THE NEWS WRAP: Malone and Hackett sell off $63 million in iiNet shares

The founder of iiNet, Michael Malone, along with non-executive director Simon Hackett are selling off around 11 million shares in the internet and telecommunications company.


Malone is selling 5 million of his 9 million shares, representing 3.1% of the company, with the founder saying he wants to diversify his share portfolio.


Hackett, who sold ISP Internode to iiNet in exchange for $105 million and a 7.5% stake, is selling half of his shares in the company, saying he will use proceeds from the sale to help fund his base64 tech start-up incubator in Adelaide.


Woolworths reports solid result, fails to communicate low prices


Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien has admitted the supermarket giant has failed to convince consumers it offers lower prices than arch-rival Coles, after announcing a solid full-year result.


Woolworths reported its full-year net profit from continuing operations and before one-off items was up 8% to $2.354 billion, excluding $383 million from the sale of its Dick Smith Electronics store chain.


However, O’Brien admits the company has lost its reputation as a price leader to Wesfarmers-owned rival Coles.


“Historically, we enjoyed a sizeable lead on price perception, but most of that lead has been eroded over the last two years,” O’Brien said.


“We do expect retail conditions to remain somewhat subdued during 2013-14, with ongoing consumer caution coming from cost of living pressures, the flat job market and the uncertainty that’s been created by the federal election, despite the very positive low levels of interest rates.”


NAB slashes 571 jobs


NAB has cut 571 jobs, with 100 more under threat, as the banking giant aims to slash $800 million in annual costs.


According to figures published by the Financial Sector Union, 438 of the positions have been cut so far, with a further 133 roles lost due to outsourcing.


The bank’s IT, administrative and wealth management divisions bore the brunt of the cuts.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 14824.51. The Aussie dollar is down to US89.41 cents.


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