Coles reveals data shared with foreign third parties; German firm to lift ownership in Leighton Holdings: Midday Roundup

Supermarket giant Coles has revealed customers using its Coles Flybuys car or online shopping site are having their details shared with third parties in more than 23 countries.

Customer’s data was also being passed onto up to 30 companies owned by the same corporation, such as K-Mart, Bunning and Officeworks.

Personal information on the supermarket’s customers can also be sent offshore to countries such as China, Britain, Pakistan, Mexico and the Philippines and used when the company is conducting risk assessments for credit and insurance products sold by the business.

The details of Coles’ privacy policy were released as, on Wednesday, new privacy laws come into effect which could see businesses cop a $1.7 million penalty for breaches.

German firm to lift ownership in Leighton Holdings

German construction and engineering company Hochtief has made a $1.155 billion off-market bid to increase its stake in Leighton Holdings to almost 75%.

Investors responded positively to the news, with the construction giant’s shares up 11.1% this morning to $23.020.

If the proposal goes ahead Hochtief also intends to increase its representation on the company’s board to mirror its increased stake in Leighton Holdings.

The conditional, proportional off-market offer will see Hochtief acquire three out of every eight shares held by Leighton Holdings shareholders.

Market weakens

The Australian sharemarket is weaker at noon after Chinese trade balance data injected fear into the local investment community.

At 12.05pm today the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.82% lower at 5417.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 0.73% to 5437 points.

Niall King, sales trader at CMC Markets, says recent advances made by the local sharemarket received a set-back with the Chinese trade balance data.

“While reassuring payrolls from the US on Friday topped a relatively golden week of domestic macro data, lingering geo-political concerns around the Ukraine situation mixed wobbling China data are giving those with bearish tendencies something to cling to,” he says.

“As a result, the major miners have driven the benchmark index lower with around half per cent lost in the session at this point.”

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