THE NEWS WRAP: Nine to press on with Southern Cross merger plans

Nine Entertainment is pressing on with plans to merge with Southern Cross Media, despite the possibility that legislation to repeal the 75% reach rule will fail to pass the Parliament.


Among the possibilities being considered is the potential sale of Southern Cross regional affiliates outside the key markets regional Queensland, Victoria and southern NSW following a merger, or a Nine Entertainment takeover of Southern Cross stations in those markets.


However, Nine Entertainment shareholders are believed to favour a merger rather than a takeover of selected stations, as this would give the broadcaster a back-door listing that would allow them to sell down their stake in the media company.


Dry expectations crop Elders growth


Agribusiness giant Elders has reported it expects to report a small loss during the first half of this year due to dry conditions across large parts of rural Australia.


While the company’s live export trade remains strong and northern Australia experienced a normal wet season, dry conditions across parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Australia slowed demand for farm supplies.


“Dry and hot weather conditions over the summer have led to a reduction in demand for agricultural chemicals across the cropping and livestock sectors,” Elders chief executive Malcolm Jackman said.


South Korean banks and broadcasters hacked


Hackers have attacked several major banks and broadcasters across South Korea, just days after North Korea accused the US and South Korea of hacking its websites.


Two major banks, as well as television stations KBS, MBC and YTN were all targeted in the attacks, which affected companies hosted by LG UPlus Corp.


South Korean police are investigating the cyber-attacks, but the government is not currently blaming its northern neighbour for the attacks.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.39% to 14,511.80. The Aussie dollar is steady at US103.78 cents.


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