value of the drilling services and products divisions, ensure the company continues as a going concern while capturing future growth when the market recovers.

    ''Each time the company reports, we think they have stabilised, yet the business continues to deteriorate,'' Deutsche analyst Craig Wong-Pan said.

    Boart recorded an adjusted net loss for 2013 of $US94.3 million, in line with expectations, and canned its dividend after paying out 1¢ a share the previous year.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.