Elders shares soar 15% on new debt deal; Joe Hockey claims cuts won’t hurt growth: Midday Roundup

Elders shares have soared over 15% this morning after the company announced it has secured a new debt deal and will cut 10% of its workforce as part of a restructure.

The company told the Australian Securities Exchange the new finance facilities would extend until 2014, but also said the company would reduce its employee numbers by 10%.

“The extension and renewal of Elders’ syndicated finance facilities underpins a comprehensive plan to reposition Elders as a pure agribusiness, focused on its branch network and trading operations operating within and from Australia and New Zealand,” the group said.

“A small number of rural and regional branch offices will be closed or consolidated into larger nearby branches to ensure sustainability of the network operations in the long-term,” it said.

Elders shares rose 15% to 11 cents this morning at 11.00 AEST.

Hockey claims budget cuts won’t harm growth

Incoming Treasurer Joe Hockey has said the Coalition’s budget cut plans won’t harm national growth.

Hockey told The Australian infrastructure projects will prop up economic growth when the cuts will begin.

“There is a big focus on infrastructure,” Hockey told the publication. “We need to have cranes over cities, we need to have cranes around the country.

“And if we can improve the quality of our productive infrastructure we will get the growth going.”

Abbott not sprinting on carbon tax repeal

Tony Abbott has said he will move “in good time” with the Coalition’s pledge to repeal the carbon tax.

“We will recall parliament in good time,” he told the Seven Network. “I’m certainly not going to recall the parliament for a photo opportunity.”

“It will happen as soon as it can … it’s very important to get these things right.”

Shares rise as dollar remains strong

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, while the Australian dollar has also remained above US92c thanks to good economic news from China.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 28 points or 0.6% to 5210.1 at 11.30 AEST.

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