Australian merger and acquisition activity has reached its lowest level in eight years, according to data collected by Bloomberg.
The first quarter of 2013 saw just $US9.43 billion ($A9.05 billion) in mergers and acquisitions, down sharply from $US20.03 billion year-on-year.
The figure, blamed on a sharp fall in resource deals, is the lowest since the second quarter of 2005.
ALP divisions emerge over superannuation reforms
Divisions have opened up in the Labor Party over proposed superannuation reforms, with West Australian Senator Mark Bishop joining Simon Crean in warning against introducing taxes on superannuation to fund key government programs.
“There was a clear undertaking given by the Labor Party and the trade union movement that earnings would remain the property of the individual, would be invested in the particular fund and enjoy the bounty of compounding growth,” Bishop said.
“To go back on that undertaking would be a retrograde step in my view.”
South Korean President allows pre-emptive strikes against the North
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said she will allow South Korean military forces to launch pre-emptive strikes against North Korea if signs emerge of an imminent nuclear or missile attack.
“If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations,” Park said.
“As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I will trust the military’s judgement on abrupt and surprise provocations by North Korea.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.04% to 14,572.32. The Aussie dollar is steady on US104.25 cents.