Economy

ACCC launches legal action against Obeid family; Singtel leaves the ASX: Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched proceedings in the Federal Court over cartel conduct allegations involving the family of disgraced Labor politician Eddie Obeid.

Moses and Paul Obeid, sons of the former New South Wales MP, are among 11 respondents named in the court documents, which allege bid rigging occurred during the coal exploration licence tender process of the Mount Penny and Glendon Brook mines in the Bylong Valley in 2009.

The alleged conduct involved six companies connected to the Obeids, which stood to make nearly $100,000 out of the winning tender.

The court action follows the report by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption into the bidding process in 2013.

Singtel leaves the ASX

Optus parent company Singapore Telecommunications has delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange, just over a month after informing the market of its plans.

Singtel had traded on the ASX for nearly 14 years but last month said low trading volumes, levels of liquidity and market demand had led to the decision to delist.

S&P Dow Jones issued a statement this morning informing the market Singtel will be removed from the S&P/ASX 200 index, along with Novion Property Group, which is merging with Federation Centres.

Singtel and Novion will be replaced on the S&P/ASX 200 index by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Select Harvests Limited, effective May 29.

Aussie shares up on open

Aussie stocks have had a strong start to this week’s trading, climbing almost 60 points in this morning’s trade.

However, Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a statement investors will likely remain cautious ahead of tonight’s US holiday, while global equity markets have taken comments from Janet Yellen about future interest rate hikes in the US “in their stride”.

“Janet Yellen’s speech last week has had the desired effect of moving market focus beyond the first rate hike to a recognition that the interest rates are likely to remain relatively low for a long time yet,” Spooner said.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 58.9 points to 5723.6 points at 12.11pm AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 53.72 points lower, down 0.29% to 18232 points.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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