View in Other Languages 2月17日澳洲股市:聚焦外商收购案 Australischen Markt Bericht der 17. Februar: Ausländische Firmenübernahmen stehen im Rampenlicht <br /> 2月17日澳洲股市:聚焦外商收購案 Australian Market Report of February 17: Foreign Takeovers Taking the Spotlight 2월17일 호주 시장보고서: 외국인 인수에 관심고조 オーストラリア市場レポート 2月17日:海外からの買収に集まる注目 تقـريـر سـوق أسـتراليــا الـمالـي 17 شباط / فبراير : الإستحواذات الأجنبية تخطف الأضواء  
Foreign Takeovers Taking the Spotlight
Foreign Takeovers Taking the Spotlight

Sydney, Feb 17, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Overnight the US stock market was closed for the Presidents Day Holiday.

Yesterday the Australian shares fell 1.2 per cent after the weak lead from Wall Street last week. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 dropped 42.2 points, or 1.2%, at 3,516.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 35.4 points, or 1%, to 3461.3. Lacking lead from the US, the market attention will be on recent Chinese and Japanese takeover bids for the Australian companies and a string of corporate results.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

The Housing Industry Association and Commonwealth Bank First Home Buyer Affordability index surged by 39.2 per cent to 153.6 points in the December quarter from 110.3 index points for the September quarter. This result is attributed to government's interest rate cut and the boost to the first home owners scheme.

The value of personal finance issued in December rose 4.1% after seasonal adjustment from November to A$6.36 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The rise in personal finance comprised a 8.9% increase in fixed lending and a 0.7% rise in revolving credit commitments.

Today the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the minutes of its February board meeting, and the Melbourne Institute is due to provide its Wages Report for the February quarter.

M&A News

OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) says the company recommends an A$2.6 billion cash takeover offer from China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Company for its shareholders' best interests. Minmetals is offering 82.5 cents for each share in OZ Minerals.

Japan's No. 2 paper maker, Nippon Paper Group (TYO:3893), has agreed to pay up to A$700 million to buy Australian Paper from PaperlinX (ASX:PPX). Nippon Paper will pay A$600 million initially and up to A$100 million more based on performance over three years to June 2012.

Futuris Corp (ASX:FCL) has confirmed the group would offload the rest of its stake in Australian Agricultural Company (ASX:AAC) after striking a deal to sell 19.9 per cent to QC Allan Myers.

Important Corporate News

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has posted a 46 per cent rise in six months ended 31 December 2008 to A$879 million in net profit after its Coles supermarkets turnaround. The net profit was A$601 million in the previous corresponding period.

Telstra Corporation (ASX:TLS) says it will roll out the world's fastest wireless broadband network over the next two months. Telstra will be increasing the maximum speed of its Next G mobile network to 21 megabits per second for business customers through March and then for consumer customers in April.

Amcor (ASX:AMC), the world's largest maker of plastic drink-bottles, posted a 30 per cent fall in its first-half net profit. The profit was A$108.5 million for the six months ended December 31, 2008, compares with A$154 million in same period a year earlier.

Foster's (ASX:FGL) has decided to retain its wine business after reviewing its global operation. The company will reshape the business to save A$100 million a year in fiscal 2011. Some non-core assets, such as vineyards, might be sold as a part of the restructure plan.

AXA Asia Pacific (ASX:AXA) booked a full-year net loss of A$278.7 million, from a net profit of A$638.7 million a year ago. However its operating earnings rose 2 per cent to A$555.6 million from A$543.7 million.

OneSteel (ASX:OST) said its net profit for the December half year rose to A$228.3 million, from A$63.6 million in the previous corresponding period.


Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344

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