The market is unchanged at midday. The SFE futures suggested an 8 point fall in the market this morning. Quiet morning on the back of the US and UK markets being close overnight. Financials down 0.3% again after the removal of the shorting ban yesterday. Major banks dragging the index down about 10 points on their own — CBA down 1.6%. Resources up 0.3% — BHP up 0.2%. RIO down 0.1%.
US Equities and Treasuries Markets Closed For The Memorial Day Public Holiday. UK markets closed for the Spring Bank Holiday.
CSL LOSES TALECRIS — yesterday the US Federal Trade Commission decided to legally challenge the US$3.1bn acquisition of plasma medicine producer Talecris Biotherapeutics by CSL. Talecris is the third largest producer of plasma medicines in the world. CSL is number 2 and Baxter number one. Post the acquisition CSL would have had sales of $3.8bn versus Baxter with $5bn. CSL announced the acquisition last August and raised $1.75bn in October to fund the purchase and are sitting on $1.8bn of cash waiting for US regulatory approval that now looks like it won’t come. Brokers generally keeping BUYS with price targets between 3640c and 4300c. CSL down 1.15% to 3000c.
- Rio Tinto (RIO) Iron Ore Chief Executive Sam Walsh said RIO is canvassing views of shareholders before any possible revision to its US$19.5bn alliance with Chinalco.
- Perpetual (PPT) notes in a letter to shareholders that it expects earnings to fall by around 50% this year with NPAT between $60-70m, down from the $133.5m a year ago due to the decline in global equity markets. PPT up 2.5% to 3074c.
- Suncorp-Metway (SUN) down 2.6% to 591c saying it has received about 4500 claims from the QLD/NSW floods but that it expects reinsurance cover to cap its claims costs at $10m.
- PanAust (PNA) in a trading halt pending an accelerated nonrenounceable 2-for-9 entitlement offer and announces a cornerstone investor will take a 19.9% stake in the miner. 100m shares will also be placed to institutional shareholders.
- Bendigo & Adelaide Bank (BEN) down 2% to 620c saying they have no direct exposure to Great Southern (GTP) but lent money to 8,200 customers who invested in GTP’s managed investment schemes – notes the loans are full recourse and that the average loan was $75,000.
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- Adelaide Brighton (ABC) had it price target upped to 245c from 230c by Credit Suisse after it announced at its AGM that that forecast FY earnings of $105-$115m, close to CS’s forecast for $107m.
- Allco Finance Group will almost certainly be in liquidation by tonight.
- The Bank of Japan has upped its view on the economy for the first time in nearly three years.
The Dow Futures suggest a 8 point fall on Wall Street tonight.
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