Briefs

RETAIL

RETAIL

Online spend

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

LEND LEASE

Ex-boss dies

Former Lend Lease boss Stuart Hornery, AO, has died aged 73. A private family 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.

MINING

Lynas rises

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 controversial Malaysian processing plant "in the new few weeks".

MOTORING

Saab to close

The Australian operations of Saab will close after the bankruptcy of its Swedish owner last month. Saab Australia has called in Ferrier Hodgson as administrators.

BECTON

Meeting called

Mariner Corp has called a shareholder meeting of embattled construction company Becton Property Group. Mariner is seeking shareholder approval to exercise options and take its holding in Becton to 31 per cent.

IVANHOE AUSTRALIA

CEO appointed

Rio Tinto-controlled miner Ivanhoe Australia has appointed Bob Vassie as managing director and chief executive. The appointment of the Rio Tinto veteran comes seven months after former boss Peter Reeve departed.

CONTANGO BUYOUT

Higher offer

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