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Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) has reported an annual net loss of A$66 million for the year ended June 30, compared to a profit of A$596 million in the previous year. BlueScope said it had seen some demand improvement in its markets and expected to report a further loss in the first half of 2009/10.
Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) has reported an annual net loss of A$66 million for the year ended June 30, compared to a profit of A$596 million in the previous year. BlueScope said it had seen some demand improvement in its markets and expected to report a further loss in the first half of 2009/10.

Sydney, Aug 17, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Wall Street ended lower in light trading on Friday as reports showed weak consumer sentiment in August and an unexpected decline in July retail sales. The weak reports prompted investors to lock in gains from the recent rally.

On Friday the Australian share market posted gains as a bunch of better-than-expected profit results boosted market confidence. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 25.1 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 4461, while the broader All Ordinaries index lifted 28.4 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 4465.1.

Key Economic Facts and Figures

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens last Friday tipped that the central bank will adjust the cash interest rate when it is clear the economy is in recovery. He also said the current low interest rate is an emergency setting. RBA expects the consumer demand and first-home buyer demand for finance will be softer in the second half of the year.

M&A News

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) has made a A$3 billion approach for coal-seam gas producer Arrow Energy (ASX:AOE), a British newspaper reported. It is said that Shell discussed acquiring Arrow several weeks ago to extend its interest in Arrow's coal-seam gas assets. Arrow confirmed it had received interest from parties about a possible takeover, but it had not received an offer and was not aware if one would emerge.

Australian packaging group Amcor Ltd (ASX:AMC) is expected to unveil its A$2.4 billion acquisition of Rio Tinto's (ASX:RIO) Alcan Packaging as early as today. Amcor will buy healthcare and tobacco packaging but not the personal care and beauty packaging assets from Alcan. Shares in Amcor were placed in trading halt on Monday, saying it would make an announcement concerning the outcome of talks on an acquisition.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) said multiple parties had expressed interest in buying its Ravensthorpe nickel operation. But a BHP spokesman did not confirm Ravensthorpe was for sale. Chinese, South American and European miners had shown interest, a source said.

Important Corporate News

Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) has reported an annual net loss of A$66 million for the year ended June 30, compared to a profit of A$596 million in the previous year. BlueScope said it had seen some demand improvement in its markets but expected to report a further loss in the first half of 2009/10.

Ansell (ASX:ANN) posted a better-than-expected 18.3 per cent rise in full-year profit to A$121.4 million, from A$102.6 million a year earlier. It will pay a final dividend of 16 cents, up slightly from 15.5c a year earlier.

Health insurer NIB holdings (ASX:NHF) reported a A$2.9 million drop in post-tax profits to A$23.8 million for its FY 2009 as a result of the negative returns on its investment portfolio. The fund declared a final dividend of 4.4 cents a share which takes the total to 7.4 cents for the full year.

Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) posted a 84.7 per cent net profit rise to a record A$248.1 million for the year to June 30 from A$134.3m for the previous year. Annual dividend has been increased from 10 cents to 15 cents. The miner said its gold output for the current financial year is expected to rise to between 1.81 million and 1.91 million ounces from the 1.63 million ounces it produced in the year ended June 30.

Boart Longyear Ltd (ASX:BLY) reported a net loss of US$5.36 million for the half year to June 30 2009 compared with a profit of US$111.74m in the prior corresponding half. It also announced plans to raise US$635 million to reduce its debt by nearly 80%.

Internet service provider iiNet (ASX:IIN) has posted a 28.8 per cent rise in full year profit after growing subscriber numbers. Net profit for the year to June 30 was A$25.63 million, up from A$19.90 million in the previous financial year. The result was also boosted by the full year contribution from the Westnet business, a rival internet service provider that it acquired for A$81 million.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) has struck prices for iron ore with Baosteel Group and the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) below a benchmark set by Rio Tinto with Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese steelmakers.

Contact

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


Related Companies

Royal Dutch Shell        
Rio Tinto Limited          
NIB Holdings Limited        
Newcrest Mining Limited        
Iinet Limited       
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd          
Boart Longyear Limited         
Bluescope Steel Limited        
BHP Billiton Limited          
Arrow Energy        
Ansell Limited         
Amcor Limited        

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