Dollar rises after mid-year budget update: Midday roundup

The Australian dollar has risen slightly after the Federal Government’s release of its mid-year budget outlook.

The government has cut its projected surplus for the 2012-13 year, despite expectations it would maintain the current forecasts.

The dollar rose to $US1.03 after the announcement was made, after trading at just above $US1.03.

GrainCorp shares skyrocket 41% after takeover bid

Shares in GrainCorp have surged more than 41% after the company received a $2.68 billion takeover bid from American group Archer Daniels Midland Company.

GrainCorp confirmed it has received an indicative, non-binding acquisition proposal from ADM. It follows ADM increasing its stake in GrainCorp last week.

“The GrainCorp board is reviewing the proposal and has not yet formed a view on its merits and will keep the market informed of any material developments,” GrainCorp said in a statement.

“Our investment in GrainCorp is part of our ongoing portfolio management and is consistent with our strategy of growing our agricultural services and oilseeds businesses by investing in key supply regions outside the United States,” ADM chairman and chief executive Patricia Woertz said also.

Shares fall after mid-year update

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower today following a disappointing mid-year budget outlook, and weak leads from Wall Street.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 33 points or 0.7% to 4,537.9 at 12.10 AEST, while the Australian dollar rose slightly to $US1.03.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 205 points or 1.5% to 13,343.5.

Nine to focus on acquisitions

The newly debt-free Nine Entertainment Co. will invest in programming and possible acquisitions, it has been reported.

The Australian Financial Review has reported chief executive David Gyngell as saying the company will look to take on a more serviceable level of debt in the next 12 months, reportedly about $500 million.

“I believe in traditional media aligning itself,” he told the publication.

“That will give you an insight into what opportunities there could be, whether it be more radio stations, regional television or retail facing digital businesses where you can add your weight to market and branding.”



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