RBA minutes show bank concerned over global economy: Midday roundup

The global economy still remains fragile with the euro zone being the main perpetrator, the RBA said in its board meeting this month, according to newly released minutes.

The August meeting minutes show the RBA said inflation data was in line with expectations, but that uncertainty coming from overseas is affecting consumer sentiment.

However, it pointed out underlying inflation was towards the bottom of the target band.

“This reflected the lagged effects of the earlier appreciation of the exchange rate and weakness in demand in some parts of the non-resource economy, which had seen inflation of non-tradable prices ease in the first half of 2012 to its average over the inflation-targeting period,” the bank said.

However, it also said inflation is expected to increase.

“Inflation was nonetheless forecast to be around the middle of the target range by late 2013 and to be consistent with the target over the medium term,” the bank said.

“With inflation expected to be consistent with the target and growth close to trend, but with a more subdued international outlook than was the case a few months ago, the board judged that the stance of monetary policy remained appropriate.”

Consolidated Media profit falls 15%

Consolidated Media Holdings has recorded a decline in its net profit of 15.7% to just $85 million, and says it hopes to have its deal with News finalised within six weeks.

This is the first financial results announcement since the company received regulatory approval for its takeover deal with News. The ACCC did not think the $2 billion deal would stifle competition.

The company said it expects preconditions currently outstanding to be finalised soon.

“CMH presently expects that these preconditions will be satisfied and the scheme implementation deed will be finally negotiated and signed during the next six weeks, which will allow for completion of the indicative proposal, subject to shareholder and Court approvals and any other remaining conditions, in the final quarter of calendar 2012,” the company said.

“However, CMH is not in a position to give any assurance either that the scheme implementation deed will be finally agreed and signed or that the indicative proposal will proceed.”

Shares rise despite weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened slightly higher this morning despite a weak lead from offshore markets.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 9.9 points or 0.2% to 4374.2 at 12.10 AEST, while the Australian dollar was up at $US1.04.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.6 points or 0% to 13,271.6.

NRL confirms $1 billion broadcast deal

Nine Entertainment and Fox Sports have secured broadcasting rights for National Rugby League in a deal worth $1.25 billion over the next five years.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant announced the deal this morning.

“The cash that comes from the agreement, used wisely, will provide the funding to sustain our game from the grass roots to the elite levels,” Grant said.

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