InvestSMART

BRIEFS

SUNCORP

SUNCORP

Outsourcing claim

The insurer Suncorp is planning to send thousands of jobs offshore although its employees raised the company's reputation after the summer floods, the Finance Sector Union says. The Indian outsourcing companies World Network Services and Genpact are said to be in Australia assessing Suncorp workplaces for jobs suitable to send offshore.

ENERGY

Linc buyback

Linc Energy plans to buy back on-market up to 5 per cent of its shares, worth about $51 million. It said its share price presented the opportunity to conduct the buyback. The shares fell 21? to $1.83 yesterday.

AGRICULTURE

Sugar harvest sours

Australia's 2011 sugar production has again been revised downwards at the halfway point of the crush. Total production estimates have declined throughout the season, due to the wet summer in Queensland, and could come in below 30 million tonnes.

RETAIL

Global chains roll on

Australia is expected to remain an attractive country for international retailers after some big domestic retailers recently bucked the gloomy trend with better profits, IBISWorld research shows. Costco, Ikea and Topshop are all due to open stores over the coming months.

INVESTMENT

Taxes daunt China

Chinese investors looking for opportunities in Australia remain focused on the resource and agricultural sectors, said Zhang Ke, chairman of China's biggest domestically owned accounting firm ShineWing. However, the proposed carbon pricing system and mineral resources rent tax would dampen their enthusiasm, he said.

FOSTER'S

Plea for loyalty

The Foster's chairman, David Crawford, has asked shareholders to ignore SABMiller's $11 billion takeover bid and stick with current management as the benefits of the wine demerger are yet to be realised, and a turnaround of the beer and cider group was "on track".


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