Boling misses mark on shares
By · 20 Nov 2013
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20 Nov 2013
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Boling misses mark on shares

Seven Group Holdings director Dulcie Boling may have many skills to her name but a crack aim does not appear to be among them.

It was pointed out at Seven's shareholder meeting on Tuesday that Boling appears to have no shares to her name despite sitting on the board since 2010, and having served more than 20 years as a director of the Seven Network.

Seven executive chairman Kerry Stokes assured investors that financial deprivations - or a dim view of the mining boom - was not to blame for the legendary magazine veteran's lack of skin in the game.

"I understand she does wish to buy shares," he said, before pointing out the array of investments Seven holds means there is an incredibly narrow window of opportunity to buy shares. Indeed, on recent occasions when Boling has sought to buy shares, Seven's legal eagle has advised her against it, according to Stokes.

Maybe she should have tried a gig at David Jones instead.

To be fair, she is not the only director to miss this tricky window. Coca-Cola Amatil boss Terry Davis has also had trouble finding the right occasion to pick up stock.

Rocking the boat

Amid the growing furore over Australia's Indonesian spying program, former Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt was due to explain on ABC Radio on Tuesday how the scandal may affect Australia's trade there.

Having just returned from Indonesia, Harcourt was well placed to talk about the political reaction to the scandal. So he jumped on Twitter to let his followers know he would be on the radio in a few hours. But his tweet seemed to trigger the Proustian memory of BT Investment chief economist Chris Caton.

We'll let their tweets speak for themselves:

Harcourt: Will the spying game rock the boat with Indonesia trade wise? I speak to @sloaniealex @666canberra at 110pm @RadioNational @asbunsw.

Caton: 666 is my ex-wife's phone number.

Harcourt: I hope they gave you the divorce settlement on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Caton: No such luck. Every day is Christmas at her place.

Pet aversion

Never let it be said the Coalition is no fan of the ABC and unions.

One of the government's chief head kickers, Mathias Cormann, had fun telling senators the ABC's fact check unit backed his view that selling Medibank Private would not bump up insurance prices.

Ditto shy and retiring union leader Paul Howes, another fan of flogging the insurer.

But the financial muscle from Brussels was not feeling better now about Medibank Private's pet insurance business. "The Commonwealth of Australia owns a pet insurance business; it's quite extraordinary really," Cormann moaned, before remembering his job was to defend the bureaucracy rather than hammer it.

Call to arms

Qantas' well-orchestrated campaign against Virgin Australia's capital raising entered its third day with mixed results from punters and staff members, judging by tweets.

After Qantas boss Alan Joyce issued a call to arms to his 30,000 workforce, the airline attempted to keep the focus on its concerns - perhaps to the detriment of its own share price, which continued to slide on Tuesday - by launching an online petition called "fairgo4qantas".

By late on Tuesday, it had more than 6000 signatures.

But Joyce cannot count on all his staff members signing up to his cause.

And while some unions have publicly backed Qantas, the engineers' union is not so willing to come to the rescue. "I won't be signing," Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association president and Qantas engineer Paul Cousins said. "I have little faith in the direction that our CEO and the board is taking us."
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