THE NEWS WRAP: Last-minute shoppers to bump sales above last year’s festive season total

A last-minute surge in Christmas shopping will see spending over the festive period edge past last year’s total, according to the peak retail body.


The Australian Retailers Association said it expects sales to be 4% up on 2011, although this is down on the growth seen in previous years.


Billabong share price down despite takeover bid


A profit downgrade has seen Billabong’s share price slump by 10%, despite confirmation of a takeover bid for the struggling surfwear brand.


A consortium including Billabong director Paul Naude has launched a takeover bid for the business at $1.10 a share, valuing it at $527 million.


However, its share price has been hit after Billabong said that it will make $85-92 million in this financial year, down from the $100-110 million forecast in October.


ANZ faces dissent over CEO pay


ANZ has faced shareholder dissent over the remuneration of CEO Mike Smith, who is now Australia’s highest paid banker.


Smith’s $10.1 million pay packet was approved by shareholders at ANZ’s annual general meeting, but the Australian Shareholders’ Association and other investors questioned the scale of his income, which comes in at $26,000 a day.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.74% to 13,251.97. The Australian dollar was down to US104.93 cents.


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