Flinders deal delayed

Shares in iron ore miner Flinders Mines fell 3? to 13? after court delays pushed its proposed $554 million takeover by a Russian steel maker past the expiry date of the deal. Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works made an agreed offer to acquire 100 per cent of Flinders by June 30. But the Arbitration Court of the Chelyabinsk region of Russia adjourned proceedings brought by a MMK minority shareholder until July 2.


Floods hit BOQ profit

Bank of Queensland says continuing weak demand for loans will put pressure on the profit margins for domestic banks. A rise in bad loans because of Queensland's floods caused a $90.6 million loss for BOQ in the first half.


Sims takes a pounding

Investors have punished metals recycler Sims Metal Management with a savage selloff after it warned of a large drop in expected earnings. Sims said it expected earnings for the year to June 30 to be less than 85 per cent of those for the prior financial year, when it posted a $192. million net profit. Sims shares yesterday closed down 75?, or 6.1 per cent, at $11.50 after the company blamed the continuation of global economic challenges for dragging its expected earnings lower.


CBA drops rates

Commonwealth Bank has cut interest rates on some fixed-rate home loans by up to 0.4 percentage points. It said interest rates on two-year fixed rate residential mortgages have dropped by 40 basis points to 5.79 per cent. Rates on four and five-year fixed rate mortgages have been cut by 35 basis points to 6.29 per cent and 6.39 per cent respectively.


Baosteel to get bigger

Baosteel Group Corp, the parent of China's largest listed steel maker, won government approval to build a 69.7 billion yuan ($A11 billion) plant, more than seven years after the project was conceived. The factory, announced in 2005, will be in the southern port city of Zhanjiang and have a yearly production capacity of 9.2 million tonnes of iron, 10 million tonnes of steel and 9.4 million tonnes of steel products. The Zhanjiang project will increase Baosteel's production capacity by 2.3 per cent to 53 million tonnes, making it China's second-biggest steel maker.

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