Briefs

CONSTRUCTION

CONSTRUCTION

Wind-up served on Reed

A creditor of the troubled Reed Construction group is seeking to wind up the company, with the NSW Supreme Court due to hear the application on June 20. BCI Nominees' application comes as the company awaits a decision by the NSW government on disputed funds. Reed has failed to pay subcontractors and suppliers for months. It has claimed it is owed up to $97 million in BER (building the education revolution) and other payments, but the government has withheld payment.

TAKEOVERS

Flinders shares sink

Shares in the iron ore miner Flinders Mines fell 3? to 13? after court delays pushed its proposed $554 million takeover by a Russian steel maker past the expiry date of the deal. Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works made an agreed offer to acquire 100 per cent of Flinders by June 30. But the Arbitration Court of the Chelyabinsk region of Russia adjourned proceedings brought by a MMK minority shareholder until July 2.

BANKING

BoQ margin warning

The Bank of Queensland says continuing weak demand for loans will put pressure on the profit margins for domestic banks. A rise in bad loans because of Queensland's floods caused a $90.6 million loss for BoQ in the first half.

RETAIL

Westfield bullish on Italy

Westfield is confident it can notch up to ?1 billion ($1.29 billion) in sales in Milan despite the financial turmoil in Europe. The group is pressing ahead with plans to develop a landmark complex in Italy's fashion and financial capital within the next three years. The Westfield chief executive, Steven Lowy, believes a new centre near Milan's Linate airport can record similar sales to Westfield London, which has been trading well since opening at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

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