Billabong in trading halt, AngloGold lowers production forecasts: Midday Roundup

Billabong shares have once again been placed in a trading halt, as the surfwear company prepares to make a company announcement.

The troubled brand has been in talks with its former suitors about asset sales and refinancing, after sale negotiations fell through earlier this year.

The company had extended the exclusivity period for discussions with American private equity firm Sycamore Partners last week.

The shares, which last traded at $0.25, will remain in a halt until a company announcement is made, or until commencement of normal trading on Thursday, July 18.

AngloGold lowers production forecasts

AngloGold Ashanti has lowered the guidance on its full-year production figures in a statement provided to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The company said it produced 935,000 ounces of gold in the second quarter, at a cost of between $US900 and $US920 an ounce.

However, the company has lowered full-year guidance for 2013 to between four million and 4.1 million ounces.

“It’s been a strong performance in a challenging environment,” chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said in the statement.

“In light of the $US220 per ounce drop in the average quarterly gold price, which will negatively impact our second-quarter results, we’ve moved decisively on all fronts to sharpen our focus on efficiency and to tighten up on costs, overheads and capital.”

Shares steady on open

Aussie shares have opened slightly higher this morning, on the back of Wall Street gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark remains steady, up 2.2 points to 4983.3 at midday. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 19.96 points higher up 0.13% to 15,484.26.

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