Greece meets conditions for bailout, EU claims: Midday roundup

European Union leaders have confirmed that Greece has met the conditions for a bailout and will now rush to complete a new aid package for the country.

“I’m not saying we are out of the rut but we have reached a turning-point in the crisis,” EU president Herman Van Rompuy said. “The crisis is not over and we must remain vigilant but everything we have done is now bearing fruit.”

An advance deal to approve the first part of a second bailout for Greece has now opened avenues for debate on recovery in Europe.

Leaders in France, Britain and Germany have welcomed the developments.

The first part of the bailout will see private investors agree to write down outstanding debt, while the second part will include 130 billion Euros in loans.

Orica under investigation over waste water

The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management is now investigating Orica over the release of waste water containing cyanide into the Gladstone Harbour.

DERM has taken action against the company before, but now says it could fine the company up to $832,000 if incidents were not properly reported.

“There has been no reported fish kill in the vicinity of the discharge point to date,” DERM associate director Terry Wall told Reuters.

“This tends to indicate that discharge has been diluted sufficiently to be within environmental limits. Limits for human exposure are higher than environmental limits and are, therefore not likely to have been breached.”

The Department will undertake further water quality samplings this week.

Shares rise after positive overseas leads

The sharemarket has opened higher this morning following a positive result on the American stock exchange and news of positive sentiment surrounding the Greek bailout.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 21.7 points or 0.5% to 4277.2 at 12.00 AEST, while the Australian dollar remained at $US1.07.

In the United States, stocks have risen after news broke that unemployment claims have dropped to four-year lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 28 points or 0.2% to 12,980.

M&A lawyers buoyed by private equity approaches: Report

Merger and acquisition lawyers remain cautiously optimistic about the outlook for 2012, drawing confidence from private equity approaches, the resources sectors and international bids for Australian companies.

Gilbert + Tobin partner Tony Bancroft told the Australian Financial Review that although conditions are not booming, there are some “interesting, general signs”, with private equity firms getting “quite aggressive.”

Clayton Utz partner Tim Reid added that cashed-up “private equity players are coming back into the market,” particularly attracted to struggling retailers.

“They go wherever they see value.”

iiNet to launch NBN satellite service

Internet service provider iiNet is this month launching an NBN satellite service, with speeds of six megabits per second and 20 gigabytes of data on offer.

The packages  start at $39.95 per month bundled with a phone.

Chief executive Michael Malone said the satellite services means that rural and regional Australians could enjoy faster and more reliable internet access.

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