Building approvals rise in November: Midday roundup

Building approvals increased in November, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures are another set of pleasing data for the building industry, which also heard yesterday new home sales also increased during November.

The ABS figures show the number of buildings approved rose by a seasonally adjusted 2.9% to 13,307 during the month. Economists had expected a 3% increase.

Building approvals are now 13.2% higher than at the same point in 2011.

Head of Billabong defends recent executive shakeup

Billabong chief executive Launa Inman has told The Australian Financial Review she stands by the recent executive departures at the company.

She told the newspaper that new skills are needed in order for the company to succeed.

“Transformation is key for Billabong,” she said. “I’m sure there are people that don’t like to see the changes.”

“They want the business to be what it was. I’m here to increase shareholder value. That’s my job. We have a lot of unhappy shareholders.”

Sembawang raises bid for Macmahon assets

Sembawaging Engineers and Constructors has raised its offer for the construction assets of Macmahon Holdings.

The company said in a statement it has received a revised, two-part proposal to acquire either some or all of its business.

The first option for all of the business would be for $38 million. The second option, which would see the company just buy a portion of Macmahon, would be for $25 million.

“The board is considering the proposal and will continue to keep the market informed in accordance with all legal and regulatory requirements,” Macmahon said

Shares flat after stronger Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened flat this morning, despite a slightly stronger lead from the United States overnight where expectations of corporate earnings have become more optimistic.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 0.4 points or 0% to 4,707.7 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61 points or 0.5% to 13,390.5.



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