Australian Markets

Australian Markets News - Daily news about the companies listed on the Australian Sharemarket (ASX). Check the stock market news before starting your day trading!

CSR Shareholders to Vote for Possible Demerger

CSR has been allowed to have their shareholders vote on the company's bid on splitting up and demerging the company's sugar business. The full bench of the Federal court, The Chief Justice, Patrick Keane, and Justices Ray Finkelstein and Peter Jacobson, upheld CSR's appeal. CSR's demerger proposal can now be put to the shareholders for a vote.

Commonwealth Bank Acquires 20% of Vietnam Bank

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has bought 15 percent of Vietnam International Bank (VIB) with the aim of acquiring up to 20 percent more depending upon regulatory approval. Australian Banks are seeking growth opportunities in Asia with NAB seeking a stake in Korea Exchange Bank.

ANZ Considers $4b KEB Stake

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Australia's 4th largest lender, is on the lookout for buyout deals to expand and may be looking to buy a $4 billion stake in Korea Exchange bank (KEB).

Seven Shareholders Votes for WesTrac Merger

Seven Network (SEV) have voted to approve the Westrac merger (approved by 88.78 per cent of votes cast (57,664,147 shares) and 69.27 per cent of actual holders (1880) in favour - a proposed scrip for scrip of Seven Network and the Westrac Group which is privately owned by Kerry Stokes.

The new entity will be called Seven Group Holdings. Holders of SEV's TELYS3 hybrid securities also voted in favour of the merger at (85.72 percent) for an exchange one for one of TELYS4 securities to be issued by the new company.

AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Business Update

AXA Asia Pacific (AXA) have issued a strong business update, trumpeting that sales growth was up 57 percent in the fist quarter. The company is currently undergoing a $13 billion takeover battle between two bidders: National Australia Bank and AMP.

Harvey Norman Sales Update

Harvey Norman (HVN), an Australian electrical and furniture retailer, saw its third quarter sales rise 1.2 percent, disappointing the market and sending its shares down 17 cents (4.8 percent) to $3.40 this morning.

Macarthur Coal bid Gloucester Coal Collapse

Macarthur Coal's (MCC) bid for Gloucester Coal
(GCL) has collapsed as Noble Group, the target's largest shareholder (at 87.7 percent), failed to persuade its investors to back the deal. Noble noted on their website: "Noble Group wishes to announce that the merger proposal between Macarthur and Gloucester was soundly defeated by shareholders in a vote held in Hong Kong at 2.30pm today."

QBE Acquires US Based Insurance Company

QBE Insurance (QBE), Australia's top insurance company by premium income has bought a US insurer, NAU Country Insurance for $565 million. The acquisition is expected to add 3-4 percent in earnings per share in the first year. NAU wrote $976 million in 2009 is the third largest writer and manager of Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) in the U.S.

Macarthur Coal Takeover Bid by Peabody

U.S. miner Peabody Energy (BTU.N) has raised its takeover offer for MacArthur Coal (MCC) by 14 percent to $3.8 billion. Coal producers are keen for MCC because it is the world's biggest exporter of PCI. PCI is a type of coal sought by steelmakers as it is cheaper and cleaner and coking coal prices have nearly doubled due to the Indian and Chinese markets.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals CEO Quits

The CEO of Sigma Pharmaceuticals(SIP), Elmo de Awis, who worked for the company for more than 33 years has quit as a result of a $500 million goodwill write down earlier this month which kept the SIP's share price at record lows. The chairman, John Stocker and CFO Mark Smith are under pressure to join join the CEO in resigning.

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