Victoria’s Napthine government in crisis; Australand in bidding war: Midday Roundup

Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews has called on Premier Denis Napthine to hold a joint meeting with the Governor, in order to find a solution to the state’s constitutional crisis.

The turmoil began yesterday when balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw announced his support for a no confidence motion against the Napthine government, after former speaker Ken Smith said he would cross the floor to pass a Labor motion to remove Shaw from the parliament.

Shaw was last week ordered by the privileges committee to repay $6838 for misusing his parliamentary car and fuel card, but was not found in contempt of the parliament.

A by-election will be held in the seat of Frankston if Shaw is removed from parliament, ahead of the full state election in November.

Australand the centre-point of a bidding war

Singapore-based Frasers Centrepoint has put in a cash counter-offer for property group Australand this morning, putting the previous offer from Stockland into question, reports Fairfax.

The company is offering $4.48 per share for the company, amounting to $2.6 billion, trumping the previous offer from Stockland of $4.35 a share, valued at $2.5 billion.

Australand says it has granted Frasers an exclusive four-week due diligence period.

Shares down on open

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 18.1 points to 5461.6 at 12:00 AEST. Last night the Dow Jones closed down 0.13%, falling 21.29 points to 16,722.34.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said the markets were firm but reasonable in early trading.

“While iron ore prices rallied marginally yesterday, a move back above $100 may be required to convince traders that this is more than just another minor blip against an ongoing downtrend,” said Spooner.


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