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Titan dips on debut

Oil and gas services company Titan Energy Services has made a negative debut on the Australian stock exchange. However, the company says it is seeking to expand its equipment hire business and is in early-stage talks with transport firms about potential joint ventures. The Queensland-focused firm eased 5? to 95? yesterday, after hitting an earlier low of 87? on the Australian Stock Exchange. Titan's initial public offer of 5 million shares at $1 each, plus 500,000 shares discounted to 90? each under an employee offer, was oversubscribed. The company is targeting the coal seam gas and, shale gas industries as growth markets.


Contraction slows

Australia's construction industry continued to decline in November but at a slower pace, the latest Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index shows. It rose 4.9 points to 39.6. A reading of 50 or above shows expansion, or contraction under 50. The result showed that while construction activity continued to decline, the rate had slowed. House building activity, buoyed by an interest rates cut in November, rose to 38.6 points.


MF Global delay

MF Global's 13,000 Australian clients will have to wait until at least March next year before they see any of the $300 million they are owed by the failed broker. In an email to clients, administrator Chris Campbell of Deloitte said he needed to obtain answers to legal questions from a court before he could start distributing the money, "most likely in February 2012 when the courts resume from the Christmas break". He said he would need court guidance on how to value each client's claim, how to treat segregated accounts and how to divide up money recovered from clearing houses and other counter-parties.


ABC fight on hold

A bitter legal battle between the founders of ABC Learning, Eddy Groves and his ex-wife, has been put on hold for another week. Dr Le Neve Groves, pictured, who co-founded the empire that collapsed in 2008, is suing her former husband for $44.2 million. She alleges she never agreed to guarantee a margin loan for Mr Groves and that her signature on guarantee documents was forged. The matter was adjourned last month after her lawyers amended their argument.


Transparency call

Australia's $1.3 trillion superannuation industry lacks transparency and workers should receive more information about who governs their retirement money and where it is invested, a report says. A CPA Australia issues paper calls for increased transparency and disclosure in the superannuation industry and says reporting standards should match those of publicly listed companies. More than 75 per cent of CPA members polled believe there needs to be greater transparency around costs and underlying asset investments, and 90 per cent said trustee and senior management salaries should be more transparent.

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