Stockbrokers put aside traditional rivalries this week to pay tribute to young Octa Phillip broker Ben Ikin, who died during a visit to Perth at the weekend aged 27. Representatives of Macquarie, Bell Potter and EL & C Baillieu all gathered in Melbourne pay their respects. "Ben was a young man with a promising future and will be missed," said Patrick Trindade, head of private wealth at Octa Phillip.
Australand Holdings has denied it has been approached by rival Mirvac with any takeover offer. In response to press reports on Tuesday that its management was in talks about a possible $7 billion merger with Mirvac, the directors of Australand said: "Australand advises that it is not in receipt of any such proposal." However, analysts have said that since GPT said it was committed to making a bid for Australand's non-residential assets, it is "game on" for the real estate investment trusts.
The interest in the struggling Ten Network held by James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch has risen to just below the 20 per cent takeover threshold after the pair took up their entitlement under a capital raising. However, Mr Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings told the stock exchange that it expected the pair's voting power would return to its previous level of 17.9 per cent after a retail offer in January.
Iron ore fine
Iron ore minnow Northern Iron has agreed to pay a $66,000 fine to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission after an investigation into continuous disclosure. ASIC was concerned that Northern Iron took 2 hours and 24 minutes to request a trading halt after it learnt that confidentiality around a possible transaction in May had been lost. Northern Iron said it was not in the company's best interests to enter an expensive and long legal dispute with ASIC and would pay the fine in a bid to close the matter.