20/08/2009 - 00:00

pg 2

20/08/2009 - 00:00


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Labor to oppose retail trading change

 The push for extended retail trading hours in Perth is doomed to fail after the Labor opposition decided to oppose the move, joining the Nationals, which also oppose change. Premier Colin Barnett was scathing in his criticism of Labor's stance while the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA rounded on both Labor and the government's partner, the Nationals.

FMG expansion with $6bn from China

 Fortescue Metals Group is set to expand its Pilbara iron ore operation, should a conditional $6 billion deal with Chinese banks be approved in September. Under the landmark six-month pricing and supply deal with China's biggest steel maker, Baosteel, and the Chinese Iron & Steel Association, Fortescue will deliver 20 million tonnes of ore to Chinese customers by the end of the year.

Martin offers $20m to Great Southern

 Coogee Chemicals chairman Gordon Martin has announced a plan to fund a $20 million "rescue package" for six of Great Southern's collapsed timber schemes in order to bring them back to harvest. The funding body, Pulpwood Plantations, established by Mr Martin, would retrieve its return on net harvest proceeds, and thereby align its interests with growers.

Faragher approves Freo lead exports

 Environment Minister Donna Faragher has approved the export of lead from Magellan Metals' Wiluna mine through the port of Fremantle. Western Australia has been involved in a long-running lead saga, starting in late 2007 following the contamination of water supplies and some people's blood in Esperance.

BHP Billiton full-year profit slumps 62%

 BHP Billiton has recorded a 61.8 per cent fall in annual profit, following a drop in commodity prices but says it expects demand to pick up. Net profit for the year ended June 30 was $US5.877 billion ($A7.09 billion), down from $US15.39 billion ($A18.56 billion) in the previous financial year.

Appointments 20

New chair for Fremantle Dockers

Rick Hart (far left) will stand down as president of AFL club Fremantle at the end of the year. Mr Hart, who has held the role since 2002, will be replaced by current board member Steve Harris (right), who is the managing director of The Brand Agency. He has been a Fremantle Dockers member since 2001 and joined the club's board last year. Fremantle foundation player Stephen O'Reilly and dual Olympic hockey gold medallist Jenn Morris have been appointed to the board for three-year terms.

OPR builds project team

Oakajee Port and Rail has announced three appointments including Richard Jupp, who will take on the role of dovernment and external affairs director. Geoff Cowie has been appointed as project director, bringing to the role more than 35 years' experience. Mr Cowie will be directly responsible for engineering and will work closely with project management study contractor WorleyParsons. Phil McKeiver has been appointed as general counsel. Mr McKeiver joins OPR from Telstra.

KPMG auditors step down

Three partners of KPMG's Perth office - Brett Fullarton, Robert Kelly and Grant Robinson - have agreed to stop practicing as auditors for between nine months and two years following their involvement in the collapsed Westpoint investment group. The partners' undertakings do not contain any admissions of wrongdoing or of any deficiencies in the audit work performed by KPMG.

Directors' Interests 19

Navitas managing director Rod Jones and director Peter Larsen sold 2.5 million shares each, reaping a combined $15.5 million, while another founding director, Peter Campbell, sold 1 million shares for $3.1 million.

Despite the sell-down, the trio remains dominant on the register, with a combined holding just under the 30 per cent mark and worth $320 million earlier this week.

Interests associated with Mindax non-executive director Andrew Tsang have increased their stake in the company to 24.85 per cent, the biggest holding in the company. Mr Tsang or his associates bought 1.15 million shares worth $557,500 and also revealed the purchase of a further 1 million shares, left undisclosed to the market since May. Total purchases were almost $1.1 million, including 800,000 shares worth $400,000 bought from Mindax managing director Gregory Bromley, to bring Mt Tsang's total holding to more than 32 million shares.

Lottery's life

Lotterywest has released a couple of books about itself, which would be great value to anyone with a penchant for Western Australian history.

All Prizes Paid in Full by Richard Nile and Anne-Louise Willoughby is a pictorial history of Lottywest, while A Proper Foundation is a more detailed history by Sian Supski.

The Note couldn't get past the winner of the first-ever Lotterywest prize, a 13-year-old girl from Cottesloe.

Joan Smart won 1,000 pounds, which, in 1933, would have been quite a sum.

Because a minor had won, there was much legal toing-and-froing before it was agreed that the young lady could sign the ticket over to her father to allow him to take receipt of the prize.

Lawyers were always the winners, even back then.

What's in a name?

There's nothing like finding a glitch in your records, especially when it relates to a major shareholder.

Take for example the odd case of Applecross-based Prime Minerals, which late last month announced to the ASX that Colbern Nominees Pty Ltd had become a substantial shareholder with more than 21 per cent of its stock.

The weird thing was the notice was given two and half years after Colbern took that shareholding, on December 28 2006, less than a week before Prime listed on January 3 2007.

It appears it was a case of an accidental vowel because Prime's 2008 annual report listed a Colburn Nominees as its second biggest shareholder with almost the same percentage of equity.

Less than two weeks after the substantial shareholder notice, Prime took legal action against Colbern and two other parties, Brett Matich and Landlife Corporation Pty Ltd, alleging a breach of a corporate advisory agreement.



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