CONSTRUCTION Leighton Holdings shares dropped 3.6 per cent yesterday after the construction group announced it had pushed back the completion date for Brisbane's Airport Link toll road by almost two months. It said the airport link should be open to traffic on or before August 20, instead of the previous forecast of June 30. Leighton, which owns the Thiess and John Holland companies involved in building the project, said it had made adequate commercial allowances for schedule changes and the delay would not affect its profit guidance for 2012. The shares closed down 71? at $19.25.
MINING Arafura Resources has struck a deal with a mystery South Korean conglomerate to potentially co-develop its Australian rare earths project. Arafura did not name the multinational organisation in an announcement to the ASX yesterday, but said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with it. The memorandum included a sale and purchase agreement over Arafura's Nolans Project rare earths products, funding arrangements to get the project into production, and plans to co-develop rare earths separation facilities in Australia and Korea.
MEDIA New figures show the advertising market for radio continues to struggle, with total revenue for metropolitan commercial stations falling 0.6 per cent for the 10 months to April, to $560 million. Commercial Radio Australia described the figures as patchy: Melbourne grew just 0.14 per cent to $169 million while the Sydney market suffered the biggest falls down 3.14 per cent to $171 million. The Adelaide radio market topped the list, growing 3.88 per cent to $53.5 million.
RETIREMENT FKP will be a big player in the New Zealand retirement village and aged-care business after the NZ-based Metlifecare signed merger agreements to acquire Vision Senior Living and Private Life Care Holdings. Metlifecare is 50 per cent owned by Retirement Villages Group, which is managed by FKP, and FKP also has a 21 per cent stake in RVG. FKP managing director Peter Brown said the deal was a good reference point for the company's review of its retirement portfolio, which is expected to be completed in the next month.
PROPERTY GPT chief executive Michael Cameron was given a grilling by shareholders at the annual meeting yesterday for his acceptance of a board seat at Suncorp. Investors said they felt he had enough work running the property trust. However, GPT chairman Rob Ferguson dismissed the concerns, saying Mr Cameron's board seat would help him "broaden his exposure to the business world". He added that GPT's core business was now well positioned, with structured rental increases and high levels of occupancy. "This will underpin earnings growth," he said.