Clive Palmer wins court case against CITIC Pacific; Flight Centre acquires Mexican travel agency: Midday Roundup
Tuesday, May 5, 2015/
Billionaire and federal MP Clive Palmer has successfully defended himself against a fraud case pursued by Chinese mining company CITIC Pacific in the Supreme Court.
The Chinese government-owned mining giant had accused Palmer of fraudulently siphoning more than $12 million from a fund set up to manage a port connected to the Sino Iron project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, according to the ABC.
CITIC Pacific claimed Palmer committed a breach of trust in 2013 when he drew two cheques payable to his own development company and to an advertising company that promoted Palmer’s political party in the lead up to the federal election. Palmer’s company mining Mineralogy had repaid the money before the case began last November.
Supreme Court Justice David Jackson yesterday ruled in favour of Palmer, finding the money from the port fund was not part of a trust.
Flight Centre acquires Mexican travel agency
Flight Centre is expanding its presence in North America, acquiring a Mexican corporate travel agency for an undisclosed sum.
The travel group signed a legally non-binding agreement to purchase Koch Overseas de Mexico, which will now be subject to further due diligence by the Flight Centre board.
“Having a company-owned presence in Mexico is a natural extension of our business in North America,” Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said in a statement to shareholders.
Koch has operated in Mexico since 1950 and employs more than 100 people in its offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, Puebla and Cancun.
The business is already closely aligned to Australian travel agency, having been part of the FCm Travel Solutions network created by Flight Centre in 2004.
Shares up on open
Aussie shares have traded higher this morning, although the ASX 200 has lost some ground heading into lunchtime.
Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said in a statement trading will be dominated by local factors today “as analysts pore over this morning’s quarterly result from ANZ and await the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision this afternoon”.
“Share and interest rate markets are now pricing a high probability of an RBA cut, meaning the most likely spur for a market move would be no change in rates,” McCarthy said.
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 38.1 points at 12.06pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 46.34 points higher, up 0.26% to 18070.4 points.