Briefs

UNEMPLOYMENT

UNEMPLOYMENT

Rate static

The jobless rate has remained at 5.4 per cent for the second month, as the economy lost 9800 full-time jobs in January but added 20,200 part-time positions, taking the net gain to 10,400. Analysts said that fiscal tightening, a sluggish economy and the strong dollar meant that the unemployment rate was still expected to track upwards through the

year.

BANKING

RBS fined

The Royal Bank of Scotland will pay fines totalling $US612 million ($A596 million) to US and British regulators to settle allegations of Libor interest rate rigging. RBS, which is 81 per cent owned by the British government after being bailed out during the financial crisis, is the third bank to admit its part in the Libor affair after Barclays and UBS.

CONSTRUCTION

Contract win

Leighton subsidiary John Holland has won a $186 million contract extension for work on an iron ore port being built for Rio Tinto's iron ore operations. John Holland is building the Cape Lambert Port B wharf in the Western Australia's Pilbara region, and will extend the wharf to include an additional two berths.

DEALS

GPG sale

Guinness Peat Group, the investment firm liquidating its portfolio, has sold out of aluminium fabrication group Capral for about $40.4 million. GPG has been selling assets in a plan to return capital to shareholders, and aims to rebrand itself as its biggest asset, British threadmaker Coats.

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