Business finance commitments jump 8.7%; Ikea lifts profits: Midday Roundup

Business finance commitments increased significantly in November, up 8.3% to $37.252 billion, seasonally adjusted.

Despite the significant rise in commercial finance, personal financial commitments were up by a marginal 0.6% to $7.925 billion.

In trend terms the value of total business finance commitments rose 1.1%, while fixed lending commitments increased by 1.7%.

Ikea lifts profits

The Aussie arm of much-loved Swedish furniture company Ikea has posted strong full-year sales of $666.15 million in Australia for 2013.

Its net profit increased a sizeable 42% from $13.53 million to $19.22 million, defying the lacklustre results of many other retailers. 

Its sales increased by a more modest 2.5%, up by $16.18 million. Ikea currently has seven stores in Australia, however the results come from its five comparable stores.

Globally Ikea posted revenue of nearly 28 billion euros ($42 billion).

The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ denies claims

The man who sparked the new movie The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio has denied reports he moved to Australia to avoid repaying victims of a brokerage scheme are “insane and libellous,” The Australian reports.

Jordan Belfort said he had obtained a correction on the matter from The Wall Street Journal, as well as the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, which made comment regarding the allegations.

A lawyer for Belfort said he was not living in Australia, but rather was in California, and was paying a court-ordered restitution, The Australian reports.

Belfort was a 1990s American stockbroker who spent 22 months in prison after being indicted for securities fraud and money laundering in 1998. He signed a restitution agreement in 2003 which would require him to pay 50% of his income to the 1,513 clients he defrauded.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened up this morning, following the market’s worse day of trade yesterday since September last year.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 33.4 points to 5245.4 at 12:10pm AEDT. Last night the Dow Jones closed 0.71% higher, up 115.92 points to 16,373.86.

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