Australians cleared of fraud charges in Dubai; Elders announces $500 million FY loss; Home finance commitments up in September: Midday Roundup

Melbourne man Matt Joyce will return to Australia after a four-year court battle in Dubai, after he was acquitted on Sunday of bribery and fraud charges.

The Dubai Court of Appeal acquitted Joyce of charges relating to bribery and fraud. The Dubai prosecution also lost its appeal against the acquittal of Joyce’s co-accused, Marcus Lee.

The pair was originally detained in Dubai after the Australian development company Sunland accused them of conspiring to rip the company off during the sale of a waterfront property.

Joyce and his family – including three children – were not allowed to leave Dubai since he and Lee were arrested in January 2009. Joyce expects to be home by Christmas.

Elders announces $500 million FY loss

Agribusiness Elders has flagged a $510 million full-year loss this morning, ahead of its results release next Monday.

In a statement on the Australian Securities Exchange, Elders said a number of non-recurring impairments had resulted in a combined statutory loss of $303 million in March this year.

“The company has yet to quantify the exact quantum of the loss in respect to the irregularities uncovered in its international trading business but it does expect to do so before it announces its full year results,” Elders said.

Following the announcement, Elders shares were trading down 5.93%.

Home finance commitments up in September

The total value of dwelling finance commitments, excluding alterations and additions, rose 5.3% seasonally adjusted in September.

The number of finance commitments for owner-occupiers also increased in September, up 4.4% to 51,928.

The number of finance commitments for the purchase of new dwellings was the only category to fall, down 2.1% to 2,872, seasonally adjusted.

Shares up on open

The Australian sharemarket has risen on open, following higher than expected job figures from the United States.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 8.8 points to 5409.5 at 11:50am AEDT. The Dow Jones closed on Friday night up 167.8 points, gaining 1.08% to 15,761.78.

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