David Jones committed to CBD sites: Midday roundup

Department store giant David Jones says it is committed to holding onto its CBD locations.

The announcement comes after the business announced a review of its holdings in September, as part of its annual financial results announcement.

“[David Jones] has commenced a review to investigate opportunities to unlock and enhance the
value of its property portfolio for the benefit of shareholders,” the company says in a statement.

“Our initial review indicates further potential value upside over and above the $612 million, from the development of airspace above the existing buildings,” chairman Bob Savage adds.

“We are committed to owning these properties.”

Stanhope named as Australia Post chair

Former Telstra chief financial officer John Stanhope has been named chairman of Australia Post, and will take up the position for four years.

The appointment was announced by communications minister Stephen Conroy this morning.

“Mr Stanhope brings to the role extensive experience in finance, commercial strategy and communications technology,” Conroy said.

Stanhope first joined Australia Post when it was the Postmaster General’s Department in the 1960s, and has since served in several positions, including as Telstra’s chief financial officer.

He also acts as a non-executive director of AGL and a council member of Deakin University.

Markets flat after weak offshore lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened flat today following a weak lead from Europe, with the American markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down seven points or 0.2% to 4406 at 12.05 AEST.

IT giant IBM is set to create 150 new technology jobs in Ballarat

The Victorian Government’s Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the government had worked with University of Ballarat and IBM to secure the company’s expansion at the Ballarat Technology Park

“The creation of up to 150 new, highly skilled technology jobs is a major coup for Ballarat,” Rich-Phillips said.

Bryce Courtenay dies at age 79

Best selling author and former advertising guru Bryce Courtenay died last night at age 79.

His death followed a battle with stomach cancer.

At the peak of his success, Courtenay’s books sold a million copies and his last book, Jack of Diamonds was published a week ago in time for Christmas sales.

“We’d like to thank all of Bryce’s family and friends and all of his fans around the world for their love and support of me and his family as he wrote the final chapter of his extraordinary life. And may we make a request for privacy as we cherish his memory,” his wife said in a statement.


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