THE NEWS WRAP: Hurricane Sandy’s damage bill could hit $50 billion

Damage from hurricane Sandy could hit $50 billion, according to disaster estimator Eqecat.

 

The company has put total economic damage from the mega storm in the range of $30-50 billion, and insured damages at $10-20 billion, double its earlier estimate.

 

Eqecat revised its estimates for the storm because of the extensive losses from power and other utilities, which it says are much greater than those for most category one hurricanes.

 

It also cited the extended shutdowns of subways and road tunnels in the New York-New Jersey area due to flooding, and expectations there are many more losses yet unknown.

 

ASIC freezes fraudsters’ bank accounts

 

Three Queensland men who illegally raised more than $1 million by cold calling investors have had their businesses shut down and bank accounts frozen.

 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it has secured interim orders against Keiron Michael Weertman, Dylan Robson and Shane Rodney Hasell.

 

None of them held a financial services licence.

 

ASIC had previously won injunctions last month against three companies controlled by the men: Secured Collateral Pty Ltd, Diversified Collateral Pty Ltd and Intra Management Pty Ltd.

 

The trio used cold calls and a website to encourage investors to deposit funds in bank accounts, promising the money would be used to buy shares producing returns well above market rates.

 

James Murdoch dodges BSkyB revolt

 

James Murdoch has avoided a revolt over his position on the board of BSkyB, despite Britain’s media watchdog calling his “competence” and “attitude” into question.

 

Murdoch was reappointed as non-executive director at the group’s annual meeting with the backing of 94.7% of shareholder votes.

 

He stepped down as BSkyB chairman earlier this year amid fears the News International phone-hacking scandal would damage the firm, but he stayed on in his current role of director.

 

Overnight

 

The Australian dollar has risen on improved global sentiment due to positive economic data in the United States and China.

 

At 7am, the Australian dollar was trading at US103.99 cents, up from 103.71 cents yesterday.

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