BRIEFS

RETAIL

RETAIL

Online sales up

Australians spent $12.6 billion on online shopping in the year to November with a surge in the final month as shoppers allowed time for Christmas deliveries. NAB's retail sales index shows that online sales grew 27 per cent for the year, but were still only 5.7 per cent of traditional bricks and mortar sales.

STUART HORNERY

Legend dies

One of the legends of corporate Australia, former Lend Lease boss Stuart Hornery, AO, has passed away, aged 73. A private funeral was held in Sydney on Monday. Mr Hornery, who joined Lend Lease in 1964 as an engineer, went on to become chief executive in 1978 at the age of 39. He retired as chairman in 2000 and established The Hornery Institute, which works to lift living standards within Australian communities.

RARE EARTHS

Lynas set to go

Shares in Lynas Corp soared 14.4 per cent to 71.5¢ after the miner said it expected to produce commercial rare earth products from its Malaysian plant in the new few weeks.

CAR INDUSTRY

Saab shuts doors

The Australian operations of carmaker Saab has confirmed it will close its doors following the bankruptcy of its Swedish owners last month. Its Port Melbourne office will be closed, resulting in six job losses.

PROPERTY

Becton meeting

Mariner Corp has called a shareholder meeting of embattled construction company Becton Property Group. Mariner is seeking approval to exercise options and take its holding in Becton to 31 per cent. Mariner's chief executive, Darren Olney-Fraser, is also seeking a seat on the Becton board.

APPOINTMENTS

Ivanhoe boss

Rio Tinto controlled miner Ivanhoe Australia has appointed Bob Vassie to be its new managing director and chief executive.

TAKEOVERS

Contango offer

Almost a year after its last attempt to take out the minority shareholders in Contango Capital Partners, Contango Microcap has launched another bid for the company, this time offering 95¢ a share, up from 90¢ last time.

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