THE NEWS WRAP: Myer discussed a merger with David Jones last year

Retail giant David Jones has confirmed it received a merger offer from rival Myer in October last year.

 

David Jones revealed it received the “confidential, conditional and non-binding and indicative” offer from its rival on October 28, which saw Myer offer 1.06 shares for every David Jones share.

 

However the offer, investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, was rejected on the grounds it had “substantial commercial, market, and regulatory risks” including a review from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

 

“The board formed the view that the potential transaction did not have sufficient merit for David Jones shareholders to warrant engaging in discussions and providing the access and information requested by Myer,” David Jones said.

 

Shell confirms Australian assets are on the market

 

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has officially confirmed it is looking to sell its Australian refineries and petrol stations, along with its $7.4 billion stake in Woodside Petroleum.

 

The sale process, overseen by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has reportedly gained the attention of Macquarie, Glencore Xstrata and oil trading firm Vitol.

 

“We are making hard choices in our worldwide portfolio to improve Shell’s capital efficiency,” Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says.

 

“Our ambitious growth drive in recent years has yielded a step change in Shell’s portfolio and options, with more growth to come, but at the same time we have lost some momentum in operational delivery, and we can sharpen up in a number of areas.”

 

Chinese manufacturing declined in January

 

China’s manufacturing sector recorded its first decline in six months, according to the latest HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) figures.

 

The final PMI for January came in at 49.5, down from a score of 50.5 last month, where a reading below 50 points indicates a deterioration in conditions.

 

“A soft start to China’s manufacturing sectors in 2014, partly due to weaker new export orders and slower domestic business activities during January,” HSBC chief China economist Hongbin Qu says.

 

“Policy makers should pay attention to downside risks and pre-emptively fine tune policy to steady the pace of growth if needed.”

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to 15,848.7 points. The Aussie dollar was up to US87.8 cents.

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