Economy

Private business values soften; Nexus Energy enters trading halt; Midday Roundup

Kirsten Robb /

The value of privately owned businesses across Australia has dropped slightly as the number of businesses for sale has increased by 5%, according to data released today.

The latest BizExchange Index shows private business values softened for the March quarter, based on earnings multiplied for industries and business size, a return to a long-term trend of declining business values slightly bucked by previous quarters.

Owners of large businesses with turnover above $5 million held off coming to market during the March quarter with only two industry sectors, manufacturing and wholesale, having sufficient volume to create an index value.

BizExchange chairman David Bird said he believes business confidence will gradually return as the government’s recent budget is better understood.

Nexus Energy enters trading halt

Nexus Energy shares have been placed in a trading halt this morning, pending an announcement on the results of a takeover meeting, reports Fairfax Media.

The $26.6 million takeover bid from Seven Group is expected to be rejected by Nexus shareholders at the meeting held in Melbourne at 11am this morning.

But Fairfax reports the Seven Group may end up controlling Nexus in any case, if it were to cease providing bridging finance for Nexus and call in its debt, taking control of the energy company.

Many shareholders dumped their shares earlier in the week, with its stock slumping more than 35% on Tuesday.

Aussie shares down following Wall St’s lead

Local shares have started the morning on a low, following a weaker overnight lead from Wall St.

“In an ongoing sentiment disconnect with some of the major global indices, which have soared into unchartered territory, our local benchmark has continually stumbled in recent sessions as the commodity slump piles misery on our miners,” says CMC Markets sales trader Niall King.

“Adding to this, international investors look to have used the re-evaluation of the global growth rate outlook from the World Bank overnight as an excuse to take their foot off the gas with all of the major US and European markets closing in the red.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.5%, or 28.6 points to 5425.4 points at 11:45pm AEDT. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 102.04 points, down 0.60% to 16,843.9 points.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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