ABN Newswire
ABN Newswire

Sydney, May 14, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Wall Street dropped sharply on Wednesday after US government data showed that retail sales in April fell 0.4%. The unexpected decline was breaking most analysts' suggestion that the figure would remain unchanged from March.

The Australian share market showed a quiet response to the federal budget and closed in thin trading on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a growing list of companies seeking capital raising also absorbed attention from investors. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 21.1 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 3856.1, while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 21.1 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 3842.5.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is to release lending finance data for March on Thursday. The Melbourne Institute will unveil its survey of consumer inflationary expectations for May.

M&A News

Shares in Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) tumbled 5 per cent yesterday on rumours that Rio Tinto was preparing a massive rights issue of A$9.93 billion, as the market doubted about its deal with Chinalco.

Online gaming company International All Sports Ltd (ASX:IAS) will sell its Canbet businesses to internet entertainment software group Yin Khing Investments Ltd for $A1 million. IAS chairman Barry Coulter said the sale of Canbet will allow the company to focus on its core Australian business.

Royalco Resources (ASX:RCO) has rejected Anglo Pacific Group Plc's (LON:APF) unsolicited offer for all its outstanding shares, saying the offer price significantly undervalued the company. Anglo Pacific's 30-a-share on-market bid was a 50 per cent premium to Royalco's pre-bid price of 20 a share.

Important Corporate News

GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) upgraded profit guidance for this fiscal year. GrainCorp said it now estimated that full year net profit would be between A$37 million and A$42 million, compared with previous guidance of A$23-28 million.

Singapore Telecommunications (ASX:SGT)(SIN:Z74) recorded quarterly profit fell a better-than-expected 17%. Its net profit to March was S$903 million compared to S$1.09 billion a year ago.

Santos (ASX:STO) said it has raised A$1.75 billion from the institutional component of its A$3 billion capital raising announced on Monday. The institutional entitlement offer, at a 27 per cent discount to its closing price before capital raising announcement, was heavily oversubscribed from Australian and international institutional investors.

Leighton Holdings (ASX:LEI) reported a 41 percent fall in profit for the first nine-months of fiscal 2009, hit by investment writedowns, and cut its full year forecast. The net profit fell to A$220 million in the nine months ended March 31 from A$375 million a year earlier.

AMP (ASX:AMP) said it expected conditions to remain difficult in 2010 and possibly even beyond. The company expected changes to the competitive environment and industry structure in the next few years.

Lend Lease (ASX:LLC) said it will continue to develop the athletes village for the London 2010 Olympic Games under existing agreement, after the British Government decided to fund the project without sourcing private funding. Lend Lease had offered to invest GBP150 million in the village.

Australia's regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB)(PINK:MBLTY), announced positive results from the first 20 patients enrolled in the heart failure trial of the "off-the-shelf", adult stem cell product Revascor(TM). Three months after receiving a single injection into damaged heart muscle of the lowest dose of Revascor(TM), patients with moderate-severe congestive heart failure demonstrated significantly improved heart muscle function.

Emerging lithium producer, Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) announced that it has raised A$6.65 million to be used to progress the next stages in the development of the lithium carbonate mine and minerals plant at Ravensthorpe as well as the lithium conversion project in China".


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

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