Job vacancies rise in August quarter: Midday roundup

The number of job vacancies grew in the three months to August, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show the total number of job vacancies increase 4.2% to 179,300, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Productivity Commission to review mining regulation

The Productivity Commission will commence an inquiry into the regulatory hurdles facing the minerals and resource industries.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and assistant treasurer David Bradbury both announced the review in a joint statement today.

“The inquiry will examine exploration approvals systems and processes, within and across jurisdictions, to assess their effectiveness and efficiency,” Ferguson said.

The new inquiry will look at duplication of laws across the states and territories, along with other costs impacting on exploratory companies.

Funtastic turns profit in 2012

Toy distributor company Funtastic has returned to profitability in 2011-12, with the company making a profit of $10.4 million.

The result comes after a loss of $38.2 million in 2011, with the company citing a 19% reduction in costs and improved profit margins as responsible for the turnaround.

Chief executive Stewart Downs said in a statement the acquisition of the Pillow Pets brands and licences will help commercial performance, although noted the retail environment is still subdued.

“However, the ongoing fortunes of Funtastic are not dependent on a retail revival,” Downs said in a statement.

“In each of our businesses, we have good reason to be optimistic about our prospects.”

Sharemarket opens softer

The Australian sharemarket has opened softer following falls on the US and European bourses overnight amid concerns over eurozone debt.

At the official market opening, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.32% to 4,347.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 0.32% to 4,368.4 points.

Miguel Audencial, sales trader at CMC Markets, says the soft opening is set to continue.

“The Australian equities market is set to extend its losing streak to four days in a row following dismal leads from its US and European counterparts,” he says.

“Weaker oil and commodity prices will continue to put pressure on the energy and materials sector.”

Date set for resignation of Metcash CEO

Metcash has set a date for the resignation of chief executive officer Andrew Reitzer, after the board announced in February 2010 his intention to resign in 2013.

Reitzer will step down as CEO effective June 30, 2013 and will cease employment with Metcash in September 2013.

His services will be retained as a consultant to the board for strategic advice and assistance in relation to key customer, supplier, and joint venture relationships, for three years following Mr Reitzer’s cessation date.



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