ASIC warning

The corporate regulator has warned retail investors frustrated by low superannuation returns to tread carefully before investing in potentially "risky" securities like debentures and notes. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission also says it will be monitoring advertisements for such products in the months ahead.


AET turnaround

Australian Education Trust, which invests in early learning centres, has recorded a net profit of $11.8 million for the half-year to December 31. Twelve months ago, it posted losses of $1.6 million, in part due to the fallout from the collapse of ABC Learning.


Applications down

An unusually weak Christmas for credit cards suggests the end of year spending malaise may have extended beyond retail stores. Credit card application figures to be released this morning by the rating agency Veda show requests for cards in the December quarter were down 9.9 per cent on the year before.


Prize pair

BHP Billiton chairman and former Ford boss Jacques Nasser, and transport and logistics boss Lindsay Fox were honoured at the American Australian Association in Melbourne last night. The association was set up six years ago to support a strong economic, cultural, social and educational relationship between Australia and the US.


WA price jump

Electricity prices in Western Australia will jump another 5 per cent next year, and power producer Verve and retailer Synergy will be merged, according to the Premier, Colin Barnett.


Infigen funding

Wind-farm operator Infigen Energy is planning to reapply for federal government funding to develop a solar-power 150-megawatt project in NSW with partner Suntech Power Holdings. It comes as a group of investors including BP that won funding last year failed to meet a financing deadline.


Business class fall

Domestic business class airfares dropped to a 17-year low this month, according to an index of ticket costs. The index of business class airfares fell to 76.9 in February from 77.4 in January and down from 98.8 a year ago, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics said.


Ansell looks abroad

Glove and condom maker Ansell said it will look to emerging markets to drive growth after recording a modest profit increase of 1.1 per cent in the six months to December 31. The Melbourne-registered company increased its net profit to $64.9 million, up from $64.2 million in the previous corresponding period.

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