THE NEWS WRAP: US strikes deal to end debt crisis

Senators in the US have announced they have reached an 11th hour deal that will end the debt crisis that threatened a default on Treasury bonds.


Under the deal, government agencies are funded until January 15, while the US borrowing authority extended until February 7, with the Treasury Department gaining the ability to temporarily extend its borrowing capacity if Congress fails to act.


“We fought the good fight. There’s no reason for our members to vote no today,” House Speaker John Boehner said.


Warrnambool tells investors to reject Bega bid


Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory has again warned investors to reject a takeover bid by Bega, urging them to instead accept a rival bid from Canadian food giant Saputo.


The board cites the recent licensing agreement from the New Zealand-based dairy group Tatua Cooperative for technology allowing it to use technology to extract lactoferrin from milk.


Lactoferrin is used in infant formula, which in turn would allow Warrnambool to access a booming Asian market for baby food, a business opportunity the board claims has not been priced into Bega’s bid.


Saputo’s bid values Warrnambool at $390 million, while Bega is offering shareholders $370 million.


Office vacancies hit 11.3%


The office vacancy rate has reached 11.3%, its highest record in 14 years.


The figures show double-digit vacancy rates across all six of Australia’s CBD markets.


However, real estate firms maintain strong demand exists for office space in premium buildings, with confidence still strong among investors.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.36% to 15373.83. The Aussie dollar is at US95.57 cents.


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