Commercial lending rises in September: Midday roundup

Commercial finance increased in September, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data shows total business finance commitments rose by a seasonally adjusted 6.9% to $29.605 billion.

That figure comes alongside an upwardly revised $27.698 billion in August, while total personal lending commitments rose by 2.6%.

Housing finance for owner occupiers rose 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted $13.9 billion, while lease finance rose 10.1%.

Leighton warns over BrisConnections stake

Leighton Holdings has confirmed it is reviewing the value of its investment in troubled toll road group BrisConnections.

Shares in BrisConnections have been suspended from the ASX as the company began negotiations with lenders over its funding problems.

Leighton said it is reviewing the value of its $63 million equity commitment to the company.

Shares in Leighton were down 0.53% this morning after the announcement was made.

“Any impairment would have no impact on Leighton Holdings’ previously advised underlying net profit after tax forecast of $400 to $450 million for the financial year ended 31 December 2012′” Leighton said.

In a statement, BrisConnections said there was uncertainty around the negotiations and that it could not specify how long shares would be suspended.

Shares flat after flat offshore lead

The Australian sharemarket has fallen this morning after European ministers met to discuss the region’s growing debt problems.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 31.3 points or 0.7% to 4,416.7, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3 points or 0% to 12,816.7.

Incitec Pivot shares gain 5% after positive results

Shares in fertiliser and explosives group Incitec Pivot have gained 5% after its annual profit rose by more than 10%.

The company announced profit was up to $10.7 million from the previous corresponding period.



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