BRIEFS

IRON ORE

IRON ORE

Miner picks up

Mount Gibson Iron says the sharp drop in iron ore prices last year that forced it to strip out costs meant it was now well positioned following the market recovery. The Western Australia-based miner posted on Tuesday a 71 per cent drop in first-half net profit to $37.1 million.

PIMCO OUTLOOK

More rate cuts

Global bond investor Pacific Investment Management Company says Australian debt markets are misguided to bet the central bank is almost done cutting interest rates, as the economy will struggle to cope with the fading resources boom. "The big economic uncertainty arrives when the economy transitions from an investment destination to a production and export engine," said Robert Mead, the head of portfolio management at Pimco.

MACMAHON

Bid rejected

Shares in Macmahon fell 2¢ to 34¢ after it rejected the latest takeover offer from the Indian-owned company Sembawang Australia. Macmahon has already struck a deal with Leighton Holdings over the sale of its troubled construction business.

CALIBRE

Revenue rises

The engineering services company Calibre has lifted its first-half profit by 12.3 per cent to $18.75 million. Revenue rose 43.3 per cent to $368 million, driven by strong demand from its blue-chip clients in Western Australia. Calibre declared an interim dividend of 5.8¢.

MCPHERSON'S

Profit up 7.6%

The homeware and beauty products company McPherson's has announced a first-half profit increase of 7.6 per cent despite challenging trading conditions. The company posted a net profit for the six months to December 31 of $10.91 million and announced a fully-franked interim dividend of 10¢ a share.

CONSTRUCTION

Leighton's loss

Leighton estimates it will lose $650 million in revenue over the four years to 2016 following a decision by Xstrata to bring production at the large Collinsville coal mine in Queensland in-house. The transition would commence from August, it said.

JAPAN

No bond plans

Japan's Finance Minister, Taro Aso, says the government has no intention of buying foreign bonds through a fund with the Bank of Japan, comments that caused the yen to strengthen.

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