Watpac Limited ( ASX:WTP) said its contracting divisions have secured approximately A$200 million worth of work since the company successfully completed a capital-raising in early September. Greg Kempton, Watpac Managing Director, said the capital raising had strengthened Watpac's balance sheet which in turn had helped the company to secure more projects.
Sydney, Dec 18, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - The Australian share market lost much of its early gains after NAB's surprise bid for the local and New Zealand assets of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings. Woodside's capital raising also gave the market a pullback. At the close, the local market was slightly higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 8.4 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 4670.3 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 13.5 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 4689.6 points.
Key Economic Facts and Figures
The Westpac Banking Corp.-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry survey showed that Australian business confidence edged up to 55.0 in the fourth quarter, from 54.7 in the third quarter. The measure of actual business conditions rose to 50.4 in the December quarter from 48.2 in the third quarter. The labor market composite index improved to -1 in the fourth quarter from -12 in the third quarter, but actual employment conditions in the quarter underperformed expectations.
National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB) Thursday unveiled a surprise A$13.3 billion bid for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (ASX:AXA), trumped a rival offer from AMP Ltd. (ASX:AMP). AXA APH's independent board committee has unanimously concluded that the NAB proposal is in the best interests of AXA APH minority shareholders and superior to the rejected AMP/AXA SA revised proposal. The independent directors of AXA APH have recommended the NAB bid of A$6.43 a share.
Important Corporate News
Pizza chain operator Domino's Pizza Enterprises (ASX:DMP) said that it expects to announce a half-year net profit to 3 January 2010 of about A$8.5 million, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous first-half of A$6.3 million. The update comes after the group achieved strong earnings in Australia and New Zealand in the first five months of fiscal 2010. The company also said it now expects a fiscal 2010 net profit in the region of 15 per cent over the A$15.35 million reported for fiscal 2009.
The China Iron and Steel Association said it will oppose a proposed joint venture between Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and describe the venture as a form of monopoly and "a threat to global steel market development". It also called on China's regulators to use the antimonopoly law to "resist" the venture.
Dye solar cell (DSC) products supplier Dyesol Limited (ASX:DYE) said it is expanding operations in Japan by establishing a wholly owned subsidiary, Dyesol Japan Co. Ltd. The company will facilitate more direct communication with the Major Japanese corporations and Dyesol's expanding Japanese customer base, providing Dyesol with greater opportunity to enter into partnerships and alliance that will increase revenue through strong commercial relationships.
Watpac Limited (ASX:WTP) said its contracting divisions have secured approximately A$200 million worth of work since the company successfully completed a capital-raising in early September. Greg Kempton, Watpac Managing Director, said the capital raising had strengthened Watpac's balance sheet which in turn had helped the company to secure more projects.
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Rio Tinto Limited
National Australia Bank Limited
Greatcell Solar Limited
Domino's Pizza Enterprises Ltd.
BHP Billiton Limited
AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited