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BRIEFS

ABC LEARNING

ABC LEARNING

Kemp to stand trial

A former ABC Learning executive, Martin Kemp, was committed yesterday to stand trial on criminal charges of breaching his duties as a director after a two-week hearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court. ABC Learning's founder, Eddy Groves, has pleaded not guilty to breaching his director's duties over the same incident involving the sale of three child-care centres - owned by Mr Kemp - to ABC Learning.

FINANCE

Business credit shrinks

Loans from banks and finance companies fell in June for the first time since October 2009 as business credit contracted and housing lending grew the least in 27 years. Total private credit dropped 0.1 per cent from May after a 0.3 per cent gain in May, the Reserve Bank said yesterday.

INVESTMENT

Storm claims settled

Law firm Slater & Gordon has settled the last of the 100 Storm Financial client claims made against the National Australia Bank. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is involved in other proceedings in the Federal Court against three other banks, Commonwealth Bank, Bank of Queensland and Macquarie Bank over Storm's collapse in 2008.

GAS

Origin record output

Origin Energy has posted record full-year production and sales revenues as well as higher production in the June quarter. The energy group, which is focused on producing gas, delivered a record 135 petajoules for the 12 months to June 30, up 30 per cent on the prior year. Sales revenue rose 32 per cent to a record $835 million.

HOUSING

Values ease again

Home values continued to drop in June as consumers worried about rising interest rates and the global economy. The drop of 0.2 per cent recorded by RP Data-Rismark Hedonic's latest home-value index was the sixth-straight monthly fall in capital-city home values. But the rate of decline has been moderating since January, when capital-city values fell 1.2 per cent.

TRANSPORT

Toll refinancing

Freight company Toll Holdings has refinanced $S1 billion ($754 million) of Singaporean-sourced debt to lower interest repayments and bought a German ocean-freight business, Hamburg-based Andree & Wilkerling.

IRON ORE

Murchison rebounds

Murchison Metals, a Pilbara iron-ore miner, has posted positive production and shipping results. Extreme weather hit the company in the March quarter but Murchison mined 269,992 tonnes in the June quarter. Murchison was forced to admit last month it lacked the funds for the stalled, $5.94 billion Oakajee port development.


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