Building approvals above expectations in May: Midday roundup

Building approvals shattered expectations in May, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

According to the figures, the number of approvals rose 27.3% to 13,591, seasonally adjusted, during the month of May.

That comes after an upwardly revised rise of 10,676 units in April. Experts had only predicted a 5.1% increase in approvals.

The figure sends building approvals up 9.3% compared to the same point last year.

David Jones defends itself after takeover offer

Department store giant David Jones has defended its move to disclose a bid from mystery UK private equity firm EB Private Equity.

The firm withdrew its offer yesterday, with David Jones announcing a trading halt before the confirmation.

In a letter to the ASX, company secretary Caroline Waldron defended the company’s actions.

“The company was concerned to ensure that, at all times, there was not likely to be information in the public domain that would lead to trading based on a false market,” Waldron said.

Meanwhile, a message on the company’s sparse website explained that its intention was to hold preliminary discussions, but “unfounded, inaccurate and ill-informed publicity” around the deal led it to withdraw.

Jim’s Group launches Jim’s Security

Jim’s Group is to launch Jim’s Security this month in New South Wales as the 34th division in the Jim’s Group franchise network.

There are plans to establish 10 regions across the state, four in Sydney and the rest in major regional areas.

Steve Jones, who has more than 20 years of security industry experience and time as a Jim’s Group franchise, will head the group.

“Owning a Jim’s Mowing franchise exposed me to the power of the Jim’s brand and the strength of the Jim’s franchise network,” Jones said.

Jones believes the Jim’s franchise model will help to unite a disjointed industry.

Shares flat after weak Wall Street lead

The local sharemarket is trading flat after a weak lead from the United States, despite a good start from European markets.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 1.2 points or 0% at 12.10 AEST, while the Australian dollar has hit a two-month high at $US1.02.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 8.7 points or 0.1% to 12,871.4.



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