Ausmelt Limited (ASX:AET) has won its second lead smelter contract in China. The contract price is confidential but will provide material revenues and profits to Ausmelt over the next two years. The company will supply a lead smelter with a capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of lead a year to Hulunbeier Chihong Mining Limited (HCML) in China's Inner Mongolia Province. HCML is a subsidiary of Yunnan Metallurgical Group (YMG)
Australian shares gained 1.3% on Friday but still lost 4.3% for the week. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 49.8 points, higher at 3773.2 and the broader All Ordinaries index was also up 1.3%, or 48.1 points, at 3758.9. The local market is expected to soften on jitters over the US economy.
Key Economic Facts and Figures
A study of Australian house prices by RBS has questioned the common view that the housing shortage will prop up prices. Economists say house prices, which have plunged 7 per cent from their peak, could continue dropping despite cuts to interest rates and the extension of the first-home buyers grant.
The Housing Industry Association is due to release its affordability report for the March quarter today.
Beach Petroleum (ASX:BPT) has built up a 13.2 per cent strategic stake in its takeover target Drillsearch Energy (ASX:DLS). Beach Petroleum said it had entered into pre-bid agreements with some shareholders.
It is reported that GPT Group (ASX:GPT) will challenge minority shareholder Stockland Group (ASX:SGP) about its intentions regarding its stake in the company. GPT's chief executive Michael Cameron said he would ask the managing director of Stockland, Matthew Quinn, to decide on increasing the stake or selling out.
Consolidated Rutile Ltd (ASX:CRL) said it has reached agreement with Unimin Australian Ltd under which Unimin will increase the unconditional takeover offer for all of CRL shares to A$0.45 per CRL share. The CRL board unanimously recommend its shareholders accept the offer.
Coal miner Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) has dropped a planned merger with Gloucester Coal (ASX:GCL). Gloucester recommended a bid by Noble Group (SIN:N21) after the Hong Kong commodities trader raised its offer for Gloucester on Friday to A$7 a share, or A$572 million.
Important Corporate News
Graincorp (ASX:GNC) posted a net profit of A$32.33 million for the half year to March 31, up from a loss of A$6.5 million in the prior corresponding period. Graincorp plans to raise A$60 million capital from institutional investors.
Surfwear maker Billabong International (ASX:BBG) is expected to post a fall in its net profit for the year ended June 30 to between A$160 million and A$165 million, down from A$176.4 million last year. The company has launched a A$290 million capital raising and cut its full-year earnings forecast due to weaker US retail sales.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) will persevere the 43 east coast branches of BankWest for the next two years despite the eastern states branches are still operating at a lost.
Former acting chairman of Australian Agricultural Company Limited (ASX:AAC), Charles Bright, has resigned as a director of the company, effective last Sunday, May 17.
New Hope (ASX:NHC) posted a 48 per cent surge its coal sales in the April quarter, compared to the corresponding period last year. The company also reported its raw coal production in the three months to April was 2.52 million tons, up 24% on year.
Ausmelt Limited (ASX:AET) has won its second lead smelter contract in China. The contract price is confidential but will provide material revenues and profits to Ausmelt over the next two years. The company will supply a lead smelter with a capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of lead a year to Hulunbeier Chihong Mining Limited (HCML) in China's Inner Mongolia Province. HCML is a subsidiary of Yunnan Metallurgical Group (YMG
Whitehaven Coal Limited
Noble Group Limited
New Hope Corporation Limited
Gloucester Coal Ltd
Drillsearch Energy Limited
Consolidated Rutile Limited
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Billabong International Limited
Beach Energy Limited
Australian Agricultural Company Limited