Better Place calls for $130 million cash injection: Midday roundup

Electric car company Better Place has asked its shareholders for an immediate capital injection of $130 million, following the ousting of chief executive Shai Agassi last week.

Sources estimate the company is seeking to raise $130-140 million, with its biggest shareholder being Israel Corporation.

Better Place’s cashflow problems have led to the capital request, with the company having $122.8 million in cash at the end of June with a balance sheet of almost zero.

Better Place spent $104.1 million in the first half of 2012.

The company’s board of directors ousted Agassi last week and replaced him with Better Place Australia chief executive Evan Thornley.

New car sales jump

Sales of new motor vehicles in Australia rose in the month of September, beating analyst expectations, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS records 98,701 new cars sold in Australia in September, a seasonally adjusted rise of 4.7%. The result compares to a seasonally adjusted 93,379 in August.

In seasonally adjusted estimates, sales of passenger and sports utility vehicles rose 6.5% and 4.3% respectively for the month.

The overall rise in sales was buoyed by a seasonally adjusted 23.4% spike in new motor vehicle sales in Tasmania.

Stock market opens steady

The Australian market opened little changed, after a mixed lead from the United States despite early gains on firm bank earnings and a rise in consumer confidence, with worries about the new earnings season clouding optimism.

At the official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index strengthened 0.04%, to 4,488.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.03%, to 4,511.4 points.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said Australian investors are chasing search dividend yield in a context of falling bank deposit rates.

He said market focus has now turned towards the outlook for earnings.

“Statistics from China and the US as well as outlook commentary from the US profit reporting season have the potential to provide further insight into the outlook for earnings growth and so move markets this week,” Spooner said.


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