While James Packer was in court yesterday on One.Tel matters an
executive revolution was afoot at PBL, with two high-profile
appointments boosting its ranks and raising speculation on what it
means, says John Durie in the Fin Review. The moves obviously
take some load from PBL chief executive John Alexander but fly in the
face of previous musings that the company was trying to cut head-office
costs. This assumes yesterday’s moves are the last and not simply the
precursor to more developments within the Packer empire.

The Toll Holdings camp will be feeling much more confident of
the chances of getting their $4.6 billion bid for Patrick
Corporation past the ACCC
after weekend comments by the commission’s Graeme Samuel, says Stephen Bartolomeusz in The Smage. Toll made a submission to the ACCC on Friday in response to the
commission’s “statement of issues” in relation to the bid, which had dismissed behavioural undertakings proposed by Toll
as “inadequate, impracticable and unacceptably difficult to
enforce.” But in an interview on the Nine Network’s Business Sunday
program, Samuel’s comments were couched in far less hostile
language. While saying the ACCC hadn’t had time to examine it in
detail, Samuel also said that it was a “step in the right
direction” — although probably not yet sufficient for the
commission to clear it at this stage.

Junior energy company Sydney Gas is concerned
that it might have some colourful identities on its share register that
it didn’t know about, reports Bryan Frith in The Australian.
So concerned is it that it wants trading in the shares suspended until
it can find out. The compnay is seeking to find out whether parties
holding between 25% and 35% of the capital are acting in concert to
influence the company’s affairs. If so, that would involve not only
contraventions of
substantial shareholding disclosure provisions, but also possibly of
the prohibition on parties holding more than 20% of a company’s
capital without first making a takeover bid.

Big retailers face losing a combined $130 million in revenue after the
Federal Court endorsed the RBA’s plan to eliminate hidden fees shared
between the banks and retailer as part of its shake-up of the debits
payment system, reports The Fin Review. And hopes of a speedy resolution to the AFL television rights saga
appear slim following the breakdown of mediation between the Seven
Network and the league over its involvement in the $1.1 billion C7
court case, reports The Smage.

On Wall Street, US stocks ended lower overnight, with the
S&P 500
and the Nasdaq Composite indexes snapping a seven-session run of gains
as some investors chose to lock in profits after a six-week rally. The
Dow Jones fell 40.90 points to 10,890 – MarketWatch has a full report here.