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It is reported that Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL), a major shareholder of New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC), is looking to offload its stake in Arrow Energy (ASX:AOE). Soul Pattinson first bought into Arrow in 2006 through a 61 per cent controlling stake in New Hope, which now holds 16.8 per cent stake in Arrow Energy. New Hope today said it is not in discussions with any third party regarding its Arrow shareholding.
It is reported that Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL), a major shareholder of New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC), is looking to offload its stake in Arrow Energy (ASX:AOE). Soul Pattinson first bought into Arrow in 2006 through a 61 per cent controlling stake in New Hope, which now holds 16.8 per cent stake in Arrow Energy. New Hope today said it is not in discussions with any third party regarding its Arrow shareholding.
Sydney, Nov 26, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Overnight US stocks ended at a fresh 13-month high ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, helped by a series of upbeat economic data. A report showed initial claims for US jobless insurance benefits plunged to their lowest levels since September last year. US incomes rose 0.2 per cent and consumer spending jumped 0.7 per cent in October. New home sales rose 6.2 per cent unexpectedly.

The Australian sharemarket rose today after Wall Street's gains. Yesterday the local market was pushed up by miners and banks. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index advanced 37.2 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 4722.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 32.8 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 4741 points.

The Australian dollar opened higher today as US dollar weakened. The unit rebounded to above 93 US cents level this morning, up from yesterday's close of US$0.9240/43.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

Total construction work done in Australia rose by a seasonally adjusted 2.2 per cent in the September quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is better than the market expectations of 0.5 per cent fall. The positive figure could give the Reserve Bank of Australia more confidence to raise rates again in December.

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases private new capital expenditure and expected expenditure for the September quarter.
The ABS also releases managed funds data for the September quarter.

M&A News

It is reported that Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL), a major shareholder of New Hope Corp (ASX:NHC), is looking to offload its stake in Arrow Energy (ASX:AOE). Soul Pattinson first bought into Arrow in 2006 through a 61 per cent controlling stake in New Hope, which now holds 16.8 per cent stake in Arrow Energy. New Hope today said it is not in discussions with any third party regarding its Arrow shareholding.

Rural services provider Elders (ASX:ELD) and forestry company Gunns (ASX:GNS) have decided to restructure their proposed sales transaction over ITC Timber after the competition watchdog ACCC opposed Gunns' proposed acquisition of the ITC timber processing division from Elders, citing it would reduce competition. The plan had included a 50 per cent interest in the SmartFibre woodchip export joint-venture. Now SmartFibre will be removed from the deal as ACCC said Gunns control of SmartFibre might substantially lessen competition for pulpwood in Northern Tasmania.

Important Corporate News

Tower Australia (ASX:TAL) said its full-year profit declined by 32 per cent to A$46.4 million for the 12 months to September 30, as the life insurer's investments were hit by volatile markets and a higher amortisations charge. Chairman Robert Thomas said the company would be focused mainly on organic growth, but would consider takeover opportunities if they came up.

Chinese aluminium giant Chinalco is refusing to clear whether it was looking at keeping or selling its stake in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO). A Rio Tinto spokesman also declined to comment. It fuelled the speculation Chinalco would sell part or all of its 9 per cent stake in the mining giant. The rumours, which started circulating on Tuesday has sent the shares in Rio Tinto fell 3 per cent in two days.

Regional Express Holdings (ASX:REX), operator of the Rex airline, yesterday reported a 22.9 percent fall in net profits for the first three months of this financial year. But Regional Express is still making money. The regional carrier posted a A$3.7 million profit in the September quarter, in one of the toughest aviation environments in decades.

Contact

Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344
Email: michelle.liang@abnnewswire.net


Related Companies

Washington H Soul Pattinson & Company Limited        
Tower Australia Group Ltd          
Rio Tinto Limited          
Regional Express Holdings Limited        
New Hope Corporation Limited          
Gunns Limited        
Elders Limited        
Arrow Energy        

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